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A couple weeks ago, I was playing to my personal best ball-striking ability. These were the first few rounds of my season, and my short game was way out of whack and I still ended up shooting 88,89, etc. Since then, my short game has magically appeared and saved me multiple times, but my iron play has became very inconsistent and my tee game with driver/wood/hybrid has been absolutely horrible. I went from hitting 10/14 fairways 2 weeks ago, to hitting just 2/14 fairways yesterday at the same course. And one of those came with a 4 iron. I have been hitting huge slices instead of my normal slight fade. I shot 47-49-96 at the same course that I went 45-44-89 with 5 3-putts at just 2 weeks ago. I feel like I am hitting the ball in the center of the clubface with the face relatively square, so I must be coming over the top. I was looking in the mirror at my set up, and noticed when I have driver/3w/3h off the tee, my shoulders are considerably open to the target. I'm a righty, and my left shoulder has to be pointing between 15-25 degrees left of target. I haven't been able to work on it yet, but I'm assuming this is the most likely cause of my slicing issues. I was wondering more about the effects of shoulder alignment... Should my shoulders be square to the target at address? What about at impact? And what are the effects of improper alignment? Thanks in advance to all responses.
I'm sure there will be arguments later but there is one piece of information I think a lot of golfers can benefit from. I hope to save some people from buying the online swing tip scams. The most common flaw I see in swings is rotating the forearms one way or the other. Most people don't realize you don't have to rotate your forearms or hands at all in the golf swing, in fact it's better if you don't. The arms can stay just as square as they are at address. The arms follow the rotation of the shoulders on the plane. The arms slightly trail the body on the through swing, creating some additional lag to hip lag, and then eventually they pass the body much later. The club face can stay as square as it was at impact the whole time, many PGA pros do this. Hunter Mahan is a good example. The only movement the arms really have to make is an up and down one. There is a popular drill where students are told to pick the club straight up from address, hinge it, and rest it on their right shoulder (for righties), and then turn the shoulders 90 degrees and voila, the top of the backswing. To get to this position people will do all kinds of arm and hand contortions all over the place, which is fine. The only problem is, is on the way down, you don't want to be doing these things, and the law of physics states that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, so you will likely do going down what you did going up, just in reverse. All you really have to do is rotate your shoulders and let the arms stay connected as they were at address, after all this is why you've spent so much time working on the set up position! The swing is a moving and rotating set up position. Some people actually get to the top perfectly, but then insist on going way beyond parallel, ruining the glorious work! The problem here is, the more your arms lift past your shoulders, the more you have to wait for them to come down, for that huge 1mph arm swing speed boost. You're of course thinking, why the heck do people do all these things? One reason people do this is because it feels natural, at least that's the reason experienced golfers do it. It feels more repeatable to them, and they like it, it feels good. Power to them. But there are plenty of golfers who do these things that aren't happy with their game, so why do they do it? They do these things because it feels like they can get maximum strength this way. Doing it the efficient way would cost them a lot of power, because their strongest and biggest muscles have not coordinated yet to hit a golf ball. When we do basic things like jumping and lifting, things we've done all our lives, we use the most efficient muscles and most supported ones. But when we have to hit a golf ball, those muscles don't know how to get involved, so we use the smaller, weaker, faster ones, to get the job done with some short term speed. The truth is, we can hit the ball a lot further using the right muscles, but many golfers believe they are hitting it better with whatever move they currently have. They aren't wrong, at the moment they can't hit it with the right muscles, because the right muscles aren't trained. But if they stopped what they are doing and started training the right muscles to support the swing, would they hit it better, faster farther? You bet your ball washer they would. So put down the club, put your arms across your chest like you learned at your very first golf clinic, dig into your hip sockets, and rotate those shoulders. Do away with the crazy arm motions and the bending and unbending at the waist. The 4some behind you will thank you for it.