Weight Shift in Golf Swing – Pivot Then Shift

The weight shift in the golf swing is a largely misunderstood concept. After all, how is one supposed to keep their head still, shift weight and stay behind the golf ball all during a swing that takes less than a second and a half to complete?

Fortunately, this online golf lesson article and the subsequent video golf lesson at the end will clear up all the mystery behind the proper weight shift in the golf swing.

It all starts with setup. Obviously the golfer is bowed forward with the chest somewhat over the ball, buttocks stuck out behind the heels counterbalancing the forward leaning chest. Weight is distributed evenly left and right and sits through the middle of the arches on the feet. In addition, the upper torso is leaning away from the target because the trailing hand and arm sit lower down the handle of the golf club. So to put it simply, bow forward and lean right if you are a right-handed golfer. Also notice your head will be behind the ball.

Golf Swing Weight Shift in Backswing

Backswing Pivot - Golf Swing Weight Shift

Luke Donald - Backswing Pivot Head & Chest Over Rt. Foot

Now it gets tricky. If you try to “shift” weight to the right in the backswing, you will likely slide your hips over to the right while trying to keep your head still. Your core will have moved out from under your head, and your upper body will be tilted the wrong way – back toward the target. The spine angle has literally reversed itself.

You see, the term “shift” is all wrong for the backswing. “Pivot” is a better term. The right hip will pivot back like sitting back in a chair and then around – actually coiling back toward the target slightly, not drifting sideways to the right. The right foot will stay braced on the instep, and the leg will remain leaning inward like a ball player braced to push off for a throw.

This pivot motion with the hips also involves coiling the trunk around the spine – this is not the same as turning around a still head. If you coil correctly around your spine, which was bowed forward and to the right at address, your chest and head will naturally flow to the right.

Remember your spine is located along the rear of your trunk so your chest, head and eyes are located out in front of the spine. Spine stays still and turns while sending head, chest and eyes to the right. This moves the weight of your chest and head over your right foot and creates the correct golf swing weight shift sensation in the backswing.

This lateral movement of the head is minimal, probably 1”- 3” for most golfers, nevertheless there is movement. Bottom line, do not attempt to keep your head perfectly still while sliding your weight to the right. You will get a reverse spine tilt in the backswing that sends your downswing over the top and casting, or you will overcorrect the spine tilt back to the right in the downswing so hard you throw the club in the ground.

Golf Swing Weight Shift in Downswing

Luke Donald Impact - Golf Swing Weight Shift

Luke Donald - Golf Swing Weight Shift to Impact Belt Buckle Past Ball

With the backswing pivot clarified, what do we do with weight shift on the downswing? It’s pretty simple actually. From the correct backswing position with the upper torso leaning away from target, all the player has to do is shift (yes, now it’s time to shift) the left knee and hip targetward as the downswing begins … actually both knees shift targetward.

This first move in the downswing is lateral, not circular or rotary, often cited as “clearing the hips.” Imagine leaving your back facing the target as your hips shift toward target. The hip clearing will gradually kick in a moment later as the arms lower to the waist-high area and the majority of weight has arrived on the front foot. At impact the golfer’s belt buckle will have shifted well left of the golf ball and will have begun turning left. The hands will also preferably be past the ball on all shots but the driver.

There you have it. Coil or pivot in the backswing, keeping the hips in a barrel as the old golf instruction cliché states. Be willing to allow the upper body to tilt to the right as the head likely drifts slightly to the right in backswing. Then blow out the left side of that barrel as the hips shift first, then clear on the downswing. The armswing will benefit by easily getting back well inside the ball in the backswing, then dropping in the slot on the downswing. No more over the top downswings or falling back off balance in the finish.

So what do you think? Are you willing to pivot the hips and let your head drift back in the backswing to develop a better weight shift and more repeatable downswing path with more power?

Watch the video golf lesson below, then try it out and leave your comments at the bottom of the page. Don’t forget to share this with your friends.




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  1. This excellent capsule of information will help many hackers stop swaying and start trapping solid shots.
    Halleluhjah , there aint no weight shift! Good balance is a rotary pivot away.
    The bump business is subtle, but now there’s a proper coil between top and bottom, the downswing is more of a happening than something we do.
    We live in a world of too much information( yes, and I’m adding to it) . Good tempo and swing past your chin.
    Thanks Herman

  2. I am trying to correct an article on wikipedia on the subject of the mechanics of a golf swing. Their article is form a scientific organization which seems to be modeled for someone who has a lot of flexibility and a body that is natually athletic in size and shape. I try to emulate Arnold Palmer’s swing in his elder years because I am somewhat elderly. I agree with your article, but one thing you may need to consider is that by letting your head and upper body pivot on during the back swing a little bit, you also get the benefit of allowing your right trial knee to retain some of it’s initial bend that it has at setup, and you forgot to mention that the left lead knee increase its’ bentness during the backswing slightly. By allowing your head and upper body pivot slightly away from the target and away from the target line by a small amount, you allowing the left knee to increase its’ bentness and at the same time allow the right trail knee to retain some of the bentness it had at address. Also if what I say is true, then to some extent the left lead knee will straighten during the forward part of the swing. Let me know in an email if you like, if you agree with any part of what I have said in this comment.

  3. Herman

    Oh my God, thanks. I have been playing golf for 20 years. For some reason I lost it! My handicap went from a 6.7 index and I am now a 12.4 index in 12 months! I took my normal swing (at least what I thought was my normal swing) and stopped at the top. I can not believe how much my spine angle changed and how much weight is on my left leg at the top. I tried picking up my left leg and of course it’s impossible. Now executing your back swing and loading up on right side with the proper rotation is night and day. At the top I am loaded on the right, I can pick my left leg up. I assume that should occur correct? And from there, just bump left towards target to start down swing? Man if it’s that simple I will be back. I think when I was playing better that’s the feeling I had. Somewhere in the last year I ended up on the left side at the top. Thanks for the simple explanation, I think my buddies saw it all along but were to interested in winning than helping!

  4. Herman:

    On the downswing, after the first move with the bump forward your arms drop next do you A. swing the arms B. just swing hips an hold back on lag or C. could one turn the back shoulder forward in order to get thru toward the target

    • Larry, I’ve seen all those options work for different players. However, a combination of sending that trailing shoulder and swinging the arms tends to be the most successful approach. The reality is most people will swing the hips through and leave the arms behind and slice the ball if you go for option B. Tour Players tend to blend all 3 moves but I would say fast hips only help when you already have well-trained hands and arms. In fact, even when you’re mostly focused on your arms and that trailing shoulder, your hips will respond by moving enough to get you through the shot. Good luck.

