The left arm

(Today’s post is a concept/theory, a video will follow when I get back from Boise and Chicago. Boise to work with Frank and Chicago for vacation with wife.)

I am starting to believe that the left arm is the whole key to the swing.

In the downswing, if the left arm stays connected properly (not overly connected either) and rotates DOWN the chest during the swing, your body will want to tilt and rotate to create room…which will create “compression” on and iron and a positive angle of attack on driver. Which is what everyone wants.

The left arm rotating enough and down the chest is what connects the rotation of the club to the rotation of the body…and the downward strike to “compress” an iron.

So if the left arm has to rotate down the chest on the downswing, wouldn’t it rhetorically want to rotate UP the chest on the backswing? That is what I mean when I say the arm lift has to match the shoulder turn.

When you pull the handle by trying to create lag, hold off the release, pull the butt at the ball or the wall in front, etc., the left arm will have a tendency to not rotate, work away from the body and not work DOWN the chest.

All of those things I listed above…put them in a paper bag, light them on fire and throw them on the porch of a neighbor you don’t like. Especially the one Johnny Miller likes to pimp 2 or 3 times a year on NBC.

“Shank you Johnny.”

Now you have to dump your tilt and/or stall and flip the club to square it to the path.

All of this sounds complicated and it’s really not. When I make the video sometime next week, it will all make perfect sense visually.

This is the technical, sequential explanation of the gradual release I have been promoting for a long time.

Tiger is missing this movement…as have I. I have been trying to rectify this…I don’t believe he is.

…and this is the key to chipping and pitching when you struggle with that part of the game. I would bet all of you who struggle with that part of the game don’t implement today’s concept properly…or at all.

I know that’s my problem when I my short game struggles. When I don’t practice, I revert to paper bag contents.

That is my cliche. Something I find awful will be classified as paper bag contents. Sounds a little less profane and more subtle than…

DOG ****

Although in some cases, profanity is appropriate to describe movements I tried to perfect that kept me off the tour…but for the sake of avoiding being completely classless (and I honestly try to avoid crossing that line), “paper bag contents” is the phrase of choice.

I can see it all now, “Here is Mr. Cargo Shorts with this week’s paper bag contents to avoid.”




  1. Dan

    Hey monte…been following you for a little while and was getting ready to send you some videos of my swing. But if your traveling to Chicago…would you possibly be interested in a quick lesson with me instead?!?! I understand your on vacation…but I figured I would ask!

    • Monte Scheinblum

      I wish I could. The boss has every minute planned for some activity.

      • Dan

        I understand…have a good time, Chicago is great this time of year.

  2. IPM

    Look forward to seeing the vid. I’ve actually been trying to figure out what my left arm is supposed to do/feel, especially on the downswing. Mainly because I realize that my downswing is dominated by my right arm.

    • Greg Hill

      Great info, Monte! Thanks! I have been trying to maintain Right arm connection throughout the swing and struggled with compressing my irons and miss-hitting my pitch shots. Concentrating on maintaining Left arm connection throughout the swing straightened me out!

  3. woody

    “sequential explanation of the gradual release”…in the spirit of sports prediction, I’ll have a crack at it. (Don’t take it lightly…in my last two Fastasy Golf outings, I picked McIlroy.)


    DUMP & TURN:

    The DUMP would be the elastic band, and it might be giving your arms a “free ride” down as Hogan alleged. And, it wouldn’t be clearing your “hip,” it would be an acceleration because that’s what elastic does.

    And the TURN would be the arrow at the right “hip.” And, there would be some overlap during this progression.

    Hey, it’s worth a shot. All I can be is wrong. But, some researchers are starting to catch on, if you can get past the word “hip.”

  4. MWS

    This is an extremely important concept to not getting underplane in the downswing and is an absolute killer in the wedge game since it steepens the heck out of your path and makes it impossible to use the bounce.

