Golf Swing Secret: Maximize Turn while Maintaining Tilt for Consistent Power

INTRODUCTION

Today I’m going to discuss some still images from a swing sequence of my long drive swing. We’re going to be looking at achieving proper turn in the golf swing while maintaining tilt. If that doesn’t make any sense to you now, it will by the end. FYI, I have written elsewhere about tilt and proper turn in the backswing, so go there for more on this topic.

I absolutely tagged this ball. The swing was approximately 135 mph on a Trackman, as I have been putting up 132-134 mph in recent training and this shot exceeded those.

I was also using a monitor that measured turn angles, so I was able to measure that too.

THIS SHOULD BE A MAJOR KEY IN GOLF INSTRUCTION:

How to achieve maximum turn while maintaining tilt away from target. No one seems to teach this or even talk about it, but I see golfers every day who over rotate out of their tilt and when I tell them about it, that call it making maximum shoulder turn. When they are past parallel, they tell me that Bubba goes past parallel and so do long drivers.

All of this is nonsense if you never establish and maintain spine tilt away from the target in your backswing and at the top. Daly has it, Bubba has it, but all of the people who solicit my free advice and scoff at my response, not only don’t have it, they have tilt toward target in most cases.

THIS IS THE KEY TO POWERING A GOLF SWING:

You cannot rotate past the point where your body can no longer support tilt away from the target. The arms have no room to swing, upper body lateral movement toward target and cast/flip is the body’s only recourse.

The above bold print should be the #1 priority of every instructor in the world. I don’t use this directly to many people as the term reverse tilt or over rotating out of tilt is a connotation of reverse pivot and most golfers don’t have that and will walk away from you if they think you are telling them that.

You might as well tell them they have a small penis.

Look at the first three images. You are going to notice 3 things (if one of them is the soft left elbow, there is nothing to see, move along).

1. I have what was measured as 108* of shoulder turn. More than 99% of golfers are capable of.
2. Even though I rotated well past 90*, my right shoulder is still closer to my right foot than my left.
3. Most important…Even with this massive shoulder turn going well past parallel, I still have 15-20* of spine tilt away from the target.

If you reread the article I linked above, you will see how all great players do 2 and 3 and all sorts of people trying to make a full turn fall apart where 2 and 3 are concerned.

tilt & turn pic

tilt & turn


You are going to notice a few things in the next three images:

  1.  I maintain my spine tilt away from the target the whole downswing.
  2. It helps me create lag that would make even Sergio at 19 stand up and applaud. The irony is I am trying to unload all the lag from the top. Imagine if I float loaded and held it on purpose. Don’t have to. My turn, linked up arms and speed do that for me.
  3. It allows my arms to link up to my turn.



Look how me trying to unload the lag in sequence help me release the club perfectly.

I have worked long and hard to get my swing back. False modesty aside, you will not see a better sequenced 130-135 mph swing anywhere in the world…and maintaining my tilt away from the target is the reason I can make a swing this long and this hard and hit a 50 yard wide fairway 80-90% of the time at drives that are 350-400 yards.

That is how I consider myself an expert on this subject: I came up with this theory, I tested it, and I put it into play.

Here is a video of the swing:

For more information on how I combine this concept into a comprehensive full swing philosophy, check out my video series Drive 4 Dough. Or, you can read this article here.

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27 Comments

  1. Joeunc

    Great article Monte, this has been preached over and over over at GolfWrx about the proper tilt. Nearly every day you have to set someone straight on what exactly the best way to turn is.

    Reply
    • Weston

      Amazing how he maintains right side pressure and really rolls his ankle. This right side discipline allows him to get his right elbow tucked and forward as his right hip stays back and his pelvis is stretched. Once he gets there, the swing is over.

      Reply
  2. Will

    Nice swing, especially for an LD swing. They can be… different (whatever it takes, right?)

    The turning-out-of-tilt thing is something that I struggled with since I started playing. I initially went to turning less (which I also received as advice from a good teacher), which helped, but was limiting. Monte’s tip about right shoulder over right knee helps me make a full turn and maintain tilt. Another thing which works for me is to turn my right hip back as much as I can in the backswing. Mine had a habit of sliding a little. Not much, but just enough to exacerbate the tilt problem.

    Reply
  3. MSGolfer

    As a prior sheep in the “hit from the inside” herd when you’re underplane adding tilt just exacerbates the misses right and left (in the short term), so it’s tough incorporating the idea. Obviously more tilt is the correct way to go, but I’ve also had to address some funky moves in transition to get that thing unstuck, mainly being the more tilt I add to harder I have to swing out / left.

    Reply
  4. IPM

    Great article Monte. I’m still learning how to tilt properly and maintain it. I think I tend to over-tilt (or perhaps over-rotate) and get stuck. Very helpful.

    Reply
  5. Chris

    Monte,

    I wanted to drop you a line here and tell you how much your tilting videos and instruction have changed my golf game. This might be a little long but I think’s its important and probably for your readers as well.

    I ended last season as 5.4 HC and was intent on getting it lower in order to participate in some of my state events. I spent a lot of time (and even more money) on two golf instructors this past winter in order to get there.

    To give you some background, I’m a classic early extender. I drop my right shoulder and just flip at the ball at impact. I can get away with it with the driver but not with my irons. Hitting 150 yard 6 irons wasn’t going to cut it. One of my instructors was so intent on fixing the flip at the bottom, that he taped my wrists together. There was no mention of the shoulder drop just an intent focus on keeping my right wrist locked in place. I soon realized that taping my wrists together wasn’t going to make me a better golfer and I parted ways with instructor 1.

    Instructor 2 found the right shoulder drop/early extension right away. His diagnoses however, were to turn the shoulders more left and leave the arms behind. I started striking the ball better but I had to really fight this swing and just could not ingrain it for the life of me. I did drills at night, mirror work and hit a ton of golf balls. He also worked in a very weak grip for some reason.

    There aren’t many people who work harder at golf than me. I’m at the range at 6 am and at lunch and sometimes on my way home. My short game work gets 4 hours per week.

    Well, the results were terrible. I played 4 straight rounds to start the season and wasn’t able to break 90 once. I decided that I was going back to my old swing and just live with it. For the next couple of rounds I was a wreck; my golf game was as far away from my goal that it has ever been. After feeling sorry for myself I decided to just drop the goal and play for fun. This was hard for me to take because I get a lot of satisfaction out of bettering my game. Working towards something and achieving it is very motivating for me.

    I started poking around online for a cure for this dreaded shoulder drop one day and came across your videos on tilt. The only tilt I had in golf at this point was my beer glass at the 19th hole.

    If there is ever such a thing as an “a-ha!” moment or a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, this is it. My golf game has completely changed and I’m halfway to my goal in less than 60 days. The level of consistency that tilting and maintaining that tilt provides is incredible. Sure, I sometimes struggle with maintaining the tilt at impact but it only lasts for a few swings.

    It’s also allowed me to shorten my backswing and I don’t have a million swing thoughts anymore. I don’t care about takeaway or position at the top any longer. If I tilt and maintain, I can strike the ball well and tinker with takeaway and position not focus on it. That might not make much sense but tilting at setup puts the golf swing on the right path.

    If I could tell your readers a couple of things from my experience, it’s this:

    1. Don’t worry about getting the right amount of tilt, just tilt. You’ll figure it out as you play more. For example I’ve been building in a little more tilt in my long irons as my arms need a little bit more room. I would caution anyone of making any swing changes until you are tilted. This is really the backbone of the golf swing in my opinion.
    2. Practice it at home. This is the type of swing change that can really benefit from just taking 10-15 mins a night and working on your setup in front of a mirror. I also will watch Monte’s tilting videos over and over. Just this morning, I played his tilt video on my phone as I drove to work.

    What prompted this post was the 75 I fired yesterday at 7,100 yds. I had my share of bad swings in that round but they were easily corrected.

    I hope more people buy into Monte’s tilting approach. You might be able to play golf without but you can’t play your best.

    Reply
  6. Paul

    Monte–one of your best posts. That second photo is what all great players do–that is establish a pivot line–left shoulder over right knee. This is one of those non-negotiables in the golf swing and something I am working hard on.

    I also want to say that your two videos on forced vs natural lag are gamechangers for me, In part one, where you talk about how the lateral bump and turn cancel each other out and give you the correct amount of shaft lean, is brilliant. Making an in-synch swing, properly releasing the club as soon as possible is liberating and has liberated my swing as well. Thanks, pro, you’re on fire.

    Reply
  7. jeff

    I’ve been watching a few videos of great players on Youtube to see this move in action in different ways (all good ballstrikers absolutely do this to various degrees), and this was too funny not to share — Peter Kostis calling it a “power leak” in David Toms’ swing:

    Reply
  8. Calvin

    Secondary tilt is for short hitters too. Moe had it down.
    I don’t recall anyone besides Monte who has called it a
    basic fundamental. I’m thinking it relates more to accuracy
    and consistency but I don’t think it detracts from power
    at all.

