For A Full Shoulder Turn, Try Turning In…

Let’s face it. Not everyone has the flexibility and/or strength to make a full shoulder turn behind the golf ball. Making a good turn is essential in trying to build a powerful golf swing. But, if you’re like me, you always found it difficult to wind up  your upper body like a corkscrew in an attempt to generate power. It’s something I struggled with for quite a while, but I managed to get enough distance out of my 1.93 meter (6’4″) frame for it not to be a major concern. Last April during The Masters telecast here in the States, the CBS Sports analysts were breaking down the excellent golf swing of Trevor Immelman.  One of the analysts mentioned something interesting that Trevor is now doing in his set up that struck a cord with me.

For years I had always been told to position my feet at a 45 degree angle to help promote an easier weight shift on the way back, and on the way down. I never really questioned it until I saw what Trevor was doing at Augusta. Immelman turns his right foot (for a right handed player, left foot for a lefty) IN as opposed to the traditional method of standing with toes pointing outwards. Why does he do this? For the reasons I explained above, to generate a bigger shoulder turn.

When you turn your back foot in towards the golf ball, this restricts lateral movement of your lower body. Your lower body generally helps you complete your backswing, when you restrict it’s movement it forces you to finish the swing with your upper body more than you usually might. This also creates quite a bit of resistance between your upper body and lower body, and during the golf swing, resistance can translate into power. It took me about three or four range sessions to incorporate this new sequence into my swing. Positioning your foot that way will feel awkward at first, but it should feel awkward, anything new or different should. I started to feel a little strain in my left shoulder after the first couple of sessions, but that just let me know I was making a bigger turn, and my shoulder was just adjusting to the new move.

My natural ball flight had always been a slight cut, but one other thing I noticed is that the cut turned into a straight ball. The only reason I can think of for this happening,  is that restricting my lower body eliminated any “sway” or shifting that might have caused my club to get off plane or the face to open. This caused me to hit the ball slightly more from the inside than I usually do, which caused me to lose that slight cut. I don’t mind this at all, I love hitting the ball straight. This swing tip may not be for you, because this may not solve your problem. But, it helped me hit the ball longer, higher, straighter, and more consistently, which is what everyone should strive for.

-Patrick Keegan


69 Responses to “For A Full Shoulder Turn, Try Turning In…”

  1. Michel Wandel says:

    I enjoyed this article two-fold.

    First, because the author does not take undue credit for the “discovery” and I revere honesty.
    and second, because the move is sensible and I cannot wait to try it.

    keep up the good work!

    michel wandel, brussels, belgium

  2. William Benedict says:

    Thank you. This sounds like a good tip and I will try it when I next get to the range.

    William Benedict

  3. John Moore says:

    I tried this tip and it has worked wonders for my ball striking.

    There’s a crisper sound when connecting the ball and as you said the shot is straight and longer. Great tip.

    Thanks

    John

  4. Joe says:

    I can do a full shoulder turn but I hardly ever get right through on the downswing. I have no trouble with this when I swing at an imaginary ball and it only happens when there is a ball to hit. HELP !

  5. Patrick Keegan says:

    Glad I could be of some help, Chris.

    - Patrick

  6. Chris Pye says:

    Hi Andy,

    Well this past weekend I tried Patricks suggestion about turning my right foot in.

    Hard to believe, nine holes played, zero slices.

    First time in my life this has happened. Even won longest drive on the ninth hole. Ball was laying dead center of the fairway.

    Yes, my shoulder turn was complete, more comfortable.

    Now to fix my short game.

    Thanks, your tips via email are great as are the 4 New Magic Moves

    Pye

  7. James Cox says:

    Hi,

    I have been turning in my right foot to the left and I feel that on my back that I seem to to stay on my target line for a little bit longer, do you
    think i am imagining it or is this this.

    Jim Cox

  8. Hi Andy,

    Thanks for the tip. In this sport, the Devil is indeed in the details. But what about the left foot? (for right-handed)

    All the best!
    Morgan

  9. Gwilym Parry says:

    Check Mindy Blakes books “The Golf Swing of the Future” and his later book “The Technique Barrier” If this method in technique catches on now it will prove his forecast for the future to be so deadly accurate, and he will be smiling happily in his grave.

  10. Albert Moore says:

    I like this tip and will work on this. I accidently did this a few times and the ball flight was straight. It was one of those shots when you wonder what you did (the right foot was turned inward, which is my natural stance).

