Check Down – The Golden Triangle

Tom Watson's forearm triangleI’m not talking about the mathematical Golden Triangle used by designers, but one that has tremendous importance for every golfer. This is a universal principal that applies for every club from the driver to the putter.

Simply put the triangle we’re talking about is the one formed by the elbows and down the forearms to the apex where the hands grip the club. Maintain that triangle (some call it the Y) throughout the swing and you’ll hit gold.

This triangle is so important because it allows the most efficient transfer of power to the club from what is generated in your coil. If either side of the triangle (meaning either forearm) changes it’s relation to the other then you lose power and control of the club face angle. (Click on the picture for an explanation from Heartland Golf Schools.)

Feeling the triangle throughout your swing will bring home how powerful it is. For me I have the distinct sensation that the torso is swinging a fairly rigid triangle that attaches to the club. With a full swing, the sensation is of the forearms pressing in towards one another. This makes sense, because the triangle breaks down when one of the forearms pulls away. You lose stability and leak power.

The explanation above may sound a little like gobbledygook, but try it and your body will tell you it really works. And don’t leave it out of your putting stroke. When one forearm breaks down, the other takes over control and pushes or pulls the blade off course.

Practice your swings with one thought in mind; keep the forearm triangle the same throughout the swing. You’ll see a difference almost immediately. This is a great item to add to your preflight check down list. Please note that this triangle goes only to the elbows. Because one elbow folds on the back-swing and another on the follow-through, the triangle does not extend to the shoulders.

  • Forming the Y shape is the first step in creating a solid up for every golfer.

    It’s so important that I’ve never seen a professional golfer that doesn’t set up this way.

    It’s a must!

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  • John

    What I’m trying to stress in the article is the importance of maintaining the integrity of the Y throughout the swing, not just at setup. This is lost on most golfers and has the Y breaks down so does their swing.