Making a Full Turn in the Backswing

Making a full turn is an important topic because many people are so intent on turning their back to the target and getting to parallel in the backswing that they overdo it or fail to grasp what a proper turn actually feels like. There is an epidemic of people over-rotating and tilting toward the target in the golf community. Like trying to generate lag with a steep transition often creates a flip and loss of shaft lean at impact, over-rotating and tilting toward the target will often force a stall of the turn through impact. And impact is where you want to be rotating, not during a false turn at the top of the backswing:

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64 Comments

  1. Birdman506

    Excellent explanation, Monte. I love how you completely explain the rationale for your instruction – both the pros and cons (of not doing it correctly).

    Reply
  2. Todd Heugly

    I have a comment about going past parallel at the top. There have been many brilliant ball strikers who go past parallel at the top of their swing. There is no rule on how far back they can go as long as they don’t reverse pivot. Check out Freddie, Tom Watson, Lord Byron, Phil, etc.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Totally agree. The issue is exactly what I said in the video. A full turn is as far back as you can sustain tilt away from the target.

      Freddie didn’t do this and when he reversed his tilts, that caused his back problem.

      I over run my turn with my arms when long driving.

      The issue is most golfers need to avoid both of these things.

      Reply
      • Todd Heugly

        As long as a golfer doesn’t reverse pivot or do the stack n tilt move, I have no problem with a student letting their arms over run.

        Reply
        • Monte Scheinblum

          That leads to another problem. Arms trailing on the downswing. You see a gap between the right arm and the body at P6, arm over run and/or arms starting late in transition are the issue.

          Reply
          • Todd Heugly

            Don’t you want the arms delaying in the transition and narrowing the angle on the way down to create lag? As long as a golfers timing, AoA, clubface, and clubpath are consistent and producing the desired ball flight the rest is just details. As instructors our job is to produce a desired ball flight and a consistent repeatable swing. 100 different ways to get there but impact conditions is what truly matters. But that is just my humble opinion.

          • Monte Scheinblum

            I agree with the last part of your statement, but not the first.

            When the arms delay too much, they trail and there is no way to sustain lag.

            In the sequence, the lower body does start first, but that has been over done by many golfers and the arms either lose connection in transition or the right elbow gets stuck behind the right hip.

            Especially those that got rapped into X-factor and restricted hip turn.

          • Todd Heugly

            Go look at Jack, Tiger, Phil, Tom, Rory etc…All of their swings get narrow on the way down when they transition and separation occurs. The lag is produced and the arms do come into their side but get back in front of them at impact. We are talking about hip over rotation and poor sequencing now not arm over run. Like I said before as long as they don’t reverse pivot they can swing as long as they want too. Are you going to teach arm over run, no. But if it isn’t hurting their transition or they aren’t reverse pivoting there are many more areas to look. before addressing that

          • Monte Scheinblum

            I agree on all those guys. I am saying most golfers can’t recover from arm over run. I could name you just as many golfers like Duffner with short arm swings.

            Like I say, pursuit of lag directly is misguided. It results from proper transition and linking the arms up correctly.

            You are looking at separation from the wrong viewpoint.

            Zach Johnson and Hunter Mahan both start with their arms so their strong pivots don’t leave the arms behind.

          • Monte Scheinblum

            Todd, do this.

            Take a face on view of every one of your students that is having a forward shaft lean at impact problem…and all of the ones whose arms over run their turn.

            You are likely to find a gap between the right arm and torso at P6 on nearly all of them.

            Pursuit of lag ends badly, it’s a result of getting the right elbow down and forward enough.

          • Todd Heugly

            The face on statement is entirely false. I think your usage of arm over run is misguided. If a golfers back is facing the target and their arms are bent and “over run” they can and will make the proper downswing maintaining lag and have proper and “ideal” impact positions. If they reverse pivot with the arms going nuts or even staying short for that matter they will struggle. I need to see demos of your students doing this and understand your definition of terms better.

        • Scott

          Who the heck is Todd Heugly and who would take a lesson from this trolling clown?

          Reply
          • Todd Heugly

            Really Scott???

