It would be a mistake to say that the golf swing is ‘all about rotation.’
After all, there are countless different elements which go into a quality swing.
You need to have balance, you need to have a good tempo, and you need to lag the club nicely – just to name a few key points.
However, rotation is extremely important in golf. If you can make a big turn away from the ball, your chances of striking a powerful and accurate shot will greatly improve.
It is no coincidence that most of the players on the PGA TOUR make great turns. By turning their shoulders significantly away from the target in the backswing, pro golfers are able to generate incredible amounts of speed on the way down toward impact.
In the end, it is routine to see a pro golfer launch the ball more than 300 yards through the air.
Size Not Required
When you watch some sports, it is easy to see that size is a prerequisite for playing at a high level.
In basketball, of course, height is one of the main gifts that a player needs to make it to the top of the game. While it will happen on occasion, it is rare to see a player under six feet tall make much of an impression in the NBA.
The same is true in the NFL. Football players tend to be huge human beings, which is not a surprise given the game they are playing.
Golf, however, is different.
While the sport has trended in a power direction in recent times, you still don’t have to be a massive individual to play a power game. There are plenty of smaller golfers who are able to launch the ball well off into the distance.
Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, and Justin Thomas are all good examples of players who can smash the ball while standing under six feet. For every tall player like Dustin Johnson or Ernie Els, there is a player of average height who can get the job done just the same.
Using Rotational Speed to Your Advantage
Too many golfers think of the swing as a side-to-side action. It isn’t.
The basis of the golf swing is rotation.
Sure, there is some incidental side-to-side action along the way as a result of your turn, but sliding left or right should never be your focus. If you want to create real speed in your swing, you will learn how to rotate properly.
Rotation, of course, starts with the shoulders. During the backswing, you need to make an excellent turn with your shoulder so that your back is facing the target at the top of the swing. Some players are more flexible than others, so you might not be able to quite get your back all the way turned to the target, but do the best you can.
Once the backswing is completed, the focus is going to shift from your upper body to your lower body. Your hips will take over the action immediately, turning your lower body toward the target while your upper body just comes along for the ride.
When executed properly, this is a powerful move that can dramatically increase your swing speed.
Make It Happen in Your Game
It is one thing to know that you need to turn your shoulders in the backswing and your hips in the downswing – it is another thing to actually make that happen.
One of the best ways to improve these dynamics in your swing is to perform them in slow motion.
During your next visit to the range, make some half-speed practice swings while focusing on your rotation. With the swing slowed down, you will have plenty of time to proceed through your mechanics without losing track of what you are doing.
As you get more and more comfortable, you can gradually pick up the pace. Before long, you will be making full-speed swings with excellent rotation in both directions.
Don’t Take It Too Far
It is possible to have too much of a good thing; at least when it comes to rotation in your golf swing. As you are turning back, be careful to avoid pushing your turn so far that you knock yourself off balance in the process.
A big turn is great – but it is useless if it comes at the expense of your balance.
If you were to list out the basic fundamentals of the golf swing in order of importance, balance would always be sitting there at the top of the list.
The same can be said of the downswing. If you rotate your hips so hard toward the target that your upper body just can’t keep up, you will lose your balance and your upper body will get stuck behind the shot. This kind of mistake usually leads to ugly results.
Everything in golf is about striking the right balance, and that is certainly true here. Improve your rotation without taking it too far in order to see the best possible results.
Distance Is Only One Piece of the Puzzle
In the end, distance can only take you so far in this game. Yes, it is fun to be able to out drive your playing partners on a Saturday morning, and those long drives will certainly set up some short approach shots. However, a golfer who is obsessed with distance alone is going to miss out on many other opportunities to improve his or her game.
Going beyond distance, you also need to build a reliable short game, hit accurate shots with all of your clubs, manage your way around the course properly, and much more.
Feel free to work on your rotation as part of your journey toward a better golf future – just don’t fall into the trap of thinking that more power is the only thing you need to elevate your game.