  5. Well, a light might have (finally) come on with this piece on weight shift. Mentally (although probably not completely phisically possible) I always thought I wanted to pull the body back straight (its a “back”swing right–that kind of means lateral to me unfortunately) and throw the clubhead at the ball. That that’s how I naturally wanted to hit it. Got some decent results and actually won some nice trophies by “just hitting it”. Everyone said I “had a nice swing”. Read FIVE LESSONS and BOBBY JONES ON GOLF and thought gee, these guys think the hip move after a full turn (not sway) is THE most important thing you can do and I don’t think about that at all. Tried it and discarded it. But your piece explained it better. Went to the range today with low expectations (because this feels like a completely new swing to me) and hit some of the most beautiful shots I’ve ever hit in my life. Now I was wild but mabey 25% of the time, wow. The feeling of those good ones was so convincing that one just “knows” that its the way to go and a very important thing to work on and get used to. One question. I notice my head dips a little on the new backswing but I’ve checked some professional swings and see that some of the pros do it too. As I practice this new move do you think this is something to be concerned about and corrected right from the start? Thanks for the lesson and for listening.

    • Dave, glad you had the guts to try a new technique. Good luck with it. I don’t think this will be a big deal for you. Just monitor what you feel in your feet through this new backswing. Your head may dip if your balance is moving toward your toes too much. Your pivot will ideally take you into your right heel at top of backswing. But you are correct that many great players have some head wobble throughout their motion. It’s usually manageable.

  6. Good Afternoon Mr Williams.

    I am a fan of your golf instructional videos and take time to try and practice your methods.

    I am a 0 handicapper and wondered if there is anything I can work on to stop me leaning back at impact, especially with the driver?

    My bad shot is either a pull hook or the fall back trying to prevent it going left and subsequently it goes right.

    I would appreciate any method to try and eradicate this and get back to hitting the fairways 🙂

    Kind Regards
    Drew Webster

    • Drew, since you are a scratch player my advice may sound a little different than what I share to most of my fans. It is likely you shift laterally toward the target too aggressively with the hips which causes te spine to lean right. If so, you can afford to focus mostly on hip clearing. As you do this, you don’t want a big shift to your right in the backswing … stay pretty centered with your pivot. Then you want the feeling of driving your left hip back as you drive your right shoulder forward in the downswing. It feels like you will come over the top but generally is a safe idea for pros and good amateurs. Good luck.

  7. I have been struggling lately and I came back to this article . I was reading Joe Dantes four Magic moves to winning golf and in his book he says the pulling down on the handle move should be with the body’s big muscles and no conscious hand involvement . The book also teaches a hip thrust forward to get the weight on the left side and then rotate like you do . I would love your thoughts on this since your instruction is kind of similar to this old classic book . Thanks

    • I know of Joe but admittedly have not read the book. A big issue we have in the sport is how different people “feel” and interpret movement so differently. What one player does quite well and does not even notice can be the biggest and most important challenge for another player. If you consider a downswing simply, it is the vertical movement of the arms combined with the lateral and rotary movement of the body. So in an effort to be clear, I don’t think most of my students respond well to thinking that the big muscles of the body cause the arms and club to move downward. They tend to end up spinning the body to the target before the arms make enough downward movement, ending up with a downswing that cuts across the ball. In theory the triceps, shoulders, pecs, lat muscles and abs are all involved in pulling the club down, but most people can’t relate in the nanosecond that’s available. You can feel the instrument in your hands so it’s easy to focus on “pulling” the handle down and then allowing that vertical speed to be whipped into the ball by the shifting and turning of the body. I like getting the arms moving up and down on a good path with good wrist action and then adding the body component after the fact. Hope this helps.

  8. Hi Herman, I have been struggling with thin, or over the top shots for a while now. I feel like I get a good backswing as my weight shifts to the right with pushing of the left foot inward. But on the downswing, I often Hit the top of the ball, resulting in a soul shot. Quick note,when. I do get good contact with the ball I find myself with the right foot up dangling forward almost Falling.

    • Jon, I’d love to help but I’m not sure I have enough info here without video. Most people that top the ball are either swinging on a plane that is too flat or a combination of arm bending and wrist scooping at impact. The other possibility is hanging back so much on your back foot that you can’t reach the ball at impact. Your description of good shots finishing with right foot dangling makes me think you could be hanging back on the topped shots. Hope this helps.

  9. Always the best Herman another great one!! I am working on this all the time and I tend to not move my hip back in backswing! When I do it is much better!!

  10. I think your explanations of how the body moves through the swing are some of the very best among a crowded sea of them. Personally I have huge trouble getting my left knee to turn toward the target to initiate the downswing. I bet others do too.

    Here’s why: with the weight pivoted back away from the target on the backswing—even though the right foot is braced toward the target–it’s not at all a natural move to first turn the left knee toward the target. It’s not natural because your weight is well pivoted back away from the target. At least it is difficult for me and I bet for many.

    This bracing of the right foot forward toward the target is itself another very difficult move to implement because while it’s easy to set up to the ball with your right foot braced toward the target this is not an easy bracing position to maintain while the rest of your weight is being pivoted {braced} away from the target.

    So, Herman, how about some drills or guru insight into addressing these two sticky issues that I raise?

  11. I like what Herman says a lot of the time. One thing that does iritate me is the “bump” to the left concept. Physically this is impossible and is actually a push from the right side onto the left. I wish people would not use this way of explanation as it causes confusion in my opinion.

    • Paul, thanks for jumping into the conversation and leaving your comment. I’ve seen golfers screw up both the best and worst of instructional information. No argument here about the actual movement, but the idea is to convey a simple means of getting the golfer to move left, not spinning out … ultimately I don’t think the language is confusing anyone. I’ve also seen the “push from the right side” backfire as players throw the right knee and/or hip at the ball and still end up spinning out with most of the weight on the back foot.

  12. This video and your three on wristcock, lag, and power are the clearest most intuitive description of these concepts I have seen in 50 years of playing and following golf.

  13. Herman

    If you back into the ball surely the spine will move.
    I thought the spine had to stay still to ‘swing around’.
    Can you please clarify?

  14. Good instruction. Thanks. What is not always obvious, is that the rotation / pivot during the backswing leads to a full shoulder (and hip) turn. At the top / end of the backswing (actually, a little sooner if a proper pivot is used), a completed pivot causes the hips (and weight) to shift to the target automatically. This automatic, smooth transfer does not take place without the pivot and requires a deliberate hip shift, which is not so smooth and sometimes leads to segmented dynamics in the swing.

  15. Herman, if the rt. hip and right shoulder blade move back, around and away from the original starting point, is it ok to pre set the right hip cocked in say toward or slightly over right foot?

  16. Wonderful video. Thank you. This motion around is something I just never have gotten right. Feels circular and spinny and I have no idea where the club will be when I get back to the ball. Have you ever seen a video of a swing from above looking down? I’m wondering if that might show the rotation and the path the spine and shoulders take in a really unique effective way. Thanks again.

  17. Herman I follow everything you teach and love it. this may not be able to be answered if you don’t see me but here goes. Assume for a minute I amd doing the mecahics corectly. for some reason I can’t get my arms out and extended at impact. any suggestion.

    • Thanks Larry. When a golfer has a hard time with arm extension at impact it is usually one or more of the following:
      1) downswing path is “outside to in” which causes the arms to have to pull in to make contact or else you would swing around the outside of the ball
      2) casting and losing wrist hinge too early in downswing which causes the arms to shorten to avoid plowing in the ground behind the ball
      3) no body rotation thru impact – if the body slows down or stops at impact the momentum of the club will keep going and the arms will fold around the chest

  18. Herman, I have been playing golf for just under three years now and i very nearly gave it up this summer due to frustration at my inconsistency on the course. However, last week I discovered your videos on setup and weight shift and they were a revelation!
    I play off a handicap of 23 and last saturday I won my first club competition with a total of 40 stableford points. I just want to express my gratitude to you for the enormous help you have given me through the clarity of your instruction. Thank you again and keep up the good work.