  11. Walter Kisiah says:

    Andy, what you say about the full shoulder turn and the position of the right foot actually makes alot of sense. (2) problems fir me has always been lower body sliding and shoulder turn. I’ve had some injuries to my shoulders and could use some tips on stretching and strengthening them. Any suggestions? Thanks for your time and all that you do.

  12. David says:

    I will give it a try this weekend!

  13. frank says:

    I think the best thing with this set up is it gets you to your left side,you cant stay back on your right side.It helps you rotate much better.We have all herd shift your weight wrong it is rotate your weight from back foot to front foot.Thats how its really done its rotation that moves your weight.This gets your knees to touch at the finish which means you have rotated fully and properly.If you cant get your knees to be side by side at the finish you need to use this set up.

  14. C JAMES says:

    I am 74. It works a treat. Thanks.

    Will be in touch.

    Christopher

  15. Jim Denney says:

    I’ve just the way read the artical on turning the right foot in, I was told to do this 25 years ago by my local pro and its still the way I play today. I’ve always hit the ball a reasonable distance and show all beginners the same stance including my partner and she hits the ball quite straight for a beginner.
    This is a great tip and I urge all to at least try it if you have a turn problem.

  16. Charlie says:

    I would like to confirm the usefulness of turning the right foot (I’m right handed) toward the ball. I did this today in a reaction to hurting my right knee, trying to turn against it in the finish. Sometimes I forget to get up on my right toe. So, I pointed my right foot toward the ball, parallel with my flared-out left foot. The toe line was still parallel to the target line. I use a vertical, 3/4 turn, and turning both feet around 20-25 degrees to the left gave me about 80% turn instead of 70-75% as I took the club up the toe line. The balls did go straighter and I got a few more yards with each club. Thanks for posting this tip.

  17. T. Benson says:

    For some years now some coaches have been advocating toes pointing outwards. Go back to the 60′s and 70′s The Golden Bear advocated pointing the leading toe slightly towards the target and keeping the back foot more or less square to the line. Holding the back foot in that position decreased lateral movements and increased torque, the font foot position encouraged release and follow through.

    This new variation may increase torque but how much stress is likely to be placed on the joints of that leg.

  18. Val Saunders says:

    Interesting and will give it a try.

  19. Cedric says:

    The BEST shoulder turn comes from putting your right foot Back a little at address- careful, don’t follow right through and you hook badly- Henry Cotton advocated this remedy for the older slicer, that and keeping your left heel up whilst swinging on the practice range, to get your hands working together.

  20. stephen kim says:

    Excellent analysis !

    I can’t wait to try it tonight at the range.

    Thank you !

  21. june says:

    going to give this a try when I can get back out on the course/practice area. Still snow/ice bound.

  22. Chris says:

    Be cearfull with this tip. I got it from hogan’s book and incorporated it for the last 6 months or so. I found it just opened my shoulders and hips way too much at setup and actually prevented me from making a full shoulder turn in so I’ve switched back with much better results. I think it was Leadbetter who pointed out that Hogan was more flexible than most and so he didn’t have a problem getting a full turn in with this stance. Specific tips like this can be detremental – as an amateur you are probably better off learning a stance that sets you up square every time, good backswing fundamentals and timing your swing to the finish (rather than at the ball) for good tempo.

  23. Syed says:

    Thanks for the tips. I have the same problem, a slight cut. Will give it a try…

    Malaysia

  24. jega says:

    Dear Andy, thank you for all your posts.They are excellent. Have you any dvd on the short game?

    Andy Reply: Hi Jega, I am currently working on one. Many thanks for your interest.

  25. David Hall says:

    Hi Andy

    Keep the tips & stories coming. Fanastic to read.

    Dave Hall

  26. chas says:

    thanks andy will try it

  27. Johnny Nieto says:

    Thanks Andy, I will try this idea into my swing. I also have a slight cut in the shots and I hope this helps. I’ll try it at the range tomorrow. Keep up the good work.

  28. Prof Mulligan says:

    Your suggestion is very interesting. It seems also to reinforce a more powerful hip slide forward. I’m going to check to see what positive or negative action there may be regarding the forward foot NOT turned outward on the follow through – maybe help not to pull?

  29. Chris says:

    Hi Andy,
    This is a great tip and it works for me.
    Do we do this only when driving or should we also try it on the fairway shots?
    Thanks a lot.
    Chris

  30. JOE says:

    WILL IT WORK FOR US OLD GUYS? I’M 78………..

  31. Bob says:

    When you set up with the right foot square to your aim line, you’ll want to make sure this doesn’t open up your hips and shoulders at address. Hogan used to drop his right foot back a little to help compensate for this. Squaring the right foot also helps in the sequencing of the down swing. It will feel a little restrictive at first but keep working with it and it will feel natural in not too long.

