A great acronym for the word POWER is P for Pivot, O for opposition, W for width, E for energy, and R for release. The definition of PIVOT is a rod or pin on which something else turns. In a golfers case or torso (pin) rotates on top of our two legs. Hopefully this pivoting or rotation is centered and balanced without too much wobble much the same as a spinning top. Percy Boomer, the teacher voted as the most influential golf teacher in history, compared the pivot to an architectural compass drawing of arcs with the only difference being that the golfer’s body is supported by two legs that have joints and flexions. The rotary movement of the torso and twisting of the golf shoes spikes into the ground generate a shear force that travels upward from the ground into the golfers center of gravity and then turns outward through the arms and hands to the club head.
Once the force reaches the club head through rotary movement the golfer’s body, arms, and hands need to oppose (opposition) of the outward centrifugal pull simply by not letting the club head fly out of their hands. If the rotary movement remains centered with little sway, the circular pull of the club head arc will remain relatively constant and align itself into the back of the golf ball automatically.
The WIDTH of swing arc will also be maintained if the golfers allow the momentum of the golf club to accelerate through the ball. That’s why the golf swing should always be thought of as a MOMENTOUS OCCASION! For example, a track star throwing a Hammer has their arms pulled straight throughout the rotary loading of ENERGY until utmost power is built when they finally RELEASE the Hammer at the perfect time resulting in the greatest distance. The key fundamentals of this rotary golf movement and loading and releasing of energy is not to interrupt the constant flow of power by trying to add power to the club head by hitting at the golf ball with just the arms and shoulders.
Ernest Jones the great teacher from the mid 1900’s wrote two illustrious books, one in 1937 called SWINGING INTO GOLF, and the other in 1952 called SWING THE CLUBHEAD with both books content reflecting a MOMENTOUS OCCASION and memorable experience by sensing the momentum of the club head swinging and the body reacting to its momentum automatically.
I always like to refer to Percy Boomers remarks regarding the importance of the pivot in relation to the excessive use of forced hitting with the arms. “Yes it is golf bogey number one, that overwhelmingly common impulse to hit the ball where we go it to go with the power from our arms and shoulders. So as a result we take vicious scoops and lashes at the ball, What a Pity, What a Pity! For if we had inhibited that desire to hit forcefully with the arms and concentrated on power from the pivot and arms reacting to that force we would have sent the much further and straighter and have known the secret to successful golf”.
Rick Bradshaw 2004/2006 North Florida Section PGA Teacher of the Year Director of Instruction, Dent/Bradshaw School of Golf Heritage Isles Golf Club