  19. I just found this site and am really digging the instruction . I hope this isn’t a dumb question but I have been playing with this and my question is about the arms . Should I let them go limp or just drop or should I have some sense of control . Thanks

    • Glad you found my site, Glenn. Welcome aboard. I’d say you want to drop with a sense of control. Basically the downswing has the arms making a controlled drop that “runs into” the turning of the body. If the arms go limp, the spinning of the body may just fling the arms and club outside and over the top of the correct downswing plane.

  20. Thank you so much for clearing up the confusion Herman! I was trying to keep my head completely still which caused a reverse pivot and was driving me insane. I will be watching for new videos!

  21. I’ve been playing golf for 50 years and this may be the best explanation with simplicity to explain the proper shifting in the golf swing. Thank you for taking the time to present this, “EXCELLENT!”

  22. Hi Herman, this is a brilliant video you have done here. All a beginner has to do is perfect what you have taught here and you will play decent social golf almost immediately.
    It is well explained in simple english, but articulated with class by a true professional. We all ought to be thankful for your education. Well done and keep up the good work mate. Thank you Herman!

  23. Having been a “swayer” for quite some time I find that when I shift weight as you suggest that I pull the club inside. I find that I have to work to keep the club on plane and that my arms are further out from the body than I’m used to. Any particular swing thoughts you might suggest to help stay on plane now that my trunk is rotating much more?

    • Les,
      At start of downswing, simply work at driving the butt of the club more downward toward your right ankle (assuming you’re a right-handed golfer) versus maybe trying to point the handle at the ball. Good luck and thanks for commenting. – Herman

  24. Excellent video. Very good job of explaining how to load your right side if right handed and the correct move to initiate the downswing. Thanks.

  25. Great instructional video. Not at all complicated. All those (including me)
    who would benefit should just practice the movements until they learn
    them-continuously every day without hitting golf ball-JUST LEARN THE

  26. Herman, when “backing into it” on the downswing, how do you keep from blocking it off the planet right? Seems that you’re staying very closed and dropping arms way from the inside. Thanks!

    • Hi Adam,
      Each individual likely requires a different amount of path adjustment based on the severity of their original swing flaw. If you are using this technique and were previously a severe over-the-top golfer, then you’ll probably find a big downswing path exaggeration is necessary. If you try this and initially shots are flying to the right, it may simply be an open clubface, so be sure you’ve addressed the “release.” I do have a video about how to stop blocking golf shots. However, if your problems weren’t too severe and you think you are managing the clubface reasonably well, then I would advise a feeling of backing into the target while dropping the shaft inline with your toeline. Basically when you arrive at the waist-high position in the downswing the shaft should be parallel to the ground (wrists still cocked) with butt of club pointed at target right over your toeline. Rehearse dropping to this position with your back to the target and then let the remainder of the swing pull you around to the finish. Try it in slow motion a few times and then hit some shots. Hope this helps. – Herman

      • Thanks Herman, it does. I’ve actually be a push/hook guy for a while, so I’ll work on getting shaft parallel to the target line.

  27. I have read numerous books on the golf swing as well as having viewed an unending multiplicity of videos. Your explanation of the golf swing on your video was the most understandable , in my opinion, that I have ever come across.Please send me information about the purchase of your video. I want to show my friends YOUR video so l can mitigate their golf pain. “THANKS”.

    • Thanks John. I’m working on making things available for purchase as we approach the winter season. Still too busy teaching to dedicate enough time to it. But keep checking back on the site, you’ll eventually see links to buy videos and/or video membership. – Herman

  28. Hi Herman. What a fabulous explanation. I have spent hundreds and hundreds of £s on golf lessons and the weight shift or transfer has always been an issue for me in the respect that I didn’t ever really feel that I was achieving it properly. Can’t wait to get to the range tomorrow and try your tip out. Thanks very much. You have made an English man very happy. Sorry about the Ryder cup by the way.

    • I’m actually ok with the head and chest moving a little targetward along with the hips as long as shoulders don’t spin open too quickly. We’ve all been preached to forever about “staying behind the ball,” but the truth is if you need more compression and/or divot, staying behind it will not help much. Hanging back can cause you to hit the ball on the upswing, bottom out early and hit it fat, block it right, etc. The liability of moving in front is simply a lower ball flight and perhaps a little tougher time at squaring the clubface.

  29. i’m68 years old been trying to learn golf since i was 55.wish i would have found you 10 years ago.
    I don’t care if you golf or not but i know your are a great teacher
    Your explanation is the best i have ever heard i can take one small part of your lesson when ever i have time step outside and practice
    Don’t leave me steve

    Soon as i can find that donate button i’ll send you a couple hundred

  30. I have had many lessons from several pros and none have even come close to describing this most important element of the swing as you! You have made the weight shift crystal clear. Feeling grateful for the Hermanization!! Thanks.

  31. Herman, it’s really a very good explanation thanks. Which is the moment that you decide to start the downswing with the bump of the left hip? If you stay with the back towards the target. Are the arm-shoulders movements simoultaneous or is a little gap between them?
    Thanks again

    • There is a little time gap as the shift starts just as the club itself is still finishing going up. Look at the throwing motion of a baseball player or a football quarter back. They stride forward to throw while the arm is still going back.

  32. Herman,
    I have been playing golf for 40+ years, and have seen 100s of golf videos. I am a fan of Chuck quinton’s RST model, etc. However…..I have NEVER seen a 6 minute explanation and demonstration of weight shift that is as succinct, clear, yet precise..as this one! It is revelatory, IMO.

    I have just come off 10 weeks of non-playing (felt like non-living) due to another bout of lower back injury. Now that I am returned I am doubling my efforts to reduce the moving parts of my swing, and to somehow figure out how to get to my left side (I problem I developed 2 yrs ago after my last bout..was gun-shy to move my hips). Well…I remembered this video, went back to it, have been practicing keeping my lower body much more centered and turned, rather than swayed, and it seems that getting to my left side is now much much easier. It’s as if I was swaying so far to the right that getting left was either impossible or simply not far enough. Now? “Backing into the shot” is simple, almost automatic, and results in a feeling of pulling the left side down and through. My divots are back (was picking the ball earlier), my energy is much more beyond the ball, etc.

  33. Weight shift has been a long term problem. My right foot rolls over away from the ball and then I get stuck. I can’t get weight forward. Can’t wait to try the techniques in this video.

  34. Herman, thank you for explaining the weight shift in the golf swing, I have searched for someone to explain this shift without success until you nailed it with your video. Thank you.

  35. I notice your that the knee of your right leg to have just a little bent to it at the top of your golf swing and that the left knee is excessively bent with the kneecap pointing towards the ball and so your concept of a down swing using a lateral left shift is understandable. Some time ago I tried this but at age 66 I found it difficult for me to achieve and found myself swaying my body too much. For myself I now like to keep both my knee slightly bent at about 15 to 20 degree angle during the back swing while using the so called one piece take away. At the top of my swing I initiate my downward swing by simply pressing down with the front my right foot as if slamming the breaks on in my car. the harder I “slam on the Breaks” I find that I am able to achieve a quicker uncoiling of my body and a perfect weight shift. I also find that I eliminate any excessive swaying of my body using this concept. I am very happy with the end results. I was wondering if I developed this concept on my own or have other pros taught this method.

    • Thanks for contributing, Tom. Jimmy Ballard taught a similar “firing” of the right side and right knee. A push off in the right foot can achieve identical results and is part of what makes this game so interesting as there are so many ways to think about doing the same thing to get a winning result.

  36. Hi,

    I’m a 15 hcp and hit the ball with a slight draw (irons). The trajectory however is really high, this i’m loosing distance a lot. I noticed that i dont pivot at all like in your video, think this might cause the high shots as well? Looking forward to testing this on range

    • Ng, you are likely casting on the downswing but your pivot and/or poor sequencing may be contributing to the casting. Check some of my other articles and videos for casting advice.

  37. Hi: I am 68 and played high school golf. have had many teachers, including two in connecticut that were top teacher of the year, about 20 lessons. I bought almost ever book and dvd. Now the good news, your “weight shift in the golf swing – pivot then shift” worked immediately. yesterday I hit 7 of 9 greens and today shot 3 over for nine with my misses being straight at the green and just short. now my pro v1 is spinning back on the greens, which is a problem since the greens are so small. So will change balls. Golf for the first time in my whole life is really fun. It nice to go to the course not searching for a swing. will donate $ to your cause. at night I go back to the course and practice chipping around all the greens hitting 12 balls first with just left hand, then 12 with just right hand. seems to be improving my chipping. thanks again “Herman”. Jim

  38. Hi Herman
    On the few occasions I’ve managed to put your ideas into practice, they work amazingly well. BUT… in my practice swing I find this lateral movement in the downswing very easy to accomplish. However, faced with a real live ball at my feet, especially in competition, this move forward usually becomes impossible. Is this a ‘yip’? How do I overcome this?



    ps Have you produced any DVDs?

    • Sometimes it takes a little longer to “own” it in the heat of battle. Something you might try in practice is to begin the transition, the lateral movement, as the club is just finishing the last of its upward travel. If you gather everything up together and pause the whole package at the top, it can be as if we have the “yips” and can’t decide who should go first coming down. Visualize a throwing motion in which you would step forward before your arm finishes going all the way back. Hope this helps and good luck. No DVD’s yet but it is on the “to do” list. – Herman

  39. Thank you for all your instruction. A first time post but I have practiced what you have taught on and off the course. It was very difficult at first but it has paid off. I am swinging beautifully and best of all, very consistant. I still however, watch your videos and practice regardless. You surely have an army of highly skilled students by now. Cheers

  40. Herman, I need your help. Im 16, 5 handicap, and a right handed hitter. I recently broke my left ankle can you help me on how to keep less stress on that ankle while swinging.

    Thanks, Ben

    • Ben you can try flaring your left toe out more toward the target. But I must admit I’m not a medical expert and don’t know the particulars of your situation, so you might want to consult with your physician as well.

  41. I’m 61, started golf late in my life. Been learning via Internet, golf channel, practicing, and playing. My intermediate goal is simply to break 100. I have a short but accurate game. Want more distance (drive 150+) and can’t blame it on my health or equipment. Yesterday after a round my buddy said that all I needed to do was work on my hips. This afternoon started Googling and ran across this page. Honestly, you provided me more clarity on the swing than Michael Breed has over the past few years. If I wasn’t working I’d hit the range right now. Can’t wait to work on this.

  42. Herman, you are rockstar! Thank-you for what you do to help “wanna be” golfers enjoy the game more. The fact that you go the extra mile by making yourself available online and you actually respond to comments made is awesome. Now that I found you online, I might finally break into the 80’s.

  43. Mr. William: I am 65 years old and have played this game since I was a teen-ager. In all that time, I have never had the actual swing motion described to me as you have done in this video. My entire golf life I have been ding this part WRONG!!! Thank you very much for explaining this clearly. I have not actually been to the course or the range with this yet, but I have taken my practice 8 iron to my back yard “range” and I have felt a golf swing for the first time in my life! Wow. Thanks so much, Herman…..

  44. This is the BEST explanation ever of the golf swing and weight transfer. I saw this on the computer last night and played today and hit 99% solid drivers and irons and even wedges.

    Thanks you Herman – you are a wonderful human being. I am a 11- 12 handicapper and found this very very useful. I have definitely been Hermanized!

  45. Just found and watched your weight shift video on line . Thought it was very well made and informative . In simple terms you explained and demonstrated the moves in the correct sequence I need to work on . Wanted to say thanks and I will work on it the right way finally . After watching the video I realized I have been working a long time on the wrong things . Thanks again

  46. Being large chested (and with a belly from time to time), I’ve been experimenting a bit lately with turning back around an imaginary spine 2-3 inches forward of the real one and another location even closer to the sternum

    I tend to stay in balance (and keep from throwing weight out onto my toes) when I do that.

    My results are that I find it easier to slice /fade a driver using my real spine. And I find it easier to hit draws with the “imaginary” spine especially if I imagine it to be just inside of my sternum.

    Additionally, turning around my real spine allows lots of my “forward of the real spine” weight to pull me out over my toes creating shanks and off centers.

    Best part is that I’m not losing balance. I follow Hogan’s idea of “forward-aft” set-up balance being between the ball and heel.
    -Be able to wiggle the toes is what I think he said.

    The other Hogan concept is turning back into a “braced” right leg meaning when you stop the turning back motion, you fall back to the left side. Sort of like being on two shoulder crutches and if I raise one, I fall in that direction because the other one is out to the side in a braced fashion …….as it normally is.

    I’m new to your site and think it’s very, very, very good!
    I’m especially getting a lot from what the right arm does and related info.

    • Excellent description … similar to “stack and tilt” info and very useful for your situation. I’d keep doing it. By staying more or less left of the ball you more naturally create an “inside” path to the ball that will also compress it.

  47. Herman,
    So glad I found your videos just as I have been starting to work on weight shift (after 20 years of being clueless). I have been finding it difficult keeping my hands still at the top of the backswing while making the lateral shaft to the left. The timing just seems awkward. I found that it is more comfortable for me to start the lateral shift BEFORE the end of the backswing (ie when the hands and arms are not quite at the top yet) and then when I start the downswing, turning my shoulders and clearing the hips, the lateral weight shift has already occurred. Is that OK?
    Please keep up the great work.

