Great Article on Proper Golf Shoulder Turn

For inflexible and flexible golfers alike, finding the proper turn of the shoulders can be a little confusing or frustrating.  Many golfers over-rotate and/or breakdown their left side or just don’t know where their shoulders should be.  There are lots of faults golfers make when it comes to making a proper turn of the shoulders.

-Some golfers just swing with their arms and don’t rotate the shoulders at all or very little.
-Other players actually just tilt their shoulders.
-There are also recreational players (even good players) believe that 90 degrees is their absolute maximum turn, when the can actually load up more and are costing themselves lots of distance.
-And, there is always the people who think they can’t get to 90 degrees due to a lack of flexibility. So, they think physical limitations are what is holding their game back and/or keeps them from playing good golf.

If you are confused about shoulder turn, check out this article titled, “What is a Full Turn?” from the fairly-animated long-drive champion, Monte Scheinblum at GolfWRX.  Scheinblum is a highly credited golf instructor and seems to despise the PGA of America.   In the above article, he makes the process of finding your maximum shoulder turn very easy and gives beginner (& even seasoned golfers) an excellent test and/or reference point to help you find your current maximum turn for your golf swing.  It’s probably best to dismiss his ranting and ravings, but reading this article carefully may help you find your way to a great golf swing..

Scapula Stability in Golf Swing? Don’t Laugh….

Do you tend to overswing?  Do you practice swings look & feel great, yet it’s virtually impossible to fully sync up your swing at times over the ball (even after months on end of working on it)?  You may have found your problem and the solution right here in this article.

The phrase “Scapula Stability” isn’t a conversation that will be very interesting to a swing junkie or general golf.  However, it’s something that shouldn’t be discounted if you are serious about building a rock solid golf swing.

I just thought I would reply to this old topic since it may help some people and think it’s highly relevant….

I have personally struggled with continuing to overswing….also struggled with this after building a solid swing foundation and earning to strike the ball fairly well.

However, I also learned that I had absolutely zero scapula stability.  This made it nearly impossible to swing and not completely lose my angles at the top.  It also resulted in shoulder strain/impingment after a year of relentless practice/play.

After doing excises to stabilize my spine and the shoulder blades, I had to re-groove my “top of the backswing” position as well as my transitional move.  I am currently in the process of doing this now so that I can start building more coil and gradual upper body torque in my swing…   My hope is that I can forever avoid letting my hands fly behind my head making longer clubs nearly impossible to strike with any consistency (unless my timing is spot on).

Note: I was able to drop from a 17 to a 10 handicap in one year of hard focused practice even with my unstable shoulder blades and have become a better player in many facets of the game.  I have been told my practice swings look great by many as well.  But, over the ball, there is little tempo because I was using all feel with the hands to find where my swing ended.   Without scapula stability and shoulders that are completely connected to the core muscles, I now know that it’s nearly impossible to play consistent golf.

If you struggle with over-swinging and feel your swing is solid but still not stable (and u struggle with the driver and long clubs off the turf), I would highly suggest you check to make sure you are stable in your shoulders.  See a chiropractor for a treatment and you will know immediately within 24 hours whether you’ve battled with poor motor control just by the changes the treatment will provide.  If you do notice major changes, the chrio isn’t the end all fix all… on strengthening those areas.

If you work at a desk (where your arms often sit rested in front of you and shoulder tend to slouch), I would highly recommend working on postural movement changes and shoulder stability exercises.  Even if you already have a swing that you know is repeatable and will hold up for the long term, I still advise you to not overlook the importance of scapula stability (and pelvic control).  You can easily return from the winter one day to see your swing turn to mush and not know why.

Hope this helps someone!!

Videos & Links Related to Scapula Control & Stability in Golf:

Basics & Some Tips For Hitting Bunker Shots

Most golf courses that people play have all different types of sand.  The different types can be noticed by the “grain” and how deep (or full) the bunker is.  Most high end facilities will have real fine grain sand that is nice and fluffy and will have their bunkers filled deep. Unlike other places on the course you cannot test the surface before you actually hit a shot.

So, what’s the best approach to this?  It’s the intention of this article to help you identify what to look for.

When hitting from the beach, the first thing you want to pay attention is the kind of lie that you have; whether it’s plugged/sitting-upuphill/downhill.  Plugged lies are most commonly referred to as fried egg lies (or egg yolk lies).  The most important thing to focus on when hitting this type of bunker shot, is to make sure you dig your feet in so you can get under the ball. A lot of players do this but what they forget is the more you dig yourself in the more you have to choke up on the club to level out the swing plane.  Therefore, if you dig in a full two inches, you’ll want to choke up on the club a full two inches.

