Archive for May, 2011

Flogging Golf

Golf Instructor

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MGS at The The VI World Scientific Congress of Golf                                                                                      [Scottsdale AZ, 12-16 March 2012]

If anyone is attending the World Scientific Congress of Golf, I’d be thrilled if you attended any or all of these 3 presentations:

Symposium: Science Based Methods to Improve Golf Ball Flight (with Brian Manzella and 2 biomechanics professors) ON Wednesday March 14th, 2.30 – 4pm

Workshop: The Role of the Body’s Joints in Maximizing Golf Swing Efficiency ON Monday March 12th, 4-5 pm

Oral presentation: Applying Simple and Acute Kinematic Alterations to Elicit Change in Golf Club Speed and Angle of Approach ON Friday March 16th 2.30 to 4 pm

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On Teaching Golf – qualities of a good golf instructor

Some say a good golf teacher must be a great communicator. Others, that an instructor should be a very fine player. Still others feel imparting golf instruction is an art, acquired through years of experience.

All of these are accurate, to an extent. The main quality a great golf instructor must have is to know when to be subjective and when to be objective. It’s when a person mixes the two up, that a poor lesson results – one where no improvement is seen, not even during the lesson with plenty of opportunity for feedback!

The time to be completely objective is concerning the physics and joint-biomechanics of the golf swing for both full- and short-swings. After all, the laws of nature do not change, and the design of the human body’s joints do not differ, from person to person. Unfortunately, neither the physics nor the joint-biomechanics of the golf swing have been researched, with all available knowledge out there itself being rather subjective, and based on the way the Tour players swing or the good teachers teach.

So, here are a few laws of nature and human joint design to be aware of:

Physics:
• Potential Energy – during the backswing, the clubshaft should only climb as high as its position of maximum potential energy (about ten o’clock) – no more, no less
• Center of mass – the body’s mass, at impact, should be ‘at’ the ball (not past or behind), and moving targetward. (The hips should not have slid past the ball nor the body be spinning around on the right leg)
• Ground reaction force – can be utilized, during the downswing, for more power, by not lifting the right heel for as long as possible. That is, until it gets pulled up by the momentum of the movement.

Joint biomechanics:
• Trunk lateral flexion – the right side of the body must remain lower than the left, from set-up to top of backswing. That is how it is at address, and once again at impact, and to allow the left side to flex laterally (bend sideways) during the backswing, requires too much compensation coming down.
• Right shoulder – the right shoulder must have no elevation and must also have external rotation. That is, there should be no lifting of the right shoulder – like a shrug. Also, the right fore-arm must bend backwards (away from the ball), not forwards (towards the ball).
In short, the set-up, and swing style must be completely objective and science-based, in order to put the body in position to deliver the club to the ball correctly, according to the Ball Flight Laws. In order to make a swing with as few compensating movements from the top of the backswing as an individual is able to.

[The Minimalist Golf Swing is designed keeping all of the above factors in mind so that all a teacher has to do to ensure a scientifically valid wing is follow the instructions here from the page of that title in this blog]

The time to be subjective is with respect to imparting (objective) knowledge to the extent of an individual’s fitness and flexibility, acuity and best method of learning.

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