The Proper Pivot Isn’t A “Turn”

This is the major difference you will find between a proper, mechanically-sound pivot using the hips & legs versus the modern method of twisting the back and torso to turn the shoulders.

Just as I demonstrated in the “E = MCS” video that you swing around the C7 (see the gif), you don’t really “turn” away from the ball when pivoting.

You use the hips & legs to turn the shoulders, but you’re not turning away from anything, nor are you turning back into the ball on the down swing:

The only real “turning” in the golf swing comes after you’ve passed the swing bottom, where the momentum of the swing turns you around to face the target.

This is why the optimal golf swing pivot starts from a flat-footed stance and returns you to impact with flat feet or at least a very low trailing heel.

If you’re coming into impact with high trailing heel, it’s not mechanically unsound, just not optimal, because it means you’re turning during the down swing, which will affect accuracy and consistency.

That’s why you really should be working on your “One Major Move” if you’re having any sort of pivot issues.

The closer you get your swing to the move, using the hips & legs as illustrated below:

… you’ll see as I point out that you start the pivot with a flat-footed stance and return to the swing bottom in the same way.

This may be advance stuff, but it’s the basic and essential pivot action that will give you the most efficient leverage and therefore the greatest speed and power production with the highest accuracy and consistency metrics.

It may be counter-intuitive, but the hips & legs are the engines for leverage, not the upper body, and when you hear on TV that someone is “swinging with the arms” instead of the body, then you know they have no clue how the swing really works or should work.

If you really swung with the arms, you wouldn’t need to turn the shoulders – the fact that the entire swing action is meant to do one thing – provide a shoulder turn on both the back swing and down swing – should tell you that the arms are very passive in the swing.

So, the better you can grasp the concept that the pivot isn’t actually a “turn,” the quieter and more leveraged a swing you will be able to build.

Back Pain or Back Injury Swinging a Golf Club?

Lacking Power, Speed, Distance and or Consistency? 

Need A Swing That Is More Easily Maintained?

If You Answered “Yes” To Any Of The Above Questions, The Answer Is In The Formula For The Golf Swing:

“E = MCS” The Swing Video

8 thoughts on “The Proper Pivot Isn’t A “Turn”

  1. lupz27

    Hey DJ finally got out to hit some balls today for the first time this season, after making a few adjustments from last season based on the last video, and going back to getting set up to the ball with the left hand instead of the right hand.

    Found one noticeable difference when I was making ideal swings, my ball flight is towering, much higher then last season (I was hitting into a 15 MPH wind, and gusting so have no ideas about true distance difference unfortunately, and obviously with a towering ball flight it’s going to be affected much more by that wind), now is that the type of ball flight to expect? Curious to know if that’s the type of ball flight a full swing with no compensation should produce, or should it be lower?

    Anyways been awhile DJ thanks for all the research, and videos you give us for a fraction of the cost that the back breaking course pro’s charge for lessons, hope all is well, and warm weather comes your way soon.

    1. D Watts Post author

      Very welcome, Lupz! I have always said that any video I make is far more instructive than an hour lesson with any teaching pro, and usually for less than what you’d pay them. I like providing value.

      That said, you will likely find yourself hitting a higher trajectory ball flight, much more like a Ferris Wheel type of parabola than low and flat – it’s due to increased power and speed in the strike, which imparts more backspin on the ball, creating that nice arcing flight.

      I’ve always had “towering” iron and wedge shots myself, due to my club-head speed and that I used to hit a fade on top of that.

      Witness the close-to-200-yard 8 iron I captured on Trackman 3 years ago during my facility’s Open House when I took some swings on it.

      Just make sure you’re not getting the ball too high due to added loft, which will happen if you’re impacting the ball with the shaft too vertical. All irons should have the hands ahead of the ball at address, and if you’re doing that and still getting high ball flight, then it’s the added power and spin that I mentioned first.

      Of course, if you ever want to lower the height of your iron shot, it’s the same as with any other type of flight-lowering – go up a club and swing easier to produce the same distance with a lower apex.

      1. lupz27

        I’m pretty sure most of my strikes came with my hands out in front, and not a vertical shaft at impact, my clubs are proof I believe considering I came home with half the hitting mat on all my clubs from striking the through the ball first, the wind was ridiculous thou, so I have no idea if it’s from added power, and spin even thou the ball was penetrating it still stopped dead in its tracks at the apex (driving range is wide open to the elements, and Halfway up a mountain elevated making the wind gusts more treacherous then the surrounding areas. Getting the driver consistent is still an issue, but when I hit one through a gust that landed on the back of the green that is 260 to the center into that wind I know I got that one just right.

        Going to be 75 tomorrow, and will be out there all day preparing for my Mytrle Beach golf trip in 2 weeks. I found a huge help to consistently strike the ball is to make sure you have your head down staring at the back of the golf all the way through the golf swing, and if you have the other fundamentals down like I feel I do for the most part you will notice a big difference in your ball striking even on poor swings, I hit a large bucket today 150 balls, not one ball resulted in a oh jeez that’s embarrassing mishit which is not the norm for me, especially towards the end of the bucket when I get tired, or the beginning when I’m warming up, and feeling for the proper mechanics.

        1. D Watts Post author

          That all sounds great, Lupz – and of course, as you said, hitting into a stiff wind will raise your ball flight, especially if you’re striking them purely with the irons and getting that spin.

          All in all, I’m loving your update – far cry from what you used to say about your swing! Keep up the great work my friend 😀

          1. lupz27

            Yes today was sort of a revelation day as I was able to hit my 5, and 6 iron for the first time in years making the same solid strike as I was getting with my wedges to 7 iron, today was only day one, and I’m still swinging left with the driver, and woods letting those hands pull into my body on the downswing so that’s something I still need to seriously work on, and will be the toughest thing to work on, hopefully more success tomorrow!

            1. D Watts Post author

              Baby steps. The driver is the hardest club with which to fix any flaws or issues due to its being the longest and that the ball position is fundamentally different from the other clubs.

              Once you get that, you’ll be golden.

      2. targettom

        this data monitor shows 22.4* launch angle; I’m no Trackman expert, but since modern lofts are around 35* for the 8 iron, does that mean you were de-lofting it around 12 degrees?

        BTW I also noticed more height to my shots lately, which I view as a good thing because I am sliding a lot less now. One adjustment I made is to tee it lower for the driver, and I added one degree to the stated loft of 9*. Generally I add 5 to 7 degrees loft with the way I hit up on it. It seems to go further that way. It’s still too cold and windy here and the balls too old to really know what the distances are like, but I think I have gained a little bit of distance; but more important the consistency has improved substantially.

        1. D Watts Post author

          I like your question, Tom – lets me get a little geeky with my answer.

          First, I don’t know the exact loft of the 8 iron I used but remember that the loft of the iron won’t match the launch angle when you’re striking it with the shaft leaning forward.

          If the loft is 35 with a vertical shaft and you then lead the club head with the hands, the actual loft will be much lower at impact. Not to memtion, the grooves will grip the ball and therefore likely cause an even lower launch angle than the face loft at impact.

          So, I wouldnt expect a launch angle that matches the club loft just as you might get a 10 degree launch angle with a 7 degree driver that impacts with positive AoA.

          Great question!

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