Over the last two months, the focus of my columns has been the role of the body in the golfswing, otherwise know as the pivot. In November, I discussed the backswing and how the shoulders turn as the lower body stays passive. This motion is referred to as the loading portion of the pivot.
In December, I discussed how the downswing should properly be initiated by shifting the lower body laterally. When executed properly, the golf club will fall into the correct slot.
This month we will cover the final phase which is a rotary motion of the pivot occurring from the deliver position, all the way to the finish of the golf swing. When completed properly, the rotational portion of the pivot will support the hands and arms through impact, insuring consistent ball striking.
The rotation portion of the pivot speaks for itself. During this phase, the lower body as well as the upper body should now be rotating. Approximately 70% of the weight should be favoring the target side foot as the golf club moves through the impact zone (See pic #1). This motion is the only way the shaft can lean forward at impact (which is correct with every club except the driver) producing a descending accelerating strike. If the body doesn’t rotate and the weight doesn’t continue to transfer to outside of our lead foot, the back foot will stay flat on the ground. If this occurs, the shaft will not be able to lean forward at impact resulting in a low point of the golf swing occurring too early (behind the ball). This will cause fat or thin shots. (See pic #2)
Once the golf club travels correctly through the impact zone, via the correct rotation of the body, the momentum of the swing should carry to the finish. Most, if not all, tour pros look the same during the finish; their back knee literally touching the forward knee, 95% of the weight on the target side foot, and balanced. (See pic #3)
This completes my 3 part series on the pivot. I have found that teaching the correct sequence of the body can be challenging. At the same time, the pivot is a must in order to be a successful and consistent ball striker. Please feel free to contact me with any questions regarding the pivot in its entirety.
John Stahlschmidt is the PGA Head Instructor fro the TOUR Academy TPC Scottsdale, “2007 TOUR Academy of the Year” and home of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org.