Making a full turn/completing the back swing/taking it to parallel/getting a full handset

…and several other similar meaning cliches we have heard, spouted and tried to implement have ruined our golf swings…notice I used the pronoun “our.”

Don’t ever get the idea I am being superior with the language or tone I use. I know most of what I write here from having done these things myself and after a long painful lesson, learned they were BS.

(BTW-if you have the urge to make a comment that when I grabbed the club away from guiding the shoulder turn, when I extended away the club was really shut at the top…think about it really hard first 🙂 )

A large section of the golfing public get themselves in trouble trying to make this full turn and it ends up being a giant arm swing and over setting of the hands. You cannot recover from this place.

Watch Steve Stircker’s swing again…he completes his back swing. He makes a full turn. He gets a full handset…and he “looks” like he barely gets the club above his right hip. Watch JB Holmes, one of the longest hitters on Tour.

Know it alls across the golf world…most of which are 15 handicaps who watch too much Golf Channel, critique Stricker’s swing as doing none of these things. Anyone who says that, doesn’t know what a full turn is…and everyone in their weekly foursome is paying the price. Most of these folks are nice enough people, but they still should be burned at an OB stake…or at least have their mouths covered with duct tape…better yet, be forced to have basic cable.

As I have stated enough times to annoy all of you to tears, a full turn is turning your shoulders level to your spine as far as they will go, with the arms and hands still in front of the chest, the same distance from the sternum (breast bone) that they were at address.

This video will show you how to find what your full turn is. It may be so short you think you will have no power, it may be exactly what you are doing now…and in a very few cases, it may be all the way to parallel.

Know this. If you go past where your maximum shoulder turn allows you, you waste much of your power getting the club back to that point because………….actually that is way too technical for it to be important to know.

If doing this makes you feel powerless, there is 100% chance you weren’t accelerating properly from that long back swing and now from the shorter, more proper back swing, that lack of proper acceleration feels like a power outage…and it is.

This lack of power feel will improve as your feel learns to fire properly from that shorter, better position.

Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow.

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21 Comments

  1. Greg

    I understand what you say here Monte. When I make a full swing with my woods I usually take the club back to parallel. As my iron’s get smaller then I usually try to shorten my swing a little bit.
    But there has been numerous times where I’m in between clubs to the green and I take a 3/4 swing with my iron and they still fly full distance. Personally I have to tell myself to not be as aggressive to the ball to get a 3/4 result. I don’t know if that’s how it should be done but it seems to work for me.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      If you want it to go shorter, you might have to feel a 1/2 back swing. You don’t really want to change how hard you are trying to hit it.

      Reply
  2. Greg

    Appreciate if you can remove my last name. Thanks.

    Reply
  3. Dr. Don

    Monte,

    Love your blog and videos. Really enjoy your philosophy of keeping the golf swing simple and avoiding the critical mistakes that ruin the swing.

    I suffer from the extra arm swing and handset that you mention in this video. Is there anything I can do to break this long-held swing habit besides concentrating on starting the backswing with my shoulders, instead of with my hands and arms? Some of my early golf instructors stressed that the golfswing was, first and foremost, an arm swing.

    Thanks for your help.

    Keep up the great work on your blog.

    Don

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      “Stressed it is first and foremost an arm swing.”

      Yikes is all I can say to that.

      There are no quick fixes. Work on making a proper shoulder turn and stopping the swing as soon as the shoulder turn stops. A week from now it will be better, a month from know it will be better than that and at some time in the future you will get it where you want it.

      Reply
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  5. Carrera

    “with the arms and hands still in front of the chest, the same distance from the sternum (breast bone) that they were at address”

    Can you expand on this…at the top of your backswing your hands aren’t still centered to the sternum like they are at setup, are they? Don’t they get closer to your right shoulder as your left arm goes across your chest a bit?

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Yes, you are correct. As the right elbow (for right handed player) bends, your hands are not as centered, but there is a tipping point at which your left arm goes too much across your chest. That creates a “stuck” situation and the object is to keep your hands in front of you chest as much as possible…but the hands should stil stay the same distance from the sternum, just at a slightly different angle. If they get closer, you are collapsing. If they get farther, you have separated your arms from your turn…most likely from trying to increase your arc.

      Reply
  6. Bardolinks

    Monte: I’ve been reading your posts on GEA and enjoying them but until today had not looked at your blog. Why did I wait? I have no idea! It’s great and I’ll make a point of checking in regularly. I’m glad to see that I’ve got the turn and backswing just about right (for me that is).

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Bardolinks…you said it exactly right. You have it right for you. That is what I have been trying to preach here. Everyone is going to be different and you have to find out what is right for you. Everything I post here is hopefully a guide to finding that.

      Reply
  7. Ryan

    Monte,

    Love the blog. Videos are great! I think you should do a what’s in the bag video…that would be cool.

    Keep up the great work.

    Reply
  8. soumuniorkime

    Great, I did not heard about this topic until now. Thanx!

    Reply
  9. Johnny

    You’re not giving the viewers enough credit. If no one out here was as talented as John Daly, Freddie and others, were would the next great players come from.

    Someone has to be.

    You may be surprised.

    Now that’s brutally honest.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Johnny, you are 100% correct and the people that fall into that category know they are that good already. Those comments and others like them are directed at the slew of golfers who are just out to have fun and play a little better…and I am trying to make it easier for them to accomplish that.

      Reply
  10. David Mack

    Monte,
    I understand and agree with the excessive arm turn, but how do you know what is your”maximum turn?” In the video your left knee turns in towards the ball. My problem is that sometimes I keep turning (dropping?) my left knee to get more turn which screws up my swing.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      The knee thing happened as a result of me turning toward the camera so it could hear me talk. If you just keep looking at the ball and do the drill of putting the shaft in fron of the shoulders and turning them…that will tell you what the max turn is.

      Reply
  11. Les

    This lack of power feel will improve as your feel learns to fire properly from that shorter, better position.

    Where does this power come from?

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      The rotation of your body. When your arm swing takes over for your shoulder turn, your rotation work properly because the body has to wait for the arms and hands…or you just get stuck.

      Reply
  12. Martyn

    Monte,

    I appreciate the jargonless, techno-bable, B.S. free way you put things across & I.m sure I speak for many when I say your points have away of prompting ‘ah ha’ moments! (Especially the plane & release by feel clip)

    I understand the logic & the principle of turning parallel to your spine rather than to the ground & manage to get myself in a consistent position with the ‘drill with the club across the chest & shoulders but the moment I put a club in my hand my shoulders have a tendency to turn on a flatter plane such that that space I am conscious of between chin & shoulder during the drill is no longer there. Any thoughts?
    Regards,
    Martyn

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Matyn. I am glad you enjoy the site. As for your shoulder turn, I have one comment. It takes time for your body to accept and integrate changes. All you have to do in make an effort and in time, it will change. You have to retrain your shoulders to turn that way and that drill will give them the feeling.

      Reply
  13. Ju

    I think your explanation is very good and pretty funny! you’ve really touched on a simple backswing which is great , but sometimes we know we let the chest turn to the right yet we still cannot feel the coil on the right side (I’m flexible) and then from there (searching for that tight torque feel) we subconsciously try to move more with whatever muscles we can get to get that feel! and thats when the unnecessary muscles kick in!

    Reply

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