The Mechanics of the Golf Shoulder Turn

    If you have gotten to this point knowing that you need to improve your shoulder turn, it is important that you do it correctly so as to not disrupt the rest of your golf swing. Every golf swing has some element of shoulder turn already in place – your job is to improve yours so it can aid in your power, timing, and ball striking. A good shoulder turn will unlock power potential that you may not have known you had.

    You want to be using your shoulders to start the golf swing and carry your arms up into position – not the other way around. If you start the swing with your arms, they will end up behind your body too far at the top of the backswing and you might not be able to recover. This is why you need to key on using your shoulder turn to start your golf swing takeaway. Using your shoulder rotation as the engine of the swing puts everything else into better position right from the start. In fact, many golfers who suffer from a lacking shoulder turn simply need to get started on their shoulder turn earlier in the swing. That change alone might be enough to fix the issue.

    As long as you are initiating your swing with your shoulders, you will have one of the potential problems out of the way. However, another issue can frequently come up for amateur golfers which relates to timing and tempo. In a hurry to complete their backswing and start the club down toward the ball, many players cut the shoulder turn short because they are rushing the swing. If you are a player who has always used a short backswing and never really completed your shoulder turn, it might feel surprisingly long at first. Take your time and stick with a smooth tempo – the ball isn’t going anywhere. When done properly, you can use your full shoulder turn as a nice way to maintain your rhythm throughout a round. While you might be tempted to hurry your swing when you get nervous or are trying to hit the ball extra hard, you should be able to keep your tempo in line as long as you focus on your shoulder turn.

    The last point of emphasis from a technical standpoint that you need to be aware of is the danger of lifting up out of your posture before the shot is completed. This was mentioned briefly in reference to flexibility, but it warrants further discussion. If you feel that your body is having to straighten up at the top of your swing to accommodate your shoulder turn, you are actually turning too far. The proper amount of shoulder turn in the backswing is whatever amount you can create without losing your balance or posture. At the point you start to lose your posture, you have gone too far and are only going to harm your swing. Practice making some rehearsal swings on the driving range and pay attention to your posture during the backswing – it shouldn’t take you long to determine where your shoulder turn should stop.