Monday, September 23, 2019

Golf swing pivot

This topic contains 33 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Coffeeisland May. 21, 2019 at 10:17 pm.

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  • #1177733

    Coffeeisland
    Participant

    Ok so Tiger’s win has got me a little reinvigorated in golf. I understand there is more than one way to skin a cat and it is not my intent to disparage other swing theories. I do think this little nugget may help though.

    Golf pivot

    We have all seen golfers rehearse their backswing with the club over their shoulders as in the image. Most golfers do this by rotating their shoulders much too flat/horizontal. Or they get in their golf posture and produce a good looking/more proper turn. But almost everyone is missing a crucial link between doing this rehearsal and a great pivot.

    Ben Hogan said he liked to stand as tall as possible in his set up position. Let’s take him at his word and do that while performing this. Stand tall with your club over your shoulders, feet shoulder width apart and in a generally relaxed nature. Make a shoulder turn into your backswing. When you do this, it is imperative that your intent is to get the club pointing to the ground at about No more than 6-10 inches outside the target line (looking from a down the line view, <10 inches right of the ball). Remember not to sway to the right. You are turning.

    When you do this from an upright position your body is forced to create room for your left shoulder to go under your chin. To me, I get the sensation that my lower spine is kind of elongating while the pressure is put into my right glute. Be careful here though, as I don’t feel a massive weight shift off of my left foot into the right. I still maintain approximately 40% weight in left side/foot. This allows for the proper amount and direction of movement of my left knee. AND I AM NEVER TORQUING MY UPPER LEG AGAINST THE LOWER LEG. THAT IS A RECIPE FOR KNEE PROBLEMS. Do this and keep doing it until you find yourself in this classic, powerful lower body position. It can happen quite naturally/easy.

    Golf pivot

    After some success, address a golf ball standing as tall as possible and make the same left shoulder movement. You will probably find that you don’t need nearly as much arm “raising” motion to finish the backswing. Everything is more connected and you should feel a really good sense of the potential ass whooping you will be able to deliver to the back of the golf ball.

    Without a proper pivot, at some point in your swing, you will be left with nothing but your wrists and arms to generate clubhead speed…..there is a much better, easier and more efficient way. The proper pivot will allow you to have stable arms and hands through impact which results in accuracy.

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    #1177749

    Coffeeisland
    Participant

    Forgot to mention

     

    Getting to the top of the backswing in this manner will allow you to really feel your right elbow staying in front of your torso. An ingredient found in all great ball strikers. Finding this will allow you to begin the understanding of how to not use your hands through impact. You will also notice that your head will lower as you turn back. That’s OK because we are essentially getting into our golf posture dynamically as we start the backswing.

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    #1177750

    VirgilCaine
    Participant

    Justin rose just did a great demonstration. He explain his pre-swing “pump fake” routine. Same issue

    Justin Rose Makes an Odd Looking Practice Swing

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    #1177784

    DonkeyHunter
    Participant

    Rose’s pre-shot routine is interesting indeed.

    To me, it looks like an overemphasis on getting his hands on path while avoiding getting over the top. As long as he turns, his hands will NEVER be in that exaggerated position.

    Another good one is Alex Noren’s pre-shot routine. It’s a fantastic view of how you should “flatten” the club on the downswing.

    During my range sessions, I’ll over-exaggerate this move as well. But, the absolute key is rotation and turn through the swing. Essentially wanting to have this feeling that you’re “letting it go” or “releasing” left of the target line, while finishing even further past it (if possible).

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    #1177794

    Coffeeisland
    Participant

     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsOKemG1fy0

     

    Thanks for the heads up on Noren’s Pre shot.

     

    I love how this shows that with a proper grip you don’t need to manipulate the clubhead. Although there will obviously be hand/wrist movement in the swing, it is purely and completely done through the weight of the clubhead and natural forces. I guarantee he feels like he is doing exactly this through impact….well, he is and the natural forces create all that is necessary. There is never a conscious timing of any hand/wrist movement.

     

    Another thing to watch is how and where his pelvis moves through impact. Notice he is NOT shifting left. His tailbone is actually moving away from the target! This is key! This is where the images of great ball strikers keeping there right foot down well into the down swing come from.

     

    To your point on Rose:

     

    I totally agree with you and would like to say that is a great observation. For elite players, the feeling is always keeping the hands and grip in front of yourself. You have to get a good grip and then learn to let the weight of the clubhead bring the business end of the club into any sort of “backward” or layed off position….which varies from person to person.

