I was chatting recently to Craig Connelly, Martin Kaymer’s caddie, about the original tennis ball drill that he used just prior to winning the US Open.
Apparently on the initial takeaway, Martin was slightly separating his forearms so his coach stuck a paper clip through the top of a tennis ball, hanging on a lanyard, to enable him to keep his arms more together with the tennis ball held well into his backswing.
This worked wonders and the rest, as they say, is history.
In the first picture you can see the latest/easiest ball to use in this drill. It is more like the size of a grapefruit and is much easier to comfortably sit between your forearms on each side of the golf ball.
At the halfway point you will clearly see that the yellow ball is still held in position as my wrists correctly begin to hinge the club shaft up into the classic L shape position.
My shoulders are turning nicely with my hips resisting, to help keep everything centered. Note also how my head has remained fairly still.
Naturally if I swing on from here the yellow ball will drop out of my arms, that is perfectly OK as the initial moveaway sequence is finished. The feeling at this point is one of being totally connected as the arms/club swing in harmony.
In the second picture, at the three o’clock position the golf ball has long gone yet the yellow ball still remains in place between my forearms. This is a great sign that no unwanted “chicken wing” has taken place - if it had the yellow ball would have dropped out.
Note how my left side has cleared out of the way to allow my entire body to face the target. My head has also correctly come up to follow the flight of the golf ball. No sign of keeping the head down here. In this short swing my ball traveled roughly 100 yards, with hardly any effort whatsoever.
There has been the ultimate connection between arms/club/body. When this happens the game becomes much easier. Incidentally Martin prefers using the actual tennis ball, as it makes him work harder.
I believe that every golfer should try this drill, you simply won’t believe the difference when you are properly connected.