#20 The unhealthy "Chicken Wings"

Published on   2023-08-07 by Kai

When you hear the word "chicken wings", the first thing that comes to mind is fast food, deep-fried chicken parts from the fast-food restaurant, delicious but actually unhealthy. But there are also these "chicken wings" in golf and they are also unhealthy, at least for the swing and the distance and direction of the ball flight.

Everyone who picks up a golf club, whether regularly or only occasionally, knows in theory what a perfect golf swing should look like. Not only do golf enthusiasts regularly admire it on TV broadcasts of major events with the pros, but the professional trainer at the golf course has also demonstrated it.

The golf swing is a swing

In general - and amateur golfers must always remind themselves of this - the swing is really what its name implies. Similar to a pendulum, the club is swung from one extreme position to another. In the follow-through swing, the ball is then hit quasi-randomly in the lowest position and set on its way, while the arms should continue swinging until the resting point in the other extreme position.

But this is exactly what is often forgotten. The head says, "You have to hit the ball," and yes, of course you want to hit the ball. But really only as an obstacle that lies in the path of the club head from one end position of the swing to the other. Because what happens when that swing becomes a ball strike can be seen every day at all the driving ranges in the world: The swing is not continued after the moment of impact, but more or less aborted.

Then the player somehow catches the energy that the club head has in the lowest position moment, without finishing his originally planned - and at some point also trained - movement. And the easiest way this seems to work is by bending the left arm sharply at that lowest point and extending the elbow. It's called a "chicken wing" because it just looks like a chicken wing at that moment.

The result of this movement, which also pulls the club to the left out of the swing path, is a wonderful slice, the golfer's - to put it flippantly - mortal enemy. Hardly anything is as difficult to correct as the slice, which steers the ball in flight into a right-hand curve that becomes increasingly narrower and finally causes the ball to land far away from the intended target, i.e. the fairway or even the posting green, usually in the rough on the right-hand side of the fairway, or in the worst case even out of bounds.

Difficult to train off

Once you get used to this chicken wing swing, it's not so easy to get rid of it. Interestingly, the head insists on continuing the movement, even if you know it's wrong. The only thing that helps here is a lot of practice, preferably "dry", i.e. without a ball, perhaps even without a club at the beginning. You put your hands together, try to take the starting position of the swing and concentrate on keeping your arms stretched as long as possible during the follow-through. If you have a dumbbell at home, you can use it to help. This extra weight makes the stretch more deliberate.

Of course, the arms must be bent at the end of the swing, otherwise the movement would end like a hammer thrower and the body would turn on the spot due to centrifugal force. To be clear, what is wrong at the moment of impact, even if it is to slow down the swing, is right at the end of the complete movement. This also does not make it easier to break the habit of chicken wings.

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How to Golf