Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Blog Update 4.1.09

No April Fools Joke here. Just some updates on some future stuff coming up.

- I'm actually working on two things myself. One is an invention and the other is a Web site. I don't want to get into the invention since I don't want to give it away and it's going to take a long while to design and patent the product, but I think it will be a great help to many golfers. My goal of the Web site is to 1) be like Jeff Mann's http://perfectgolfswingreview.net/ type of site, except for it consisting of just about everything that involves playing the game from the swing, to putting, to short game, to equipment, etc. It's more or less a lot of things I post on this blog onto one Web site AND 2) create a Web site to help people understand TGM because I think it's the best book ever made to learn from and I'm sick and tired of hearing how TGM is a 'method' or a 'type of swing.' These things will take awhile, maybe even years.

Any advice (particularly with Web hosting, Web site building, advice on patents and inventions) would be greatly appreciated. You can either post here, PM me over at GolfWRX or e-mail me at Richie3Jack@yahoo.com.

- Just ordered Pat O'Brien's putting DVD ($30 includes shipping). I had heard some things about Pat O'Brien but really never looked into him. I also knew about the SeeMore putters, but had no idea how they worked. I played a round with a low handicapper 2 weeks ago and he was putting very well with the SeeMore Putter. Tried the SeeMore Putter out at the PGA Tour Superstore and saw the red oval and figured out the Rifle Scope technology. So I went to SeeMore's Web site and to read more on that and saw the O'Brien DVD and wanted to check it out in order to improve my positions at address. Obviously, green reading, consistency, alignment and touch are far more important that stroke path, but I just wanted to get things down right. I'll give some reviews on O'Brien's DVD along with the SeeMore Putter I just purchased.

- I'm thinking either April or May I'll be purchasing Yoda's 'Alignment Golf' DVD series. I currently work with Ted Fort on my golf swing whose mentor is Yoda. I really like how my swing is progressing with Ted and I've only heard rave reviews about 'Alignment Golf.'

- In 2 weeks I will be purchasing David Orr's 'Where to Aim' video with guest Mark Sweeney of Aimpoint golf. For those who don't know what Aimpoint golf is, they are responsible for showing the line of the putt on Tour events on The Golf Channel

As always, I'm quite stoked to watch the video since all of David's videos and work with putting has been brilliant. Now he just needs to do some stuff on the swing.

- Be on the look out for some YouTube videos where I explain stuff. My first one will be a short one on footwork in the golf swing.

- My next golf club purchase will be a driver since the drive I have is just some generic $20 driver from Dick's Sporting Goods. I just want my swing to get close to where I want it before I call up The Golf Doctor and get another fitting done through Trackman. In my iron fitting they said that fitting irons with Trackman was a bit of overkill, but it's great with the driver fitting. I also plan on doing a ball fitting as well testing out Titleist, Bridgestone, Taylor Made, Callaway and Srixon golf balls.

- More and more stuff translating and discussing 'The Golfing Machine' by Homer Kelley.


The King of Pop -- Out

It didn't take very long, but Tiger just won his first tournament in his comeback by pulling out a victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill. So far from watching Tiger I've seen the swing look pretty much the same. Some think this is a good thing because according to doctors, his knee will not be injured again. Some say his knee is 'indestructible', but torn ACL get torn again all of the time. I'm *guessing* that his knee will not get injured from the golf swing again, but I'm not so sure that's the truth. How many times have we seen a football player or a basketball player re-tear their ACL after making a hard cut?

Anyway, Tiger's ballstriking hasn't exactly been superb. He's shown some flashes, but still struggles with accuracy and consistency. He's 25th in driving distance, but 110th in driving accuracy and 154th in G.I.R. Of course, what people tend to forget when it comes to talking about whether or not his swing is 'fine', is that he's got an amazing short game. He's currently 1st in putts per round and ranked first in putting at Bay Hill.

Here's a look at Tiger's (and Sean O'Haire) swing at Bay Hill.

The main problem I see with Tiger's swing is that he's laid off at the top. It's a bit tough to tell in the video (Johnny Miller does mention that his clubshaft is pointing left at the top), but he is laid off.

The 'laid off' move usually causes an open face at impact and with most golfers an over the top move. Right now Tiger is basically hitting cut after cut.

So why doesn't Tiger change it?

My guess is swing and game philosophy because I'm pretty sure that Tiger knows what being 'laid off' is and probably acknowledges it's not the best position to be in.

First, I've read that Tiger hates hitting a draw. I'm sure he'll hit one if the shot calls for it, but from what I've read he doesn't want to hit a draw with his stock shot. He's probably a bit averse to getting the top of the swing corrected because he might start hitting draws.

Secondly, Tiger seems to be a fan of the one plane swing as he likes to use the turned shoulder plane for his one plane swing. The problem with doing this is that by using the turned shoulder plane that means the takeaway is a bit to the outside (or straight back) and when you do that, you make yourself prone to being 'laid off.' Believe me, I used to do the same thing and had the same problems.

Brian Manzella (http://www.brianmanzella.com/) calls this flaw 'pop out.' Here I will explain with these photos of 'The King' Arnold Palmer.

See how Arnie's hands are the same distance from his body at address and at the takeaway? That inside hand path helps it so Arnie does not get laid off at the top of the swing.

Tiger on the other hand takes the club almost straight back. This gets the hands a little further away from the body than they were at address.

So getting the hands a little further from the body at the takeaway (than the distance they were away from the body at address) is what Manzella means by 'pop out.' The hands 'pop out' of the position they were in at address.

Golfers, especially good ones, can be very stubborn with their philosophies. It sort of reminds me of John Madden talking about how he got the players he wanted while coaching the Oakland Raiders who are owned by Al Davis. Davis has his own stubborn ways in regards to how the game should be played and the type of schemes a team should use and often times he butts heads with coaches even if the coach's schemes and philosophies are working.

Madden basically said that he just knew that if he had a player he wanted or didn't want or wanted to run a new scheme he would just work on selling his ideas to Davis and usually Davis obliged.

I think that the same applies to Tiger with his swing. I don't think he wants to hit draws unless necessary and I think he wants to stay on the one plane. I think the coach that comes along can 'sell' Tiger on ways to get rid of the 'laid off' move at the top of the swing (which he probably could get rid of in less than a week) and why the one plane swing has some flaws and doesn't correlate to good ballstriking can in the end get Tiger to change.

This is not to knock Tiger. This type of thing happens all of the time with players. But, I believe it's scary just how much better Tiger could be and the level of play he could be playing at if he just makes a few tweaks to his swing because he's already winning despite some suspect ballstriking.


Monday, March 30, 2009

10-1-E Cross Hand Grip and the Spirit of TGM

Recently there was a Wall Street Journal article discussing the Stack & Tilt method and stating:

Nobody would confuse Stack and Tilt with the swing detailed in "The Golfing Machine," a thick 1969 instruction manual by Homer Kelley which also has many devotees on the PGA Tour, including most avidly Steve Elkington.

One thing all these swing styles have in common is that they are marketed -- by some, at least -- as the one true way.(http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123819549450061321.html)
The Golfing Machine is not about one swing or one method. It is basically a catalog of countless swings that can effectively hit the ball. And nobody is marketing a TGM swing as 'the one true way.' Even though there are plenty of TGM AI's that prefer one style of pattern, at the very least almost every AI can teach a hitter's style swing and a swinger's type stroke.

Anyway, the shining example of the 'cataloging of different swings and components of the swing' can be illustrated with 10-1-E where Mr. Kelley goes into the cross hand grip.

10-1-E CROSS HAND The Cross Hand GRIP requires a completely different set of procedures and its shortcomings make that appear an unwarranted expenditure. The Hand positions are reversed – the Right above the Left – and its main feature is that the Right Arm Action cannot overpower the Flat Left Wrist. Everything applies to this grip that applies to the normal Overlap, including variations B, C and D. There are NO recommended exceptions.
Basically meaning that the Cross Hand grip requires the exact opposite of the standard right hand low grip. However, there are shortcomings of the cross hand grip (probably a bit of a power loss and feeling uncomfortable) that Homer advises may not be worth trying. The main feature is that the right arm action cannot overpower the flat left wrist, which is really nice. Lastly, the variations of the normal overlap grip (weak, strong, neutral overlap grips) apply to the cross hand grip as well.

Here's a look at former Big Breaker Albert Crews' swing utilizing the Cross Hand Grip.

So many great things here, hitting the 2 imperatives (clubhead lag pressure point and a flat left wrist at impact --- the other imperative you cannot see from here). Also an excellent pivot helped out by superb foot action. There's no weight up on the toes here.

As Mr. Kelley stated in 1-H 'There is no effort to classify any Stroke Pattern as best or worst, except on the basis of Mechanical Advantage. But there is undoubtedly a best 'central' Stroke Pattern for each individual.'


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Aaron Baddeley Drops the Stack & Tilt

Aaron Baddeley has officially dropped the Stack & Tilt method and plans on returning to his old golf coach in Australia. Baddeley was considered a promising future superstar in the game and then dropped his old swing coach for David Leadbetter. When that did not work out, he then switched to the Stack & Tilt method being taught by Mike Bennett and Andy Plummer. He won pretty quickly after incorporating the method and because of his popularity and prospects, he became the poster boy of the method.

Only there was one problem.

It wasn't working very well for him.

And now he's on the cover of their yet to be released book and their DVD series.

Not good.

Anyway, here's a look at Aaron's Stack & Tilt golf swing.

Here's what S&T teacher Dana Dahlquist had to say about Aaron's problems (http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=241841&st=40&start=40)

(Clubface) Too shut at the top end, too arched left wrist coming down, leads to handle raise at impact to oget the face back to open. Bingo bango, right to right.
There also has been talk that Bennett & Plummer tried to work on Aaron's hips which supposedly spin too much.

