What Should My Right Arm Do in the Golf Swing

What Should My Right Arm Do in the Golf Swing?

Understanding the role of the right arm (for a right-handed golfer) in the golf swing is key to unlocking both power and precision in your shots. The right arm’s actions throughout the swing contribute significantly to the swing’s overall mechanics, affecting everything from swing path to clubface orientation at impact. Let’s break down what your right arm should be doing at various stages of the golf swing.

Address and Setup

  • Positioning: At setup, your right arm should be relaxed but not overly bent, hanging naturally from the shoulder. There should be a slight bend at the elbow, with the right forearm and the club shaft forming a straight line when viewed from behind.

The Takeaway

  • Initiation: The right arm remains fairly straight but relaxed during the initial phase of the takeaway. This helps in keeping the clubhead moving on a wide arc.
  • Role: It supports the left arm in creating a wide, smooth takeaway, helping to set up a solid backswing.

The Backswing

  • Bending: As you reach the halfway point of the backswing, the right elbow begins to bend, folding towards a 90-degree angle as you reach the top of the swing. This bending is crucial for maintaining the width of the backswing and storing energy.
  • Position: At the top of the backswing, your right elbow should be pointing down towards the ground, and your right arm should be close to your body. This “tucked in” position is key for maintaining control over the swing and preparing for a powerful downswing.

The Downswing

  • Unfolding: The right arm begins to unfold and extend as you start the downswing, moving in sync with the rotation of your body towards the target.
  • Contribution to Power: The extension of the right arm through the downswing is a major power source in the golf swing. It’s akin to throwing a ball, where the right arm extends through the action, propelling the clubhead through the ball.


  • Alignment: At impact, your right arm is not fully straightened yet, but it’s extending rapidly. The right wrist is still slightly bent, storing energy that will be released just after impact.
  • Role in Accuracy: The position of the right arm and wrist at impact is crucial for controlling the clubface orientation, thus affecting the accuracy and trajectory of the shot.

The Follow-Through and Finish

  • Extension: After impact, the right arm continues to extend, fully straightening in the follow-through.
  • Role in Follow-Through: This extension, combined with the rotation of the body, helps to guide the club on the correct path, ensuring a smooth, balanced finish with the club over your left shoulder (for right-handed golfers).

Drills to Improve Your Right Arm Action

  1. Right Arm Only Swings: Practice swinging with only your right arm to feel the correct movement and extension. Start with half-swings, focusing on the elbow bend and extension.
  2. Towel Drill: Tuck a small towel under your right armpit and take swings without letting it drop. This encourages keeping the right arm close to the body, promoting a more efficient swing path.
  3. Mirror Work: Practice your swing in front of a mirror, paying close attention to the positioning and movement of your right arm throughout the swing. This visual feedback can be incredibly helpful.

Integrating Your Right Arm Actions into Your Swing

Understanding and working on the correct actions of your right arm can significantly improve your swing’s efficiency and power. Remember, every golfer’s swing is unique, so it’s about finding the right balance and movement that works best for you. Regular practice with these focus points in mind will help ingrain these movements into your muscle memory, leading to a more consistent and powerful golf swing.


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