Determining the width of a golfer’s shoulder rotation during their golf swing allows further adjustments to be made in the interest of improving their game.
Understanding how your body naturally rotates during your golf swing provides a clear picture of which modifications are needed in order to produce great shots on the golf course.
In most cases, golfers will either rotate their shoulders narrow or wide during their swing, which will be easy to identify by a coach, friend or by recording themselves during the swinging process.
Many golfers overlook the possibility that they may be over exerting their shoulder rotation during their golf swings.
Most productive golf swings require very little intentional shifting in our shoulders in order to produce the desired results.
Golfers simply are able to naturally turn their shoulders, be it narrow or wide, and achieve the shot they intend without producing a massive shift in their bodies.
Some players dramatically shift their shoulders during backswings, which produces horrific shots.
These terrible shots often leave the golfer looking to correct other aspects in their swings, rather than their poor shoulder rotation.
Focusing on rotating our spine often prevents our body from going off center, as our shoulder plane remains level in relation to our spines.
Rather than turning our shoulders during our golf swing, tilting puts a golfer in an unnatural position that often leads to poorly executed shots.
Tilting our shoulders at address puts our entire body out of sync, with our head tilted oddly, shoulders dipping asymmetrically and arms lifted drastically above plane.
The result of a golf swing taken on tilt rather than naturally turning our shoulders produces a disrupted backswing with false turn, ultimately ending up with balls taking flight drastically off target.
As we address the ball, a golfer must ensure that their shoulders are parallel to their intended aim line.
Moving first at the start of our backswing, shoulders rotate away from the ball until a golfer’s hands reach their waistline.
As shoulder rotation begins very early on during the backswing, we move into a one piece takeaway immediately after.
With our arms remaining straight without muscle tension, our shoulders have likely rotated up to 75 degrees opposite of the golf ball.
Most golfers are aware of the impracticality in beginning their downswings being led by their shoulders.
In this situation, a proper execution of a downswing would be next to impossible to achieve.
Once our shoulders have rotated past the golf ball, they return to the same positioning they took at address through impact.
While our hips are frozen at this point of our downswing, our shoulders continue to rotate beyond the hips, reaching their final position.
Holding position may come with a level of challenge during the downswing, leading the golfer to veer away from their target.
The key to executing proper shoulder rotation on the downswing relies on bringing our hips and shoulders down simultaneously.
Some players may have the idea that the improper rotation of their shoulders in their golf swing goes well beyond misexecution on the golf course.
If the above drills have not assisted in the proper rotation of your shoulders during play, we recommend that golfers test their range of motion for each shoulder.
While standing, simply lift one arm with the tricep and bicep parallel to your feet and your forearm sticking up straight.
Next, rotate your forearm backward as much as possible, while maintaining an unarched back.
You should be able to move beyond your spine angle on your dominant side.
Our non-dominant side should parallel our spine angle without struggling to do so.
Any difficulties experienced during this shoulder rotation exercise may indicate that an underlying problem persists in your shoulders.
Once a golfer has an understanding of how their shoulders are intended to rotate during a golf swing, desired results will be achieved much easier.
With a clear idea of how this rotation must be conducted in play, a golfer can determine whether they are simply miscalculating their swing or have a serious problem with the range of motion in their shoulders.
Either way, golfers are able to then take corrective action towards the rotation of their shoulders and apply these adjustments to their overall golf swing.
Some golfers may yet to understand the huge impact their body rotation has on producing powerful and precise golf swings.
Golf instructors lightly touch on how and why body rotation adjustments have such a huge influence on golf swings, without offering much in actionable advice.
In today’s article, you will find several golf tips from coaches with PGA tour experience and be able to apply their proven advice the next time you pick up a golf club.
First, it must be said that body rotation alone does not make or break any golfer’s swing.
Understanding and adjusting each individual element of a golf swing will vastly improve or diminish results produced on the course.
But, rotation contributes in a huge way to the overall results of a golf swing, good or bad.
Narrowing or widening your body’s movements during a swing will determine the likelihood of hitting a powerful, precise shot - which will take practice and gradual adjustment.
PGA Tour pros do not place a high priority on their turns by accident.
Understanding and harnessing these rotation techniques often make the difference between a champion and decent golfer.
Unlike many sports, the size of the player in golf does not dictate their ability to generate power and strength.
Countless PGA Tour pros of small stature use effective body rotation as a means to generate the powerful swings that most would associate with men of larger frames.
Driving the golf ball huge distances has little to do with the body weight, height, or muscle mass a golfer has been blessed with or crafted in a gym.
