A really stupid golf lesson

Stupid golf lessonI’ve given up on reading most golf related information. This includes websites, magazines and email newsletters. I just don’t get that much from them and have long since stopped worrying about my golf swing or hitting the ball further.

The other day an email slipped through my spam and bullshit detector. Sadly, the few minutes it took me to read the email have been lost. A complete waste of my time.

The author claimed he had a brilliant drill for increasing shoulder turn and therefore hitting longer drives.

Sadly, the advice is stupid and wrong. I would just put it in the huge pile of crap that gets spewed to golfers everywhere. The subject of the email was Bigger Turn = Longer Drives. Here’s 1 Simple Trick…

I can’t believe I fell for it. Anyway, here’s my attempt to even the score. And before you even attempt to do anything mentioned below, please read to the very end.

Here’s the email:

A bigger shoulder turn will help you to hit longer drives. So today I’m going to tell you a simple way can do this.

Before I give you the technique to do this, I just want to say that I’m not going to explain why this works because time is precious. Just try it and you’ll see it does.

OK, so to get a bigger shoulder turn you need to first setup with your 5 iron. Then make your backswing and try to turn your left shoulder as far as you can and stop when you’ve gone as far as you can. When you get to that point notice how far you can turn your left shoulder in relation to your chin.

Ok, so that’s the first swing.

Now make a backswing again but this time I want you to feel like your RIGHT SHOULDER is going back behind you. So it’s moving back behind your head. Then at the end of your backswing notice where your left shoulder is in relation to your chin.

When you do this you’ll notice that by focusing on moving your right shoulder back behind you – your shoulder turn will be bigger.

Again, I’m not going to explain why. If you do this you’ll see it’s true. Just accept it and make this feeling a habit and you will hit longer shots.

And as Bubba Watson says after performing some trick shot successfully…. YOU’RE WELCOME!

I suppose he does mention the word “trick” in the subject line and what he’s talking about is maybe just that. A stupid trick. But his little exercise is misguided and built around a complete lack of understanding of how our body works (he also says that he’s not going to explain why this works and I suspect he says that because he just doesn’t know. If you don’t know something and you’re trying to peddle rubbish, best that you add some intrigue and mystery into the equation). This drill has absolutely nothing to do with which shoulder you should focus on or how you attempt to turn your shoulders (I wouldn’t stress too much about your shoulder turn anyway).

And here’s why this is a stupid golf lesson.

Humor me for a second will you… and try this.

Instead of thinking about your left shoulder first, I want you to reverse the order. So, first make some sort of swing with your attention on your right shoulder and then, after you notice how far you turn, make a swing with your focus on the left shoulder.

What did you notice? If you didn’t jump ahead and waited like I asked, you’ll notice that with the second attempt you’ll get a bigger turn. There’s no magic here whatsoever. You get a bigger turn because the first attempt you tried got the muscles moving and offered a little stretch. When you try the second time you’ll naturally be able to reach further around.

And it doesn’t matter what you focus on, if you’re starting cold, you’ll always get a bigger turn on the second attempt. To the untrained (can I say gullible?) it can seem like some amazing drill. But it’s not. It’s just nature and the way we are. I could have asked you to make a backswing thinking about a carrot first, and then asked you to think about apples second. And because apples gave you a bigger turn, I could then claim that apples are the key to a bigger shoulder turn.

But it’s all bullshit and this type of thing pisses me off because it offers the golfer nothing meaningful. Just smoke and mirrors and confusion.

It reminds me of that stupid Power Band craze from a few years ago. You know? Those rubber wristbands that were meant to have all sorts of magical powers and many people (and lots of golfers too) wore them thinking that they helped with balance and power. More rubbish. They have been exposed as a con and I believe most of them have gone out of business – because they can’t legally make all those stupid claims.

Anyway, if playing better golf is important to you then I don’t think you need to worry about dumb tricks or your shoulder turn. The best golf drill of all time is hitting the bloody ball. Do this enough times and your golf swing will be just fine. By all means, read golf publications for the enjoyment factor, but please make sure you have your bullshit detector turned up to high.

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  • Scott Barrow

    Reply Reply August 15, 2015

    Great to see you finding your real voice Cam.

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