Turn Baby Turn

How many times during a round of golf have you hit a shot and said, “Wow, that felt nice,” or do you find yourself saying more often then not, “get down, kick left, spin!”? If you find yourself saying the second more then the first, this article is for you.

The golf swing is a turning motion of momentum and power. It all starts with a good address position and takeaway. As the back swing starts, so does rotation with the shoulders, arms and spine, all working together. The shoulders and arms work together for tour professionals to start the back swing simultaneously, and so should your swing.

The amateur often separates their arms from their body in the back swing, creating a small turn with the upper body and arms that are forced to go skyward. The club may actually pass parallel in the backswing, but that is because of the arms, not necessarily from solid upper body rotation mechanics. This leads to a poor downswing path and promotes an inconsistent impact pattern.

The average amateur has anywhere from 50-80 degrees of upper body rotation (commonly referred to as shoulder turn); the tour professional has an average 89 degrees with a five iron. So why do you think they hit it further, straighter, and more consistently? TURN BABY, TURN!

If your backswing feels out of rhythm, slow or fast, out of balance or just awkward, it is correlated to your rotation in the backswing with your arms and upper body. They are out of rhythm and they need to work together! To make sure that your shoulders and arms are starting the swing together, use this simple drill.

Place a ball (soccer ball to basket ball size) between your arms just above the elbow joints; bring your hands together palms facing, and form your normal address posture. The ball should just touch your chest. If it touches your stomach, move the ball upward toward your chin.
Now, start your backswing. Feel the connection between your hands, arms, shoulders and upper body. Turn until you have rotated to the spot in picture two. Then, return to picture one and repeat four times.
If you have having difficulty accomplishing picture two, place your rear against a wall, assume picture one, and turn back about half way. You can still feel the connection between your arms and upper body!

Now you have started your back swing like a tour pro and have a much better chance for solid contact. After doing this drill, duplicate it in your swing as closely as possible. Feel the connection, turn your upper body, and swing confidently.

Thomas Gibbs is a PGA Teaching Professional at GolfTEC in Tucson at 4439 N. Oracle Road, inside of Golfsmith. He is also a Titleist Performance Institute Certified Golf Fitness and Junior Instructor. He can be reached at 520-887-4653 or Tom.gibbs@golftec.comTom.gibbs@golftec.com

Copyright © Go Golf Arizona