Golf Swing Weight Shift Q&A

Q&A: Golf Swing Weight Shift

all I needed to do was look at the picture of theshoulder turn using the wall. this was done incorrectly. when doing the shoulder turn, for right handers the left shoulder should be over the right foot, not the left foot area, which will cause a reverse pivot. need to slide and turn. Thanks

AJ - USA

Answer: 

Thank you for your comment AJ. I appreciate you taking the time to write in and express your opinion about the golf swing and the manner in which I present my golf instructional material. It is helpful to have a different opinion as it spurs on more conversation and understanding of this great game.

As we can see by watching the Tour on television there are many ways to swing the golf club effectively. Matt Kutcher is much different from Sergio Garcia, Rory McIlroy...and of course Jim Furyk is different than everyone.

There are also many different swing philosophies. You can learn Jim McLean's X-factor swing, or the Stack and Tilt, you swing the handle with Eddie Merins or base your swing on one or two planes.

I understand what you are trying to say about staying over your left foot when making your backswing, however I would caution against using the term 'slide' when describing anything in the golf swing weight shift.

When someone slides in the backswing it typically means they shift their hips over their back foot or worse beyond. I teach players to only shift their upper body weight in the backswing. I believe that shifting the lower body, as opposed to simply turning it, creates extra movement in the swing that makes the timing at impact more difficult. When the lower body moves sideways it actually moves the club off it's natural path and therefore the player has to make the exact shift back onto the clubs original path in order to make great contact. This can be difficult when the club head is moving up to 120 mph with a driver.

Take a look below at Rory McIlroy and Tom Watson in slow motion. There is no slide in their backswings. The key to this is their right leg. Notice how it stays in place. If they were to 'slide' it would mean their right hip would bump to the right.

In this video watch Rory's right hip against the backdrop of the signs behind him. There is almost no move to the right with his lower body. The golf swing weight shift is done entirely with his upper body. Now, he is flexible enough to get his left shoulder over his right foot. However, many players are not that flexible, and therefore getting the left shoulder to the middle of your stance is also good.

With Tom Watson you can see the same thing. Watch the marshal in red right behind his right leg. If he were to slide his lower body then the marshal would disappear. However, the marshal is always in view. Tom's shoulder stays a little more centered than Rory.

Personally I don't mind if a player shifts their upper body weight over their back foot or if they keep it more centered in the middle of their stance. I do agree that the weight should not move towards the front foot. When that happens you either get a reverse pivot or a a swing that is too steep. The only player I have seen make that move work has been Martin Kaymer.

The drill that I posted in that lesson is designed to help players make a fuller turn. If you find that the design of the lesson is keeping your weight too far over your front foot then adjust the setup of the drill. Change your starting position by standing a little farther away from the wall. This will give you more room to make the turn and get more of your upper body weight towards your back foot.

Please remember the focus of the drill. It is to increase the shoulder turn so that the club stays on plane and creates more power.

Once again thank you for your comment about the lesson I had posted. It provided me an opportunity to expand on the topic of the golf swing weight shift. I hope that the further explanation of this concept has been helpful to anyone who may have had the same thought as AJ.

Good luck with your practicing and playing.

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