To Tilt or Not To Tilt?

As a Golf Instructor at the Yur Golf Swing Teaching Academy I tend to hear a lot of excuses for bad shots. There is nothing wrong with hitting a bad shot, it happens to the best of us but what I despise is excuses. “I lifted my head” is a classic, followed by “I didn’t keep my eye on the ball” and my favorite “I dropped my back shoulder”. If I recited these out of context you might think they are quotes from the local little league team on their hitting woes. Sadly they are not and I think I will tackle the last one “I dropped my back shoulder”

Last week I asked my client what that meant and the reply I received was interesting, “Well when my right shoulder drops on the downswing it causes me to hit behind the ball.” Lets just take a look at a few pictures.

Unnamed Students:

What do you notice about those three pictures? All three pictures show golfers at the top of their back swing and just after impact. They also show the angle or amount of tilt each student has at each position. Take note of the angles they range from 25-32 degrees on the back swing and 15-34 degrees after impact. Most amateur golfers do not realize this but in the golf swing our shoulders MUST turn on an angle and one that is generally greater than 25 degrees on the back swing and even more tilt on the down swing. Lets take a look at some of the best players on the PGA tour

Zach Johnson:

Martin Kaymer:

Lee Westwoood:

Investigate these photos for a minute and take note of the shoulder tilt on the downswing. 52-73 degrees of shoulder tilt compared to the average golfers 15-34 degrees. That’s a large difference and something most weekend golfers don’t comprehend. The shoulders, specifically the right shoulder (for right handed golfers) absolutely needs to turn down and under our chin on the down swing. Without doing so you will be prone to coming over the top, casting the club, hitting thin shots, etc.

To help achieve this shoulder tilt feel free to work on this drill:

Find yourself a door frame or open wall and place your forehead against it while keeping in your golf posture:

Next simulate a back swing while keeping your head on the wall. Your left shoulder should feel as if it turns down and under your chin like so:

After your back swing simulate a down swing in a similar manner. Concentrate on turning your right shoulder under your chin and not out towards the wall:

Repeat this drill several times a day and see how much different your golf swing will be the next time you hit up the driving range.



One Response to “To Tilt or Not To Tilt?”

  1. EJ August 7, 2013 1:45 pm #

    Some nice practical, easy to understand tips.

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