Golf Swing Tips: How To Properly Pivot In Your Backswing

Golf Swing Tips: How To Properly Pivot In Your Backswing

Recently a reader asked “How do I fix my issue with loading as my weight shifts to the outside of my trail foot?

The first thing we need to establish is what type of pivot style you have. Not everyone will pivot the same because not everyone’s body makeup is the same. We look at the best players in the world and they all have different styles of swings and pivots. We need to tell ourselves it is not about style, but function and it is about getting your body to function the best that it can.

First, take your golf posture and then place a club across your thighs as depicted in the image below:

how to properly pivot in your backswing

You then want to rotate back from this position keeping your head in place (you could have a friend place their hand on the trail side of your head). You will end up in one of the three positions below. What we are looking for is where your pelvis and weight ends up as you pivot back.

how to properly pivot in your backswing

  • **Lead Post Pivot Style** - pelvis rocks to front
    • Narrow up stance
    • Trail foot is perpendicular to your target line
    • Tend to have more hip turn an separation of knees from down the line. The trail leg straightens, and the lead leg has a little more flex to generate rotation ion the backswing
  • Trail Post Pivot Style – pelvis rocks into trail hip
    • Widest stance – slightly wide than hip width
    • Flair trail foot out roughly 45 degrees
    • More knee flex in trail leg at top
  • Center Post Pivot Style - pelvis stays in center of feet
    • Hybrid between the two
    • Shoulder width stance
    • Slight trail foot flair

With each pivot style will move differently, however, we do need to make sure that the lower body is stable. Although the trail pivot player shifts more back they still maintain stability by having flex in the trail leg and a solid foundation which starts in the feet. With each style we do not want to see the trail hip bumping out past the trail ankle causing the foot to roll out. There are two great drills to get you maintaining pressure in the trail foot in the proper place as well as getting the hips to rotate efficiently.

Drill 1: Place a golf club along your trail hip, as seen in the photo below. From this position you want to rotate to the top allowing the club to fall just behind your trail foot. If you slide or bump outside of your ankle zone you may feel the grip sliding up your side or have the club fall forward, either way it will be much harder to get it to fall behind your foot. I would recommend five reps in a row getting the club to fall in the proper position and then execute one shot. Repeat this process 10 times.

how to properly pivot in your backswing

Drill 2:

For this drill you will need a resistance band and something to hold it down with. Luckily our bands have hooks and I am able to place an alignment rod into the ground, which I can then hook our band to. As you can see below, I have placed this band over my lead foot and under the inside of my trail foot (near the knuckle of the big toe/inside arch) at address. On the backswing, if I pivot properly like the above drill and focus on getting the pressure to the mid-foot or inside the foot, I should be able to keep the band from flying away. If the foot rolls at any point the band will spring back towards the target. When doing it properly you will start to feel different muscles fire, especially your core.

how to properly pivot in your backswing

Michael LaBella, PGA

2021-2022 Best Young Teacher - Golf Digest

Director of Instruction Nemacolin Resort


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