Steeper shoulder turn backswing

This is part 1 of a 3-part series on building a powerful and consistent golf swing:. And witnessed first hand the little idiosyncrasies that produce good moves and bad as a teacher of the game. All necessary to apply power to the ball through impact. Basically, the more wrist cock radial deviation you can create at the top of the backswing, the more stored power you can create coming down.

This leads to a forward leaning shaft at impact. The club can be loaded early, gradually, or late, as long as it is fully loaded at the top of the backswing or no later than the transition move into the downswing. The real answers lie in the route cause of things. With a late setting and loading of the wrists, it only promotes a sway away from the target with body. Namely the head and hips.

steeper shoulder turn backswing

Which includes having your weight forward, hands forward and shaft leaning forward. The downswing happens too fast.

Pro Vs. Joe

The legs play a huge role in the golf swing and learning how and when to push off the ground is essential if you want to introduce some more power into your move.

Once we use our legs to drive into the ground, the ground reacts and pushes back think of a trampoline up into our body with an equal amount of force. This force then gets transferred up the chain though the body. First through the legs, then pelvis, core, shoulders, arms, club and eventually to the ball. Load the pressure under the back foot, but keep the weight forward.

I like to teach a slight forward bias witht he hips in the setup. The mass has moved slightly more over the lead foot so the weight has moved a little forward also.

During the backswing, I like to keep the mass weight slightly forward. But the pressure exerted into the ground through the feet needs to move from one foot to the other, especially if you want to produce maximum power in your swing. At the top, and during the transition the pressure should start to drastically increase under the lead foot think of crushing a Coke can under your lead foot.

For elite players, this ground reaction force is transferred into their lead glute from their trail glute halfway backand then they thrust their lead leg into the ground through impact. So, to produce the most efficient and powerful swing, in my humble opinion we should keep our weight mass slightly forward, LOAD the pressure under our trail foot going back — then EXPLODE into our lead foot to start the downswing.

Firstly, the club head travels the furthest in the swing so therefore it makes perfect sense for that to start moving first. After all the arc or circle that the club head is traveling on is a lot larger than say the arc of our hands or the rotation of our body. So to get the club head moving first the hands have to play a very specific role in the takeaway. This is the easy part, and if your arms are connected to your torso they should move back, up and inward.

From a down the line view, your hands and arms should be hanging pretty much straight down from your shoulders. Just draw a line straight down from your shoulders and as your hands move back and up, they should also move inside or eventually inside this line as the backswing progresses.Many people also try to use their arms to generate club head speed and distance. The assumption is that distance comes from swinging the arms harder and faster. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, golf is very different than other sports.

Even a baseball swing, which appears very similar is a very different move than the golf swing. A large part of this comes down to the rotation of the body and the shoulders are an indicator of good rotation.

Not only that, but shoulder rotation can help keep a club on plane as well.

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The rotation of the shoulders, or shoulder turn, is the movement of the shoulders and upper body throughout the entire golf swing sequence. There are three parts to the shoulder turn in a good golf swing.

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In the backswing, your shoulders ought to turn 90 degrees away from the ball and away from the target. So, your chest will, pretty much be facing directly away from your target. If you were to draw a line across your shoulders, that line would be perpendicular to your target line. In the backswing, the shoulder tilt ought to be noticeable. What you need to know as a player in the backswing is that the front shoulder ought to be lower than the back shoulder.

This gives you an angle pointing downwards towards the ball.

steeper shoulder turn backswing

It allows you to approach the shot from a steeper angle and get the ball in the air. The next part of the shoulder turn is in the downswing. In the down swing, the shoulders return to the address position. This means that the shoulder line is, once again, parallel to the target line and the chest is facing directly at the ball. The tilt of your swing in the downswing, and more specifically at impactis moving towards level. Ideally, at impact, you want both of your shoulders to be on the same plane.

This means that through the downswing, the back shoulder has to drop back down to get even with the front shoulder. In the follow-throughor finish, the shoulder turn continues on, so that the chest faces the target and the shoulder line is, again, perpendicular to the target line. This will get you in to a position where you are facing the target and can watch the shot fly towards your intended target.

Doing this too quickly often results in a pull and doing it too late can result in a pushed shot. Finally, the tilt of the shoulders after impact, in the follow-through, should be the opposite of the backswing.

This means that the back shoulder is now the lower shoulder. This allows the shoulders to turn through properly.

The finish position is where the shoulders will fully return to a level position, where they are both on the same plane. There are a couple big reasons why a shoulder turn is necessary in the golf swing. Like I mentioned earlier, it helps golfers gain distance. Not only does it help with distance, it also always a player to hit the ball with the proper angle of approach and path. Our bodies are made to move in a very specific way.A few years ago I was bouncing between different instructors, trying to find some consistency in my game.

One teacher, Chris O'Connell out of Dallas, said something that really threw me: "I want to take the athleticism out of your swing.

The one thing I knew for sure was that being athletic was keeping me on tour. He said that was the problem: I was relying on it too much. That conversation changed everything. What Chris meant was, my swing required perfect timing, because I had too many things going on.

steeper shoulder turn backswing

If I flipped my hands just right at impact or got my weight in the right place, I could play great. But I was streaky.

