Towel drill can help eliminate the dreaded 'flying elbow' for a better golf swing

By Mike Malaska, Special Contributor

Countless students come to me with a very common problem - "the flying elbow," or as it is also commonly referred to as "the chicken wing."

Towel drill
The towel drill can train students on how their arms should sequence with their body and to train proper forearm rotation.
Towel drill

The flying elbow can occur during the backswing or on the follow through or, in some cases, both. Whether you have issues on your takeaway or your follow through, a flying elbow will rob your swing of consistency and power.

I use a simple drill called the "Towel Drill" to train students on how their arms should sequence with their body and to train proper forearm rotation.

Start by taking a standard-sized bath towel. Position the towel across your chest so that the towel is secured in both arm pits. Begin with slow, tension-free practice swings.

On your backswing, keep your right elbow near your right side, and then focus on keeping your left elbow in contact with your left rib cage on your follow through. As you get comfortable with your new elbow position and controlled forearm rotation, gradually add speed to your swing until you can go at the ball at full speed.

The Towel Drill will help resolve several common faults that are found in many players – first, the flying elbow and, second, improper forearm rotation relative to body turn. Master the Towel Drill, and you will start to generate more speed and power – consistently.

Mike MalaskaMike Malaska, Special Contributor

Mike Malaska is the worldwide director of instruction for Nicklaus Academies. Before his current position, he was a lead instructor working alongside Jim Flick from 1991-2002 at the Nicklaus/Flick Golf Schools and during 2003 with the TaylorMade/ESPN and Jim Flick Golf Schools. He is currently listed among Golf Digest's America's 50 Greatest Teachers (No. 24) and Golf Magazine's Top 100 Teachers in America.


 
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