Fred Couples – More Proof On The “Tight Pivot” Concept

I love when something I see online sparks a “hmm” moment, making me go back to check what I’ve written about this thing or that – and I end up being validated.

I have talked extensively this past autumn and winter on the nature of “tight” when it comes to the pivot and top position before the transition, and I showed John Daly as an example of how one can have a tight position even when way past parallel at the top with the club shaft.

You can add another legendary long-hitter to that concept, because I saw a swing video of Fred Couples on Twitter showing him down the line that reminded me instantly of Big John.


Now, this doesn’t discount what I’ve said about his swing being a back-breaker – in fact, it’s rather ironic that I pointed out F.C.’s left-biased stance and crunching impact position as being deadly for the back back in 2010 – and that this is exactly how Tiger Woods broke his own back years after I first talked about it.


So, the nature of Couples’ swing mechanics were what caused his back issues, but his top position was very tight, and that’s how he got all that speed:


Unfortunately for Fred, even though he had a nice and beautifully tight top position, his planted-heel back swing with the left-biased setup, leading to the violent change of direction starting down (bad for the lower back):


… combined with the lower-back crunching impact position were a ticking time bomb (when you’re firing the hips and simultaneously dropping the head down and back – sound familiar?).

But that top position…


So why does John Daly still swing pain-free and bomb it all day long, while Fred Couples has been a part-time player since the 90’s due to his back injury and continuing woes?

The difference is in the differences – John Daly swings in the Classic Golf Swing model with the free hip turn and the lifting leading heel, and he was over the right knee at the top of the back swing, whereas Couples swings Modern Golf Swing planted-heel style and from a left-biased top position.

Those two things are the main things.

One of these swingers uses hip & leg action to power his swing without twisting and torquing his lower back or crunching it into impact, and the other swinger is Fred Couples.

I will be able to explain and demonstrate this all much better than just showing pictures, once the outdoor season begins and I first confirm my investigatory work over the winter.

More to come!


Back Pain or Back Injury Swinging a Golf Club?

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6 thoughts on “Fred Couples – More Proof On The “Tight Pivot” Concept

    1. D Watts Post author

      The Dome is kaput. Won’t be open before spring:

      … but I should be able to get outside in the next few weeks. Mid-to-late March has been the norm the past few years. Finger crossed! 🙂

  1. Mike Divot

    OT but, first look at this:

    Check the impact position.

    By gum, he hit that ball hard.

    Then look at this:

    1. D Watts Post author

      I”m shocked, Mike – SHOCKED – that TW has incurred yet another injury. I can’t imagine how he does it…

  2. Uncle JJ

    I’m still a little confused about what you mean by “tight.” What, specifically, are you seeing when you look at the pictures of Daly and Couples at the top of their backswings? Is it the elbow position?

    1. D Watts Post author

      Have no fear, Uncle JJ! I’m just waiting to confirm with testing that what I’ve been working on this past winter is the real deal, but I really don’t have any worries.

      There’s the traditional “tight” with the arms on a shallow plane and the right elbow against or close to the body, but I have a “tight” definition that will serve many different top positions with regards to the elbow and hands.

      I won’t say yet what it is, because the last thing I want is to send people on a goose chase only for me to say, “Yeah, that doesn’t really work…” The testing is to confirm what I have discovered and observed looking at different power swings, but once that’s done, you’ll get it.

      Shouldn’t be too much longer, but trust that I am working on it as I speak, with regards to explanation and demonstration. It’s going to be a hot year! 🙂

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