The angle of the shoulder turn is everything

So we went to work on simplifying my swing, taking out the moves that are tough to time. Our goal was to make it as easy as possible to repeat. If you struggle with consistency, you probably have timing issues, too. I bet the changes we made can help you. I used to turn my shoulders pretty level, which a lot of golfers think is correct.

But that made my swing too shallow coming into impact, so my contact was picky, especially off the turf. We worked on a couple of things to make my shoulder turn steeper. First, I try to stay centered as I swing back, not letting my head move to the right.

Staying over the ball allows me to turn my left shoulder downward on a steeper angle. That sets up a steeper downswing for better contact. Next, I keep my left arm pinned against my chest.

This helps me get my arms and body working back together. At the top, you can see my left arm matches the line of my shoulders below. This connection means I don't have to realign anything before impact. It's the simplest way. Another good feel for me on the backswing is to pinch my right shoulder blade in toward the middle of my back.

This is my way of keeping my shoulders turning on a steep angle and making a full windup. Another major area we've worked on is my hip action. Like my shoulders, my hips now turn on a steeper angle to the ground in the backswing. It feels as if I'm sticking out the right side of my rear end as I turn to the top.

This move counterbalances my left shoulder turning down: If I didn't stick my rear end out, that steep shoulder turn would put me out on my toes. On the downswing, it's all about my left hip—actually, the left knee, thigh and hip.

How To Make Your Swing Repeat

I want to feel them clearing out, or turning to my left, so my right side can drive hard. From the top, my hips used to thrust toward the ball, which dropped the club too far to the inside and led to pushes and hooks. Now I think about pushing my left hip out to left field and then turning it behind me above. That keeps the club coming in steep so I can really pinch the ball off the ground. As I said earlier, our goal was to take the timing problem out of my swing, including my hands having to roll over at just the right instant to square the clubface.

Now, once I shift to my left side to start the downswing, I can turn hard, and my body will bring the club around. That's because I've kept my left arm pinned against my chest. With this connection, turning my body squares the face without any hand action. With the body leading like this, my arms track back to the inside quickly after impact.After my years of videoing my swing daily and practicing with any free time that I found, I decided to shorten my golf swing.

Keep in mind I was roughly a 5 handicap at this time. But I was tired of seeing the club at parallel or longer, and I wanted more consistency in my game. I heard about all of the benefits that would come with a more compact golf swing, and I was convinced that this was the key to becoming a better ball striker. After all, less things can go wrong with a shorter swing, right?

Well, not exactly. If done the right way, yes… you will surely become more consistent and strike the ball better on average. If done the wrong way, though, which is very easy to do, you will be in even a worse situation than someone with the longest swing of all time. Man, I wish I could tell you how excited I was to go to the range the next day.

I had the idea of a shorter swing in my head, and I was prepared to start Monday qualifying for PGA tour events the next week. It was nighttime, so I had a club in my hand in the backyard making the shortest backswings possible.

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Bugs were eating me alive, so I went to the covered patio with the low roof. I remembered Allen Doyle learning to swing under a low ceiling; I knew I was in good company.

Less wasted motion. More consistency. Better ball striking. You can all call me Moe Norman Jr. Most compact swing of all time. The next day, I went to the range and set up my camera.


Did a few swings. Hit a few balls. Checked the video. Hardly a difference. Swing a few swings. Hit a few shots. Check the video. A small difference. Hmm, I really thought it would look different. Note: this is obviously a little exaggerated. I knew it was going to be a process, as I had made many swing changes in the past that took multiple months and thousands of dedicated reps of practice and exaggeration. I honest to god felt like I was starting my downswing no later than.

I had the shortest and weakest shoulder turn of all time.

steeper shoulder turn backswing

My swing was as wristy as ever. My tempo sucked. Well struck shots were few and far between. Nevertheless, this is what young me thought and experienced. I kept with it for months, I kid you not. I would video my swing nearly everyday, checking to see how compact I could swing.When you compare an average golfer in this case, we'll called him JOE to a Tour player let's call him PROyou notice big differences in each golf swing.

For example, the PRO can achieve certain swing positions because he's more flexible and has stronger golf muscles than JOE. In fact, physical limitations often prevent JOE from reaching the same positions as the PRO, making it critical for him to make certain adjustments to his technique in order to still strike the ball solidly without hurting himself.

What I'm saying is that if you're an average recreational player, trying to copy the exact moves of a Tour player is going to make you worse.

But that doesn't mean, by any stretch, that you can't have a sound swing and be a good ballstriker and scorer. In the following pages, I'll describe specifically where the PRO's and JOE's respective techniques should diverge and what adjustments you should make to various parts of your swing in order to maximize your potential.

His right shoulder should be lower than the left and pulled back to produce a slightly closed alignment in relationship to his feet. This tilts his upper body away from the target, making it easier to turn properly and avoid the dreaded reverse pivot.

