How To Keep Your Arm Straight In Backswing

on September 01, 2022
One of the key elements to gaining power and distance in your golf swing is knowing how and when to bend and not bend your arms in the swing. However, the biggest struggle also lies in the fact that you have 2 arms both of which have different functions at the same time. You have your lead arm and your trail arm, in this article, you will learn how to keep your arm straight in backswing and their proper movement.


What is Lead Arm?

The lead arm is the left arm for right handers
Your lead arm’s role is your pushing arm. It guides your club into the backswing in the right plane. During the backswing, your lead arm has to remain straight and extended to produce a maximum arc out of your swing. The more arc you create, the more power and speed you will generate in your swing.  

What is Trail Arm?

The trailing arm is the right arm for right handers 
The right arm or trail arm during the backswing is what keeps your swing straight. It has to be kept tight to your body. The trail arm is where you store the generated power and speed in the backswing which you will then release in the downswing.



Why do your arms bend in the golf swing?

There are several reasons why you have the tendency to bend your arm in the swing. Surprisingly, some of them start right in the address position. One of which is how you grip your club. Remember that your left hand should be at the top part of your grip.  
Another reason for bending is your ball placement. If you are too close to the ball, your tendency is to bend your arms and sway your hips trying to get an impact. If you place it too far, however, you go out of the swing plane trying to reach for the ball. 


What happens if you bend your arms in the backswing?

Both your lead arm and trail arm have different functions throughout the entire swing. But the fundamental keypoint is to keep them straight. During the backswing, however, your right arm has different checkpoints which require it to bend at a certain point. What is important to know is when to allow your arm to bend and how to keep your arm straight in backswing.


Lead arm movement in the backswing

The lead arm which is the left arm for right handers is perhaps the reason why many amateur golfers struggle with high scores. The very basic rule is to keep it as straight as possible throughout the entire swing. But how to keep your arm straight in backswing isn’t as easy as it sounds. 
The lead arm starts from being extended at the address.  As you go at the top of your backswing, the wrist bends, but the elbow is kept straight.  Although, there are a few professional players that you will notice are bending their lead arm. However, the bend does not exceed 5 degrees and is only at the top of their backswing. As you come down, your elbow and lead arm should remain straight. 


Trailing arm movement in the backswing

The right arm or trailing arm does a little bending in the backswing. However, both the trailing and lead arms should be extended at the address. Your trailing arms only begin to bend at the elbow when your elbow and wrist are level with your hips. 
As you move to the top of your backswing, your right hand continues to bend and creates a 90-degree angle between your shaft and forearm. Maintain the angle as you come down. Going through impact, you’re supposed to bring back both arms in an extended manner. Never let your right arm drift too far from your body in the back swing. Keep it tight and close to your body to keep the swing straight, stay within the swing path and prevent impact issues that could lead to hooks and slices.  


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Watch this video to learn how to keep your arms straight in backswing.

Using SwingPro Plus, practice on how to coordinate both your lead arm and trailing arm in the backswing. This golf training device is designed to properly position and set your upper body for the swing sequence. Not only does it keep your lead arm straight, but also teaches your trailing arm to tuck your elbow and right arm close to your body during the swing.