Golf Tips: The Magic Move

You often hear about staying connected in the golf swing. To many, that  means keeping both upper arms close to the chest and torso throughout  the swing. A drill often used to ingrain staying connected is to place a small towel or golf glove under each arm when you practice. Swinging  without the towels falling is supposed to give you the feel of staying  connected. For many right-handed golfers, keeping the right elbow so  close to the body creates a swing that’s too short and too flat. Many  good golfers swing this way. Just because it works for them doesn’t mean it will work for you.

The legendary golf instructor Harvey Penick advocated letting the right  elbow go up and back freely, then returning it to the side when starting back to the ball, what he called the “Magic Move”. Here’s how Penick  described the Magic Move: “…to start the downswing, let your weight  shift to your left foot (for a right-hander) while bringing your right  elbow back down to your body. This is one move, not two…The secret  takes different forms for different players…There really is no one  Magic Move…But when you learn the left foot-right elbow move I have  described above, you will hit the ball as if by magic.”

Many of the greatest golfers of all time let their back elbow move up  and away on the backswing. Harry Vardon, Jack Nicklaus, Raymond Floyd,  John Daly, Fred Couples and Bubba Watson all employ the “move”. Watson  is a lefty, so it’s his left elbow making the move. You can create a  tremendous amount of leverage this way to generate clubhead speed on the downswing. All of these golfers are known for distance and the Magic  Move is a major contributor. If you’re looking for more distance and  better ball-striking, try putting the Magic Move to work for you.