Understanding and controlling our body’s movements throughout the golf swing undoubtedly surpasses the results that a golfer would aim to achieve solely on their physical fitness or stature alone.
In this sense, body rotation can be considered a secret weapon for many golfers, as an opponent cannot visually size up a player’s ability to shift and balance their bodies through their physical appearance.
At the core of every effective golf swing, properly managed body rotation exists as the foundation.
For golfers that are interested in increasing speed during their golf swings, they need not look any further than how accurately they’re managing their body rotation.
It could be suggested that speed during a golf swing rests solely on “the shoulders” of the golfer (pun very much intended).
Ensuring your back faces the target on the top of the swing, a calculated shoulder turn must be produced while taking the backswing.
This can be easy for some players to achieve while other golfers may need to put in extra effort if they’re less flexible.
Making your lower body the target of attention after the backswing, control will be shifted to the hips immediately, rotating the lower body directly into the target.
When these rotations are done correctly, expect to see an intense increase in overall swing speed as a result.
As with anything on the golf course, sometimes golfers can overdo a specific technique or maneuver to their own detriment.
While managing the rotation of our bodies through the swing, we must maintain our balance throughout the entire exercise.
Could you imagine falling on your back or missing the golf ball completely simply because you turned your body off balance?
No one wants to experience this.
As with any aspect of a good golf game, almost every element of great golfing depends on a player’s balance in order to achieve the intended results.
While properly managing the calculated rotations our shoulders and hips make during our golf swings has a high impact over our game, it cannot be the only element we focus on.
As found in our program and the thousands of hours of video we distribute freely on YouTube and other social streams, several elements must be fine tuned by golfers in order to enjoy favorable results.
Like the old breakfast cereal commercials, body rotation acts only as part of a balanced golfer.
So, the next time you pick up a club and head to the course or driving range, be mindful of how your shoulders and hips contribute or detract from your golf swing.
Most golfers misunderstand the importance of pelvic control during their golf swings.
The misconception that the pelvis plays no role, good or bad, during our swings has led many players to experience less than stellar performances at the tee.
The following swing tips focus on how controlling the pelvis during golf swings impacts our overall performance, as well as how pelvic control relates to hand speed.
Starting with the club shaft parallel to the ground, commonly known as the P6 position, we begin to lean our pelvis slightly back before taking our first parallel.
Keeping our pelvis and chest parallel with each other, we then extend our knees up and out.
Most golfers will pull down too fast, as a lack of control finds their hands going six times faster than their bodies, resulting in a botched golf swing.
We can prevent the opening of our swing by ensuring we don’t extend up early with our pelvis or knees. Keeping this in check will result in a tighter overall golf swing.
Our goal during this exercise focuses on keeping the pelvis level during our entire swing, which fosters the ultimate control over our bodies and speed.
We first set up our club at post-impact to begin this swing exercise.
While working with the club flipped, we begin a swing rehearsal over the ball, while bending slightly to the right.
Most golfers naturally find they’re not using their pelvis at all during their swing setup.
Here at GG SwingTips Golf, we educate golfers in the process of kicking their pelvis upward during their swings, using an optimal pivot to their advantage throughout.
Emulating the movements and motion displayed during this drill will assist in fine-tuning pelvic rotations during your golf swing in any situation on the course.
Considered to many as an unconventional exercise, tossing around the golf ball basket at the range perfectly illustrates the results of pelvic rotation control, good or bad.
Effective control over our pelvis during the golf swing produces natural hip movement, allowing the arms to easily throw, as commonly found in popular exercises performed with medicine balls.
This may not be the most exciting topic to cover through instructional videos or articles like this, but the importance of proper pelvic rotation should not be ignored by anyone on the golf course.
Understanding how the quick reversal of pelvic positions in relation to our hips will enable you to generate power in your swing from a source you’ve most likely been neglecting.
As golfer’s age, pelvic control can be lost as our muscles weaken.
Becoming more aware of how our pelvis works in relation to our golf swings will allow even seasoned veterans to harness the energy found in correcting the motion.
The vast majority of novice golfers, if not all, are taking their shots off plane, which causes several problems for their entire golf swing.
Inconsistencies with a proper golf swing plane results in problematic shots, especially when engaged in actual game play on the course.
Correcting our swing plane doesn’t require a complete overhaul of our golf swing, and can be quite simple to achieve once we understand the basic mechanisms that need adjustment.
Lack of solid contact with the golf ball clearly indicates that a golfer has taken an ineffective swing plane during the shot, which needs adjusting in order to improve their game.
