One of the biggest and often most overlooked mechanical flaws is when the right elbow gets behind the

torso in the backswing. It is commonly referred to as the “Flying Elbow”. When you hear flying elbow

many of you will think of Jack Nicklaus. Yes, he did have a flying elbow, and he obviously made it work

quite well. Nicklaus was a gifted, strong athlete that spent countless hours on his craft. Most of you

don’t have the luxury of putting in the hours that Nicklaus did, so making your swing as mechanically

sound as possible is your best bet.


An elbow that gets behind the body in most cases will look like a flying elbow at the top of the swing,

but some better players can get the elbow behind them in the backswing, and somewhat correct it so

the elbow points at about a 45 degree angle at the top of the backswing. Just because your elbow isn’t

flying, doesn’t mean it isn’t getting behind you.


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When the elbow gets behind you in the backswing, it causes the shaft to get overly steep. Now going

back to Jack Nicklaus, he was famous for a vertical backswing, and that is what a “flying elbow” gets you.

When the shaft gets steep in the backswing, it will result in either the golfer having to make a

compensatory move to shallow the shaft or the shaft will come down steep.


The compensatory move to shallow the shaft is usually “early extension” which can cause a host of

ballstriking problems, and leads to inconsistency. When the shaft comes down too steep it can result in

slicing, shanking, pulls and fat shots. Needless to say; developing proper right arm movement, getting

the elbow and shaft in a good place, is a key to great golf. The majority of elite players have the shaft

pointing left of the target, and the trail elbow under their trail palm at the top of their backswing with

their irons.



Now to get the shaft and elbow in the position that we desire, the trail arm has to externally rotate

during the backswing. If it doesn’t externally rotate then the shaft will steepen, the elbow will get

behind the body, and you will have your flying elbow.


There are two drills that produce results and give you the correct feel. The first drill you place a small

ball between your arms and make backswings. The ball forces the elbows to stay together and the trail

arm to externally rotate. It can be cumbersome and inconvenient to carry a ball around, so that is

where a SuperFlex band comes in.


The SuperFlex “Flying Elbow” drill is great because all it requires is a SuperFlex band. You simply loop the

SuperFlex band over both shoulders like a backpack. Then hook the SuperFlex band around both

thumbs, extend the SuperFlex band in front of you, and take your golf grip. From there you make a

backswing and the SuperFlex band should stay on the outside of your trail arm. The SuperFlex band

forces your trail arm to externally rotate and fold at a 90 degree angle directly under the palm of your

trail arm.

Video – Master Instructor Andrew Park


If you have poor trail arm mechanics it is vital that you work on correcting it. Do the SuperFlex band drill

in front of a mirror so you can associate the feel with a visual image, and keep repeating it until it

becomes permanent. Alternate between the SuperFlex band drill and a regular swing so you can transfer

the feels. You will experience a new level of ballstriking when you have conquered this flaw.

Check out the SuperFlex Golf Swing Kit

The SuperFlex band used for this drill is from the resistance band line and can be purchased here

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