SI Vault
 
The hip bone's connected to the elbow
Jack Nicklaus
March 11, 1968
When I return to the tour after a vacation I often spray my tee shots all over the golf course. This was particularly true during two of the tournaments in which I have played this year—first the Andy Williams in San Diego and then the Phoenix Open, where poor driving was one reason I failed to make the cut. Sometimes I pushed the ball out to the right and faded it even more in that direction. Other times I hit pulled hook shots, the worst possible shots a golfer can hit, as far as I am concerned. After thinking about it, I realize that I was inadvertently doing a number of things that caused my right elbow to stray away from my body during the downswing. Consequently, my timing at impact was off—hence a variety of poor shots. At the start of the downswing you must remember to tuck your elbow back into your right hip. If at that point your elbow moves to the right—it's called letting your elbow fly out—then you will hit a poor shot. If you can keep your elbow on your hip during the downswing it will help keep your drives in the fairway.
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
March 11, 1968

The Hip Bone's Connected To The Elbow

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue

When I return to the tour after a vacation I often spray my tee shots all over the golf course. This was particularly true during two of the tournaments in which I have played this year—first the Andy Williams in San Diego and then the Phoenix Open, where poor driving was one reason I failed to make the cut. Sometimes I pushed the ball out to the right and faded it even more in that direction. Other times I hit pulled hook shots, the worst possible shots a golfer can hit, as far as I am concerned. After thinking about it, I realize that I was inadvertently doing a number of things that caused my right elbow to stray away from my body during the downswing. Consequently, my timing at impact was off—hence a variety of poor shots. At the start of the downswing you must remember to tuck your elbow back into your right hip. If at that point your elbow moves to the right—it's called letting your elbow fly out—then you will hit a poor shot. If you can keep your elbow on your hip during the downswing it will help keep your drives in the fairway.

1