Try This Elbow-Fold Backswing Drill For More Power And Consistency

If you are prone to high hands or a 'flying elbow', PGA pro Katie Dawkins has a great backswing drill to help

Backswing drill

If you, like many, have a tendency to get ‘armsy’ when you swing, the chances are you’re not tapping in to all the power and consistency at your disposal. For those for whom this rings a bell, PGA pro Katie Dawkins has a fantastic elbow-fold backswing drill that will help you gain control over your swing and reclaim those lost yards.

First, hang your arms down while standing in your golf posture, letting the arm furthest from your target go really soft. Now, take your lead hand and tuck it behind the back of your trail elbow. 

Backswing Drill

Tuck your lead hand behind your trail elbow like this

Keeping the right arm (left for left-handers) soft, simply rotate and turn your back to your imaginary target. The back elbow should fold and remain relaxed at the top of your swing. At this point, your elbow will be neatly tucked, almost as if you have a tray of drinks on your hand, and your body will be nicely coiled up.

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Repeat as many times as you like or until you start to hone the feeling. Try to recreate it when hitting shots and you should notice a difference. Warning: as with most things golf-swing related, it will take time and effort to achieve the desired results, but stick with it as the rewards will be worth it.

Backswing Drill

Coil up to the top and you'll get into a far more efficient position at the top of your backswing

When we keep the swing more compact and use the bigger muscles (our core and glutes) to wind ourselves up, the power makes a dramatic entrance. So, if you are prone to high hands at the top of the backswing or a flying elbow, this is a brilliant fix as it provides golfers with a feeling they can rely on and a drill they can return to if bad habits creep back in. 

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You’ll find it hard not to notice if your arms misbehave, making this an extremely effective check. And what’s more, it can be done out on the course while you are waiting between shots, at the range during a practice session, or even in the comfort of your own home, giving your muscles a constant reminder of what they should be feeling.

Katie Dawkins
Advanced PGA Professional and freelance contributor

Katie is an Advanced PGA professional with over 20 years of coaching experience. She helps golfers of every age and ability to be the best versions of themselves. In January 2022 she was named as one of Golf Monthly's Top 50 Coaches.

Katie coaches the individual and uses her vast experience in technique, psychology and golf fitness to fix problems in a logical manner that is effective - she makes golf simple. Katie is now based at the stunning Hamptworth Golf Club on the edge of the New Forest. An experienced club coach, she developed GardenGOLF during lockdown and as well as coaching at Hamptworth she freelances, operating via pop-up clinics and travelling to clients homes to help them use their space to improve. 

She has coached tour pros on both LET tour and the Challenge Tour as well as introduced many a beginner to the game. 

Katie has been writing instructional content for magazines for 20 years. Her creative approach to writing is fuelled by her sideline as an artist.