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How the left shoulder moves into and out of transition will play a big part in how much control you’ll have over your golf ball. In this video, we look at a couple of key differences in how a typical pro moves his lead shoulder compared to a typical amateur golfer. The left shoulder movement is an important element in the golf swing, and having the right concept of how it moves will improve your golf swing.

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Athletic Motion Golf is a collaboration of four of golf's brightest and most talented instructors who came together with the sole purpose of supplying golfers the very best information and strategies to lower their scores. At AMG, we're bringing fact-based instruction that's backed by research and proven at the highest levels on the PGA Tour straight to golfers through our website. Our resources will help you "clear the fog" in your game and understand the essentials of playing great golf.

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Nick

    Aug 1, 2018 at 8:01 pm

    Seems to be contrary to most things l have seen about staying connected during the swing
    Is left arm staying connected going back recommended?
    When is left arm leaving connection from body in down swing?

  2. engineer bob

    Jul 27, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    The comparison between pros and ams is quite valid, but once you attempt to utilize this information you must take into account your body type…. endomorph, mesomorph, ectomorph, hybrid-morph, to properly apply it.
    The best and only book (get it!) that addresses body type is:
    The Laws Of The Golf Swing: Body – Type Your Swing and Master Your Game – Adams, Tomasi, Suttie

  3. Tom

    Jul 27, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    I have no access to the video. What’s up with that?

  4. Tom

    Jul 27, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    Pretty tough to tell much from this two- dimensional view of a three-dimensional movement. Plus the pro has much wider shoulders, a much bigger shoulder turn, and, as has been noted, his right elbow is in a completely different position at the top.

  5. darkhors

    Jul 27, 2018 at 11:57 am

    Tom, you mentioned my first thought when watching this. I think part of that problem is that his right elbow is flared and because of that, he can’t drop the club into the proper position. I’m sure that this motion is captured with others who do have proper right arm movement, but I’m more curious to know how much that right elbow is affecting his down swing.

  6. DJP

    Jul 27, 2018 at 11:07 am

    What is the height of these two golfers and what club are they hitting?

    • AMG

      Jul 27, 2018 at 10:37 pm

      Don’t recall their exact height but if IIRC it was right at 6′ for both. Both were hitting 7iron.

  7. Tom Pemberton

    Jul 27, 2018 at 7:54 am

    How about the sigficant different positions of the right elbows coming into impact?

  8. ogo

    Jul 26, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    Pros represent 0.0001% of all golfers… and the rest of us represent 99.9999% and the amount of golfers whose swings are faulty!!! Maybe a new set of PXGs… ya think?!!

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Instruction

WATCH: How to hit your driver more consistently

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In this video, I share two great drills that will help you improve your driving today.

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3 keys for getting out of bunkers with soft sand

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One of the most infuriating things in golf is to land in a bunker that has too much sand, or sand with the consistency of a truckload of talcum power. Now, I am not picking on the Superintendents; they do have to add new sand from time-to-time, so no hate mail please! It’s my fault for hitting it in the bunker in the first place, and bunkers are supposed to be hazards; I know that.

The one thing we will assume for this article is that even though we are in soft sand, we will have a good lie, not a plugged or semi-plugged one. We are in a bunker that just has a bunch of sand, or it’s soft and fluffy sand. Everyone asks me what the secret is to handling these types of conditions and I’m here to help you get better.

1) Get a wedge with the correct bounce

Let’s consider that you play the same golf course every weekend, or that you mostly play on courses that have the same type of playing conditions mostly. When you have this luxury, you should have wedges that fit the conditions you tend to play. So, if you have a low bounce wedge with a sharp flange and you’re playing from bunkers with lots of sand, then you are putting yourself at a disadvantage.

Why alter your swing if the wedge you have can help you? Use a high bounce wedge (9-12 degrees of bounce) for soft sand, and a low bounce wedge (6-8 degrees) for firm sand.

2) Control your Angle of Attack 

As with most things in golf, there are always things that you must pay attention to in order for you to have the odds in your favor. Simple things such as paying attention to the lie you have can help you save shots in the rough. In bunkers, you cannot test the surface, however, you can use your feet to feel the density of the sand. Pay attention to what you feel in the balls of your feet. If you feel a ton of sand below you, then you know you will have to alter your angle of attack if you want any chance to get out of the bunker successfully.

So what do I mean by this?

The setting of your wrists has a very dynamic effect on how much the wedge digs in or skids through the sand (assuming you have an open face). When there is a surplus of sand, you will find that a steeper attack caused by the maximum cocking of your wrists makes it much easier for the wedge to work too vertical and dig too deep. When you dig too deep, you will lose control of the ball as there is too much sand between the blade and the ball — it will not spin as much and won’t have the distance control you normally have.

The secret to playing from softer sand is a longer and wider bunker swing with much less wrist-set than you would use on your stock bunker shot. This action stops the club from digging too deep and makes it easier for you to keep moving through the ball and achieving the distance you need.

3) Keep your pivot moving

It’s nearly impossible to keep the rotation of your shoulders going when you take too much sand at impact, and the ball comes up short in that situation every time. When you take less sand, you will have a much easier time keeping your pivot moving. This is the final key to good soft-sand bunker play.

You have made your longer and more shallow backswing and are returning to the ball not quite as steeply as you normally do which is good… now the only thing left to do is keep your rear shoulder rotating through impact and beyond. This action helps you to make a fuller finish, and one that does not lose too much speed when the club impacts the sand. If you dig too deep, you cannot keep the rear shoulder moving and your shots will consistently come up short.

So if you are in a bunker with new sand, or an abundance of sand, remember to change your bounce, adjust your angle of attack, and keep your pivot moving to have a fighting chance.

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WATCH: How to stop “flipping” through impact

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Are you flipping through impact? In this video, I share a great drill that will help you put better pressure on the golf ball at impact. By delivering the sweet spot correctly, you’ll create a better flight and get more distance from your shots immediately.

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