When You Focus On The Pivot, Not The Club Head…

Good things will happen.  And this goes for anyone who is struggling with your back swing pivot, because you’re likely focusing on the club rather than the hands in the back swing.

If you use your hips and legs to perform your pivot and focus on the hands – remember the “One Major Move” from the “E = MCS” video – you will really start to figure out the true fundamental mechanics of a simple yet powerful, accurate and repeatable action, which is the essence of a mechanically-correct action.

If you’re working on your golf swing for playing purposes, then you don’t have to look like Jamie Sadlowski at the top of the back swing, which is why I’ve changed my hand and wrist action.

I used to, in the past, focus on how far I could move my club head away from the ball, because of course, it feels like a greater and more powerful wind-up before beginning the down swing.

However, most times, you’re manipulating the hands and wrists to get that club head to go as far as it can, and when you look like this:


… it may be great for generating a little extra speed and power, but you’ll pay for it in consistency and accuracy.

Now, looking at a picture of my top position from recently:


… you’ll notice that I haven’t really “shortened” the back swing, because my hands are as far away from the ball in the second picture as in the first!

The real and crucial difference is that in the second picture, I’ve flattened my left arm plane at the top, and I’ve not cupped my wrist to create a more acute angle between the shaft and my left forearm.

Everything else in that pivot is essentially the same – I’ve still used the hips and legs, and you can see I’ve “swung the gate” past the ball in both back swings.


This is why I’ve said that, aside from his funky club shaft angle, Matt Wolff has a great pivot because he’s using his hips and legs to turn the shoulders instead of torquing his lower back – the result is he gets his hands back and high above his head so he can lower the boom.

Jack Nicklaus never got past parallel with his club shaft, from what I remember, but that’s not where the power comes from – it was in his hips and legs:


He would have been far past parallel with a cupped wrist, but he simply cocked the wrist naturally and the club shaft ended up where it did, about parallel.

But that’s why Nicklaus was one of the best drivers, with regards to both power and accuracy.  He used his hips and legs for the power, and he was more consistent by not trying to drop the club head as far a possible with manipulated hand and wrist action.

Look at Bubba Watson, one of the longest drivers on the PGA Tour:


It’s tempting to assume that he’s so long because of how far the club goes past parallel, but look at his hips and legs – that’s where the shoulder turn and high hands creating the leverage and power are coming from.

If he stopped cupping that wrist and let the club shaft be where it is naturally with a natural wrist cock, he’d likely be just as long – but a good deal more consistent.

So, I’d recommend one of two things to focus on with your pivot next time out practicing – either the shoulder turn using the hips & legs, or the hands, again using the hips and legs.

Don’t worry about where the club head is and you’ll likely find your ball-striking improves very quickly.


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

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6 thoughts on “When You Focus On The Pivot, Not The Club Head…

  1. David

    DJ, after our discussion here the other day, I have resumed the Austin counter rotation move off the ball. It enables me to keep the flat left wrist at the top and transfers much easier to the same position at impact. It is also my starting move for my short game.

    I just sent over a swing from today and it is coming. The irons are gaining in distance daily …. driver is slower coming. Hard to knock how I have been playing though. 6 over the last 4 rounds on a very big golf course. 6 par 4’s over 450.

    The driver is now 245 – 250 carry. It is so wet though that roll is non existent here in the desert, who knew 🙂

    1. D Watts Post author

      Looks like you’re getting through the ball pretty good there, DK. Keep up the good work! 🙂

    2. Mark

      DJ,
      Watching the Scottish Open and another slight heel lift on slow motion swing of tee by, wait for it…………, Ricky Fowler.

      1. D Watts Post author

        Haven’t seen any coverage, Mark. Thanks for the heads-up, I’ll see if I can catch some live action tomorrow or Rickie in some highlights 🙂

  2. David Kondzich

    A little slow down at impact so need to work on that. The good thing is I can find it and hit it again 🙂

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