A so-called fundamental precept of golf that I do not hold with—at least, not all the way—maintains that if you don't keep the right elbow folded in against the body you cannot develop a grooved swing. No one has to look very closely at my swing to note that I let my own elbow stick out somewhat. Some critics have described this as a flaw in my swing, but I allow it to happen for what I consider to be two very good reasons. First it permits me to take a more upright swing, one that actually makes it easier for me to keep the club head square and on line to the target. Second, it gives my swing a longer arc and thus enables me to get more power into my shots than I ordinarily would be able to.
Letting my elbow "fly" out certainly does not mean that my swing is not grooved or that it is likely to get out of control. In fact, my right elbow does not really fly. Throughout most of the backswing it is pointed in the general direction of the ground, and on the downswing it returns to the more traditional position, close to the body. By doing this, I feel I am getting all of the advantage of keeping the right elbow in close, without losing power. If your own swing is basically sound and you would like to try for a little more distance, see what happens when you move your right elbow away from your body.