  32. Jerry Burkart says:

    Tryed the set up works well just getting use to it.:smile:

  33. Scott says:

    Turning in the right foot puts additional strain on the inside of the right knee.

  34. Jerry Burkart says:

    :roll: I went to my course in tarpon springs Fl :razz: an took 3 clubs DRIVER/9 IRON/7IRON , ITRIED THIS way not knowing what I was doing but it made such a big improvment in hitting my Irons :razz: then i reading my email and i said to my self, and there it was what i did by trying some thing different. right foot in.

  35. marlon tabanao says:

    i have a little problem with my balance and shoulder turn. i will try this set up.

  36. KEITH ALDER says:

    I’ll be golfing today and I am going to give it a try. I do have a natural cut. Thanks for the tip…Keith…

  37. Karin says:

    Hi, I thought I would respod to the tip with keeping your back foot straight and left foot slightly open. For so many years everybody has been saying turn shoulders, keep legs still, left foot open, right foot straight etc. well I wasn’t getting anywhere with that advice. At the top (end) of my shoulder turn my left shoulder would always point down to the middle of my stance ie my weight was nowhere where it should be, resulting in weak and not too far shots. Last week I decided to turn my hips with my shoulders and not keep my bottom half still!, and what a difference, straight shots, with so much more distance, sometimes the ball would go straight and then curl left and bounce left, so will work on that now. Thanks for your time. Karin

  38. larry otwell says:

    thanks andy n patrick, i just began golfing,and i was fustrated that everyone says ur lifting up keep ur head down, follow thru, i barely could hit my irons n woods,n normally went thesame distance,today i practiced on a course n tried this new technique,n i was amazed how my ball striking became n using all my irons n woods, i can hit them all n yes the distance i get from each n all of them will surely put me in competetion with my co-workers n friends, this is all i wanted to do, make great contact, have the ball go straight,feel the power, i was ready to quit,watching everyone do so well,but now this technique has brought me the game,many thanks for this tip

  39. Don McDonald says:

    Thanks Andy, I have tried this tip, it works but I have to be more accurate with my alignment. Like every other change, it takes some time to refine it.I hit left handed and have struggled with my slice for years, hopefully this will help. I have 3 hybrids and I’m not hitting them well as I am unsure of the correct ball position. Now I’m straight off the box but screwing up my second shot. !!! What a game.

  40. Keith says:

    I have always kept the right foot square in order to feel the upper body tension. Never thought of turning it in but will give it a try if it ever stops raining.

  41. gerald says:

    Thanks for the tip I will give this a try and let you know the results.

  42. Mark S. says:

    Nice Tip! I’m going to give it a try. I’m always fighting “coming over the top” especially when I get tired. I had always heard if you “flair” your right foot out to the right it will aid your shoulder turn, turning one’s foot in is new to me but well worth trying. The backward wrist break has been a God send for me, when I’m on, my mates just stare with amazement.

  43. marty says:

    I’ll give it a go, will try anything once.

  44. elliott says:

    I tried this, startinga few weeks ago, and it made a new golfer of me. My percentage of straight shots is amazing now, considering this single change – much to the chagrin of my golfing buddies. I urge eveyone to give this a try – you will be pleasanty surprised both with the results, and your increased confidence and pleasure.

  45. Bob Price says:

    Bobholeinone

    Great tip. I can make a full turn,and really go after the ball. Without sliding the hips. I tried a foot placement to the right until my right knee told no. then I backed off a little at a time until it became comfortable.
    Keep the tips coming.

  46. Justin says:

    Hi Andy,
    Thanks for the tips. I will be having my routine Saturday golf with a bunch of single handicappers. Will try to use this tips. Are we suppose to turn both foot “IN” or only the right foot? Thanks and I hope it will help me hit a straighter ball.
    Thanks again.

  47. Larry Nelson says:

    Works for me, and it also makes sense!

  48. Carlos Vinuesa says:

    Hi Andy and many thanks for the tip. I will try it out on the range this afternoon (weather permitting). What I can tell you is that it sounds right, and therefore should work. Keep taking care of us. Tanks again.

    Carlos

  49. Kathleen McGowan says:

    Hi Andy,

    I’ve been turning in the right foot for some time now. The object being to stop a sway. Looks peculiar but it works.

    Kathleen

  50. Paul says:

    Thanks for the tip cant wait to try it out at the weekend

  51. Frab Hawe says:

    I can’t wait to try this!

