Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Haney Project Thoughts...

I got an e-mail ( asking me to post something about the Haney Project. First I wanted to get some clips of Charles' swing. But, when I searched YouTube I found these interesting videos.

So, it's pretty obvious there's a bit of a lie in the "Haney Project" as they stated Charles never had a lesson before and they are alluding that the hitch was never fixed. Don't get me wrong, I think even after these two videos the hitch came back before he started this show with Haney.


Because I believe Haney is dead-on with Charles' problems. I believe that yips originate from bad mechanics/technique and then after poor or even distastrous performance, it starts to get into the player's head and everything goes haywire.

And I believe from what I've seen of these two videos, they did not address the problems and Hank Haney has. And this coming from a person who is not the biggest fan of Haney's work. But I gotta give him credit, he looks DEAD-ON with his work with Charles' swing.

For those who don't know, here's what Charles' swing looks like.

And here's some pics of what Haney is working on, for those who haven't seen the show.

Here is Charles at the top of his swing for this particular shot. Now, in the next frame look how much his head dips *downward*, not forward. Also, take a look at how steep his clubshaft gets.

Now as Haney so correctly pointed out, there's a reason why he pauses and it's not just a mental glitch. For him to not hit the a good foot or so behind the ball from this position, Charles has to rise his head and body way upward and even still, there's no way he's going to hit a good shot with his club in this position. Not even Tigers Woods could hit a good one from this position.

But, all along people just thought it was a mental thing or they thought it was a technique thing and were working on the wrong things and when Charles didn't improve, they just chalked it up to him being mentally fried.

Instead, it is mechanical and the right things need to be straightened out (Haney also noticed Charles would change his grip in the takeaway) and it will take a lot of hard work of ingraining better mechanics for him to finally get the hitch out of his system.

And yes, I really enjoy the show. And while I'm not a big Haney fan, I'm actually ecstatic for Charles because it's obvious he's a big fan of the game and I probably wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.

But what I really like about this show is that it's confirming my suspicions about the 'yips' regardless if they are driver 'yips', putting yips or even a baseball player struggling to throw from 2nd to first base (i.e. Steve Sax and Chuck Knoblauch). I think each are a case of bad mechanics in some form or fashion and then the disastrous results are produced which reeks havoc with the brain.

With putting, it's usually an opening of the clubface. As David Orr's studies have shown, about 80% of the golfers who have a left aim bias (the most popular bias of putters) tend to manipulate the clubface to get the face square at impact. Meaning, if you tend to aim left of your target with the putter, you're very likely to try and open the face to square at impact. Overdo it, and then you are very yip prone in my opinion.

So again, if you're struggling with yips, check your aim. And then work on your putterface control though the stroke. I believe this is one of the times where it's more important to concentrate on your stroke over green reading and touch/speed.

Now, if we could only get to Sax and Knoblauch...


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