The Shoulder Turn

GOLFING IN PARADISE By JOSE CALLEJA General Manager, Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course This week’s tip covers the importance of great Shoulder Turn. We can all recognise the wonderful shoulder
09 Sep 2012 12:07



General Manager, Natadola Bay
Championship Golf Course

This week’s tip covers the importance of great Shoulder Turn.
We can all recognise the wonderful shoulder turn of Fiji’s most successful international golfer.
Vijay Singh demonstrates excellent qualities of flexibility, great upper body coil around his lower body and a perfect golf swing plane.
A full 90-degree shoulder turn is a fundamental element of a solid golf swing. Incorrect shoulder turn reduces proper weight shift and makes it impossible to achieve a correct swing plane.
A good shoulder ensures shoulders and chest are behind the ball at the top of the backswing. However before you can develop a proper shoulder turn, it’s important to understand what is required to achieve a great shoulder turn.
A full shoulder turn is accomplished when the left shoulder points to or past the golf ball.
This move sounds simple, however many golfers find shoulder turn an extremely difficult move to achieve. Many golfers actual think they have correct shoulder turn but in fact they really have a “false shoulder turn”.
The “false shoulder turn” for a right handed player is when the left shoulder remains over the left foot, commonly known as reverse pivoting. Reverse pivoting occurs when the majority of body weight remains on the left side, which leads to a variety of bad shots such as pull hooks, blocks and slices. This incorrect move is difficult to correct because it actually feels like a correct shoulder turn. But thanks to technology, video cameras can quickly pin point the error and we can correct it.
The amount of power you can produce is dependent on your ability to produce a good shoulder turn. A proper shoulder turn is one in which the shoulders rotate fully (Photo 1), weight is transferred to the instep of the right foot (Photo 1,3) and a constant spine angle is maintained (Photo 4).
The Parallel Club Drill
The parallel club drill promotes the feeling of good shoulder turn. It’s a very simple drill to practice, simply place a club across your chest and another club inside your right foot, please refer to photos 2&3.
Make a backswing so the club you are holding across your chest is directly on top of the club inside of your right foot. This is exactly the same as having your left shoulder pointing to or past the golf ball.

Mirror, mirror on the wall
The “false shoulder turn” is a major contributor to bad balance and reverse pivoting. To check if you are achieving the correct shoulder turn stand in front of a full length mirror. The mirror provides instant feedback and is extremely helpful in correcting your spine angle. You can also practice the parallel club drill in front of a mirror. It’s important to maintain a bend in your right knee during you back swing. The straightening of the right knee is an indicator of reverse pivoting so remember to keep a watchful eye on the right knee.
A great way to improve your turn and to eliminate the reverse pivot is to shift your weight properly while maintaining your spine angle. The weight shift feeling is achieved by lifting your left foot of the ground momentarily; remember this is only a drill to develop the feeling of weight transfer.
Happy Golfing in Paradise.


This week we provide a review on the Nike Vapor X Carry Golf Bag.

  • This bag has Nike Woven air revolving double strap carrying for even weight distribution and comfort;
  • It has a 5-way, 2 full-length divider system with putter well;
  • It is Ultra-lightweight and durable, under 4 lbs;
  • This bag is waterproof;
  • It has 4 zip pockets with stretch fabric and welded plackets for spacious and protective storage options and
  • It also has an integrated tee holder, pen sleeve and glove patch for convenience.

If you are looking for a golf bag with the above features then please contact the Natadola Bay Golf shop on 6733500 and we will order one for you.

PGA Tour events update   
Last week’s Deutsche Bank Championship played on the Par 71, 7214 yards, TPC Boston was won by Rory Mcllroy who finished on a total score of 20 under par. Mcllroy claimed $1,440,000 in prize money and is currently ranked number 1 in the FedEx cup points standing. Louis Oosthuizen finished runner-up on 19 under par.

This week’s event
This week the PGA Tour heads off to Carmel, Indiana for the BMW Championship. It is scheduled from August 6 to September 9 and will be played on the Par 72, 7316 yards, Crooked stick Golf Club. The total prize purse for this tournament is $8 million with the winners share being $1,440,000. The defending champion is Justin Rose who won on a score of 13 under par.

This week’s event
This week the LPGA Tour heads off to Virginia for the Kingsmill Championship. It is scheduled from August 6 to September 9 and will be played on the Par 72, Kingsmill Resort, River course The total prize purse for this tournament is $1.3m. This event was not held for the past two years and returns this year. The event was last won in 2009 by Cristie Kerr with a total score of 16 under par.

Last week’s competition results are as follows:

Wednesday Mixed Competition – Stableford
Date:  August 29, 2012
Winner:  Maz Hagemrad– 32 points C/B
Runner-up:  Hena Han– 32 points

Saturday Open Competition – Stroke
Date:  September 1, 2012
Winner:  Grant Alchin – 37 points
Runner-up:  Neil Stokes – 35 points


  • Wednesday September 12 – Mixed Competition – Stableford Competition
  • Friday September 14 – Bula Friday – Bingo Bango Bongo Competition
  • Saturday September 15 – Stableford Competition

Player review

This week’s between shots is Andy Haigh

What clubs do you use? I use Titleist clubs.

Where is your home club?
I am a member of Sanctuary Cove Golf Course, Australia.

Who is your favourite player?
My favourite player is Tiger Woods.

What course do you love to play?
I love to play at Sun City Golf Course, South Africa.

What is your favourite hole?
The 13th hole at Sun City.

What shot will you always remember? Hole in One

Who are your dream playing partners? Adam Scott, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.

This was what Mr Haigh had to say about Natadola Bay Golf Course: “It was a pleasure to play at Natadola and very tough challenge of golf.”

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