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nevets88

What's the difference between a pivot driven swing and an arms swing?

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I keep reading about these two types of swing but aren't all swings pivot driven?

Is there an example on tour of someone who is very pivot driven vs someone who uses his arms? If I had to guess, would it be someone who doesn't turn his hips a lot, like a Brian Gay (correct me if I'm wrong) versus someone with a big hip turn like Bubba Watson?

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I don't know. It's a TGM thing. I think it's technically a "hands controlled pivot" or "pivot controlled hands." But that's a little different than what you're saying, so maybe it's not that either.

Every golfer has a pivot. I know that much.

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There's a little of both in everybody's golf swing but some use a higher percentage of "arms" and some use a higher percentage of "rotational torque".

More of the older players like Watson, Crenshaw and Nicklaus (especially after 1980) and many others used less turn and more arms. They rarely get the left upper arm deeper than the toe line, the hands deeper than the front of the ankle, or the club head deeper than their butt line. If they tried to use the modern drill of putting a handkerchief under their armpits the handkerchief would fall out every time because the arms are higher than the shoulders.

After things like the X factor and body torque storing energy became popular almost all of the younger guys were taught a totally different method.

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"Hands controlled pivot" vs "pivot controlled hands" opened up such a huge can of worms when I was trying to learn about it that I basically quit reading about it. It's a takeaway move, iirc. If that's not what you're asking, then I think you're discussing feels? Some people may feel their arms do more or their hips do more, but I agree with Erik, everyone pivots.
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More of the older players like Watson, Crenshaw and Nicklaus (especially after 1980) and many others used less turn and more arms. They rarely get the left upper arm deeper than the toe line, the hands deeper than the front of the ankle, or the club head deeper than their butt line. If they tried to use the modern drill of putting a handkerchief under their armpits the handkerchief would fall out every time because the arms are higher than the shoulders.

After things like the X factor and body torque storing energy became popular almost all of the younger guys were taught a totally different method.

The picture you showed is Watson (from a poor angle) on his downswing . Nicklaus and Watson turned and got their hands and forearms plenty deep.

But I'm not disagreeing with you per se, because I don't think there's any real difference. I think we're talking about "feels" here and Watson, for example, famously felt like he was "coming over the top" of every shot (virtually every pro and every decent player comes "over the top" of their downswing plane with their hands and front arm). He wasn't in the traditional sense, but it's his feel, so he "owns" it.

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The picture you showed is Watson (from a poor angle) on his downswing. Nicklaus and Watson turned and got their hands and forearms plenty deep.

But I'm not disagreeing with you per se, because I don't think there's any real difference. I think we're talking about "feels" here and Watson, for example, famously felt like he was "coming over the top" of every shot (virtually every pro and every decent player comes "over the top" of their downswing plane with their hands and front arm). He wasn't in the traditional sense, but it's his feel, so he "owns" it.


That's OK. :-D
Nothing wrong with disagreeing with me.

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Reading TMG concepts made my game worse. thank God I was able to stop the nonsense and get some real teaching.

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To answer the OP, I don't think there is any difference, it's just how the players feels the motion. Some players feel like they move their hands and their pivot follows, some players feel like the pivot and their hands follow.

Is there an example on tour of someone who is very pivot driven vs someone who uses his arms? If I had to guess, would it be someone who doesn't turn his hips a lot, like a Brian Gay (correct me if I'm wrong) versus someone with a big hip turn like Bubba Watson?

Brian Gay turns his hips a good amount, not as much as Bubba but certainly enough to make a 90+ degree shoulder turn.

For all we know Bubba feels "hands controlled pivot" and Gay feels "pivot controlled hands".

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For all we know Bubba feels "hands controlled pivot" and Gay feels "pivot controlled hands".

That pretty much sums up how I feel about the subject.

I remember reading all about it and watching videos of guys analyzing pros that said "X pro uses hands controlled pivot and Y pro uses pivot controlled hands" and thinking to myself, how do they know? That's when I gave up it.

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I keep reading about these two types of swing but aren't all swings pivot driven?

Is there an example on tour of someone who is very pivot driven vs someone who uses his arms? If I had to guess, would it be someone who doesn't turn his hips a lot, like a Brian Gay (correct me if I'm wrong) versus someone with a big hip turn like Bubba Watson?

My interpretation is more along the lines of the takeaway.

A "hands controlled pivot" is a hands controlled takeaway like a Kenny Perry who look like he's using more hands and forearms directing the startup.

A "pivot controlled hands" is a pivot controlled takeaway like any modern tour player. I think its more of a rhythmic difference.

Looking at tapes of previous generations golfers in the 50-60s some rhythms were odd and funky and more "armsy and handsy"

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Yea I think it's more about if everything is working together or not. I think everyone pivots, you have to turn some amount right? The difference is if the arms start outracing the turn like me where I come from the inside too much and my lower body slows up and my arms move out to right field... then I have to save my shot with my hands and hook city baby. You'd think if I knew much about myself I wouldn't be such a chop... hahaha
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Everyone uses both, but there are differences in degree.  For some, the arms initially are relatively passive and pulled along by the body turn. But once the hips are open a little, the arms still have to fire through to get good power.  Some do this subconsiously though, and have a "feel" of the arms just naturally following the pivot, not initiating anything on their own.

Zach Johson is a good example of a guy whose swing is driven initially by the pivot, and also interesting because he also has minimal turn of his hands.  The hands and arms turn some into the ball, but only until the left wrist is flat and the arms have caught up with the body, basically until the butt of the club is essentially alligned with the belly button. From there, the arms only continue to move with the body, until late, only at the top of his follow through:

I think Lee Westwood is at the other extreme, the arms seperate from the body much earlier, the butt of the club has caught up to the belly even before impact, and then the hands roll over shortly after impact:

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