If you went and interviewed ten different golfers, you would likely get ten different responses about the number one key to a good backswing in golf.
One of the things that we all love about this game is the ability to play it your own way.
Even when you watch the professionals compete in an event, they are still enjoying the game the way that they know best.
There is truly no perfect golf swing and no perfect way to play the game.
Therefore, trying something new in your game can help you increase the effectiveness of your swing and make you a better overall player.
If you think that starting your backswing with your shoulders could be a good idea, we have all the information you need to get this done.
A golf swing that starts with the shoulders is a smart choice for many players, so let’s take a look at why that is.
How To Start Backswing With Shoulders
Here is a step-by-step guide to help you start your swing with your shoulders.
Once you get this process down, it should not be hard to repeat it, and you will quickly see the positive impact on your golf game.
Step 1: Proper Setup
Whether you start your backswing with your head, your hips, your shoulders, or your hands, the proper setup is essential.
Pay attention to the club you have in your hands and make adjustments based on whether it is a driver, fairway wood, iron, etc.
In order to get the proper setup, you must make sure that all parts of your body are in line and are ready to swing the golf club.
So many golfers forget to line up their shoulders, hips, and feet.
This causes major confusion, and it will impact the swing plane as well.
Spend time reading about the proper golf setup and use a mirror to make sure that you are in a good position each time you swing.
Once you know what a good setup feels like, you should be able to repeat it consistently.
Step 2: Weight Balanced
Your weight needs to be balanced when you are about to take a backswing that starts with your shoulders.
Your weight needs to be balanced between the front and back of your foot and balanced between your left and right foot.
If you are a player who struggles with transferring weight in your swing, it is acceptable to load up a bit of extra weight on the right foot when you start.
However, we recommend a more balanced approach for most players.
Once your weight is balanced and you feel as though you are in an athletic setup, it is safe to move on to the next step.
Step 3: Grip Pressure And Position
Golfers who have too much grip pressure are known for taking the club back with their hands and wrists.
The grip pressure allows the hands to feel as though they are too big of a contributor to the game.
This is unfortunate, and it will lead to golf shots that are not all that pretty.
Instead, you want to have a neutral grip with light pressure.
This type of grip gives all parts of the body an equal opportunity to be involved in the swing.
When the grip is loose, you can start your swing by making a better turn and allowing the hands and arms to swing the proper way.
Your grip position should be neither too strong nor too weak.
This can impact the way that the club moves in your backswing.
Step 4: Initial Movement
When you want to start your backswing with your shoulders, it is all going to start in the takeaway.
There are differing opinions about the best way to feel this motion in your swing, but the left shoulder seems to be the better thing to focus on.
As you are setting up to hit the ball, you will notice that if your chin and head are at the proper angles, you will be able to turn and get the shoulder to fit under the chin.
The first move for a golfer who is working on starting their backswing with their shoulders is to fit that left shoulder under the chin.
Try not to worry about what the club head is doing or what your hands need to do.
If you are doing this correctly, you should have no trouble getting the shoulder to fit under the chin correctly.
If your weight is transferring and your core starts to turn as your shoulders turn, then your swing will also have an easier time staying on plane.
Your shoulders are some of the larger muscles involved in the golf swing.
When golfers get the larger muscles involved, their consistency improves significantly.
Step 5: Action With The Hips
Now that you have your shoulders turning the way they should be, you can start to incorporate the other muscles and movements in your golf game.
Just because you start the swing with your shoulders, it does not mean that there will be no other moving parts.
Starting the backswing with your shoulder is just a start as the rest of the swing and weight transfer need to fall into place.
Your hips are going to need to turn to follow your shoulders into the backswing.
In addition, the hip turning is very important as they are going to be what leads the shoulders down through the impact position.
Starting a downswing with the shoulders is not a good move and won’t result in enough power.
If you want to start the backswing with the shoulders, that is one thing, but the downswing must be started with that hip turning towards the target.
Always ensure that you are incorporating all parts of your body into your swing and not just completely leading with the shoulders.
Step 6: Drills For Practice
Now that you have the basic steps in place to get your golf swing started with your shoulders, it’s a good idea to practice these things.
One of the best drills and ways to practice starting the backswing with the shoulders is to work on your short game.
