In order to maintain the proper sequence of body movement in the golf swing and keep the club on the proper path, you must learn to rotate the torso through impact with the ball and into the follow through. Failure to do this can result in disastrous shots that lack power and travel in unpredictable directions. Practice a few basic drills, however, and you can straighten those shots and put some pop in your swing.
A full rotation of the torso, according to Ben Hogan, requires a full shoulder turn back during the takeaway of the club and subsequent shoulder turn in the downswing, through impact. Many amateur golfers neglect the shoulder turn, swinging the club solely with their arms instead. Hogan encourages golfers to think of the shoulders and torso rotating around the spine, which should maintain its angle from set up to follow through.
Parallel Club Drill
Carl Rabito, writing on Golf Tips.com, suggests a drill to demonstrate the feeling of a full turn of the torso. Assume your set-up position with a golf club on the ground, parallel to the inside of your right foot. Hold a second club across your chest, parallel to your shoulder line. Make a backswing motion, rotating the torso until the club across your chest is directly above your right foot and parallel to the club on the ground. Hold this position for a moment to become acquainted with the feeling. This full backswing turn puts you in the proper position to make a full rotation down through the ball.
Ben Hogan suggests practicing with the thought in mind of finishing with your belt buckle facing the target. A good drill involves hitting a bucket of balls thinking only of the rotation of the hips and torso necessary to finish in this position. Concentrating on this commitment to turning the upper body will provide the feeling of the necessary acceleration of the upper body not only to the ball but also right through it.
Two Club Drill
Well-known golf teacher Jim McLean proposes a drill to help golfers accelerate the torso through impact that involves taking two clubs -- one in each hand. It's best to use a pair of similar irons for this drill and you want to set up in your normal stance holding your hands, and the club grips, roughly 2 to 3 inches apart. From this position, you will slowly begin a backswing with both clubs, concentrating on rotating the body. Once you reach the top, slowly transition into a controlled downswing. You will only be able to keep the clubs from crashing into one another if you rotate the upper body fully through the impact zone and into the follow through.
- Golf Tips; Turnstyle; Carl F. Rabito; April 2003
- "Ben Hogan's Five Lessons"; Ben Hogan with Herbert Warren Wind; 1957
- "Golf Digest's Ultimate Drill Book"; Jim McLean; 2003