    • Monte Scheinblum

      That’s Bobby Jones and he did it with a huge hip turn. I am talking about average golfers.

      This is the problem. People think because it may work for a good player or another, that makes it OK.

      It’s an issue of people who were-are successful because of something or in spite of something.

      Parallel is a meaningless, arbitrary position.

      Reply
      • Todd Heugly

        I don’t care if it is Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, Tom Watson, Barry down the street, or a teenage kid. There are 100 ways to do it as long as impact conditions are good. Don’t short change amateur golfers I have 3 who swing way past parallel who are scratch golfers.

        Reply
        • Monte Scheinblum

          You’re missing the point entirely….and good for you.

          Reply
          • Todd Heugly

            That is my point again??? I don’t care how far a student swings past parallel(which you consider arm over run in your video from the demo), as long as it doesn’t pull them off balance, put them in a reverse pivot, or stand them up out of their posture everything is fine.

      • Don Lissen

        Bobby Jones did it with a huge hip turn? Although that’s what you SEE, it’s not actually what he DID. You can make a big turn…if you do it right.

        Bobby made that huge turn by out-Monte-ing Monte. “Golf lost something when it lost the takeaway.” ~ Monte Scheinblum

        Bobby made a PRE-takeaway. If you watch his How I Play Golf, he says that his swing started with “a queer little move of the hips.” (No, Bobby, it’s not your hips, except indirectly.)

        He rotated the inside of his upper right leg inward, just enough to load his left big toe, then he bounced back off that left toe as he turned back. That allowed his left leg to turn subconsciously, along with the right side of his mid and lower back.

        The back isn’t strong enough to do that by itself, which is why I thought Tom Watson was nuts…for a while. So, look at Couple’s left foot at the top; then look at Bobby’s left foot at the top. Maybe Couples’ left leg wasn’t helping enough, and that’s why has a bad back?

        http://www.golfdigest.com/images/instruction/2008/04/insl05_fred_couples.jpg Couples, at the top, flat left foot

        http://www.instantgolflesson.com/Jones_Backswing.jpg Bobby Jones, at the top, balanced right-heel, and left toe.

        [Disclaimer: I am not endorsing any website that I use as a source for photos.]

        Reply
  3. Todd Heugly

    You are proving my point with the short arm swing guys…All that matters is impact whether there is “over run” or “short arm swings” as long as a golfer consistently gets back to impact with the proper sequencing and conditions the rest is details.

    Reply
    • Dale P

      You do realize that for many, “arm over run” pretty much kills the “proper sequencing” that you’ve identified as important (and I agree with). Sure, some can manipulate their swing (with a varied degree of success) to accommodate the over run… but why would you want to do that instead of trying to keep things more sequenced and connected?

      Reply
    • Larrybud

      The point is what is easier to get back to proper impact position: With arm over run or without?

      Obviously with long overrun, you have to sync back up somewhere on the downswing, hopefully timing it correctly. Why would you want to have to make up for something you did in the BS when you can eliminate that fault in the BS altogether?

      Seems logical to me that the goal of anybody is consistency, and consistency is achieved by eliminating as many compensations as possible.

      Reply
      • Todd Heugly

        So, you are defining arm over run as disconnection? Since there is no clear definition we will go with that. Now lets get something out of the way first EVERY swing has timing and re-syncing on the way down period.

        As far as long swings go if i was wrong Phil, Watson, Snead, Freddie, Ko, Stacey Lewis etc would be horrible golfers. In am attempt to not be obtuse I agree with a few points that have be expressed.

        Reply
        • Monte Scheinblum

          You keep moving the goal posts. You’re making it about right and wrong now while saying there is no right and wrong.

          Using tour players as models to make a point is ridiculous. These are the best in the world who play golf as a job and can make inefficient and complex moves work because of high skill and practice.

          I am talking about making things easier and more efficient for the average golfer so they they don’t have to work so hard.

          All good golfers reconnect their arms and get them to nearly the same spot coming into impact and at impact.

          It’s EASIER to get to that place if the arms haven’t worked past the turn…end of discussion, there is no debate.

