Struggling with a ‘chicken-wing’ swing? Here’s why (and how to fix it)

nick clearwater teaches

A chicken-wing finish is a fault that plagues many golfers, but few know how to fix it.


Chicken wings are great for Super Bowl parties, but not so great for your golf swing. Unfortunately, in golf they also can be hard to fend off.

One of the more common faults in amateurs’ swings is the “chicken-wing” finish. What this means is that the left (lead) elbow flares out through impact, causing a variety of problems, notably strikes off the toe.

The root cause of the chicken-wing finish, however, remains a mystery for a majority of players. Luckily, we’ve got a great video from our friends at GOLFTEC that breaks it all down, and shows you how to fix it.

Marisa Messana might be a professional golfer, but that doesn’t make her immune to the occasional chicken-wing finish creeping into her swing. The reason, explains GOLFTEC VP of Instruction Nick Clearwater, is a lack of side bend when swinging through the ball.

“You need to hit this shot with some understanding of how to tilt yourself to the right on the way down, and then when you’re coming through the ball actually bending yourself backward through the shot,” he says. “Just learning how to coordinate that will be the secret for you to hit the ball in the same spot every time.”

Watch the video above for a full breakdown of the chicken wing — and what you can do to fix it.

Swing Evaluation or Club Fitting for $125

Begin your GolfTec journey today.

Zephyr Melton Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf. He can be reached at