Golf Tip of the Month
“Pulling Vs. Pushing”Almost everyone – 99.9 percent of people – can get at least a 90 degree shoulder turn during the back swing in golf. It’s all about using the correct golf muscles and moving your body in the correct ways. It’s very easy and can be accomplished by thinking about a few simple ideas.
“Pushing”Traditional golf instruction would have you try to “push” your left shoulder underneath your chin on the back swing. On the forward swing, this form of instruction would have you try to push with the right shoulder or side of the body. You’ll notice, though, if you try to back up a trailer hitched to a pickup truck, that the trailer is much more difficult to control and tends to get off line of your intended path very easily. The same concept of physics is involved in the human anatomy. If we try to push the shoulder under the chin in the back swing, it is much harder to control the mass of arms, club, and the rest of the body to stay in proper sequence and maintain a good swing plan and swing center. The same thing happens on the downswing. If you push on the right side, the body is going to sway back to the left. Pushing moves the body around a lot and causes that sway.
“Pulling”Instead, we’re going to have you activate the muscles that pull in the golf swing. These muscles are going to pull you toward center, allowing you to make a nice centered rotation.You’re also going to get a good, full shoulder turn when you do this. This corresponds with Newton’s laws of motion.As you pull the right side back, now you’re activating the right side with your right shoulder. You’ll feel like you’re turning that right shoulder back as the point of activation.When you do it with a friend, notice how the body stays nice and centered. The same is true on the downswing. As you pull with the left, the body stays nice and centered there also. As long as you’re pulling in the golf swing, you’ll be working toward center. It’s when you start to push that you’re going to work away from center. Getting a good, full shoulder turn can be as simple as using the correct muscles.
- During your takeaway and back swing, focus on pulling with the right shoulder while maintaining centeredness of the head side to side and up and down.
- During the down swing, think of throwing a frisbee with the left hand (right hand for lefties). Try to really pull and shift the weight over to the left side like one would do if they were going to throw a frisbee out at the target.
- Try to invest in a “Smash Bag” which is a cheap training aid that allows you to practice pulling the club into impact position without thinking about anything but hitting the bag and allowing your body’s natural athletic motor skills to come out of the woodwork. Do this drill at least 20 repetitions with the left hand holding the club only. If you don’t have don’t have a smash bag, find an old pillow, potato sack, etc., anything but the neighbor’s cat.
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