1 swing feeling that will instantly improve your backswing

golf instructor demonstrates drill

GOLF Top 100 Teacher Sean Hogan is director of instruction at the David Leadbetter Golf Academy in Champions Gate, Fla.

Do you struggle with consistency from shot to shot? Maybe you’re the type of player who, despite making a swing that feels the same over and over, sometimes produces a wild variety of shot patterns? Or maybe you go through spells of a few great shots in a row followed by some really poor ones—again, all with what feels like the same golf swing. If this sounds like you, the problem might be related to your pivot.

Adam Scott swings golf club
PGA Tour pro Adam Scott. Getty Images

Make a pivot, not a slide swing thought

All great players, especially the ones known for being consistent ball-strikers, make a strong body coil as they move toward the top of their swing. They do this by pivoting their right side behind them and less to the side, thereby reducing any excess slide away from the ball.

The more you turn away from the ball, the more you have to rely on your timing to get the clubhead back to impact in a consistent solid position. And while many players move away from the ball at some point, better players tend to do it less than high handicappers, meaning they don’t have to over-rely on their timing and can swing freely and produce more consistent results.

To improve your pivot, here’s a simple drill, which you can see me demonstrate above.

1. Stand straight up initially and begin by bending forward from your hip joints placing your hands to the sides of your thighs; 2. You’ve now established an athletic golf position at setup; 3. As you simulate a backswing pivot while maintaining your shoulder tilt, make sure your right hand moves up your right leg as you rotate right side behind you. Your left hand should move down your left pant leg toward your left knee as it works inward.

This motion gets you into a fully coiled position at the top of your backswing. To initiate your downswing, simply push into the ground through your left side as uncoil into your finish. As this happens, check that your right hand is moving down and your left hand is sliding up. Think of your body as a hardware screw—it’s driving down as you pivot on the forward swing while turning left and into the ground (opposite for lefties). This drill will help you develop a feel for minimizing the amount you turn away from the ball and lessening your reliance on timing. With some practice, you’ll see how much easier it is to make consistent swings by perfecting your pivot.

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