Jim McLean Instruction: Right Arm Only Drill

Jim McLean Instruction: Right Arm Only Drill 1By Jim McLean

(Editor’s note: This week is a continuation of Jim’s indoor drills. Last week he covered body coil.)

THERE ARE MANY MISCONCEPTIONS about the right arm’s function in the swing. At one time we were taught to tuck the right elbow close to the body on the backswing. However, that’s not what happens; the right elbow starts off the body and stays off the body in the backswing. This drill will help to train the right arm to do the proper motion.

Ken Venturi once likened it to the brushstroke when painting a wall. We want our students to feel wide on the backswing and then narrow on the downswing. A tucked right elbow is a hazard on the backswing because it can cause the left arm to overly bend or force the swing across the chest. To avoid this, practice the drill as follows:

• Set up in a golf posture with your left thumb pointing into your chest and your right hand as if it were holding a club.

• Swing the right arm back without a club. Let the right arm swing wide going back and the elbow coming away from the shoulder.

• On the downswing, the right arm returns close to the body. The right elbow should lead the hand through half of the downswing. The right arm should remain close to the body through impact.

• As the arm moves past impact it will it will move away from the body again on the follow-through.

• On the follow downswing of this drill, maintain the image of a paintbrush as presented by Ken Venturi.

Next week: Grapefruit Drill

Jim McLean is the instruction editor for Golf Digest and the Golf Channel, and an author of numerous, top-selling golf instruction books. For a free intro DVD to his new Building Block Approach, visit Jim McLean Golf School.

Copyright © Jim McLean. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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Neil Sagebiel

3 thoughts on “Jim McLean Instruction: Right Arm Only Drill”

  1. Heather: First a caveat. This is not an official Jim McLean response. Just me.

    Nothing wrong with doing left-side drills. Here, in my mind, is a key point from the tip: “This drill will help to train the right arm to do the proper motion.”

    Think of it as a tip to help you keep your right arm in the correct position throughout the swing.

  2. I have, on occasion, been known to create too much space between my right arm and the rest of my body on my downswing. This drill would definitely help that issue.

    Off to the store to buy grapefruit for next week’s drill.


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