Don Hurter: Don't Make a Fake Turn

May 29, 2014

Almost every player is looking for more distance, and we've all heard the common tips that go with that goal. "Make a bigger turn" is one of the most popular, and it's a good one—but only to a point. When you work on increasing your turn, you have to make sure that turning is what you're actually doing. A lot of players make a small turn with the hips and shoulders but let their arms keep going back and collapse behind their heads. Sure, the club gets to parallel—or even past it—but they aren't storing any energy for the downswing. Plus, it's hard to unwind and make consistent contact from that position.

Your goal should be to make the biggest turn that's right for your body and flexibility level. Turn your hips and shoulders fully, and let your arms swing back to the point where you can keep your left arm reasonably straight. It's the combination of turn and arm extension that produces your maximum power and leaves you in position to hit the ball in the middle of the face with some speed. Instead of worrying about your left arm being straight, focus on pushing your right palm against your left thumb at the top of your backswing.

DON HURTER, ranked No. 2 on Golf Digest's Best Teachers in Colorado, is based at Castle Pines G.C., in Castle Rock, Co.