Tip Tuesday: How to Avoid “California Arm”

California may be the state you want to be in if you’re visiting Hollywood, but it’s the last place you want your rear arm to be during the golf swing. Let Steve Dresser of the Steve Dresser Golf Academy in Pawleys Island, S.C. show you a simple drill to help eliminate this issue.



You see this arm position right here? I call this “California Arm,” because it takes on the shape of the state of California. Not a very powerful way to strike a golf ball, yet we see tons of people in this position prior to and at impact. You can see that just wouldn’t be very powerful at all. Imagine trying to hit a baseball like that, throwing a ball, whatever the case may be.

So we want to get rid of that “California Arm” and get it coming in more like this. A simple way to get the feel for that? Put the ball on a tee, get a club that you’re fairly comfortable with, like a 7, 8 or 9 iron. Get in your address position and then start from right here. My hands are actually already (in front) of the ball, my wrists are already fully cocked at 90 degrees, and look at my right arm. It’s this way (elbow close to the body), not that way (elbow away from the body).

They say that a third baseman slinging the ball over to second is nearly identical to what we’d like to be doing in the golf swing, so this kind of puts you in that position. You start here, hands (in front) of the ball, arms already in the right position. Let’s take it back a little bit, and go through. That will really help you get the feel for being here at impact and not here.