Beginners are able to correct their swing plane typically with little time and effort, as they’ve yet to develop any of the negative habits that plague more experienced golfers.
But, in order to fix a problem, we first must understand what we’re doing wrong during our golf swing.
As with any technique in golf, taking the correct swing plane requires adjustment and correction to a few key elements.
Achieving a productive swing plane requires that a golfer take the correct rotation, flexion, and elevation during their golf swing.
Most poorly executed shots are a result of inefficiencies in one or more of these motions that make up our golf swing.
The rotation we take during our golf swing relates to how the golf club moves in relation to our bodies, which provides intensity to the swing plane.
By testing our shoulder rotation at set up with the golf club in hand, it will become quite clear if we’re producing an accurate swing plane.
Ensuring that our rotation works with us during the golf swing rather than against, provides a key element needed to increase our swing plane’s effectiveness.
Raising the golf club with our shoulder, using only our right arm, we then allow our elbow to flex in order to observe the direction the club moves.
Once we’ve been able to determine that the golf club moves in a vertical direction, we have achieved the correct elevation needed to produce our desired swing plane.
Taking the golf swing without correcting our elevation may result in an off plane swing that takes the golf ball off target, resulting in a headache on the golf course.
With our hands on the golf club, rotating at the correct elevation we’ve previously established, the flection of the right elbow will provide the last element to our desired swing plane.
Crucial to establishing correct flection, golfers must not let their left arm cross their bodies too strongly, as doing so will cause the club to be trapped behind them, effectively jeopardizing their entire golf swing.
Building the proper flexion in our right elbow acts as the final ingredient to an amazing swing plane that creates the perfect environment for golf shots to drive and thrive down the course.
Now that we’ve identified the core areas of our swing plane that need attention, players can begin putting the drills from the video above into practice.
While not every novice golfer has a partner with advanced golfing experience or access to an instructor or coach, nearly everyone at the driving range or on the golf course can digest content from the internet.
We’ve learned through the drills above that our club must be taken backward on the appropriate path in order to achieve the correct swing plane.
Determining our swing plane can be very difficult to gauge during motion, so breaking down the process into half swings will assist in this process.
Often when practicing proper swing plane drills, golfers find value in placing a mirror in front of themselves or recording themselves to see how the club moves through the swing.
This assists in determining if our takeaway remains straight on the golf swing’s initial arc, while contributing little to no movement in our wrists.
During this process, our chest and shoulder muscles should be powering the vast majority of our golf swing.
Once we’ve worked into the downswing, dropping our hands an adequate amount will allow our golf club to remain on the correct swing plane without hitting the golf ball steeply.
As always, our downswing must begin with our legs in order to achieve our desired results.
Perfecting the tilt found in our spine angle during golf swings often can make the difference between a picture perfect shot and missing our golf ball all together.
The most important thing to remember about your spine in regards to golf, focuses on the fact that how you tilt your spine during your golf swing can vary significantly from the angle that any other golfer takes.
Determining the best angle for our spine to tilt during a golf swing can be done easily with the assistance of our golf club.
First, grip the golf club as you would when preparing for your swing, extending your arms forward with the handle of the golf club parallel with your waistline.
Focus your eyes downward towards your feet, then bend your knees until they’ve completely obstructed your view of your feet.
Tilting your body downward while keeping your spine straight, allow the golf club to rest slightly on the ground before stopping your tilt.
You can do this spine exercise with any club, with longer clubs obviously reaching the ground much sooner than shorter clubs.
As discussed in previous articles, golfers are encouraged to never move their heads up or down during their golf swing.
While this may be good advice for players to follow, the true issue exists in adjusting our spine tilt during our swing, with head movement being only a byproduct of those adjustments.
When we raise our spine, our heads will also move upward, causing the golfer to appear to be looking upward.
An instructor or friend will be able to let you know if you exhibit any odd upward movements in your head while performing your golf swing routine.
Any movements as described above will be a clear sign that the angle of your spine has become unstable during your golf swing, causing your spine tilt to shift and negatively impact the overall result of your shot.
Maintaining a level balance with our head signals that our angle of spine tilt has been stabilized throughout the swing and should produce the golf shot we intend to hit.
Depending on the area of the golf course that you’re currently playing on, the tilt in your spine angle may change considerably.
When the golf course slopes down and away, expect to experience an increase in the amount of tilt in order to reach the ball as you normally would in flat areas of play.
When the ball sits above our footing position, scaling back the amount of tilt we inject into our spine angle will prevent us from hitting behind the ball.
