Techniques to achieve a more relaxed swing

13 Professionals Contributed |
In this expert roundup, we've gathered insights from top golf professionals on how to avoid tension in the arms and achieve a more relaxed swing. Discover their proven techniques and tips to enhance your performance and enjoy a smoother, more effortless game.

It's All About the Setup

People have been taught too bend forward to much from the hips and keep their lead arm very straight. This tendency leads to way too much tension in the arms and a very disconnected swing. If you went to the gym to curl weights, your elbows would be in front of you on your rib cage. This ties your arms into your body so that the entire body (legs, glutes and spine) all support the weight. This is exactly how you want to setup in your golf swing. This will reduce the tension in your arms and maintain a connected swing in which the entire body moves to swing the club.

A great way to practice is with a small towel or glove under your upper lead arm. Keep the pressure with the upper arm and relax the forearm. You will be well on your way to a tension free, connected swing.

PGA Golf Pro
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Put a number on it.

If a golfer is experiencing too much tension in the arms at address and during the swing they should allow themselves to be relaxed in the arms but firm in the fingers or a soft grip whatever they feel they play best with but strive for very little if any tension in the arms. They can monitor the tension by thinking numerically so 1 is almost no tension and 10 is very tight, experiment between 1 to 10 probably some where around 2 to 5 if they’ve been to tight to find out what feels best and gets the best results.

Links at Mariners Point
"Put a number on it." Click to Tweet

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Move and Hover

Tension in the arms starts in the hands. And if you’re pressing the club into the ground as you address the ball, the club can’t move. And the arms will get tight. You need to stay in constant motion. Which is what your waggle should produce. A motion you can “react” to the ball. Versus “act.”. And while you’re staying in motion, the club should “hover” above the ground.

Check out a video about “Hovering”!

John Hughes Golf
"Move and Hover" @johnhughesgolf Click to Tweet

Maintain Soft Grip Pressure

Some of our worst golf shots come from too much grip pressure. Make sure your hands are not tense when you hit a golf shot. Take a practice swing and practice the proper amount of pressure to use. Then, when you address the golf ball, maintain that same soft grip pressure throughout the swing, and certainly for when you impact the ball. Players tend to squeeze too tightly as they approach impact. If your muscles are tense, you will have poor results. Make it easy on yourself, by keeping your hands soft when you swing.

The Country Club of Virginia
"Maintain Soft Grip Pressure" Click to Tweet

Big deep breath

Tension is a golf swing killer! I like to tell my students to stay wide through the shoulders. Take a big deep breath and feel your chest expand and try to keep that feeling through setup. Sometimes a drink or water can help with that as well. All actions that promote expansion through the upper body.

Canyon Springs Golf Course
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Clean grips=relaxed hands

One of the easiest ways to keep tension from creeping into your hands and arms is to make sure your grips are good and tacky. I rarely hit a shot on the course without wiping off the grip after with a damp towel. I like my hands to feel like they are practically sticking to the grip. That, and making sure you are gripping the club properly, will go a long way toward keeping the arms and hands tension free.

Moses Lake Golf Club
"Clean grips=relaxed hands" @owenmcclaingolf Click to Tweet

Tension relief

Teaching a Tour player who said he had too much tension. I said what does your tension look like, he said green jello. I said where is most of this green jello he said my arms wrists fingers and legs . I said what are you going to do about it he said squeeze it all out as he sqeezed it out of each arm the jello went out thru the end of his fingers, then with both hands he squeezed it out of his legs. I said where is the tension now he said I squeezed it all out, it’s on the floor, all gone, now I have no tension. Tension is self inflicted so I enjoyed the way he described what tension looked like and what he did to get rid of it

"Tension relief" Click to Tweet

Release tension

Squeeze grip as hard as possible and then slowly lighten grip pressure. All tension starts to leave your body.

Whispering Pines Golf Club
"Release tension" Click to Tweet


The most simple answer is awareness of tension at address. Many golfers are either gripping too tightly or holding too much pressure in the arms and shoulders which disturbs the rhythm of the swing. Once you become aware of tension before beginning every swing you can let it go. Watch Freddie Couples walk into a shot.

"Attention" @augustagolf Click to Tweet

Keep tendon out for a smoother golf swing

Hello golf enthusiasts! One of the keys to achieving a more relaxed swing and avoiding tension in the arms is to embrace the beauty of a pre-swing waggle. This dynamic movement not only helps to loosen up your muscles but also serves as a great way to build rhythm and tempo before you even take a swing.

Another game-changing technique is to focus on reducing your grip pressure. Remember, a light grip allows for a more fluid and natural swing, preventing unnecessary tension from creeping into your arms and impacting your performance.

So, next time you step onto the green, let your pre-swing waggle and gentle grip pressure be your guiding lights toward a more relaxed and effective swing. Embrace the flow, trust your technique, and watch your game soar to new heights. #ricmooregolf

"Keep tendon out for a smoother golf swing" Click to Tweet

Old School = Good School

Advances in technology and thinking is a good thing but swinging the club with soft arms can be difficult when trying to reach new heights on our launch monitor for club or ball speed. One of my favorite ways is an old school drill of making half speed full swings and hitting the ball about 65-75% as far. Its a great drill Davis Love III used throughout his career.

Arsenal Island Golf Course
"Old School = Good School" Click to Tweet

Open your hands on the grip and gently replace them on the grip

Just before you swing, open your hands on the grip and gently replace them on the grip. After playing great shots, you will want to put this in your pre-shot routine.

Timarron Country Club
"Open your hands on the grip and gently replace them on the grip" Click to Tweet

Meditation and Breathing

After working with combat veterans for 13 years, Meditation and Breathing have had incredible results. Everyone should focus on it. Follow

Vets Whole In One
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