Here's some things I noticed about Aaron's swing before coming to the S&T:

It looks like Aaron's problems that Dahlquist pointed out were happening before he even went to the S&T pater as his clubface looks a *little* closed at the top of the swing and there is some arching of the left wrist at impact.

The S&T pattern can work for some people, but like any swing pattern it's not for everybody. Strangely, Bennett & Plummer tried to market it in that fashion despite both of them having studied and believed in 'The Golfing Machine' which essentially catalogs the almost countless ways to effectively hit a ball.

The S&T pattern can be effective because it attempts to get the golfer to keep the proper low point in their swing. It also tries to do away with the golfer's spine leaning away from the target which can result in moving the golfer's low point too far backward and the flip and hook motion.

However, that may not exactly be the problem for many golfers or there are other ways to get a golfer to maintain a consistent low point and to not 'hang back and flip.' Furthermore, the S&T pattern is not exactly a power move and power is the great equalizer in golf. Especially in today's game where somebody like JB Holmes may not be the sharpest all around player, but is playing every par 72 out there like it's a par 68.

Either way I just don't think the S&T was a good fit for him or at least at the moment. Instead of trying to change his pattern of swing, it would probably be best to take his old swing and just get him to square up the clubface at the top of the swing, get a flat left wrist instead of an arched left wrist at impact, and getting his hips to not spin so fast on the downswing. And that may be something that needs to be worked at one at a time.

Trying to fix those flaws and change a pattern is probably too much for anybody.

As Homer Kelley wrote 'change the factors that are easily controlled to fit those that are difficult to change.'


Hip Flexibility

Today at GolfWRX.com there was a question about a golfer frustrated with their hip flexibility despite stretching everyday.

While I believe the golfer is on the right path because the hips are crucial in providing power in the golf swing, I have to wonder about a couple of things about the poster's process.

First, I think it's very smart and very crucial for a golfer to have some sort of serious stretching program. Flexibility is paramount to quality golf, longevity and health. So even if you have quality flexibility, a golfer should continue to stretch so they can stay healthy and prolong their longevity.

The first thing I question is the golfer's stretching program. Are they just stretching their hips or their entire body? This is important because the body sort of works like a chain and if a golfer just stretches one area of the body and neglects the rest, they'll likely never see the area that they stretched get that noticeable improvement of flexibility. Furthermore, you need to do the stretching program correct. It's not to say that the technique of the actual stretch is incorrect, but it is vital to breathe correctly when you stretch. Incorrect breathing means that you're not stretching the muscle all that much and you're likely to be very sore the next day.

I always suggest Roger Fredericks' stretching program at http://www.fredericksgolf.com/. It's a bit pricey, but it has three programs for the novice, intermediate and advanced stretching levels and gives you tests to help the golfer determine where they need to be. In fact, I often will do advanced stretching exercises for my upper body (where I am very flexible) and use novice stretching exercises for my hamstrings and calfs (where I am very stiff). Yoga is a good place to go to as well and does provide you with an on-site instructor to make sure you're doing the stretches correctly. However, yoga can get a bit expensive and beginners shouldn't try it at home so they will have to go somewhere to learn how to practice yoga properly.

The other question I have is what his swing looks like that made him work on hip flexibility. I'm assuming his hips are square at impact instead of looking like this:

I would highly suggest looking at the feet. Someday I'll come up with a YouTube video on it, but the golfer needs to keep the weight between the balls of his feet and the heel. If it gets on the toes, it becomes much, much harder to pivot the hips.

What I'm working on to get the weight off of my toes and to feel like the arches of my feet are 'suction cups to the ground' (credit: Shawn Clement) is to do the following.

  • Stand perfectly upright

  • Bend the knees to take your stance
  • Raise the Toes up off the ground so you start to feel the pressure get towards the balls of your feet

  • 'Suck' the butt backwards until the weight gets more towards the heels and is evenly distributed in the arches of your feet

If done correctly I should be able to draw a straight line from the back of the tush and it should be slightly *behind* the heels. Looking a bit like this:

This illustration has the golfer bent over a little more so the tush is behind the heels pretty noticeably. Ben Hogan was more upright so his tush was only slightly behind his heels.

As Homer Kelley stated in 'The Golfing Machine', there's only 3 absolute imperatives to the golf swing. So obviously there's many different ways to address the ball and having the weight on the arches instead of having it on your toes was not one of the 3 absolute imperatives. In fact, Laura Davies played for years with BOTH heels up off the ground at impact.

However, if you're struggling with your pivot and don't like your hip rotation at impact, check out where your weight is...particularly at address and you may find that you're more flexible than you think.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Haney Project Thoughts...

I got an e-mail (Richie3Jack@yahoo.com) 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...


