Welcome to YOUR Swing Support Center, a blog with tips to help you transition to your new straight leading arm back-swing. This blog allows us to share information which we find in articles by golf professionals or success stories submitted by GOLFSTR users. These tips have helped me and I hope they help you too.

Bill Curry, inventor of GOLFSTR

Archives for the ‘Swing Solutions’ Category

Straight Arm Golf Swing SOLUTION !

Over 10 years ago, I developed GOLFSTR+, a golf training aid to remind me to keep my leading arm straight during my backswing. I knew that I had a winner when I started playing a round of golf at Indian Wells Golf Resort in Palm Springs, CA while wearing my GOLFSTR+. After hitting a number of greens in regulation, I removed my training aid and soon lost my magic. Practicing and playing with GOLFSTR+ was a great start for my future golfing success.

I had learned that if I kept my leading arm straight, I could generate more distance, but my limited flexibility was limiting my backswing. In every round while playing without GOLFSTR+, I found that I would start bending my leading arm to increase my backswing to gain more distance. That bent leading arm would eventually destroy the consistency of my hits.

If you have been reading my recent blogs, you will be aware of my testing program to roll my leading arm elbow clockwise so that it faces up my target line during my setup.

BINGO: I now realize that this leading arm muscle roll is creating a strain in my arm that locks my leading arm straight DURING MY BACKSWING.

The #2 use for GOLFSTR+ is ideal for you to use with a clockwise rotated leading elbow during your setup to keep your leading arm straight during your backswing.

This is the miracle that I have been searching for to create consistency in every shot for distance and direction control. I just have to remember to set up with the elbow roll for every shot. I may add a 2 to 3 foot takeaway waggle for my driver but I definitely have to take my time to add a full backswing and a cocked wrist for lag at the top.

Many of the best pros and most of the female pros make a slow and controlled backswing as it has very little impact on the speed of their downswing.

Practice your lead elbow roll wearing your GOLFSTR+ for every shot and you will quickly see improvement in your drives and fairway shots. You will overcome the feeling of a strain in your leading arm as your swing becomes more consistent. Of course, you still need to transfer your weight as you execute your downswing and complete your follow-though. GOLFSTR+ reminds you to keep your leading arm straight. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Take Control of Your Swing (#4 Minor Changes to Improve Your Game)

This is the fourth in a Series of simple adjustments that you should explore to improve your game. Your swing thoughts should be embedded in your brain so that you don’t need to hash them out every time you setup for your next shot. Rushing your backswing will destroy your performance.

Avoid an abbreviated Back-Swing: Use a 2 or 3 foot takeaway waggle to feel the right rotation of my shoulders and hips before you start your actual swing. It will give you a new feeling for the start of your swing because you are making this wake-up move with your shoulders and NOT just your arms.

Add enough time in your backswing: Your speed and cadence will depend on how easy it is to keep a straight leading arm, to rotate your shoulders and hips as you add wrist lag before your transition. You will be amazed as I am that when you take more time for your backswing you can create a lot more power and distance.

Shallow Your club at the top: Haney, Leadbetter and Ballard are all teaching golfers to loop their club down at the top of their swing to shallow the club and avoid slicing from over the tip swings. Bowing your wrist down at the top will help you shallow your swing.

Avoid Early Extension: Swing through your ball with the transfer of weight to your leading foot so that your iron sweeps the grass after impact and your driver launches upward after it passed the bottom of your swing. We all want to extend our knees after impact but you can’t afford to get excited and extend them too early. Use your knees to push forward instead of rushing to spring up.

Rickie Fowler starts his weight transfer at the top of his swing and keeps his head down through impact before he springs up through his launch.

Your successful golf swing is all about timing. When you get it right you will experience a wonderful feeling of euphoria and your ball will launch like butter. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to get that feeling with a straight leading arm. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Setup Stance and Takeaway are Critical (#3 Minor Changes to Improve Your Game)

This is the third in a Series of simple adjustments that you should explore to improve your game. Your swing thoughts need to be embedded deep in your brain so that you don’t hash them out every time you setup for your next shot. Own your unique setup for each of your clubs to create a consistent swing and consistent results.

Your setup and takeaway timing is extremely critical for the success of your swing. After you stand behind your ball and choose your target line, pick a point in the grass within 3 feet from your ball. From that point forward you can isolate yourself within your own CUBE like Wyndham Clark at the 2023 US Open . Learn to believe in the success of the shot that you are about to make. If you complete the perfect setup and proper swing with the right club you can only expect excellence.

