Drills to Cure the Chicken Wing Elbow

June 10, 2012

The chicken wing elbow, which is a breakdown in the left elbow through impact (for a right handed golfer), is one of the most common swing faults among amateur golfers.  However, top players on the PGA Tour such as Retief Goosen and Lee Westwood have a small bend in their left elbow through impact. So is it that bad? When overdone absolutely. Amateurs tend to over exaggerate the chicken wing elbow and lose major consistency.  It produces all sorts of misses such as topped shots and a big slice.

The chicken wing elbow is most noticeable early in the follow through when the left elbow moves across the chest and away from the body with the elbow pointing to the sky.

If you suspect your left arm is doing this, you need to fix it quickly.

The cause of a chicken wing comes from a combination of things. Your angle of attack could be steep and the chicken wing helps to shallow out the club through impact. Or, your not adding enough rotation with your body or getting any rotation in your left arm through impact. This causes disconnection between your upper left arm and your left side of the body. The left elbow points to the sky instead of into the ground.

Here’s a simple drill to work on in order to fix your chicken wing. All you need is a tempo teacher, a tee, and a couple balls. First attach the tempo teach to the outside of your left hip. Place a tee in your armpit of your lead arm. Start making some half swings with your left arm only. Focus on your hip rotation pulling the left arm and club through while keeping the tee in your left armpit. Next, add your right arm and do the same drill. Feel how the right arm contributes to the perfect finish with the right wrist over the left. Finally, practice hitting some balls while clearing with the hips and not letting the tee fall out.  There’s no way to chicken wing.

Another great drill can be used with the swingyde. Simply attach the swingyde to a mid iron and practice making left arm only half-swings. Concentrate on making the swingyde fold back into your left forearm. Next, add the right arm and feel how the right arm contributes to the motion. Finally, when you feel comfortable hit some shots with a half swing off a tee. If the swingyde folds back into the left forearm you can’t chicken wing. This rotation in the left arm is key to eliminating the chicken wing from your game.

Here’s a video of both drills

Please visit Tempoteacher.com to purchase the Tempo Teacher training aid.

Please visit Swingyde.com to purchase the Swingyde training aid.

Check out these top players and how they stay connected through impact.

For further information check out my other popular blogs about staying connected below.

Scratch Golf School| The Connected Golf Swing

Scratch Golf School | How to Stay Connected in the Golf Swing

Long and Straight,


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