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 (http://www.lynnblakegolf.com/assets/...voiceoverb.wmv)

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.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ben Doyle Video - Shadow In The Sand

Saw some of these videos posted on YouTube. A nice one from one of the 'Mt. Rushmore' instructors of 'The Golfing Machine.'

You can find more at http://www.youtube.com/user/bendoylegolf

With the new discoveries from Trackman and D-Plane, one of the things that Brian Manzella has been emphasizing is getting golfers to either get curb their amount of shaft lean at impact or if they have the shaft lean, get them 'swinging left' because shaft lean tends to cause a hook. Manzella has mentioned that Doyle has always been against a lot of shaft lean at impact, something well before the Trackman came out.


4 Pressure Points

From Homer Kelley's 'The Golfing Machine':

6-C-1 PRESSURE POINTS The force to be applied for the movement of the Lever Assemblies -- both ways (opposite pressures 6-B-1-D) -- is exerted against the Club (7-11) through Pressure Points -- of which there are four:

1. The heel of the Right Hand where it touches either the Left Hand thumb or the Clubshaft (as required by the Grip used.)

2. The last three fingers of the left hand.

3. The first joint of the Right Hand index finger where it touches the Clubshaft.

4. Wherever the straight Left Arm contacts the Left side
Here's the #1 and #3 Pressure Points

And here's the #4 Pressure Point.

The #4 Pressure point is different from the #4 Power Accumulator. The #4 pressure point is where the 'pressure' is between the left arm and left side connection. The #4 Power accumulator deals with the angle going from an acute angle to an obtuse angle as shown above.

A golfer can use any single pressure point or any combination of pressure points. 'Swingers' (left side pulling golf swing) primarily use the #2 and #4 Pressure Points. 'Hitters' primarily use the #1 and #3 Pressure Points. I suggest golfers really look into these pressure points. Before reading 'The Golfing Machine' I never utilized the #1 Pressure Point and since I have I've seen a little more increase in clubhead lag. I would imagine that many golfers are in the same boat. Or if you're a golfer that utilizes a 'swinging' technique, you may want to focus a little more on the #2 or #4 Pressure Points.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Different Barrel Swing Patterns

I had been reading some of John Erickson's (aka 'lagpressure') posts over at Sevam1's board at http://www.secretinthedirt.com/.

John talks a lot about Hogan's swing and him being a '4 Barrel Hitter.' Well, I didn't really know what that meant as I had heard that term bandied about before. So, let's take a look at 10-4 of 'The Golfing Machine.'

10-4-0. GENERAL Stroke Types are classified according to the number of Power Accumulators used and are termed Single, Double, Triple or Four Barrel Strokes. Variations are classified according to possible combinations within each Type -- which produces fifteen combinations (Variations).
Very simple here. Single barrell swing means only 1 of the power accumulator is used. Double means 2 of the power accumulators are used and so on and so forth. And between all of the barrel types (Single, Double, Triple and Four), there is a total of 15 combinations that can be possibly used by a golfer.

10-4-A SINGLE BARREL Immobilizing all Accumulators but one - any one - will produce a Stroke very limited in power and readily controlled - ideal for use on and around the green with either 12-1 or 12-2 Basic Patterns.

The Single barrel stroke means the golfer is only using one of the power accumulators and is the weakest shot power wise and is ideal for short game shots. Just in case you don't know or forgot, here's a post I had on the 4 power accumulators of the golf swing (http://3jack.blogspot.com/2009/01/understanding-power-accumulators-in.html)

10-4-B DOUBLE BARREL The Double Barrel Combinations -- utilizeany two Accumulators - produce a wide variation of force, but theoretically, less than all that is available. A very satisfactory game can be developed without ever using more than a Double Barrel Power Package. Variations 3, 4 and 6 have quite limited variations.

1. 1st and 2nd Accumulators
2. 1st and 3rd Accumulators
3. 1st and 4th Accumulators
4. 2nd and 3rd Accumulators
5. 2nd and 4th Accumulators
6. 3rd and 4th Accumulators
Double barrel is the use of 2 accumulators and one can develop a solid game with a double barrel motion and gain some more power, but there's still plenty of more power to be had.

10-4-C TRIPLE BARREL Controlled application of three Accumulators in the Power Package requires increased skill, but there is a very profitable increase in power and versatility.

1. 1st, 2nd & 3rd Accumulators
2. 1st, 2nd & 4th Accumulators
3. 1st, 3rd & 4th Accumulators
4. 2nd, 3rd & 4th Accumulators
Triple Barrel = Three Accumulators used. The possible variations of the Triple Barrel are listed above.

10-4-D FOUR BARREL This high performance Four Accumulator Combination can produce many problems during its mastery by the player. But it can make the difference in top competition. Well controlled Double or Triple Barrel Combinations have little to fear from the Four Barrel Combination that is less than fully mastered.
The use of all four power accumulators in the swing has the highest performance. However, a golfer who has a well controlled Double or Triple Barrel swing has nothing to worry about from a golfer who uses a four barrel swing, but does not execute it properly and consistently.