Easier said than done. Clark did it, almost to perfection but it was good enough to beat the best in the golf world. You have made perfect shots to the perfect location so why can’t you do this every time? It just takes a little focus on what works best for your strength, flexibility and mental attitude.

Setup with your arms dropped from your shoulders, stance square to your target and an athletic posture with a flat back.

The perfect setup stance: An athletic stance with a bend at your hips, a straight back & neck and a limited bend of your knees with the right spread of your feet (unique for each club). Right-handed golfers should add a clockwise rotation for your leading and trailing elbows to simplify shallowing your club in your backswing. It’s up to you to choose the pro who you want to emulate for the power that you want to generate.

The right grip for each club is a light grip which is nesting across the base of your fingers. This allows your driver and iron swings to release fully through impact. Your putter grip should be a preference for each golfer, but you can’t afford to be guiding your putt with your wrists and fingers. Swing your putter by using your spine to rotate your shoulders.

Don’t stretch out to reach your ball: In your athletic stance you are bending at your hips. Let you hand hang directly down to the grip on your club. If you stretch your arms out during your setup you will typically slice more shots off the end of your club face. Bryson DeChambeau sets up reaching his arms out for his ball to swing like a robot but he seems to be losing control of his shot direction .[Not a great example to follow.] Adjust your hip bend based on the length of your club and use your practice swing to build mental confidence that you will impact your ball correctly.

You have no excuse to mess-up your setup. Emulate the setup by Ernie Els and Adam Scott. Do it slowly and deliberately to find your comfort position before you make your practice swing and then move forward to your ball. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to get the feeling right for every swing with each of your clubs. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Roll Your Elbows During Setup: (#2- Minor Changes to Improve Your Game)

This is the second in a Series of simple adjustments that you should explore to improve your game. Your swing thoughts need to be embedded deep in your brain so that you don’t need to hash them out every time you setup for your next shot. Rolling your elbows in your setup will add power and direction control for every shot.

I was surprised to see that Martin Chuck and Danny Maude released blogs a few weeks ago recommending that you should setup by rolling an elbows clockwise (for right handed golfers).
Martin Chuck recommended: “How to Aim Your Elbow to Maximize Your Consistency and Accuracy.” His blog referred to a setup by rolling your LEADING arm elbow.
-Danny Maude recommended: “Aways Start with Your Right Arm in this Position for Consistency, Accuracy, and Distance.” His blog referred to a setup by rolling your TRAILING arm elbow.
It really was surprising to see both of these trainers recommending unique elbow setups (one for your leading arm and the other for your trailing arm). Of course, I had to test these setups before releasing this blog. I really did find surprising results.

Understanding Elbow Rotation
You can try this with or without a golf club in your hands. Extend your arms and hold your hands together as if you are gripping a golf club. Without rotating your hands (for right hand golfers) you will find that you can rotate your left elbow clockwise so that it will line up to point in the direction of your target (up the fairway). You can also rotate your right elbow clockwise so that the crease at your elbow faces upward (as it normally does with a strong grip).

Rory McIlroy sets up with both his left and right elbows rotated clockwise. It works for him.

Observations Watching the US OPEN and on the golf course
Pros in the US Open and lower handicap golfers automatically line up their leading arm elbow in the clockwise rotated direction (with their elbow pointing up the fairway). Weaker golfers typically setup with the crease on both elbows pointing inward.

I tried drives with all 3 combinations: (leading elbow rotated, trailing elbow rotated and both elbows rotated clockwise). After I got over the tension in my arms (caused by the forced rotation), I was able to make very consistent drives as long as I released with an inside to outside swing to create a nice draw. [You may find a different result but I am recommending that you test this out on your game.] Leading elbow rotation helps my swing to shallow the club in my backswing and trailing elbow rotation delivers a much stronger release up the inside slot.

Rory setups up with a clockwise rotation on both elbows.

Both of these clockwise elbow rotations (for right-handed golfers and the opposite for left handed golfers) will improve your consistency for direction control and more distance. I love these recommendations but realize that I need to ingrain my elbow rotation into my setup routine. Practice with GOLFSTR+ as I know that the leading elbow rotation really helps me swing with a straight leading arm. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Minor Changes to Improve Your Game: Shape Your Shot (#1 in the Series)

This is the first in a Series of simple adjustments that you may want to try to improve your game. Your swing thoughts need to be embedded deep in your brain so that you don’t need to hash them out every time you setup for your next shot. Setting up to shape your shot is the easiest way to hit more fairways and greens.

