Typical Slicers, By Nick Bradley

"Typical slicers allow the right side of their body to become involved far too early in the downswing, leading to that all too familiar out-to-in swing path through the ball.

Similarly, golfers who drive their hips excessively at the start of the downswing and inevitably push or hook the ball will benefit from planting the left leg rather than allowing it to slide forwards.

Once this is has been achieved the player can then rotate into the left leg rather than slide into it."

Reference : 'The 7 Laws of the Golf Swing', Picturing the Perfect Swing. Nick Bradley Leading Golf Coach, Law 6, page 129. Foreword by Justin Rose. First published © 2004 © BBC Worldwide Ltd. Copyright © Nick Bradley 2004. www.nickbradley.com

Nick Bradley The 7 Laws of the Golf Swing BBC Book

Available on Amazon :
the 7 laws of the golf swing

The Pivot

"There seems to be a great deal of misunderstanding about the pivotal action of the body in the golf swing. The pivotal action of the body is not a fundamental of the golf swing at all. The important thing about pivoting is that it is the means by which one of the five fundamental mechanical principles of the swing is observed, and that fundamental is : 'swing the club along the line of play.'" Seymour Dunn


Weight Measuring Board And Cause of A Slice By Simon Holmes

Maximum Improvement DVD. Coordinating Your Motion. Weight of the Body. Filmed on location at Arcos Gardens, Spain. Available on Amazon : Digital Golf School: Maximum Improvement [DVD]

Swaying Cause of Slicing (1912) By Edward Ray

Bill Cox

Ted Ray

"I have been assured that this is a phase of the game upon which I ought to be qualified to speak with a certain amount of authority, but it must be borne in mind that, beyond a few first principles, perfect driving is obtained by a variety of methods.

As an instance that bears this statement, it is only necessary to cite the methods of J. H. Taylor and myself. He is as solid as a rock upon the tee, and hardly any movement of the body is perceptible. In my own case, I am aware that in taking the club back I allow the body to go with it, taking care, be it observed, to get back again, and through, in the forward swing.

For golfers in general, however, this sway of the body is apt to upset the whole balance of the swing, for the difficulty lies in not getting back again in time; therefore, the steadier that the body is kept, and the more that the arms are used, the better should be the result.

One cause of slicing, or what is best described as a "push out", is that the body has swayed forward in advance of the club, the effect of which is that when the club head meets the ball it does so at an angle that prevents a straight shot. Neither should the body be kept back with the weight on the right leg, for by doing so you deprive yourself of what you have, that is, weight that ought to be used; therefore, at the completion of the stroke the weight should be all on the left foot.

If the result, despite this, is a top or a pull, then other factors will have entered into the stroke. You may have smothered it, the result of getting too much in front of the club, or of turning the right hand over the left at the moment of impact; but whatever you have done, that sway of the body too soon has a lot to with it."

Reference : 'How To Drive' by Edward Ray, British Open Champion The American Golfer, September 1912. Courtesy of LA84 Foundation.

Download : "The Man with the Pipe as they called Edward Ray, the new champion, at Muirfield."


"We often meet undersized players who obtain long drives, and by no other means than correct timing. Mistiming means that the player has been hasty over the stroke; he has commenced to "hit" too soon, with the result that no force is imparted to the stroke, or rather, what force has been applied has been in swinging the club and not to the contact itself." Edward Ray


Pivot Is The Waist (1920) By Harry Vardon

Progressive Golf by Harry Vardon 1920"Having gone into the questions of our clubs and the way we grip them, let us diagnose the swing with the wooden club. It is the basis of successful golf. All the good shots in the game (all, at any rate, except the putt, which is a thing apart) are founded on the principle of the body turning on a pivot instead of swaying back and then lunging forward at the ball.

That pivot is the waist. No doubt everybody who has made the slightest study of golf appreciates this piece of orthodoxy, but the number of people who disregard it, even though they realise its importance, constitute about half the golfing world.

Why do they fail to observe the first law of the true swing?

Presumably the reason is that in the days of their novitiate they fall into a bad habit which becomes ingrained in their constitutions. They perpetrate it without being conscious that they are practising it. That is the way with habits. There is many a person who will declare till he is black in the face that he is not swaying, when you know all the while that he is."

Reference : 'Progressive Golf' By Harry Vardon With 30 Illustrations London : Hutchinson & Co. Paternoster Row Chart Vi. The Driving Swing, page 154; page 160.

Download : 'Progressive Golf' By Harry Vardon Chart VI. The Driving Swing With illustrations.

Download : 'Great Golfers Their Methods at a Glance By George W. Beldam With Contributions By H. Hilton J. H. Taylor James Braid Alex. Herd Harry Vardon Illustrated BY 268 Action Photographs London MACMILLAN AND CO., Limited 1904. "weight rather on the right leg" By Harry Vardon Open Champion J. H. Taylor Open Champion.


"All the good shots in the game (all, at any rate, except the putt, which is a thing apart) are founded on the principle of the body turning on a pivot instead of swaying back and then lunging forward at the ball. That pivot is the waist. Why do they fail to observe the first law of the true swing?"Harry Vardon


Principle Of Body Balance (1922) By Joyce Wethered

Golf From Two Sides By Roger and Joyce Wethered 1922

"The errors of the swing which find their expression in pulling and slicing have been lightly touched upon, so far as the movement of the arms are concerned with the arc of the swing.

Regarded from another point of view, these errors owe their origin to the infringement of the principle of body balance. Unless the arms take upon themselves unnecessary responsibilities, they should follow the central movement of the body. If once the problem of the correct balance is successfully solved, the chances of the swing working out in a proper manner become infinitely greater.

Get the balance right first and the rest should follow in the ordinary course. It is the action of the body, the part played by the shoulders and the legs, which govern the initial principles. The arms and wrists are the secondary elements of the swing.

An excellent model to illustrate the principle may be seen in the windmill, as representing in an inanimate form a perfectly firm central structure riveted to the ground, with its arms flying round at full extension in a slow but beautifully regular movement.

The windmill, which has a solid base, is not confronted with the difficulties confronting a human being, who has to carry the weight on two feet, closely connected with a pair of loose shoulders. The complexity of balance at once becomes evident. Weight transference must be so managed that the central structure remains firm; and if it gets out of adjustment the trouble begins.

Some years ago the importance of this problem agitated golfing circles to such a degree that a weighing machine was constructed to record exact weight transferred to either leg at every portion of the swing, and leading players were invited to swing a club in the position of the Colossus of Rhodes, each foot on a separate weight recorder.

read more


"A swing in which hips and shoulders move round together cannot be a good one. The pivot of the shoulders should be freer than that of the hips. Too much turning of the hips is weakening to the strength of the blow. The waist is the dividing line between the two pivots." Joyce Wethered


No Need Of Any Shifting of The Weight In The Backswing by Bobby Jones

Robert T. "Bobby Jones" lessons. Volume 2 The Short Game Presented by Jack Nicklaus
Buy on Amazon Bobby Jones - How I Play Golf Collection, The - Vol. 2 - The Short Game [VHS]
'The Initial Move in The Downswing' By Robert T. Jones, JR., The American Golfer LA84 Foundation

The Beginner's Chief Fault (1924) By Cyril Tolley

"This fault, which has an appalling tendency to occur whenever there is an out of bounds on the right, may usually be traced to the swing and the distribution of the weight at the moment of impact.

A sliced drive generally reaps the full benefit of the error, for, apart from being considerably off the line, it seldom goes very far. Even supposing it falls on level ground, it will not run any distance, ten yards' run being about the maximum.

The beginner's chief fault is that, as he hits the ball, all his weight is thrown on his right leg and he appears to adopt a sitting position, with the heel of his left foot off the ground and the toe of the foot pointing towards the hole.

In making this stroke, he instinctively pulls his arms into his side, and this accentuates the slice.

Cyril J. H. Tolley The Modern Golfer 1924The cure for these two faults is to keep the weight almost equally distributed on both feet, with, if possible, a little more weight on the left foot, at the same time remembering to keep the right arm straight when hitting the ball, and keeping it so when following through in the direction of the hole. It is essential that the right arm should be straight as far as the horizontal.

If, in taking the club back, the player transfers his weight too much on to his right foot, as he comes forward he brings his weight on to his left foot, this will produce a sway, which will also cause him to slice.