Here's an excerpt from Jeff Mann's Web site (http://perfectgolfswingreview.net/power.htm)

Homer Kelley stated (1) that there are four power accumulators (numbered 1 through 4) and that three of those power accumulators are used in a set release sequence in a swinger 's full golf swing action - the sequence is 4:2:3. Homer Kelley referred to this swing action as a triple barrel action because three power accumulators are loaded and then released in the swinger's swing action. A hitter usually also has a triple barrel swing action, but he uses three different power accumulators in a different release sequence - 1:2:3. A skilled/experienced hitter can also use a four barrel action (use all the power accumulators in a set release sequence of 4:1:2:3), but a swinger cannot have a four-barrel action because a swinger should never actively use PA#1.
That underlined part is very important, especially the part that I bolded and italicized.

John Erickson (aka Lagpressure) is very against 'swinging' for the most part and I can see why. You can't hit the ball with your fullest ability 'swinging' as you can 'hitting.' I think in the end a 4-barrel hitter is more or less a 'switter' (swinging & hitting action). Here's a post that my instructor, Ted Fort, had about his own 4-barrel swing (http://www.lynnblakegolf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6461&page=2&highlight=4+barrel)

I'm using all 4 Barrels. I Float my Right Elbow in Start Down. I'm Dragging then Driving.
Meaning, Ted releases the #4 accumulator first, particularly in the start down. Then he starts releasing the #1 accumulator -- then the #2 accumulator --- then the #3 accumulator.

Maximum power and maximum precision when executed properly.

This is what Erickson's '4 barrel swing' looks like:


Sunday, March 22, 2009

More Full Sweep Release Stuff...

Over at Brian Manzella's board (www.brianmanzella.com), Brian posted a video of one of his student's golf swing, Lindsey Gahm.

This swing actually drew the ire, mostly from non-teaching pros or those who don't know a thing about 'The Golfing Machine.' Not to say that Manzella teaches solely from TGM, but he is a GSED and I guess you could say his 'base roots of teaching' are in TGM.

Well, lets look at Lindsey's swing and see if it meets Homer Kelley's 3 Imperatives (Flat left wrist, Clubhead lag pressure point, straight plane line).


Not only is the left wrist flat AT impact, but her left wrist is flat THRU impact.


Not one of Homer Kelley's 'imperatives', but I believe it's a good idea to look at the top of the swing and more importantly to see if that clubface is square.



So the 'machine' (aka the swing) has nailed down all three imperatives and obviously has a great pivot action.

So why all of the hub-bub over the swing?

IMO, it's because it's not that classic, straight line delivery path, with a snap release. Instead it's a circular delivery path, full sweep release (http://3jack.blogspot.com/2009/03/full-sweep-release-and-circular.html)

But does that make it 'bad?' I don't think so. Hell, when I saw this swing the first thing I thought was 'Tom Watson.' Or even a bit of Johnny Miller (http://3jack.blogspot.com/2009/02/johnny-miller-swing-sequence-face-on.html)


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Swing Update 3.21.09

Here's a look at my latest golf swing utilizing a right forearm at address method.

Let's break it down a bit into the two most noticeable improvements.

A noticeably flatter swing plane. You really cannot see it from the picture, but the clubface is now square at the top of the swing instead of being closed. I'm also no longer laid off at the top of the swing. And the downswing is incredibly improved. I also have had a problem with my head moving backwards in my downswing. I don't have the Face On view of my swing handy, but when I checked it, my head still moves backwards, but only half as much as it used to. I have scheduled another lesson with Ted Fort this Thursday.

I'm a bit unsure if this cured it or not, but I often get people asking me how to cure the 'laid off' move at the top. It's usually caused by a very flat angle of the *clubshaft* in the backswing and perhaps a bowing of the left wrist. I usually tell the golfer to feel like they are 'sticking their thumbs in their right ear at the top of the swing.' Which can work.

But here I have cured the 'laid off' move without even trying. The only difference is that I take the club more inside now and swing the club on a flatter plane. But note there's a big difference between a flat angle of the clubshaft and swinging a club on a flat plane. The former deals with the clubshaft alone. The latter deals with the angle of the left arm and the angle of the shoulders.

That being said, perhaps getting the right forearm on plane at address helped get rid of being laid off at the top of the swing. So you may want to try either -- or both.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Look at the Aiming Point Concept 6-E-2

One of the things I'm currently working on with my own swing is the 'Aiming Point Concept' in Homer Kelley's 'The Golfing Machine.' I first came across this concept in Bobby Clampett's 'The Impact Zone' book, but really didn't fully understand it. It also didn't help when I tried my interpretation at it, I wound up shanking it. So, let's read what Mr. Kelley had to say and take a stab at translating it.

