Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Look At Different Swing Instruction - Part IV

In this part, I will discuss Brian Manzella's swing instruction. Manzella is a former disciple of Ben Doyle, the first ever authorized instructor of The Golfing Machine. I was not involved with the internet golf world at the time he got his Web site up and going, but it appears that his Web site was very TGM-centric just a few years ago. Over the years though, he started to dismiss much of TGM and denouncing it. He probably went a little too harsh with dismissing TGM to many people's liking, but it seems that now his thoughts are that many of the main concepts of TGM are very good, but too much of the science has been proven wrong.

Brian believes in customizing swings and using the scientific findings from people like Dr. Aaron Zick and Fredrik Tuxen in his teachings. His 'Never Slice Again' video teaches a swing where the golfer will not open the clubface making it almost impossible to ever slice the ball again. The 'Never Hook Again' video has a swing where the face doesn't get as closed and the golfer avoids getting underplane. The 'Soft Draw' video teaches a pattern that looks much like a Nicklaus style swing, but produces a soft draw result.

I'd say his teaching today is very Trackman oriented.

An attempt to get golfers with clubface angles at impact that are close to dead square to the target along with paths that are close to dead square to the target and hitting upward with the driver. Although from what I've been told, he's pretty flexible with students who ask for certain things to be done with their game and swings.

His students tend to utilize a lagging clubhead takeaway and some attempts to used float loading and usually a somewhat upright golf swing and a 'swinging left' release.

I cannot deny that I've learned an insurmountable wealth of information from reading his Web site.

PROS OF BM TEACHING: I don't think anybody really can disagree with his science of his teachings, but the practical application of that science may differ. I now see Manzella's swing theory really not being that much different from what little I've learned from MORAD. Manzella teaches a 'swinging left' whereas MORAD teaches a 'CP release', but they are pretty much the same exact thing. Both sides also do not teach a 'frozen right wrist', something that is part of the TGM teaching of the 'hitter pattern.'

But aside from that, I really think Manzella is getting to be on the forefront of science and technology with golf instruction...something I believe very advantageous to students.

Furthermore, a few weeks ago a student of his posted an angry post about his teaching and Brian kept the post up, offered a free lesson and the two eventually worked it out and the student is now greatly improved. Not many instructors would do that.

CONS OF BM INSTRUCTION: While Manzella can teach flatter golf swings, to me it's obvious that he prefers a more upright downswing and a student may get in the cross of being better off with a flatter downswing while trying to incorporate a more incompatible upright downswing. I personally prefer the flatter downswing because I can better use the ground to push of with my feet and eliminate the OTT move and have 1-way misses instead of 2-way misses.

Brian is also a person who is very steadfast in his beliefs and that sometimes can work against him. For instance, he was a very devout believer in TGM despite people arguing against the science and if he was more open minded he may have gotten into his current instruction philosophies more quickly.

PROS USING BM: Manzella works part-time with David Toms, who finished 3rd in my 2009 ballstriking statistical rankings. He also has greatly improved Kevin Shields, a person who went from being a very ordinary club pro to one of the best playing club pros in the nation.

INSTRUCTORS: Kevin Shields, Damon Lucas, Michael Finney



Anonymous said...

Kevin has a great swing.

Again with the TGM science "proven wrong" comments. I haven't heard any of it. Who are the scientists you speak of? Where is it written? Maybe your next topic should be putting up or shutting up. Go ahead and document your "proven wrong" statements. Give us a chance to review the information.

Anonymous said...

Why so sensitive? Too many people think that yellow book is the Bible. Shoot, fricking Albert Einstein might be proven wrong in one regard (the speed of light may not be a constant). Why does everyone get so defensive when people suggest that Homer Kelly might be wrong?

Anonymous said...

The "heavy hit" has been debunked. Just watch 'that guy' hit a 300yd drive with a clubhead attached to a rope. The shaft contributes nothing to impact, therefore the hands dont either.

Rich H. said...

Please remember, these are brief overviews of my thoughts on each instructional philosophy. Anybody who knows me would tell you that I am a gigantic fan of TGM and still reference the book today.

I would suggest getting ahold of Dr. Robert Grober, physics professor at Yale University and creator of the Sonic Golf system. In fact, he has a lecture showing where he measures the clubhead speed and hand speed of golfers and while he doesn't mention it, it does debunk The Endless Belt concept (2-K) dead in the water. But, I still like the idea behind Endless Belt, it's just scientifically inaccurate.