Swinging Up with Both Arms and The Bump

Thu, 06/06/2013 - 14:00 -- Don Trahan

The bump is what starts the transition and keeps you swinging down the proper line. Without it, you would be forced to come over the top. I got an email from a gentleman named Pondeli Apessos who thinks that the bump causes him to mishit the ball.

The thing you have to remember with the bump is that it will only take you where you're aligned. If you're aimed out to the right, the bump will lead you in that direction.

When I use the bump to start the downswing, sometimes I go straight, but not far compared to my other playing partners. They think I am crazy to stay with this system, but it is easier on my body. I have been tinkering with your suggestion on secret # 4 of swinging up with the right arm. I seem to get better results. Straighter and longer. Could your suggestion of starting the swing with the bump be impeding us all? Please comment.


First, I'm glad that Pondeli is sticking with the swing because it's easier on his body. That's the whole idea behind the Peak Performance Golf Swing. It's meant to be a body friendly, pain free golf swing. I always like to mention what Dr. Ned Armstrong once told me. He said that God gave human beings tension, stress, and strain as a prelude to pain. If you get pain, you're using the wrong swing.

One arm is not more dominant than the other. Both arms actually have to work together. If two or more things are involved in the movement of any object, they must be equal. If they're not equal, the one doing less than the other will put that system into a condition called drag. In physics, drag is a negative effect so you must have both arms work together in harmony. It's all about equality. So, when you swing up, you should actually think about both arms swinging up, not just the right.

No advice that I offer should impede your progress in swinging a golf club. I will say that you have got to be in the right positions because if you're misaligned, the bump will only further magnify your bad alignment and you'll miss your target. The same can be said for other parts of your setup and swing. Get in the right positions, and you shouldn't have any problem hitting the ball straighter and most likely longer.

Keep it vertical!

The Surge

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Walburghian's picture

Submitted by Walburghian on

Serge, I have always had problems with the physical aspect of the "Bump", I understand the concept. Being brought up on the back of the Johnny Miller swing I have always put too much effort in "thrusting with the hips" to commence the Downswing. One advantage I got from changing to the PPS was it cut down on my movement, I was more stable and thus more consistent. I found that what worked for me was to "sit into my right leg" to start the Forward Upswing. With my previous history, the weight does transfer to the right side but after I have hit it. It may be just a mental image issue for me but I find this works. Also, I ensure that my right wrist position is maintained by coming straight down, as in your analogy of "skipping stones".

Jamesrzink's picture

Submitted by Jamesrzink on

After trying your swing and then trying another swing - I always came back to your swing - but didn't really get it until last week when you did a video and in the video unrelated to what i'm ready to tell you - you mentioned "you must straighten the right arm at impact" - I don't remember you ever stating that in any of your videos - I went to the range - set up - knees wide, bumped, took a swing and on the down swing "straightened the right arm at impact" - That was it - I finally got it - I had been holding on at impact due to your message that the wrist don't do anything - i am killing it and they are going straight - you may want to do a video with that message in mind since a lot of golfers would consider that casting ( and it isn't ) can't wait to get back to the golf course - Z Columbus OH

NeilofOZ's picture

Submitted by NeilofOZ on

Jim, totally concur with your statement, being a dominant left hand hitter for many years, I tended to keep the right hand passive so I wouldn't cast when I came across PPGS. Since late last year, I now just "let it rip" with the right after dropping/pulling into the slot and what a difference. This is why you need "one on one" coaching as interpretation of the english word can mean many things to many people.

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

Wow, you had a lot to say there! I am sure I could listen to it again a couple of more times and glean additional thoughts. One key thought I 'heard' was that we need to have equal participation with each hand while swinging. Additionally was the point of how easy it is to start down with the upper body rotation and how that puts us in the out and over position verses starting from the top with the lateral bump and how that gets us in the ideal position from the inside.
Though he is much more rotational,they were showing Freddy Couples and emphasizing how his down swing begins with no apparent effort but just dropping into that ideal position in the slot. That is where many of us get into trouble because we start down with the back shoulder. I am always working on having a soft tempo in transition that let's my lower body take the lead as gravity takes the club straight down those first few inches in transition. Less turn, less tension and patience. Easier said than done.

enzopastrami@gmail.com's picture

Submitted by enzopastrami@gm... on

I have not used this site for quite a while.
I am able to post a comment.
How do I see the comments that others have made?

Brady's picture

Submitted by Brady on

There are many different ways. You can search through the blog archives or you can use the search tool. For threads you have posted in you can use the tracking function inside your user account to track follow up posts to pieces of content that you have previously commented on. Click "My Account" in the menu.

manningc@ihug.com.au's picture

Submitted by manningc@ihug.com.au on

Watching the bump video has given me a new idea of why my shots often go right. I align myself properly on the practice tee and some shots are straight the rest right. Thinking about the bump in the shower, I realized I am turning my hips as you demonstrated. I am looking forward to my next practice and hoping this is the solution. The pro's at my club teach the rotational swing and I hesitate to have a lesson so I love all your videos.
Thanks Surge.

