February 4, 2024

reverse pivot golf

A golfer with a reverse pivot golf swing usually moves their body weight during their golf swing in the opposite direction that they should. For example, during the backswing, they will shift their weight to the front foot, while they will shift their weight to the back foot during the downswing. This is the opposite of the proper weight distribution direction observed in a perfect golf swing.

At address, the bodyweight should be uniformly distributed between the two feet. During the backswing, you should shift the weight towards the back foot until the apex of the swing is achieved. Likewise, weight distribution should shift towards the front foot during the downswing until most of the weight is on top of the front foot during the follow-through.'

The 3 Common Reverse Pivots

1. Lower body reverse pivot on the downswing

As you swing into the ball, your lower body and hips move backward, falling back on your back foot.

2. Upper body/hip slide reverse pivot on the backswing

Your hips move or sway away from the target, causing your upper body to lean back towards the target.

3. Lower body reverse pivot on the takeaway

In this position, your lower body and hips move towards the target on the takeaway, causing your weight to shift to your front foot. As a result, you'll likely rock onto your backside as you approach the ball.

Keep in mind that the inside affects the outside. What happens in your core determines where your arms and club go. It's therefore critical to stabilize your lower body and effectively load your upper body behind the ball. Reverse pivoting and being out of balance, causing a slew of swing mistakes. So, before you start criticizing your swing plane, set up, or release, check to see whether your core is working properly.

What Are the Causes of Reverse Pivot Golf Swing Errors?

1. Weight shift

If you do not shift your weight to start the swing, it can make it quite easy for your weight to start falling over to your lead side as you develop momentum and inertia in the club going back.

You tend to lose a lot of power if your weight is not moving appropriately and with the force of your swing. In addition, reversing your weight causes off-plane swing conditions, loss of direction, and uneven contact. Therefore, if you are not correctly balanced with stacked body parts throughout the swing, you will hit the ball shorter and spray it all over.

2. Lack of axis tilt at address position

Most amateur golfers like to set up above the ball with their spine upright since it usually feels natural and comfortable. But, unluckily, setting up in this way causes the spine to bend further towards the target at the peak of the swing. And when you move your hips and start rotating, you may lose part of the axis tilt you started with. Therefore, if you start with zero tilt and gradually lose it as you make your way to the top of the swing, you will wind up in a reverse pivot position.

3. Losing flex in the trail knee

Besides axis tilt, this is one of the most common backswing errors most golfers make. This movement may cause the hips to lose stability and excessively rotate. In addition, the spine can over-rotate when the hips are unstable and over-rotate, causing the hands and arms to become considerably longer and out of control.

Ways to Avoid Reverse Pivot Golf Swing

1. Avoid trying to lift the golf ball.

One of the reasons some golfers develop a reverse pivot is because they believe they need to help in lifting the ball off the ground. So they attempt to scoop the golf ball beneath, with the weight resting on the back foot and hands behind the ball. Unfortunately, this will not work on most golf lies since the ball is lying on the ground, making it physically hard to lift it from below. So instead, have confidence in the loft of your golf club and trust that it's sufficient to launch the golf high into the air. Then, hit balls down while keeping your hands ahead of them at impact, and watch them soar.

2. Exercise hitting off your back foot only.

Place your front foot on the toe for balance so it won't bear weight, then lower it back a little so you're practically standing on your back leg. If you try to lean back towards the target with your upper spine at the peak of the swing, you will tumble and have to place your front foot on the ground for balance. When you're able to balance on your rear foot and keep solid while swinging, you're no longer reverse pivoting.

3. Ensure you pivot your back foot when back swinging

Fixing a reverse pivot begins with the takeaway and backswing. Concentrate on shifting your body weight to the back foot during the early stages of the swing, and by doing this, you will be preventing a reverse pivot from happening. After effectively moving the weight back, it's now a matter of bringing it forward as you continue your downswing towards impact with the golf ball.

4. Raise your front foot

Elevating your front foot has the same effect as standing on one foot, though it helps most golfers with weak balance and helps achieve proper hip alignment during address (front hip higher than rear hip). You can place a milk crate or range basket (whichever is more sturdy) beneath your front foot and tee up the ball. Hit golf balls with your non-target side lower than your hip and shoulder closest to the target.

5. Use a stability ball or physioball.

Reverse Pivot Golf

Image source: golfmadesimple.com

Placing a huge ball between your legs can help stabilize your lower body during the backswing and prevent the hip from sliding away from the target, which initiates the reverse pivot motion. Therefore, maintain perfect leg stability while loading your upper body back away from the target. Feel for your target side shoulder to pass over your target side knee.

Understanding that your core controls your arms and golf club is a key step in correcting whether your reverse pivot generates the usual slice or other swing errors.

6. Finish with your weight on your front foot.

Now that you have addressed the takeaway and aren't moving your weight to the front foot during the backswing finishing the weight transfer is a matter. As you begin the downswing, start transferring your weight forward as you approach impact, with most of your weight on your front – left – foot.

Observe the weight distribution among your feet throughout the follow-through to see if you're doing it correctly. Something may still be wrong if you cannot completely stand using only your front foot at the end of the follow-through.

Problems Related to a Reverse Pivot Golf Swing

1. Insufficient force transfer to the ball

The golf ball can only fly with full shot height and energy towards the goal if the golfer can successfully transfer the force generated during the golf swing into the ball upon impact. However, for it to happen, you must generate enough force in the first place. That can only happen if the weight shifts to the front foot at impact after coming in from the rear.

2. Hitting up on the golf ball and taking thin shots.

The bottom of the swing arc will be much behind the ball if the golfer's weight is resting on his back foot at contact. This results in a less-than-ideal impact position, where thin shots are more prone to occur.

3. Injury

When you overrotate, you may damage your lower back due to the compression you cause.

4. Hard to use weight shift

You can't use weight shift in the swing to help produce momentum and power.

5. Premature throwing of the club

Throwing the club too soon from the peak of the swing into the downswing is also a problem related to the reverse pivot golf swing. As a result, there will be less latency, which, by the way, is crucial for speed.

6. Shifting swing arc

During the downswing, your spine will move away from the target, which might cause the bottom of the swing arc to alter.

What Are the Characteristics of a Reverse Pivot in a Swing?

  1. On the backswing, the head moves towards the target and loses height.

  2. The left leg bends excessively, whereas the right leg straightens.

  3. The left knee usually points to the ball's left at the backswing peak rather than the right.

  4. Instead of turning out of the path, the right hip glides to the right.

  5. The golfer's weight is transferred to the right leg during the follow-through, with the sole firmly on the ground.

  6. Pain on the right side of the lower back is common near the end of a swing due to the spine rolling back and forward rather than the body turning around it.

About the author 

Jacky Chou

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