Knudson on Lateral Movement

George was spot on here… and why I promote having good knee flex in the swing compared to the
stiff legged stick figures we see so many players gravitating towards even out on tour.

By having good flex at address, this helped George feel where he wanted the knees to be moving into through

This is referencing the vertical drop or what students learn here in module #6. The legs are doing the job here
and George really is referring to them as Hogan also discussed how the down swing must be initiated at transition
through the legs.

You can see from the graph behind George how is belt buckle moves this distance from just prior to P3 to PV5.

I’ve felt for awhile that ‘posting up on your left leg’ was one of the biggest detriments to my game over the years. I think there was a lot more active lower body and knee action in the backswing of the legendary players than there is now. I think some people have misinterpreted the idea behind keeping the right heel on the ground thru impact, not quite understanding that with proper lateral movement and having left knee flex, you can keep that right heel down much easier.


Hi Lag,
I recall reading you mentioned Hogans lateral move as a very advanced move in the transition. Is the lateral move somthing that one should conciously try and incorporate or is it a result of something else?

I used to have an extreme lateral move in my swing but it involved the whole body which caused me to cast the club.
I notice Hogan and Knudson move laterally with their body but their head/upper body stays in the same position until after impact.(check out the video below)

hogan actually shifts left laterally during his backswing, is this simply to get him on the left side early so he can just pivot the hips through the shot?

This video shows alot … re=related.

You have to take into account the tempo of the backswing and speed of the club through transition. For instance if you have a quick tempo, there is going to be more lagging of the club through transition. You are best to think of the backswing to downswing transition defined by the torso movement… not the arms, hands, shaft or clubhead. Take a look again at footage from this perspective and you’ll gain a more proper perspective on how the legs initiate and weight transfers.

Are you familiar with VJ Trolio’s Book- “The Final Missing Piece of Ben Hogan’s Secret Puzzle”? That is exactly what the author claims was Ben’s “Secret” and makes a pretty good (and convincing) read actually. Suggesting Hogan finished his lateral shift before anyone else during their swing motion and allowed him to then rotate fast as he could.

In fact, that video you linked is also the MAIN video the author used in the book and is key piece of evidence for his argument. But you are wrong that he moves left while keeping head same position. The camera is shaky but look at his head at start of swing relative to background and compare it that way. You can then clearly see his head ends up more left of where it started.

Mike maves in his ebook secret in the dirt talks about hogan’s “backshift” pivot - where he turns so much down and around his right leg on the “backswing”, that he’s almost (his COG) thrown back left at and through transition. That isn’t to say that all his weight moves left as maves believes that hogan hit off the ball of his right foot.

I’m only on M1 but can already anticipate the ground pressures stuff in future modules!

If getting to the left side was the secret… then why not start there and just leave your weight on your left side? I know there are some theories that suggest such an action. I would however disagree. Ok for wedge shots but not the longer clubs.

Hogan’s move was unique in that his hips clearly moved laterally toward the target through transition, but his hips remained closed while doing so. He used more of a lateral move, diagonal really…to initiate the change in direction of the club. But by saving the rotation of the hips, he was able to use that later in the swing… through impact. Hogan’s hips continued to rotate through the impact arena and beyond. They didn’t stall like most of the pros are doing today.

Most amateurs who experiment with the Hogan slide, end up also turning their hips and end up left too soon, which then leads to a domino effect of sequencing problems. They run out of torso rotation too soon and by going left they often loose spine tilt which then disrupts the open pathway for the arms to travel freely down through and into the slot. So it encourages OTT, steep shaft, and shuts down the clubface minimizing forearm rotation. Basically it’s a disaster, and the reason you see so few success stories using this “secret”.

I find it very difficult to move laterally, keep the hips closed while applying sufficient pressure into the right ankle creating an opposing force for the torso to leverage against to properly rotate with force and acceleration post impact.

If one can do it … great. Show me don’t tell me.

I think Snead’s squat is much more applicable to 99% of the golfers, easy as sitting in a chair and is much less hazardous to implement.

Another thing to consider is the pre and post accident Hogan. The slide move was much more prevalent post accident, and may very well have been a necessary move to accommodate the significant injuries he sustained.

Just some food for thought.

