In the boxing world, the fighter who can connect his rights has a good shot of knocking out his opponent. In golf, the same holds true, but instead of crosses and uppercuts, you need to connect your right hip and shoulder, a move that augments your balance, puts greater power into your swing and otherwise facilitates a pure, on-plane motion.
On the backswing, it's imperative that you turn your shoulders, but against a stable lower body. In the vernacular of golf instruction, teachers like to use the phrase turn your shoulders twice as much as your hips. This is a solid philosophy that generates tons of coil, i.e., potential energy that can be unleashed into the back of the golf ball.
On the downswing, things become a bit more complicated, but think of it this way: At the top, the shoulders are rotated farther than the hips. At mid-downswing, that gap still exists, but at the finish, both the shoulders and hips are in alignment. What that should tell you is that through the impact zone, you must continue to rotate your shoulders. I like to envision my right shoulder sliding right underneath my chin as I make contact. Don't think for a second that you'll pull the ball–your continuous hip rotation will guard against that.
Through impact, keep your right shoulder turning along with the rotation of your right hip. If you do, you'll not only hit more successful golf shots, but consequently, you'll establish greater balance and tempo. And all good swings begin with exactly that.
Instruction legend and GT Senior Instruction Editor Marshall Smith has more than 50 years of professional teaching experience. He instructs at Peoria Ridge GC and Shangri-La Resort in northeastern Oklahoma.