Archive for May, 2012

Useful Bits and Pieces of Information

Useful bits and pieces

1. Remember the ‘chip’ question of last week? See the answers in the short game  section.

2. One student who’d already being trying MGS through internet resources alone wanted the total MGS ‘package’ – full swing, pitch/bunker, chip and putt, all personalized for him, and he was one of the fastest learners I ever met in my 23 years of teaching. He showed instant success in all 4 departments. The reasons – his body type is very flexible; he has had lessons from so many teachers he is a good lesson-taker and used to making changes quickly; he was already open to the idea of making a non-traditional yet scientific swing, and had been using it with some success.

3. Watch out for his ‘before’ and ‘after’ videos to be posted on youtube over the next few days. Useful for those already following MGS, on how exactly to ‘get it’. Basically, ‘before’, at the time of starting his backswing, John had no twist at all. So, whatever MGS-like moves he was trying to make during the backswing did not succeed as well as they could have. Even after being shown the salient features of MGS for him, he got his best shots when he had enough twist. For him (some golfers have the opposite problem), keeping his right side down and lifting his left arm steeply up were easy, he just did not always make enough  MGS ‘twist’. So, even when he kept his right side down and the meaty upper part of his left arm rising steeply and softly up his chest wall, he would revert to a laid off position. However, he still had fantastic ball-flight because of MGS’s ‘magic move’ for the full swing – keeping the right side down and the body quiet during the backswing.

NO TWIST/BARELY ANY TWIST (‘BEFORE’, even though trying to get MGS):

 

 

 

 

GREAT TWIST (‘AFTER’)

 

 

The right leg and knee in the minimalist swing

There were two inquiries within a couple of days regarding the right leg! One student who was hitting the most brilliant shots suddenly noticed that her right knee straightens out while making the MGS ‘twist’. That happens with a lot of students and it’s quite alright, it makes no difference to the quality of the downswing. If you prefer to foucs on keeping the flex in the knee, and add one more thing to the thoughts required during the set-up, that’s OK too, but it does not matter.

Another student asked:  “in orthodox instruction much is made of the right leg and inside of the right foot as a pillar and starting block, to be swung around and pushed off with respectively.  Is this concentration on the right leg extraneous to the MGS?” The answer is: yes, absolutely. Everything that requires thinking during the downswing is extraneous, if you make a good MGS set-up and backswing, you do not have to think or do anything intentional at all. The good moves simply happen in the correct sequence, and the bad ones – any that you ever made – are prevented.

This is how I phrase it for my students in financial careers. Thins of the MGS set-up as planning the perfect portfolio. Then think of the MGS backswing as buying your shares at the right price. Your downswing is the time to sit back and watch the dividends roll in!

The Minimalist Golf Swing's pre-shot routine

All recent lessons have indicated that applying the MGS pre-shot routine in very deliberate steps ensures that all positions are correct. Three lessons over the past 5 days come to mind – a female Tour player, an 80-year-old, and an 11 year old.

The first was a bit embarrassed to twist and unconsciously got out of the ‘twist’ just prior to the start of the backswing, or over-did it, and allowed the head to droop to far to the right. The second kept forgetting the steps so needed them reinforced, one at a time. The third always made the set-up and swing in a hurry and did not get into MGS positions all the time, and was rather upset.

So, make a note of each one of the individual steps you use in your set-up routine, and then practice making each one deliberately, almost pausing between steps. The deliberateness of it all not only ensures nothing is forgotten, but also helps to slow the mind down.

It is also important to only have meaningful steps during the routine. A step such as  looking at the target (especially after an MGS twist!) is not particularly useful for the full-swing, as no hand-eye co-ordination for distance-judgment is required.

The Minimalist Golf Swing’s pre-shot routine

All recent lessons have indicated that applying the MGS pre-shot routine in very deliberate steps ensures that all positions are correct. Three lessons over the past 5 days come to mind – a female Tour player, an 80-year-old, and an 11 year old.

The first was a bit embarrassed to twist and unconsciously got out of the ‘twist’ just prior to the start of the backswing, or over-did it, and allowed the head to droop to far to the right. The second kept forgetting the steps so needed them reinforced, one at a time. The third always made the set-up and swing in a hurry and did not get into MGS positions all the time, and was rather upset.

So, make a note of each one of the individual steps you use in your set-up routine, and then practice making each one deliberately, almost pausing between steps. The deliberateness of it all not only ensures nothing is forgotten, but also helps to slow the mind down.

