Why The Tighter Pivot Increases Power

I’ve been going over the mechanics, not content to merely say, “based on what I’ve been researching, the tighter pivot gives you increased power.”

It’s nice to know, but the reasons for this would be helpful to those struggling with issues that they might not think has to do with a pivot that’s less than the tightest they can make it.

If you look at Mike Dunaway’s top position, it’s what I am telling people in the last MCS video to do, and you can see my demo swing from a previous video, compared to Dunaway’s:

This is more powerful and leveraged, even though it’s a “shorter” back swing, than this position:

… and I’ll tell you the reason:

  • If you’re finding yourself creating an out-to-inside club path (not optimal, as it’s less powerful than inside-out),
  • If you’re “flipping” or “casting,” basically, releasing early (before the swing bottom),
  • If you’re pulling like crazy with the leading side to try to get the club head to the ball and not finding much power in this move…

This is all connected to the “Drop & Pop,” which of course has to do with the initial transition from the top to halfway down (the “Drop”) and the extension from the “3 O’Clock” position halfway down to the “9 O’Clock” post impact position (the “Pop”).

Now, I took great pains in the “EMCS2 – The Follow-Up” video to explain the 3 Levers, so you’re all familiar with this.

So, let me make the connection – when your top position isn’t as tight as it could be, you will begin to release the club earlier than is optimal on the way down, and that will affect everything from your impact position to you club path and yes, the power you create from the “3 To 9” positions.

I said that John Daly was an anomaly in that he has very past-parallel shaft position at the top, but still got the club on plane coming down:

That is because Daly is a right-dominant swinger, which helps of course in using the right arm, and my difference and downfall is, being left-handed, I would be “pulling” more than “pushing” in my down swing transition from the top:

Without getting too deep into the weeds, this makes all the difference in the world – because Daly is right-dominant, he could crank that back swing way past parallel and not release early because he isn’t pulling down with the leading arm.

So, he didn’t come over the top, he had great power, and that’s because Daly is able to drop that right elbow to the “3 O’Clock” position without releasing the club early:

At the “3 O’Clock” position, Daly’s right arm is still cocked and “loaded,” allowing him to now extend into and through the bottom awesomely – and I don’t advise trying to copy Daly, because this is not what I’d call “standard.”

It’s far easier to do it the standard way, because let’s face it – if you could swing like John Daly, you’d be doing it already, and if you’re not, the standard way is far easier to change to and emulate than J.D.’s!

So, the whole key to the “Drop & Pop” is to preserve the latent power in the power arm, and this is where you get to “push,” whereas if you’re not syncing it with the “pull” of the leading side, the “pull” will win out and you’ll either release early or have to do things to prevent it.

Dunaway on the other hand was nice and tight, and so he was able to sync his leading side “pull” effortlessly with the drop into the “push” action of the 2nd Lever, and that’s why he was so long even with standard non-long-drive clubs.

So, if you want to swing as simply as possible, with as few things to worry about as possible, then you want to take unorthodox things out of your swing, as I’m myself moving away from the past-parallel position of my earlier years, and going tighter and shorter.

It didn’t decrease my power this past summer when I did it – I actually gained power, as I wrote about, and I’m not done tightening things up now that I’m putting together the “how” with the “why.”

The “why” helps you get everything out of the “how.”

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

6 thoughts on “Why The Tighter Pivot Increases Power

    1. D Watts Post author


      Sadlowski however is a long-driver and they want as long a back swing as possible to generate momentum with the extra-length driver shafts. They are more concerned with how long a back swing they can produce.

      The longer clubs actually give you more time to “drop into the slot” with the shafts as well, as I could do it even when I had issues with the regular length shafts:

      So, you’re not going to see tight pivots from the long-drivers for the most part. You’re also going to get quite a bit of trade-off in ball-striking and accuracy, as you can see that whenever you watch a long-drive event.

  1. jhanalyseit

    DJ, can you define what you mean by tighter? I get shorter and longer swings, meaning reaching further back or turning more in the backswing. By tighter do you mean the hands and in closer to the body, rather than extended away? Almost collapsed into the body?

    1. D Watts Post author

      Until you get the “feel” of the tighter position (it will click in and you’ll know where you should be at the top), I would just define it loosely as keeping the elbow lower, jh – if the elbow flies out or gets so high that the upper arm is parallel to the ground, it’s probably getting to where you lose leverage.


      When you look at Hogan or Dunaway, you see that – and when I used my Kettle Bell for the “One Exercise” that I introduced in “EMCS2 – The Follow-Up” video, you see where my elbow is:


      I hope that helps 🙂

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