That is the fault he must guard against."

Reference : 'The Modern Golfer' by Cyril J. H. Tolley Amateur Champion 1920; Welsh Champion 1921, 1923, French Open Champion 1924 With 67 Illustrations. London: 48 Pall Mall W. Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. Glasgow Melbourne Auckland Copyright First Impression, June, 1924 Second Impression, August, 1924 Manufactured in Great Britain.

Download : CHAP. III. 'How To Build Up A Style', XIV. 'Faults, and How To Cure Them' by Cyril J. H. Tolley, August, 1924.

Download : 'The British Amateur 1930' The Most Important Tournament of My Life by Bobby Jones, 1961.


"Do not cultivate a sway - it is not attractive, and will lead you to disaster. If you pivot correctly - briefly, to do so you turn the left and right hand sides of your body on your backbone, in a similar way to a revolving door - you will find it practically impossible to sway, and if you remember to hit against your left hip, then you cannot sway at all." Cyril J. H. Tolley


The Cause of Most Slicing (1927) By Jack Gordon

"Once a player learns to pivot properly, he can keep on his game without constant practice or, in other words, he can "lay off" for a period and get back to top form very quickly.

Pivoting is the winding up of the body, like a spring at high tension with distinct feeling of tautness - not looseness or flabbiness.

Proper pivoting is the basis and nearly three-quarters of the swing because if all arm action is eliminated, the winding up of the body furnish most of the power ready to be loosed when down swing is begun.

Proper Pivot Movement - By Jack Gordon Professional

Correct - Top of Swing Jack Gordon Correct Top of Swing - Jack Gordon Incorrect - Top of Swing Slice Position Jack Gordon Harry Vardon Plate V. The Overlapping Grip
Correct - Top of swing. Complete pivot, shoulders at right angle to direction line, club shaft pointing to flag Correct - Top of swing. Shows same position as left. Right elbow is kept down and left arm nearly straight Incorrect - Top of swing. Hips have turned around too far, throwing weight of body onto left leg - slice position Incorrect - Top of swing. Shoulders have not turned enough. Shaft pointing to left of direction line - slice position

A spring-like Winding of the Body so that the Maximum Amount of Energy may be Directed at the Ball. By Jack Gordon Professional Country Club of Buffalo Williamsville, N. Y.

The foot action works right in and is a vital part of the pivot.

On the down swing, or "unwinding", the weight-shifting from right to left begins, with the almost immediate return to the ground of the left heel, certainly by the time the clubhead and arms are half-way down.

The unwinding continues greatly aided by the shifting of the weight to the braced stiff left leg, and by the hard pulling of the left arm on the club handle.

Then, without detailing, the wrist action levers away the ball by the right climbing over the left with what might be termed a scissors action and the pivot continues until the right shoulder is around in the line with the ball as the left was on the upswing.

One of The Causes of Slicing

Hip action in the making of a good stroke is of the first importance and I am sure that most players have the wrong impression as to just how the hips should work.

read more


"Improper pivoting is almost solely the cause of slicing and perhaps many other troubles and if corrected big improvement will result." Jack Gordon


Making A Sling With The Hips (1927) By Abe Mitchell

"The downward swing is, in a sense, much less complicated ; at any rate the important points are easier to grasp and carry out.

Abe Mitchell Essentials of Golf 1927

Abe MITCHELL

Speaking broadly, the movements are the reverse of those of the back-swing. The player should proceed as follows:

  1. Slowly but firmly unwind at the hips by a forward and downward movement of the right hip and a rotary and upward movement of the left hip.

This movement is really the reverse of the hip movements in the up swing. It is accompanied by a slight lowering of the body towards the ground and a splaying of the knees (see notes to Figs. 41-67).

The hip movement will be in advance of the shoulders, and when the left heel comes back to earth the left leg should be braced. The left leg below the knee is now taut, and fighting against the tendency of the body to come forward.

Above the knee the rotary movement of the thigh and hip continues now as a twist, getting the left side out of the way, as it were, of the stroke (see pp. 45-6).

The rotary hip movement brings the shoulders round : it will thus be seen that the shoulder movement is quite involuntary and need not be given a thought. As the left arm is coming with the left shoulder, and the left shoulder with the braced hips, the player may be said to be making a sling with his hips.

This slinging movement of the hips is one of the secrets of the long ball (see p. 67).

  1. Simultaneously with the unwinding of the hips bring the hands downwards close to the body with firm wrists.

There is great wrist compression at the top of the swing and the rebound of the club-head should have begun before any conscious wrist movement takes place. The grip should be firm with the left hand, and the third and fourth fingers should specially tighten up.

It is a help to the player to remember that the club should trace out the same path in the down-swing as in the up-swing. It is important to bring the hands downwards towards the feet and not outwards towards the line of flight, for by so doing a complete follow through is made possible.

While the hands are returning to the address position the right foot is contributing its last effort in the swing by supplying the prop or stay, but by the time the hands are in front of the body the left heel is on the ground and the weight is mainly on the left foot. The left arm is now at full stretch and the right elbow is hugging the body - the right palm and wrist facing the hole. In a word, the player is back again in the position of the address with this difference, that the club-head is moving and the weight is on the left.

It should be noted that in both the back and downwards swings the club is swung by the left hand and that, in fact, the left shoulder is the centre of rotation. The less the right is allowed to do between the commencement of the stroke and the moment of impact the better.

If in the back swing the right overpowers the left the fling will become a lift, the back-swing will be curtailed, and the stroke will lose width.

Similarly in the down-swing, if the right is, at the beginning, the predominant hand, the club-head will lag behind and will be too late in getting into the line of flight of the ball : the left elbow will be bent and both power and direction will be lost.

The right hand should not actively come into the stroke until just before impact."

Reference : 'ABE MITCHELL ESSENTIALS OF GOLF' By Abe Mitchell. To Samuel Ryder Esq., J.P. Captain of The Verulam Golf Club St. Albans in Appreciation of His Great Practical Interest In Professional Golf. Edited And Arranged By J. Martin Verulam Golf Club St. Albans Hodder And Stoughton Limited London First printed March, 1927.

Download : 'Essentials of Golf' By Abe Mitchell, including V. The Drive - Down-Swing "This slinging movement of the hips is one of the secrets of the long ball", August, 1927.

Download : 'Essentials of Golf' By Abe Mitchell, including XI. Play In The Wind, XII. The Iron Clubs Sixteenth Edition First printed in this form, November, 1937 Hodder And Stoughton St. Paul's House, London, E.C.4

Download : 'Au Revoir! DUNCAN AND MITCHELL The American Golfer, October 1921. Courtesy of LA84 Foundation.


"It should be noted that in both the back and downwards swings the club is swung by the left hand and that, in fact, the left shoulder is the centre of rotation. The less the right is allowed to do between the commencement of the stroke and the moment of impact the better." Abe Mitchell


Mid-Section To Move Freely (1932) By Alex J. Morrison

"When an instructor tells you to keep your body behind the blow, he simply means for you to keep only your head and shoulders, not your whole body, behind the ball.

David Martin Starting Down by Alex J. Morrison 1932He certainly doesn't want you to keep most of your weight on your right foot during the downswing as you would, if you prevented the forward shifting of your hips.

The mere fact that so few players master it proves the proper body action to be the most difficult part of the swing.

At that, it is not so easy to control the head and shoulders, so that they don't sway back and forth or bob up and down, and at the same time allow the mid-section to move freely from side to side.

Yet it is upon this latter sort of action, or the correct order of movement, that the power of the swing depends.

The correct order of movement produces a wind-up in the backswing and an unwinding in the downswing."

'Clearing Up Tips About Body Action' By Alex J. Morrison, The American Golfer, June, 1932. David Martin, California Amateur Champion - son of Ernest Martin, who hails from Carnoustie, Scotland (under whom Alex J. Morrison served his apprenticeship)- is shown at the approximate limit of the backswing.

read more


"It is my definite opinion that there need be no shifting of weight from left to right in the backstroke. The downswing or hitting stroke presents another picture. There is a shift here, but there is no sway." Robert Tyre (Bobby) Jones


The Pivot Of The Hips (1933) By Joyce Wethered

"There are more ways than one of beginning the down swing. I believe that the first and most important consideration is the action of the hips before anything else is thought of.

To Move Forward Into "The Hitting Position"

Rightly they should begin to shift their position almost as the arms begin the downward swing.

The hips must be allowed to move forward into what is known as the "hitting position."

Before the swing of the arms brings the club down from the top of the swing, the weight must begin to shift forward on the left foot and the left hip will be thrust a little forward in the direction of the hole.

Joyce Wethered Open Champion 1922 1924 1925 1929

The Hitting Position By Joyce Wethered 1933
THE HITTING POSITION
The weight is shifted forward before the club moves down
Joyce Wethered "The Pivot Of The Hips"

The dropping of the left heel back to the ground will at the same time cause the hips to pivot sufficiently.

Shoulders Remain In Their Central Position

The shoulders meanwhile should remain in their central position over the ball. The left leg and hip now supply a firm left side against which the impact of the blow is to be resisted. The shoulders are still free and have no part in this firmness.

They are allowed to swing round above the left hip which will gradually in its turn also pivot but with more freedom after the ball is struck. If the hips and shoulders are both allowed to swing round together during the downward swing, then the left side will have turned too quickly without having offered sufficient resistance at impact and the shot will not be nearly so powerful.

I think that a good way to imagine this feeling of this hitting position is to count, One, Two, Three, during the downswing.

Reference : 'Golfing Memories and Methods' by Joyce Wethered Open Champion 1922, 1924, 1925, 1929 English Champion 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924. With 54 Illustrations London Hutchinson & CO. (Publishers) LTD. Made and Printed in Great Britain at the Mayflower Press, Plymouth 1933. Page 112.

Download : 'Golfing Memories and Methods' Wooden Club Play The Hitting Position by Joyce Wethered, 1933. Open Champion 1922 1924 1925 1929 English Champion 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924.

read more


"The object of this change of weight is obviously to create a firm left side to hit against. Great care, however, must be taken that the left shoulder is not dragged down or interfered with in any way by this movement. No part of the body above the left hip should be involved in this early transference of weight." Joyce Wethered


The Backswing The Downswing By Golf Legend Gary Player On Golf

Gary Player On Golf Volume 1 & Volume 2. Winner of over 120 Tournament Championships
VHS Available on Amazon : Gary Player on Golf Vol.1 [VHS]

The Main Thing About It (1934) By Seymour Dunn

"The hip action has been touched upon in a general way throughout this book, but as it is of vital importance, and as there are various styles of it we will now go into further detail.

Although there is no end to the various ways of pivoting the body in the golf swing, the endless variety may be divided into four distinctly different styles or schools of teaching.

Style 1 Pivoting On The Ball Of The Left Foot

Years ago instructors taught their pupils to pivot with the greater part of the body weight on the left foot while going to the top of the back swing.

During the forward stroke the weight could not be shifted forward to the left foot because it was already there, and consequently a reaction would be very apt to set in which would cause the player to finish up with his weight on the right foot.

Great Driving Power Could Not Be Gained

In this style of pivoting the right hip actually swung back behind the left hip during the back swing and this resulted in a most ungraceful body posture. Great driving power could not be gained from this pivoting because at the moment of impact the body weight was not moving in the direction of the intended flight of the ball.

The Style Died A Natural Death

Nevertheless, bad as this form was, it was a fashion at one time and all because a certain professional, who won the British Open Championship at that time, pivoted this way.

His long game was not good; he could not obtain good distance. In the course of time it was discovered that his lack of distance was due to his method of pivoting and the style died a natural death. My point in mentioning it that a great many mediocre players unconsciously and unintentionally pivot this way, and not being aware of it they do not realize that it is the cause of their poor play.

A Very Common Error

Unconscious and unintentional pivoting in style 1 is a very common error among the big majority of duffers and is such a stubborn fault to cure, that I sometimes resort to style 4 as a means to arrive more quickly at style 3.

Pivoting Seymour Dunn 1934So much for STYLE in pivoting.

The main thing about it is not the particular style of your pivot but the EXTENT of the pivot to the right in the back swing, and the TIMING of the return pivot in the down swing.

I think it is no exaggeration at all for me to say that FULLY NINETY-FIVE PER CENT OF THE PEOPLE WHO PLAY GOLF SWING OUT OF LINE, and that this is the chief cause of so much bad direction."

Reference : 'Standardized Golf Instruction Seymour Dunn' Published by Seymour Dunn 307 W. 49th St. New York City, U.S.A. Seymour Dunn Author of "GOLF FUNDAMENTALS" Head of Madison Square Garden Golf School New York City Standardized Golf Instruction In Five Books Pivoting Book III The Seymour Dunn Orthodox Golf Form Page 96 Copyright 1934 All Rights Reserved.


"The wrists always snap directly in front of the body, so it can readily be seen that if the body is allowed to unwind too fast it will be facing a point somewhat ahead of the ball when the wrists snap and a slice will be the result. Likewise, if the body unwinds too slowly the wrists will snap the club head through when the body is facing a point somewhat back of the ball and a hook will be the result." Seymour Dunn


Every Golfer Has His Slice (1937) By Archie Compston

"Here is a curious thing - a man when he takes up the game can always slice.

It's only after several months of practice that the slice is eliminated, and develops sometimes into a hook. The reason, of course, is that the right side is always in control - which accounts for the loop in the swing.

So far as direction is concerned, if you draw a line through the ball towards the hole then hit along that line, you are bound to get a straight ball. If you come from outside in, you will slice or hook according to how the club face meets the ball - open or shut.

A slice or hook can come from the same weakness - outside in.

That's the object of the latest fashion in golf - hitting inside out. It is a debatable point whether you can really do this - but as a mind presentation it is sound.

You have to remember that ninety-nine out of a hundred people are hitting from the outside, so that to avoid that you concentrate on the mind presentation of hitting from the inside.

Listen. In sixty per cent. of cases there is a faulty left-hand on the shaft - the wrist is pointing towards the hole. Instead of being able to see two or possibly three knuckles on the shaft, you only see the 'V' between the thumb and forefinger.

The trouble with their grip is that it opens the face of the club - and never shuts it again. I will make a bet that if you have the right hand according to the left, you cannot do any such thing.

Go Golfing By Archie Compston and Henry LonghurstSimilarly, I will bet that if you put your left hand under the shaft and your right hand over it, I will get you into such a position that you cannot do anything but slice.

That is, providing you guarantee to follow through in the ordinary way - not quit on the delivery. If you quit on the shot, you can hit the ball in almost any direction with any grip.

In other words, there are three points to look out for :

  1. Getting the right grip;
  2. Keeping the left side in charge;
  3. Making sure of a firm delivery and not quitting on the shot.

The safe stance, of course, is to shut it a bit - square, in fact. There's a tendency to go back to what they taught in the days of the old 'feathery' ball - the right foot slightly behind the left.

They are locking up one side of the fairway these days. You can stand in such a manner that you can only produce a right to left spin. That is the modern tendency."

Reference : 'Go Golfing' with Archie Compston and Henry Longhurst. Profusely Illustrated. Duckworth, 3 Henrietta Street, London, W.C.2. First published in 1937. All rights reserved.


"The whole shot is a hit rather than a sweep, and consequently there is not nearly so much pivoting from the waist, as in a full shot." Cecil Leitch


The Hips In Iron Play (1949) By Lloyd Mangrum

"In playing the irons, always remember that your woods are "swept", your irons are more generally "hit" on the downswing.

Always be sure that you hit the ball before contacting the turf with an iron.

This cause the ball to be pinched between the turf and the clubface, thereby forcing the ball up and increasing the desired backspin.

The Golf Clinic Lloyd Mangrum - The Hips in Iron Play

Lloyd Mangrum

Three Distinct Hip Positions

Three distinct hip positions are assumed during the swing of an iron, as follows:

  1. At the top of the backswing, your hips are turned away from the ball,
  2. At the moment of impact your hips are square to the ball
  3. In the follow-through, your hips are turned away from the ball's line of flight.

Examples for the No. 9 short iron and No. 5 medium iron:

Work on these three movements until you have them automatically incorporated into your swing. Then your pivot action will take care of itself."

