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.