Move Your Body

John Stahlschmidt
PGA Director of Instruction
JW Marriott Camelback Golf Club
Scottsdale, AZ

More Information

The Pivot or the manner in which the body moves throughout the golf swing is very important. An efficient pivot creates club head speed, which results in distance. There are many debates among the instructor ranks on the most efficient way the body should move to produce efficient power.  Should the head stay still during the backswing or move slightly? How should the shoulders turn? There are variations that have worked over the course of time. Pick one from below that feels the most natural, producing the best results:

The Left Post Pivot – This pivot involves zero lateral motion away from the target during the backswing. In fact, tour pros who pivot this way during the backswing oftentimes move slightly towards the target. Due to this fact, it is easier to make consistent contact and create that elusive ball-ground contact. In general, golfers that perform the left post pivot are good short and mid iron players but tend to struggle with the longer clubs in the bag. In addition, since the weight tends to stay on the lead leg, one could make the case that it is a bit more difficult to create a lot of speed.

The Center Pivot – This pivot involves little to no lateral motion away from the target but the weight doesn’t remain on the lead leg either.  The majority on the professional tours utilize this turning motion during the backswing. The center pivot has many benefits including the ability to consistently hit the ball before the ground. The center pivot also makes is easier to maximize club head speed since the weight moves into the trail leg during the backswing.

The Right Post Pivot – This pivot involves lateral motion away from the target during the backswing. There have been several professionals who have had success moving this way. Golfers with limited mobility could create more club head speed utilizing this method. In general, it could be a bit more difficult managing the low point or swing bottom since there is lateral motion during the backswing.

There are three main ways the body can move during the backswing.  All have proven to work for the best players in the world. Next time you hit the range try all three and pick the one that produces the best results and feels the most natural.

John Stahlschmidt, PGA is the Director of Instruction at the JW Marriott Camelback Golf Club in Scottsdale, AZ. To comment or to schedule a lesson, email John at