What Is The Correct Takeaway Shoulder Turn For Senior Golfers

Having the correct takeaway and shoulder turn to begin your golf swing is absolutely vital if you are to make a great swing.

The takeaway is the first movement you make during your backswing and as such it dictates whether you make a good, correct sequence of movements during your golf swing or not.

If you make an incorrect movement at the beginning of your swing sequence, you will be out of position and struggling to correct and regain the correct movement pattern for the remainder of your golf swing. If your movement and swing sequence is correct then you will hit solid, consistent golf shots, however, if it is incorrect you will experience inconsistency with your strike.

A good correct takeaway will see you making a correct shoulder turn to begin your movement. From your set up position, create a straight line from your left shoulder down your left arm to your hand and then down the club shaft to the club head. As you take the club away from the ball, you should maintain this straight line and move it to the right away from the ball from your left shoulder. Move the club head along the target line from your left shoulder until your hands are past your right thigh and then hinge your wrists so that the club head rises up from the target line. Continue to turn your left shoulder so that the club shaft rotates inside the target line and becomes parallel to it when at hip height. The club head at this point should be as high as your hands.

To check this movement, stand so that you can see your reflection to your right. Work on turning your left shoulder towards the reflection so that your left arm points directly at your reflection and the club head covers your hand position in the reflection.

This will see you correctly rotating your shoulders during your takeaway and help you to achieve the correct movement pattern to initiate your golf swing, helping you strike the ball much more powerfully and consistently.

What is the Correct Takeaway Shoulder Turn for Senior Golfers?

What is the Correct Takeaway Shoulder Turn for Senior Golfers?

The shoulder turn can be thought of as the engine of the golf swing. If you are going to create any meaningful amount of power in your swing, that power is going to come from the rotation you achieve with your shoulders. Amateur golfers often try to create power by using their hands or arms to propel the club, but that method will never lead to quality results. Learn how to power your swing with a proper shoulder turn and your game will take a big step forward.

This is an important point to understand for any player, but it is particularly important for seniors. As a senior golfer, you should be trying to find power from any source available. It is hard to maintain your distance as you age, as flexibility and strength are sure to decline as the years go by. That doesn't mean you have to just give up and accept a diminished game, however. By focusing on the shoulder turn – and making your turn as effectively as possible swing after swing – you can restore some of your lost power successfully.

Making a great shoulder turn is not only about power. Yes, this technique will help you to hit the ball harder, but it will also help you become a more consistent ball striker. You can develop a great rhythm in your swing through the use of a good upper body turn, and that rhythm is going to help you deliver the club to the back of the ball in the same manner time after time. All of the best ball strikers in the world use a solid shoulder turn as the basis of their swing, and you should be trying to do the same.

In this article, we are going to discuss the shoulder turn in reference to senior players. Of course, there isn't much difference between a correct takeaway shoulder turn for a senior player as compared to the turn which should be used by a younger golfer. However, there are a few senior-specific points which need to be made on this topic, and those will be covered below. Also, we will talk about some adjustments that the average senior golfer can make in order to get the most out of his or her improved turn.

Golf is a great game for seniors. It allows seniors to spend time outdoors with friends, getting some light exercise while remaining competitive at the same time. It is no surprise that countless golfers look forward to their retirement years so they can hit the links with regularity. While most of the focus is on recreation, there is no reason why a senior golfer can't remain competitive even as the years go by. If you would like to challenge yourself to play at a higher level in the years to come, focusing on your shoulder turn is one of the best decisions you can make.

All of the content below is written from the perspective of a right-handed golfer. If you happen to play left-handed, please take a moment to reverse the directions as necessary.

Use the Shoulders Right from the Start

Use the Shoulders Right from the Start

To get started, we are going to talk about the very beginning of the swing, which is often referred to as the takeaway. Unfortunately, many amateur golfers allow things to go wrong right from the start of the swing when they put the club in motion. Rather than using their shoulders to move the club, these players use their hands and wrists, and everything gets off track from there. To make a great shoulder turn, and to keep the club on plane, the best thing you can do is allow your shoulders to control the action while your hands remain quiet. It can be difficult to get comfortable with this kind of takeaway, but it will serve you well over time.

So why do you want to start your backswing with your shoulders instead of your hands and wrists? The following points should shed some light on this topic.