  48. I loved this article and video and despite being work in progress have already seen a great improvement in my balance and have stopped falling off my drives as much. I just struggle to keep it going throughout the round and as described in your article I hit the club into the ground well behind the ball when I get it wrong; but I have this on my favourites and just keep practicing dry swings in the front room. Thank you

  49. Hello Herman,

    I am a senior who just started playing five years ago at age 63. Hit my five iron 160 yards and my typical score is mid 90’s if that helps you understand my current capabilities. Recently, in order to have a pre-downswing trigger to starting my weight shift to left side (with the near squatting feeling that you described), I have started raising my left heel slightly on the backswing – it creates a feeling of unweighting my left side. To start my downswing, I pull the trigger by dropping my heel to the ground. That action seems to start the squatting feeling and the overall process of shifting my weight to the left, and I just allow the rest of my body to follow along. The move seems to work well for me, but I wonder if it will lead to new problems. When I first started doing this I found that I began to let my right hip sway to the right, but I have stopped that evil by widening my stance (I was a narrow stance guy) and letting my right leg slant as you have recommended and by applying more pressure on my instep at the same time. Your thoughts?

    Thank you very much for your excellent instruction tips and videos!


  50. Herman, nice comments about the golfswing. Especially the part about starting out in a good address position which is one huge key. You can never go from a poor start position to a good top of backswing position. As far as “pivot”, at what point exactly does one start the pivot. What should a golfer anticipate feeling to know that it is time to “pivot”? Thanks for your response.

    • Some golfers want the pivot to begin immediately with right hip and right shoulder blade coiling back instantly. Others will feel better letting the armswing start back until the left arm crosses the chest (hands near right thigh) and forces the chest to start turning. Both types can work equally well.

  51. Hey Herm, Stopped at the range yesterday to meet a friend and show off my new swing and was a little embarrassed as in my excitement to hit the ball well and long, I started reverting back to my old swing “fast and over the top”
    I was hooking and shanking the ball “every which way but straight. When I realized that I was not bumping the left side and and being passive with my hands on the downswing I tried to correct it but was unable to stop doing it.
    Kind’a like eating Pizza late at night “you know you shouldn’t but you just cant help yourself so you eat it anyway” Any advice on how to get the wheels back on after they fall off? I checked my basics and am quite sure I have it right till I start downswing, that’s when it all turns to s#%&. again the feeling I’m having is hurry-up
    and “hit the ball’ with my hands from the top and my shoulders spinning around instead of up and around.

    • I like starting back with smaller swings at roughly waist-high that feel like mostly hands and arms. Then move up to 3/4 swings still mostly an armswing. Finally go all the way up and see if your timing has reset. I like to hit at least a dozen balls (4 shots in a row followed by brief pause) at each level before moving up.

  52. Once I’m fully turned and set into the top of my back swing, my back is facing the target, and with my hip turn, my buttocks is partially facing the target as well. When people talk about shifting the pelvis laterally prior to the downswing, I think this causes me to shift my pelvis actually toward the ball since to me, that is a lateral shift when I’m set at the top of my back swing. Any advice on shifting the hips in the right direction and what that should feel like? I have also heard people say that on the down swing you should turn your body over your left hip, however, at the top of the back swing, the left hip is forward and the right hip is posterior….this is just the normal kinematics of the golf swing. So, should i actually feel as though my butt is pushing toward the target on the “shift” and then pushing my left hip backward in order to “clear” my hips ???

    • Your last sentence nailed it. Back into the target as if pushing your left butt cheek targetward, then let the left hip clear “backward.” Weight will end up mostly on the outside of left heel area at the end of the swing.

  53. Hi Herman,

    We actually touched on this before but I am still having trouble. I’m a low handicap and have a problem sliding ahead of the ball on the downswing. When I try not to slide, it always seems to pull my right shoulder out and over the top. How can I prevent sliding and keep my shoulder from coming over the top? Thanks for all your help.

  54. Hi ,Herman
    Cud u telp me how much shift is enough before we clear the hips for long iron(4&5).I tend to have a tail fade on this long iron.Is it because the shift is not far enough.Tks.Ronald

    • That’s probably going to be different for each person. The sequence is the most important part. Be sure to shift before any dramatic clearing takes place. If I had to give a pinpointed answer, you want to shift enough to get the outside of your left hip (assuming right-handed golfer) past the outside of your left foot. The hands should have fallen to waist height during the shift and then hip clearing will be ok as it won’t sling the hands too far outside at that late stage in the swing.

  55. After 35 years of swinging the club every which way but right , thanks to you and your great sharing of info and swing thoughts I finally quit hitting marsh mellows all over the course. Its kind of funny when you get the right instruction and you apply yourself to the task of change, all the things that you heard about but could never understand start to make sense.
    I played with a friend the other day on a championship coarse that I have embarrassed myself on many times and shot 16 over and was thrilled. Thanks again for your help and will always be a fan and a student of yours.

  56. Herman: When I Try To Turn My Hips “Level” In The Backswing, I Top The Ball. When I Turn My Left Shoulder Down Steeply & My Right Hip Up & To The Inside To Start The Backswing, I Take Nice Divots. Any Ideas? I’m 6’10” & Have A Tendency To Stand Up In The Backswing. Thanks!

    • I don’t mind a swing that is very rotary with minimal side-to-side movement but i think most amateurs over-do stack and tilt and get in trouble. I like the one-plane aspects of bowing over and making a centralized turn but don’t want to fall in love with leaning on the left side unless it just appears the player naturally can’t do anything else. At 61 it’s not so easy to get out of that leaning position and thrust up thru the left side to get in proper impact position. But I have to admit if you found a way to make nice divots and you can repeat it, it may be just fine. I could only comment further if I was on the tee with you. Good luck. – Herman

  57. Herman: Hit A Few Good Shots, Today, But Main Problem Is Swaying At Start Of The Backswing. I’m Trying To Simplify Everything & Key On Keeping My Weight On The Inside Edge Of My Right Foot On The Backswing & Pushing Off The Inside Of My Right Foot As The First Move In The Downswing. I Also Try To Turn My Right Hip As “Inside The Barrel” As Possible As The First Move In My Backswing. Am I On The Right Track? I Also Hit Practice Balls With A Ball Under My Right Heel & Really Strike The Ball Well Then. Thanks!

      • Thanks, Herman! Just Finished 3 Holes At My Home Course & Concentrated On Turning My Left Shoulder “Down” Toward My Left Foot To Start My Backswing & Pushing Off The Instep Of My R Foot To Start My Downswing. Hit Every Shot, Including A Short Pitch, Crisp & Shot Even Par For The Three Holes. Your Swing Keys Are Awesome, Herman!

        • Still Hitting A Few Pulls, Herman. Is It OK To Let The Right Hip Turn Inside At The Start Of The Swing? Should It Turn Level Or Upward? I’m 61 Years Old & Not Very Flexible. Thanks!

          • Sure let it turn early and try to make it feel like a fairly level turn. that will help you get the arms and shoulders deeper back behind you to prevent any over-the-top tendencies. If you are still pulling after this, look at grip and possible casting in downswing. You may be on the right swing path but unhinging the wrists too soon coming down which closes the face before you get to the ball.

          • Thanks For All Your Help, Herman . What Do You Think About Stack & Tilt Method? Seems To Work On Wedges For Me, But I Hit Pop Ups With My Driver & Get Too Steep With My Fairway Wood & Longer Irons. I Tend To Stand Up On My Backswing, So Turning Left Shoulder Straight Down To Start The Backswing Helps, But Then I Think I Get Too Steep. If I Try To Turn My Hips & Left Shoulder More Level On The Backswing, I Top The Ball. Any Advice?