    Reply
  9. Chris

    Great post. Super helpful. One thing- when I focus so much tilt at impact I feel like I can have a hard time getting to my left side and end up staying back on my right side too much. The finish is sometime lacking ia another way id pit it. Any thoughts on keeping tilt yet getting to thru to ones left side? I notice there’s no still shot of the finish and it would be great to see it. Hope that makes some sense and I explained what i mean in an understandable way. Thanks for all the insights.

    Reply
    • steve

      Just watch the video and pause it.

      Reply
    • Bruce

      I also have a hard time getting to my left side (more so with the driver). Is it mostly the momentum from the “bump” that gets you there or is more like a pitcher pushing off the rubber with the back foot?

      Reply
  10. Bruce

    Congrats, Monte……this is far-and-away your best article and rivals anything I’ve ever read before from anyone. I feel as though it was written especially for me, but I’d bet it’s such a common problem that it applies to a large percentage of amateur golfers. Well done!

    Reply
  11. Lawrence

    Your swing is looking really good. I hope you bring home the bacon. 🙂

    Reply
  12. Derrick

    Monte — Concur with everyone. Great post, great info. Love the way you describe the issue — rotating to “where your body can no longer support tilt away from the target.” Keep up the good work, my man.

    Reply
  13. Geoff Dickson

    Monte’s post was not only informative, it is inspirational.

    Reply
  14. Jason

    Great post Monte. Tilt is so important. Like I’ve said before, you and Shawn Clement have a lot in common, especially regarding tilt. Great stuff.

    Reply
  15. rojoass

    Ah….beautiful there Monte. As the great one says…..”it’s a beautiful thing to see one swing on the chi line”…….

    no swingcrack there…………. Pure Gold.

    http://rojoass.com/

    Reply
  16. Robert Evans

    Great article Monte. Thanks for the brilliant instruction!

    Reply
  17. Ed

    Best article ever. It seems to put everything in place with regards to angle of attack, dropping into the slot, proper weight transfer, helps with over the top, bump dump and turn. My wedges seem to go alot higher. Would love to see your address and a down the line view. Thanks.

    Reply
  18. jmwald

    I agree with every post above…vital info presented without technobabble that is the “sine qua non”…You said you’re in the gym everyday…I’m in the gym business…have been for the last 43 years…and am still one of the strongest 65 year olds in the country…if there is one thing I need to say about the role of your quest for strength and stamina…don’t overtrain…less is more with regard to proper, safe, effective, efficient strength training. Anytime you feel like chatting about what type of workout is best for a physical activity that takes about 1 second to perform while recruiting a maximum number of myofibrils…drop me an email and we can talk more…jmwald@gmail.com…perhaps we can incorporate some science and evidence based strength training into next years preparation for your Remax quest. Meanwhile I enjoyed your first video lesson immensely and am looking forward to the next…Joel Waldman

    Reply
  19. Jake Gilmer

    This is a reply to Chris’s lengthy post above. Just wanted to say that this post was very well written and you can sense your enthusiasm to improve your golf game and your willingness to work hard and enjoy the journey. I am exactly the same way myself and have been down a similar path. I was once a 4 handicap and have gone to a couple of big name teachers and couldn’t hardly break 90! I recently went for a lesson with Monte in person and he addressed the NEGATIVE tilt that I had at impact. It was one of those lightbulb moments (I had several during his lesson) that just made total sense to me. I also feel that this is the backbone of any good golf swing and it has turned my game around completely. I am now headed in the right direction and already striking the ball so much better! Monte is the man! Go see him and you won’t be disappointed!

    Reply
  20. Zach

    Great post! Can not loading up the right side in the backswing cause the reverse tilting? I struggle to get to my ride side, i feel as though I’m 50-50 weight distribution the whole way thru. Any tips? Please!!!

    Reply
  21. Ryan

    Hey Monte, it almost appears that to start your swing, your left hip bumps towards the target a little and then the swing begins back. Is this something you consciously do to start your swing? It seems like slightly bumping your hip would help get the upper body and lower body in proper rhythm to start the backswing (along with added secondary tilt to begin with!)… any merit to this?

    Reply
  22. scott

    Hey Monte,

    Like you, I’m an adherent to maintaining secondary tilt in the golf swing, but I’m having a problem overloading my right hip on the backswing, causing a very tight and somewhat painful hip. I’m not sure if it’s a posture issue at address or a movement issue during the swing. Do you have a tip to keep the right hip free moving during the swing? I feel like mine gets stuck on the way back and I end up putting too much pressure on it… Thanks!

    Reply
  23. Rick Heath

    Monte, I can vouch for your saying you’re OK with a 3/4 swing top. I’ve used it 2-3 years since an accidental fall has put my left shoulder with arthritis or whatever is in there. I can truthfully say I believe I compress the ball as well as ever.

    Reply

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