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    • This reply was modified 5 months ago by  Coffeeisland. Reason: layed off
    #1177796

    VirgilCaine
    Participant

    Rose’s pre-shot routine is interesting indeed.

    To me, it looks like an overemphasis on getting his hands on path while avoiding getting over the top. As long as he turns, his hands will NEVER be in that exaggerated position.

    Another good one is Alex Noren’s pre-shot routine. It’s a fantastic view of how you should “flatten” the club on the downswing.

    During my range sessions, I’ll over-exaggerate this move as well. But, the absolute key is rotation and turn through the swing. Essentially wanting to have this feeling that you’re “letting it go” or “releasing” left of the target line, while finishing even further past it (if possible).

    I have been trying to find the video where Rose discusses it, but yes you are right.

    He says that his swing doesn’t obviously follow the pre-shot routine, but he does the pump pre-shot to remind himself to pull his hands down into the slot/path while staying connected and then this allows him to just turn through forcefully.

    On staying connected, he says that his focus is on his left upper arm staying connected to his torso.

    At least in concept, its not hard to imagine how this frees him up to just turn through and, therefore simplifies everything. Once the club is in the slot, boom . . time after time.

    easier said then done but . .

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    • This reply was modified 5 months ago by  VirgilCaine.
    #1177798

    VirgilCaine
    Participant

    Here it is

    http://www.amateurgolf.com/golf-tournament-news/23446/We-can-all-relate–Justin-Rose-explains-his-preshot-routine

    Interesting

    Listen to Rose talk through his backswing – “pump faking,” back to the target, left arm dropped and all. Hey, fighting your move is something we can all identify with, right?

    “I hate when my left arm gets out”

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    • This reply was modified 5 months ago by  VirgilCaine.
    #1178054

    DonkeyHunter
    Participant

    @coffeisland

    Great point on the pelvis shift. Too often that “bump” move initiated during transition or in the downswing, leads to more of a “swaying” motion to the left (for right handed golfers).

    IMO, this doesn’t give adequate space for your hands to clear, which leads to an overly steep and “out-to-in” swing path.

    I play with a few guys who are athletic enough to get away with it, but they’re having to manipulate everything at contact with their hands. If you don’t get the face closed in time, it’s a big block to the right. Or, even worse…you get the BIGGEST killer in golf (IMO), closing at impact and hitting a pull-snap hook.

    Noren’s pre-shot routine is a great lesson on how the downswing starts from the ground up…feet, legs, waist, torso, etc.

    Even better lesson if you’re wanting to learn how to high draw without getting “flippy” or “handsy” at impact.

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    #1178062

    Coffeeisland
    Participant

    @coffeisland

    Great point on the pelvis shift. Too often that “bump” move initiated during transition or in the downswing, leads to more of a “swaying” motion to the left (for right handed golfers).

    IMO, this doesn’t give adequate space for your hands to clear, which leads to an overly steep and “out-to-in” swing path.

    I play with a few guys who are athletic enough to get away with it, but they’re having to manipulate everything at contact with their hands. If you don’t get the face closed in time, it’s a big block to the right. Or, even worse…you get the BIGGEST killer in golf (IMO), closing at impact and hitting a pull-snap hook.

    Noren’s pre-shot routine is a great lesson on how the downswing starts from the ground up…feet, legs, waist, torso, etc.

    Even better lesson if you’re wanting to learn how to high draw without getting “flippy” or “handsy” at impact.

    Spot on DH. I LOVE that video of Noren. For anyone out there that has there head fully wrapped around the idea of using their body as the engine for both speed and accuracy but just can’t seem to put it together. That video and a face on view may be all they need.

     

    Thank you again for bringing that up.

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    #1178065

    DonkeyHunter
    Participant

    Thanks @coffee

    I remember the “aha” moment for me. It’s a drill I still use, and, one I warm up with before every round (after putting and short game area if applicable).

    I’ll take a 7-iron and 2 alignment rods. Rods are placed at feet for target line and one parallel to the other (about 2 feet apart) to give a sense of path.

    I then pick a spot down the line around 80-100 yards out and start with a strong chip for the first few balls. Feet together. Hands are ALWAYS leading through impact and always compressing the ball. After 3-6 of these, I’ll take my normal stance and repeat the same motion 3-6 times.

    Afterwards, I’ll take the club back to where the shaft is parallel to the ground, hands are about almost even with hip level. The club face should be mimicking my spine angle. From there, it’s simply turning to the other side, but finishing with the hands no higher than hip level.