  • Keep everything together. One of the main motivations for making sure to start the swing with your shoulders is the fact that this move is going to keep everything together nicely. Your arms and the club will stay directly in front of your chest, meaning your entire swing will be connected all the way to the top. By keeping things together, you can make a more powerful transition into the downswing while staying on track for an accurate strike. If you start with your hands, the club is going to race out ahead of your chest, and you will never be able to finish your backswing rotation properly. Golfers who use their hands to start the swing typically wind up with short backswings and shots which lack power in the end. As a senior golfer, you can't afford to give up power by making this kind of mistake. Start with your shoulders to make sure you can complete a full turn time after time.
  • Find the right plane. If you are one of the many golfers who struggle with a slice, you are probably using your hands to initiate the swing. By starting the swing with your hands, the club is likely to duck to the inside almost immediately. That will set you up for a narrow backswing, and an over the top move in the transition. This is a pattern that has been seen time and time again in the amateur game. To avoid the slice, one of the first things you need to do is make a wide backswing – and you can widen your backswing successfully by using your shoulders instead of your hands to get things started.
  • Avoid the rush. You don't want to start your swing in a rush. If you rush the takeaway, it is almost certain that you will rush the rest of the swing as well. By hurrying through the swing, you will fail to give yourself enough time to turn your shoulders, and you will have trouble making solid contact. Using your hands in the takeaway can lead to a rushed swing because the club head will be moving faster than it should at the start. You should be moving the club slowly at the beginning of the swing, only allowing it to pick up speed as things move along. The only point the club needs to be moving quickly is at the moment of impact – for the rest of the swing, you should feel like you are taking your time and building up to that one critical point.

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to work on using your shoulder turn right from the start of the swinging action. Whether you are a senior or not, this technique is sure to benefit your performance on the course. During your next practice session, work specifically on starting the swing with your shoulder turn and take notice of what a difference it can make in terms of your ball striking. Even if it takes a while to make this technique comfortable in your game, you can start to see benefits right from the very first shot.

Shoulder Turn Keys for Senior Golfers

Shoulder Turn Keys for Senior Golfers

As we mentioned in the introduction to this article, the shoulder turn is largely the same for all players. However, there are some considerations you can make as a senior golfer to make it more likely that you will end up with a successful turn. In this section, we are going to point out a few ways in which you can attempt to help your turn be the best that it can be, even as the years go by.

As you review the points below, always keep in mind how they could apply to your game. Not every time is going to work for every player, so it will be up to you to decide which tips to put to work and which to leave on the shelf.

  • Turn the right foot away from the target. This is an age-old trick, but it works just as good today as it did years ago. At address, think about turning your right foot away from the target by a few degrees. This subtle change can make it easier to achieve a full shoulder turn to the fact that you will have more freedom in your right side. Your right knee will not stand in the way of the turn as significantly, meaning you could rotate farther back without making any other changes. Also, even if your turn doesn't get any bigger, you might take a little pressure off your body during the swing. Feel free to experiment with different right foot placements until you settle on a position that provides you with just the right feel.
  • Drop the right foot back. Another adjustment which affects the position of your right foot. In this case, you are simply going to move your right foot farther back from the target line. Adjusting your stance in this way is another way to make it easier to turn back. This is a good tip for those who didn't seem to have much success with the first tip. This is a more dramatic change to your stance, and it comes with some sacrifices. Sure, your turn will be easier, but it may be a little tougher to move the club through the hitting area properly. If you do decide to give this tip a try, make sure to start with only a minor change and gradually work your foot back farther from the line until you find success.
  • Stand farther from the ball. To simplify the swing and make it easier to turn as far back as possible, consider standing a bit farther away from the ball – especially with the driver. This adjustment will flatten out your swing plane, which means there will be fewer moving parts during the swing. You might not find much success with this technique when swinging your irons, since you have to take divots with your irons and the clubs need to catch the turf cleanly. However, with the driver, when the ball is up on a tee, you can move back safely and still swing through with ease. Just like with the other two points, try this out with small adjustments as first and keep moving back a bit at a time. Also, watch for changes to your ball flight during this process, as you are more likely to turn the ball over from right to left now that you are standing farther away.

If you are a senior golfer and you have been struggling with your shoulder turn, or you have just been losing distance and you aren't sure why, the tips listed above could help. Of course, you need to work through these adjustments on the range before you even consider using them on the course.

Holding It Together on the Course

Holding It Together on the Course

Hitting golf shots is a completely different challenge when you move from the driving range to the course. As a golfer, you already know that to be true. The game can seem rather easy on the range when you get into a rhythm, but it is anything but easy out on the links. If you are going to manage to reach your goals on the course, you will need to find a way to make your swing as similar as possible to the one you use on the range.

This is a discussion which has direct implications on your shoulder turn. It is common for the shoulder turn to go missing on the course, leading to off-target, weak shots. The tips below will hopefully help you to make your best turn even when you are feeling the pressure during an upcoming round.

  • Stick with your routine. If you have been playing golf for some time – which is likely the case if you fall into the senior category – you should have already developed a pre-shot routine. The key here is to use that routine without fail, time after time. If you skip over the routine when you get nervous, or excited, you will find that the quality of your swing will suffer. The whole point of having a pre-shot routine is to keep your play as steady as possible throughout the course of a round. Do everything you can to keep your pre-shot routine in place prior to every single shot you play. This might seem like a simple step, but it can help significantly when trying to maintain your turn.
  • Take a moment to focus. Part of your motivation for playing golf on a regular basis is likely to spend some enjoyable time with your friends. There is nothing wrong with that, of course – but there is a time to talk, and there is a time to golf. When you are getting ready to hit a shot, cut off the conversation and focus in on the task at hand. This is more difficult on the tee than anywhere else on the course, since everyone in the group will be gathered around. When it is your turn to hit, set aside any ongoing conversations and think about your swing. Go through your routine, picture a great shot coming off the face of your club, and make it happen.
  • Keep it simple. Your golf game is likely to get off track when you start to overcomplicate what you are trying to do with your technique. As a simple swing thought, try focusing on turning your back to the target with each swing. As you stand over the ball, that will be your only thought – turning away to the point where your back is facing the target. That might sound awfully simple, but that is the point. It is the simplicity which makes this plan so effective. Turn your back on the target, turn through aggressively to strike the ball, and watch it sail into the distance.

There is no doubt that golf is a difficult game, but it doesn't need to feel impossible when you are on the course. By controlling the way you think during your rounds, and by keeping the tips listed above in mind, you should be able to execute your shoulder turn even when you are feeling the pressure that comes along with this game.

An Easy Takeaway Drill

An Easy Takeaway Drill

To wrap up this article on the takeaway shoulder turn, we wanted to highlight a helpful drill. This drill is simple to perform, and will give you instant feedback on whether or not you are moving the club away from the ball properly. You won't need to use any special equipment during this drill, and you can do it on the practice range or even at home (provided you have enough room to swing safely outside of your house).

If you would like to give this takeaway drill a try, please follow the steps below.

  • Take one of your middle irons from the bag and grab a single golf ball. You aren't actually going to be hitting the ball, so it doesn't really matter what kind of ball it may be – just anything from the bottom of your bag will be fine. You want to use a middle iron, such as a six or seven iron, because the shape of the club head will work nicely for this drill.
  • With the club in hand and the ball on the ground, take your stance and pick out a target in the distance. As mentioned above, you aren't going to be hitting the ball with this drill, but it is still a good idea to have a target in mind. You can work on your aim more effectively when you select a target and orient your stance accordingly. As you settle into the stance, you are going to position the ball so that it is behind your club head, rather than in front of it as usual. With your stance taken and the ball behind the club head, you will be ready to start the drill.
  • This drill is about as simple as they come. Your entire goal here is to roll the golf ball directly back down an extension of the target line. In other words, you are trying to roll the ball in the opposite direction of the target. To do this successfully, you are going to need to keep the club head low to the ground during the takeaway. What is the best way to do just that? You guessed it – control the takeaway with your shoulders rather than your hands and wrists. By moving the club back with your shoulders only, the club head will stay low and on plane. With this action, the ball will roll beautifully away from the target over and over again.
  • You don't even need to bother finishing the rest of the swing once you have rolled the ball back – this really is a takeaway drill. Feel free to repeat the drill as many times as you would like until you are comfortable with the technique required.

If you find that you are pulling the ball to the inside of the target line going back while using this drill, it is probably due to an overactive right hand. Focus on keeping your right hand out of the action while you simply turn your shoulders away from the target. The right move will feel extremely simple and efficient.

It might not be as easy for senior golfers to make a full shoulder turn as it is for their younger counterparts, but that doesn't mean it can't be done. Pay attention to the fundamentals of your swing – especially during the takeaway – and you can keep making quality swings well into the future. We hope the advice provided in this article will help you get the most enjoyment possible out of this great game. Good luck!