Should you use a centered pivot?

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Tyler here talking about the current trend of making your golf swing have a “centered pivot”

I’m sure that by the time that I click “publish” for this blog post, another system will be in place promoting a centered pivot.  It’s the current trend in golf swing theory and in case you haven’t heard, it’s a good way to go.

I’m not going to say that it’s the only way, but it is a method that is having more success.  There are lots of different examples of golfers trying to keep the golf swing centered.  These include:

-Mac O’Grady and MORAD

- Jim Hardy’s One Plane swing style

- Mike Bennett and Andy Plummer’s Stack and Tilt

- Sean Foley is the most recent example.

3D research over the last decade at the Titleist Performance Institute has confirmed that a lot of tour golfers keep their body fairly stable as they swing.  The upper body (called the thorax) center only moves an average of a half inch away from the target in the backswing.  The pelvis moves an average of .6 inches away from the target.   Open up a word document or look at a ruler and notice how small half an inch is?

Now, take into consideration that it is common for me to see players having more than 2 inches of lateral movement away from the target.  It’s scary, but 3 or 4 inches for the pelvis is not uncommon.

There are a variety of factors as to why people shift to their right.  Some can be physical (flexibility and stability), but I think more common than not, it’s a result of the concept of “loading” into the right side.  Most of the long held fundamentals in golf are based on feelings, myths, and folklore.  3D is adding objectivity to the equation and the results are very interesting.

So, if you are going to try to keep your pivots more centered here are a few things that you have to watch out for.

Trying to keep your back leg flexed can be a big problem and result in golfers swaying off the ball instead of turning.  This is especially common if you have tightness in your hips (yes, that probably means you).  So as you turn back, letting your trail leg straighten can help prevent you from swaying.

As far as the upper body goes, the biggest issue that I see is a flat shoulder plane.  When the side bend numbers of the spine are less than 30, you are going to lose your posture and typically drift behind the ball.  If you’re not sure what I mean by side bend.  Stand up.  Without turning your body, slide your left hand down your side until it almost touches your left knee.  This is side bend, and if you don’t do this in the backswing, then you are typically going to shift off the ball.

There are other factors, but these are definitely a few common mental barriers that I see in trying to develop a more stable pivot.

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