Stuck in the Downswing – Cure it with Faster Golf Arms

StuckWell, it’s spring and I have golf on the mind.  I just purchased a new driver and 3 wood that got delivered today, my workouts are ramping up to maximize my power, and the weather is finally starting to cooperate so I can get out on the course.

While looking for a new driver I have been spending a good deal of time at the range and course with demo clubs.  What I have been noticing is that I am hitting high fade blocks to the right, or over draws recently.  Luckily enough, I was trying some demos out with my teaching pro friend and he mentioned that my hands are not coming through fast enough.  A very simple tip, I thought, and it helped me a bit that day on the range.  The problem continued through 2 rounds of golf so I decided to do a bit of reading on the topic.  What I found was that my arms might be getting “stuck” in my downswing, not as simple as I originally thought.

Stuck in the Downswing – What?

You may be wondering what getting stuck in the downswing is.  Basically, it is when your chest/torso (not your hips) gets way ahead of your arms.  This leads to the club coming too much from the inside leading to pushes out to the right (for right handers), or big hooks if you turn your wrists over fast.  What I have found in my research into this is that the problem usually occurs in powerful, lower handicap golfers.  The problem doesn’t seem to be that the hips are moving too fast, but that the chest is actually separating from the arms, causing the arms to lag too far behind.

Stuck in the Downswing – Fix it!

In this post, Hunter Mahan says that one of his cues is firing the arms through impact.  I think that through impact is a bit late if we are talking about getting un-stuck since this problem starts well before impact; however, firing the arms is a good cue to speed them up a bit.

On the other hand, in this Golf Digest article, Zack Johnson speaks specifically to his hands trailing too far behind his body.  He mentions that his feeling for getting his arms in the right position is actually a feeling of leading with the arms; although this is a bit of an unconventional cue as having your arms leading your swing is not good.  But it works for him and he is a damn good golfer, so it might work for you also.

Now, to the best part, here are a couple videos I found very helpful.  They both do a great job of outlining what “getting stuck” actually looks like and the second video gives some tips on how to fix this problem.

At the end of the day, the best way to quicken up those arms and get them un-stuck may simply just be to relax as this Golf Digest article points out.  A great way to learn to relax on the course is by reading the following the tips in this book.  I am about halfway through and find it useful so far.


The Barefoot Golfer


  1. Ree

    Great tips! I’ve been thinking of ordering Zen Golf for a while now. What’s your take on it so far?
    Ree recently posted…duke of edinburgh golf tournamentMy Profile

    1. The Barefoot Golfer
      Twitter: barefootgolfer1
      (Post author)

      Hi Ree,

      Good to hear from you again! So far I enjoy Zen Golf and it seems to fit well with my philosophy off the course (Which I have been trying to apply on the course with limited success). The author has studied the Buddhist/similar traditions and applies these teachings to golf in common sense ways. I have a fairly consistent meditation practice myself (which I wrote about on the blog) and have done a chunk of reading on it, so the philosophies outlined are not new to me, simply a really great reminder that I have to do better to apply them on the course. The book also includes tips on how to do it.


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