Fixing the Left Shoulder High at Impact in Golf

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A proper golf swing involves a group of moving parts working as a fine-tuned machine. Your body must generate the power to drive the ball while maintaining control and balance to ensure solid contact. One sometimes overlooked aspect of the golf swing is the positioning of your left shoulder. The location of your left shoulder changes during the swing, but maintaining proper position upon impact of the golf ball helps produce maximum power and control.

  • Take your initial stance over the golf ball with golf club in hand. Note the position of your left shoulder to start in relation to your chin. There should be approximately five inches between your left shoulder and chin.

  • Rotate your left shoulder back as you begin your backswing. At the top of your backswing, your left shoulder moves away from the target, setting up just below your chin. Your left shoulder and chin come much closer together.

  • Strive to re-create the same initial distance between your left shoulder and chin as you begin your downswing.

  • Rotate your left shoulder up and away from your chin during the downswing. This process automatically drops your arms, hands and club into proper position for impact with the ball. At impact, the left shoulder and chin should be about where they were when you first took your stance.

  • Continue moving your left shoulder up and away after contacting the ball. The left shoulder should naturally follow through with your swing, ending up high and allowing your arms to clear through the swing zone. Your head stays down until contact is made and lifts up as you finish your swing follow through.

Tips & Warnings

  • Practice creating your swing with proper shoulder placement without using a ball. Focus on swing mechanics and the location of your left shoulder throughout a practice swing.
  • Stay under control during your swing. Violently pulling your left shoulder up and away too early will cause you to fly open, resulting in slices or shanks.

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  • Photo Credit Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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