One of the recurring trends I keep seeing in my online golf swing lessons in my review groups, is the shoulders turning really flat during the takeaway. And a lot of it happens from being right side dominant at address, where your shoulders are too level to begin with. And then a lot of it comes from just moving from the left side, which I've talked about a ton. When you push from the left side during the takeaway, it tends to not only move your head off the ball, but you tend to rotate too flat.
So, how do we know, what's a good drill, to help us figure out what plane our shoulders should rotate on during the backswing? I'm glad you asked, because I have a simple drill for you.
Take a club, put it across your chest, up at your shoulders, or across your shoulder sockets up here so that the butt of the club is on your left shoulder, sticking out here. So you want that to stick out further. As you set up at address, when you go back, that club should be pointing down at the ground. Now, not at the ball, that's pretty steep, but outside the ball a little bit is where we want to be. From down the line it's going to look like this.
Now, this is a steeper shoulder plan than this, obviously, right? So how do we know what angle that plane should be at, because this is what we tend to do a lot, especially if you push from the left side. Now, look at this club, it's parallel to the ground. How's that going to work with my body? Now my arm's on one plane, my shoulder's on another plane, my spine's on one plane, everything's off plane. And I've got to make a bunch of compensations to get back to in to a proper impact position.
So how do we know how steep they should be? Well, our spine angle is going to dictate that. Because our shoulders should always rotate perpendicular to our spine. So imagine a T formed by my spine and my shoulders. That's a T, right? This T should never change during the backswing. You should always continue to rotate perpendicular to my spine.
So what that would look like if I did it incorrectly, standing straight up, is right now, if I turn like this, that's good. But my spine is vertical to the ground, so it's not how we'd set up to the ball, so I'm just doing this for demonstration purposes. So if I turned really flat, it would look like this. Now my left shoulder goes up really high, and you're like well, wait a second, as I'm standing here doing this right now, following along with you, I would never do this. I agree, it doesn't make any sense. So how come you do it when your golf club's on the ground, or the ball's on the ground? Because this is what we see all the time. Now you know, because I've hinged forward, that club should point down to the ground, yet we see this all the time.
How does that happen? Good question. This drill will help you start to feel what's going on, because typically, when you start turning flat, you're pushing from the left side, and you're trying to lift your arms up in this weak, desperate attempt to feel some leverage in your swing. You want to rotate and get that shoulder pointing down. So for some of you, who are turning really flat, I will tell you, hey, you need to feel like your left shoulder points down toward the ground. But this drill is the best drill for that.
If you're practicing in front of a mirror, you should look in the mirror and say okay, there's my spine angle, I just need my shoulders to rotate perpendicular to that, I want to keep that T that I had when I was standing straight up, because this is really easy. But when we start getting in to a posture, things start getting really kind of wonky, and we start adding all these goofy moves that we're used to doing.
So if you're at home working on your golf swing, and working on just the core body rotation move, and the five step process, put a club across your shoulders and make sure that as you rotate back, and you look down the line at a mirror, that your shoulders match, are perpendicular to your spine angle.
-Dr. Jeffrey Broker, Assoc. Prof. in Biomechanics at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Former Senior Biomechanist for U.S. Olympics Committee
-Hub Orr - Happy PREMIUM MEMBER of RotarySwing.com
-Sam Jarman, PGA Golf Instructor in the UK