As told by Tom Bertrand…from John Schlee:

Excuse my ignorance, but what is the difference between this lateral move and “sliding”?

think slide or grind…

you can see this or feel this with the activity of the right foot. You could slide the right foot over through the impact arena void of downward pressure, or you could still be pressuring down so that the foot is now grinding, taking up turf and everything with it as it resists the rotation of the torso above it via a cohesive connection throughout the body.

Grind your way to greatness, of slide your game into oblivion. :sunglasses:

Sorry, I wasn’t clear with my previous post. I meant the hips sliding. I have read in golf magazines etc, that the hips shouldn’t slide. So what is the difference between a hip slide and lateral movement of the hip? Is it a question of degree of movement? i.e. a movement restricted between the width of the hips is a lateral movement, but once it is wider than the hips it becomes a slide? I have noticed in my swing that sometimes my hips do move laterally. Usually this is accompanied by what I think of as a push off the back foot. These are often my most powerful (& straightest) drives.

Stance width is going to be a factor. A narrow stance is not going to see as much sliding of anything, but the loss of balance and structure should be considered also.

Proper rotation of the torso through and post impact will take care of most of the issue regarding weight transfer.
Any thought of sliding the hips laterally early in transition should be looked at carefully, as this will cause a premature loss of ground pressures if not implemented properly.

I’ve been training with a single stack pulley weight machine. I attach a rope with a block of wood on the end of it that prevents the hands from slipping off. To set up I set the rope at shoulder height and face away from the the machine, so that it is behind me. I then coil to assume a full stretched backswing position with the rope in my hands behind my body.

I then do reps where I (pull)swing the rope around my body and then back again to my original fully coiled backswing position. My swing is flat and I am developing a rotary style similar to a baseball swing. I do not use the machine to develop a pull down action using my weight.

As you add weight, you quickly learn that your body does everything and your arms are just along for the ride. To use it properly, you do not want to aim the swing plane downward very much, but more level and across, again, like baseball. The reason for this is that in a CF swing, gravity plays a roll in lowering the arms as the body’s shoulders rotate, pulling the rope, in a more level action. Gravity doesn’t work to drop the arms during the training on the machine, but it will when you are hitting balls using the same action. So, don’t swing downward too much with the weights.

In my development, using the machine didn’t initially help my ballstriking even though I was getting fast with my rotation. I had to discover the right path that I fired my right shoulder on. I used my right shoulder. I won’t comment on other ways. Things clicked when I narrowed my rotational circle. I’d think of rotatiing my right shoulder around and into my left rib cage. It was the tightening up of the rotational circle that causes the arms to be thrown “out” at the ball. The hands are also coming in from a higher level because when they are thrown outward they are high and dropping quickly from a gravitational and centrifical force at the same time.

Once you develop the shoulder move hitting balls, then you can train to fire it using the weight machine. Hogan, Knudson and others learned the hard way by hitting millions of golf balls. Hitting balls trained their rotational muscles. Without the trained muscles, you can’t rotate like them. You can read all the blogs you want and look at hundreds of videos.

My advice is to train the body for the specific movements that you think are necessary for the action you seek to perfect.

When Knudson said “lateral shift”, he meant a rotation that shifted him to his left side.

I like that

I’m sure it would help us to see a video of you doing your pulley drill… or maybe a few photos?

I’ll work on getting pictures, but they are common in every gym, although many are double stacked with two sets of weights. You see guys doing tricep pulldowns or seated rows, and even curls on them, and there are several attachments you can use depending on what exercise that you do. My machine is made by “Hoist”–google their website.

Most people who use it for golf don’t use it correctly; they use it to pull down from thier side without the depth you get from a full coil. When loaded and fully coiled, it stretches the hell out of you. I can do reps with very heavy weights(100 lb stack) since I have been doing it for a couple of years, although I train lighter and more for endurance on a day to day basis. I only weigh 165, so it’s difficult to go much heavier at my weight.

I also do takeaway backswing training at lighter weights with a different attachment and set lower to duplicate the backswing. That’s all geared for endurance (light weights) as the first thing that tires on amateur golfers is their ability to reach the proper backswing position once they get slightly fatigued.

