A Minor Swing Change That Worked

Trying to find the proper swing is a lifetime quest for any golfer. If we are not tinkering with our swing, than we are just not trying to get better. Of course, I say this with tongue in cheek. Not everyone tries to find that perfect combination of tempo, swing speed and weight transfer to maximize the results from every swing. As a student of the game, I am always trying to find that something extra that will help me gain the slightest advantage over the course. Recently, I adopted a minor change with my driver that has proven to be one of the best changes I have made in years. Moving forward, I can only see positive results off the tee.

Here is what I wrote regarding my intention to change my driver set up:

First is with my driver; I basically set up in the manner that Shiels describes, however I did not have a pronounced shoulder tilt. I tried this in the past, but for some reason it never worked. To achieve my goal of 10 more yards off the tee, I realized that this shoulder tilt is going be very important. As a result, I consciously make the shoulder tilt to move my chest slightly behind the ball which in turn has changed some other aspects of my swing. Primarily, I have to focus on keeping my head still and finishing slightly higher than my previous swings with the driver. My accuracy has not changed, but I am still working on consistently adding some distance. This is a slow process, but my initial success is reinforcing my desire to continue.


I am here to report that the shoulder tilt is working very well. I hit the ball farther than before with less effort. By changing my launch angle, I have found that my ball does travel a greater distance on a more consistent basis. I realize that a player with my handicap should have noticed this before, but for some reason I was stuck in a rut of a less shoulder tilt. I am not suggesting that this fix will work for everyone, but it is sure working for my game.

My old set up and stance. Very square and upright. New swing video to come.

The changes I made did not come with some pitfalls. As I continued to use this new setup, I noticed that if I swung too hard, essentially pulling more with my left side, I would hook the ball. My hands would become far to active and the ball would go left. This actually happened twice in my last round. One of those shots cost me a penalty stroke as I hit my ball into a red stake hazard. There is a fine line between speed and tempo that I must walk in order to garner the gains I am experiencing; it is a constant test of my mental ability to stay focused within my current swing mechanics.

What I have noticed the most about my shoulder tilt that places my chest slightly behind the ball is the comfort of the setup position. I feel like this position fits my driver swing without any requirement to fiddle with the many different aspects during setup. During all the new movements, there is one conscious mental thought I make and that is to ensure my back of my right hand (bottom hand on the grip) is visually in front of the ball. This intentional movement is the finishing move that places my arms in the proper position for my new set up. This last adjustment is something I found I needed to complete to make my new shoulder tilt work best.

I a happy to report that the change I made with my driver set up is working very well. It is something that I probably needed to do years ago, but it is never to late to teach a dog new tricks…..right? Regardless, the change is made and it is working very well for my game. The more I use this change the more confident I am becoming with my driver. I realize that this club has always been reliable, but now with the extra distance I feel that I might have climbed the precipice that has stalled my game for the past few years. All I can say is “we shall see”!

I am a grateful golfer. See you on the links!


4 thoughts on “A Minor Swing Change That Worked

  1. Hi Jim, glad to see you are still using the old terminology of hazard. Penalty area is not the correct term, it implies that you will receive a penalty stroke if your ball is in there, which is untrue because it is perfectly ok to play out without a penalty.

    Liked by 1 person

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