Left Arm At The Top Of The Backswing

By | on May 5, 2011 | 15 Comments | Array


Sorry, this content is for members only.

Click here to get access.


Already a member? Login below

Remember me (for 2 weeks)

Forgot Password


Author Description

Avatar photo

Paul Wilson is the creator of Swing Machine Golf and founder of Ignition Golf. Paul's golf swing technique is based on the Iron Byron swing machine. YouTube Channels: Paul Wilson Golf and Ignition Golf Tips. Please Join me on Google+

15 Responses to “Left Arm At The Top Of The Backswing”

  1. October 5, 2014


    Hi Paul,

    Your bent arm position explanation for yourself is understood. However, you then are able with a bent arm to demonstrate the parallel position with the driver over your shoulders on the back-swing. This in itself is a difficult swing motion to master, ie, skill level needed, including the hinge motion without any cupping and then the extended return through the ball. Is it necessary to have a such a lengthy back-swing for the complete swing motion?

    • October 6, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      You need to go back as far as you can go back. This would be different than how far I can go back. Once you are tightly coiled you are done. At this point you just need your wrists hinged fully. So keep working on that until you master the maximum wrist hinge. Then base your backswing on coiling until you are tight. I certainly don’t want your arm too stiff. Jack Nicklaus as well as many others bend the lead arm at the top. They key is getting it back to fully extended but the time you hit the ball.

      Coiling: https://ignitiongolf.com/learn-coil-backswing

  2. Hi Paul
    great clip once again
    This is one area i struggle with not being the most flexible person i find my arm breaking to much in my swing.
    Should i just shorten my backswing to help this ?
    Will doing this affect my swing speed?
    I am trying to get myself more flexible with tips from this site and the ultimate swing trainer.

    • David,

      You can break the arm going back to a point. It must get back to fully extended again by the time you hit the ball. If not you narrow the arc and do the chicken wing. Just make sure your wrists are fully hinged and coil back until you feel tight. This coil tells you when you are at the top.

      3 Ways to Set The Top of the Backswing: https://ignitiongolf.com/backswing-top-3-ways
      Coiling: https://ignitiongolf.com/learn-coil-backswing

      You can hit the ball a long way with the ratio between shoulders, hips, knees and feet as well as speed of uncoiling and looseness of the wrists. So check your backswing to see if you are setting it fully at the top.

  3. February 23, 2016


    Hi Paul,
    in your lessons I found nothing about the left arm rotation im backswing.
    Can you talk about this problem?

    • February 24, 2016

      Paul Wilson


      You are not rotating your arms. You are turning your body to the halfway back point. Then you are hinging the club up to the top.


      DRILL: Half back and up: https://ignitiongolf.com/half-back-and-up/

      The only rotation in the arms you should be thinking about is how to not rotate them going back. You rotate them and you will be flat at 3/4 back.

  4. February 24, 2016


    Hi Paul,
    the rehinging action looks to me as an rotation action.So I thought, where is an rotation action to the one side,
    there must be a rotation action ti the other side!?

    • February 24, 2016

      Paul Wilson


      You don’t have to think of the rotation though. If your arms are powerless the club will want to swing to its widest point just after impact. If your arms started at setup extended with the face square how do you square the face? Simple. You allow your arms to stretch back out. IF so the face has to be square. So you don’t have to think of arm rotation. This would happen if your arms stretched out fully. Now, if you are doing my roll over drill you are purposely rolling it and hooking your shots. In this case you would be using your arms until you can hook numerous balls in a row. Then you switch to body and turn the arms back off.

  5. February 8, 2017


    Hi Paul,
    I videoed my swing and my left arm breaks excessively at the top. It looks horrendous like I’m trying to strangle myself with my left arm! How can I improve this? I need to maintain the longest arc possible.

  6. January 15, 2018


    Thank you!

  7. I find that if i turn with my body (rather than my arms) i can extend my arms without locking them up. it’s easy to initiate my backswing with my arms, but if i do that i don’t turn very well. When i initiate my backswing with my shoulders and my body, i turn better and my arms naturally extend better. FYI

    • Eric,

      Exactly, you turn your body and the arms move. Once at 3/4 back though the lead arm rides up. If not, you will be too flat. Hopefully, you saw those tips I just did last week. Sounds like you are on track though.

  8. February 25, 2019


    Hey Paul
    Just a quick question, i noticed something over the weekend watching the Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson playing in The World Championship, Mexico. They don’t let the left arm cross the chest, it appears to stay connected to the chest and they raise their hands as they turn on the back swing.
    Have i discovered something here or am i seeing something that isn’t there?
    What do you think.

You must be logged in to post a comment.