Johnny Miller: This is 1 thing ‘every golfer’ should do

I’ve been delving back into the archives of golf-swing stuff recently, and had a jolly old time doing it. Sam Snead has been my most recent focus — you can read those articles here and here — but now I’ve found myself on a Johnny Miller kick.

Countless golf fans who witnessed Miller’s prime say he was the best ball-striker they’ve ever seen, evidenced by a little-known fact that he once shot a 63 at Oakmont during the U.S. Open (yes, that was a joke, we all knew that already).

But in all seriousness, it’s easy to forget how astonishingly good peak Johnny Miller was. 18 wins and two majors in five years is a haul almost any player would be proud of.

But anyway, all this Miller appreciation sent me down an inevitable YouTube rabbit-hole where I happened upon a handy video that put together back in 2014. It’s a one-on-one with Miller where he describes his most important golf swing tip.

“It’s something I do on my irons, and it’s something everybody should do.”

Alright, Johnny. I’m sold. What’s the tip?

Johnny’s swing thought: Return your LEFT shoulder to where it started

Miller had a slightly weak grip and his stock shot was a fade. That’s why his most important swing thought is to set up to the ball, make a full turn and then focus on returning your left shoulder to the same place it started.

Why is this so important?

“It eliminates the left side of the golf course. No way it can go left,” Miller says.

Not returning your left shoulder “back to where it started” at address can cause all sorts of problems.

“The momentum of the backswing pulls you off the ball, which is ok, as long as you get back,” Miller says. “If I leave the shoulder back in sort of a ‘sway-and-stay,’ as I call it — it’s terrible.”

Swaying-and-staying can lead to tops, thins, chunks and hooks. But by focusing on returning your left shoulder back to where it started, you’ll keep your body turning, you’ll eliminate the left side of the course, and you’ll hit more compressed iron shots.

Want to *really* dial-in your irons? Schedule a fitting with the experts at our sister company, True Spec Golf.

Luke Kerr-Dineen Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Game Improvement Editor at GOLF Magazine and In his role he oversees the brand’s game improvement content spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University. His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.