It really is frustrating when your ball does not head where you thought you were aiming your shot. Minor changes in your setup and swing make all the difference. Your line up, your posture and bad thoughts from your last shot will all affect your next shot. You can’t afford to stand over your ball thinking about your last miss-hit. You need a positive plan to make your next CONFIDENT swing or putt exactly where you plan.

Learn to Shape your Shot
Don’t expect to hit every drive or fairway shot exactly straight at you target. Very few of your shots every fly in a straight line. To add more control to every one of your shots over 100 yards you should be setting up for a slight draw or fade depending on your normal swing. Your launch direction is based on the face of your club at the point of impact and your ball flight will create its curving path based on the side and/or top and undercut rotation of your ball.

Golf Monthly provided that image to help you see how a draw and fade can both help your game. Take control and choose your shot direction and shape to hit more fairways and greens.

A higher percentage of pros tend to add draw for their shots to gain distance and you should too. Practice creating a draw for most of your shots. Setup with a very slightly closed club face and execute your swing with a shallow inside to outside swing across your target line. If this is not creating a draw, then test your swing with a slightly closed stance (moving your trailing foot back an inch from your target line) and/or a slightly stronger grip by rotating your trailing hand back (pointing the V from your thumb to your first finger to the right of you trailing arm pit).

Every golfer has different strengths in their physical body rotation so you should use a trial and error approach at the driving range to figure out if you need to add a closed stance or stronger grip change to add draw to most of your swings.

Golf is a game of physical science. Every human body has a different makeup of strength depending on your physical activity and injuries which you have sustained throughout your life. Make slight adjustments to determine what works best for your body and game. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to control every swing in your game. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Controlled Transition is YOUR Make or Break

Don’t you wonder why you are more likely to top a ball when you are trying to hit your longest distance with any of your clubs. It’s that ticking time bomb in your head. It’s caused by your state of mind that triggers a chain reaction in your mind and body to overpower your transition at the top of your swing. You need a remedy to break that STUPID habit.

Pros Have the Same Problems
What happened to Rory McIlroy in the 2023 Masters? He missed the cut and it must have been caused by the pressure and emotion to win! The opposite must have happened to Jason Day’s victory in the Byron Nelson after 5 years without a win. It’s not the phase of the moon or just wearing lucky copper infused socks. Calm, controlled emotion must have a lot to do with your success on any given day when you are playing golf.

What is Your Primary Mishit?
The slope of the ground where you are standing has a lot to do with your mishits but first your need to understand what causes your mishits on the flat surface of the tee or fairway. It’s rare that TV cameras will show us the mishits for the pros but they do happen. We should be more concerned with the typical mishit for Weekend Warriors. I have played with hundreds of different golfers so I suspect that you will agree that fat and thin shots are the most prevalent mistakes for mid-handicappers. But thin hits or topped balls are by far the most common mishits for most golfers.

Problems Causing your Topped Ball Mishits
We all have to agree that emotion and personal pressure to hit longer or better shots are the primary causes for our mishits. These are the causes:
1/ Swaying back in the backswing and then rushing your arms during the downswing are the primary cause for bottoming out our swing arc before the ball and then topping the ball as your club arcs upward.
2/ Tensing our shoulder and arm muscles reduces the length of our swing arc. You may be lifting your shoulders or bending your leading arm to shorten your swing arc (as compared to the distance when you setup for your hit.)
3/ “Early Extension” refers to the way you stand up taller just before your impact with the ball. During impact, you need to keep your shoulders down on the same plane as when you setup.
4/ Transition Yip: You can’t afford to rush the transition because it will make your arms get out of sync with your body as you start to shift your weight to your leading foot. The harder you try to swing the worse this problem get. Just relax the transition.

Let your hips start your rotation as your hands reach the top of your backswing. Control your transition!

Solution: We all need to create a comfortable rhythm to add wrist lag at the top and to hold that lag as we transition into our downswing. I now think the words “bow annnd go” to add cadence to my backswing. Saying “bow” reminds me to bow my leading wrist (for drives) or fatten my leading wrist (for fairway woods and irons), saying “annnd” as I cock my wrists for lag at the top and “go” as I bump my hip forward to start my down swing.

Create your rhythm at the top to help you relax your swing. Practice with GOLFSTR+ for all of your swings. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Learning from the PGA Championship

The 2023 PGA Championship was a real exciting nail bitter. If you were watching, you may have picked up some insights which will impact the success or failure in your game too. Of course, perfection for every swing in YOUR game is every golfer’s wish. So that’s why you practice and play this game instead of turning into a couch potato. These tips may hopefully help you turn on a few light bulbs for your future rounds of golf.

