Monday, February 22, 2010

Understanding the Unorthodox Swings - Part 1

One of the things that appeals to me about Lag Erickson's ( teachings and philosophies is that he was smart enough to study and take video of good ballstrikers with unorthodox swings and see what they had in common.

I think looking at the all-time great swings and great ballstrikers is important because it can show the many different ways to execute a very mechanically sound golf swing and create various levels of dynamics in that swing as well.

However, I think it's important to look at those 'quirky' swings of guys who do strike the ball well and then see what common themes there are in those swings that allow them to hit the ball so well.

Let's take at perhaps the original great ballstriker with an unorthodox swing, Lee Trevino.

According to Trevino, he suffered from a hook and eventually 'hanged on for dear life' with the clubface so he wouldn't hit that hook.

He had the philosophy of 'aim left, swing right, walk straight.'

I think the 'hanging on for dear life' created an angled hinge in Trevino's swing and I think that was important for him because he probably had a horizontal hinge motion and just couldn't control the clubface nearly as well.

I also think that aiming left benefited him greatly as well. Trevino felt like he was swinging right, but with his body aimed so far to the left, he was probably still moving the Swing Plane left enought to stay on plane in the downswing.

Trevino also is one of those great ballstrikers that was accused of being short off the tee, but the data I have shows that he was usually about average in length off the tee during his years on the PGA Tour.

Trevino came down on the elbow plane, with pitch elbow and a snap release. His backswing to downswing was more or less an outside move that motioned to the inside.

He also had about as much shaft lean as any great golfer in the history of the game, which is a big reason why he was able to take such big divots.


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