This weight training has given me unbelievable flexability for my age and strength for my age and size. I am 5’10–165 and 56 years old. I was a life long soccer player who quit at 40 to take up golf, but I understood that I needed to quickly develop golf muscles in my back and core–obliques. I did not have strong hands and forearms but had good legs and hips. I was too old and needed to find shortcuts. I first bought a golf weighted swing machine–website-S.A.M.E.–check it out, but came to the conclusion that it was designed for more of a Bubba Watson swing–with high hands and lots of pull down. For the life of me, I just couldn’t hit a ball if I raised my arms above my shoulders. Maybe had I played that way as a kid, but taking the game up late made me rely on my baseball memory–which was a body swing-around, not up and down.

Once I figured out how to use the pulleys effectively, I quit using the $3500 custom golf machine.

I was browsing this site and looked at the “above” photos of Moe Norman as he rotated from the top of his backswing and into impact. The whole body turned simultaneously with his arms dropping via gravity. When using the pulley machine with enough weight on it, it would be impossible for your arms to move independently of the body. You would have to move the weights exactly like the way Moe Norman looked in those photos.

I train in my own gym, in private, but over the winter I’m in Naples Florida and use a public gym. As you know, that is a big golf community. Many golfers have watched me train and have asked to try what i’m doing, yet none have been able to do what I do. They can’t even get close to the starting position I use and if they can get close, they immediately use their arms to pull the weights and can’t do much more than 30-40 lbs. They’re shocked to see me do fast effortless reps with 80 pounds and higher. They all think that stretching is the answer, but they don’t have a clue. It is muscular training that enables you to reach the correct positions without fatigue and it is training that gives you flexability. You can stretch your waist and back day and night and still not make a full shoulder turn without the muscular development to handle the movement.

Anyway, sorry for the long winded story. I have always liked George Knudson’s swing. Maybe Lag can explain how he drags his back foot forward 2 feet or more as he swings through the ball? Is that for real, or just an affectation? Is it due to his wide stance? Why a Draw stance? Moe Norman keeps his feet planted and Knudson steps right through the door! Go figure.

Some thoughts on George I posted on SITD, his book and teaching.

Great post. I have some catching up to do on that thread.

Thanks Lag for the post!

I am truly glad you are teaching the way you do and not doing band aid quick fix… Very few golfers in the whole golfing society are willing to take the time to truly learn a proper golf swing. Either because its to much work, not enough time, comfortable at where they are at, dealing with the frustrations of change, or just dont care.

I do really believe that most golfers think that their handicap will go down quite quickly while going thru a swing change. They might accept a higher score from their norm for a couple of weekends, but after that if they see no improvement, they will revert back to their old habits and maybe in another month go get another lesson for another quick change, and the cycle never ends and they are still left with a poor swing. I have witness this many times with my golfing buddies.

For example, one buddy went in to get a lesson. Basically he was coming over the top, it was pretty severe. I could of told him that! But anyways, the teacher was trying to get him to swing more inside out. After he was done, instructor gave him a few drills to work on to help lesson his OTT swing. Long story short, he ended up struggling to make ball contact coming from the inside and slowly seeped back to his old habit. He is a mid 80’s shooter, and makes his OTT swing work for him for the most part. I mentioned to him a few times why havent u been swinging like the teacher taught you? He said, its too difficult and plus i can shoot a better score with my old swing. Its mentality like these that holds these folks back.

A total overhaul swing change is not an overnight deal. It requires great dedication and the ups and downs that goes with it. Just the way it is. I like how John teaches. He knit picks til you get it right and then some. Most PGA teachers know that the average golfer wants instant improvement out of a lesson given at the time. So as the demand of this type of approach increases, PGA teachers have no choice really but to band-aid a swing to the overall golfing community. Alot of golfers like teachers that can work with what they have without much swing overhaul. Its less work for them to do and it might help their score.

How many hack golfers would u think will come back to John for more lessons, if the first lesson given by John was to beat a bag for hours? With basically no instruction of the entire swing or a quick fix? My guess is not many…John could show them, but their bodies are not conditioned to handle that type of swing yet and they will bitch and moan how its not working for them and eventually move on.

There is really a huge spectrum of golfers now. John reaches out to that 1% nitch willing to learn the ways of the greats! I for one love the smaller community we have here. It really shows how dedicated ABS students are.

I hope John sticks around for a great while! We all have a ton to learn! :smiley: