* Please don’t hit “down” on the ball, there isn’t any downward force in a golf swing!
* Please don’t hit the ball with a “square face” you must not try or think of such non-sense. The square face at impact is irrelevant. It’s really not that important.
* Your hand eye coordination and your athleticism are hurting your golf swing and your game (In the beginning).
* Golf is a game of control distance; not “MAX OUT” distance. The only way to control distance consistently is to understand how to control your body rotational speed.
“An engine with a lot of horsepower but without a transmission is useless!”
Please Don’t “Turn Your Shoulders”
When playing golf and swinging the golf club, one will assuredly turn and move his or her body. More often than not, the method of turning the body is misunderstood and not executed properly. The beginning of the golf swing is referred to as the “back swing” or “take away”. Using the terms “turn your shoulders” and “shoulder turn” are very misleading and incorrect, when teaching golf, and set up many bad habits that are difficult to undue. The notion of turning the shoulders is not beneficial to beginners or even amateurs who have been playing for a while. This verbiage will cause players to comprehend and execute the back swing movement incorrectly by using the wrong muscles. When the principle focus of the golf swing is the shoulder turn, as opposed to turning the core, many problems will ensue. Mistakenly focusing on “turning the shoulders,” will create a lack of power, cause unnecessary tension, and lead to incorrect sequencing of the downswing. I will discuss the negative effects of this overused terminology and misdirected focus, along with the ways to avoid this swing killer, so that you can create a killer swing.
The correct body rotation is a must for a good golf swing. The power of the golf swing needs to come from your core, namely the abdominal muscles and oblique. When you are coiling or loading on the back swing, you must engage the proper muscles. The rotation of the upper torso should not involve any of the muscles of your shoulders (front and back deltoid muscles and trapezius muscles). The shoulders are meant to shift, rise and turn both arms 360 degrees. If you are turning your shoulders, you are no longer engaging the core muscles, hence you are not creating power for the downswing. To correctly turn the upper torso, a good mental picture would be to have the student focus on the abdominal muscles and oblique. Another beneficial image would be to have the student focus on the rib cage area and focus on turning the “block” form rib cage up. By letting go of the “shoulder turn,” and focusing on the core, the player will be able to unleash the proper amount of power.
Countless golf instruction articles and videos address the issue of tension. A common refrain is, “tension kills the swing.” Truthfully, if you are turning your shoulders, you will unknowingly create unnecessary tension in your swing. By asking the player to turn his or her shoulders, they end up either pulling, shifting or raising their shoulders, which creates unnecessary tension. This is also the reason that many golfers have a difficult time keeping their head still during the back swing. Because of this incorrect tension, the swing tempo will be completely off. Because deltoids and trapezius are fast twitch muscles, they will always move much faster than your core muscles, which are slow twitch muscles. If you are “turning the shoulders and arms,” this unnecessary tension will not allow the player to slow down and achieve the desired back and top swing.
The back swing and the top of the swing is all about creating the PROPER tension, adequate power, and correct swing path. The downswing must be executed using the proper sequence. The down swing starts with the weight shift (the initiator), then the power (the core), next the upper torso follows and lastly the arms rotate and release. By following this order, the swing creates centrifugal force making the club heavier. However if you have unnecessary tension and shoulder movement above the chest line, this will minimize the centrifugal force and cause the player to decelerate on the downswing. If the focus is on turning the shoulders, the fast twitch muscle tension will incorrectly release first and the results are detrimental to the proper swing. The arms will go before the body, which will most certainly minimize the core power and centrifugal force. The downswing sequence is out of sync and will lack power and results will be inconsistent.
In conclusion, to create more power, more club head speed, proper sequencing, and consistently accurate results, the player must start the back swing by engaging the core (the power). The shoulders are not the power source of the swing. When teaching golf it is imperative to use proper terminology and avoid the use of the terms “turn your shoulders” and “shoulder turn.” During lessons, usage of proper terms is very important, because they set a proper understanding of the swing and a solid foundation for the student. Practice makes permanent, and it is the job of the golf instructor to ensure that the student is practicing properly. The terms “turn your core” and “core turn” should be at the core of the teaching philosophy. When you turn and use the core muscles, the upper torso and shoulders are sure to follow.
Should My Shoulders Turn at All?
Yes, your shoulders should turn, but not in the way most people think that they should turn when playing golf. First let’s define what muscles make the shoulders turn. The muscles required are the deltoids (front, side and rear), trapezius and pectoralis major. All of these muscles make up the rotator cuff. Essentially, when you turn your shoulders, you are simply turning your arms in a circular fashion (360 degrees).
In truth, this movement is very important for golf, but the execution is often incorrect. Many golfers have heard the terms “turn your hands over” and “turn your arms over.” These terms are correct in some ways. But one must understand what it means to completely turn your arms and hands. The rotator cuff has to turn and be activated throughout the entire turn.
During a golf swing, your body is rotating though the impact zone. All of the rotating mechanisms have to be connected and synchronized. If the rotator cuff isn’t properly engaged and turning, there will be disconnect in the rotational movement of the body during the down swing. This will undoubtedly cause a loss of club head speed and a lack of consistency in contact.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding any of the information that you’ve read on LSGolf website.