Q: Ralph was a new student at our continuous learning clinic. He asked me to help him because he was becoming frustrated with his golf game. I watched him hit a number of shots, and he said, “Why am I topping the ball so much and hitting it off the toe of the club?”
A: I said, “Ralph, you are trying to hit the ball with a chicken wing.” “What in the world is a chicken wing?” he said.
The term chicken wing in golf refers to the action of the left arm on the downswing as you approach contact. As opposed to the left arm staying relatively straight through impact, it begins to fold before impact and quickly retreats behind your left side. This action pulls the golf club up and toward you before impact, and usually results in a whiff, topped shot or one hit off the toe of the club and usually going dead right.
Tip of the day: Practice these two things. Try to keep the left arm relatively straight throughout the entire swing until after impact. Also try and keep the left elbow pointing down to the ground throughout the entire swing (from start to finish). Start your practice with short half shots with a 7- or 8-iron and gradually work into longer shots.
As always, have fun playing and practicing the game of golf and email me at email@example.com with questions. Join us from 4-6 p.m. Wednesday at our Sapelo Hammock continuous learning sessions and work on any aspect of your game.