Tilting our spine further away from the intended target will send downward shots flying much higher, while reducing our tilt can assist a golfer when swinging against a strong oncoming wind.
Many golfers are unfamiliar with how important the angle of the spine works in relation to their golf swing, so expecting players to recognize the different types of spine tilt can be asking a lot.
Our spines tilt in 2 distinct directions, the first being towards our target line and the second being away from our intended target.
Tilting our spine away from the intended target gives us an opportunity to lean our tailbone towards our instep closest to our foot on the target side.
How our bodies bend forward during golf swings plays crucial to the success of the resulting shot.
The main thing to establish during this process focuses on how much bend we take while angling our spines pre and post golf swing.
Beginners can be guilty of over extending their spine, which will result in missed shots, embarrassment and sometimes injury.
We suggest that golfers aim to position their spine no more than 25 degrees off vertical, in order to ensure their swings are strengthened rather than weakened.
This number obviously can be played with, as golfers in varying heights will find success at differing degrees of spine tilt.
If your spine has the correct amount of forward tilt, knees, shoulders and feet should all be symmetrically aligned vertically.
Tilting our spine forward beyond this amount will place our shoulders far out front, often exceeding the position taken by our knees.
Too much bend in our spines will strain our lower back, causing our bodies to automatically respond, which will send our golf swing off posture and likely ruin our shot.
Overdoing the angle of your spine during any golf swing will result in diminishing power and taking the shot off course from our desired flight path.
Our posture at swing address should be the most consistent, accurate component of our golf swing, as it plays possibly the most crucial role in the overall composition.
Establishing great golf swing posture does not depend solely on the athletic ability of the golfer, as players with even the least natural ability are just as able to perfect the foundation of their setup.
Treating our spines as the central structure that our golf swing revolves around, golfers understand that establishing a proper spine angle at address will ultimately carry our swing on a path to success, from backswing to the impact position.
The perfect posture for golf swings will vary from golfer to golfer, as such many players will be naturally better than others at specific postures and angles.
Experimenting with a variety of different golf swing stances and postures will assist players in determining which angle works best for their body type.
The majority of the power in our golf swing can be credited to the core muscle group in our body.
Having a lack of strength in this muscle group can often be the source of poorly composed posture during a golf swing.
Many golfers who find weakness in their core muscles may implement simple exercises that target this region into their existing fitness routines, which provides an increase in strength and control over their postural performance on the golf course.
Correcting poorly composed posture at swing address does not require a complete overhaul of our golf game, as such corrections can be made through a simple 3 part drill.
First, with your golf club extended outward in front of your belly button, straighten your legs and arms.
With your shoulders tilted backward and chest projected outward, ensure that the head of the club parallels the middle of your chest.
Next, maneuver your body forward, tilting only your hips.
Avoid rounding out your lower back by keeping it flattened out, which should give the sensation of pushing your buttocks backwards.
Lastly, give a slight flex to your knees as you lower your golf club onto the turf behind the golf ball.
This golf posture drill works as a great utility for golfers to determine how well they’ve aligned their setup at address, while ensuring that our lower back avoids rounding out during our golf swing.
Even after working through the quick 3 point swing posture exercise described above, many golfers still find that their spines take an incorrect angle during play.
A common area that many beginners struggle to master, correcting our spine angle does not require much outside of routine focused practice on the region.
No matter how much a golf coach or instructor may shout at their golfer about their slumpy golf swing, in many cases the natural motion of their body causes such malfunction rather than disobedience to instruction.
Many novice players new to golfing have zero concept regarding how a proper spine angle should feel during a golf swing, as well as how to determine if their lower back feels flat or rounded.
An easy golf lesson for beginners or veterans that may be losing posture starts by standing up straight with the golf club pressed against their belly button, chin and nose.
Then, bending forward only from the hips, ensure that the golf club remains glued to the 3 established points of contact.
If the player finds that the golf club has veered away from any of the 3 established contact points, this serves as an indicator that their shoulders are slumping or lower back has rounded out rather than remain flattened.
Once a golfer can successfully perform the elements described in this golf lesson, they can be more confident that the spine angle and posture they take during a golf swing works to their benefit.
As can be expected, there are many clubs in a golfer’s bag that will require slight adjustments in swing posture, by working back through the tips advised in this article.
Golfers must be mindful of the amount of width they place between their feet, while ensuring that their toes take on a neutral position in most cases.
Keeping our chest and chin upward with our tailbone back, most adjustments based on club choice will be slight and deviate very little from the core posture established during the described lessons on this page.
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