The Right-Side Swing

Gary Edwin (pictured) is the originator of the right-side-swing. Notice the “reverse-K” setup with additional weight on the left-side.

I first learned about the right-side swing in 2004-2005. I’m always looking for new ideas about the golf swing. Basically, there isn’t a swing theory I won’t evaluate because you never know where great ideas are going to come from.

My sense is that several swing methodologies may have been based (in part, at least) on Gary Edwin’s approach: Jim Hardy’s one-plane swing and specific elements of Mike Bennett’s and Andy’s Plummer’s stack-and-tilt swing share commonalities.

There are several important advantages to the right-side swing:

  • It’s a very simple movement, so it’s easier for students to pick up. Golfers are able to learn this swing very quickly.
  • Due to its simplicity, a lot less can go wrong with the right-side swing.
  • As fixes or corrections become necessary, they’re easier (and faster) to implement.
  • The right-side swing generates a lot more power than other types of golf swings — and it does so effortlessly. This is due to centrifugal force and bracing.

Briefly, a right-side swing works in the following manner (instructions apply to right-handed golfers):

The left-foot, left-knee, left-hip and left-shoulder remain firmly planted to form a kind of stationary “post” that the right-side of the body rotates around on the backswing and downswing.

Power is generated from centrifugal force. The left arm stays close to your chest as you rotate down and through on the downswing. The right-arm also remains relatively close to your chest, although it’s OK if it disengages at the top of the backswing.

Notice how a figure skater’s rotation speed increases as their arms are pulled in closer to the body — it’s the same concept:

With a right-side swing, you’re not trying to move the clubhead faster — you’re moving your hands and arms faster.

There is also a focus on bracing, a concept that’s recently become popular but which was introduced by Gary Edwin years ago. With a right-side swing, your “core” applies the brakes, so-to-speak, at impact creating additional speed in the hands and arms. This translates into velocity and distance with very little effort.

Ben Hogan used to say that his core muscles felt sore following long practice sessions. This would have been the result of bracing.

Essentially, the right-side swing is a one-plane golf swing without the pain. And I’m not referring to physical pain — I’m talking about the kind of pain Peter Jacobsen describes in Jim Hardy’s, The Plane Truth for Golfers:

I vividly remember the 1985 PGA Championship at the Riviera Country Club, as Jim (Hardy) and I worked to get my club more on-plane. He had suggested a new position at the top for me to try. I proceeded to do exactly what Jim wanted and hit the biggest block, banana slice about 75 yards to the right, into the middle of the tenth fairway.

Needless to say, Jim was excited that I had performed his new, on-plane position perfectly, but also suggested that the day before a major championship wouldn’t be the best time or place to introduce this new move. I proceeded to hit eight or ten more shots close to the same spot in the tenth fairway.

For golf instructors, there is a big benefit to the right-side swing: it actually works. Many of my students have been shocked at the ease with which they are able to implement this type of swing. It’s not unusual to see results in a single lesson.

But what about low-handicap players who’ve invested years in developing and honing a golf swing? Such golfers frequently do not want to make wholesale swing changes. It’s more likely that they’re searching for a particular fix, greater consistency or more distance.

I’ve found that elements of the right-side side swing can be applied to experienced players in a number of ways without making sweeping changes. Added distance appears to be the big benefit for this group, particularly if they’ve been moving off the ball with a two-plane swing. But there are other advantages:

  • A more stable position at impact
  • An easier transition to a one-plane swing
  • A more consistent way to draw / fade the ball

Below are several videos I’ve recorded that demonstrate the right-side swing.

Of course, you can also go directly to the source to learn from the master himself:

— Billy

Here’s an example of PGA Tour winner Rod Pampling’s golf swing. Notice the simplicity: