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Updated Thoughts on a Proper Pivot


iacas
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I posted that "drill" in 2015 and still use it to this day, though less than I did over six years ago. That drill is not intended to have your hips actually going forward during the backswing, but rather intended to help those whose hips sway way too far and who create reverse axis tilt during the backswing. And, honestly, I still teach a little secondary axis tilt while the weight (via the hips) get forward a little early for higher handicappers who can't get their weight forward much at all during the downswing.

But for better players, the better pattern as seen by better players involves a little bit of "flow." Flow is what you'll see a bit in Day 10 of last year's COVID practice plan:

 

I've also covered it here:

If you look at the images in the comments there, you'll see a pattern of movement like this:

Screen Shot 2021-11-05 at 8.02.16 PM.png

This shows the center of mass moving "back" from 1-2, "up" from 2-3, and then beginning to fall down and forward from 3-4. And the scale is more correct than my super-exaggerated view in the blog post above.

In lessons I often use a video of Rory McElroy hitting an iron to illustrate this. Here's Rory in GEARS:

Rory_Shift1.jpg

This is early in the backswing — the clubhead has moved only 18-24" or so — and yet Rory has shifted his pelvis 1.4 inches to his right and his ribs or chest 2 full inches in the same direction!

It's basically his "trigger" move.

I describe this pattern to many students as:

  • Shift right (assuming you're a righty). If you're set up like / \ over your two legs from face-on, after you shift you'll look a bit more like | \ because you'll have shifted your mass a bit more over your trail foot.
  • Spiral up. I talk about the right floating rib spiraling UP while the left floating rib spirals down and inward. Sometimes students will spiral the right ribs too far forward, but I want it still pretty close to the wall they "bumped into" early in the backswing.
  • Fall left. Depending on whether the student goes too much with the shoulders or the hips, we might vary the feel here, but it's basically staying vertical from your pelvis up through your torso | while moving that line back toward the ball. This occurs from around A3 to A4 (and continues beyond that).
  • Turn through after you've begun falling left, the fall (like all falls) accelerates a bit and when you've landed more fully on your left foot, you rotate hard through there. Pressure left is often as high as 75% or more by A5.

Here's a later image of Rory in the downswing at about A5:

Rory_Shift2.jpg

Note that the ribs and pelvis are now four inches forward of where they were at address. From here the hips will continue to go forward and the ribs will often hang out around here (or tip back slightly), creating 8-12° of axis tilt.

This slight slight movement back and through doesn't violate key #1 because, as we've always said, it's steady head, not "still/unmoving/fixed" head. The connotation is important, as "steady" doesn't imply no movement at all.

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Those first 3 bullet points happen in .75sec. Take your time! The “fall left (or right)” can be hard to feel. 5 S’s! Commonly, in the falling, is an increasing of hinge, and it doesn’t need to be rushed. You want to feel yourself load up. 

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9 minutes ago, phillyk said:

Those first 3 bullet points happen in .75sec. Take your time! The “fall left (or right)” can be hard to feel. 5 S’s! Commonly, in the falling, is an increasing of hinge, and it doesn’t need to be rushed. You want to feel yourself load up. 

Fully agreed.

This is something you can work on slowly, and it should begin to feel a bit more dynamic, a bit more athletic.

I liken it to how you'd push and move the water in the bathtub. You start forward, pulling the water forward as it fills in the vacuum behind you, then when it's going forward you start going back, so it climbs the front of the bathtub just as you're creating another vacuum to fill in the space in front of you, sending the water crashing back. You can pretty easily create some really big waves very quickly.

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3 hours ago, iacas said:

BTW the same golfer from the Wall Drill post is now looking like this:

1. Early shift

01.jpg

2. Winding up

02.jpg

3. Shifting forward

03.jpg

You're teaching Tim Rosaforte? 🙂

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11 hours ago, phillyk said:

Those first 3 bullet points happen in .75sec. Take your time! The “fall left (or right)” can be hard to feel. 5 S’s! Commonly, in the falling, is an increasing of hinge, and it doesn’t need to be rushed. You want to feel yourself load up. 

This is what I was working on most of the last two months. The feel is illusive. When I’m doing it correctly, it feels like I’m delaying the downswing while my hips slide forward and turn ahead of everything else. On film, everything is moving but sequence is better and impact to A9 is better too. My left arm remains more straight at impact and keeps extending out past impact. Wrist don’t turn over too early.

When I do it poorly, it feels like the arms start the downswing and everything is off. My hips feel like they need to catch up. It affects impact through A9 and my left arm bends more through impact and wrists hinge left early.

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I don't agree with this GolfTec article, but I think it's mostly a matter of where they measure the "center."

2021-11-26 08.40.07.jpg

And… it still shows a shift back and then forward before the end of the backswing.

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