Shoulder position golf swing

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Shoulder position golf swing

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Whenever somebody sets up to the golf ball, they are picking out a target. They are aiming in the right direction. And I would often take a view, either through a video camera or even just personally standing right behind the golfer. Yes, at a safe distance away from the golfer, so I am not going to get hit. So we often see that shoulder alignment will differ between a wedge and a driver due to ball position making a difference in the way somebody stands.

And if there's ever an issue with their shoulder alignment, it's a very difficult thing for me to describe. Because I say to somebody, oh you are standing open with the shoulders. So here's a way that I would check their shoulder alignment, and certainly a way that I would encourage you to employ a mate or you know if you are having golf lessons, ask the pro to check.

But even if you're not having golf lessons and you just want a mate to check, this is the way I would get you to do it.

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You take two training sticks, two alignment sticks or even just two long golf clubs, two long irons. And as the person sets up to the ball, the first club or stick goes down on their toe line. Then you get them to take their normal stance and address position again.

And then I as a professional would walk in from the back here or one of your playing partners walks in from the back very carefully places the club over your shoulders. Just make sure you communicate with each other to make sure you are not going to get hit with this person taking a backswing.

So I would walk in and I would hold the stick here. Then I would ask the golfer to back away from the stick. And they could then come and have a look. And they would probably walk around the back here, and would have a stick in the air and a stick on the ground. So as the golfer sets up to the ball you approach them from the back here. You ask them to hold the golf club over their shoulders. And then they would walk away and you check that it's on line.

And then maybe take it in turns so you do it to them first, check their shoulder alignment. And then vice versa they can come in and help you out. And if you are taking golf lessons, just ask the professional to check your shoulder alignment particularly as you move through the different clubs. And I think using that sort of partner drill there where you help each other out is a great way of checking shoulder alignment.

Because like I suggested it's a difficult thing to check on your own, but it's a very important thing to check in your own setup.I have talked about the position of your right shoulder and the spine angle at address from time to time. It's very important to understand those positions for fixing your slice and consistently hitting straighter shots.

Most amateurs have their right shoulder too high at address. Their shoulders are level with the ground when they set up to the ball.

The Golf Fix: The role of the trail shoulder

But in golf, your right hand goes lower than your left when gripping the club. So your right shoulder should be lower than your left as well.

However, it might feel unnatural to lower your right shoulder. You won't have your right shoulder lower than left in your usual life. I think that's why most golfers have their shoulders level with the ground when they set up. But unfortunately, this is causing them lots of trouble. If you set up to the ball without lowering your right shoulder, your right shoulder and your right arms moves a bit toward the ball at address.

shoulder position golf swing

This means your shoulders are open to the target. But by moving your right shoulder and your right arm forward, you can set up to the ball without lowering your right shoulder. With the open shoulder line, you are going to hit a slice. So you are going to have to do something to close the face during the downswing. In this process, you will lose most of your power.

So even if you are successful at closing the clubface, you won't hit it very far at all. So how much should you lower your right shoulder? The answer is as much as you lower your right hand when taking your grip.

shoulder position golf swing

So golfers with a ten finger grip should lower their right shoulder a bit more than golfers with overlap grip. Sean Fister, who won numerous World Long Drive Championship, said your right shoulder should be lower than your left by about 3 inches. As you lower your right shoulder, your spine should also be tilted away from the target at address.

Even if you lower your right shoulder correctly, your shoulders will be open to the target if your spine is not tilted away from the target. The Spine Angle Another important point to check your address is your spine angle.

So always remember to lower your right shoulder and tilt your spine away from the target. Related Posts.Developing a consistent swing is the goal of most of those who take up the game of golf. After hitting a couple of solid shots, you may become obsessed with the game and will work on improving your swing almost any chance you get.

For right-handed golfers, the role of the left shoulder cannot be overstated in developing a repeatable swing. For the left-handed golfer, it's the right shoulder that plays the crucial role. If you're one of the many golfers who starts a swing by pulling back on their club with their left shoulder; take note.

The left shoulder is heavily involved in the backswing, but it should not be the initial move -- the first part of the body to move should be your hips. Turn your hips to the rear of the tee box, then draw the club back with your left shoulder. Make sure your hands reach shoulder height when you reach the top of your backswing. After you have completed your backswing, it's time to make your move into the ball.

