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The Smallest, Most Important Move in Golf

The Smallest, Most Important Move in Golf
by Dr. T. J. Tomasi
Keiser University College of Golf Senior Faculty and Director of Research

The Smallest Most Important Move in Golf
There are two types of motion that are combined during the downswing, and the timing of the transition from one type of motion (lateral) to the other type (rotational) is the key to solid ball striking. The downswing’s lateral motion begins at the top of the backswing when you transfer pressure from your rear hip joint to your forward hip joint – meanwhile, your hips drop and slide gently towards the target. As soon as the pressure is deposited on your lead side (left side for right-handed players), the rotational motion of your hips can begin. This “sit-down” move assures that the club has time to slot properly, while at the same time, it ratchets up the coil to max.

You’ll often hear the advice to start your downswing with the rotation of your hips – that is incorrect, and it causes a power leak that will force you to cut across the ball. If you make the opposite mistake and are late rotating your hips, as I said above, you push the ball to the right, usually with a cut. To avoid both these golf mistakes swing to the top and pause, then make a conscious effort to sit as you shuttle your hips toward the target – as soon as you feel the pressure hit your front leg and complete the swing.


You have to look closely to see the lateral sit-down, which is why I call it the “smallest, most important move in golf.” Fundamentally, the inside (hips) move the outside (the clubhead), so even though this transition from lateral to rotational is remote from impact, it is none-the-less the cause of impact. During the change in pressure distribution, you must be very quiet. During the pressure transfer (the sit down), your shaft should drop toward the ground. If you fail to sit, the shaft will start back to the ball. To review this, ask your pro to stop the tape to see if the clubshaft is “standing up.” During the change in pressure distribution, you must be very quiet.

I’ve measured the pressure distributions of many expert players, and at this point, they all are in their forward hip joint, the footprint that announces the presence of “the smallest, most important move in golf. From this position, you now have the luxury that every good player has – the luxury of doing nothing.

If you’d like to study with Dr. Tomasi and other PGA Master Professionals, contact The College of Golf today.