Reference : 'The Golf Clinic' by Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead, Lloyd Mangrum, Jim Ferrier, Ellsworth Vines, and Ed Oliver. Photographs by Arthur E. Haug. Copyright © 1949, by Prentice-Hall, Inc.

Buy on Amazon : The golf clinic


Left Hip Thrusts A Little Forward By Rory McIlroy Open Champion 2014

6 Step Golf Lesson by Michael Bannon coach to Golf's Newest Superstar Rory McIlroy. 2009 Double DVD with 3D teaching model. www.6stepgolflesson.com Available on Amazon : Six Steps to Better Golf [DVD] [2009]

A Shift Here But No Sway (1966) By Bobby Jones

Bobby Jones Starting Down"It is my definite opinion that there need be no shifting of weight from left to right in the backstroke.

The downswing or hitting stroke presents another picture. There is a shift here, but there is no sway, and the difference is what the average golfer wants to understand.

It is this: the weight shift which is proper is a shift of the hips. A lateral movement of the middle part of the body that does not alter the location of the head and shoulders with respect to the ball. The sway, which is improper, is a forward movement of the entire body, that sends the head and shoulders forward, too, and tends to upset the player's balance.

There are two common methods of handling the weight shift improperly.

a) The more damage is caused by settling most of the weight upon the left foot at the top of the swing; a beginner nearly always has a liking for this.

Although we may sometimes overlook the root of the trouble, the result is a familiar sight. The effort of hitting always throws the weight violently back upon the right foot. The player falls away from the ball, his left foot flies up into the air, and his balance is completely lost.

b) The other method, too, we have often seen, when in the backswing the player draws his entire body backward, and finds himself poised at the top with his entire weight upon his right foot and his left leg completely straight. This beginning ends in a despairing lunge that usually carries the ball nowhere.

If we examine the swings of several golfers, even with the naked eye, it is easy enough to tell whether the weight transference has been a sway or a shift. One characteristic of the proper body action, that is to say, the shift, is that the left leg is straight at and after impact. If you want to know why this is, you have only to look at the line, which marks the left side of the body. It has been lengthened, without lifting the head, by holding the shoulder back while the left hip goes forward.

The characteristic of the sway, located again in the left leg, is a decided bend of the left knee in the same area; the entire weight of the body being thrown forward prevents the straightening of the left leg so that either the knee bends or the player falls flat on his face."

Reference :'Bobby Jones On Golf', Robert Tyre (Bobby) Jones. Chapter Three. Shifting The Weight. Foreword by Charles Price. Illustrations by Anthony Ravielli. 1966 Doubleday & Company, Inc. Garden City, New York.

Available on Amazon : Bobby Jones on Golf -- Foreword By Charles Rice


"The player should move freely beneath himself." Abe Mitchell


Unwinding The Hips Too Early (1969) By Bill Cox

"In teaching I don't concentrate too much on hip action - in fact to do so is bound to put anybody off their game.

Bill Cox

Bill Cox

If you think too much about hips, you are almost bound to forget about your hands - and it is in the hands that the secret of golf lies.

Nevertheless it is important for the new golfer to understand the importance of the hips in the golf swing, although he will find that if he carries out the correct leg and foot actions, the hips will function properly without his even having to think about it.

Interest was focused on hip action when the great American, Ben Hogan, surely one of the most accurate strikers of all time, attributed much of his power to the fast unwinding and lateral movement of his left hip during the downswing. He considered that this action helped him to create much greater clubhead speed at the moment of impact.

Suddenly this was accepted into the modern method of teaching, but I wonder whether those who accepted it appreciated just how dangerous this movement could be.

Hogan was successful with it because he was an exceptionally talented man and also because he was in a position to hit hundreds of golf shots every day whereas, for the average player, unwinding the hips too early can cause the right shoulder to unwind as well, throwing the clubhead on the outside groove and producing the bad fault of coming across the ball.

It really is quite difficult to unwind the hips without unwinding the shoulders at the same time.

read more


"Only by recognizing the separate functions allocated to the hips and shoulders will the club head ever flow sufficiently to reach the ideal." Joyce Wethered


It's What I Call A Lateral Rotation By David Leadbetter With Nick Price

Faults and Fixes By David Leadbetter with Nick Price. Part 1 - Swing Technique. Part 2 - Out on the Course wwww.davidleadbetter.com VHS Available on on Amazon : David Leadbetter's Faults and Fixes [VHS]

10-19-C. Drag Loading (1982) By Homer Kelley

"Drag Loading is the Rope Handle Technique of the "Swinger," an out-and-out PULL, striving to accelerate the Clubshaft lengthwise, from a quick Start Down to Release.

Start the Club down as though it were being drawn from a quiver like an arrow - feathered end first. Maintain this motion until the Release switches ends.

This is possible only if, and for so long as, Inertia can hold the Clubhead inside the arc of the Hands or hold to a Line Delivery Path (2-L).

Centrifugal Force will set in when the Clubhead crosses to the outside and it will begin to pull into its own incidental orbit per 2-P and 2-K#5. Then further acceleration can be applied only at Pressure Point #1 to support the Pull on the Clubshaft - especially for Short Shot Power.

The Golfing Machine by Homer KelleyDevelop an "Instant Acceleration" Hip Action (to the desired Hand-speed per 10-15-B) so that the Throw Out Action (6-B-3) can immediately set up the Rhythm and take over the rest of the Downstroke sequence (6-M-1). See 2-K and 6-F-0.

With or without Wristcock, always Drag (or Pull 1-3-D) a swinging Club Down Plane - even with only Centrifugal (Angular) Momentum (2-K) See 10-23-C.

For Clubhead Throwaway prevention, monitor the pull of Centrifugal Force and the Drag of the Lagging Clubhead."

Reference : 'The Golfing Machine' By Homer Kelley The Star System of G.O.L.F. ™ (Geometrically Oriented Linear Force) Geometric Golf The Computer Age Approach To Golfing Perfection Copyright 1982 Homer Kelley All Rights Reserved, p-195.

Download : 'The Golfing Machine Geometric Golf' including Statement of Principle Standard Flail; The Gateway, The Flat Left Wrist; Power Loading, Lag and Thrust; Power Transport Package, The Pivot, and Slicing 2-B, 2-D, 7-2.

Available on Amazon


"It is the massive vehicle which transports the Power Package Assembly to the launching pad and back-up support for the Hitter's driving Right Arm. It is the massive rotor, supplying Angular Momentum for the Throw Out power transfer to the Swinger's orbiting Left Arm." Homer Kelley


A Magic Move (1992) By Harvey Penick

"IF THERE IS any such thing as a Magic Move in the golf swing, to me it is an action that I stress over and over on the practice tee and in this book.

You have heard it from me many times by now, but I will say it again - to start your downswing, let your weight shift to your left foot while bringing your right elbow back down to your body.

This is one move, not two. Practice this move again and again.

You don't need golf club to do it. Practice until you get the feeling and rhythm of it, and then keep on practicing.

Harvey Penick's Little Red Book with Bud ShrakeBe sure your eyes are trained on the spot where the ball would be. Your head will stay well back.

I've read books and magazines that offered the "secret" of The Move.

The secret takes different forms for different players.

For Ben Hogan the move is pronating.

For Byron Nelson the move is a lateral shift and not pronating.

There really is no one Magic Move.

But when you learn the left foot-right elbow move I have described above, you will hit the ball as if it is magic."

Reference : 'Harvey Penick's Little Red Book Lessons and Teachings from a Lifetime in Golf' Harvey Penick with Bud Shrake. Cover design by Janet Perr. Introductions By Tom Kite, Ben Crenshaw, Mickey Wright, Kathy Whitworth, Betty Rawls, Mary Lena Faulk, Dave Marr, And Byron Nelson. Simon & Schuster Copyright © 1992 by Harvey Penick and Bud Shrake, and Helen Penick. The Magic Move, page 96.

Download : 'Harvey Pennick's Little Red Book' The Magic Move Harvey Penick with Bud Shrake 1992

Available on Amazon


"I believe that both Abe Mitchell and Alex Morrison have recommended lateral sway at the outset. Well, all I can say is that I consider it dangerous and difficult." Alfred Padgham


First Move Down (1995) By Corey Pavin

"The way you initiate the downswing determines a good or bad shot.

