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The Flying Elbow

By: Bob Burns

Golf Professional

The right elbow can be one of the keys to straighter shots:

When the golfer's shots fly off line to the left or right consistently, I can usually spot one single factor that invariably is wrong with their back swing—the "flying elbow," or the golfer error in which the right elbow wings out. 

In the "flying elbow," the golfer will, in the downswing, cut across the target line on an outside in plane. If the ball fails to slice, it merely stays on the left of the target trajectory. Few good players can bring the elbow in sufficiently on the downswing after letting it "fly" out on the back swing.

To correct this, 1) position the right elbows a little closer to the body at address; 2) take most of the right hand pressure out by relaxing the index finger and thumb. To compensate, firm up the last three fingers of the left and; 3) at the top of the back swing the right elbow should be pointing or looking down at the ground, with the club shaft directly above the elbow. 

If these steps are followed, a slightly inside-out swing path with super consistency will result. 

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