This is a ‘common denominator’ among great ball-strikers

Feel like you keep your arms wide on the downswing.


Before we had the means to measure golf swings in exacting detail using motion-capture 3D technology, golf swings looked like they went from wide on the backswing, to narrow on the downswing, to wide on the release. But with more more detailed information about the golf swing than ever before, now teachers applying their learnings to their students.

Enter GOLF Top 100 Teacher Jon Tattersall, who’s here with a handy swing thought that will help you get more of a move Tattersall says is a “common denominator” among good ball strikers.

That quality is “width, extensor action, radius,” — not on the backswing, but on the downswing. What, exactly, is “width”? It’s your arms extending straighter and more away from your body, rather than bent and closer to your body.

Tattersall says that while most of the conversation around “width” occurs in the backswing, Tattersall says it’s more important to feel your arms staying away from your body in the downswing. The feeling, he explains, is that your right arm stays wide from the top of the backswing, all the way to impact. It’s only after impact, Tattersall says, that your arms should feel like they’re getting narrower.

“Your body is shifting towards the target, but your right arm is actually straightening on the downswing,” he says.

Another way of feeling this, he explains in a subsequent video, is to feel like your arms are pushing the club away from your body on both the backswing and downswing.

Wide, to wide, to narrow. That’s the formula, Tattersall says, that the best ball strikers in golf have mastered.

Golf Magazine

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Luke Kerr-Dineen Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Game Improvement Editor at GOLF Magazine and In his role he oversees the brand’s game improvement content spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University. His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.