Friday, January 30, 2009

ClubCaster Web site

Came across an interesting Web site today at

It's a golfer who casts the club and is trying everything he can to figure out why he does it and how he can solve it. I just recently looked at his FAQ's.

What really causes casting?

I'm not sure. That's what I'm trying to find out. Conventional wisdom is that it is caused by poor weight shift, but I don't buy it. Proper weight shift may help retain clubhead lag, but I don't think it creates it. See the Jack Nicklaus page of this website for evidence of that. My bet is that if you were to take weight shift completely out of the equation by cementing the lower body into a barrel, that an accomplished golfer would still create clubhead lag, and the average golfer would still cast the club.

I think he's wrong. And unfortunately, he's been taught this way by too many instructors and bad golf instruction articles. All of that causes confusion. And it's like Bobby Clampett talks about in 'The Impact Zone' book, they'll make for a pretty looking golf swing (which ClubCaster has), but not an effective golf swing.

I took a couple of lessons from Jimmy Ballard about 12 years ago and he's known for his big move off the ball and even I don't think of Ballard's move as really a weight shift, just more a lateral movement of the body with the weight staying in about the same place it was at address.

And I doubt that if you were able to cement the lower body in a barrel that the accomplished golfer wouldn't cast. There may still be some who don't, but then the impact position would be accompanied by a chicken winged lead arm at about impact. But most accomplished golfers would be forced to cast if they couldn't move and rotate that lower body.

If you want to improve, why don't you focus on the short game? Afterall, that's the quickest way to take strokes off your game.

Because I want to learn how to quit casting the club first, okay? Gosh!

Actually, in my opinion that's a GREAT way to get rid of your casting of the club. Work on chip shots and pitch shots and get a good grasp of how to properly utilize the technique for those shots and you will pivot properly and create *some* lag (it's a shorter swing, so there's less lag to be created). I believe this would *help* him in transitioning to a proper full swing with more lag. Now, some people like Brian Manzella would disagree with me on this, but I'll compromise and say that you should incorporate some full swings into the practice, but I would still focus on the pitch and chip shot techniques.

Why don't you just take lessons from a qualified instructor?

I took quite a few lessons up until about four years ago. My last 30 or so lessons were taken from three different instructors (the last one was Golf Digest's top-ranked instructor in the state of Washington). I took the lessons with the sole purpose of learning how not to cast the club. The amazing thing is that after stepping through the requisite instruction on grip, setup, and backswing with each of the instructors, they all seemed to be guessing. They all had me go back and forth between more weight shift, less weight shift, earlier weight shift, later weight shift, more hip rotation, less hip rotation, etc. It always became clear to me that they didn't really understand why I was casting the club anymore than I did.

Sigh. I feel for the guy, but Golf Digest is doing its best to confuse him and make him more frustrated. It's really about pivot, which very few instructors know much about. I'd suggest taking a look at Brian Manzella's Web site, YouTube videos and Confessions of a Former Flipper. Better yet, wait until Manzella starts his online lesson program, which is supposed to be starting soon according to his last live chat session. There's a lot of other great instructors as well like Dave Orr, Geoff Jones (aka SliceFixer), Shawn Clement, Lynn Blake, etc. that I have no doubt in my mind would correct his swing and get rid of the cast in probably one or two hours working with him. But as far as Web site help goes, I'd recommend Manzella's for now.

There have been a lot of great golfers with unothodox swings. Why don't you quit trying to swing "pretty" and just go with what works best for you?

Because no matter how unorthodox the swing, there has never been a great golfer that cast the club. Conversely, very few recreational golfers do not cast the club. Yet, the experts say creating clubhead lag is not so much a matter of skill, as it is of using the proper technique. They say that anyone with even the slightest amount of coordination can do it

The problem with unorthodox swings is that they often do not work for golfers. Many people can have the same flaws in their swing as Kenny Perry does and 99% of them won't be able to hit the ball worth a lick. It works for Kenny Perry because he's got a great pivot action and for whatever reason, has a repeatable golf swing. But Joe Schmoe the golfer who wants to get serious about his game will probably not break 90 with that type of golf swing.

Although the question has some merits...the instructors and clubcaster are worried too much about things that make the golf swing look prettier, but do not make the swing more effective. Swing plane has very little to do with club casting, but makes the swing look prettier. A better pivot action would help create more lag.

But even then, you don't have to create Hogan or Sergio like lag to hit the ball very, very effectively.

So if creating clubhead lag is just a matter of proper technique, how come hardly anyone ever learns that technique?

Great question. The few lucky people that create clubhead lag, have, almost without exception, done so naturally all of their lives. To me that either suggests that there is some obscure physical difference between those that create clubhead lag and those that don't, or that there is a serious problem with standard golf instruction.

That's not even close. I know I didn't create lag coming out of the box. I have a buddy of mine that I grew up playing golf with who creates an obscene amount of lag and he certainly wasn't that way when he was from the ages of 12-17 years old.

Those who create clubhead lag do it through pivot and there's some who really keep their 'minds in their hands' so those hands don't get past the pivot on the downswing.

The reason why it's technique and people rarely learn that technique is too many instructors:

1) Don't know anything about the flat left wrist at impact

2) If they do know about the flat left wrist at impact, they don't know that pivot creates it.

3) They put way too much emphasis on swing plane

4) If they do know about pivot creating the flat left wrist at impact, they just don't know much about effective pivot actions or how to teach that to the golfer so they can understand it properly.



Anonymous said...

I heard slow backswing causes casting.

Rich H. said...

Actually, I think the opposite. If you slow your backswing a tad, you probably increase the likelihood of properly loading the clubshaft in the backswing. Here's a Manzella video that can show how a certain backswing method can help create lag in the swing (

Anonymous said...

This is half entertaining. But then once more I'm very high right now

chris jackson said...

Fantastic! I can't thank you enough Rich for showing this video. Manzella is a genius! I have been searching for years to find the perfect explanation on the transition in the golf swing and I have found it. I took this method to the range and it has totally changed my game. I recommend anyone who is looking to strike the ball better and more consistently to watch this video.