The Proper Shoulder Turn for Your Golf Swing

By Steve Silverman

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The way you turn your body---and not how hard you swing---has more to do with the kind of distance you get on your shots than any other factor. Turning your hips and turning your shoulders will help you get the ball in the air quicker and flying farther than if you concentrated your efforts on only your hands and arms. Swinging rhythmically and getting a full shoulder turn will help you build a consistent, repeatable swing


Difficulty: Moderate
  1. Address the ball squarely; your left shoulder should face the target directly. Do not open or close that shoulder. The side of your left foot should be directly underneath your left shoulder. Play the ball about one ball length closer to your left foot than your right foot. You are now in a solid position to hit the ball consistently.
  2. Begin your swing by rotating your hips to the right. After your hips start to move, begin your backswing. Remember, your left shoulder is the command center for your swing. While keeping your left arm straight, rotate your left arm backward until your it has reached the same height as your right shoulder.
  3. Once you have reached the apex of your backswing, rotate your hips forward. Then bring your left shoulder down and through the ball. Concentrate on looking at the back of the ball all the way through impact.
  4. Continue turning your left shoulder after impact has been made. You need to bring your club up to shoulder height to finish your swing. Think of your swing as a pendulum, with the backswing taking you in one direction and the downswing and follow-through taking you into the finish.
  5. Keep your head down until you have finished your follow-through. Picking up your head before finishing your swing will likely mean that you have missed the correct impact point with the ball and you won't hit it correctly. Remaining patient during your swing is a big factor in building consistency.

Tips & Warnings

  • Practice your swing at the driving range. The top pros practice regularly and you should also.

About the Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.