Once again, the left shoulder plays a vital role.

shoulder position golf swing

However, your initial move is back to and through the ball with your hips -- then driving into the ball with your left shoulder. After you rotate your hips to the target, use your left shoulder to drive into the ball to create maximum power on your swing. If you're a new golfer and high-handicap golfer, you're probably anxious to see the results of your shot immediately after contact. As a result, you stop your swing and don't follow through all the way. You'll stop before your hands have gotten to hip level; this costs distance and accuracy.

To get the most out of your follow-through, keep your head down and keep driving and turning your shoulder. Your hands should be at shoulder height.

If you are stopping before you get to that spot, you are not getting maximum rotation from your left shoulder. If you tend to slice the ball off the tee or your tee shots don't give you the distance that you desire, check the distance between your chin and your left shoulder.

As you make your turn on the backswing, your left shoulder will be almost directly under your chin. At that point, you will probably move your upper body and lunge toward the ball; that is the wrong move. Instead of using your upper body, just rotate your left shoulder into the ball and try to get back the same distance between your chin and left shoulder that you had at your set-up.

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since By: Steve Silverman. Published: 16 November, More Articles. Home Recreation Golf. References Golf Tips: Turnstyle. About the Author.There's been some confusion when we use the term "shoulder elevation" in relation to the golf swing. One student in particular explained that he suffered from getting the club very deep, very early in his golf swing. He said he was trying to keep his arms very passive, but the club still kept getting stuck way behind him very early in the golf swing.

This is a common thing.

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Just like anything in life, too much of a good thing is not very productive for us. The issue here is that keeping the arms pinned to the body is not what we mean by "passive arms. If you continue to pull the club around, it ends up very flat and laid off, with your arms trapped way behind your body. That's Scenario Number 1. The second scenario, which is the more common of the two in our online lessons, is when you get the club too far inside. The club gets lifted late in the backswing and gets up across the line.

It's a terrible position to try to recover from, completely disengaged from the core and the rest of the body. From this position you're not going to be able to use any of the weight transfer lessons because you're completely disconnected from your lower body. The only force of movement is going to come from the top.

We talk a lot about "passive arms," but obviously that doesn't mean the arms have no role to play in the golf swing. They do remain passive, but what we mean by remaining passive is simply that you never actively move your arms in a horizontal direction around your body. Even when you're turning your body, you want to keep your arms from working across your chest and your core, getting trapped way behind you.

The role of the arms in the golf swing is to stay directly in front of the body throughout the golf swing. Let's start with what it's not. Shoulder elevation is not a shrugging motion. You're not lifting your shoulders or your shoulder blades.

Shoulder elevation refers to raising your arms in a vertical plane, from belt-buckle height to the bottom of the chest.What your shoulders do in the golf swing is of utmost importance in making consistent and solid contact with the ball.

If you slice the ball, this understanding of the job of the shoulders may help you. If I was standing straight up and down, and turned my shoulders and hips, they turn on horizontal plane.

Proper Shoulder Movement in a Golf Swing

However, in a golf swing, your are bent from your hips, so your hips and shoulders are no longer horizontal with the ground. From you address position, your shoulders rotate on the same plane throughout your swing. You will see that on that backswing your front shoulder the one closet to the target is under your chin, at impact both your shoulders are square at the ball, and in the follow through your back shoulder is under your chin and staying under until after impact — SEE PIC BELOW.

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Your shoulders turn on a fixed axis which is your spine. Its like the letter T, not straight up and down but tilted over. The top of the letter T are your shoulders. The T line going down is your spine. Notice Henrik Stenson on the left keeps his shoulders turning on the same angle he had at address and backswing, and you can see here how he has kept his shoulders turning on that consistent plane into his follow through.

Any questions, you are free to please contact me! View all posts by: schiavettagolf. What your shoulders MUST do in your golf swing. Written by schiavettagolf View all posts by: schiavettagolf. Calendar of Events. Find Us On Facebook.Modern swing theory focuses largely on the backswing rotation of the shoulders relative to the hips.

The Jim McCleanmeasures the difference in degrees between the shoulder turn and hip turn at the top of the swing. If the shoulders over-rotate when starting down, the X-Factor diminishes too quickly, leaking much of your stored energy. This typically happens when the golfer casts the club from the top, initiating the downswing with the upper body instead of the lower body. In a properly sequenced swing, the hips lead by rotating around to the left and clearing the way for the shoulders, arms and club.