  58. Hi Herman,thanks for that video lesson.I was hitting the ball high with a cut and getting no distance.Im a 7 handicap and totally lost my way with my swing.Due to your video I feel more confident over the ball.Slanj.

  59. Hi Herman,

    I am a week before the Qualifyingschool for the European Seniortour. Till today I was still coming over the top. After watching your videos its gone.

    You are a very good teacher for a ME and I like to come and see you one day.
    After I have picked up my tourcard ofcourse 🙂

    Thank you for the effort in making all this info and sharing it with us.

    A colleague

  60. Herman , excellent explanation as usual . I am a low handicapper , but am terribly inconsistent .I try to employ your fundamentals and have pretty good positions at the top of the backswing . However , I battle over the top pull hooks . I think my shoulders are spinning out to the left ( I’m right handed) too soon and taking my head with them so that I am no longer staying behind the ball at impact.One solution I’m toying with is the swing thought of moving my head backwards as I approach impact the way Nicklaus did . Is that a viable fix ? I respect your expertise and would appreciate your feedback . Thanks .

    • Hey Don. First off thanks for following my work and endorsing it’s effectiveness. You are right on track with your thoughts here. Head movement forward or rotationally in forward swing is death. Generally you can afford to do the opposite until you feel like the problem is fixed. In addition you may want to keep your “eyeline” tilted intentionally so that your eyeline is angled on an inside/out path. It feels like looking back over your right ankle on downswing. I hope that makes since in print. Maybe I’ll get it in a video sometime to demonstrate. The bottomline is, we tend to swing where our eyes go. Good luck.


  61. Herman…….been awhile since i’ve browsed your site. Trying to get my mind clear on a few things in my swing. Your description of the turn and shift is outstanding to say the least. I do have a question…….what are the arms doing in the backswing? How does one keep them from swinging too flat….. maybe I have missed this in other tips or video.
    Mark…..the Hermanator

    • The big decision is likely whether you want to let your arms follow your chest around or whether you want the arms to swing upward above the pec muscle.

      If you are prone to an armswing you think is too flat, then you might try simply bowing over more at address and making a steeper shoulder turn. This is the “one plane” model like you see in Matt Kuchar.

      If that option does not feel like it will work, then focus on the sensation that the right shoulder and hip turn back behind you while you send your arms straight back and up on a line that feels like it is right along your toe line. This will be the “two-plane” option … shoulders around, arms up.

      • Can Your Shoulders Turn “Too Steeply” On The Backswing, Herman? What Are The Effects Of A Very Steep Vs. A Very Flat Shoulder Turn? Nick Faldo Says To Turn The Shoulders In A Fairly Flat Arc & Steve Elkington Says To Turn The Left Shoulder Very Steeply Down & Outwards Toward The Left Foot On The Backswing. I’m Confused. Thanks!

        • They’re both right depending on your starting posture and the uprightness of your armswing. If your shoulder turn is flat, then the armswing must be upright and vice versa.

          • Thanks For The Resonse, Herman! For A 16 Handicap Like Me, Would A One Plane Or 2 Plane Be Better? I Have Limited Flexibility, 61 Years Old & Very Tall (6’10”) Thanks! BTW, Played Yesterday & Concentrated On Pulling The Butt End Of The Club Toward “First Base” To Start The Downswing & Hit The Ball Great! Thanks So Much For All Your Help!

          • The one plane style is superior in terms of geometry and physics on a 6’10” frame, assuming your back can tolerate bending over significantly and making the pivot. At your height, you can bend over enough to aim your chest at the ball and put your shoulder plane almost directly inline with the ball as you pivot. Just keep the armswing along your shoulder line and it should be an easy swing to keep on-plane with the ball.

  62. Herman, thanks for the help with the instructions on you tube. Change is hard but worth it. I sure wish I had ran into you years ago before starting down the road to “overthetopdom”. I heard Johnny Miller say that if you don’t learn to hit down and trap the ball you will always be a duffer. Kind of blunt but to the point. If you get a chance anything you can add to that starting bump,pivot, thing to start the swing would be greatly appreciated. It feels really strange
    to let the club fall into the slot after a life time of starting with the hands at the top. Thanks again

  63. I disagree. If you “shift” your weight you will end up with your weight on the outside of your left heel. You must “rotate” your hip toward the left while the weight transfers to the “left heel”. If you carefully look at 95% of the pros, their weight get to their left heel to the point where their toes are off the ground. Look at Nicklause, Palmer, Woods, Greg Norman, just to name a few.

    • Thanks for the comment Rick. I think we’re in agreement about where things end up, but my contention is it has to be a blend of shifting and clearing, basically an elliptical movement. The left hip will be rotating the whole time a player is making a downswing, but I don’t usually want them focused on it unless they are highly skilled. I’ll even agree that Tour players will think mostly about clearing versus shifting, but I don’t think they are in my audience here. In your comment you mention rotating “the hip toward the left” which might really mean its moving left and turning. If so I’m okay with that. My article and video have more to do with what the first move in the downswing should look and feel like for the average amateur. It’s critical to get that transition to downswing motion started properly … the rest will often fall into place.

      However, the amateurs I see on a daily basis have a hard time when they focus on clearing or rotating the hips as the primary move. They generally will sit back on the back foot, spin out with very little weight ever making it to the front foot, while cutting across the ball with the armswing. I think if you study it closely and honestly start a downswing with only hip rotation, you will see the left hip actually moves backwards away from the target. Because we are on two legs you will see a finish that looks more like baseball players with the front leg locked out and leaning back with the front foot likely spinning out as the weight stays centered between the feet or even toward the back foot. It’s difficult to hit irons this way because you stay too far behind the ball to pinch down on it.

      To get to the left heel with toes curled as you pointed out, there has to be some forward shift. Palmer did not have much but also had the most unconventional finish of the players you mentioned … the other 3 have noticeable lateral shift with the legs in their downswings.

      Thanks for stopping by and offering your observations; I’m sure our readers will benefit from the discussion.


  64. i have been doing what you say and hit a lot of good shots with more power, but occasionally top it with the driver………why do you think this happens

    • Likely the arms are shortening in the impact zone and/or throwing the clubhead early causing the club to bottom out before impact with an upward approach that catches the ball on the bottom of the face.

    • Yes, it still applies. It may be less pronounced for shorter swings, but it is still necessary to get your core left of the golf ball to create a descending strike into the ball with a divot in front.

