If You’re A “Puller,” It’s Correct Action But On The Wrong Angle

That’s right – all of the people who are angst-ridden and feel you’ll never be able to swing powerfully because you “pull” the club down from the top, are actually not making the wrong motion.

It’s just that “pullers” fail to properly sequence the down swing (although a lot of it has to do with the setup and back swing pivot rather than what happens on the down swing) and pull on the wrong angle.

I’ve said before, and still feel, that my swing hasn’t changed much over the years.  By that, the down swing action still feels the same for me as it did when I was coming over the top and swinging outside-in rather than inside out.

What I changed was the angle or plane coming back down, and I did that by adjusting and correcting my setup and back swing pivot action.

For example: If you make a back swing pivot and try to “cover the ball” with your chest coming back down, as I’ve heard on TV and read in magazines (and which makes no sense to me), chances are that you, as a puller, will come steeply over the top in your action doing so.

The reason being, you’re so focused on the down swing action that you never really complete the back pivot and leave yourself no other path to the ball except over the top.

Fix: If there is nothing wrong so much with your setup, and it all seems to go wrong on the transition to the down swing, you’d be better off thinking “cover the right foot” with your chest on the back pivot and thinking “high left shoulder” on the transition to the down swing.

Of course, it’s very difficult to do with a Modern Golf Swing action and setup, because the planted leading heel will restrict your hip and you’ll end up twisting the lower back to complete the shoulder turn, and that will just not end well for most people.


Just A Brief Aside Before I Continue

Of course, every time I bring up the Modern Golf Swing as I just did, I have to pause to deliver the following rant on that particular subject, because I can’t not it…

Just as not everyone who smokes will end up with lung cancer, not everyone who swings in the Modern Golf Swing models will end up with a bad back, but is this really something you want to gamble with?

Because, you’ve only got one back and when you mess that up, quality of life can be severely diminished – all to swing in a way that is not mechanically sound – doesn’t seem the logical thing to do, does it?

You can build a house that has a high risk of collapsing on you while you sleep one night, or you can build it according to a proper blueprint and code – and the thing that gets me, many people who would be nodding their heads right now in agreement with this statement will still go out today or tomorrow and insist on swinging with a twisting lower back and great risk of injuring it… alright, let’s move on.


The body is built with pretty much equal halves on the outside (inside, the organs and their arrangement are not the same on either side of the body’s center), and they work in unison.

To walk, you move one leg and foot forward while the other side remains in place until you plant the moving foot, then you reverse the process.

One arm swings forward, the other swings back.


Pretty much the same for running.

To swing or throw, you will have one shoulder moving in a direction while the other moves in the other direction with regards to the body center.

If the right shoulder goes back, the left shoulder moves forward, and if one shoulder goes up or down, the other moves in the opposite direction.  Because when we swing and throw, the motion is in arcs, not straight lines.


So, you could say that if the shoulders move the same direction, that’s a sway, if they both drop, you’re “harpooning” the ball or ground, and of course, if they both go up, you’re coming up out of the swing or “jumping.”

So, if someone tells you that you’re pulling too hard on the swing and not “pushing” or throwing enough with the trailing arm, that’s not exactly correct.

You can’t push or throw with the trailing arm and not have the leading arm “pulling” or moving in the opposite manner to the throw or push. The body is simply not built for any other type of motion.

What the difference really is, is the angle on which you pull.

If you’re a puller, let me give you this following visual concept:

Think of the over the top or outside-in swing motion as you swinging with your right or trailing shoulder swinging over or around your left or leading shoulder, swinging through from the top.

Instead, visualize swinging under your left or leading shoulder with the trailing or right shoulder.

And I’ll leave you to chew on that, as anything further would be fodder for another posting!


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

9 thoughts on “If You’re A “Puller,” It’s Correct Action But On The Wrong Angle

    1. D Watts Post author

      Basically Uncle JJ, if you have any visual or sensation of beginning the down swing with a pulling down on the club or hands with the left or leading arm… you would be a puller even if you are hitting the ball with the right or trailing arm through impact.

      I hope that helps! 🙂

    1. D Watts Post author

      Hi Roger, welcome to the site and thanks for commenting!

      Jack Nicklaus said the exact same thing. Feel as if you’re swinging under the front shoulder.

      I didn’t know that, but it is amazing that you say this, because when I was writing this post, I was thinking of Jack Nicklaus!

      He didn’t come over the top even though he had a very high leading heel lift and high hands with the flying elbow at the top – because he swung down on the proper angle. This is why he played a fade but could draw the ball at will.

      Thanks for providing that insight 🙂

  1. Ralph

    I concur I am 81 and still this the main key to focus on to swing properly. Jack has always been a great model.

  2. Mr. McJohn

    I’m assuming the idea behind this “push/pull” idea is that of a feeling or a personal image, not necessarily of a physical nature other than getting the correct action, because regardless of feel, both sides will be used during a swing. Why not just teach a proper action and not separate swing types?

    1. D Watts Post author

      Why not just teach a proper action and not separate swing types?

      To answer very shortly, MMJ, I do, and because there are.

      Not everyone has the same visuals and “feel” for the same motion. I’ve had people tell me they can’t quite understand the “throw release” concept with the right or trailing arm because they swing more with the left or leading arm in their mind and feeling.

      Being left-handed and swinging right, I was in that camp for years but I fortunately was able to switch the feel because I swing and throw right-handed.

      Others won’t ever be able to visualize the right side action, so I’m giving them guidance on how to move and feel swinging with their leading arm as the focus.

      I hope that helps.

      1. Brandon Reeves

        I concur with Deej’s statement on this as well when trying to convey a feel to someone. I am left handed playing right handed as well but when you say “throw” to me, as a person who played over 100 games of baseball almost every summer, that word will mean something completely different to me than it would to someone else. I had to look at other sources like Martin Ayers and Lee Comeaux to simplify the right arm and hand action, then it made what Austin and Dunaway were saying make more sense.

        Also, it introduced me to a concept called “Hands Over The Top” which is what DJ is explaining here. you can swing your hands, in what is thought of as an over the top action but if the pivot is proper and the shoulders and left side are moving properly then the hands can never swing over the top. JMO

        The only way I can think of teaching the proper action without using feel is to understand how the mind learns at an intimate level and there are very few people in the world that understand it well enough to be able to teach on a neuro muscular level. So, most of us have to try to find feels to convey the sensations that we are feeling or sensing in order to explain what is going on.

        1. D Watts Post author

          Hi Brandon! This comment got caught in the Spam filter for some reason, only saw it today, what with the trip to Chicago and all, when cleaning out the Spam. I’ve updated the posting date to reflect a new comment 🙂

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