6-E-2. THE AIMING POINT CONCEPT The hands and the clubhead combine as Clubhead Lag (5-0, 6-C) and can be utilized to execute 'Delivery.' And the shorter Clubs take less time to reach the In-Line condition from a given Release Point than do the Longer Clubs, due to the Law of Conservation of Angular Momentum (6-C-2-B).
In essence, the hands and clubhead combine for clubhead lag and 'deliver' themselves to the ball. Shorter clubs take less time for the golfer to 'release the club' than longer clubs. This is because longer clubs swing on a wider arc which takes more time for the golfer to 'release the club.'

And the difference in travel distance per degree of Angular Motion because Impact always occurs during the 'Pulley' portion of the Endless Belt travel (sketch 2-K #6) regardless of the direction of its straight line travel between pulleys (or of the Thrust during the Circle Path per 7-23) because both of those lines represent the True Delivery Paths and move - physically - directly at the point on the Ball through which the Angle of Approach passes even with Aiming Point procedures; because the Machine delivers the #3 Pressure Point to Impact Fix Hand Location AT IMPACT with all Delivery Paths, Delivery Lies, Pulley Sizes, etc. becaue its structure is designed to do just that; hence the importance of a sturdy structure around the Endless Belt machinery.
Okay, a lot of mumbo jumbo here that I really don't quite understand. But Homer Kelley seems to be explaining why and how the aiming point concept works.

That is what makes the Aiming Point Procedure possible at all. The Aiming Point replaces the ball so you no longer direct the #3 Pressure Point at the Ball, but at the Aiming Point just as if it were the Ball - Like an explosion shot from the sand.
The #3 Pressure Point is the first joint or the lowest joint in the right index finger (if you're a righty). So what I interpret Mr. Kelley to say is that in a bunker you hit down on the sand at the ball. Mr. Kelley wants you to do the same thing, but at the 'Aiming Point' with the #3 Pressure Point.

Here's one way to look at it. At the top of the swing the right arm folds, it then steadily extends on the downswing. At impact it will still be bent and then after impact it will extend completely (or 'thrust').

Here's a pic of Tiger at impact. Notice how the right arm is still slightly bent.

Now here's Tiger just after impact. His right arm is fully extended. Or his right arm has 'thrusted.'

The 'Aiming Point Concept' wants Tiger to 'thrust' his hands at a specific point in front of the ball on the downswing. Just get to the top of the swing, focus at the point where you want the hands at impact, take aim and thrust those hands at the Aiming Point. You can do this if your a Hitter or a Swinger or both.

Experiment with until you grasp the effects of Ball Positioning (2-N), directing the Lag Pressure Loading (6-C-2-A) at-and through per 4-0 - an Aiming Point can be pin-pointed by experiment and experience only, be 'normal' Handspeed differs among players. Increased Handspeed and/or a Sweep Release moves it aft of its normal Handspeed location and decreased Handspeed and/or Trigger Delay moves it forward. 10-24 presents additional detail.

Mr. Kelley is saying that a golfer needs to experiment with the Aiming Point to find what works best for them because things like ball positioning and lag effect where the Aiming Point will be. Furthermore, if you have fast hands or a Sweep Release (http://3jack.blogspot.com/2009/03/full-sweep-release-and-circular.html) moves the aiming point backward away from the target. Decreased handspeed or trigger delay (like Sergio as he has the wrists fully cocked just as he's about to hit the ball) means the golfer should move the aiming point forward.

So again.

Longer Clubs = move the aiming point backward
Shorter Clubs = move the aiming point forward

I skipped over a few sentences, but I pick it up at one point

Actually, when in doubt, there is always the Impact Fix Hand Location procedure (7-8)

Basically if you're still struggling you can move your hands to the 'Impact Fix procedure.' Just take your normal address position and now move your hands at address like you would have then at impact with the hands in front of the ball and clubhead and with some shaft lean. Then you can look at where your hands are at 'Impact Fix' and take your swing and use where your hands were at 'Impact Fix' as your aiming point.

If you 'choke down' on longer Clubs you move their Aiming Point forward. 'Choke Down' to make all clubshafts the same lengths means the same Aiming Point for all your Clubs - shorter radius but precise timing. Everything is a 'Trade Off.'
Pretty straight forward. Choke up on a longer club, your aiming point moves forward. If you choke up on your clubs so they are the same length as your pitching wedge, then your aiming point will be the same for each club.

Remember - Aiming Point concerns only:

1. Clubshaft Length
2. Handspeed
3. Release Point - regardless of Ball Location

Here's a pic of Bobby Clampett using the Aiming Point in his book 'The Impact Zone.'

And here's a brilliant picture made by Jeff Mann over at http://perfectgolfswingreview.net/

The red line is the actual path of Baddeley's hands. The yellow line represents the 'aiming point' for shorter irons. The blue line represents the 'aiming point' for a driver, which is still slightly ahead of the ball.


Rope Swinging Drill

Here's a great drill I found on YouTube.

The rope has a knot tied on the end of it and that serves as the 'clubhead.' Here's some pics of it in action.

If you can lag a nylon rope, you can lag a steel or graphite golf shaft.

However, this drill looks like it requires a 'straight line delivery path.' Pic of Aaron Baddely below:

As discussed before the red line is Aaron's hand delivery. This is called a 'straight line delivery path' because his hands are initially go towards the ball in the downswing in a straight line. It then makes a 'U' pattern.

Anthony Kim is an example of a 'circular delivery path.'

With the rope drill, I think it's geared much more towards the straight line delivery path. There could be a way to do it with a circular delivery path, but it would seem very hard. That also indicates it's a drill meant more for the 'hitter' than the 'swinger.' Although I do think a swinger could pull it off.

In my next post I will look at the 'aiming point' concept that Mr. Kelley wrote about in 'The Golfing Machine.'

credit 'lowpoint' for the drill and Jeff Mann (http://perfectgolfswingreview.net) for the pics.


Why You Don't Buy Clubs Off the Rack

I came across these videos from the Golf Institute of America

Many golfers understand this, but many golfers did not have any idea on the subject. Years ago I had a Callaway War Bird Driver and 3-wood. Loved the 3-wood, struggled badly with the driver. Eventually we had the shafts measured and the 3-wood was X-Stiff like it was marked, but the Driver was a Ladies Stiff shaft. I then measured my Taylor Made irons which had Dynamic Gold shafts and the X100 shafts were fine except for the 9-iron and PW which measured about at a R300.


Currently, I play with some Rifle FCM Shafts that are 'Frequency Matched' and are supposed to have low tolerances. About 10 years ago I played with some FCM steel shafts and to their credit, they were all very consistent in shaft flex. It's just the shaft flex was stiffer than a tire iron.

Graphite shafts are wildly unpredictable. And yes, you had better check out lie angles, lofts, etc. if you are buying any club from an OEM.

You're best off finding some type of clubfitter and always trying out the club before purchasing it, making sure it fits you and then making sure the club meets the specifications it has marked down. American Golf Institute isn't discovering anything new here, but it's very important for golfers to take notice.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

CP vs. CF Release

You'll hear the words 'centripetal release (aka cp release)' and 'centrifigul release (aka cf release)' along with 'swinging left' bantied about in the golf swing. Here's what I understand it's supposed to mean.

First off, 'swinging left' relates to the 'centripetal release.' Hogan is considered the prototype of the 'centripetal release.' Take a look:

As you can see, Mr. Hogan's hands are 'working left.' If we had some photos of his swing a little later, his hands would disappear behind body.

I think Moe Norman is a quintessential example of the 'centrifigul force.'

I think I see more great players with the CP release than the CF release. But on the other hands as the handicaps start to lower, I think we tend to see more CP releases. I've been told that CP release associates more with 'swinging' and CF releases associates more with 'hitting.' I know Geoff Jones (aka SliceFixer) teaches a CP release.

I see a lot of golfers that try to use the CP release and wind up failing miserably. The problem I have with the CP release is that it's easy to start coming over the top. I think the CP release should be *considered* when the golfer is coming too far under plane (aka having too much of an inside-to-out swing path). So in my belief, a golfer needs to get the fundamentals down with the swing and then coming too far under the plane to start thinking about 'swinging left' and using the CP release. It would also help working with a qualified teaching professional to make sure you're doing it right.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Look at 'Float Loading' (10-19-B)

Back when I made my 'comeback' I really wanted to find out what 'float loading' was and how to obtain it. Unfortunately, nobody really explained it that well until I came across this Brian Manzella YouTube video (also my introduction to Manzella's work)

Here's what Mr. Homer Kelley wrote about Float Loading
10-19-B DOWNSTROKE (OR FLOAT) LOADING This procedure delays the Wristcock until the Start Down and completes it as specified by the Stroke Pattern Assembly Point Component.

What's that mean?

It means that the golfer pretty much does not cock the wrists in the backswing and the wrists eventually cock on the downstroke.

Here's some more:

'Float Loading' also describes this procedure - especially the sensation, because the Cocking motion should not be at all sharp , but gentle, or even lazy. With a 'Frozen Wrist' procedure (10-3-K), the Downstroke Cocking Action is limited to increasing the Right Elbow Bend only.

Okay, Mr. Kelley is stating that it's termed 'float loading' because the the wrist is very gentle or 'lazy.' If the wrists are frozen, then the golfer cannot cock the wrist in the 'float loading' procedure on the downswing and it's limited to the bending of the right elbow.

Assembly, Loading and Release are usually accomplished simultaneously, then with a Flicking action - automatic or non-automatic - continues as either Drive or Drag Loading, designating it as either 19-B/A or 19-B/C. And use corresponding Short Shot recommendations.
Here you would have to understand some of the Assembly definition as Homer Kelley describes. But it's saying that the loading and the release of the club happen simultaneously. Furthermore, float loading can be used for hitters (Drive Loading) or Swingers (Drag Loading). And you can used the same method on shorter shots.

Then the rest is stuff in 'The Golfing Machine' I really wouldn't worry about for now.

So who are prime examples of 'float loading?' I would say JB Holmes for one:

And of course, Sergio Garcia

So, did Hogan 'float load?'

And here's a sample of Hogan's swing in slow motion over at SwingAcademy.com (http://www.swingacademy.com/swinganalysistool.aspx?id=372)

I lean towards Hogan NOT being a float loader of the golf club. Or if he is a float loader, then it's very little float loading going on. His wrists are clearly cocked in the swing, clearly in the 3rd and 4th frames (or P4 and P5 in MORAD terms). There's more wrist cock going on in the downswing, but I would lean towards that just being drag loading (something I can post about later down the road.)

I think the keys to becoming a float loader are a few things, which Manzella goes over in his video:

1. Keeping the clubhead 'under the hands' on the backswing.
2. Getting a wide arc on the backswing.
3. Getting the butt of the clubhead pointing at the belt buckle at address.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

So, You Wanna Be a Teaching Pro?

I ran into the question about what a teaching pro's life is like and how to become one. I actually wanted to be a teaching pro at one point, but a lack of health insurance benefits and getting a 'real job' to please an ex-girlfriend and family got in the way. Plus, starting out is extremely tough.

That being said, I'm not here to discourage people from the profession. I know quite a few instructors and to a man they all rave about how much they truly love their job. Many of them get to hang out on the course, set their own hours, make pretty good money, and still get to play golf quite often. This is a lot different from the assistant pro who works 60+ hours a week, makes peanuts, and doesn't get much time to play golf.

The unfortunate part of the profession is that at its core, the success depends on how well one can market themselves. I do not consider Leadbetter a great teacher because his failure rate is very high, but he's been a guy that has marketed himself brilliantly...in fact better than any instructor ever...and he's the most famous and wealthiest instructor of all time. OTOH, I know some people that really know the swing, but are so poor at marketing themselves or reluctant to market themselves and they don't make a lot of money. The big thing I would tell anybody is that do not expect to get a luxurious gig like Leadbetter or Haney or McLean have. Maybe in the long run if you play your cards right and have a lot of luck on your side.

The other unfortunate part is often times the people that make out well in the profession were good golfers either in college or may have made the Nationwide or even PGA Tour. Or they have a beautiful golf swing and hit the ball quite well. It doesn't matter if they know what they are talking about or can explain it properly, as long as they have a good swing they will often draw attention.

With those things aside, I highly suggest becoming an Authorized Instructor of The Golfing Machine.

However, I think there's more to it than just reading the book and taking the classes. In fact, I think it would be impossible to just pick up the book and understand it. But, if you become an AI of The Golfing Machine, its a great way to learn and teach the swing, a great way to make connections, and a great way to give yourself some credentials.

The best way I believe of going about learning TGM is to first read Bobby Clampett's 'The Impact Zone' book and read Jeff Mann's Web site (http://perfectgolfswingreview.net/)

Both are simplified versions of The Golfing Machine. The Impact Zone doesn't really even go into TGM's lingo and jargon, but explains the very basic geometry of the golf swing (Clampett's 'ball flight laws' are outdated and incorrect, but other than that it's a fine book). Mann's Perfect Golf Swing Review incorporates some other teachings, but it has plenty of TGM info in there in a simple manner to understand. Meanwhile, I would find an authorized instructor (you can find one at http://www.thegolfingmachine.com/) and start working with him to understand a bit of the process.

Now, you should be ready to start to understand the book. In the preface of 'The Golfing Machine' it goes over the order in which to read the book. I suggest that as you are reading the book, purchase Peter Croker's 'TGM Downloads' (http://www.crokergolf.com/TGM_Downloads.htm) to help explain the basic parts of TGM.

After that, you should be pretty much ready to take the the Bachelors version of the courses. You can go even further and earn the Masters level or even Doctorate, but if you do not go that far it's not a bad thing.

All in the meantime I would suggest the following sites to help with TGM and golf in general.


Also a good instructor will have a quality camera that works well in slow motion as well as a quality instruction software program.

I also highly suggest to basically learn everything you can and then decipher what the good stuff is and what the bad stuff is. Learn as much as you can about putting. You'd be surprised on how much pros work on their putting with their instructor over their golf swing. Learn as many different swing methods as you can (which is really what TGM is about).

As far as promoting one's self, I suggest getting a Web site with a forum. Answer questions. Do some YouTube videos explaining some basic instruction.

One of the greatest lines I have ever come across is 'a true wiseman has more questions than answers.' If you follow that line of thinking, I believe you will be a fountain of information for your students and become the best instructor you can be.