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Watch Karen Palacios-Jansen LPGA Teaching Professional demonstrate this exercise.
Good players create a wide arc on the backswing and maintain the radius that they created at address throughout the backswing. High-handicappers, on the other hand, in their attempt to create a wide arc, may over do it by over swinging and bending their lead arm at the top of the swing, which is the opposite of what they should do.
When a wide arc is established at the top of the swing, the player is now able to drop their arms in the correct position on the downswing which allows the lead arm (left arm for the right-handed golfer) to release through impact and fold correctly on the follow-through. The left arm folding on the follow-through keeps the club on the correct plane and the ball on the target line.
A high-handicapper that collapses his lead arm at the top of the swing is now out of position and has to throw the club from the outside on the downswing. From this position he tries to save the shot by extending the lead arm on the follow-through, once again, the opposite of what one should do, resulting in the dreaded chicken wing follow-through where the elbow points up instead of down destroying the radius of the circle.
Good ball strikers create a wide arc on the backswing because they accomplish a couple of things:
As they swing back, they naturally hinge their wrists, which puts the club on the proper plane.
They are flexible enough to make a full turn while maintaining the lead arm extended.
High-handicappers tend to do the opposite:
Because of a faulty grip they are unable to hinge their wrists properly and then usually end up hinging their elbows instead.
Because they may not be as flexible, they are unable to make a full turn so they cannot keep the left arm extended so they bend the arm instead.
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Cardiogolf Exercise 021