Sunday, June 4, 2017

Swing Journal 6.4.17

Here’s a link to my last swing journal post:

5/4/17 Swing Journal

Here’s the swing video almost 3 weeks ago (2 weeks from the lesson)

My swing has progressed since then as up until that point in time I was only working on the backswing.

I prefer to work on my swing in order (address first, takeaway second, backswing third, etc.)

If that doesn’t work, I will work on the pieces that I feel I can start ingraining the soonest.

The good news for me is that not only were the backswing moves to be worked on before the downswing moves, but I felt that the backswing moves were easier for me to start ingraining quickly.

As we can see, my backswing is noticeably shorter.

Normally, I wouldn’t bother posting this video because it’s 3 weeks old. But, I wanted to go over the transformation in the backswing to a shorter backswing. But first…

There is no evidence that lengthening the backswing, in itself, will make hit the ball more crooked or be more inconsistent. Conversely, there is no evidence that shortening the backswing (in itself) will make you hit the ball straighter or be more precise.

I see a lot of golfers that want to shorten their backswing and struggle to do so. Usually one of two things will happen:

1) They focus on shortening the backswing and at the very last bit of their backswing their swing lengthens out and they still have a long backswing.

2) They shorten the backswing by restricting the body rotation, but struggle to hit the ball better.

It’s not so much about shortening or lengthening the swing as it is about the transition phase of the golf swing. The move a golfer makes in transition largely dictates their handicap.

And I think the length of a golf swing is mainly about the golfer’s brain telling them ‘you’ve got enough leverage to power your downswing to your liking.’

Here are a few ways that I believe golfers create leverage in their backswing:

A) Arm Swing
B) Wrist Hinging
C) ‘Going Upward’ (body going from flexion to extension)
D) ‘Going around’ (body rotation)
E) Shifting the ‘weight’ to the rear foot

I think most golfers looking to shorten their golf swing are in the same boat as I am…they are actually trying to shorten their arm swing.

However, this takes away one of the key ways to create ‘leverage.’ So for golfers that solely focus on shortening the swing and make no other changes…their brain tells them to ‘create more leverage!’ and they unconsciously continue to swing the arms back and cannot shorten the swing.

Personally, I’m not big into restricting rotation in the backswing for many reasons. It can cause a severe lack of power, throw off your downswing sequencing and cause injury.

What I did was I used ‘C’ and ‘E’ and created more leverage with them in order to make up for the loss of leverage by shortening the arm swing. By not flexing the left knee and getting some much forward tilt of the torso at the top of the swing that allowed me to ‘go upward’ more and ‘shift the weight’ more. I still had to focus on not abducting the right humerus bone, but it was easier to do so when I created more leverage by ‘going upward’ more and ‘shifting the weight’ more.

So if you’re looking to shorten your swing, make sure you’re doing so for a good reason other than the fallacy it will automatically make you more consistent and straighter. And note that because you’re losing leverage by swinging the arms less, you’ll want to make up for that leverage somewhere else.



Neil said...

Going from flexion to thoracic extension in the backswing is important.
I've tested this movement on my K Vest. If I stay in forward bend to the top of the backswing, I struggle to get a 90 degree shoulder turn.
When I reduce forward bend, increase thoracic extension and left side bend, I get 110 degrees of effective shoulder rotation at the top of the backswing.
I also had a nasty habit of increasing my pelvic side bend too much in backswing which hindered my pivot.
I now feel like my pelvis turns more level ( this equates to -6 side bend on K Vest).

Rich H. said...

Good points, Neil. I remember Andy Plummer showing a presentation of Brad Faxon being unable to get a full shoulder turn in the backswing using TPI's methodology. They had poor Brad with an exercise routine that would make Navy SEALs blush and to no avail. Them Plummer worked on many of the things you pointed out to and within 30 minutes Faxon had a larger shoulder rotation than he ever did with TPI.

About Me said...

Does 'going upward' in the backswing translate into increased clubhead speed because you are forced to go back down in the downswing which then leads to hip thrust before impact?