Cure for a stiff arm

December 13, 1965

The well-executed golf swing is an athletic movement so tilled with unnatural twists and turns that any chance to make it more natural should be eagerly seized upon. The position of the elbows at address offers a perfect illustration of what I mean. I know that some golfers think the elbows should be pressed toward each other as if wrapped in a giant rubber band, and that others vigorously twist their arms so that the elbow points are aiming at their belt buckle and their arm muscles are coiled like chunks of rope. This kind of rigidity may be all right for a man who knows exactly what he is doing. In fact, Gary Player always sets himself up this way. But most players attempting this will end up with too much tension, a stiff swing and a poor shot. What I try to do is keep my arms supple at address, let them feel natural. You can do this, too, if you will go through a regular routine until it becomes habit. Start by relaxing your shoulders so that they even droop somewhat. Then drop your arms to your sides so that they hang in a natural position. Finally, simply reach out and take your grip on the club. Your elbows will then remain in the same relative position they were in while hanging loosely at your sides, and your arms will be free of unnecessary, unwanted tension.

ILLUSTRATIONFRANCIS GOLDENBefore gripping club relax shoulders so that the arms hang limply at each side. ILLUSTRATIONFRANCIS GOLDENAt address your arms remain relaxed, with the flat inside of each elbow turned inward.

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)