Monday, August 17, 2009

The Secret Is In The Dirt on Tour

Congrats to friend and follower of the Richie3Jack blog, Mike Maves (aka Sevam1) for confirming that he is indeed working with Steve Elkington on Elkington's swing. Elk has been known as one of the best ballstrikers with one of the best swings on Tour for quite some time. He's worked with Mac O'Grady, Ben Doyle and now Mike Maves.

Here's couple of videos of Elk's swing at the Canadian Open.

For those who don't recall, Maves wrote the fabulous golf instruction e-book 'The Secret Is In The Dirt.' I've actually been e-mailed and PM'd by a few new readers asking about the book and I highly recommend the book. Over at Brian Manzella's Web site there was a discussion about the quality of PGA instructors and I mentioned that there may be about 100 people in the world of golf whose opinion I trust with the golf swing (not saying I agree with everything they say, but they have an opinion that I value). Mike Maves happens to be one of those people, particularly when it comes to footwork and the lower body. In fact, there's probably only a handful of people in this world whose opinion I trust when it comes to footwork in the golf swing (and Mike obviously is one of them).

That doesn't mean you must by 'The Secret Is In The Dirt' right now. One reader who is currently working with my instructor, Ted Fort, inquired about the book and I thought it was something he should hold off on for now until he gets down Ted's instruction. As Mike has mentioned, he felt that his book will work best for those golfers that are 'almost there' and I readily concur. So if you're struggling with coming over the top or working on a new grip or the right forearm takeaway, you should focus your efforts on those before you get into 'The Secret Is In The Dirt.'

When I think of Mike, I think a lot about Ben Hogan. Hogan was a brilliant man because while his findings in '5 Lessons' and other books were hardly scientific, I felt he was incredibly astute about the swing and how it effects the golf ball through a massive amount of attentive trial and error. Hogan's stance diagram is a perfect example:

Hogan didn't have the scientific, detailed findings that physicists and Trackman/D-Plane has provided us with why the stance diagram works. Instead, Hogan used a massive amount of trial and error and found that he hit the ball pretty straight when his stance was more closed as he went with longer clubs and more open when he used a shorter club.

Mike has studied and studied Hogan and his book '5 Lessons' and through astute observation has come up with a pattern and components that can help a lot of golfers, even a former Major winner like Steve Elkington.



Kevin said...

I have been anxious to see where Mike would turn up. I think he has some FANTASTIC ideas, and working with a TGM based swing like Elk's is a GREAT fit. Good luck to both!


Rich H. said...

Mike has been one of the biggest helps in my game. When I worked with Ted on 7-17 of TGM, that's when it really clicked to me about what Mike was driving at with footwork and 'ground forces.' After my last lesson with Ted I was swinging quite well, but I would occasionally get too fast on the startdown, come OTT and steer it. Ted and I talked about how the start down needs to be slower, but what really clicked for me was reading Mike's latest e-book update and talking about lag pressure.

I've told Mike before that his ideas really fit in well with TGM.

Anonymous said...

That should be a great thing. I wish them both the best.

David Orr said...

Elks swing is getting worse every year... Understand, This is not a knock on his instructors at all...But a knock on Elk's "Baskin Robbins Approach" ...Perhaps if he'd shift back to what really made him a player was "consistent putting"...But that would be too "Vanilla"...Having a "good looking" wing is like "Pralenes and Cream"....I work with numerous Tour players and can attest to the fact that sometimes you need to get back to what got you there!

Rich H. said...

Sometimes I think you need to be more of a psychotherapist and a salesman than an actual instructor with Tour players. I was reading a post Geoff Mangum made about the different between teaching ams vs. the Tour pros. Really good stuff. I think it's a fine line between working on putting vs. working on the swing and Mark Sweeney's 'stats that matter' points more to ballstriking than putting. One of my main goals with my game is to work on and improve the things that actually matter in improving my scores. I think that's rarely accomplished in the game.

Paul said...

Would Elk classify as a swinger or a hitter?

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