A full shoulder turn can not only help golfers increase the amount of power during the back swing but also stop a slice during the down swing.
Slicing the ball is a major problem for many left handed golfers. The ball starts to the right of the target line before bending wickedly in the air, finishing well left. A slice is caused when the club travels on an out-to-in swing path with the club face open to both the path and target line. Many players think the slice is purely a symptom of a poor down swing. However, completing a full back swing can help alleviate the problem.
A full shoulder turn
The shoulder turn during the back swing helps build up power as the upper body coils against the lower. However, if the shoulder turn is incomplete, many players resort to ‘swinging from the top’ to produce power. Swinging from the top means players start the down swing with the hands and arms rather than the hips, resulting in the hands coming ‘over the top’; from out to in, cutting across the ball.
To turn fully, the upper body needs to rotate until the right shoulder sits underneath the chin. The left shoulder should have turned behind the head and the middle of the back should face down towards the target. From this fully rotated position (presuming the lower body has remained relatively static), left handed golfers will have coiled correctly against the lower body. From this position, golfers can begin the down swing by turning the hips. As the hips begin to turn, the hands and the arms drop into place and bring the club into impact on a more inside path. Rather than cutting across the target line, the club head will chase along it and produce a straighter ball flight.
If players are struggling to produce a full shoulder turn without losing stability in the lower body (hips opening, knees straightening), there could be an issue with flexibility. The most likely cause is stiffness and tightness in the legs and back. Left handed golfers should consult with a fitness expert to discuss the best stretches and exercises to gain more flexibility.
Although a full shoulder turn cannot fully eradicate a slice it can help a player drop the hands into a better position during the down swing. If left handed golfers are struggling with a slice look to see if the problem can be helped by fixing the back swing.