Skip to main content
Original Issue

Unwinding the shoulders

Golfers frequently question me about what appears to be, in the swings of the best golfers, a sitting-down motion at the beginning of the downswing. I explain to them that they get this impression because a good golfer starts his hands down without unwinding his shoulders too soon. He wants to keep behind the ball with his shoulders as long as possible, arriving at the point of impact (see large figure below) with his shoulders parallel to the line of flight.

The small figure depicts a swing in which the shoulders have gotten out ahead of the ball before impact. This position is a very common one among average golfers. It is, as you can see, a weak position and one that is bound to result in a misdirected shot. Because the turn of the shoulders is a short turn compared to the wide sweep of the clubhead, it is easy to unwind the shoulders on the downswing before the clubhead completes its wider arc. I find that players who are experiencing this trouble can remedy it by keeping the right elbow close to the hip and the right shoulder well inside the line of flight.

JOE CANNON, Farmington CC, Charlottesville, Va.






NEXT WEEK: Al Besselink on one method of putting