“Clutch your sides with your elbows and visualize your elbows being attached to your body and your arms,
(he then points toward right shoulder)
instead of at your shoulders.”
(he then starts to swivel-pivot-rotate)
“ And just start moving your body from right to left in a circle holding your elbows in your side, right in your side.”
“ Now, we can't go around the golf course doing this all day, (Ed Sullivan is then shown) so we must lengthen the swing some way or another. So you see this is an absolutely full swing.”
(he then starts to whip club in air making a loud “ swiss-hing” sound)
“Isn't that simple.”
Bobby Locke on Swing Tension
The three-time British Open champion gives good reasons for his divergent point of view regarding:
” Bending of the Left Arm.”
” In the past a great deal of stress has been placed on keeping the left arm rigidly straight throughout the backswing.
In my view that is wrong. A conscious effort to keep the left arm like a ramrod at the top of the swing brings tension.
I cannot over-emphasize that a golf swing must be entirely free from tension.”
”Yes, Bobby Locke played the Tour years ago, and his swing wasn’t one that was overly powerful, just VERY efficient. His game’s principles, actually apply more to the golfing masses of today than do most of the current men’s Tour players ." --B. Silver
"For driver, I have ball positioned directly off left heel. Relaxation is keynote with feet comfortably spread, weight evenly divided, toes pointing outward." --BL
”The club and left hand, arm and shoulder all start back together, Clubhead remains inside line of flight. Body doesn't sway.”
”I like to see shoulders turning on correct angles, thus turning around spine/head, allowing arms to swing upward, thus reducing sway.” --Bs
”Breaking of wrists (cocking) doesn't begin until this point, thus giving widest possible arc for maximum power with minimum effort. Clubhead goes up, over.”
”The “this point”, which in his case was his beltline/chest area, does and can vary somewhat.” --Bs
”Backswing is not complete until left shoulder points fully at ball. Wrists are now fully cocked, but note that left arm is slightly bowed -- not stiff.”
”First move of downswing must be a slight drag with left hand to keep club "inside" and prevent "looping." Reversal of swing must be flowing -- not halting.”
”remember: Bobby hit a consistent draw (right-to-left flight) so keeping club inside was important to him. Looping today is known as… Over-the-Top.” --Bs
“When hands get to the hitting position (near right knee) the right hand takes over to square clubface with ball at impact. You can't "hit from the top."
I like to see people command their finish position, and thus impact. The ball's flight will tell you where the clubface was when it (the ball) separated from the face.” --Bs
“ The right hand (note position) has squared clubface with ball. Left side is braced, but there is no muscle tension. This must always be avoided.”
”Really like that no muscle tension thought. “ --Bs
“On follow-through clubhead moves along line of flight after the ball for at least two feet. The idea is to get widest possible arc without any straining.”
”That two feet is what we feel as impact. It happens awful quick, so quick we are probably at finish when our human brain thinks we hit” --Bs
In conclusion,.. in a perfect golfing world, if we could keep our left arm straight it would, in theory make the swing’s circle ( radius ) more consistent. Trouble is, some of us just can’t physically do it. Older age, past injuries, flexibility issues and so on. Bobby Locke’s hips and shoulders sure looked real flexible, yet he felt the lack of tension at the top of his swing was important.
I see it on the lesson tee a lot. Golfers trying to keep the front leading arm so stiff –straight at the top of their swings that all it does is create a lot of muscle tension and then loss of swing balance. It just isn’t as important as having that left leading arm (right for lefties), extended through the impact zone. And actually, what one does with their right arm is probably going to affect the leading arm and ball impact more, both back and through.
So, if you think this is an issue with your swing, work on keeping your arms free to swing, with your grip’s pressure consistent( not changing), and stay loose from the waist up. It will lead to better swings. Maybe less muscle pain too.