Thursday, March 26, 2009

Latest Lesson With Ted Fort 3.27.09

From Homer Kelley's book 'The Golfing Machine':

7-17 FOOT ACTION Foot Action accomodates the Knee Action resulting from the motion of the Weight Shift, and accepts the changes in the loading of the Feet. The loading can shift between the inner and the outer edge of the Foot but shouldn't roll the Foot over on its edge. The majority of the weight should be on the heel and it is better to turn on one's heel than to roll excessively. Address Position loading of the Feet is even distribution between both Feet but with enough on the heels to allow the toes to be lifted up momentarily without altering the distribution between the toes and heel.

The heel should not be lifted off the ground, put pulled off -- and then no more than necessary. Merely lifting the heel accomplishes nothing.

Halting the Backstroke motion with the Feet and letting this same tension pull the Downstroke through Impact is ''swinging from the Feet" and gives the Stroke maximum Swing Radius.
Ben Hogan really knew the golf swing. In fact, it's downright amazing how much he knew about the golf swing and how far ahead of its time '5 Lessons' really was. The book was written in 1954 and 'The Golfing Machine' was written in 1969, although it didn't really become even remotely popular until the late 70's and early 80's and that popularity was rather pedestrian, IMO, until about the mid-to-late 90's when golfers and instructors really started to take stuff from TGM.

After reading Sevam1's 'The Secret Is In The Dirt' e-book (a MUST read), one of the things I really felt was important was that a golfer should NOT have their weight on their toes from address to the thru impact point. Sevam1 talks about the pressure points in the feet being the ball of the foot and the heel and making sure to keep the weight off the toe so you can 'lift the toes up out of the shoes.' When working on 'the move' I noticed that I could keep my weight off the toes going back, but on the downswing my weight would get on the toes, particularly in the right foot. Here's a look at my latest videotaped swing back on 3/21/09:

It may be a little tough to see, but the heel is 'lifted' off the ground just like Homer Kelley suggests NOT to do. And the weight is clearly on the toes.

While I really like Sevam's book and definitely agree with the sentiment that the weight cannot be on the toes in the swing, I wanted to work on other things first and await Ted Fort's instruction before I started working on footwork. And it so happened today that one of the first things we worked on was getting my weight off the toes and more towards the heels at address.

One thing that worked for me was Ted saying that I almost looked like a tripod at address from the DTL view. Meaning that I was one leg of the tripod and the club was the other leg of the tripod. And if he removed the club, I would fall forward. Here's a look at me and Hogan at address.

Now, if you were to take the club out of Mr. Hogan's hands here at address, he would still be standing upright without falling forward one iota. Me on the other hand I am putting a lot of pressure on the ground with my clubhead and if somebody were to remove the club from my hands, I would certainly fall forward.

This effects pivot because it stalls the pivot. The pivot is the lifeblood of the golf swing. Without a good pivot, it's VERY VERY hard to keep the First Imperative of the golf swing in tact, a flat left wrist at impact.

Why does this stall the pivot? Well, take a shot at it yourself.

Take your address position without a club in your hands. Now, get one your tippy toes with both feet. Next, try to pivot your hips back and through. Pretty freaking hard, ain't it? Now try it with a golf club in your hands. Real hard, ain't it? Almost impossible.

Now do the same thing, but move the weight in between your ball of your foot and your heel. Like Shawn Clements says, feel like your arches of your feet are suction cups to the ground. You should now be able to pivot your hips back and thru much, much easier.

So Ted and I talked about it. He wanted me a little closer to the ball and wanted me to move my hips (or my backside) backwards a bit (opposite from the ball, not away from the target) and feel much more weight towards the heels and being able to lift the toes out of the shoes.

That doesn't mean that you have to keep the heel on the ground throughout the golf swing. But as Homer Kelley noted, you want the heel to be PULLED off the ground instead of LIFTED off the ground. Meaning that the force of the swing and the pivot should cause the heel to come off the ground instead of the heel coming off the ground because you're pushing off your toes.

As I said, Shawn Clement and Sevam1 talk quite a bit about keeping the weight off your toes and take a look at them at impact.

After we got thru that, we started working a bit on my left shoulder at address. As you can see, it was pretty high since I worked on getting my right forearm on plane at address. I had mentioned to Ted that I had hurt myself on Monday right underneath my left shoulder blade and I had this problem since my comeback to the game in January. Ted then discussed that my left shoulder was up way too high and needed to hang more naturally. I also noticed that I have been having my left shoulder way too high at address for quite awhile. Ted got me to hang that left shoulder naturally down as well.

From there we worked on my hinging. Essentially I still have a tad bit of 'club throwaway' in the swing. Ted believed that I was horizontal hinging too soon in the swing. He then essentially told me to feel like at the top of my swing I was 'throwing' the hosel right at the ball. Obviously, you don't want to 'lag the hosel' because that will result in a shank. But, this video explains it a bit better (

As I got that down a bit, Ted instructed me to delay the throwing of the hosel a bit and I started hitting some really good shots. Unfortunately, my shoulder started flaring up and I had to quit. But, to summarize.

1. Weight off the toes and more towards the heel. Move the butt backward and stand a little closer to the ball.

2. Relax left shoulder at address.

3. Throw the hosel at the ball.


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