  52. Bob Mooney says:

    Hi Patrick & Andy It would be nice to hit the ball straight insted of having to play down the left to bring the ball back so will try your tip Monday let you know how I get on. Thanks Bob Mooney

  53. Gwen says:

    Trevor is my compatriot, I will try turning my right foot in for fuller shoulder turn. Must the toe face the golf ball? Thanks

  54. Peter says:

    Ben Hogan recommended that with a right handed golfer the right leg should be be square (not turned out ) to the ball and the left turned out approx. 22.5 degrees – this thereby stops the hips from turning more than 45 degrees. He maintained that with both feet turned out he could not tell a left handed golfer from a right.

    He also stated that a slight lifting of the left heel was acceptable but my club pro. reckons that the left heel should never leave the ground ( I am all over the place if I dont follow this advice) as some of the energy stored on the backswing can be lost. This was the only point that he queried in respect of Hogans 5 Fundamentals of golf

  55. Keith T says:

    That sounds logical. I will give it a try

  56. Noel says:

    Hi Andy. Thanks for your mails. It is always interesting. I never had a full backswing because I always tried to control the swing for more accuracy and therefore sacrificed distance. Didn’t always work. Now I am trying to get a fuller backswing which is tough because when I pass my normal position, I feel less confident in making good contact with the ball. Also, muscle memory sometimes prevents me from making that full turn. Now, I am concentrating on getting my right shoulder behind my neck to force the correct backswing. I will try moving my right foot in to see if it will make life a bit easier.

    Thanks and swing away.

    Noel

  57. Ted Hackett says:

    This is pretty much what Ben Hogan taught in his book: “The Modern Fundamentals of Golf” (still regarded by many as the “Golfing bible”)
    Hogan maintained strongly that for the righthanded player the right foot should be at 90 degrees (pointed straight out) & not flared to the right and that the left foot should be flared 45 degrees to the left.
    He reckoned that if the right foot is opened or flared to the right it promotes excessive hip turn. Maybe Immelman has taken it a bit further !
    Check out Hogan’s book if you can find a copy.

  58. Bob Crawford says:

    I believe Ben Hogan advocated keeping the back foot more square than back, which also helps keeping the back knee flexed and increased the resistance in the lower body and in effect helped with a bigger shoulder turn. Thanks for your entertaining comments and hints. Bob Crawford

  59. Rick Tod says:

    Andy,

    This sounds interesting. I’ll try it Saturday and report back.

    Thanks,

    Rick Tod

  60. Carol Hayes says:

    Thanks Andy – You just confirmed something I’ve suspected for a while and have been playing around with!

  61. Marland Stanley says:

    Thanks, I’ll try it – anything to counteract the age old problems of maturity is worth considering. Might even help! I’ll try it and let you know.

  62. Martin Brewer says:

    Andy,
    I read this same tip in another golf news tip I received today. I’m also tall( about 6’3″ and lanky) and consequently, I too swing and sway too much resulting in movement outside the correct swing plane. Results in an over the top swing causing me to end up with most of my weight on my back foot. I can’t wait to get to the driving range tomorrow to work on turning in the back foot!
    Thanks,
    Martin

  63. Gerry says:

    Sounds as though it will work but should have mentioned that the left foot remains at 45 degree angle.

  64. Steve says:

    I think I needed this tip. I will try it tomorrow during my weekly outing with the octagenarians (sp?) who beat me regularly with their straight shots, short game and dead-eye putting.

  65. Norm Conwill says:

    I completely agree with this suggestion.
    I am 76 and have both knee replacements.
    When I got back into playing after my operations, I found it very helpful, and more comfortable to point both my feet slightly forward, to minimize strain on my knees during the turn.
    I don’t hit the ball as far as I did 30 years ago – but I have the
    straightest drives in my group.

  66. kevin says:

    :evil: will try this, sounds about right when you think about it .hope it will rectify my fade ( slice really ) will let you know :mrgreen:

  67. ray robinson says:

    Hi Andy,

    Tried this move today , and yes it made a differance, I’ve lost the slight fade that I’ve seemed to have developed over the last few weeks.

    Thanks Ray Robinson

  68. Bob Kemper says:

    Good stuff Andy. Lately I’ve been turning my right foot out more so that I can get a larger turn and it has made a mess of my swing, so I went back to the 45-degree foot placement. Turning the right foot to the ball does make a lot of sense. I’ll give it a try tomorrow on the range.
    Best,

  69. Robert Pratt says:

    Andy….thanks for all the informative,amusing and entertaining blogs.

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