Top Tips on Shoulder Turn
Luckily for me, the shoulders have never been a real issue in my swing… aside from the lone “dip” every now and then. There is not a lot that you need to focus on when working to correct shoulder turn in your golf swing, but if you overlook your shoulders, you bring on all sorts of problems. During this section, I will cover a few of the main mistakes of shoulder turn, and how you can correct them. I know there are a million sites and articles out there that claim to be the cure all, but I will give you tips based on what I have been taught in my golfing career… that have actually worked for me as well. If you can devote the time and the focus to the following tips and drills, you will see an improvement in your golf game.
The first mistake in your shoulder turn usually comes at set up. If you are too open or too closed, then it can cause the rest of the swing to be thrown off. The easiest way to correct this common mistake is to simply address the ball, and then pull your club up and put it on your chest pointing it at your intended target. Look down the club line and make sure your shoulders are pointing directly where you intend to aim (also ensuring they are lined up with the rest of your body). Do this before each swing on the range for about 30 minutes. This will ensure that you have the correct alignment, which will prevent the typical block or hook. If you ever feel like your shoulders are too open or too closed, simply pull the club back up and check your shoulder alignment.
The next mistake most golfers make is not rotating the shoulders enough throughout the golf swing, causing you to lose distance. Have you ever watched John Daly swing during his prime? He rotated his shoulders to the max, but it gave him that extra distance that he desired, and helped him win two major championships. If you are not rotating your shoulders, you are going to hinder your distance and cause yourself all sorts of frustration. To correct this, simply go to the range and focus solely on your shoulders for a bucket or two of balls. During this time, I want you to feel like you are over rotating… yes, I want you to feel like you are rotating too much. Make sure you are getting your front shoulder behind the ball during the take away (at a minimum). This will ensure that you are cocking the club back far enough, and will result in immediate added distance, and most important of all, a much more consistent ball flight. At first it will feel a bit odd, but that is the case with many tweaks to the swing. Keep plugging away, and you will find the extra distance you desire.
If you can focus on these two adjustments, you will set yourself up for a strong golf swing… and more distance, which everyone is looking for in today’s world. You don’t need to go out and buy the new “hot” driver to add distance to your game, you simply need to check your aim and your shoulder rotation. Don’t let the golf club companies fool you into “buying distance” when a simple adjustment to your shoulder rotation can fix all of that for you. I will leave you with one challenge: Devote an entire week to these drills. Each day that you go to the range during a typical week, I want an entire bucket of balls designated specifically to these two motions. After one week, I want you to hit the course and take note of your ball striking, particularly your distance of each club. If you have played for a long time, you already know how far you were hitting the ball before, so remember these numbers. If you have really worked on these drills, then you will see much more consistency in your ball striking, and ultimately – more distance throughout the bag. With that said, don’t go out and play a round during the first week of the drills. This is my biggest test for you. You need to give yourself the time to develop the motion before taking it to the real test – the course. Use the drill for every single club in your bag, until you are 100% comfortable with every club. Once the week is complete, then you can take to the course and relish in the results of your hard work. During your first round, take note of two things - where the ball is beginning after impact, and the distance you are hitting each club. If you are seeing more distance, then the drills were a success. If you are seeing most clubs go about the same distance, then pay attention to your misses. Are they closer to the intended target? If so, then you are still seeing the improvement you were looking for.