Nothing screams beginner and amateur than chicken winging. This bad swing habit is often committed when new players start to pick up golf. This is a very common golf malady but thankfully, quite very easy to fix.
What is a Chicken Wing in Golf?
Chicken wing is the term used in golf to describe a bad swinging habit of bending your arm and wrist specifically during follow-through. After the downswing, your elbows begin to bend or fly up which forms like a chicken wing. Hence, the name. This bad swing posture results in bad performance. You’re lucky if you were able to hit the ball properly.
What causes chicken wing?
There are several areas in your swing that result in chicken wing. This problem is commonly caused by these factors.
Over-rotation. Over-rotating your shoulder and not in sync with your hips during downtime. Losing your rhythm during downswing causes the shoulders to twist ahead or twist more than the hips which force your arms and wrist to bend to maintain balance.
Steep ball angle. Your address position is crucial pre-swing. Being too steep or too close to the ball during address position will make you bend your elbows upon impact.
Keeping your head too rigid. New players often keep their head down throughout the entire swing. Resisting the natural movement of your head to come up after the impact affects your upper body rotation for follow-through. To compensate, your arms bend as you twist.
Too far from the ball at address position. When you’re too near, it causes chicken wing. When you’re too far, it still causes chicken wing. Standing and aligning yourself far from the ball will cause you to overcompensate and miss out on your tempo and power during swing. Upon impact, it forces your elbow to bend as it comes up to maintain balance instead of rotating.
How to fix chicken wing?
The key to fixing any bad swing habit is always in the address position and alignment. Feet and ball alignment as well as connection of your hips, shoulders, arms and wrist.
Maintaining your elbows close to yourself throughout the swing and follow-through without bending is your goal. Practice your swing and consciously make an effort to keep your elbows close.
Align and position your feet to the ball according to your club. Depending on the type of club you’re using, there is a certain feet alignment and ball distance you should follow.
Practice on your short game. You might not only commit this ugly habit in your full swing, but also in your short games.
Video check your swing. Take a video of yourself and monitor which area is problematic or where you start bending your elbows.
Practice drills that instill muscle memories to keep your upper and lower body connected and balanced as you rotate.