A 90* shoulder turn.

There has been some confusion on what I was talking about with a 90* shoulder turn.

Some people think I mean rotating the shoulders a full 90* from where they start at address.

That is NOT what I am talking about. Most people are not flexible enough to do that and it falls into the category of what I am talking about when I criticize the “making a full turn” or “completing the backswing” cliches.

When I say 90* shoulder turn, I mean the angle the shoulders turn in relation to the spine at address. Perpendicular to the spine is another way to say it.

Here are a few videos and the others are on the “videos” link under “categories” and you will find several posts and videos on shoulder turn if you haven’t seen them before.

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9 Comments

  1. Kirk

    Monte — I’ve struggled with a folding left arm and a long backswing with the arms. I worked on trying to shoring things up there, and I appreciate the info you’re giving here. Two conflicting (I think) notions I’ve seen regarding the backswing have troubled me, though: 1) “keeping the hands in front of the chest,” and 2) “feeling the left (for righties) arm against the chest.”

    First and foremost, I might not completely understand what it means to keep the hands in front of the chest. I believe it means that, when turning the shoulders properly, the arms don’t collapse against the chest, and your hands don’t get behind you. I guess if means that if you were to hold the club out in front of you (out in front of your chest), then turn to a backswing position, then that relationship of your hands and chest stay pretty much the same. And that’s all fine — but how does it relate to the notion of feeling the left arm against the chest, presumably on the downswing?

    I’m assuming that the latter has to do with holding the lag and all of that bunk. Should there be a connection of sorts of the left chest and left upper arm? If there is, then wouldn’t the hands be behind the chest, and not in front of it?

    I’m throwing out terms that are often used to describe aspects of the swing — and giving you an opportunity to say why they’re bad, I guess. But if you could discuss these terms, or at least these parts of the swing, I think it would help me to understand how better to stop my backswing from going too long.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      It’s #2 that is giving you trouble. I don’t know where you heard that from, but I happen to strongly disagree with that.

      Reply
      • Kirk

        I’ve heard it here and there along the way — part of the whole “swinging left” and “staying connected during the downswing” talk, I think. Anyway, YES, that has been a problem of mine, and from the sounds of it, I should never consider that “advice” again.

        So, do I have the “hands in front of the chest” part correct? I think it might also be talked about as “maintaining the triangle” formed by your chest and arms. Think that’s a good, helpful thought toward turning the shoulder properly, and keeping the left arm straight?

        I really feel that my backswing would stop with my shoulder turn IF I could keep my left arm from breaking down — but I need a helpful way to think of producing the desired result.

        Thanks!

        Reply
        • Monte Scheinblum

          Yes, hands in front of chest you have correct. TYo me, having a better golf swing is not so much about instantly doing things correctly, but making an effort to make things simple and avoid the bad places. I think if you make and effort to turn your shoulders and keep the club out in front of you…over time, your swing gets better.

          IMO, having your backsiwng end with the end of the shoulder turn is very key.

          Reply
        • Monte Scheinblum

          Yes, it is widespread and I don’t much care for it.

          Reply
  2. Bob S.

    Hi Monty, first time poster here and since I’m between swing coaches and theories you came highly recommended. I’m guessing Kirk above is getting the left arm against the chest theory from a couple of places; either Chuck Quinton’s Rotary swing or Jim Hardy’s One plane swing. I had followed Quinton’s teaching for about 5 years and have recently decided to stop. BOth teach the same as your in regards to keeping the shoulders perpendicular or at a 90 degree angle to the spine. Anyway, on to the question and you might actually address this in the video or may not be related at all but I can’t get to youtube at work so please forgive me either way. In addition to the arms and shoulders completing the backswing at the same time, I’ve started to think of the transition as part of the backswing. In other words, about midway through the backswing, I start sitting into my left butt cheek which helps me maintain my spine angle going back and keeps my hips from thrusting in towards the ball. Both allow me to maintain 90 degree shoulders to my spine angle. Just about the time I’ve finished sitting in to my left side is when my shoulders have stopped rotating and my arms have set. I then just fire my obliques back around letting my arms whip through. I’ve picked up some serious swing speed this way without feeling like I have to expend a tremendous amount of effort. From what llittle I’ve read, it seems you’re not huge on getting eeking those last few yards but I’m a little guy with a Napolean complex so cut me some slack there OK? 🙂 I’m curious as to what you think about the thought of transitioning during the backswing instead of the traditional backswing, transition, downswing as 3 distinctly difference pieces of the swing as well as that allowing me to keep my spine angle to the ground as well as my shoulder to spine angle relationship at 90 degrees?

    Thanks much,
    Bob

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Bob, everyone’s brain works differently and if that process works for you, great. I just don’t like multiple swing thoughts.

      Reply
  3. Bob S

    Thanks Monty. I’m slowly finding my way through the blog, forums, and your youtube channel. Great stuff!

    Even though there is a bunch of stuff I talk about, my only real swing thought I’m working on right now is the sit in to the left butt cheek after the take-away and during the last 1/2 of my backswing as a part of my transition. All the rest of it is what I do naturally.

    I saw your 1993 video and you look like you do the same thing I’m talking about. Probably not using the same thought I describe though…

    Best Regards,
    Bob

    Reply

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