Ben Hogan’s “Pivot Pivot” Action Was Misunderstood

It is likely because of the phrasing he used to describe his pivot, where he said he didn’t want his hips to move to the right on the back swing.

From there, you likely got the Modern Golf Swing mantra of restricting the hips on the back swing, which is completely off-base when you look at Hogan’s actual swing.

I coined the term “floating pivot” to describe Ben Hogan’s pivot action because, with the proper setup and hip/leg action, you should have the hips and the head “floating” in place during the pivot.

Witness the Hogan “float” below:

That, people, is a Classic Golf Swing” action with free hip rotation, and there is nothing “Modern” about it.

It’s true that Hogan kept his hips from shifting to the right on the down swing, but looking at the hip motion in addition to position, they rotated very freely, as you can tell by the “Swinging Gate” action of the left leg.

I took a look at a drive that I absolutely pummeled yesterday while getting in some swings, and it was no wonder it was a mile long and dead straight (with a little draw):

If you put some lines in the relevant place, you’ll see that, with the MCS Golf Swing model’s “floating pivot” action, you should get the same effect as Hogan:

… because that’s of course whom the “floating pivot” was taken from in the summer of 2014 when I was re-building the MCS swing model.

So, the head is absolutely stable in position – that doesn’t mean it doesn’t turn with the shoulders, but it doesn’t wander left or right – and the hips are turning as if in a barrel.

What you get is a down swing transition that lets you “step into it” with the weight transfer, as Hogan did:

If you’re doing the pivot drills from the “E = MCS” swing video and you’re having difficulty with this pivot, it could be that you’re trying to keep the head frozen – my head turns, as you’ll see above, but it doesn’t shift, and those are two different things.

I would re-visit the video’s pivot section, and if you’ve got the supplementary “EMCS – The Follow-Up” video, then you have everything you need – the Kettle Bell “One Exercise,” which you then combine with the pivot drills from the swing video:

Swinging A 20 LB Kettle Bell?  No Problem…

I’m moving closer to completing the “MCs – Project 2018” video which, as I said before, will take the basic and “simplest golf swing action” possible from the “E = MCS” video and break it down in greater detail.

The crux of it all remains however, that you have two things to get down – the setup, and the pivot action.

The pivot action comes from the setup, and when you have them both down, then you will be on your way to a powerful, accurate and repeatable golf swing action!

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 “Ben Hogan’s “Pivot Pivot” Action Was Misunderstood

  1. Steve P

    DJ, I must say I have never seen your swing look so “connected” no movement that isn’t in sync with the whole body, one word, “tight”, just awesome, and for those who don’t know, watching DJ swing in person is jaw dropping. Great work
    Steve P

    1. D Watts Post author

      Well hello there Steve P! I was thinking about you the other day and wondering how things are on the West Coast – can’t believe it’s been 2.5 yrs since we last had some face time together!

      Thanks for the kind words on the swing – I think you’d find that I have vastly improved it since you last saw it in person. Just took tightening the model itself which I did year, and finally, to get in some swing work, which I hadn’t had time to do until this spring and summer. I’m hoping you’ll get to see it again up close 🙂

      Hope all is well with you, glad to know you’re still checking out the blog from time to time.



  2. Jason

    Noticed Tiger’s round today – it seemed like his ‘worst shot of the day’ was because he didn’t check his bias at setup, which he’s been kind of (maybe unconsciously) been doing.
    I must say your point about the bias at setup as really revolutionized my game

    1. D Watts Post author

      I must say your point about the bias at setup as really revolutionized my game

      Great stuff Jason! Having the right setup might take time to get “right,” but it’s so much easier to swing consistently once you get it. Way to go, keep up the good work! 😀

  3. spartyguy

    Coming from the Austin swing, I still find myself reverting back to the old “swing the bell” hip movement. I get to “turny” when I try and not let that right hip move and from there all kinds of bad things happen. Always something to work on and I need to commit to breaking old habits, but hard to do while playing. Sweet looking swing, DJ.

    1. D Watts Post author

      Here’s a tip, spartyguy – when you have your setup correct with the “kicked-in” right knee and the head over the right side… you won’t be able to move that hip to the right. It will feel as though it is, but you’ll see that it doesn’t break the vertical plane. Give it a shot and once you have it, just work on that action and feel until it works every time.

      1. spartyguy

        Hmmmm… that is interesting. Every now and again I feel like I am “turning inside a wall” and that right leg is a great brace. I’m guessing that is when I have a really good biased position and not what I THINK is a good biased position!!! It’s always the little things. 🙂 Thanks DJ. You da man.

        1. D Watts Post author

          It’s always the little things

          Very welcome spartyguy – and you’re correct, it’s always the little things that will trip you up 😉

Comments are closed.