    It feels very similar to trying to hit a punch. But, it is a fantastic warmup and creates the “body swinging” with little, to no, wrist hinging in the back swing. Great muscle memory exercise and gives instant feedback to ball compression and the whole proper “club face hitting ball first, ground second” mentality.

    Once you get this movement dialed in, you can slowly start “extending the length of the pendulum”.

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    #1178068

    Coffeeisland
    Participant

    Thanks @coffee

    I remember the “aha” moment for me. It’s a drill I still use, and, one I warm up with before every round (after putting and short game area if applicable).

    I’ll take a 7-iron and 2 alignment rods. Rods are placed at feet for target line and one parallel to the other (about 2 feet apart) to give a sense of path.

    I then pick a spot down the line around 80-100 yards out and start with a strong chip for the first few balls. Feet together. Hands are ALWAYS leading through impact and always compressing the ball. After 3-6 of these, I’ll take my normal stance and repeat the same motion 3-6 times.

    Afterwards, I’ll take the club back to where the shaft is parallel to the ground, hands are about almost even with hip level. The club face should be mimicking my spine angle. From there, it’s simply turning to the other side, but finishing with the hands no higher than hip level.

    It feels very similar to trying to hit a punch. But, it is a fantastic warmup and creates the “body swinging” with little, to no, wrist hinging in the back swing. Great muscle memory exercise and gives instant feedback to ball compression and the whole proper “club face hitting ball first, ground second” mentality.

    Once you get this movement dialed in, you can slowly start “extending the length of the pendulum”.

    Yes sir, that is a great drill. It’s cool when you get a buddy to try it and the look on their face when they send the ball 100 yards with a  “chip” swing. Priceless.

     

    I completely stumbled into my aha moment. I was 16 and a pretty good golfer thanks to good balance, hand-eye coordination and being athletic. We had a tee time that I almost skipped because I had cut my left thumb, on the fleshy/meaty part, a few days prior. But what the hell, I figured I was young and was  supposed to do stupid shit. So I played and couldn’t use my hands nearly as much with out the torque opening the cut…..so on that day I figured it out (roughly). Shortly after I fell in love with anything Ben Hogan and it just grew from there. Quite lucky to be honest.

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    #1178069

    Coffeeisland
    Participant

    …..on that note. For some reason I never liked wearing a glove. I have often wondered would the thought of putting a glove on that day had kept me from playing.

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    #1178073

    DonkeyHunter
    Participant

    @coffee

    Awesome story. Funny how things happen.

    And, yes, it is great to watch a buddy’s reaction with that drill. They are blown away by the whole physics of it. The simplicity of turning and how it generates club head speed from such a short swing.

    I love the “wtf” expression. Lol.

    Thanks for starting this thread, good sir.

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    #1183761

    Coffeeisland
    Participant

    Nothing will improve your ball striking like having a good pivot. Problems arise for the student when a newfound pivot begins taking over the chores the golfer has traditionally given to the arms and hands. A strong pivot combined with overactive hands and arms results in ugly snap hooks….maybe even some whiffs and hosel rockets. However if you will at first disregard direction and find satisfaction in smashing all that is holy out of that golf ball, you’ll give yourself a chance to begin learning how to lay off the hand/arm action. On your own, you would eventually realize that what you want from your hands and arms is stability and control.

     

    Golfers in general think of impact as releasing the hands in a sorta/kinda rolling over fashion…..but not too much or you’ll be flipping it. So, they are left confused somewhere between hacking away with all their might and giving it a little b*tch slap that goes weakly to the right and stops just “this side” of the Ladies Tees. Obviously there are some very successful golfers that do indeed use overactive hands. But, mind you, they are awesome athletes that also have the time and money to hit thousands of golf balls every week. If they didn’t and then lose a fraction of that timing, they are toast.

     

    One way to overcome this duality is to support your arms with your shoulders. I’ll go back to Ben Hogan for this lesson. He clearly demonstrates the upper arm connecting to the side of his chest as well as or better than anyone. He does talk about it some but, you can see it when you look for it. It’s in every single golf swing related move he makes. Nothing begins until his arms are supported by his shoulders…even applying his grip.

    https://imgur.com/a/

     

    The illustrations from 5 Lessons are legendary on their own in the golf world. Notice there is emphasis on the left arm connection in the drawing. This is obviously a good illustration of the left hand grip if a weak grip is desired. For a strong grip, you would align the grip more straight up and down at the base of the fingers. A good video for a strong grip is out there by Kelvin Miyahira on YouTube. Tread lightly with Kelvin’s instruction. It can take you down a DEEP rabbit hole.