PGA Pro Ties for 15th Place (and a big payday)
Michael Block was one of the 20 PGA Golf Course Pros who was selected to play at the PGA Championship. It is rare that these Club Pros every get into the top 20 for this tournament so the network cameras focused a lot of time on Michael Block during his Cinderella success. He had only honed his skills for years by hitting about ONE bucket of balls every week as he demonstrated shots to his trainees on a California golf course.

Why was he so successful? Surprisingly, he used old technology clubs that worked for his game. He has played with the same 7 iron since 2013 and his Odyssey White Hot 2-ball putter for the past 20 years. Luck also came into play when he sank a hole-in-one on the final day. You only need to know the right club and the right swing to hit your target. We should all work on perfecting our swing but you will need some divine guidance or a great caddie to find success.

BTW he was offered $50K for the 7 iron used for his hole-in-one shot. He should have taken the offer as he had the highest scores on his next tournament and he missed the cut.

68% of the LIV Golfers Made the Cut
Brooks Koepka won the tournament at 9 under par. Including Brooks, 5 of the top 20 spots were from the LIV team. [Three LIV players finished in the top six at The Masters.]. It really is critical for PGA and LIV to work together to provide world class golf. It will be a great loss if the golf entertainment world don’t provide a unified solution in the near future.

Brooks Koepka only won the PGA Championship by playing consistent golf and a lot of luck by sinking more long putts.

One Shot Can Ruin Your GAME
Don’t fall into this trap! On day 3 of the PGA Championship a Canadian pro, Cory Connors, was leading and playing with golf perfection until he buried his ball in the lip of a sand trap on the 16th hole. With that shot he ended up taking a double bogie and dropping out of first place. He followed up the next day with 7 bogies. He totally lost his belief that he was a great golfer and could win that tournament. Unfortunately, it takes 4 days of excellent golf to win any of the 4 majors.

Your mental attitude and belief in your ability to play great golf has everything to do with your success when you play every round of golf. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to improve your perfection with every shot in your game. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Break 80 By Controlling Your Approach Shots

You will never break 80 if you can’t consistently drive into the fairway and 2 putt most greens.  Even more important is your skill to hit greens in regulation (GIR).  Longer drives or playing from forward tees will shorten your approach shots and improve your chances to hit more GIR’s as well as landing closer to the hole. That’s why it is so important to control your DIRECTION and DISTANCE to hit more GIR’s.

It’s not easy to control golf shots because you are swinging in an arc to impact your ball at different positions in your swing arc and at different speeds with different weights and lengths for each of your clubs.  Yes, this is a crazy game, but you can improve your direction and distance control by paying attention to each of the following tips.

Take a Practice Swing:  After you select your club to reach your target and choose your target line be sure to take a practice swing to learn the feel for the weight and length of the club that you have chosen.  Each club need your personal attention and you want to make sure that the soul of your chosen club is lying flat on the surface of the ground during your setup and practice swing. 

Consistent Swing Speed: Because your knees, your hips and your shoulders all move in a different sequence during our backswing and your downswing, you need to learn the cadence that allows your arms to catch up with your hips during your downswing.  Commit to swinging at 80% of your swing speed for every swing. A faster swing will leave your club face open and an inconsistent slower swing will definitely lose distance and direction control.

Always Take More Club: Know the distance that each of your clubs will reach.  Higher handicap golfers overestimate the distance for each club as they tend to remember the wonderful result for only about 10% of their perfect shots.  If you feel that you can’t reach your target, use a club with less loft, DO NOT JUST SWING FASTER as you will lose control of the direction of your shot. Adjust your distance by gripping down on a higher lofted club to take distance off your hit.

Adjust for Slope: The term “Slope” is used to rate the difficulty of courses because a significant factor is the wild undulation of the fairway surface.  When you take your stance to hit a ball, if its above your feet, the arc of your swing will direct your shot to the left (for right hand golfers).  Compensate for that direction by aiming to the right. 

Undulating fairways increase the slope rating of every golf course. When your ball is on any slope make adjustments to your swing.

If your ball is below your feet, it is even more difficult to correct for the slice that you will most likely hit.  Chocking down on your grip, opening your stance and swinging with a more vertical shaft are the best options to allow the base of your club to rest flat on the ground.  You need to avoid hitting the ground with the hosel (shaft end of the club face) and which will twist the shaft before impact with your ball.