Everything can be textbook perfect to this point, but a poor move early in the downswing can wreck it all. You have to get the sequence of motion correct, or you'll never have a chance of delivering the clubhead into the ball cleanly and powerfully.

The first move down is with the left shoulder (2-14). It moves down and to the left.

I do not subscribe to the philosophy of the downswing occurring "from the ground up."

I feel that if I swing down with my shoulders, my hips will follow.

However, if I begin the downswing by turning my hips or driving with my legs, the shoulders don't necessarily have to follow.

If the shoulders go first, it's much easier for everything to unwind naturally. You'll hit the ball solidly with greater consistency, and there's no loss of power.

I'll hammer away at this theme more later.

The First Move Down Is With The Left Shoulder by Corey Pavin

2-14: The downswing begins by turning your left shoulder down and to the left.

This allows for the proper sequence of motion with upper and lower body."

Reference : 'Corey Pavin's SHOTMAKING' with Guy Yocom Golf Digest Pocket Books New York London Toronto Sydney Tokyo Singapore Published by: NYT Special Services, Inc. and POCKET BOOKS, a division of Simon & Schuster Inc. Copyright © 1996 by Corey Pavin, Chapter 2 Square One: Finding Your Fundamentals, page 28. U.S. Open Champion 1995.

Download : 'The Practice Drill That Won The U.S. Open' By Corey Pavin.

Download : 'Muscles That Make The Golf Stroke' An Interesting Study of the Mechanics of the Golf Swing from the Anatomical Standpoint, By A Physician, March 1922.


"Pivoting is a gradual turning of the body, and the two main points to watch are the left shoulder and the right hip. Some people will tell you that the shoulder is the more important, and others the hip. I think it on the whole the best plan to tell my pupils to bear both equally in mind. This much is pretty certain, that unless the left shoulder starts going round with the club it is all up with you and your shot." George Duncan


A Hip Turn On The Backswing (2002) By Jack Nicklaus

"One of golf's nastier sights is the "out and over" downswing of the long handicapper.

It often results from a hip sway instead of a hip turn on the backswing.

Jack Nicklaus Golf My WayWhen a golfer sways his hips laterally away from the target going back, the chances are fifty to one that he'll immediately spin around his right hip and heel as he starts his forward swing.

Unable to get his weight off his right foot, he's committed to an ugly "fire and fall back" routine, featuring a pronounced "out and over" movement of the right shoulder and a resulting outside-in clubhead path through impact.

The cure is simple and usually very effective.

On your backswing think of the lower spine as an axis, and turn your hips around that axis without letting any weight shift onto the outside of your right foot."

Reference : 'Golf My Way The Instructional Classic, Revised and Update' Jack Nicklaus with Ken Bowden. Illustrations by Jim McQueen. Simon & Schuster Paperbacks Copyright © 1974, 2005 Jack Nicklaus Copyright renewed © 2002 by Jack Nicklaus.


"He must act in the area which he has allotted himself, because he wants to make not a lunge at the ball, but a swing. If his feet reach to either end of a sheet of newspaper, his body ought not to move outside the ground covered by that paper." Harry Vardon


Turn Your Lower Body In A Barrel By Tom Watson

Lessons Of A Lifetime DVD Disc One Lesson 12. Two Disc Set & Instructional Booklet Instruction From One of Golf's Greats www.tomwatson.com Available on Amazon : Tom Watson "Lessons of a Lifetime" 2 - disc DVD Set

"The cardinal principle of all golf shot-making is that if you move your head, you ruin body action." Tommy Armour


Get A Head Start (2004) By Annika Sorenstam

"This move originated as a drill my coach Henri Reis taught me as a junior to help eliminate my "reverse-C" finish. I had a tendency to hit off my back foot, so much so that my back would arch away from the target at the finish, instead of finishing in a straight line.

To get me to shift my weight to the left during the downswing, he had me hit balls while turning my head to the target before impact.

At first, it felt pretty weird. But then I noticed how my weight was no longer staying on my right leg - and how I was starting to hit the ball much better.

After a while, Henri said, "You've got the hang of it," and he told me to switch back. Naturally, I fell into my old habit again, so I went back to the drill until it became second nature.

Golf Annika's Way by Annika SorenstamIt worked so well at getting rid of my reverse-C that I made it part of my normal swing.

Try Henri's drill yourself - particularly if your weight tends to fall back at impact and you make inconsistent contact.

Start by hitting some wedges (right), letting your eyes track forward at impact instead of trying to keep your head down.

You'll make a good shift to your left side and square the face for straighter shots."

Reference : 'Golf Annika's Way by Annika Sorenstam with the editors of Golf Magazine' First published in 2004 by Gotham Books, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. First published in Great Britain 2005 by Aurum Press Ltd. Copyright © Esch Stam, Inc., 2004. The Full Swing Driving Hit It Longer And Straighter Impact Drill Get A Head Start, page 60. U.S. Women Open Champion 1995, U.S. Women Open Champion 1996.

Download : Impact Drill Get A Head Start including Transition: Easy From The Top and Hooks And Slices by Annika Sorenstam


"It was Henri's idea that I try a peculiar move I'm still known for today - turning my head toward the target before impact. " Annika Sorenstam


The Downswing (2006) By Maxine Van Evera Lupo

"Every position and movement from the start of the swing is designed to build up power through the backswing and downswing and then to release it through the hitting zone by starting the downswing with the feet, legs, and hips.

Data fed into the mental computer before the backswing starts, however, determine the start of the downswing. The movement is programmed from the moment the clubhead is positioned behind the ball.

Starting the downswing with lower body action delivers power at impact by shifting your weight from right to left, pulling your arms down from the top, turning your lower body, and releasing your hands and the clubhead through the hitting zone.

Returning the club with upper body action keeps your weight on the right, expanding power before reaching the hitting zone by throwing your arms and clubhead upward and outward from the top of the swing and releasing your hands too soon.

Downswing action is reflex action - a "moment of truth" - when positions at address and movements through the backswing are proved to be right or wrong by how the downswing starts. The downswing starts with either upper or lower body as a result of what precedes the action. Although it is important to understand the reflexive coil-recoil action of the backswing and downswing, one of the intrinsic values of understanding the overall swing is knowing that reflex action starts from the beginning of the swing rather than by conscious thought of action from the top of the swing.

Mistakes quickly show up through the backswing and are indicated by an inability of the feet, legs, or hips to initiate the downswing. The smallest correction before the backswing starts may correct the entire golf swing by promoting reflex action of the lower body the moment the backswing starts.

The initial movement from the top of the swing - whereby some part of your lower body shifts your weight back to the left to pull your arms, hands, and the clubhead down from the top - is so important at impact that there has been a continuing search down through the years for one key move or one key thought to make the downswing work.

Golf instructors promote this endless search by inadvertently using terms that advocate various moves from the top of the swing to start the downswing action, such as:

  • Start your hips back toward the target.
  • Turn your hips to the left.
  • Start your hips back before completing the backswing.
  • Start your left hip back.
  • Start your right hip back in a "cross-lateral" shift.
  • Pause at the top to start your hips back first.
  • Wait for the clubhead.
  • Leave the clubhead at the top when the downswing starts.
  • Let your hips pull your arms down.
  • Drive your knees toward the target.
  • Pull your arms down from the top.
  • Pull down with the last three fingers of your left hand.
  • Push against your right foot.
  • Shift your weight.
  • Keep your head behind the ball and move your lower body.
  • "Clamp" your left heel down.
  • Stay behind the ball.
  • Keep your shoulders behind the wall.
  • Swing through the ball.
  • Bring your shoulder under.
  • Keep your right shoulder back.
  • Swing your legs toward the target.
  • Start your left knee toward the target.
  • Start your right knee toward the target.
  • Start your right elbow toward your left knee.
  • Start your right elbow and your left knee toward the target.

Although any of these "solutions" may be used effectively - and each contributes a good swing thought - by continuing to focus attention on action from the top of the swing, golf instructors create a universal impression that the downswing starts from the top rather than from the beginning of the swing.

Actually, all of the actions listed should occur - and do occur - when the swing is sound, and almost any swing thought may be used to start the lower body first.

How To Master A Great Swing Maxine Van Evera LupoThis can only happen, however, when rhythm, timing, and accuracy throughout the swing make coordination possible when the swing thought is used.

