Golf Instruction – The Elbow Drill

By: Tony Adragna on October 3rd, 2013

As Mike Merchent puts it, the Elbow Drill is one of the most beneficial drills he has ever used.

In the videos below, Mike shows you how to effectively perform the Elbow Drill and also the Elbow Drill with hip variation, and extensively explains why the drill is beneficial, and how to effectively perform it.

Transcript

Posture and pivot. We’ve heard those terms a lot in golf. Well today, I’m going to show you a drill that will help you isolate those 2 fundamentals of the golf swing. Hi everybody, my name’s Mike Merchent. I’m coming to you from Purgatory Golf Club here in Noblesville, Indiana. The drill that I’m’ going to show you today is the elbow drill. This is a fantastic drill. It helps you with your posture, and it helps you with your pivot. First is the posture portion of it. What I’m going to do is I’m going to stand up here, I’m going to take this club, I’m going to place it behind my back in my elbows. Alright. Now right there, I’ve solved my posture issues. It’s going to force me to have a nice, straight, flat back. Then I’m going to bend from my hips, slightly bending my knees. Alright, this is my address position. My posture is perfect, and from this position, which is both called position number 1 or address, we set up to a simulated ball position, hold this for 3-5 seconds. Now from here, I’m going to shift to my right side, I’m going to point the club-face part of the club down toward the ball. Now here, I’ve got a nice stretch going, got my weight predominantly on my right side here, club’s pointing at or slightly behind the ball position. This the top of the backswing. Now, the forward part of the swing, I’m going to do in the elbow drill very much like I do in the golf swing, I shift the weight to my left foot, rotating my hips over to my left side, pointing this part of the club at or slightly behind the ball. This is either impact or slightly after impact. And then the fourth segment of this drill, I continue rotating with my hips and shoulders, where I’m looking down toward my target line, I’m standing straight up. All right, we’re going to do this one more time. 1, 2, weight on the right side, club pointed at the ball, 3, shift the weight to my left side, point the club at the ball, 4, rotate on and through. Okay. So this elbow drill, it’s really basic, very easy. Will help you with your posture, it will help you with your pivot. If you work on this drill every day before you hit shots, it’s a great way to get some heat in your muscles, get you warmed up a little bit. Try this drill, I hope it helps.

Transcript

By now, you’ve seen me do the elbow drill. Today I’m going to show you just a little bit of an addition to the elbow drill that will help you isolate a particular part of your swing that I think is very, very important. Hi everybody, my name’s Mike Merchent, I’m coming to you from Purgatory Golf Club here in Noblesville, Indiana. The elbow drill, just to refresh your memory on the elbow drill, the club goes behind your back in your elbows. This forces you to have great posture. Nice, flat back here. Then I set up to the ball here, slightly bending my knees. This is position number 1, hold this for 3-5 seconds, then position number 2, weight shifts to my right foot, club’s pointing at or slightly behind the ball position – this really helps you with your flexibility and stretching. Position number 3, shift your weight to your left foot just like you do in your golf swing, point the club at or slightly behind the ball position, and then position 4, continue to rotate with your hips and shoulders to a finished position. Hold each one of these positions for 3-5 seconds, it’s a great way to start your practice session. You’re going to stretch your muscles a little bit, get a little bit of heat in them, it’s just a great way to start your practice session. But today, I’m going to add a little spin to that. Just like the elbow drill helps you with your posture and your pivot, this, just take a little bit of bungee cord here or surgical tubing, this is going to help you with your hips. Everybody wants to know “How do I move my hips in the golf swing?” Well, we’re going to show you today. Alright, you take this, and you hook this surgical tubing up right across the front of your hips, and as you can see, this really simulates the position that my hips are in. I do that, I add the club behind my back like I do in the elbow drill. Okay. We set up. We’re over the ball. Okay, perfect. This is position 1. From position 1 to position 2, we shift to our right, we point the club at or slightly behind the ball position. Notice how the club and my shoulders goes further to the right than the club attached to my hips. That means my shoulders are rotating more than my hips. Okay, now here’s where the magic comes, going from position 2 to position 3. I want to make sure that I get this club here attached to my hips to shift and move first and more than the club behind my shoulders. Alright. So notice this: That this club to my hips is pointing a little bit behind the golf ball, but the club behind my shoulders is way behind the golf ball. Now let’s look at it from the side view here. Now notice how this club here is pointed a lot further in front of me than the club behind my back and my elbows. What does that do? Well that’s the shoulder-hip separation that’s so critical in starting your downswing. We don’t start our downswing with our upper body, we start our downswing with our hips, we swing from the inside out, not from the circumference in. We’re at the top of our backswing, we want to now, as we start down, we want to move this club on our hips, we want our hips to move. Our hips are going to shift to the left and they’re going to rotate. Now notice how this club is leading now. This is a perfect position right here to, an isolation of the hips, and how the hips are supposed to move. And then, as you move through your swing, you keep the hips moving and the shoulders moving and they eventually pair up. The shoulders will actually move a little bit more coming through and then they’ll recoil back. But what you can do when you set up like this, just to free your hips up and just to isolate those hips so that you realize that they’re a really huge factor in the quality of your golf swing, just rotate your hips separate of your shoulders. It looks easier than it is, but I’ve been doing it a long time. Okay, let’s do this one more time. We’re going to go to the top of our backswing and stop, then I’m going to shift my hips and rotate my hips, and look, I get that club started first, and then rotate through. Most people do the exact opposite – they get to the top of their backswing, and *whoop*, the shoulders just come right over, get in front of their hips. Now you get into the same position eventually, but your sequence is all off. So this isolates the hips, gets your hips to move first. You don’t want your hips to trail, you want your hips to lead. So this is a little spin on the elbow drill, I don’t have a title for it yet, I don’t have a name for it yet, but I will soon. Try this; if you slice the ball a lot, there’s a good chance you’re coming over the top of it, which, there’s a good chance you’re doing that with your upper body. You need to learn how to use your hips, you need to learn how to isolate your hips, you need to learn how to get your hips moving first before your shoulders. Try this drill for a while, see if it helps you isolate your hips, see if it helps you with your slice.

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One Response

  1. Jim Conrad says:

    Great drill! I actually expected to see Clay demonstrate the drill.