How Your Left Arm Can Ruin Your Golf Swing - Perform Better Golf

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How Your Left Arm Can Ruin Your Golf Swing

For the right-handed golfer, the left arm can really do damage to your golf swing consistency and even power, if you don’t understand exactly how it moves throughout your swing.

I know as I’ve personally immersed myself in this part of my swing, and have come to a very good understanding of it, so I want to pass it on to you. I know it will help you get a better golf swing.

Watch This Golf Video To Learn How To Use Your Left Arm


At address, there should be a little pressure between your left armpit and chest. A feeling of pressing your upper left arm into your chest to feel a connection there. See image below.

Connected Left Arm In Golf Swing
This connection stays intact for a big majority of your golf swing, and yet, most high handicap golfers lose it early and several times during their swing.


During the early part of the golf takeaway, the pressure between your upper left arm and chest increases a bit, and at this point the upper arm should still feel below the chest.

Left Arm Close To Body In Takeaway
A big mistake I use to make was letting it get disconnected; and lifting my arm above the chest. This is a big “no no”. Do not let your left arm go above your left pec early in the takeaway.

Halfway Back

This is usually referred to as the 9 o’clock position. Your left arm should be moving across your chest, and it will be parallel to the ground.

If you were looking from above and you extended your target line back behind the ball several feet, at the halfway point, your left arm would be 30-45 degrees inside that line.

Left Arm Across Chest Halfway Back In Takeaway
If it’s not, you are already disconnecting it from your body, very early in your swing.

Another way to think of it is your handpath coming in, up, and around. This will ensure your left arm is staying both connected, and moving around your body.

Top Of Swing

On tour, from behind the golfer view, you see a range of left arm positions. Some will be even with the shoulder plane, many will have the arm above the shoulder plane, and very rarely will you see it below, but one of the best players in the world right now Matt Kuchar has a below the shoulder plane left arm, and he’s pretty dang good!

So there is no perfect position at the top, but one thing I don’t want you to do is to lift the arm after your shoulder turn has stopped. That is an independent move that adds another element to your swing that doesn’t need to be there.


There is a definitely dropping (let gravity do it) of the arm from the top. Just like the halfway back position, your left arm will be at about a 45 degree angle to your target line at this point.

The average golfer has come over the top in his golf swing where the left arm has disconnected from the body, and it is more likely to be parallel to the target line at the halfway point down, and that is going to result in an outside-in golf swing, creating a glancing blow and sidespin on the golf ball.

Left Arm Halfway In Downswing
So the checkpoint is as you are coming down (and rotating), stop at the halfway point and take a look at where your left arm is. It should feel in and close to your body, and at that 45 degree angle to the target line.

From there, you just continuing rotating your upper body towards impact, and continue letting the left arm come down.


This is the point of the swing I’ve worked hard on, and it can make or break how well you strike the ball.

The feeling should be that your left arm has slid down your side very low by the time you reach impact (see image below).

Left Arm At Impact In Golf Swing
My problem was that it was higher on my chest (raised left shoulder, feeling jammed up), and it would not allow me to swing through, and to the left after impact, so all I could do is flip it, and hope to hit it solid.

Focus on how the left arm looks below my left pec, and the feeling as mentioned above is that it is really low. Almost think of it as by your left hip to take it to an extreme.

Post Impact Drill

I want you to get in front of a mirror with a club, and take this view point. Start at impact, and look at where your left arm is. Then come through and you should feel your arm, hands and club moving left immediately, with your left upper arm squeezing into your ribs, and the elbow starting to fold.

Left Arm After Impact Golf
The entire motion after impact is everything going left. I know that may sound counter-intuitive, as you want the ball to go straight, but remember the golf swing is AROUND your body in a semi-circle, that is why everything goes left.

Key Points To Remember

  • At address pressure between left upper arm and chest.
  • Going back, arms stays in close and comes inside target line.
  • At the top, don’t lift arm after shoulder turn has completed.
  • Left arm drops from the top, but stays connected and into the body.
  • Halfway down, 45 degrees to target line.
  • Left arm feels low at impact.
  • Everything goes left after impact (body, shoulders arm, hands and club).


Learn This Move Faster With A Training Aid

For quite some time I hit balls using the left arm connected golf swing trainer and it really sped up my results.

If you enjoyed the article, please comment below and hit the “like” buttons at the top under my name. If you have other issues you want me to cover, just let me know by commenting below.

Also, let me know if you like this format, or would like something different, as I want you to get the best learning environment possible.

+Mike Pedersen