The most important point is that whatever happens at the top of the swing must be the result of a key swing thought at the beginning of the swing, because starting from the top of the swing changes timing and rhythm. As important as positions and movements are in promoting reflex action, positions must still have time to coordinate.

When the backswing is sound, rhythm and timing become the primary factors in moving the lower body first in the downswing action."

Reference: 'How to Master A Great Golf Swing' by Maxine Van Evera Lupo Illustrations by Dom Lupo Foreword by DR. Jay Brunza. Chapter Two Learning To Use Fundamentals, Chapter Twenty-Two Starting the Downswing pages 225 - 237. Taylor Trade Publishing Copyright © 1992 by Maxine Van Evera Lupo First Taylor Trade Publishing edition 2006.


"Beware of throwing the arms forward at the beginning of the downswing. At the outset, just give the club a start so as to recover it from the back of the head and, at the same time, let the left hip go a trifle forward. Then bring the club round, and go right through with the shot so as to finish with the chest facing the line of play. Keep the head as steady as possible all the while." Harry Vardon


Golf's Little Secret (2011) By Stanford University

"When it comes to hitting a ball hard, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have identified several biomechanical factors that appear to separate the duffers from the pros.

Researchers recorded three-dimensional motion images of the golf swings of 10 professional and 5 amateur players. Among the 5 non-professional golfers, one was with a handicap of 4; two with handicaps of 15 and 30, and two were novices.

The findings, published in the Journal of Applied Biomechanics, could be used to help improve golfers' ability to hit the ball farther and do so without increasing their risks of injury.

The authors, including Conrad Ray and Jessica Rose - senior author - cite studies showing that 26-52 percent of golf related complaints involve lower-back injuries, 6-10 percent shoulder injuries and 13-36 percent involve wrist injuries.

"Over-rotation is one of the leading causes of back injury", Rose added. Researchers analyzed several biomechanical elements of subjects' golf swings, measured in degrees, including:

  1. S-factor : angle or tilt of the leading shoulder relative to the level position; 48 degrees
  2. O-factor : tilt of the hips, and,
  3. X-factor : the relative rotation of the hips to the shoulders; 56 degrees.

X-factor data

Among the 10 pros in this study, peak X-factor during a hard swing was highly consistent, at a mean of 56 degrees. Their club speed at impact also were highly consistent, at a mean of 79 mph.

In contrast, peak X-factor of the 3 least skilled amateurs - the handicap-30 golfer and two beginners - fell below the professional range at 48, 46 and 46 degrees, respectively, and these smaller X-factor angles correlated with slower club speeds at impact at 68, 66 and 56mph, respectively.

S-factor data

In addition, the study describes the S-factor, a term coined by the researchers, for the first time.

The researchers found that peak S-factor occurred after impact and was highly consistent among the pros, at a mean of 48 degrees.

The handicap-15 player and the two novices had lower S-factors of 42, 42 and 33 degrees, while the S-factors of the handicap-4 player and handicap-30 player both fell within the professional range.

Vital for Generating Power

Conrad Ray, the Knowles Family Doctor of Men's Golf at Stanford University and a co-author of this study, said the findings give scientific backing to the elements of golf-swing that professionals have long understood are vital for generating power.

How to Initiate the Downswing?

The study also helps to clarify some unresolved questions about golf-swing biomechanics, Ray said. "One question that always comes from students is, what starts the downswing?" he said.

People have different answers. "Some would say the hands, or others say the shoulders or the lower body. But the study confirms that rotation of the hips initiates the downswing. So that, to me, is an interesting finding."

How to Hit the Ball Longer?

Ray, who as the men's head golf coach led the Cardinal to five appearances in the NCAA championships and its eight title, said the study validates the importance of X-factor in generating club speed.

"All golfers want to know how to hit the ball longer, and this study supports that speed is really a factor of relative body rotation", he said.

They were limitations to the study. The authors note that they were unable to measure the outcome of the swings, such as distance and accuracy; measurements were made in a lab, with players hitting the ball into a net."

Reference : Provided by Stanford University Medical Center to PHYSORG.COM. Copyright © Stanford University Medical Center, Jessica Rose. Published as "Study of golf swings pinpoints biomechanical differences between pros and amateurs." at www.physorg.com 29 July 2011.


"If you are slicing your balls and ask a professional the reason, he will generally tell you that you are bringing the club up too straight. Of course, theoretically, it does not matter how you are bringing the club up - what matters is how you are bringing it down." Horace Hutchinson


Key Learning Point

by Alex Smith US Open Champion - Body turns only upon its vertical axis

"At last we are ready to begin, but we are not yet prepared to play our first round ; indeed, I will ask to let your clubs stay in the bag until you have mastered a simple exercise or two.

For I have now to impress upon your mind one of the prime essentials of good play.

It sounds very simple - keep your head steady.

But in practise it isn't so easy. The natural inclination is to let the body follow the club in the up swing, and of course the head goes with it. This swaying to the right is a common fault of the beginner, and it is quite the worst one that he can commit.

It keeps the body from entering properly into the stroke and as the arc of the circle in which the club head swings is constantly changing, accurate hitting is rendered impossible.

It may be laid down as an indispensable principle that the body turns only upon its vertical axis throughout the stroke, while the head is kept virtually stationary.

To make you understand this I am to give you a "setting-up" exercise, as they call it in the army.

Draw a chalk line on the floor or ground and stand with the left toe just touching the line and the right foot half way across it. Let the knees be slightly bent, as this will throw the weight back upon the heels where it ought to be.

The feet should no be too near together nor too wide apart, and both toes should be turned out. Let the arms fall naturally at the side with the head inclined a little forward and looking down.

Now turn the body to the right, still keeping the head in its original position.

After you have made about a quarter turn you will not be able to go further with any comfort unless you do one of two things - either you must sway to the right or you must ease off the strain on the left leg.

The first is wrong, the second right ; but you will not get the correct idea by simply rising on the left toe.

The proper motion is to let the left knee knuckle in towards the right leg. This will naturally drag the left heel off the ground and so permit the body to make a half turn to the right and still maintain its perpendicularity.

The swing to the right properly ends when the left shoulder faces squarely to the front.

The rest of the exercise is very simple.

Lessons in Golf by Alex SmithFrom the extreme position to the right bring the body back to its original stance and then finish with a half turn to the left.

As the body turns back the left heel naturally finds the floor and the right one rises with the half turn to the left.

And all this time the head has been kept as immovable as possible, with the eyes fixed on the floor.

There is nothing difficult about this exercise ; it can be acquired perfectly in five minutes, but it is most important as tending to impress upon your mind the absolute necessity of keeping the head stationary.

A second essential is the proper wrist action..."

Reference : 'Lessons in Golf', Lesson I, First Principles by Alex Smith. Open Champion, United States and Western Open Champion New York, Arthur Pottow, 48 West 27th Street 1907. Copyright by Arthur Pottow. Grannis Press New York.


Insights

by Andy Plummer and Mike Bennett - The Stack & Tilt swing

"We love it when a tour player comes up to us and says, "Hey, you're working with so-and-so. I saw him on the range doing this," and he mimics a backswing with the spine tilting way left.

We love it because that's exactly what a good backswing should feel like. The swing we teach looks different because the body never moves off the ball and we call it the Stack & Tilt swing.

Keeping your weight on your front foot is the simplest way to control where the club hits the ground, which is the first fundamental of hitting the ball.

Golfers who shift to the right on the backswing have to make precisely the same shift back to the left by impact. That complicated maneuver is the biggest source of frustration in the game today. Let's go through our swing with Aaron, who has been stacked since last year."

Reference : The New Tour Swing, How it works, by Andy Plummer and Mike Bennett. Photos by J. D. Cuban, 2009. Golf Digest

by George McDonald Bottome - Until after impact

"More is written and said about the head than about any other part of the anatomy, and rightly so. We are told 'keep your head down' and 'Keep your eye on the ball' ad nauseam, but both phrases require some explanation or amplification.

It is, of course, vital to keep your eye on that part of the ball (or if in a bunker that spot on the sand) which you intend to hit, but the phrase 'Keep your head down' has a rigid sound which I do not like.

If you are told to keep your head down surely the tendency is going to be to move your head down or tuck it down uncomfortably. What you must do is to hold the head naturally.