    It has been refered to by others as tumble or suppination of the left forearm (while keeping left shoulder internal rotation) — sorry for the technical mumbo jumbo. It is a great key to getting the club back in front of the body and moving left after impact without trying to drag it left.

    It drives me nuts when they show sergio in slow mo and rave about his lag. He needs this left arm rotation down the chest as Monte describes and then he wouldn’t have to roll release like crazy. Ppl try to copy this move and they get so much worse.

  5. Andrew from Addis

    Just went to the garden to try this and interestingly this IS what I do when chipping (One of the better aspects of my game) but what a great feeling for the fuller swing. Cannot wait to get out to try this on the range. Having returned to civilisation I am in the process of trying to find a teacher. Might try this move on one of them and see what he says!

    Andrew from Belgium (Was Addis)

  6. Billyd


    For all the grief that a guy like Jim Hardy gets, keeping the left arm connected is probably the most important aspect of his “one plane swing”. The “lawn mower” pull with the right arm is essentially a way to get the left arm attached to the chest in the backswing. As you stated, the harm rolls up the chest and then back down in the downswing.

    Basically pulling the handle/ hitting the ball with the arms = BAD.

    Actually it just requires great timming which many of us just don’t have enough of to play golf at a PGA tour consistency.

  7. Paul

    Right on, Monty. Hogan certainly felt keeping the left arm close to chest going back was a key thought.

    If you like good deli sandwiches, check out Lucky’s in Chicago. Wrigleyville, I think.

  8. hank

    Can’t wait for your video. I have had many magical rounds of ball striking, where my only swing key was keeping the left arm connected. I don’t know why it worked, I just know it worked. Green after green in regulation and I had no idea why.

  9. Marshall

    If you play golf right handed and are naturally right handed…why not let the right side dominate? Side not hand or arm. Pull the club back with the right side….and step into the downswing from the ground up….beginning with right side…and move fast to the left side hitting the heck out of it with the right side.

  10. CD

    Can’t wait for the video. ‘Left arm connected’ has made a big improvement in my ball striking recently. I believe left arm rotation is one of my missing links to consistency.

    BTW – Your neighbors must hate to hear their doorbell ring.

  11. Calvin

    This reminds me of one of my experiments I called “rolling the angle” with which I had startling success and depressing failure. With “rolling the angle” however I didn’t keep the left arm connected but let it stray away from my body. Because of the startling nature of the success part I am anxious to see your video.

  12. ringerdaman

    If you separate your left arm into two parts, the upper arm and forearm, you can begin to understand a LOT about how to square up the clubface.. AND direct it’s path.

    Whenever I want to hit a draw, I try to point my left elbow out away from me as long as I can, then rotate my forearm INDEPENDENTLY of my upper arm. Like turning a door knob counter-clockwise.

    BTW, you can do the same thing with you right arm and it works equally well.

    If I want to hit a cut, I just do the opposite. Point my elbow towards my hip early in the downswing and try to keep my forearm from turning. Instant cut.

    From there it’s all about learning how much of each.

  13. Scott

    Feeling my upper left arm roll down my chest on downswing has really improved my ball striking with all my clubs. Feels a little over the top or like i am throwing the club out but actually as i turn it brings the club from the inside. I need to check my distance but i am sure i have added 10 yards to my irons and 20 to my driver. Still need to work on my tempo to keep it all in sync. I also finish all my swings feeling this move where before i struggled to finish, this just gets me there

  14. BeautifulNice

    Seems like something good happened recently. Congratulations Monte!

  15. Mike

    I’ve been working on this and have a question. In order to execute the move properly, might I need to weaken a strong grip to avoid pulls? That seems to be my miss in practice though I’m making more consistent contact. Or would the correction be to rotate the left arm more going back?

    • Monte Scheinblum

      You’re pulling for a different reason. Neither of those changes are necessary.

      • Mike

        Maybe it will take a while to get rid of the flip I had to incorporate to overcome not doing this move.


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