PGA Championship

Valhalla Golf Club


Increase your clubhead speed with this quick drill

Golfers commonly struggle with arm positioning in the backswing. Some bend their lead arm, while others go a bit extreme trying to keep it locked. This drill from Golf Digest Teaching Professional Erika Larkin makes it easy to check and correct your arm positioning in the backswing. A better arm action leads to a wider swing arc and more clubhead speed.

Follow along with the video below to swing faster and hit it farther.

Gripping with only your trail hand, swing the club back until your elbow creates about a 90-degree angle. Make sure that your elbow is pointing down and that you’re leaving space between your trail arm and your body. Larkin says this is key to creating width in the backswing.

Without changing your position, reach back with your lead arm and place your lead hand on the club. You should feel like your arm is stretching—not straining—to reach the handle. It doesn’t have to be perfect; it’s just the sense of reaching high and wide at the top, Larkin says.

After you’ve rehearsed that feeling, make a few practice swings, continuing to feel the width in your trail arm. Once that feels good, you’re ready to go. Use Larkin’s drill to check your positioning, maintain width and feel some extra speed in your swing.

Check out “Game Changers,” Erika Larkin’s series in Golf Digest Schools. Her game-improvement guide will help you understand what’s going wrong and give you the tools you need to fix your faults and get out of your scoring rut.