Making a full shoulder turn is one of the most important fundamentals of the golf swing, yet most golfers fail to achieve it consistently. (That’s one reason so many have slice problems.) A proper turn is when you rotate the upper body so the lead shoulder comes under your chin, the shoulders at a 90° angle to the target line.
Here’s how a proper shoulder turn eliminates the slice:
- If your shoulder rotation is stopped too early, your arms will tend to fly outward, across the target line, on the downswing, causing an outside-to-inside club path that produces the dreaded banana-ball. A full golf swing shoulder turn will keep the arms “on plane,” inside the target line.
- A full turn promotes a correct weight shift, where a majority of weight moves onto your right (back) foot on the backswing. A “reverse pivot” – where the golfer’s weight moves left on the backswing, then right on the downswing – is a leading cause of slicing.
- When a golfer does not turn completely, he tends to rely more on the small muscles (hands and arms) to swing the golf club. This leads to inconsistent golf ball striking and shots prone to slicing. With a full shoulder turn, you will use more of your big muscles to route the club.
Here are a few keys to making a good shoulder turn:
- Don’t rush; taking the club back slowly engages the shoulders, torso and hips and prevents over-active arms.
- Keep your chin up and off your chest so the left (lead) shoulder can rotate and pass under the chin. If the shoulder hits your chin, rotation stops short.
- Making a full shoulder turn doesn’t mean you must get the club back to parallel at the top of the swing. Many great golfers have compact swings that come up far short of parallel while still making a solid turn.