At impact, the hips should point left of target with the shoulders square to the target line. The shoulders closed method is akin to a baseball player staying back and trying to drive a pitch to the opposite field. The effect is similar, too, as your swing will follow an inside-to-out path into the ball — necessary to generate maximum power and hit a draw right-to-left shot for a right-hander. Otherwise, your arms will take over the downswing and throw everything out of whack. The shoulders are one of the parts of the body that play an integral role in the success or failure of your golf swing.

When you use your shoulders properly, they serve as an opportunity to create both power and consistency in your swing — and every golfer could use more of those two items. However, failing to take advantage of your shoulders means that you will be making a swing using mostly your arms, which can lead to a variety of problems. The main role of the shoulders during the golf swing is rotation. They can serve as the main engine of your golf swing — along with your hips — to turn the club back and through.

Good golf swings are all about getting enough rotation to build speed and accelerate the club into impact. Golf is a rotational game, and your shoulders are a big part of how you can achieve that necessary rotation. In addition to rotating back and through, your shoulders also help set the target line at address.

By getting your golf shoulders at address into just the right position — which is parallel to the target line itself — you should have a far easier time starting your shots right at the target you have picked out.

If you were to set up with your shoulders either open or closed to the target line, you will have to make some kind of adjustment later in the swing to compensate for that mistake. The fewer adjustments that need to be made in your swing, the better — so you will want to set up square right from the start.

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Another reason that paying attention to your shoulders can benefit your swing is because they are relatively simple to move compared to your arms. If you pay more attention to your arms during the swing, your mind could become overwhelmed since there are so many different paths that they can take during the backswing and downswing. By keeping your mind trained on the motion of your shoulders, the swing suddenly seems more simple and easier to complete properly. Clearing your mind is always a good thing on the golf course, and a focus on shoulder rotation can help you accomplish just that.

More power is something that just about every golfer has on their wish list, and that wish can come true by simply unlocking the power of your shoulders within the swing. Unleash your shoulders using the proper technique and the ball should start to fly like never before.

Please note that everything written below is based on a right handed golfer. Should you happen to play left handed, make sure that you reverse the instructions so that they apply correctly to your own swing.

Proper Shoulder & Hip Rotation in the Golf Swing

The Two Important Squares. Being square is almost always a good thing in golf, because it gets you lined up in the right direction and can simplify your swing. Or, when talking about the club face at impact, it is actually what sends the ball toward the target. In other words, square is something you should always be striving to achieve. As it relates to your shoulders, there are two squares that you should be looking for. The first is being square with your golf shoulders at address.

Being square with your shoulders at address means that they are parallel to the target line that you have picked out for the shot. Hopefully, your feet are set up properly on this line as well, so that everything is working together nicely. By putting in some practice time on learning how to build a good address position, you should be able to find square at address with your shoulders more often than not. The other square to pay attention to occurs at impact.Golf is a challenging sport because it requires you to move your body and golf club in coordination with one another.

Getting your shoulders to move properly is a big part of moving your body properly. When you get your shoulders in the proper position, you'll find it much easier to swing the club properly. Set up to the ball with your right shoulder slightly lower than the left, creating a slight tilt up in your shoulders.

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Swing the club back and rotate your shoulders. As you rotate your shoulders, your left shoulder should rotate down slightly. Rotate your shoulders 90 degrees to complete your backswing.

Your left shoulder should be under your chin at the top of the backswing.


Start your downswing with your left shoulder moving toward the target and moving slightly upward. Rotate your shoulders back to the target as the club is coming down. At impact, your right shoulder should be down and your left shoulder up. This position is similar to your setup position. Continue to swing through and let your right shoulder go under your chin and rotate toward the target. Finish your swing with your chest facing the target and your right shoulder slightly lower than the left.

John Wagner is a certified golf instructor and professional golfer with more than 10 years of experience. A full shoulder turn is critical to achieving maximum distance. About the Author. Related Content. The Proper Golf Swing. Come Inside on the Golf Swing.

Cure an Inside-to-Out Golf Swing. Release the Club in a Golf Swing. More Golf Articles. Hit a Draw Golf Swing. Basic Golf Swing Techniques. Hit the Ball Low in Golf.

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