It is also important to only have meaningful steps during the routine. A step such as  looking at the target (especially after an MGS twist!) is not particularly useful for the full-swing, as no hand-eye co-ordination for distance-judgment is required.

That dreaded SHANK – is NOT MGS!

The Shank and MGS? They’re not related or even good friends!

Someone who has been very happy with MGS so far, sent an SOS email to say he was suddenly shanking the ball.

It is IMPOSSIBLE to be swinging MGS and making a fade, even, let alone a vicious slice or that dreaded shank.

So, what is a SHANK? It is a shot that results when the shank (just above the hosel) of the club connects with the ball, and this happens – always – because the right upper-body starts the downswing, out of sequence.

If a golfer has made the set-up twist of MGS, and then simply lifted the lead arm upwards (not ‘out’ and not ‘in’), then the arms drop and the hips rotate all at the appropriate time, so the right upper-body never comes into the picture.

If a golfer is trying to be MGS-like and has it almost down pat, the only thing which might make him/her shank the ball is if his lead arm goes ‘in’ instead of ‘up’ and takes, along with it, the entire body along in a rotatory movement.

Remember, MGS wants ‘no wrist, NO TWIST’ – the twist is over before the backswing begins.

Many are insecure lifting the lead arm straight up, because they fear that it will either be an all-arms move, or will move their lead arm outside the target line at the start of the backswing.

Well, as long as the right side remains lower than the left, the body IS harnessed at the appropriate time during the downswing, so MGS is prevented from being an all-arms move. As long as the trail shoulder remains twisted behind, the lead arm lifting vertically ‘up’ is always inside the target line, needing no further ‘inside’ movement. In other words, the MGS ‘up’ is always ‘in’ so avoid any more ‘in-ness’!

Chipping off uneven lies

How should the club approach the ball during a regular chip shot, in order to impart just enough height to to the ball for it to safely clear the green; land; and then run all the way to the hole? (in terms of the ball flight laws – especially path and angle of approach).

How, then, should the club be moving differently, if the ball is on an uphill lie (ie. the lead foot is higher than the trail foot)? Such a lie is common, as many greens are crowned and slope upwards. More importantly, how should the club NOT be moving?

Sometimes a lot of shots can be saved simply by knowing what the club should do and what is a definite no-no, when the ball’s lie makes one stand on uneven ground. Then one simply has to move the arms correctly in order to deliver the club appropriately to the ball.

Any suggestions?

Teaching the MGS Full-swing

Teaching MGS

There are already 2-3 people teaching MGS – just from information gleaned through Minimalist Golf Swing System content on youtube, the website, blog and ebook.

The best way to teach MGS to anyone trying it out for the first time, is to have them get into their usual posture and grip, without a club in their hands.Then set them up in the MGS twist to make sure they get it just right, and give them the feel of left arm rising softly and steeply up the chest wall. Sometimes they get so caught up in the twist they never focus on keeping the right side down (magic move of the backswing) and lifting the left arm loosely and isolatedly up the chest wall. Then they could hold a club in hand, way down on the grip, with the club 6” above the ground, and make swings with a club but no ground contact. Next the should hit the ball off a tee. Prefer to start with mid-irons, then longer irons/hybrids/fairway woods and only when all these stages have become more of a ‘habit’ should the student try to hit the ball off the grass or pull out the driver!

Another good tip is to have then do through each of the MGS set-up steps (in the ebook/blog) very deliberately, so they feel that they have made each step.

Those with tight grips (how can you tell? First by looking at the stiffness of the elbows or shoulders, and then by trying to tug the club out of their hands!) or those confused with the concepts of the set-up and swing and not repeating each step even when you verbally re-inforce it, need even gentler treatment. Make sure they practice the movements a lot before attempting any swings with a club in the hand. (Left handed golfers, sorry, please reverse R and L!)

Incidentally, the MGS Level 1 and 2 certifications are designed to be the most scientific in the world, not just a collection of concepts randomly put together. Any student will see that the MGS certified instructor can personalize the MGS System for any skill-level or body-type of golfer.

When does a Swing Move change from OBJECTIVE to SUBJECTIVE?

When does a Swing Component stray from Objective to Subjective?

Objective, with respect to MGS, means that it works for every golfer, every time, which is fairly easy because the same movements are being recommended to all. Even then, some thoughts/feelings that individuals might have to get themselves into MGS positions might be those that work only for them.