  65. all the videos, especially weight shift have made a tremendous change in swing results. Longest drive so far 237 may not be much to some of you, but I an a 5′ 100 lb. female who is 66 years old. thanks I’m thrilled to have been Hermanized

  66. Wow! I’ve been struggling with the hosel out to in shank and an open club face shank for years and this has been like a lightbulb suddenly lighting up putting this into practice. I thought mostly due to moving towards the ball in my downswing and swinging from my shoulders! Ive played of 15 for years and quite often the wretched shanks appear from no-where. What’s worked for me is – A combination of your explanation of the correct pivot ,not lifting my left heel in the swing and getting the right hand to kind of push down so i attack from inside, something you mention in another video ensure i get on the correct inside plane . I’ve pulled a few and toed a few which ive never done but the compression and feel I get is absolutely amazing . I now realise before I was lifting left heel, shifting in the up swing and throwing the club and trying keep the right hand passive and concentrate on turning the left side through, what I was finding was that I would drift towards the ball, straighten up through the downswing . All wrong but I could never figure out that for me the pivot and right hand to get on plane has been a revelation, thanks so much. Lawrence 36 , UK

  67. Hi Herman,
    Love your website and your whole philosophy on the golf swing and I understand everything you say except for one critical part of the swing. Once you have backed into the left side and your right elbow has dropped down in front of your rib with a tremendous amount of lag do you
    a) Just unleash the right arm with the correct 3 way uncocking and pronation pulling your hips through the swing to the finish
    b) Unwind your hips and let them pull the arms through

    c) Is it a marriage of both where they both work together at the same time.

    Eager to know your thoughts

    Cheers Graham from Australia

    • Sorry Graham. I missed this earlier and caught it well after you posted. It’s “c” a marriage of those moves. Fire those hips and fire those arms. Once you’ve made that drop to the waist-high area you can send everything. Thanks for your patience and good luck.


  68. I was able to hit some balls today at the range and record my swing from the side. One thing I’m doing really well now is “pushing my hips” forward to start my swing.

    One thing I’m doing terribly is keeping my setup spine angle. At the top of my swing I have the dreaded reverse spine angle you mention. Your explanation is great but I can’t seem to make my muscles do what you are explaining.

    Any other tips or drills to maintain that spine angle and keep my head/weight over the right foot?

  69. Good morning Herman,
    Wanted to let you know your web site is great. Been looking for a simple explaination of the weight shift and dropping the club in the slot during the swing for years. Have just made the changes in my swing and hit the irons much better but still coming over the top or swinging from the outside with the driver. Any suggestion or drill would be appreciated!
    Thank you in advance.
    Best to you!

  70. Thanks so much for these great easy to understand video’s…
    i went and played today, and using your technique, I hit more pure shots then I have ever hit.. I know I should’ve hit some balls first, but i did 2 days of slow motion practicing, to get the feel of it…took some smooth practice swings to feel it before the ball strike and it was so nice.. Thanks again!!! I didn’t DUCK hook a single shot, and thats been killing me lately.. I also noticed that i was able to swing much harder when i wanted too with out being out of sinc and off balance…..Thank you so much!!!!

  71. Hi Herman,

    I wrote you several times how much your videos have completely change my game. But now i’m getting bad hip pain in right hip…I now use the flat wrist and really get my trunk over my right foot in back swing. Have you ever had people get hip pain from changing swings? Its becoming debilitating?

    • Not exactly the way you describe it, but anytime you create new movement patterns you’re probably going to stretch, strain, wake-up some things you have not been using. It can sometimes be overuse as players begin increasing the practice volume while making changes. I’m not a doctor but I’d recommend getting it checked out. Don’t want to alarm you but, I’ve seen people discover tumors, worn out joints and all sorts of other malady’s that were hidden or just flared up out of nowhere in situations like this. Hope you get it figured out. – Herman

  72. Herman,

    Thanks for all these great videos. At 55 and after an injury related hiatus from golf I am on a quest to learn how to hit down on a golf ball. I have always been a scooper, but haven’t known how to fix it. I have been working on moving the bottom of my swing forward and one fault I have discovered is a poor weight shift. This video and it’s explanation of the lateral bump to start the downswing was a revelation for me. Starting the downswing with the hips clearing was creating an over the top move for me. However even when incorporation this move into my downswing I am still having trouble getting enough weight on my front side. I finish the swing up on my right toe, but I still feel like a lot of weight is resting on that side. Any tips/swing thoughts/drills you can suggest for this issue?

    Thanks in advance.

    • If these moves are fairly new for you, then you are probably still clearing more than you realize. Try to keep your left butt cheek pointed at target as you “back into” the target. Do this in slow motion a few times while keeping your chest looking away from target and pumping your arms straight down to “stab” your right thigh with the butt of the club. Also make sure your right instep is really glued to the ground in backswing so you can push off that instep laterally at start of downswing. Then step up and play a shot. Keep repeating ’til you get it. Good luck. – Herman

  73. Hi Herman

    1. on the backswing I find that if I sway laterally a little while turning the hip and upper body it is a lot more comfortable and natural than just rotating around the hip. If on the downswing I can move the body back laterally and at the same time turn do I still loose some distance.
    2. on the downswing I do start with the lateral movement you talk about while clearing the hip and turning the body. I think I dip the whole body an inch or two in the process before rising and ending completely on the left leg.
    You combine 1 and 2 and it is like dancing…waltz.
    Your comment or advice is greatly appreciated. I hit a pretty straight ball but am looking for ways and means to increase distance. My drive is about 240 yds but I think I should be able to do 270 with better technique. Thanks


  74. Exceptional video. Your comment about the electric fence was exactly the analogy I needed to stop the falling back that has been killing me. Video’d myself my iPad and saw how this was such a problem for me. Also noticed I was rolling my right foot to the right on the backswing which was a great “tell” for me. Being out of position on top made everything else futile. Now that I’m in proper position and doing the later al bump/squat, everything else is working!

  75. Been working on the lateral move towards target before clearing the hips. At first it felt really awkward and impossible. But after just doing it for a week or so i’m killing it. There is so much more power with the shift to left first as arm drops into slot, then when you turn your hips the power is amazing!

  76. Hi Herman,
    I am still working on the video lesson you gave me, a lifetime of early release is hard to change, but getting there slowly, (now 5 good shots out of 10 instead of 1 or 2). The bump move works for me with a push off my braced right leg, but how dynamic should this move be, is it a relatively slow move followed by clearing and releasing, or is it quite a dynamic move in itself. My bad shots feel like I have no room to release the club so I wonder if i am too deliberate with the bump i am overdoing it and throwing my timing out. I will get back to you with a video after i have worked this out. Thanks great instruction.

    • Hey Jim,
      The bump move is not too dynamic, or else as you say, it will throw off timing and may tilt your spine rapidly away from target. Try to feel a slight squat as if pressing the feet into the ground as both knees and ankles roll targetward to coincide with the hip bump. This will also keep your right hip from spinning into the path of your arms and blocking your attempt to tuck right elbow. You are momentarily trying to get lower with this move. Sometimes an abrupt hip bump with nothing else moving will cause the left side to climb up too rapidly and open up anyway which may cause more casting. Stay closed and squat/shift to give the arms time to “lag down the wall.” Then unload everything from the waist-high position prior to impact. Good luck. – Herman

  77. Hi herman,
    I am still working on a video lesson from you, a lifetime of early release is hard to change! but I am slowly getting there, (now 5 good shots out of 10 instead of 1 or 2).
    The bumb move is the key for me with a push of my brright foot

  78. Hey Herman,

    Been a while since I jumped in here and still working on your lessons. One question. At the apex of the back swing, is your right knee fully extended and locked or slightly bent?

