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bplewis24

Left Shoulder -- Downswing and Through Impact

36 posts in this topic

I feel like one of my biggest flaws is when my left shoulder feels like it is rising towards the sky as my hands are still going down towards the ball just before impact.  What is the proper path/motion for the left shoulder (for righties) on the downswing and through impact, and are there any drills that isolate this motion and help to promote keeping the left shoulder from feeling like it's rising.

Make sense or no?

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Brandon,

I assume you haven't seen this video yet? It's about what causes the left shoulder to rise excessively and lose wrist angles. Mike posted it a few days ago:

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Yea, bud, I was just looking at your swing from June on your swing thread, and that left arm doesn't come down fast enough. I dunno if that's a priority for you or whatever, but yea, that'd be why your left shoulder is rising excessively.

You can see how much farther downward the left arm has traveled in Mike on the right compared to you on the left.

And I know you're not hitting a golf ball and that this swing I'm using was from back in June, but the reason I wonder as to which is the priority piece is because of how the lower body is working here. The right foot is well up onto its toe and the right knee just kicks out and is flexed a lot.

You'd probably benefit greatly from this new video here from Erik and Dave:

The right foot banks onto its instep before it releases upwards like you do onto the toes, and the right knee definitely doesn't stay that flexed either. Very common problem. Frankly, both topics here are. There are a bunch of other drills out there to fix the second problem, but the above 5SK video is just one way. And you know, I think this lower body action you make stems from just not enough hip slide (could be wrong).

Per your initial question, you can see how in the Mike example on the left how much higher the lead shoulder gets vs. the example on the right, when the left arm comes down at the correct rate.

PS- Sorry, I know this isn't your swing thread.

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Originally Posted by JetFan1983

Brandon,

I assume you haven't seen this video yet? It's about what causes the left shoulder to rise excessively and lose wrist angles. Mike posted it a few days ago:

Correct, I had not seen that video (probably haven't seen the thread).  This is precisely what I'm referring to.  It sounds like what you and Mike are suggesting is losing the wrist angle is symptomatic of that left shoulder rising and not coming down fast enough.

From looking at 2 different frames (P4 or P5? where the club shaft is pointing straight up in the air, but the lead arm is parallel to the ground) from each swing, I see that on the left swring (at either 0:41 or 0:42 because you can't see the shaft), the chin is still contacting the left shoulder.  On the right swing (at 1:30), there is already a good deal of separation between the chin and the left shoulder.  The separation appears to keep increasing until the hands get around even with the right hip.

It would also follow that if your left shoulder is rising and not extending away from the chin, you won't be able to bump that left knee out and get some of that weight back over to the left side of the body on the downswing?

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Originally Posted by bplewis24

Correct, I had not seen that video (probably haven't seen the thread).  This is precisely what I'm referring to.  It sounds like what you and Mike are suggesting is losing the wrist angle is symptomatic of that left shoulder rising and not coming down fast enough.

Symptomatic of the left arm not coming down fast enough, yea. Exactly. And the hands never really get low enough. Mike has a good way of saying where the location of that left arm should be relative to one's lead nipple (hehe, I said nipple).

Using Tristan as an example, you can see the height of the hands relative to where Tiger's hands are. You almost have to release the wrist angles just to get to the ball. Or raise the left shoulder a lot. The hands tend to get too far behind the lower body too. Or the head could end up tipping back.

Damn is Tiger so good at doing this right....


Originally Posted by bplewis24

It would also follow that if your left shoulder is rising and not extending away from the chin, you won't be able to bump that left knee out and get some of that weight back over to the left side of the body on the downswing?

This, I'm not sure about. They could be totally independent of each other. I think in my experience, they are because I tend to have a good hip slide, but my left arm doesn't come down fast enough too.

Footnotes : Thanks to Erik for making those two pictures.

Explanations: "Unloading 4" in the second caption. Erik is using a Golfing Machine term. This stuff is called "the number four power accumulator" in TGM re: the left arm's relation to the lead shoulder, if you wanted to think of it like that too.

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J - I'm not a MORAD guy, but aren't you just showing a CP release in the photos that Erik highlighted of Tiger?  I mean, Tiger's pattern right now is a pull fade - swinging to left field - so wouldn't that release PA#4 earlier than a guy who is CF release and swinging to right field trying to hit a Push Draw?  Again, I'm no MORAD expert... Just trying to learn.

So wouldn't a CF guy release PA#4 later than a CP?

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Originally Posted by Beachcomber

J - I'm not a MORAD guy, but aren't you just showing a CP release in the photos that Erik highlighted of Tiger?  I mean, Tiger's pattern right now is a pull fade - swinging to left field - so wouldn't that release PA#4 earlier than a guy who is CF release and swinging to right field trying to hit a Push Draw?  Again, I'm no MORAD expert... Just trying to learn.

So wouldn't a CF guy release PA#4 later than a CP?

I'm no MORAD expert either, let's just be clear on that Let's hope that someone who is decides to throw his two cents in here for this one.

But to be honest, I actually don't know what kind of shot shape Tiger is trying to hit here in that photo. Looks like it could be a draw that moves like two yards in the air, but I could easily be wrong. I definitely know he likes to fade it off the tee, but he does draw it a lot with irons.

With MORAD though, I always thought the CF release had more PA4 than the CP.

I think we need a MORAD guy to chime in here.

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For the purpose of the thread, JefFan basically nailed it with his first post.  Feel that left arm release down the chest.

For the CP and CF talk, I posted here http://thesandtrap.com/t/46872/the-different-types-of-release#post_807789

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Originally Posted by mvmac

For the CP and CF talk, I posted here http://thesandtrap.com/t/46872/the-different-types-of-release#post_807789

Oh okay, I understand the difference now. That's pretty simple. But important. Thanks for the link and that thread should probably have more than one reply on it. And I'm glad I get it now. Vijay, Couples, Fowler, Bubba CF. Tiger CP.

So in reference to PA4, the differences between its release in CP vs. CF is fairly negligible in a good player's swing, but in a CF the PA4 release is slower? Correct? Beach would be right in that regard.

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Thanks guys, I'll have to take some of this to the range today.  It seems like when I try to swing faster or harder, my tendency is to keep the left shoulder snug to my chin and rise up.  So I'm trying to fight that.

Also, thanks to JetsFan for posting pics from last summer when I was in much better shape than I am now. Motivation!

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Originally Posted by JetFan1983

Vijay, Couples, Fowler, Bubba CF. Tiger CP.

Tiger's not CP. Bubba, Vijay, etc. are not CF. Let's stop being stupid about this, please. Those terms need to die their deserved death.

Just say INward swing direction, or even "swinging to the left" or "baseline rotated left" or something. Makes more sense, is more easily understood by many, and is more scientifically accurate to boot.

I like talking in shorthand too, but IN, OUT, and ON are awfully short and don't imply entire patterns or have scientifically inaccurate names.

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Hahahha. Sorry Erik. But your response put a smile on my face. A little Philly M distancing never hurt? ;)
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Originally Posted by Beachcomber

Hahahha. Sorry Erik. But your response put a smile on my face.

A little Philly M distancing never hurt? ;)

It's not about that. It's about being understood, being accurate, and other things.

Now, back on topic please.

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Originally Posted by JetFan1983

So in reference to PA4, the differences between its release in CP vs. CF is fairly negligible in a good player's swing, but in a CF the PA4 release is slower? Correct? Beach would be right in that regard.

Yeah difference between IN and OUT and release of PA#4 isn't significant or practical enough to discuss

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Honestly, that's actually a pretty darn effective response about it, Erik

Thanks though, Erik and Mike, for answering our off-topicish questions.


Originally Posted by bplewis24

Also, thanks to JetsFan for posting pics from last summer when I was in much better shape than I am now.  Motivation!

Haha, I know what you mean. Good luck practicing it. I really gotta slow down my swing when I do.

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Another video to go along with what JetFan was talking about

This is something I am struggling with, how do you get the arms to move like that? I always end up with way too much shoulder, and swipe across the ball with poor contact. What kind of feels work for this, or even which muscles should fire in order to make that kind of move?

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Originally Posted by Yeri

This is something I am struggling with, how do you get the arms to move like that? I always end up with way too much shoulder, and swipe across the ball with poor contact. What kind of feels work for this, or even which muscles should fire in order to make that kind of move?

The shoulders rotate in a circle around your incline(spine angle). Slicers get to flat on the back swing and they start the down swing with the shoulders.

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