I've had a few readers ask me to go more into detail of what George Gankas and I worked on in our lesson. Unfortunately, on the day I left to come back home (4/24/18), I caught a fever and then over the weekend I was so sick that I spent about 95% of my weekend either in my bed or couch. This past week I've been able to work on what GG and I went over and I feel like progress has been made. I hope to get a video of my swing this Sunday to show the progress. But, here's what GG and I worked on.
GG teaches a posture that is closer to standing upright than it is to being bent over. GG wants the shoulders to be 'rolled over' (ala Nicklaus). Good checkpoints are to have the armpits over the balls of the feet and the tush line over (or very close to it) the heels of the feet. IIRC, he wants the angle of the player's back at about 150 degrees.
This picture is a lousy angle, but I did have the armpits over the balls of the feet. However, the tush line was too far away from the heels of the feet.
The black line shows more where approximately the tush line should be. It feels very different as it feels like I'm trying to stand up as vertical as I can while still addressing the ball. It requires you to suck the butt in.
The idea of this posture is to make it easier for the golfer to rotate the pelvis. In order to rotate the pelvis in the downswing the golfer needs more of an anterior pelvic tilt type of move.
That is easier to accomplish if the pelvis is more neutral in the backswing to begin with. GG also feels that the posture helps with the overall balance in the golf swing. My old posture made it too easy to get the pressure towards my toes which helps stall the pivot.
Lastly, I think the GG posture helps a bit with hand path depth in the backswing. With my old posture, the torso is so bent over that the hand path is likely to get more vertical in the backswing and not very deep. That shallower hand path in the backswing means less time to rotate in the downswing as well as being more likely to early extend if I try to make an 'inside loop' action with my hands in the downswing.
GG also wanted me to move the ball position a little more forward, pretty much in line with the left ear. The orange line shows my ball position and the blue line shows where GG wants the ball position.
The big issue I was having with is low point control. My AoA with a 6-iron is abuot -1.3 degrees and sometimes it gets shallower than that. With the driver my AoA is at +5 to +6 degrees. The big issue with my AoA stems from my body tilts in the downswing and not getting enough pressure towards my left foot prior to p5. GG felt that part of that may be due to the ball positon being too far back and thus my focus gets more towards getting too much tilt so I can deliver the club to the ball.
It's an interesting question...did I move my ball position back to compensate for my over-tilting or did I over-tilt in the downswing to compensate for having my ball position too far back?
GG noticed that I do not 'create a ball' in the backswing with my right hip.
Here's an example with Hogan (who over-did it a little)
The space at the top of the swing GG prefers to be about the size of a golf ball.
Here's my swing
The reason for creating this space is, more or less, to keep the low point forward while we rotate. GG did give the option to move off the ball with the lower body and to counter that with some upper body tilt. However, that felt too foreign to me and we worked on 'creating a ball' with my right hip. I found this pretty easy to do since I was not that far off to begin with and the new posture helped with the process.
Here are the tilts of my swing at impact.
With the spine over-tilting and the head hanging back, that shallows out the AoA and adds some dynamic loft. This causes some real issues with controlling the low point.
It's a bit difficult to see, but my left leg has pretty much straightened at this point. What you cannot see is I am pushing off the inside of my left foot and pushing myself away from the target. The pelvis rotates a bit, but then I push off the inside of my left foot, causing my left leg to straighten too early and causing my Center of Mass to move away from the target. Thus causing me to stall my pivot and over-tilt my spine and shoulders.
Instead, GG wants me to get more flex in my left knee in transition. But, it's not for cosmetic purposes, the flexion in my left knee is done to use the ground more effectively. And the key part is to get the pressure more from the outside edge of my left foot instead of the inside edge of my left foot.
I have found that it's much more difficult to straighten the left leg too early in the downswing if the pressure is on the outside edge of my left foot, particularly by P5.
There are a few key checkpoints GG has in the downswing.
At P5, the pelvis should be square to the target line and the left hip should be lower than the right hip. I did a pretty good job of it with this swing.
At P6, the pelvis should be roughly 25 degrees open with the hips level. In the picture of p6 above, my left hip is higher than my right hip, thus causing the pelvis to stall and not get to ~25 degrees open to the baseline.
You can see the left knee go from flexion to straightening. The pressure in the left foot is towards the inside of the elft foot instead of more towards the outside of the left foot. This difference in where the pressure is in the foot allows me to easily extend the left leg and tilt back and away from the target too much.
Here's a couple of stills of Dustin Johnson.
Now, DJ is hitting a driver. Thus, his left knee will straighten earlier than if he was hitting a 9-iron. Even still, look at how much more left knee flexion he has at p6 and how in both p5 and p6, you can see how he has more of the pressure towards the outside edge of his left foot.
Another checkpoint is to make this downswing move without 'backing up' the right hip.
Hogan is more of an exaggeration of the move. But, notice how he creates space with his right hip at p4 (compared to p1). And then at about p5.5 his right hip is still on the red line that I drew at p4. For me, because I over-tilt, my right hip has the tendency to 'back up' behind where the red line would be.
This feels very weird to do this because I'm so used to pushing off the inward portion of my left foot and pushing myself away from the target.
This feels more 'stack and tilt', but the best way to make this comfortable and execute the move is to make sure I get more of the pressure on the outside of left foot prior to p5.
I have found that I am trying to keep my left knee 'low' and continuing to externally rotate the left leg thru impact. With my old way, the pressure gets on the inside of my left foot, the left knee 'gets high' and the left femur more internally rotates thru impact.
Here's a rundown: