Swing Motor ... Shoulders

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The motion of the shoulders on the backswing side of the swing is a natural byproduct of swinging the handle of the club with both hands!

The shoulder turn on the backswing is completely different from the turn on the foreswing. The shoulders follow the hands on thebackswing and they lead the hands on the foreswing.  The consistency of the takeaway is greatly simplified by using both hands to move the handle of the club to create the well known 1-piece takeaway.  The center of your chest, the handle and the clubhead all move together as one system.  You can think of swinging the "Y" formed by the two arms and the shaft.

The backswing continues moving backwards then upwards.  Think of the backswing as consisting of 1/4, 2/4 and 3/4 positions at the back knee, the belt and the chest.  Both arms are  straight until the handle reaches the back knee.  As the handle passes the knee, the right elbow begins to naturally fold.  At address, your thumbs are generally on top of the shaft.  At no time, during an normal, straight shot, do your thumbs roll to either side of the shaft.  At waist high or the 2/4 position, the handle of the club is extended away from you body, the shaft is parallel to the ground and parallel to the intended target line, your thumbs and the toe of the club are both up, your right elbow has continued to fold, your weight has naturally transferred onto the back foot.

 To complete the backswing, the handle continues to move upwards to chest high.  The right elbow continues to fold and the shoulders AUTOMATICALLY TURN!   There is NO need to control or manipulate the club.  It will go where the thumbs go and the thumbs will go where your address posture ALLOWS them to go.  This is a critical point of understanding ... you do not have to guide the swing motion in any way if you begin the swing from a correct posture.  The handle of the club will go where you need it to go!  At the 3/4 position, ALL of the checkpoints for a completed backswing have been accomplished ... nose on the ball, weight on the back foot, full shoulder turn, right elbow points at the ground and connected grip.  You do not have to try.  All of this just happens with a two-handed swing motion.

You may have noticed we are not yet at the top of the back swing.  In this instruction program, the swing motion is divided into three, not two parts.  Instead of back and thru, this method is backswing, transition and down/foreword swing.  The transition begins with the cocking of the wrists to lay the club across the shoulders.  It continues with a bump of the hips and a drop of the right elbow to get the club into the "slot". 
The bump is NOT a hard lower leg drive popularized by Johnny Miller and Jack Nicklaus.  It is little more than a quite shifting of your weight onto your front foot.  The elbow moves straight down not out towards the ball.  These two movements are nearly simultaneous, but technically the bump fractionally precedes the drop.  The key checkpoint is to smoothly accelerate into the forward swing.  Typically this means most players need to train themselves to throttle back to 85-90% of their maximum swing speed. 

From this "slot" position, the hips will begin a powerful turn and the hands will continue to fall lower towards the release position.. The lag or release position is different for every player.  It is related to your hand strength.  Trying to achieve a deeper lag position is a sure way to foul up your release and impact timing.

 

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