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.