Do not point your chin at the ball or cock your head on one side as in 'the one-eyed stance', for if you do your neck muscles will tend to stiffen up and when one set of muscles starts getting stiff the rest are apt to follow.

GOLF for the Middle-Aged  and others George McDonald BottomeKeep your head still until after impact, and then, particularly in a full shot, let the head turn naturally as you follow through or you will check the follow through.

It is only in the short shots and in putts that the head should remain still after you have hit the ball.

When, therefore, in this book I tell you to keep your head down or to keep your eye on the ball, what I really mean is:

'Keep your eye on that part of the ball you intend to hit and keep your head still until you are quite sure that you have hit it'."

Reference : 'GOLF for the Middle-Aged and others', by George McDonald Bottome, Faber and Faber London. First published in Mcmxlvi by Faber and Faber Limited.

"Throughout every stroke the eyes must be kept on the ball" by Harry Vardon in 'The Gist of Golf'.

by Dr. Jim Suttie, PGA Professional - Of sliding the hips

"Misconception 19: The golfer should try to shift his weight.

Reasons: The weight shift is created by shoulder and hip rotation. The shoulders turn and the one-piece takeaway is responsible for most weight shift on the backswing while the hip turn is responsible for the weight shift on the downswing.

There is minimal amount, if any, of sliding the hips during the swing."

Reference : 'Appendix 3 Golf Swing Misconceptions by Dr. Jim Suttie, PGA Professional Cog Hill Golf Course Lemont, Illinois, The PGA Manual of Golf by Gary Wiren PGA Master Professional, Ph.D. MacMillan USA Copyright © 1991 by The Professional Golfer's Association of America

by JAS. Currie Macbeth - There Are Two Methods of Pivoting

"Pivoting," so called, consists in the turning of the hips and shoulders on the up and the down swings. There are two methods of pivoting:

a) Where the first movement of the pivot consists in a slight lateral movement or sway of the hips to the right ("hip-sway"), and thereafter the turn of the hips, and

b) Where the hips are turned without any conscious or intentional lateral (side) movement.

The inexpert player would be well advised not to turn either hip very much.

A fairly full turn of the right hip is permissible, but only for the expert player so that at impact he may get the benefit of its weight and power.

He gets much of his length in driving from adequate use of his ankles, legs and hips, as well as his arms and shoulders.

On the down swing, re-pivot the hips slightly in advance of your shoulders.

Be careful not to permit the right hip to drop at the commencement of the down swing. If it is allowed to drop, turf will be taken with consequent loss of direction and distance."

Reference : JAS. Currie Macbeth 's 'Modern (1933) Golfing Methods by British and American Experts'. Edited by Jas. Currie Macbeth, Vice-Chairman, Carnegie Dunfermline Trust, and Hon. Secretary, Pitreavie Golf Club Dunfermline. Copyright Reserved.

by Sam Snead - Remember, the backswing is a turn, not a sway

"Remember, the backswing is a turn, not a sway.

Sam Snead, Turn don't sway

Your head and upper body should remain directly over the ball.

Don't let them sway laterally to the right as you take your backswing.

Sam Snead the Driver Book Turn, Don't SwayA sway would require you to lunge back to the left as you return to the ball, ruining your swing.

The swing is a tilt and a turn, not a sway and a lunge.

Make the turn as if you were going to turn around and look at someone behind you.

The hips and shoulders turn smoothly together.

The left shoulder tilts and tucks itself under the chin."

Reference : 'The Driver Book, by Sam Snead', Chapters Three and Four. Preface by Byron Nelson, The Kaye Golf Trilogy, Vol. 1. Nicolas Kaye, London. Copyright © 1963 by Golf Digest, Inc.

"Any man who plays great golf over a long period of years must be a great driver. Obviously, Sam Snead has been one of the best. Sam has won more than 100 tournaments since he turned professional in 1934.

And who will ever forget Sam's 18-hole score of 59 against top competition during a round of the 1959 Greenbrier Open? During my playing days Sam was the best driver on the tour.

The history of the 275-yard drive down the middle has been a little like that of the four-minute mile. It seemed impossible until Roger Bannister ran it, and then many others started breaking the four-minute barrier. Snead did the same thing for driving a golf ball. Now, of course, fellows like Nicklaus and Palmer accurately hit well over 275 yards with regularity.

It is obvious Sam Snead can speak with authority in a book on driving. His voice makes it the book on driving. Byron Nelson, September 1963."

Buy on Amazon : The Driver Book

by Mary K. Browne - Design for Tennis : Weight transfer

Body weight, in both ground strokes and in service, is transferred to the forward position before impact.

Because of this a player can follow through the ball farther without checking the racket speed.

If the body weight, being thrown in at impact, were the reason for additional power, the experts would have to keep their weight back in order to transfer it at impact.

The motion picture camera shows that this does not happen. The illusion that the body weight is thrown in the service stroke is due to the fact that the body gives more violently to a fast swing.

The eye cannot detect this moment of weight transfer.

Design for Tennis Weight Transfer by Mary K. BrowneUntil the camera proved differently, tennis players believed that the body weight was thrown in at impact.

Now that this theory has been disproved, the power to hit is generally regarded as racket speed.

The body simply gives easily to the swing. Then why transfer weight at all?

Players transfer weight in order to get a longer backswing and a longer follow through. Over the long distance, more speed can be generated more smoothly.

This is especially important in the service, for the ball has no speed in it.

Reference : 'Design for Tennis' by Mary K. Browne A. S. Barnes and Company New York. Copyright © 1949 A. S. Barnes & Company, Inc. Foreword Helen McKinstry, LLD President Russel Sage College. Mary K. Browne is one of the great women tennis champions of all times. She has been three times National Singles Champion, five times National Ladies Doubles Champion, of the United States; as well as Wimbledon Ladies Doubles Champion of England and twice Captain of the International Wightman Cup Team.

"Mary Kendall Browne (June 3, 1891 – August 19, 1971) was the first American female professional tennis player, a World No. 1 amateur tennis player, and an amateur golfer.

She was born in Ventura County, California, United States. Browne was included in the year-end top ten rankings issued by the United States Lawn Tennis Association in 1913 (when the rankings began), 1914, 1921, 1924, and 1925. She was the top ranked U.S. player in 1914. Browne was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1957.

American tennis champion Mary Browne had been playing golf for only a few years when at the 1924 U.S. Women's Amateur, she was runner-up to champion Dorothy Campbell Hurd".

'As They Think' by Mary K. Browne, The Mental Attitudes of Casual Players Compared with Those of Champions, The American Golfer, June 1926.

by Glenna Collett - A little scheme of telling you how to gauge the feeling of the pivot

"I have been asked more concerning my pivot that I have been asked about any other part of my stroke.

I am not aware that it differs radically from the pivot or turning that many other players make. I know that, again, it was through the influence of Alex Smith that I became accustomed to coming up so high on the left heel.

I have a little scheme of telling you how to gauge the feeling of the pivot.

If you stand as you would do in an ordinary manner and place both hands easily on your hips, you will find nothing akin to the golf stroke in that; next, however, I want you to turn your head and look at an object directly behind you.

Your hips have made a turn such as they will make in a full swing of golf.

If you return the head to the front without changing the position of the hips and look at the spot where the golf ball would have been if you were playing a game, then you will find the head and hips in the correct place for a hit and, also, the correct bend to the left knee while the right leg has the proper straightness.

I think it is a good plan to try this over in front of a mirror.

Body Balance

The feeling of the bend to the knee, the shifting of the weight from left leg to the right one, and the whole scheme of the balance, or equilibrium, are then felt and understood.

This is the first mention I have made of body balance, but it really is not so hard as some people would make it out to be.

Balance means to me the keeping of myself from falling over.

When I lift one foot from the sidewalk as I go along, I am not conscious of my one hundred and twenty-five pounds (57 kgs) being on the other foot. When I go from left foot to right on the swing I am still unconscious of the shifting weight.

However, I have the weight on the right foot, where I want it. For I want my weight back of the ball, where I can make use of it in sending the ball on its journey.

To Find Out How Far The Hips Can Go Around

To find out how far the hips can go around without making the head move, I have met in my golfing travels this scheme, and here is how I use it.