Russty Kiwi's picture

Submitted by Russty Kiwi on

The bump can be easily over done, if you have a rotational past. One thing I discovered a while back, has tightened up my bump action, and stopped too much hip rotation. I was shifting my weight to the outside of my back hip & foot at the top of the backswing, which made for a sloppy & inconsistant bump. I now keep my weight on the inside of my hip & over the arch of the back foot. This helps to keep the bump tight ,straight back & forward & stops over rotaion. This may not be a problem for you, but has helped me a lot.

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

Yes Russty, less is more isn't it. Keeping things tight or 'neat' as I say with less rotation and shifting yields better results. Hoping you're still getting some golf in down under in spite of cooler days there.

Russty Kiwi's picture

Submitted by Russty Kiwi on

No golf for a while for me. The horse & I had a disagreement, & I came off second best. End result was a broken ankle & damaged knee. Hope to be back in action some time in July. Never did like horses

Robert Fleck's picture

Submitted by Robert Fleck on

Sorry to hear that! I worked as a stable hand for a year back in my teens. I've been bit, kicked, stepped on, and mounted by horses but fortunately never seriously injured. Though I learned the hard way about not wearing steel-toed boots around them. Had to cut my boot off my foot when a horse stomped on me and bent the steel toe down onto the top joints of my toes.

Russty Kiwi's picture

Submitted by Russty Kiwi on

I am willing to bet that everyone who has worked with horses has taken some knocks & close calls some time or other. I used to ride as a teen , like you, on the farm. Used to do stock work & droving some times. There was no other mends of transport, other than walking ,back then, until motorbikes came along. Broke my leg back then, on a horse, but have had a few falls off bikes as well, so Im not going back to bikes either.
My wifes family have always breed 1/4 horses, so we have always had some around home. I dont ride horses any more but still getting banged up. Must be getting to slow nowdays beacuse I still have to duck & dive around cattle & sheep from time to time. Early retirement would best for me so I can focus on my golf more, but no one else can afford it, so I'll have to keep working. Just my luck to have all this time off, but I cant play golf.

Dragonhead's picture

Submitted by Dragonhead on

Russty Kiwi,
What a bummer! Sorry to hear that you are out of action due to disagreeing with a horse! Hope it heals quickly and you are soon able to start swinging again in the near future.
Hadn't seen this until Sunday afternoon our time. You gave the tip above some time ago about the weight on the inside of the rear hip etc. That may be what I needed on our last outing. Too much lower body action and trying to skin the wee white pill,ie, swinging too darned quickly in the FUS~! Will check it out again. Thanks for keeping the Surge nation in mind. are the ankle and injured knee on the same leg? If you are in plaster? Plaster technique is one skill I have never forgotten from my early days ; - ) If you can stand up you can practice your putting and chipping maybe. Get well soon mate. DH

Russty Kiwi's picture

Submitted by Russty Kiwi on

Yes mate, have done both on one leg & plaster.Doctor talked about a moon boot, but it turns out I cant put any weight on it, so no practice for me,for a while. Might be a good time to review Surges videos & study the mental side of the game a bit more. I'm sure it will all add up one day, out on the hallowed turf .

Dragonhead's picture

Submitted by Dragonhead on

My horse riding experience was as a young 'un riding a Clydesdale without a saddle in south-west Scotland on an uncle's farm. My short legs were almost straight out as I hung onto it's mane. I knew all about WIDE KNEES long before I knew about PPGS! hahaha. My only injury on a four legged beastie was being bounced off a donkey, one of four on a seaside beach and being kicked in the head~!!! Explains a lot eh? hahaha.
Non-weight bearing plasters are no fun at all. Just take it easy mate and get back in good shape when you can.
Coincidently I sat with the PPGS Manual and did some reading this very afternoon. Found something almost immediately. How many of us actually go back and read the manual??? I will make a regular habit of it in future. Time spent on the mental and tactical aspects of the game are well worth the effort. Don't overdo it and rush back. I know someone who is guilty of such naughtyness ; - (
Wonder who ; - ) DH

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

Sorry to hear about your ankle and knee Russty. We grew up with horses too. Though I often cared for and fed our three horses I didn't ride very often. Had one occasion when I didn't cinch the strap on the saddle tight enough when about 13 years old and out for a ride. At full gallop the saddle started sliding sideways and I ended up biting the dust (yes real desert dust here in the old west).
Several jockey's in my family including Dad and an Uncle that won the 1933 Kentucky Derby aboard Brokers Tip #16. He won over 1,600 times on over 9,000 mounts back in the 30's, 40's and 50's. My Dad only rode for 3 years as he was drafted to the Korean War and got too big. My Uncle Don was only 5 foot and maybe 90 pounds soaking wet.

Here's some amazing rare footage from you tube of the Derby win. It was controversial as they literally fought each other down the stretch. Pay close attention from about the 1:07 point to the finish. It's wild! You will especially the other rider strike Don with his whip as they cross the line at the 1:20 mark.


Russty Kiwi's picture

Submitted by Russty Kiwi on

Thanks Robert
It was a bit rough ,at ,times, back in the teens, but they were good times all the same. Thats about the same time I discoverd tobaco & alcahol. I wonder if thats where it all went wrong with horses

larogs's picture

Submitted by larogs on

Welcome back. Looks like heart surgery can't keep an ole pro down for long. You look great. Will you discuss the differences between PPGS swing and the Moe Norman single plane swing? Thanks. Larogs