Els practising at the open 2008

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World Number Five Ernie Els has been doing some unusual preparation ahead of this week's Open Championship in Lancashire.

The Big Easy was looking decidedly uneasy on the driving range at Royal Birkdale yesterday when he strapped on an unusual-looking contraption to his right arm to hit balls.

The arm brace is a training aid given to him by his coach Butch Harmon and is designed to encourage a more compact swing action.

Today's Golfer collared Els's caddy Ricky Roberts at the back of the practice ground to quizz him about the strange-looking device.

"Ernie's been working on a few swing moves for the past few weeks and the arm brace just keeps things all moving nicely. He's had a few strange looks and digs from the guys on the range, but it definitely works."

Watch Ernie practising below...