The hinge (or wrist cocking) in the bunker is different than what a lot of people are used to because the proper bunker you need to break your wrists earlier to make sure you come in steeper than a normal swing (taking sand first).  Here is a good drill to use (but only when hitting from a practice bunker), With the butt end of your club, draw a line in the sand an inch or two behind the ball.  This will help remind you to hit behind the ball (allowing the club to get under it) in order to let the sand take it out.

Longer bunker shots call for more of ball first then sand first (hitting less behind). But this is also one of the more difficult shots in golf. For any shots that require more than 50 yards of flight out of a bunker, you should try and pick it clean as if you are on a tight lie.

Some Helpful Things To Remember:

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  • The more you dig, the lower you should grip down (or choke up) on the club.
  • Pay attention to the lie and make sure you hit behind the ball on green-side bunker shots.
  • If the course has a practice bunker, hit some shots drawing different lines to adjust the ball flight.
    If the practice bunker options is available, it’s a good idea to make use of it and get a feel for the sand before hitting the course.

Shotmaking & Approach Pre-Shot Routine

The ability to have every shot in your bag is what every golfer thinks about.  Walking up to a par 4 blasting it 300 yards, but then blade’ing your half-swing wedge into the sand, or even the woods is the worst feeling a golfer can have. Sometimes it’s all about focus, sometimes its talent, other times its elements of your swing.  But, the difference between an amateur and a professional golfer is the understanding that in-between the two ears are where it all happens.  You have to have every shot in the mind as well.

When a pro golfer walks up to a shot, they look at the landing area, the water, sand, woods aren’t in his mind as opposed to an amateur. One look at a hazard can get the mind off track.  The time that is spent worrying about where the ball can go is wasted time.

Your pre-shot routine (for approach shots) should contain the following:

  • Look at where the ball should be landing
  • Pick a place on the green you want to land it on
  • Choose a spot in front of the green where u think the putt will break.
  • Utilization of your most valued resource; your mind.

Sports aren’t like meetings; the need to really focus and be in the moment is a absolute necessity. Clubs, Grips, Shafts even balls don’t make shots the one’s mind can before its even hit. Visualization is the key to sports especially golf because not only are the elements and the course part of the challenge, the other competitors are two. Golf is a very unique game because it combines ones creativity and capabilities. The difference between a pro golfer and an amateur is the power to have every shot in his mind and not just have it in his bag.

Hitting Shots On the Center of the Club Face

The sound of making a crisp golf shot is a better sound then pulling up from 40 feet and hearing swoosh (this coming from and ex basketball player).

Golf always was one of my favorite sports but the more I play, it is the sounds that are more pronounced than ever. I love the sound of hitting a crisp bunker shot that lands 2 feet from the hole and just stops; not only the swoosh from the sand, but the thud that the golf ball makes on the green (and its pretty sight of it stopping). I was at Bay Hill this week, more as an observer of the golf swing; watching some of the best in the world hit shots on the range shaping every club they had in their bad while looking for tempo at the same time.

Alignment sticks are what helps achieve most of the optimal sounds that PGA tour stars can create; from driver down to the 60 degree wedge. The key is “swinging down the line” as they call it.

On your back swing most PGA teaching pros will say close the face and swing to the right, well there are few people who know that that feeling is. I am here to help you understand different ways of getting that feeling.

  1. Take alignment stick 1 and place is down your foot line…-If you are trying to hit a draw, close off your stance and put an alignment stick down from your front foot to your back foot (notice this will have you aimed right of the target line)

    -If you are trying to hit it straight then aim straight at your target and put the alignment stick down.

    -If you are trying to hit a cut then open your stance and put the alignment stick down from back to from (notice this has you lined up left of target line)

  2. Take alignment stick 2 and place it in the ground in front of you.-If you are hitting a draw put the stick in the ground down your foot line in front of your front shoulder about 5 yards and try to hook the ball around the stick back towards the target line. This will allow you to create lag in your golf shaft and it will properly load, this along with the right swing path will create a draw shot.

    If you hit a straight ball and don’t want to shape it that is fine and a lot of golfers wish they had a straight ball in their bags they could pull out when need be. But the position of straight on still is the pace to use the alignment stick 2 to shape the ball it will help you create a cut by starting the ball left of the stick or draw right of the stick.

    When hitting a cut, you can pull across the ball and have it cut back to the target line but you must make sure you hit the ball down your foot line.

The alignment stick 1 is to give you an idea for when you are off the course to still have the visual view of swinging down your foot line.

The alignment stick 2 is there for verification your swing path is correct.