What I would like to explain to you now is the importance of the plane of your shoulders in the golf swing and the plane that the club swings on. I want you to understand the plane of your shoulders is what determines whether you coil behind the ball or whether you reverse pivot or sway.
Find the Right Shoulder Tilt in Your Swing
It's very important, going back to our starting position of the shoulders being level with the right elbow pointing to the outside hip bone, that with the triangle moving away together, notice how if the right arm hinges up, notice how my shoulders coil on the plane that the ball is on, and that’s the plane the club would be on.
Now the idea to determine the plane is to always feel that when you take the club back your left arm and shoulder travel sideways with your left elbow down. At approximately waist height when the right elbow folds up, so does the right shoulder, notice how the shoulders are on-plane. Now unfortunately in golf, people are taught the wrong way many times. One of the things is when someone tells you to tuck your right elbow in, and to setup in that manner, look at the plane your shoulders are set on [right shoulder down].
Now all that can happen if you try to get behind the ball by tucking your right arm in the shoulder plane is the club will go around behind you. Look at the plane your shoulders are on; how in the world can you hit down now without re-routing by going over the top and across it? That's what we see all of the time, it goes back to setup, the setup is crucial to understanding the left elbow down, the right arm and shoulder up, that creates the weight shift.
How to Shoulder Tilt Like the Pros
Notice I don't have to shift my weight, I don't have to move off the ball. By setting up properly my left shoulder travels sideways and my right shoulder travels up. Notice how my spine, head and eyes all move into my right leg.
Jack Nicklaus, Hal Sutton and Ben Hogan, they all pre-set their heads to the right and then they go with the right arm above the left arm and that shifts and loads them into their right leg. Curtis Strange and Sam Snead just let their head flow and that coiled them into the center of their right leg. But look at the shoulder plane, if the shoulders are started here [right shoulder below left] and the shoulders go this way, you can only sway or move off the ball, and go over the top.
The only way to maintain the proper coil into the right leg is for the right arm to be above the left arm and for your shoulders to be on this [an even or level] plane.