Flaring both feet slightly makes it easier to rotate. The PRO wants to restrict early rotation of his body and an excessively inside attack. His feet are more perpendicular to the target line, with his body more stacked and neutral. The adjustments to the address position help, but free-turning hips are the key to JOE getting to the top properly. The sharper turn of his hips negates any lateral movement away from the target with his lower body.

When combined with the slight tilt at address, his upper body moves to the right as it rotates, making it much easier to attack the ball from the inside. The PRO limits the rotation of his lower body at address and continues to do so by moving laterally during the takeaway. This slows down the turn of his hips, making it easier to swing the club up in front of his body. The PRO's pivot keeps his shoulders steeper going back, preventing the club from swinging around his body excessively during the swing.

It also promotes a more dynamic change of direction and greater power. Even players who have the proper mechanics can be hampered by a significant lack of flexibility. This is a revealing set of pictures. Here, JOE allows his hips to turn freely going back, facilitating the proper position at the top of his backswing. While the lower body looks different than that of Charles Howell the top is extremely similar.

The NO picture is a perfect example of what happens when you limit hip rotation without enough flexibility to make it work. While the right leg has maintained its flex like Howell's, the club is out of position at the top because his shoulder turn has been restricted too much. The purpose of the backswing is to set up a powerful, on-plane approach into impact.

Either way, both golfers shouldn't try to make a backswing pivot that's beyond his flexibility and strength.Here is a post and video from two years ago…and the principles are still true.

The vertical shoulder turn on the downswing I have found is one of the leading causes of early extension Goat Humping. Most golfers are too flat going back and too vertical coming through. Even PGA Tour players have these issues. Watch Dustin Johnson. He is so vertical coming into impact, he has to massively wrench the club flat and around him to keep the club from getting away from him.

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He does this with a hip turn that 1 in 1, people are capable of. Most amateurs whip the club too far inside to start the backswing. This initiates a very flat shoulder turn and lots of late arm lift. See clinics page for a general description of how these clinics work.

NOTE: this clinic is capped at Click here to be taken to the tickets page. Calendar GoogleCal. NOTE: this clinic is capped at 8. NOTE: this clinic is capped at 8 participants. Comfortably nestled in the friendly town of West Chicago, the Club quickly established itself as the premier public golf facility in the region.

Practice your irons on Northern New England's largest grass tees. It's like hitting off a private course fairway! Hit toward beautiful Penncross target greens framed with real bunkers. Unleash drivers down the yard grass range. Hear about new videos, upcoming clinics, new site features, and exclusive discounts. We will not spam you, we promise. The result was a lot of pull hooks. However, I have told myself I need to maintain my spine angle angle the same back and the same through. In your video, when people try to lift the ball in the follow through, does that change the spine angle in the follow through, which results in how you attack the ball?

I consider a bad or no shoulder turn and swinging from the arms the biggest uncoupling of the swing, There will be almost no body rotation force translated to the clubhead. I gained some nice yardage with this Thanks Monte!

Monte, do you think about keeping the upper part of your arms connected to your chest or sides of the chest during the swing as some advocate to keep the arms in sync with the rotation of the body? As a matter of fact, getting a little disconnected with minimum tension, good tempo and rhythm Fred Couples and Jack Nicklausis far superior for speed and consistency to staying connected in that manner.

It probably wont surprise you that I find those training aids that keep your arms glued to your side terrible. I hope I answered your question without being condescending toward you. The other thing that some folks do say Scott McCarron is lift their left shirtsleeve up a bit so it is under their armpit…keeping it there during the swing is the same thing as having a glove or headcover under the arms.

I have changed my mind a little on the way I describe this the last two years since I first posted this.Short golf swings are starting to become much more popular among both amateur and pro golfers.

If you are trying to shorten your swing, you can definitely learn a thing or two from watching how the pros do it. If done correctly, you can improve your consistency without losing any distance at all. If done incorrectly, you can mess up your entire swing sequence and get into some terrible swing positions. To sum it up, try to keep a full shoulder turn, and instead just stop your backswing whenever your shoulders stop turning.

The wrong way to shorten your swing is to reduce your shoulder turn and make a very armsy golf swing. Here are some of the common characteristics that pro golfers have when they develop compact golf swings:. Without further adieu, here are the shortest, most compact golf swings on tour today.

Are you are interested in the shortest golf swings of all time? Many of those swings were at a time when short, compact swings were very rare. John Rahm has been making an absolute storm lately. People love talking about how short his backswing is, yet he hits the ball a country mile. He currently averages yards off the tee for this year. Being laid off means that the club is pointing way to the left at the top, as opposed to more down the line.

He gets his distance, even with a short swing, by rotating quickly through the ball and having lots of lag coming into the impact position. He goes against the common theme of steep shoulder turns, though, as his shoulder turn is very flat. Although he does hit some errant shots at times, he is typically both long and consistent off the tee.

His backswing is very compact, and even his follow through is typically cut off. He still hits the ball a decent distance, due to a strong impact position and a good bit of lag. It looks like nearly every shot he hits is a half shot, but that is normal for Kevin, who excels in the wind due to a slightly lower ball flight. His setup is extremely narrow. When he reaches the top of his swing, he has a slight over the top motion but down cocks his wrists slightly.

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