I have a rule about the beginning of the backswing: “If the torso is moving, the arms should be moving.” In other words, the arms shouldn’t move by themselves. The shoulders and arms should be connected to the backswing.
If your Single Plane address position is incorrect and your arms are not in the correct place at address, they can disconnect from the very start of the backswing. In this picture below, you can see how being too crouched over at address can detach the arms.
When the arms move without the shoulders, they will lift the plane causing the club got to come over the top / from the outside. Slices pull and top shots can be the result.
Many times “posture” of the back is the problem. Also, standing too far from the ball can also cause the shoulders to reach too low – causing the arms to disconnect from the torso rotation. Improperly fit clubs, mainly clubs that are too short can be a big problem as well.
The ideal correction is to feel “taller” and get the spine lifted which pulls the shoulders back and the arms closer to the body.
In the picture below, you will notice when the back is straighter the shoulders are more pulled back toward the torso. The arms are closer to the body even though the lead arm is still above the trial arm. By keeping the arms more intimate, the leading arm connects to the body and will rotate when the torso rotates.
One way to feel the proper arm position is to Feel as though the trail arm bicep is close to the chest. It’s not entirely against the chest, but it is as though you have a towel under the trail arm-pit.
The feeling of the upper part of the trailing arm close to the body allows it to fold as the torso rotates into the backswing. This is the connection feeling you will have in the second part of the back swing movement.
As a word of advice. Always check your address position at least once per week to make sure your starting position is sound. I check my address on every practice session. This ensures that you are fundamentally correct before you start practicing your swing.
If the arms move independently of the torso the hands will take over and roll into position1 correct?
Thanks for the helpful reminders and visual checks, Todd.