efore I tell you about the backswing trigger, you need to learn the correct way to get into your setup. I model it after the legendary Ben Hogan. He always started by aligning his shoulders well to the left of the target, and by the time he squared his stance, his shoulders were still 15 to 17 degrees open to the target line. This allowed him to start the backswing by moving his left shoulder out (in front of him) and around, which got his arms and hands on a long route to the top.
To understand what the long route is, consider the opposite: the short route. Imagine your shoulders in a closed position at address.When the left shoulder turns back from there, the arms and hands go to the inside and arrive at the top rather quickly. That’s the short route, and it causes the hands, arms, right shoulder or right hip to start the downswing, usually by “throwing” the club away from the body on an out-toin path.The result typically is a weak slice.
With the Hogan swing – starting with the move I’m teaching here – the hands and arms are still going back when the lower left side of the body involuntarily starts forward. In effect, the long route allows the lower body to get a head start on the downswing.There’s a mental requirement to have this involuntary downswing:There has to be a cognisance of the target before the shot begins. It’s much like a dog lying in a blind, then seeing a bird flying overhead and suddenly perking up.
Modern players who best demonstrate a similar action are Jim Furyk, Jason Day and Martin Kaymer.Watch how their lower bodies start the downswing while their hands and arms are still swinging back.
The shoulders-open setup is perfectly natural. Because the right hand is slightly lower and out past the left hand on the club at address, the right shoulder is lower and out past the left shoulder.Also, the hips are open about 12 degrees, the shoulders about 17 degrees.This puts the body in a top-tobottom spiral, ready to start winding up.