Some ‘subjective’ examples. A long-driver student some years ago responded to my telling him to ‘make his left arm rise steeply up the chest till it hit some part of his face’ by saying, ‘oh, you mean I should kiss my bicep – now I get it’. So, as swing thoughts/feelings/concepts went, I thought it’d be a good one, and asked another student to try that as an idea for raising the left arm steeply up. She promptly puckered up and dropped her head down to reach her arm – but she was trying to ‘kiss the bicep’! So, that swing thought is a subjective one, one not worth passing on.

When people say ‘keep the head down’ (like Jack Nicklaus’ coach told him to) or say ‘let the head lift like Annika does’ they are both diametrically opposite concepts, which one is correct? From an MGS perspective, neither. As a result of the MGS twist, the head moves as well (sometimes if people are unable to remain in MGS posture during the backswing, I’ll have them tilt the trail ear very slightly towards the right shoulder, in addition). The head should simply stay where it’s at, until well past impact – well behind the ball, not over it.

Finally, lots of people ask what they should be doing during the downswing, “How can one have no downswing thought at all,” many will ask, and say that it works better for them if they push their hands or hips or legs or whatever. So, will reiterate once again, ‘do nothing’ is the only and best downswing thought to have and if at all a swing thought is mandatory, it would be ‘keep the head in it’s position of address’. That is the only one that works – for every single golfer.

Do you have any funny ‘kiss the bicep’ type thoughts that did not get the results you’d have liked? Or conversely a way-out, quite subjective thought that worked well for you? Do write in, would love to know.

The Minimalist Golf Swing SYSTEM what it encompasses

The Minimalist Golf Swing SYSTEM – what it encompasses

 The MGS SYSTEM (as presented at the World Scientific Congress of Golf 2012) is not merely a swing method or style or even  a scientific yet  unorthodox way to make a full-swing.

 It is the world’s only 100% objective golf swing system* which results in an ‘ideal’ shot, time after time, with very little scope for error. The ‘ideal’ shot could be any one of:

 –          Full-swing (straight with maximum possible distance and ideal trajectory)

–          A true-roll putt

–          A very reliable chip shot

–          A  high, soft pitch

(Shots such as fades, draws, pitch-and-run, bunker shots, cut-shots, shots with extra backspin would all be derivatives of the 4 basic shots).

 Incidentally, ‘ideal’  implies that  the ball will always travel straight; the club will always arrive at the ball from the ‘inside’; and with each club’s loft appropriately presented. The only variables which would change would be the width of the swing’s arc for ball height, and the speed of the club for ball distance.

 The objective three-step procedure is:

 –          How should the ball travel (high or low, minimum or maximum distance?)

–          What club positions will make the ball travel as required? (swing arc narrow or wide, swing speed maximum or minimum?)

–          What body positions at address and during the backswing will allow the club to be returned correctly to the ball, time after time?

 The MGS SYSTEM works for any skill-level of golfer – man, woman or child – who would like better ball-striking with less scope for injury.

The MGS SYSTEM is termed the world’s only 100% objective golf swing system because although most good golfers and golf instructors will use the first two steps, never before has enough research been conducted to develop the third step.

Tiger does it AGAIN

The most phenomenal talent in the golfing world does it again! At the May 2012 Wells Fargo event where he misses cut.

It is all the fault of his swing. His top-of-backswing is set to require a MIGHTY MANIPULATION to bring his club back to impact from the inside and at a shallow angle, in order to have straight ball-flight. Can a manipulation repeat itself in a new swing?

Tiger's full-swing May 2012

Have a look at his putting next. From face-on, look how his arms are stuck to his sides, in the follow-through. Imagine guiding a pool-cue or billiards cue with the forearms stuck so close to the body. What happened to a simple back-and-past-the-ball putter movement? Look at his left shoulder rotating inwards. How does that help keep the putter (and therefore the ball) moving straight down the target line?

Tiger Woods at Wells Fargo 2012

Surely putting is a simple case of  ‘club arrives at the ball and departs from the ball in a straight line, ball goes straight’! How about his distance from the ball? Does it not appear that as he is so far away from the ball and thus so bent forward, he has to bend his elbows a lot in order to prevent shoulder tension? If so, no wonder the arms cannot move the club back and through in a simple movement.

Comments anyone?

Tiger Putts at Wells Fargo 2012

Tiger needs MGS. Not only for its simplicity and efficiency but because it does not take years to learn unlike his last 2 swings.

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