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Big body turns for better swings

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Improve your torso rotations and the rest will follow

This article has been co-written with Tom Motley. Based in the U.K, Tom coaches an impressive and ever growing stable of elite players. His evidence and data lead approach yields tangible results for all abilities of golfer. You can check out his website here and instagram page here.

In my experience, most golfers these days are looking at their golf swings on a regular basis. For the golfer who takes an interest in their golf beyond playing once a week, YouTube seems to be the source of most people’s information for “tips” and “swing fixes”. You could spend days trolling through “how to fix a slice” videos and “how to gain more distance” and end up in a whole world of trouble. In fact I’ve gone on record saying if it weren’t for YouTube swing fixes I’d be out of a job, as coaches who work in person are the ones clearing up the messes golfers have gotten themselves into.

There are many reasons why there is no substitute for face to face coaching sessions, but I think the main one is being able to offer direct and immediate feedback to ensure the student doesn’t get the wrong concept of the movement they’re attempting. We all know feel and real can be very different and this why I’m very keen to give my clients movement exercises that they can do anytime and anywhere, not just in a golf context. This helps to ensure they’re training improved movement patterns, not just training a swing once or twice a week if they get the chance practice. 

When it comes to what I believe is the most important part in any good golf swing, it has to be moving the big stuff well, I’m talking torso and lower half movements. To me, irrespective of what the hands and arms are doing, if the body isn’t moving optimally, then it’s my first port of call. For anyone who has followed my instagram page you’ll see I often use a specific training aid to help students develop the feel of the correct movements of the torso and create a stable lower half; the key ingredients in a good golf swing. If you can rotate the torso in a simple and efficient way and stabilise the swing with a solid base, then I’m a firm believer that the arms will do a far better job than if the body is not “moving well”.

This is where the GravityFit TPro comes in, it has so many different applications, but I mainly use it to simply help the clients understand and gain feedback on torso movement in the back-swing and through-swing. When they have that understanding, they can go away and work on a daily basis on improving their movement patterns and ensuring there is good connection between the arms and torso. It’s by no means a miracle cure (we all know that’s a fantasy) but in my experience the changes to rotation and connection for clients are far more likely when they firstly get the feedback and then are able to work on it daily, away from the coach or golf scenario.

So if you’re really looking to start improving your action for the upcoming golf season, then consider getting some feedback on how your torso moves, then repeat, repeat, repeat the movement pattern until it’s automatic. You’ll find that a simpler and more effective way of improving your ball striking than constantly tinkering with the small stuff.

You can start that process right here, ideally using a GravityFit TPro but substituting for a resistance band if you don’t have one yet. This can also be used as a really simple but effective way to warm up before practice and play.

 1. Start by getting into good posture

– stretch tall in an upright position and set your shoulders back (feeling 3 points of contact if using the TPro).
– palms up and arms turned out at 45° to your spine
– squat a couple of inches and hinge forward into a golf set up position


2. Rotate the chest keeping the pelvis and legs still to a point where you can rotate no more, you’ll feel the pressure in the feet shift slightly toward the heel of your trail foot.

3. Soften hips to allow them to rotate into a full turn.

4. Mirror for the follow through to create a nice simple pivot. 
You can check out Tom’s articles on his website or follow him on instagram

More info on the equipment featured can be found here

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Nick Randall is a Strength and Conditioning Coach, Presenter and Rehab Expert contracted by PGA Tour Players, Division 1 colleges and national teams to deliver golf fitness services. Via his Golf Fit Pro website, app, articles and online training services, Nick offers the opportunity to the golfing world to access his unique knowledge and service offerings. www.golffitpro.net

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. geohogan

    May 9, 2019 at 1:19 pm

    For right hand swinger, if left shoulder doesnt elevate in BS, there wont be a full shoulder turn. Rather shoulders will tilt and hips will slide.

    When left shoulder elevates the shoulder will rub against the chin at top of BS, a sign of a full turn, IMO.

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Instruction

Stickney: Sit on it (for a better backswing)

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As we know golf, is a very tough sport and one that involves many moving pieces. Whenever something overreacts or moves too much on the way back, you end up playing catch-up on the way down. One of my favorite things to watch is how the head moves or doesn’t move on the backswing. Sure, you can have some movement, but you can’t have too much or you put yourself behind the eight ball.

I have charted the head position of a tour player at address and we can see that this is a very normal set up position. It is one that looks positioned to do great things.

However, en route to the top, you can see that this player has put himself into a position where his rear knee straightened too rapidly off the start of his backswing. When this occurs the pelvis “runs out from under” the upper body on the backswing the hips will react and begin to slant downward. (You can see a -10 degree tilt versus 3 degrees the opposite way at address for you number people.)

This causes the head to move out in front of where it was at address. This is not a bad position for the irons but for a driver we have a pending issue. If you don’t make a compensation from here then the player will have an angle of attack that is too much downward through impact with their driver.

As the player moves into his transition, the hips have leveled as the rear shoulder lowers the club into delivery but the head and pelvis are still too far out in front of the ball. The only thing you can do from here is fire the lead side upwards and hope that your head falls back into the correct position. If so, you will have the correct angle of attack, if not, you will chop down on the ball causing your launch conditions to be faulty.

And as we see here that this is precisely what this player did at the very last minute…not the easiest way to swing the club but it is functional IF you make the right correction. So, now that you understand how simple things like the action of the lower body can cause your head to move and your angle of attack to become faulty, what is the secret to controlling your lower body?


Just “sit” on the rear knee flex slightly longer during the backswing as you see here. This will slow down the tilting of the pelvis on backswing and thus your head will stay more in position en route to the top.

Personally, I teach both flexion and extension of the rear knee to the top, depending on what the player is wanting to do, so it really does not matter. However, what does matter is the rate at which it begins to straighten for those of you who do allow it to lengthen. I try to make most of my students hold the most of their address flex until the club moves between belt and chest high, any sooner and you risk the faulty pivot we saw above.

Therefore, take it from me and “sit on it” slightly longer for more quiet head motions as well as a more balanced backswing—your angle of attack will thank you!

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Davies: Training the trail elbow in the golf swing

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Alistair Davies shares with you how to get the correct trail arm and elbow action in the downswing. He shares some great drills that can be done at the range or at home to help lower your scores.Get the correct training for the trail arm here today!

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The important lessons you can learn from Peter Senior’s golf swing

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He may not be a household name in the United States, but Australia’s Peter Senior has a swing for the ages. At 60 years old, Senior has 34 worldwide professional wins including the 2015 Australian Masters beating a competitive field with several top-ranked players in the world. Turning professional in 1978, his career has spanned over 40 years.

Senior’s game and swing have stood the test of time, and the longevity of his career should be recognized. Senior formerly worked with Australian instructor Gary Edwin, and the structure to this swing taught to Senior paved the way for a future of consistent, high-quality professional golf.

Having a great golf swing isn’t the only key to becoming a great golfer, one must learn to play the game. However, you can learn a lot from Senior’s swing.

The origin to Senior’s swing lies in his set-up. Senior sets up in what I call his “hitting angles” or a position that mirrors impact.

From this position, Senior is able to simply keep these angles he established at address throughout the swing. This is why the set-up is so critical. The further he deviates from these “hitting angles”, the more he will have to find that impact position with his body in the backswing and downswing. In other words, more movement. The goal of his backswing will be to maintain these original starting angles.

From the picture, Senior has maintained his original body shape that he established at address. From this position, it will be much easier and repeatable to return the club to impact.

Note how his impact position now mirrors his original address position. All his original angles were maintained with a slight bump of the body towards the target. From impact, he can simply fold up his arms as his right side of his body rotates around his left side, keeping the clubface square to the body.

This standing tall finish position with the head following the torso is much easier on the back. His body has come forward and around beautifully, covering the ball for a proper strike.

The beauty of Senior’s swing lies in its simplicity. The changes Senior made to his swing can apply to anyone. Let’s look at two simple drills to make your swing more efficient and powerful.

“To a large extent, my backswing is a product of my set-up position” – Tiger Woods, Golf Digest 2020

To get into these impact angles simply practice pushing into an impact bag with the head and shaft of the club. Make sure your trail arm is tucked, lowering the trail shoulder as you pressure the bag.

To get the feeling of the proper coil from this set-up position, grab an impact bag and hold the bag in front of you.

From here, swing the bag around you with your arms keeping the top of the bag level. You will feel the trail side of your body move back and the lead side move out, coiling around your spine angle.

The trail glute will also move back and around with this drill, a key move the great Ben Hogan used to pivot his body. To develop an efficient swing and a long, injury-free career, take note of Peter Senior’s key moves.

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