          To go an a tangent. You can hit out of thick fluffy sand with a low bounce wedge and a square face and I have seen people make that work. However, a high bounce wedge with the face open to expose that bounce more is an EASIER more efficient way to do it.

          This discussion is the exact same thing.

          You are pointing out exceptions that have made it work and are being completely obtuse to a fact that I made a video explaining a concept to a mass of golfers. Not telling one individual that was an all time great he should change his swing.

          The concept. As a general rule, golfers who over rotate, tilt toward the target, over run their turn with their arms, or some combination…and are having trouble…can make it easier if they eliminate those things. That is the point you keep missing.

          If a guy is bowing his left wrist at the top and is hitting it left of left, does it make it OK because Dustin Johnson and Lee Trevino do it?

          If a guy is early extending to shallow the shaft because he is across the line with a flying right elbow OK because Jack did it?

          Most people are not athletic and coordinated enough and can’t create enough body rotation or arm speed to over run their turn and deliver the club to impact properly…and lag at P6 is a non issue. That’s a whole nother can of worms

          You are jumping in and taking things out of context and arguing against a point I’m not making.

          I don’t teach a one size fits all approach. The thousands of readers on my blog know that, the thousands of followers I have on Golfwrx know that, the people who have produced a million hits on my YouTube channel know that.

          Reply
          • Todd Heugly

            So, the response I just left for Larry sent you on an a flier? Poor form Monte, when I am stating that there are many ways to hit a golf ball. The most important part of any golf swing is impact period!!! Positions that you don’t think are ideal may work for someone just like they did for Jack, Arnie, Phil, or the guy and gal down the street who is looking to break 90. You are using general concepts which doesn’t apply to everyone. So you calling me obtuse(annoyingly insensitive or slow to understand) makes you look petty because I am discussing other swing thoughts. I am not arguing but apparently anyone else’s viewpoint is a threat and taken as arguing.

            I have not once missed your point and I made statements about poor body positioning. As far as using professionals as references who should I use? I can send videos of scratch amateurs if that will make you feel better??? There are ALWAYS exceptions to the rule and good for you trying to help the masses. I understand your intent and good on ya for the amount of followers you have. But if you can’t take others DISCUSSING topics or thoughts on one of your videos don’t post them.

        • Larrybud

          Exceptions don’t prove the rule. Most of us don’t have 10 hours a day to practice. Heck, most of us don’t have 10 hours a week to practice.

          Seems to me the goal of those with limited time is to remove as many faults which require some sort of manipulation later in the swing, because those manipulations will require excellent timing to overcome. You can get good timing by a LOT of practice, but as I’ve stated, most of us don’t have that kind of time.

          I think you could point out just about every idiosyncrasy there is in a golf swing by cherry picking a few top pros here or there, but that doesn’t make it the right way to swing.

          Heck, even Harmon was trying to get Phil to stop the overrun when he joined him a few years ago.

          Reply
  4. Calvin

    It’s easier to get to impact properly without arm over-run.
    If you can do it consistently though, good for you.

    Reply
  5. Calvin

    What about Furyk?
    Has he got over-run, outer-run or inner-run? 🙂

    Reply
    • Michael C.

      Lol….his right elbow is behind his hip on the downswing, also.
      He’ll never go anywhere like that.

      Reply
  6. Michael C.

    Great discussion

    Everyone has natural tendencies. This is why ‘swing methods’ don’t always work. Good golfers learn to score with their natural swing shape. Good instructors teach a player to be consistent with the natural tendencies the player has, whether it’s left-to-right, right-to-left, low, high, etc.. You can tweak a backswing, but when the pressure is on, a golfer will revert back to their ‘normal’ swing, whatever that would be. So, if you have a student that is past parallel, but they’re consistent with their ballstriking, why would you ever change them?

    Reply
    • Todd Heugly

      Exactly my thoughts. I have been successful simply improving my students impact positions and ball flights. There is no such thing as a perfect swing each golfer has their swing. However, impact can always be improved. If a student has glaring swing flaws that are causing havoc of course you correct those.

      If it is a brand new player that is a different story.

      Reply
      • Michael C.

        This subject hits home with me. My driver swing is past parallel. I get comments that range from “you have a nice smooth swing” to “I’d be in traction if I tried to turn like that”. Truth is I swing hard with a full turn and arm over run, but my balance is good and I guess my sequencing is too.

        I know diddly about the golf swing and it really burns my arse when a bloke with a ‘chipper’ in his bag and can’t break 90, let alone 80, tells me my driver swing is too long. All the while, I’m out driving him by 50 yards and giving him at least a bloody stroke per hole.

        Reply
        • Todd Heugly

          Love to hear that!!! Swing away and swing hard. If, a student is swinging the club fluid and natural and it goes past parallel I am loving that. Great comment!!!

          Reply
    • Don LIssen

      “So, if you have a student that is past parallel, but they’re consistent with their ballstriking, why would you ever change them?”

      Good thing they never got to Sam Snead

      http://i.ytimg.com/vi/U6Gu7n7Vnm0/0.jpg

      Reply
      • Michael C.

        …..or Bobby Jones who pulled the club inside and went over the top but still inside the target line.

        Reply
      • Lefty

        Sam also had a shoulder turn that most amateurs dream of allowing him to get past parallel without arm overrun.

        Reply
  7. Monte Scheinblum

    For the obtuse, I will say it one last time. Parallel is a meaningless, arbitrary position. I can barely take a backswing and go past parallel by over setting my wrists, I can make a 100* turn and be way short of parallel with little wrist set….see JB Holmes.

    Your average golfer can’t crack an egg with arm over run, John Daly would have trouble if he shortened his swing.

    Some people can sequence with arm over run…I don’t touch it. Most people cannot and their arms trail the whole downswing.

    This video is for people to understand that arm swing and tilt toward the target is not turn.

    It’s about understanding cause and effect. If the arms are trailing and the right wrist breaks down and there is arm over run…

    If you can sequence properly from a John Daly backswing, it’s a non issue. Most everyone knew what I meant in this video.

    …and exceptions don’t disprove the rule.

    Reply
    • Michael C.

      …”most people cannot and their arms trail the whole downswing”

      Ahh, This is why, as I’ve commented in the past, that I feel the hands aren’t passive in the transition. Because of my arm over run, I pull the handle to reconnect. Does this make sense?

      Reply
        • Michael C.

          Thank you. I could usually figure out how to make my swing to work for me well enough to get around the course but knew it didn’t conform to conventional teaching. Now, I’m finally getting a grasp on why. Couple that with your Youtube video that not only corrected my flat shoulder turn but eliminated my back pain from the increase in secondary tilt in my downswing that it was causing and I’m having fun playing golf again.

          Distance is back. Back pain is gone.

          Monte Scheinblum, you’re my hero. (said sincerely but in a funny voice) Lol

          Reply
    • Don Lissen

      “with arm over run”

      –Here’s one of my favorite Monte-isms: “When your turn is finished, your arm swing is finished.”

      I like the thought of arms keeping pace, not running ahead or lagging behind, not leading, not following. In fact, I don’t even like thinking about arms. Why would I do that if they’re just keeping pace?

      Now, some people wouldn’t give 2 cents for what Hunter Mahan (allegedly) said , and that’s because he’s associated with Foley. But, he’s one of the few Tour pros…or maybe the only one…who tells what he FEELS.

      This almost gets it, but I’d find a more accurate word than ‘follow.’– “You kind of feel like you didn’t move your arms at all, and you just moved your body, and your arms follow your body.” ~H.M.

      Reply
  8. Michael C.

    Whoa, Whoa, Whoa

    Let’s go back to the top where Monte and Todd agree. Consequently, both still agree. I’m not sure THEY see it that way, however.

    As far as the arms trailing in the backswing, yes, they do trail but need to be connected. If they’re not, you’re stuck. Furyk being somewhat of an exception. There are always exceptions, which brings me to my point.

    Monte is making a general statement that applies to most golfers. Those being bogey golfers and above who have long backswings, not because of a natural tendency, but because JD and Bubba do it. They want to hit it 300+ like they do. This trait of a long swing, if not done with compensations, (ever heard of Haney’s flaws and corrections must be equal) often leads to losing your secondary tilt. Both of you, I would hope, would correct this and in turn it would probably shorten the backswing.

    Todd, Monte went “went off on a flier” because you keep quoting exceptions. Golf swings are not cookie cutter. Again, you both agree. One of you speaking generally and the other using the exceptions to the rule. I’ve enjoyed this discussion but we don’t need this dissension. I understand the examples you gave to make the point that golf is not a one size fits all endeavor, but we get that.

    In my opinion, two of the problems in golf instruction are; obsessive students who WAY OVERDO what a pro has helped them with and instructors who want to teach a single method when there are several ways to hit a golf ball consistently. I believe the both of you have successful students because you’re not ‘method men’.

    Now, Mr. Scheinblum and Mr. Heugly, go to your rooms and don’t come out ’til you can admit that your philosophies are the same or ,at least, similar.

    LMAO-Had to throw in that last part, my apologies

    Reply
    • Todd Heugly

      I have been agreeing with what Monte said pretty much the entire time other than a couple small details. So I am not sure why I was the bad guy here. Oh and Scott I am one of the best instructors in Texas. I am originally from Utah and coach D one collegiate players and professionals. I wont name drop but I guess all in all I am a nobody.

      Reply
      • Michael C.

        You’re not the bad guy, I just noticed a turn from discussion/debate to something else.

        “one million you tube channel hits”

        “if you can’t take it, don’t post it”

        I just wanted to point out that you both basically were on the same page.

        I’m just as guilty referencing exceptions to the short backswing. Mostly, because I’m a decent player with a long driver swing.

        Reply
        • Todd Heugly

          It wasn’t a debate or personal until I was referred to as obtuse which is a kinder way of calling someone an asshole or an idiot. That is when it changed. I should have been the bigger man and let it slide but if you don’t stick up for yourself who will?

          Reply
          • Michael C.

            You’re both passionate about what you do. Your students are lucky to have you I’m sure.

            I follow Monte on his you tube channel because he explains ‘why’, which is something I never outgrew. I play to a 3 and never knew why things worked or didn’t work. I’d go to the range and try different things to hit fades or hooks until I could hit them.

            Picture a 4 year old asking why? why? why?. That’s me at 47. Plus, he puts up some of his videos up in tshirts and cargo shorts. A staple of my blue-collar wardrobe. Not a good reason I know,but, I don’t have a lot of extra money for lessons, so Monte is…well…pretty cool to me.

  9. Rob E.

    Todd stated: “I am one of the best instructors in Texas”
    Thank you for letting us all know that b/c judging from your posts I would had never guessed that.

    Reply
    • Todd Heugly

      Big sigh…So since Monte and I pretty much agreed on things does that make him a poor instructor??? He gave generalities I gave exceptions and we pretty much see things the same.

      Reply
  10. Steve

    I can make what I think to be a “full turn” and kill a driver 280, or I can take what Monte defines as a “full turn” and hit a 3w 285. I’m just a Joe Schmoe, but that’s who Monte’s preaching to.

    Reply
    • Michael C.

      If you have a 3 wood you can hit 285, never ever, ever, ever get rid of it. If you look in the bags of scratch players and tour pros they’ll have the newest drivers or irons, but often you’ll find an old beat up 3 wood. It’s difficult to find the right one.

      Reply
  11. Monte

    I apologize for where this all went.

    I was not directing the term obtuse at any individual and mistaken left out the word “deliberately” both times so it delivered an improper context.

    There was an impression on my part there was deliberate obtuseness to get a rise out of me. That usually doesn’t get a reaction out of me.

    Reply
    • Scott

      Monte,

      You sir are a class act.

      Reply
  12. Todd Heugly

    I think Monte is great. He was the one of the guys at the PGA seminars I could really talk instruction with.

    Reply
    • Michael C.

      You two actually know each other? Geez, do I feel like an obtusehole!!

      Sorry, gentlemen

      Reply
  13. yt

    I’m no tour pro, or a D1, or anything even resembling that. I’m just a recreational player who had an arm overrun problem. I had no clue it was an issue and had to be a range rat to maintain a playable swing. My instructor at the time kept focusing on impact position and kept suggesting progressively unsustainable compensations to get there. Even then, my golf game was so inconsistent and I simply don’t have the athletic ability or the practice time available to make it work.

    I can’t speak for everyone, but Monte’s videos about proper turning have resonated with me. When I focused on just this, my impact was immediately so much better. It felt so odd at first, it felt like I was taking 3/4 swings. But now I’m hitting it with significantly more yardage and consistency. It’s just a mental block now of avoiding the temptation of “turning” more to hit it further. I have to remind myself that its analogous to a standing jump, if I squat too deep I lack the physical strength in my legs to jump higher.

    So, a big thanks to Monte. My ball striking has now improved to the point that I’m soon embarking on the whole new world of shaping shots.

    Reply
  14. Paul Kraus

    Watched the video and did a few tests – fortunately before readind all the subsequent comments. Having read them and now that peace has broken out some clarification if I may;

    Scenario 1 I make a turn and reach a point where I can feel my shoulders and chest start to rise up. This is the point where I have exceeded what is a full turn for me, is this correct. I know this is the point I equate with a 3/4 turn and it doesn’t cost me any distance but haven’t tried it since seeing the video.

    Scenario 2 I make the 3/4 turn and stop before I get that rising feeling. However I let my arms continue moving. Don’t believe I do this but is this arm over run? The thought that ‘your arms stop when your turn stops’ means I don’t have to reconnect the arms with the turn on the transition and downswing.

    Have I got this right in the sense of understanding the basic premises.

    Thank You.

    Reply
  15. Chris

    I’ve been able to see the club head out of the corner of my eye at the end of my BS as long as I’ve been golfing- especially my driver. Watched the video, looked at my swing and I’m standing up out of my tilt.

    So if I concentrate on keeping my initial tilt, stop my turn naturally where I should, won’t it screw with my tempo and cost me distance? The transition will certainly be easier.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      First off, it has no affect on your tempo, although it could possible cause an issue with your rhythm initially of you get anxious,

      As far as distance, it will increase it if anything.

      If you are tilting toward the target and boer running your turn, you are wasting a lot of effort linking things back up and not having as much space to accelerate your arms.

      Reply
      • Chris

        Did some mirror work and was still able to get my right shoulder passed my midline. THEN I discovered something, I had a false tilt away from the target! My shoulders were angled away, and it appeared as if my back was too but I realized I had created this illusionary tilt without ever tilting from the waist. Once I established my primary tilt away from the waist up, my shoulder stopped where it is supposed to and is closer to my right side than the left. A side benefit is that because I could now “feel” like I completed my turn, (even thoughit’s shorter) it didn’t really affect my rhythm. Many, many thanks for what you do and share!! Please let me know when you come back to visit the Northwest!!

        Reply
  16. Paul Kraus

    Monte I cannot thank you enough. Last week I discover my posture was a bit hunched over. I work on that and then saw this blog and realised I was turning too far and coming out of posture and tilt. I also rewatched your video about the backswing where there is a alignment stick in front of the feet and the left arm hides it from sight.

    Managed to get to the range on Friday, combined these 2 elements and what a difference.

    The whole geometry of the swing feels different. Everything connected and smooth, lot less effort. More distance and ball flight more penetrating.

    Played on Sunday – first hole 540 yds. I’m an old guy returning after a long absence and I’m never going to hit the ball far – 5 wood off tee, straight down the middle 210 yd. 2nd shot 5 wood, dead straight 195 yds. partners saying ‘have you just had some lessons’.

    I was too excited to keep it up but it came and went throughout the round and some of the ball striking was my best ever.

    The thing which really stuck with me was what you said about identifying the point just before you loose tilt and at that point ‘the turn is yours’.

    Just got to remember – less is more – and practice now to groove it in.

    I’ve had a massive amount of benefit from your videos – this just seemed to tie everything together.

    Many thanks – you have made an old guy very happy.

    Reply
  17. Paul Kraus

    Now I have combined this with the left arm parallel and right shoulder out I’m a very happy golfer and looking forward to working this all together on the range to make it permanent.

    Reply

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