Archive for April, 2012

Recommended Reading

Please splurge on a copy of the May 2012 issue of Golf Digest Magazine. Why? See the section on ‘birdies and bogeys’!

The Chip Shot – a la MGS

The Chip Shot – a la MGS!

What exactly is the chip shot? It has variously been defined as:

A lofted shot in which the ball travels further along the ground than it does in the air.  OR

A short, low-trajectory shot played to the green or from trouble back into play – the shot of choice when a putt is not possible as a result of an unpredictable surface immediately in front of the ball.   OR

A low trajectory shot played to the apron, or green, or around the green, in which the roll is longer than the carry.

Bottom line: the ball must get a bit of loft – just enough to clear any ‘trouble’ and then run on the ground just like a putt does. It should therefore be made with a CLUB which gives it the minimal loft required and a STROKE which keeps it running after it lands.

If the ball has some amount  of ‘check’ after it lands (created by imparting extra spin on the ball), instead of just roll, the shot becomes unreliable and unrepeatable, as the amount of backspin the ball gets can vary. So, as usual, the idea is to keep it MINIMALIST and make as simple (and putt-like) a stroke as possible. The shot is described in the ebook DIY (do-it-yourself) GOLF in detail, but here is validation for why it should be kept simple.

Ever since the dog-wagging-tail theory, people “rotate their bodies towards target and finish tall”.

They often hinge the wrists in the backswing too. Wrist-hinge is a small sin – not ideal, not MINIMALIST, but not unforgivable, if the golfer is somehow able to have straight wrists during the follow-through.

However, the stand-up-and-turn finish is absolutely absurd.

Why? The clubhead is (hopefully) approaching the ball from the inside (yellow line) so that it can square up in time for impact. Now you suddenly start to move the arms and hands ‘inside’ the target line and stand up in preparation for ‘finish’ too. Can you guarantee that you do all this after and not before impact? Time after time? Whenever split-second timing is required in golf, things become less consistent. So many joints to be moved, so many muscles to be triggered into action by so many nerves, all in perfect sequence! What’s wrong with straight back and straight through chip shot (with efficient joint-placements the MGS way).

PS: no doubts, I hope, on MGS being ‘la’ and not ‘le’.

Test Your Understanding of MGS

A great response from Bill. Have replied with useful TO DO thoughts in order to get into the positions suggested by Bill.

And a picture from the new MGS-er himself:

Test Your Understanding of MGS

Calling all MGS Practitioners. Test YOUR understanding of MGS, and, at the same time, help a rookie MGS-er ‘get-it’.

Tell this golfer what he should do with his 1. Set-up 2. Backswing to be swinging MGS. Post comments here.

Also, the easiest, most pain-free way to ‘get’ MGS is to have it personalized for you – check the ‘learn MGS in a day’ section of this blog, and visit St Louis this summer to become fully immersed – painlessly – in MGS.

OR even become MGS certified, so you can teach as well as swing MGS (for both full-swing and short-game) – see the section on ‘get MGS certified’.

The Minimalist Golf Swing SYSTEM

The Minimalist Golf Swing SYSTEM

For those MGS followers who believe MGS is all about the full-swing, it is NOT. The Minimalist Golf Swing System basically assesses the body position which will deliver the club to the ball at impact, according to the type of shot the golfer wishes to make, (ie. straight-far-high or soft-high or soft-low or quick-roll depending or whatever is desired) and then recommend swing/top-of-backswing positions which make correct club delivery easy and effortless.

A new section ‘mgs short game’ will discuss many short-game concepts and answer any short-game questions.

Of Birdies and Bogies

Of Birdies and Bogies

A new section in this blog, with tongue in cheek comments on the many birdies and bogies of golf – and life. Which, for most people who’d visit this blog mean the same thing!

The famed and dreaded OTT

The famed and dreaded OTT

Never realized until I heard a ‘formal’ description of Over-the-Top by Greg Rose of Titleist Performance Institute at the March 2012 World Scientific Congress of Golf that there are at least 12 different definitions of the phenomenon!

The typical OTT definition is of the clubshaft being over – in normal language higher – than the shaft-shoulder plane cone during the downswing (when seen from down-the-target-line).

The TPI definition for the shaft to NOT be over-the-top may be seen when the lead arm is approximately horizontal, during the downswing. At this stage the shaft should be under the shaft plane, and maybe form a parallel line to it.

So, if the above definitions make two, thought searching for a couple more of the dirty dozen, just to look for any differences, might be fun.

One of the first google results was this blog: 

and the blog’s author’s first quote was a reply to his question on the subject of OTT by Brian Manzella: “I thought Brian did a pretty good job giving a simple explanation of ‘over the top’: Simply means the downswing starts OVER THE TOP of the backswing plane.”

The author then continued, “However, I don’t think I’m quite satisfied with that definition because I do believe an OTT swing is a bad thing, but this definition leaves it so the golfer can come over the top and be just fine.” Finally he stated, “….there is a thread that I started trying to generate a definition in the difference between ‘swinging left’ and ‘coming over the top.’ After some thought and deliberation, along with asking some sharp golf minds, I think I have a pretty good definition between the two”.

So, check out more from the two D-Plane experts mentioned above.

Or read on if you believe D-Plane is too complex and too un-necessary to wish know more about. (For the Minimalist Golf Swing it truly is, because MGS is very simplistic and always forces an ideal clubpath, angle of approach and face angle along with maximum possible speed, so why bother with paths and angles which may be less than ideal!).

The MGS method simply places the body into positions at the top from which it cannot help but drop down to impact in order to present the club to the ball ‘from the inside’, ie FTI. Regardless of how people define OTT, I’m sure all will agree that if a club swings FTI it can never be OTT!

So, my simplistic description of OTT is one in which the right shoulder-arm complex or even the right thigh move forward, and maybe downward, at the start of the downswing (ie. before the lower body can commence the downswing). This body movement in turn will always cause the club to arrive at the ball steeply and out-to-in, and thus swing path and angle of approach are inevitably linked. In the ‘good old days’ (before the discovery of shaft/shoulder planes) OTT meant coming over the top – of the ball!

And guess what? Does MGS care about OTT or early-release/casting? Not in the least, because neither evil can take place with MGS. Why worry about bad shots when one can always make ideal shots.

For the disbelievers who’re about to ask, “what about when I need to pull the ball”. The simple answer to that is, why on earth would anyone EVER wish to pull a ball? Why not simply aim left and hit it straight? Who ever decided to name 9 ball-flights did the world a dis-service. The pull-group (pull, pull-slice, pull-hook) are so senseless that we may as well add shank and top to the list if we wish to name all possible ball-flights!

The reason the pull-group makes no sense is because those shots are only ever caused by incorrect body-sequencing, that is by OTT as defined here. OTT, incidentally, is also the cause of most golf injury, but that’s a story for another day.


Feeling nostalgic about Disney? No time to visit Coney Island?

Never fear, MGS will give you all the ferris-wheel and merry-go-round rides you could ever want! The arms will go ferris-wheel and the body merry-go-round, and you’ll never be left in mid-air wondering if you’re suddenly on a ferris-go-round or a merry-wheel!

How? All golf swing problems begin when the body starts to move up-and-down or side to side; or the arms move around the body or forwards and backwards.

For a scientific yet simple explanation, see the ‘science and the golf swing’ section of this blog.

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