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The Shoulder Turn
April 22, 2009 - Steve Anderson
If there's one thing you can do in your golf swing to add distance, accuracy and consistency to your golf shots it would be to have a full, proper shoulder turn on your backswing.
In my 28 years as an instructor I'd say 75% of amateur players don't quite get their shoulders turning as they should and this causes many of the poor shots they encounter during their round.
For a right handed golfer, make sure you turn your shoulders at least 90 degrees during your backswing (Tiger turns about 130 degrees) and that you get your left shoulders 3 or 4 inches behind the ball too. Many golfers turn their shoulders but don't get the body/left shoulder behind the ball. Some golfers sway the upper body and shoulders back behind the ball but don't turn. You have to do both. A good swing thought is to turn your left shoulders back to it almost lines up with your right knee. Even if you can't actually get it that far back atleast trying to will enhance your shoulder turn. The more you turn your shoulders the more power you'll have. Turning the shoulders, chest and torso get the big, heavy parts of your body involved which again will bring your more distance. If you don't turn your shoulders then it's likely that you're only swing back with your arms. Since your arms are smaller and lighter than your body you'll have little to no power and will lost a lot of distance. Swinging with your arms will also lead to inconsistency as the arms tend to swing differently from one swing to the next, they're simply too hard to control.
With my own students at River Hall I tell them I don't expect them to turn as much as Tiger or any other tour pro but they can all turn farther than they are. I have two students that are in their 80's and they can do it so you can too.
Good luck and enjoy the big drives!
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