If I place my forehead against a wall and bend myself at the waist as I would addressing a golf ball on the tee, and then place again my hands on the hips, I can feel the hips moving from left to right. Thus, as I pivot, I can find out how far the hips will naturally move for me and yet maintain my head still and a perfect balance.

One of the most helpful thoughts to good golf is the thought of hitting with the hips.

I often try to see how far I can send the ball by taking the club as I ordinarily would and, not paying any attention to pivot, just turning the club with the hip movements. It surely is a surprise to see the distance that you can get in that way.

I think at times of pulling the right shoulder under on the swing-back and hitting through with the right hip.

Not so strange as it sounds, if you can get what I mean."

Reference : 'Golf For Young Players' by Glenna Collett, Women's National Amateur Champion (at age nineteen). With illustrations. Little, Brown, and Company 1926. This is a facsimile of the 1926 edition of the book "Golf For Young Players" Published by Old Golf Shop, Inc. Cincinnati, Ohio 1984.

by Percy Boomer - I want to teach you to pivot from the hips : Imagine a Barrel

"Too much thought about the mechanics is a bad thing for anyone's game. Now the reason why golf is so difficult is that you have to learn it and play through your senses.

You must be mindful but not thoughtful as you swing. You must not think or reflect; you must feel what you have to do.

Part of the difficulty arises because, apart from simple things like riding a bicycle, we have never learned to do things in this way.

The most difficult thing about learning golf is to learn to distract your mind from everything except the feeling of what you are about to perform.

Now no teacher can tell you in exact words how it feels when you make a certain movement correctly. You will have to use your imagination to interpret what he says, and if he is wise he will encourage you to use it.

Let me give you an example. I want to teach you to pivot from the hips.

Now I can show you how it is done and issue the usual mass of detailed instruction, but that does not call up your imagination and it gives you no conception of how it feels to pivot correctly.

So, instead of explaining all the mechanical and atomical details of the pivot to you, I show you how to pivot and then tell you to do it yourself imagining that you are standing in a barrel hip high and big enough to be just free of each hip but a close enough fit to allow no movement except the pivot.

At once you get the feeling of the pivot.

Incidentally nine out of ten golfers would improve their games if they would use this image to the fullest degree in practice.

So far so good; we can learn to feel the body turn to the right and round to the left, beautifully fixed in space by the hips.

Let me give you an example. I want to teach you to pivot from the hips.

Now I can show you how it is done and issue the usual mass of detailed instruction, but that does not call up your imagination and it gives you no conception of how it feels to pivot correctly.

So, instead of explaining all the mechanical and atomical details of the pivot to you, I show you how to pivot and then tell you to do it yourself imagining that you are standing in a barrel hip high and big enough to be just free of each hip but a close enough fit to allow no movement except the pivot.

At once you get the feeling of the pivot.

Incidentally nine out of ten golfers would improve their games if they would use this image to the fullest degree in practice.

So far so good; we can learn to feel the body turn to the right and round to the left, beautifully fixed in space by the hips.

Now carry the image a stage further: first, as you pivot sink down from the knees - you will feel that if you sink down, even ever so little, you will become stuck in the barrel.

Percy Boomer Imagine The Pivot and Three Fundamentals of Golf This will not do, so you must feel that you keep your hips up on a level with the top of the barrel.

Do this and you will develop the feeling of keeping your hips up as you pivot - a thing which unfortunately for our golf very few of us do.

Now the golf swing is a connected series of sensations or feels ad when you get all these feels right and rightly connected you will swing perfectly.

I have just given you the feel of the pivot - the movement on which the modern swing is based.

Now to my mind the foregoing are the three basic feels of the golf swing:

  1. the pivot,
  2. the shoulders moving in response to the pivot, and,
  3. the arms moving in response to the shoulders.

These are the basic movements of a connected and therefore controlled swing, and they must all be built into the framework of your feel of the swing.

Of course there are many additional nuances and supplementary feels which you will build up and recognize as your game develops, but though you will add to these three fundamentals you will never alter them. Therein lies much of their value."

Reference : 'On Learning Golf' by Percy Boomer. Chapter VIII Preparatory to the Swing. Copyright © 1946 by Percy Boomer. First published in the USA by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.

by Harry Vardon - Turning on a pivot instead of swaying back

"All the good shots in the game (all, at any rate, except the putt, which is a thing apart) are founded on the principle of the body turning on a pivot instead of swaying back and then lunging forward at the ball.

The pivot is the waist.

No doubt everybody who has made the slightest study of golf appreciates this piece of orthodoxy, but the number of people who disregard it, even though they realise its importance, constitute about half the golfing world.

There is many a person who will declare that he is not swaying, when you know all the while that he is.

A common cause of swaying is a tendency to take the club up too quickly.

If you are standing properly, the procedure which produces a satisfactory shot is simply this: The club-head starts first, the arms follow, and the body screws round at the hips with the head kept still until the instrument is in position behind the head.

Coming down, the club-head again starts first, the arms follow, and the hips unscrew until the ball is struck, and the pace which the club has been gathering on its downward journey produces what we call the follow-through.

If you turn correctly, the right leg will straighten as you take the club up."

Reference : 'The Gist of Golf' by Harry Vardon, Chapter I: The Driving Swing, pages. Illustrated from Photographs Posed by the Author. New York. George H. Doran Company, 1922.

by Gary Wiren - A progression of weight distribution

"Balance is critical to athletic performance.

In golf, one deals with balance in two directions.

As in other sports examples of athletic "at-ready" positions, the forward-to-back balance in the setup will be near the balls of the feet for the full swinging motion.

The heels and toes are used as stabilizers like training wheels on a child's bike.

Once the swing begins, the weight then shifts toward the right heel on the backswing and toward the left heel on the forward swing.

Only in the short game (chipping, pitching and putting), where the ball is played closer to the body, does the center of balance shift more toward the heels in the setup.

A progression of weight distribution by Gary WirenThere is, in fact, a progression of weight distribution from the balls of the feet to the heels as a player works from a long to a short club.

It is a natural adjustment.

But, if one is not sure that he is adjusting properly, here is an easy way to check.

On short shots, the forward-to-back balance should allow one to wiggle the toes when set.

For full swing shots, one should be able to comfortably tap the heels on the ground."

Reference: Gary Wiren's "The PGA Manual of Golf The Professional's Way to Play Better Golf", PGA Master Professional, Ph. D. Macmillan A Simon & Schuster Macmillan Company Copyright © 1991 by The Professional Golfer's Association of America.

by Percy Boomer - One of the most difficult faults to cure in golf

"One of the most difficult faults to cure in golf is that of the right shoulder coming forward and outside on the way down.

It should come down inside and, when it does not, it is because it has become part of the hips; its connection with the hips is so lacking in flexibility that it is controlled by them and follows their movement.

Actually we should use the flexibility of our back muscles to delay our shoulder action (in its relation to the pivot) in the same way that we allow our wrists to break back in order to set up delay in our clubhead...

When our right shoulder persists in coming forward, it is because this flexibility has been lost by the muscles of the back being too tense.

Now I have already told you that the clubhead follows the movement of the right hip; that is, the brace forward and to the left of the right hip will induce the swing that feels to go from in-to-out. How does the right shoulder operate in this?

When you study the feel of flexible shoulder action, you will find a number of sensations.

One curious sensation is that we do not feel that the right shoulder comes inside from the front of our body but from behind it.

We feel not that it is being pulled inside by the muscles of the chest, but that it is being pushed inside by the muscles of the back."

Reference : 'On Learning Golf' by Percy Boomer. Chapter VIII Preparatory to the Swing and Chapter XIV The Force Center, . Copyright © 1946 by Percy Boomer. First published in the USA by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.

by Tommy Armour - Having the weight borne more on the left foot than on the right

"To hit a good iron shot, your club must contact the ball before the sole of the club gets to the bottom of its arc.

This gets backspin on the ball, eliminates hitting behind the ball, and gets the hands ahead of the ball as the shot is hit.

Having the weight borne more on the left foot than on the right as you're coming into the ball is the way of getting the correct downward path of the iron."

Reference : Tommy Armour's book 'How To play Your Best Golf ALL THE TIME', Illustrated by Lealand Gustavson, Copyright © 1953, by Thomas D. Armour. Published by Simon and Schuster, Inc. New York, 1953.


Bookmark and Share

Back to top