How the Right Arm Works in the Golf Swing

The golf swing is a complex motion that requires the coordination of various muscle groups and body parts to generate power and precision. One essential component of this intricate movement is the right arm (for right-handed golfers). The right arm plays a significant role in maintaining the correct swing plane, controlling the clubface, and generating power. This article will break down the different phases of the golf swing and explain the importance of the right arm’s movement and positioning throughout.

Rangefinder on Discount

  1. Address and Setup: The right arm’s role in the golf swing begins at the setup. To ensure the right arm is in the correct position, let it hang naturally from the shoulder with a slight bend in the elbow. The right hand should grip the club with a neutral position, meaning neither too strong nor too weak. The right arm should be relaxed and not overly tense, allowing for fluidity throughout the swing.
  2. Takeaway: As the takeaway begins, the right arm should stay connected to the torso. The right elbow should maintain its slight bend as the club is moved away from the ball . The movement should be initiated by the shoulders and torso, with the right arm following in sync. Keeping the right arm connected and maintaining the proper bend in the elbow helps to set up a consistent swing plane.
  3. Backswing: During the backswing, the right arm will play a crucial role in achieving the desired swing plane and maintaining control over the clubface. As the club is lifted, the right elbow should start to fold, allowing the right arm to hinge vertically. This movement will help to create width in the swing and position the club on the correct plane. Additionally, the right arm’s rotation will help to maintain the squareness of the clubface throughout the backswing.
  4. Transition: The transition from the backswing to the downswing is a critical phase in the golf swing. The right arm should remain close to the body, with the right elbow pointing towards the ground. This position will help to create a powerful inside path and prevent the dreaded over-the-top swing. The right arm should maintain some bend in the elbow and stay relaxed to facilitate a smooth transition into the downswing.
  5. Downswing: As the downswing commences, the right arm should remain connected to the body, with the right elbow driving towards the target. This motion helps to generate power and maintain the proper swing plane. Additionally, the right arm should begin to straighten, but not fully extend until the impact zone. This extension helps to maximize clubhead speed while ensuring solid contact with the ball.
  6. Impact: At impact, the right arm should be nearly fully extended, with the right wrist maintaining its hinge. This position allows for maximum power transfer from the body to the clubhead. The right arm’s rotation through impact helps to square the clubface and control the ball’s trajectory, ensuring accurate shots.
  7. Follow-Through and Finish: In the follow-through, the right arm should continue to extend and rotate, allowing the club to naturally release. The right arm should finish high and around the body, with the right elbow pointing towards the ground. This position demonstrates a complete and balanced finish, indicative of a successful golf swing.


Stages of the Golf Swing

Right arm roleRelaxedExtensionFlexionExtensionRelaxation
Elbow positionStraightStraightBendingStraightStraight
Wrist hingeNeutralSlightFull hingeUnhingingFully released
Grip pressureModerateModerateModerateModerateRelaxed
Shoulder turnSquareRotationFull turnRotationFull follow

Right Arm Muscles Used in the Golf Swing

Muscle GroupAddressTakeawayBackswingDownswingFollow-through
Forearm Flexors/ExtensorsEngagedEngagedEngagedEngagedRelaxed
Rotator Cuff MusclesEngagedEngagedEngagedEngagedEngaged

Common Right Arm Mistakes in the Golf Swing

Chicken wingingXXX

Drills for Right Arm in Golf Swing

Drill NameAddressTakeawayBackswingDownswingFollow-through
Right arm only swingXXXXX
Towel under right armpitXXXXX
Right arm fold and extendXXX
Right wrist hinge drillXXXX
Right arm connection drillXXXXX

Tips for Right Arm in Golf Swing

Maintain a relaxed gripXXXXX
Keep right elbow closeXX
Hinge right wrist correctlyXXXX
Practice smooth transitionsXXXX
Focus on proper extensionXX



Understanding the role of the right arm in the golf swing is crucial for right-handed golfers looking to improve their game. By focusing on the proper positioning and movements of the right arm throughout the swing, golfers can achieve better control, increased power, and enhanced consistency. Implementing these tips and regularly practicing the right arm’s motion in the golf swing can lead to lower scores and increased enjoyment on the course.


  • Ray Barnes

    Ray Barnes, our Senior Staff Writer and a Golf Analyst with a PhD in Sports Analytics, is a beacon of insight in the golfing world. With a deep understanding of the sport's nuances, statistical analysis, and a talent for demystifying complexities, he provides in-depth analysis and captivating narratives that engage golf enthusiasts worldwide.

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