The Difference Between Rotating and Spinning

The Difference Between Rotating and Spinning
by Dr. T. J. Tomasi, Keiser University College of Golf Senior Faculty and Director of Research

TJ Tomasi

Many times in golf, what you think you’re doing during your swing and what you’re actually doing are two entirely different matters.

Nowhere is this more evident than when you try your best to rotate your hips during the downswing, but end up spinning them instead.

The difference between rotating as you should and spinning (as you shouldn’t) is determined by which hip you have your weight in as your clubhead starts back to the ball.

If you’re a spinner, your weight stays in your trail hip joint during your downswing. This brings your club out and around, producing pulls and shots off the heel of your clubface (weak slices).

When you shift your weight correctly to start your downswing, you’ll be using your lead hip joint as the pivot point for your swing back to the ball – and your arms will start downward before going forward.

This dropping down, or slotting of the club, allows you to come to impact with an inside-to-square clubhead path. Here’s a simple drill to help you experience the hip switch that should start your downswing: Practice swinging into your finish and posing, then tapping your back toe.

If you’ve left your weight on your back foot, you won’t be able to do it.

To groove the timing of the shift here’s another drill:

Tee up a ball using an eight iron and take your regular stance. Then slide your lead foot toward your back foot until it is only four or five inches away.

As you do this allow the clubhead to reposition behind the ball slightly inside your intended line of flight. This is your new starting position for the drill which is executed as follows.

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Start your backswing and as your arms approach hip height, step forward and plant your left foot in its original position while you complete your backswing.

This action is similar to the two way change of direction which is apparent in a baseball swing, where the lower body moves forward while the upper body is still rotating away from the ball.

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Hitting the ball by stepping into it will seem awkward at first and you may lose your balance, but you’ll get the knack of it through repetition.

Leaving the clubhead behind you while you shift gives most golfers the uncomfortable feeling that they will be late for impact. But in this counter-intuitive game, you must feel late to be on time.

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