Monday, September 7, 2009

Hands Controlled Pivot vs. Pivot Controlled Hands

I've been getting some questions on hands controlled pivot versus pivot controlled hands, both are terms coined by Homer Kelley in 'The Golfing Machine.'

Homer Kelley would never say what he prefers in the golf swing since that is the overriding, heavily emphasized and diligent them of 'The Golfing Machine', there is no one way to swing a golf club and hit the ball effectively...but there is a best way for the individual golfer. Just finding out what is the best way for each individual golfer is the mystery we all try to solve.

With that, Homer stated that hands controlled pivot allows for more precise alignments throughout the golf stroke than pivot controlled hands and that 'the Right Forearm and #3 Pressure Point you are going to want to insure them for a Million Dollars.'


The main misconception that golfers have when talking about the two methods is that it's a method in the TAKEAWAY and not the downswing.

Simply put, in the pivot controlled hands method, the golfer starts the backswing with their body pivoting and the pivot dragging the hands around. Greg McHatton is a good example of 'Pivot Controlled Hands' as he uses a lagging clubhead takeaway.

Pivot Controlled Hands is primarily used by the 'swinger' and thus primarily used on the PGA Tour where lagging clubhead takeaways and getting lots of width on the backswing are quite popular. Nicklaus is a prime example of pivot controlled hands.


Conversely, the hands controlled pivot has the hands directing the pivot. Typically the hands move first and then the pivot follows, but they can move simultaneously, just the hands have to control the pivot and its alignments.

Of course, the right forearm takeaway is the primary component of the hands controlled pivot. 'Hitters' almost always use a hands controlled pivot. I believe Hogan used 'hands controlled pivot' and probably Moe Norman as well. But currently Brian Gay is the prototype hands controlled pivot golfer.

For more information on the right forearm takeaway, check out John Furze's article here. Also check out my video on the right forearm takeaway.



12Hit said...

Another great post Richie!

One thing that I am not clear is that as the right arm fold, it will cook the left wrist; won't this destroys the left hand flying wedge?


TeddyIrons said...

Good explanation Rich as I had been wondering about this for a while and had thought it referred to the whole swing. Recently I've used the hands controlled pivot after reading your blog and as a result improved my alignments and reduced my pop-out. After having used it for a few weeks now I find my pivot controlled hands takeaway has also improved. So I believe right fore-arm takeaway is a good way of improving a one-piece takeaway - well it is in my case anyway as it reduced the dominance of the left hand that was causing me to pop-out.

Rich H. said...

12 Hit - It's a left arm flying wedge. The Left Arm flying wedge is CREATED when the left wrist cocks. Here a pic of the left arm flying wedge (

Rich H. said...

The one-piece takeaway is a pivot controlled hands move. If using the right forearm takeaway (which is very different from the one piece takeaway) helps you better sense the one-piece takeaway, then I'm certainly all for it.

Kevin said...

Hands Controlled Pivot
Extensor Action
Magic Of The Right Forearm

The easiest way to learn and maintain a G.O.L.F. swing for beginners and for those who don't have a chance to practice or play very much, like me. :-)

IMHO, swinging is a wonderful procedure for some, but higher maintenance required.

Another WONDERFUL article Rich!!!


Rich H. said...

Thanks Kev, the ole G.O.L.F swing with the hands controlled pivot was working today as I shot a nice (-3) 69 on a 7,000+ yard course with 142 slope.

Kevin said...

SWEET, nice playing Rich!


Kevin said...

Rich, did you and Ted get into the MacDonald drills? So simple, yet I learn something new from them constantly. these guys (Lynn and his decsiphles) are GOOD!


Rich H. said...

No, not yet. I was going to go to see him this month, but I think I'm going to wait until after the Club Championship in mid-Oct and see what happens there and formulate a gameplan as to what to work on and some goals I have for next year.

Anonymous said...

Rich, thanks to your blog. been trying to figure out the swing for two years. first heard TGM on the S&T videos but they dont talk about swinging/hitting. thanks to reading your blog and links i figured out hitting, and WOW what a difference. its a whole new game. if every teacher just started with that i think you would see handycaps drop. i wonder if there is a conspiracy among most instructors so they can keep you coming back for more.