Golf Basics – Learn To Turn
One of the biggest challenges for beginning golfers and an area of constant attention for low handicap golfers as well as professionals is consistency in their swing. For someone just beginning to learn and apply the mechanics of the golf swing, one of the most important concepts to get on the right track with right from the get-go is to learn that the golf swing is a rotation of the shoulders and the hips not the forearms and hands. In short, when learning the basic golf swing, learn to turn. One very simple drill you can perform to reinforce and to illustrate this concept is to place a golf ball (or any similar object that you can focus on) on the floor in front of you. Stand over the ball as you would normally properly address the ball. With a slight bend in the waist and knees, and with a flat back.
Take your left hand and place it on your right shoulder and do the same with your right hand on your left shoulder. In other words, fold your arms across your chest. From this position emulate your take-away from the ball. It is important to keep your posture in tact and your chin slightly up. This allows your left shoulder (assuming a right handed golf swing) to pass slightly under your chin.
The key while doing this is to keep your head still and your eyes focused on the ball on the floor in front of you. Ultimately, you’ll want to make a full shoulder rotation that completes with your upper back approaching a point where it is actually pointing toward the target. Your hips (bellybutton) should achieve an angle of about half as much. As you reach your full turn, again be mindful that your head stays still and you are still comfortably seeing the golf ball. At the height of your turn we want to feel our weight braced against the instep of our right foot. Not rolled over the outside edge of the right foot. Not rolled over the top of the right foot allowing the right hip to get outside of the line of our right leg. The weight distribution at your fullest part should be about 85% on the inside of the right foot. Do not allow yourself to ‘reverse pivot’ when you turn. By that I mean, as you turn you don’t want to dip your left shoulder and head and accomplish your turn by dipping and ending up with the majority of your weight on your left foot at full turn instead of your right.
Hence reversing the intended weight distribution. As you begin to release your turn you should do so with your hips and shoulders. Again keeping your aforementioned posture in tact. As your hip and shoulder initiate the return sequence, your weight will move in the same fashion proportionally from your right to your left side. Allow your hips and shoulders to pass through the original address position with your right should now passing slightly under your chin much as your left shoulder did on the takeaway. All the while keeping your focus on the golf ball you placed on the floor at address. Upon finish your weight will now have moved from the right to the left side. Your hips and bellybutton should finish facing your intended target with your head and eyes not leaving their focus on the ball until they are naturally pulled up and toward your target by the finish.