Golfers should remember that the short game is a miniature version of the long game.
You can work on things like the takeaway when you are practicing chipping and pitching, and it will help you with the full swing.
The motion will be the same in the full swing.
Take a bucket of golf balls and work on chipping 25- to 50-yard chips and pitches.
Start each of these shots by getting your shoulder tucked under your chin.
Ensure that you don’t start wrapping the club too far around you, as these are just short shots that need a very short and controlled golf swing.
Sometimes golfers also find that they have luck when they practice this type of takeaway with their legs together.
Sometimes golf seems easier when you condense it and start taking much smaller swings that involve just a bit of rotation.
We love the drill of standing with your feet together and practicing a new concept.
Although you will not get the same distance and performance, you are still going to get plenty of what you need to succeed.
Overall, when your stance is closer together, and you can make this turn, you will quickly feel what you need to have the shoulder leading the way.
Step 7: Troubleshooting
Now that we have given you the basic concepts and the way to practice, there are a few things that could happen which you should look out for.
The first is that when you turn your shoulder to tuck it under your chin, you will find that you take the club a bit too far inside.
If you simply are turning the shoulder, this shouldn’t happen.
However, some people are also going to engage their hands when they turn the shoulder, and they try and wrap the club a bit too far around them.
If this happens, you will end up with the club on a difficult plane and have a hard time getting it back around to hit a straight shot.
The golf club can’t tuck around you in that way because it still has to travel straight down the line for the first bit of takeaway.
The other kind of trouble that golfers can get into is that they forget to engage the lower body at all.
If you are only going to incorporate your shoulders into your swing and leave the lower body out of it, the results will be ugly.
The power won’t be there, and the timing and tempo will be off as well.
The better option is to get your legs involved in your swing after you have made the initial movement with your shoulders.
Should I Start My Backswing With My Shoulders?
Having the information and the skills necessary to start your swing with your shoulders is excellent, but is it the right move for your game?
There are so many different ways to play golf and to swing the club that golfers often wonder if it makes sense to make swing changes like this.
One of the swing changes of starting a backswing with shoulders could be a big one for you.
There are, however, a few benefits that you can get from this type of swing, and they are worth considering.
1. More Consistency
To stay consistent with your game, you need to incorporate the bigger muscles into your golf swing.
Golfers who use their hands, arms, and wrists to try and hit the ball are going to notice that they have very good days and very bad days.
Finding consistency in your game is hard, but the more you can use your shoulders and your core, the better it can be.
If you are a player who tends to shoot 90 one day and 105 the next, this is a swing change and a move that you may want to consider for your game.
2. Better Power
Do you want more distance out of your golf shots?
Of course, the answer to this question for most people is an emphatic yes.
The more distance you can get, the more quickly you can get the ball close to and into the cup.
The shoulders are very strong and incorporating them into the swing at the start of the takeaway is going to really help to increase the power that you can get in your game.
The better the power, the lower you are going to see your scores getting.
As long as you can control this extra power, the distance and performance will be hard to beat.
3. Improved Swing Tempo
Since the shoulders involve some larger muscles, they can help a player to establish a better swing tempo.
The swing tempo has nothing to do with the speed of a golfer’s swing, but it is more about the control they have and how the swing falls into place.
To improve your tempo, you need to engage your shoulders and get them to be more actively involved in leading this swing.
This is one of the things that makes the move of starting your swing with your shoulders a smart one to attempt.
How Important Is A Shoulder Turn In A Golf Swing?
If you decide that starting your golf swing with your shoulders is not the right sequence for you, don’t give up there.
It is essential that you still incorporate your shoulders into your swing.
We highly recommend taking some videos and pictures of yourself as you are swinging the club.
Take a look at the shoulder action in your swing and make sure that you are getting good rotation.
It is also a good idea to look at professional golfers and see the way that they swing the club.
Chances are they are making some significant shoulder turns and using that to generate power and better tempo.
Hopefully, this guide will help you to get your shoulders turning the way that you would like.
Incorporating a great shoulder turn into your swing is essential for improvement over the long term.
Golfers need to decide how serious they are about the game and the types of things they are willing to work on to be able to see improvement.
Overall, the golf swing initiated with the shoulder is not the only way to play the game, but it certainly is a smart choice for a large number of players.