I added the Chicken Wing Fix Drill to the Golf Practice Planner today because it’s such a common problem with golfers. And it’s such an easy fix when you use this drill.
Chicken Wing Fix Drill
Long Game Practice Drills
2 out of 10
Any golf club. Golf ball. Golf Practice Planner.
The Chicken Wing Fix Drill will train you to release on the follow-through like a pro! If you measure the club on the follow-through (approximately parallel to the ground, waist-high), the shorter the measurement is between the club and body, the higher your handicap.
Step 1: Watch
Watch the video below.
Step 2: Chicken Wing
Below is an image of the classic “chicken wing” follow through. It’s important to know what it looks like so you can cure it. As you can see the arms look like a “chicken wing”.
A chicken wing swing is when in the follow-through your:
- Arms are bent
- Distance between elbows increases
- Arms are too far away from the body
And take a look at the chicken below.
- Arms are bent
- Distance between elbows is a lot
- Arms are a long way from the body
“Chickens ferociously defend their young from predators. Next time someone calls you “chicken” as an insult, you know what to tell them!”
Step 3: Two Reasons For Chicken Wing Swings
The first thing to understand is that if you have a chicken wing in the follow-through, that didn’t happen by accident. There’s a reason for it.
There are two reasons for a chicken wing follow-through…
Chicken Wing Reason 1: Open Clubface
Having an open clubface as you approach impact is by far the most common cause of your chicken wing. When you have an open clubface, the chicken wing happens because your subconscious knows that you need to “square your clubface” and the only way of doing that if your clubface is open is the chicken wing.
Chicken Wing Reason 2: Too Steep
The second most common reason for a chicken wing follow-through is because on the downswing you’re too steep (club coming into the ball too vertically). Your subconscious would send a warning signal to your brain letting it know that you’re coming in too steep, causing you to bend your elbows (in an attempt to shallow the angle of the club) so that you don’t hit the ground way before the ball.
Step 4: Reverse Engineer With Arm Rotation Drill
The chicken wing is an “effect” of something that happened before you arrived in the follow-through. By simply getting into a good position in the follow-through, you can potentially fix all the problems that happen in the backswing and downswing (reverse engineering).
To reverse engineer, take a look at the “bad chicken wing swing” versus the “good swing” (see images below).
Bad Chicken Wing Swing
You have to understand something! Everyone looks at their “bent arms” and say “I just need to straighten my arms out” and that will fix the chicken wing. That may help, but it’s the lack of arm rotation that is the bigger problem.
You will never see a golfer with a chicken wing follow through with arm rotation.
You know arm rotation has happened in the follow-through if your left palm faces up towards the sky.
You will fix chicken wing follow-through by adding “arm rotation”.
Left Arm Rotation Drill Without A Club
Place left hand like this at address.
On the follow-through, face the palm up to the sky.
Step 5: Left Arm Rotation Drill With A Club
Do left arm rotations with a club (see image below). The clubface will feel way, way, way too closed to you, but that’s only because you’re so used to the club being way, way, way too open.
After the left arm rotation drill, hit some balls with two hands on the club feeling the same sensation.
After you’ve got good with the left arm rotations, proceed to step 6.
Step 6: This Predicts Your Handicap
If you measure the club on the follow-through (approximately parallel to the ground, waist-high), the shorter the measurement is between the club and body, the higher your handicap (see images below).
29 Handicap Golfer
This “29 handicap” follow-through position will cause thin and fat shots. They’ll be very little power.
20 Handicap Golfer
This “20 handicap” follow-through position will still cause thin and fat shots, but not as many as the 29 handicaper. You still won’t have much power.
7 Handicap Golfer
This “7 handicap” follow-through position will cause the occasional thin and fat shots, but not as many as the 20 handicaper. You will have more power.
0 (Scratch) Handicap Golfer
This “0 handicap” follow-through position will all but eliminate thin and fat shots, and will provide lots of power and consistency.
The further you can get the butt of the club away from you, the more width your swing will have, and the better you will strike the ball. There probably isn’t any other drill that will improve your swing easier or quicker than this one!
The beauty of this drill is that you don’t have to think about anything on the backswing. All you need to do practice getting into the “0 handicap” follow-through position. Doing that will reverse engineers all the good stuff you need to do on the backswing. Genius!
Step 7: Burn These Follow Through Positions Into Your Brain
A picture paints a thousand words. Look at the images of pros in the “0 handicap” follow-through position. Now realise this. It’s absolutely, utterly impossible to exaggerate the “0 handicap” follow-through position! You absolutely cannot extend too much in the follow-through.
Justin Thomas In The “0 Handicap” Follow Through Position
Jordan Speith In The “0 Handicap” Follow Through Position
Tiger Woods In The “0 Handicap” Follow Through Position
Step 8: Competitive Practice
Do 10 “0 handicap” follow-throughs with any club you like, trying to emulate the images of the pros in step 3. Start with short 50 hard shots (club going back to hip-height and finishing at hip-height) and gradually increase the distance. It’s also a good idea to record yourself. You’ll be amazed at how much you need to exaggerate the “0 handicap” through-swing position.