Don’t Setup to Hit the Pin:  Even lower handicap golfers will aim their shots at the green near the front or the center to avoid rolling off the green or landing in a trap.  Use the slope of the green leading down to the pin to make every green a single or two putt green.

Practice with GOLFSTR+ to improve every swing in your game: www.GOLFSTR.com

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Learning to Golf Without Lessons

Bubba Watson has had his ups (2 Green Jackets at The Masters) and downs during his pro career but his successes came by learning from his own trial and errors as he practiced his game of golf. He was proud to say that he never took a lesson in golf. He figured it out be using whatever worked for his game using draws and fades. So why can’t you develop your game by experimenting for your success.

Anyone can Learn to Golf
I learned this game the hard way by finding old clubs and some balls in our attic so that I could hit balls around a park with my buddies. In my early years playing golf, I never had the money to pay for a lesson, so I just hacked around the park and short golf courses with friends. In my early working years I decided to put more focus into my game and joined a golf club. I bought a books about the fundamentals by Jack Nicklaus and took a week of group lessons. At least that was my starting point.

Bubba is a self-taught golfer who drives longer than most but his hooks and slices now get him into more trouble than any golfer wants. A more conventional swing my save his game.

Don’t Go it Alone
If you want to get serious about golf read up on the basics and rent some clubs to sort out the shaft stiffness that suits your physical strength. You may even want to buy some used clubs with the correct shaft length and flex that work for your swing. Take some professional lessons and then buy some new clubs that will fit your game.

Read GOLF Tips to Find Your Game
This is a great example: Dustin Johnson & Lee Trevino swing with similar grips and elbows. They roll both of their hands back on their grip to give for a “STRONGER GRIP“. They also keep their trailing elbow bent so that it stays under their leading elbow for more leverage to add power to launch their drives. You may want to try this but my description below may help you achieve this approach.

Creating a stronger grip is easy as you do this during your setup, but managing your elbows during your downswing may cause some confusion. Fortunately I discovered the easy way to make this happen. BOW YOUR LEADING WRIST during your takeaway and add wrist lag as you near your transition at the top. That forces you to shallow your downswing and keep your tailing elbow bent like Dustin and Lee. Trust me. This really works so practice this swing with your driver and start launching amazing straight drives.

Taking golf lessons, exercising and upgrading your clubs are all helpful but you also need to find the tips that improve your mind and body for every swing in your game. Keep reading GOLFSTR Swing Tips and sort out what works for your body and strenght. Of course, you should keep practicing with GOLFSTR+ for every swing in your game. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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Attack Angle is Critical for your Drives

I have always wondered why all of my golfing buddies and I rarely hit our drives over 220 yards when I see some recreational golfers and all of the pros hitting over 280 yards. In Jon Rahm’s case its strength and club head speed but I’ve seen scrawny golfers drive 280 yards too. I just watched a 110 pound golfer hitting a 290 yard drive and demonstrating 3 things that he did to gain 50 yards. We can all do this.

In all cases he hit each drive dead center and used a swing monitor to verify a consistent swing speed just over 100 MPH. [Recreational golfers swing at about 85 MPH so that accounts for a gain of 35 yards but it would still be nice to hit 255 yards on every drive.]

Rory McIlroy,creates drives which are well over 300 yards by impacting his driver with an upward (positive) launch angle.

All 3 of his recommendations were focused on generating more power impacting the ball TEED UP HIGHER to allow an upward attack angle and to reduce ball rotation from 4000 RPMs to 2000 RPMs. Most recreational golfer impact their drive with a downward (negative attack angle) swing. Hitting with a positive attack angle is the best solution.

1/ Shoulder Angle: Setup with your trailing shoulder below your leading shoulder and your shoulder line parallel with your target line.
2/ Head Back at Impact: This is totally different than swinging with an iron where you swing to hit down to impact the ball before you skim the turf. Keep the leading side of your head behind the ball at impact.
3/ Ball Forward: Setup with your ball lined up with the toe of your leading foot (instead of your leading heel). Adjust your stance to make sure that you are still driving the ball up your target line. Moe Norman used a slightly closed stance with his driver starting on the ground about 4 or 5 inches behind the ball to launch it in a positive plane upward.

These are pretty simple adjustments that every golfer should be doing immediately to gain more distance with your driver. Adding head speed (to gain 2.5 yards/ MPH) requires more strength for a more powerful release of lag through your ball. Exercise when you can but practice with GOLFSTR+ to launch your straight arm drives. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com

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