When should you straighten your right arm downswing?

Answered by Tom Adger

In golf, the timing of when to straighten your right arm during the downswing is crucial for achieving a proper swing path and maximizing power and accuracy. The right arm plays a significant role in the golf swing, and understanding when and how to straighten it can greatly improve your game.

Ideally, you should start straightening your right arm during the transition from the backswing to the downswing. This is when the club starts to change direction and move towards the ball. As you start the downswing, the right arm should gradually straighten, allowing for a proper release of the club through impact.

It’s important to note that the right arm should not straighten abruptly or forcefully. The straightening motion should be smooth and natural, allowing for a gradual extension. This helps to maintain control and prevent any unwanted tension or stiffness in the swing.

One common mistake many golfers make is keeping the right arm too bent throughout the downswing. This can lead to a steep and narrow swing path, resulting in inconsistent ball striking and a lack of power. By straightening the right arm at the appropriate time, you can shallow out your downswing, creating a more efficient and powerful swing.

To get a better feel for when to straighten your right arm, you can try a drill called the “45-90 drill.” Set up in your golf stance with the club in your right hand only (for right-handed golfers). Start with your right arm bent at a 45-degree angle, as if you were halfway through the backswing. From this position, initiate the downswing and feel the right arm gradually straightening. By the time you reach impact, the right arm should be close to fully extended.

It’s important to remember that every golfer is different, and the timing of when to straighten the right arm may vary slightly depending on your swing style and natural tendencies. Experimenting with different timing and practicing consistently will help you find the right balance and feel for your swing.

Straightening your right arm during the downswing is a key component of a proper golf swing. Starting the straightening motion during the transition from the backswing to the downswing allows for a more shallow and efficient swing path. Remember to focus on a smooth and gradual extension of the right arm, rather than a sudden or forced motion. Practicing drills and experimenting with timing will help you find the optimal position for your swing.