The Reverse Weight Shift

Hanging back on your hind-leg through impact side is a common swing fault for amateur golfers. This position is indicative of a classic reverse weight shift. This position is also called the “reverse C” finish. If you’re falling backwards after a shot, or notice your body weight on your hind leg after a shot (which is much more common than you may think), you suffer from this swing fault. A common ball flight and trajectory with this fault is a slice that lacks power and distance. How does it happen?

Jack nickalus reverse c swingWell… before I go into more detail about this, there is something you have to understand about the backswing. Technically there are two parts to the backswing, in the first part of the backswing, the hips slide laterally away from the target and body weight should move onto your hind leg. In the second part, your hips turn back towards the target, and coil, as your weight begins to shift forward to complete the backswing.

I also want to be clear about one thing, a reverse C position isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you shift your weight properly. Some of the best players in the world played with a reverse C – for example, Jack Nicklaus. But a reverse c is a good sign of potential weight shift problems. The most common causes being either poor ball position or too much lateral motion with the hips on the backswing.

The problem is; if you incorrectly shift your weight on the backswing, you cannot recover in time to make solid contact with the ball. You’re only recourse to try and make decent contact is to release your wrists early in the downswing (obviously resulting in a lack of power). Basically, a poor weight shift brings nothing but a poor swing, and poor contact.

The next time you’re looking for a good laugh, find a player who has this swing fault on the range; get them to perform a swing on only their lead leg (just tell them this drill will help fix it – because it will). There’s only two outcomes, one, they don’t perform a reverse c, two, they fall down. Try not to laugh too hard guys…


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  1. Hi Erik, thanks for your opinion. I believe you miss-read my post. This is what I wrote:

    “Hanging back on your hind-leg through impact side is a common swing fault for amateur golfers. This position is indicative of a classic reverse weight shift. This position is also called the “reverse C” finish.”

    Hanging back on your hind-leg after impact is indicative of a reverse-weight shift. Key word here “indicative”. Commonly, when someone performs a reverse weight shift, they are also performing a reverse C.

  2. I had a moderate length comment typed but the comment form here only allows for 1000 characters, so instead we get this shorter version.

    A reverse weight shift is not the same as hanging back and a person who does either will NOT look like the reverse C as the reverse C is a weight forward position, by definition.

    Definitions matter.

    Hanging Back = weight back on downswing. Most golfers do this.

    Reverse Weight Shift (or reverse pivot) = weight forward on backswing, weight back on downswing. Very few golfers actually do this.

    Reverse C – weight forward, hips forward, spine extended, right knee sagging (flexed).

    Definitions matter. A proper golf swing has the hips forward through impact, it has the spine extending through impact… by equating the reverse C or saying it’s “indicative” of a lousy weight shift is doing a dis-service to those who will read this.

  3. hey i have a questioin. u said that people who finish on their back leg have their shot end up in a slice. so what does it mean when it results in a hook, and i mean a bad hook too

  4. Hey Shaun, thanks for the comment. If you’re weight finishes on the back leg and you suffer from a hook, you’re wrists are likely the culprit. When put into this position your wrists will have to be over-active to catch up and try and square the clubface. It sounds as though, your wrists are over-compensating. I’d suggest you fix your weight shift before worrying about your wrist release. Once the weight-shift is under control, and if you’re still hooking, work on reducing your wrist release through impact.

    I hope that helps.

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