Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Look Into the Poll Question: George Knudson

The next answer in my poll of 'If You Could Hit It Like One Historic Golfer In Their Prime, Who Would It Be?' is Mr. George Knudson.

One thing that should be cleared up a bit is the argument of old equipment versus today's modern equipment and which is better. I think without question the Drivers, 3-woods, Wedges, Putters, and Golf Balls are better today. The bigger debate usually comes with the irons, particularly the old style blade which had the sweetspot more towards the heel, a flatter lie and a heavier club with almost zero offset versus todays blades which are a little more offset, have a lower COG and a sweetspot more 'centralized' to help promote a little more forgiveness and are a little lighter and more upright with their lie angle.

Either way, the voter shouldn't think about this too much because in all reality a golfer like Mr. Knudson, if he were alive and well today, could find equipment that had similar specs to the old equipment. I recently purchased some Mizuno MP-62's with a D-1 swingweight and Mizuno could personally make me some clubheads with pretty much whatever particular swingweight I wanted without having to drill or add lead tape to them. And if you want an old school type of blade I'd recommend the Mizuno MP-67 or even better the Miura Tour Blades

As I mentioned in previous posts, growing up in upstate NY when people would talk about great ballstrikers they would usually mention Hogan, Snead, Trevino and Knudson as well since not being too far from the Canadian Border, many golfers in the area had seen him play. Personally, I didn't know much of anything about him until recently. Let's take a look at him impact position.

There's many things I love about this impact position, but most notably for me given my latest instruction is the entire right leg along with the right foot. Mr. Knudson's right heel is slightly off the ground, but he does it in a perfect manner as the weight is up on the *side* of the ball of his right foot. As Homer Kelley describes in 'The Golfing Machine', the right heel can come up off the ground but it needs to be 'pulled' up off the ground (by the momentum of the swing) and not 'raised' up off the ground (by getting weight on the toes). That gets that right knee pointing in perfectly forward towards the target instead of pointing outwards towards the ball.

It's literally amazing that when I let the momentum of my swing pull the heel up off the ground how much balance and tempo I have and how much better the results become. The 'Secret' truly is in the dirt.

Knudson is an important figure in Canadian golfing history as he studied Ben Hogan with a passion and it shows in his swing and most Canadian golfers I've come across are big fans of Knudson, Hogan and Moe Norman.

His swing was noticeably flat, but he still had a ton of power. Surprisingly enough his best Major was the Masters where he usually played well at and even finished 2nd at Augusta in 1969. Given his weakness with the flatstick and Augusta traditionally being a bomber and good putters course over a 'ballstrikers' course, I would have figured differently.

Sadly, Mr. Knudson passed away in 1989 due to a long bout with cancer.


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