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Friday, January 13, 2012

Shoulder Turn VS Shaft Position

I stumbled across this Golf Digest video tip and went "WOW!" This is one of those things that never gets clarified during those TV swing analysis sessions because they always talk about pros, not weekend players.

This tip comes from Jim Flick and Jack Nicklaus:

Let's focus on one specific "point" -- namely, where should the shaft point at the top of the backswing? The standard teaching is that it should point straight down the line toward the target. As pointed out in this video, Nicklaus was also ok if it pointed slightly right of the target since he got more than a 90° shoulder turn.

But what if you don't get a 90° shoulder turn? That's what made me say "WOW!" to this video. Pay attention here:

If you have a shoulder turn that's less than 90°, your club shaft should point to the LEFT of the target line. (Or to the right if you play left-handed.) And if you look at what Stina is demonstrating, you'll also note that the club may be pointing up in the air, not parallel to the ground. The reason is that your shoulders aren't making what most instructors consider a complete turn, so it's no surprise that your club should end up in a shorter than standard position.

Or, to put it another way, if you don't get a 90° shoulder turn, your shoulder turn looks more like a three-quarter shot than a full shot. Therefore the top of your backswing should also look like a three-quarter backswing, not a full backswing.

Keep this in mind when you're using the one-piece takeaway I always stress that you should use. If you have limited flexibility -- either because you have a thick torso (that's not a crime, folks) or perhaps because of age (again, that's no crime) -- then when you make a proper takeaway you aren't going to look like a Tour pro who typically gets 100° or more of shoulder turn. Concentrate on getting the best turn you can and getting your arms and club into a good position relative to that turn.

Pay attention to this and you'll get the maximum distance and best accuracy your body can provide... with a lot less frustration and a lot less pain.

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