     

    The connection is also illustrated with his right arm.

     

    https://imgur.com/a/

     

    It’s not that he is pressing laterally with his arms trying to squeeze his shoulders and elbows together. He is lowering his upper arms into the sides of his chest. Like if you held your bent arms in front of you and someone placed a bundle of kindling wood in your arms….where would find the most comfortable way to hold and carry it for an extended period?…..I could make this easier by doing a video but I don’t want to dox myself…

     

    https://imgur.com/a/UeHCCVr

     

    Look at that!! That is absolute perfection!! Do you think he has any question whatsoever as to where that ball is going? It’s not that he dropped his right arm down at the top of his backswing to get here. His right arm has basically been there since he took the grip for that swing! Do you think he knew something?

     

    Ok so your arms are supported. Now what? Holding the club about waist high, or a little higher, get a good golf grip with your right hand….probably better for most to start with a stronger grip. MAINTAIN THAT RIGHT HAND GRIP. When done properly, you don’t need to squeeze with your right hand any harder than you would when shaking a 9 year old boys hand. Firm, so he knows it means something but don’t dominate him. Feel the weight of the clubhead, let it make the upper thumb, wrist and forearm a straight line…..like when casting a fishing line.

     

    So, right hand only on the club and approach the ball with your right foot first, just as Hogan advocated. The golf club is still waist high AND HAS NOT MOVED SINCE YOU FOUND THAT SWEET SPOT OF THE CLUBHEAD WEIGHT AND RIGHT HAND IN HARMONY. You are still standing tall. Once you have addressed the ball with your right foot, bend down from your hips until the club touches the ground. Your focus is to maintain the integrity of the entire right shoulder, arm, wrist, hand, club relation while moving the left foot into place. Fit your left hand onto the grip. You should find that you will need to move your right foot to the right, in the direction opposite of the target. This is cool and should lend itself to trusting this. No matter how high or low the club head is (how much your right elbow is bent) when you start bending from the hips, you will get into the same exact posture. Every. Single. Time.

     

    During the swing your your shoulders will be rotating. In the backswing, the left and right shoulders rotate “clockwise”. In the downswing and ALL THE WAY THOUGHOUT, they rotate counterclockwise. Think of the rotation as happening internally. We are not trying to sling the club all around with our new found connection. A good way to keep it in check is to keep the club head outside of the hands throughout the takeaway. There are good videos on YouTube that discuss keepin the clubhead outside the hands….this is long enough:) The first time art meets science in the swing is finding WHEN do you START the rotation. If you start too early, your swing will be too flat. You have to get into the takeaway before the shoulder rotation begins.

     

    Remember to think of it as internal movements. You are allowing the shoulders to support the arms, hands and club. When the club gets to or past waist high going back, you will need to learn what it feels like to let the weight of the clubhead hinge/cock your wrists. This is another point in which art meets science. AND YOU ALWAYS MAINTAIN THE SAME GRIP THE SWING STARTED WITH. Don’t separate your fingertips from their original relation to its palm.

     

    Refer to DonkeyHunter’s drill and my original pivot discussion while doing this. It will take some living room practice to get this. Don’t let the left shoulder rotation raise you out of the wonderful posture you have now found. Use the right shoulder rotation for any thoughts of height. Why not use another Hogan line? He said he wanted his left shoulder to go under and touch the underside of his chin. He said his shirts were all stained from the repetition. At impact, and a little after, your left hand and wrist are flat and facing the target. Your right hand is bent back on itself and holding. Learn to  use your shoulder rotation as the release. Seek the power that can be obtained by the new found duality of rotating your shoulders and driving/holding the hands.

     

    https://imgur.com/a/jLUX7Ta

     

    The counterclockwise rotation of the left shoulder will also inherently keep you from getting out over the ball and keep your weight from getting onto your toes. By the way, that solves another duality: how do you rotate without getting your left shoulder out/away/closer to the target line? Because when it does you will lose speed coming into impact by having to somehow get the left shoulder back in line…..what you end up doing is now called early extension, what they used to call goat humping. Applying the rotation correctly, a down the line view would show the left shoulder never juts outward towards the ball.

     

    Had one more picture

    https://imgur.com/a/8v0ObPX

     

    This is a demonstration, not hitting a golf ball. Can you see what allowed the magic to happen.

     

    Apologies for the length of this post. Would be a great 8 minute video but again, no interest in doxximg myself.

     

     

     

     

     

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    #1183769

    DonkeyHunter
    Participant

    A+ post, my friend!

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