Monday, December 11, 2017

Some Thoughts on Hip and Pelvic Movements in the Downswing

I was watching some golf videos and I stumbled across this video from George Gankas:

Go to the 3:00 minute mark and I think George has a great way of describing how the trail leg and hip action should move. This is where you see a lot of the sliding of the pelvis and thus thrusting of the pelvis (i.e. goat humping/early extension) occur. The golfer uses the trail leg in a motion to push their lower body in a linear fasion instead of using their lead leg/lead hip to PULL the lower body in a rotational fashion.

I started to see this in my own swing and have noticed something that I had not seen before.

Here I have drawn a blue line on my left knee at the top of my swing (p4)

And here’s the same line at p5 (left arm parallel to the ground). Notice how the left knee has only slightly moved off that blue line.

Now, let's compare that to Dustin Johnson.

And let’s compare that to Moe Norman, known for sliding his body quite a bit in the golf swing.

One of the things Moe said was ‘you gotta sit in your golf swing or you can’t do it.’ And that pulling and rotating of the left hip simulates a sitting motion.

And here’s Sam Snead:

Of course, Moe is a little past P5 due to his short backswing and Snead is just before P5 due to the camera speed. But, the picture shows a major difference in their hip, femur and pelvic motions in transition.

This pulling back motion from the lead leg and hip prevents the right leg and right hip from internally rotating and thus the linear ‘push off’ described in George’s video does not occur. That linear push off forces the arms to pull down and that causes the shaft to get a little too steep.

In my case, that not only causes some stop and go of the pivot motion, but I react to it by altering my neck tilts as my neck tilts downward in the downswing considerably. Take a look at the brim of my hat in the downswing.

In my case, that not only causes some stop and go of the pivot motion, but I react to it by altering my neck tilts as my neck tilts downward in the downswing considerably. Take a look at the brim of my hat in the downswing.

To me, I think it is so critical for golfers to be able to avoid that push off with the rear leg and foot in transition. Some can get away with it, but most cannot. It's an understanding and awareness that the lead leg/lead hip almost moves separately in transition from the rear leg/rear hip. And if well executed, it will mean that the rear leg/rear hip will be propelled into movement by the lead leg/lead hip's rotational movement.  I try to visualize my right leg/right hip being 'frozen' while my left hip and left leg rotate so much that it finally forces my right leg/hip to rotate and move inward.


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Andrew Rice on Delivering Wedge Swings with the Right Amount of Loft

Here's a video from Andrew Rice discussing how golfers that hit the ball too low or too high with their wedges can deliver their wedge swings with the right amount of loft.


Thursday, November 30, 2017

Avoidance Drills Video by George Gankas

Here's a video from George Gankas discussing 'avoidance drills.'

As I have discussed in my Swing Journal posts, I am not a big fan of drills as a whole.  However, I feel the drills that are worth doing are ones that have the golfer take a full backswing.  I feel that the transition is such a critical part of any golf swing and there's nothing that can prepare you to execute your transition move like actually taking a full backswing.

What I like about this video is not only is there a full backswing being made, but George describing how the golfer has to avoid the object and how that often translates to learning more quickly.  I started to implement a few avoidance drills of my own and I'm starting to ingrain new movement patterns more quickly.


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Old Sam Snead Footage

I saw this video a while ago and enjoyed watching it.  I wanted to put this on my Ikkos CopyMe Golf App, but I cannot get Ikkos to work on my Android phone.

And some nice up close footage of Snead's choice lower body action:


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

How to Practice with Lucas Wald

My friend Lucas Wald has made a great series of videos on the golf swing and instructional concepts on his YouTube channel.  Here's one of my favorites...discussing the slow motion swing training.

I use slow motion training with my golf swing practice and I find it vital when it comes to ingraining new movement patterns.

I feel the greatest benefits of the slow motion training is that it allows me to develop my own feel for the movement I am working on.  I'm not a big fan of teachers that teach golfers a feel to start out with.  I think that it's better to utilize slow motion training and allow the golfer to be aware of what they are feeling in order to execute the motion.  If the golfer struggles to develop that feel, then recommending a feel so the golfer can grasp the concept is applicable.

Once I have established the feel, I use that feel simply as a guideline for my upcoming practice sessions.  I then use slow motion practice and the feel(s) I have established to execute the motion consistently.  However, as I continue to use slow motion practice, that conscious thinking of the 'feel' should go away.

I'm always working towards an 'Unconscious Competency' concept in my golf swing.  By consciously thinking about a swing feel, I'm essentially creating a swing thought and all I have done is use 'conscious competency' and I am 'playing golf swing instead of playing golf.'

Years ago I was reading an article where they were discussing how Fred Couples hits a draw or fade on purpose.  According to the article, Couples said that when he was going into his pre-shot routine, he would visualize himself hitting the shot and then he would go up and hit the shot.

I used to think that was completely nonsensical.  I wanted to know if he addressed the ball differently, did he swing more out to the right or to the left, etc. and I chalked it up to 'Freddie being Freddie.'

But after using slow motion practice I started to see what Couples was saying.  It's not about a swing thought or a visual as much as it is sensing the motion you have to make to get the ball to do what you want.

I think this video with Bubba Watson is great.  While it goes into the science of the shot, Bubba explains how he *sensed* what he had to do in order to hit a roundhouse hook with a wedge:

And that's what slow motion training can do if the golfer does it correctly and is diligent practicing it.  It can get the golfer to sense their swing rather than think about a swing feel or a visual.  And they can not only start to ingraining the new movement patterns more quickly, but they can start playing golf instead of playing golf swing and shoot better scores and derive more enjoyment from the game.


Saturday, November 25, 2017

Swing Journal 11.24.17

Some readers requested a DTL view of my latest swing:

I'm still a little steep for my tastes on the downswing, but this is a quality improvement and the release is much more stable.

Normally this clubface would be rotated more closed at this point.

And this was not a toe strike to make the face open up thru impact.

I have started to have some light bulbs turn on with regards to my swing thanks to the lessons from Denny Lucas and Jeff Haas along with the videos from Joe Mayo, Dr. Sasho MacKenzie, Grant Waite and George Gankas.

There are still some things I want to work on.

I tend to bend over and hunch over too much at address.  In order to prevent that I've stood more upright at address.  But that has also caused me to reach for the ball too much.  This is a 5-iron being swung here.  I think the hands should be more under the chin...particularly the right index finger.  I'm reaching a little bit to the ball and that is making it difficult to pivot on the downswing.  Much like Moe Norman who reached for the ball and he dipped and slid on the downswing instead of rotating.  As many know, I'm a huge fan of Moe, but I'm not trying to swing the same mechanics as he had.

We've talked about this numerous times about how the right femur and hip has to more or less 'stay back' and externally rotate while he left femur and left hip will separate and rotate in the other direction.

But prior to that as in the Mayo videos show, you want to lower the pelvis adequately enough before you start rotating. We can lower the pelvis thru left hip flexion in transition.

I will be working on a better sequence to my transition of:

1.  Lowering the pelvis.

2.  Rotating the left hip while the right hip/femur goes into external rotation

I tend to rotate the pelvis before I lower it.  And that causes me to start pushing with the right leg/foot and sliding the pelvis. Therefore, I start to stall out my rotation and the shaft will start to pull down more and thus steepen.

There are some other swing keys I've figured out that I think have been very beneficial to me thus far.  I will see how they progress before I start to discuss them here.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Jon Rahm's Body-Swing Connection with MyTPI

Here's an interesting analysis of Jon Rahm's swing using 3D motion capture from the Titleist Performance Institute: