4 November 2009

"Turn" Over a New Leaf

In this feature I would like to talk about the word "TURN" and what it means when referring to turn in a golf swing. For those who have not read my first article titled "Body Angles and Body Shape" I suggest to read it first, followed by this article to help you understand the basics of the Reverse K set up.

So many students I meet for the first time consider turn to be an important source of power in their golf swing. It is, but the word "Turn" itself is a word I use very carefully when teaching. I would rather talk about the shape of the body when it begins to turn, what turns, and in what direction? Most students will answer the above questions with "my shoulders should turn 90 degrees and my hips half that amount". This is all good in theory but if the body angles are wrong at the start, the direction of the turn from one swing to another will be different.

A lot of the instruction you read in golf magazines and books talks about turning the shoulders and clearing your hips, or your left side (if you are right-handed). It certainly can be confusing. Most people think, and have been taught that from the top of the backswing, your left hip turns and clears out of the way early helping you stay behind the ball. But this can cause you to lose your good body angles coming into impact. Plus your follow-through and balance can easily be affected. Basically, your right side should be turning your left side out of the way. There is not a great deal of unwinding of the hips in the downswing. However I think that so many people get themselves into a reverse pivot type look at the top of the swing, that coming back to the ball the lower body has to get back across and clear out of the way to allow the club head to find the ball again. ( see example below)

Take the two examples below:

In Picture 1 ( left) I have purposely set up with bad body angles and turned as much as I can, the result hopefully you can see does not look good/stable. Coming back to the ball from here I would need to slide my hips to the left and my upper body would need to go right to get back behind the ball. COMPLICATED AND SAMBA LIKE!!

In Picture 2 (right) the model has set up with the correct reverse K shape and turned within this shape, the result looks good, stable, and powerful. Coming down he simply drops his arms and turns his right side around the left side. SIMPLE!!

So what turns? The body turns around or inside a good body angle.

Looking again at the top 2 photos you will notice that the "amount of shoulder turn" in picture 2 looks like more than picture 1. Remember in picture 1 I was trying to turn as much as possible while in picture 2 the model is not so much thinking about turning but letting his arms pull the body. I like to think that the arms will pull the body into a "good turn".

So next time you are thinking you need to turn more or turn less, think about the angles or your posture and how it can affect the direction in which you turn.

I hope this article helps you to understand more fully the importance of "Turning " in the right directions rather than how much you turn. In the next article I will talk on the subject of "Weight Shift" ···as I have more of it lately!!

Craig Roberts , 4 November 2009

Previous Columns
  • Body Angles and Body Shape

    Craig Roberts

    Currently based in Melbourne, Australia. Craig has been working in the golf industry in various forms since 1992 when he traveled to Japan. Having spent 10 years in Japan on and off he has worked as an interpreter and instructor at golf schools with some of the best coaches from Australia and Japan. He currently teaches at a busy Indoor Golf centre in the centre of Melbourne. When time permits he travels to Japan and China to teach and conduct Golf tours.

    GEGAS accredited instructor
    World Golf Teachers Federation Top 60 Coach 2006
    WGTF Master Teaching Professional Level IV Member
    Phone +61-417-599 646
    Email : craig@ausasiagolf.com
    Website: www.ausasiagolf.com Skype : Robatsu

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