Jack Nicklaus is, arguably, the greatest golfer of all-time. Not only does he hold the record for the most major title victories (18), but he also won 117 pro tournaments in his career, including 73 PGA Tour victories — which places Nicklaus third behind Sam Snead and Tiger Woods (82).
With all that said, it’s safe to assume that any golfer will improve their game by incorporating some of Nicklaus’ habits.
In the video above, GOLF Top 100 Teacher Brian Manzella does just that, stressing the importance of keeping the club face between your elbows — something Nicklaus was an expert at doing.
Why keeping the club between your elbows is important
The purpose of keeping the club between your elbows is to have a more level downswing. This will impact the contact on the ball, allowing for a cleaner hit with more distance and accuracy. It will also reduce the chance of chunking or slicing your shot.
As Manzella says in the video about Nicklaus, “one of his main tenants that he worked on his whole career, and continues to when he plays golf, is keeping the club between his elbows pretty much the whole swing.”
For many golfers, amateur or even pro players, keeping the club between the elbows can be difficult. So what would make the club get out of your elbows during a swing? Manzella says it there are a couple things that could happen.
“If you had your hands too far forward at address, or, if on the backswing, you whip the club around. Now the club is not inside your elbows.
“But where most folks these days are getting in trouble is at the top of the swing. They’re trying to get the club laid off so much to get it to lay down — because that’s the cool thing now — that, now obviously, that club is not between your elbows.”
Finally, regardless of how hard you swing, or how unique your swing is, Manzella reminds players why Nicklaus would always work on keeping that club between the elbows.
“So Nicklaus had a big strong body move from the top that would, from time to time, throw the club into this position. So he felt like he released it from the top, so that when he got to impact, the club was, more or less, straight up and down and between your elbows. So keep the out of the elbow movement to a minimum.”