  79. Herman, Your descriptions of the correct moves and sensations are excellent.. I am continuing to work on all of the critical moves… my biggest challenge is that my upper torso moves targetward (left) at the top of my swing (overswinging). This has been very difficult for me to correct – will try your tip on keeping “outer” pressure on the shaft going back. Tried it out in slo-mo and it keeps the left arm very straight and discourages overswing.. Will try it tonight.

  80. Herman,

    I love your videos and also Masters videos w/ commentary. I have a problem with my swing, it seems as if I do bump the hips and shift but at impact or right after my left foot seems to come off the ground and I know this wouldn’t happen if a majority of my weight was on it. What do you reccomend to combat this flaw? An instructor told me that I should focus on the knees, the front one moving back and rear moving towards the target.

    • Casey, your assessment is likely correct that you don’t have enough weight moving to that foot. Sometimes a really fast hip turn will pull the foot back up. Try working a little more on a lateral shift of the knees, not so much having the left knee snap back, but having it move targetward.

  81. This is one of the things something I’ve struggled with since I started golf (other than a strong grip). I’ve tried to incorporate the “bump” into my down-swing and just find it throws off my timing. Is it just a case of doing half swings with lofted club and build up to the longer irons? I have heard that you feel the weight roll to the outside of your left foot or the Ben Hogan analogy where your left butt cheek reconnects with a imaginary pain of glass behind you which gives you room for your arms to fall into the slot.

    Any drills that would work?

  82. Really liked your video on weight shift, especially re the downswing. I have a tendency, at times, to hook the ball, much of which is caused by not getting back to my front foot. Like the idea of keeping my back to the target and making a small “bump” left, before turning the hips and completing the swing. Reminds me of the swing of Lorena Ochoa. Anxious to get to the range and try this out. Many thanks.


  83. Your videos are the best teaching aids I’ve seen. They have made an immediate positive difference to my ball striking. Keep up the good work Herman and hope to see more from you soon.

  84. I would like to be sure I understand what u said about starting the down swing, “once u get to the top u keep your back to the target while u complete your lateral shift or bump and then turn your hips”.

    Thanks you


    • Yes … unless you have the flexibility of a Tour Player, most golfers will see the shoulders and arms start going out over the top if they start a downswing by trying to clear the hips first. You need that momentary bump with your back to the target to give the arms time to drop in the slot.

  85. Weight transfer has always been a problem for me despite the fact that I am a advanced golfer, because I have watched so many different videos on it and was confused on what to do and how to do it. By watching your video I now konw what to do and it all makes sense to me so i would just like to thank you very much for the help and advice.

  86. I am a collegiate golfer and have taken countless lessons for 10 years and I have searched the internet all over to find someone who teaches the same fundamentals I was taught and I have finally found the person. Everything about this video is what I focus in my golf swing. So many people think the hips start the downswing but the downswing is started by the right side pushing forward and transitioning the weight to the left side before the body rotates. The arms will follow the body and keep the club on plane throughout the entire swing. I love your philosophy Herman.

    • Thanks, Paul. Your statement was well-crafted. I agree and especially when dealing with amateur players who may be less physically gifted or talented than a competitive player like yourself.

  87. Herman, what a great set of videos/ tips. You have managed to clarify some of the mysteries of this great game in a very uncomplicated and clear fashion. Your discussion on the lateral shift has helped me a lot. Now all I need to do is convince my good wife that I need to spend more time at the course.

  88. Great video….I am a 10 handicap but in video taping my swing I have a tendency to “dive” into the ball on my trasition instead of moving laterally. This “dive” may be the reason in also “chicken wing” my left arm to stay somewhat on plane. Moving more laterally on transition may keep my arms back and drop them more on the inside and cure the “dive” & “chicken wing”. Your thoughts?

    • You have the right idea here. Generally the diving move you refer to also includes tilting your upper body and head toward the target. The shift we discuss in this article and video keep the spine tilted away from target just as it was at address. This makes it easier to get in the slot on plane, maintain lag and then extend through the shot at impact as your left side posts up and clears. Thanks for following and commenting. Good luck in your training. – Herman

  89. I think I have watched all of your videos now and really appreciate your help. This video seems to be the most helpful, but no matter how hard I try the latteral move, i feel like my club seems to fly over the top at the bottom of my swing, resulting in pulls or blocks and all of my shots hitting towards the heel of my club. Help please.

    • Louis, thanks for watching and commenting. This is tough to diagnose without seeing what you’re doing. If we can assume you get the lateral shift and the arm drop, then it sounds like your hands may be the culprit. My shanking video covers some details about how the wrists can incorrectly scoop outwards and cause a heel shot and some of these perplexing flight patterns. If your shots are a little higher than average, it’s a good bet this is happening. My prescription would be the “lateral shift” with simultaneous arm drop so right elbow gets down into right hip followed by turning the back of the left hand down. When you turn the hand down there must also be some “ulnar deviation” or “downward uncocking” in the wrist. See my last Youtube video series on distance and it covers some of this also. Get it here: http://www.hermanwilliamsgolf.com/impact-finish-golf-swing-distance/
      Good luck. – Herman

  90. Hi Herman
    First time I have looked at your site….wow, I am impressed. You talk my kind of language….being downunder (Australia)
    I have always had issues with reverse pivot particularly on drives. This video explains a lot and hopefully I wont end up on the back foot again.
    Need to practice but what u say makes sense.
    Thanks a lot

  91. Pingback: Speed Power & Distance in Golf Part 2: Transition to Downswing

    • Keep it down IF you are flexible enough to get a tension free 90 degree backswing turn in the shoulders without lifting left foot. Otherwise allow the backswing turn to pull the heel up as necessary. I like the left heel planted just because it is less complicated for most people to transition into downswing. Most golfers I’ve taught who lift it don’t normally replant the left heel quickly enough coming down and often replant it in a new location which leads to spinning out of the shot and coming over the top. Thanks for commenting and good luck with your game. – Herman

  92. Hello, Mr Williams I live in Costa Rica, and thanks to you, my handicap low in 10!!! You have a natural way of explaining the golf “issues” better than any other professional, again thank you very much

  93. Hi Herman,

    Highly enjoyed watching all of your videos. You have a natural way of explaining the golf swing. Your videos have helped me gain a true detailed understanding of the golf swing. Something that I have been searching for the last 20 years.

    I have gained 20 yards off my shots. For a 14 handicap, this is exciting!

    Thank you!

  94. Herm, does this mean that posting up as fast as I can is a mistake? Should the arms come down first or should I try and maintain my back to the target before coming down

    • Posting up fast is fine as long as it includes the lateral component of the move – the left hip is shifted targetward then it gets up and back out of the way. Arms drop as lateral bump is underway – your back is to target momentarily as this happens. The more flexible you are the more you can get away with pure hip clearing and “posting up” since you will naturally be able to keep your chest closed as hips clear. Most golfers aren’t flexible enough to do that. Great questions … thanks.

  95. Thank you Herman. It comports with your lessons. I need to put the time in to develop the right habits.

  96. Great video Herman. I used to have a tendency to slide to my back foot rather than pivoting, so this is a great reminder.