Archive for September, 2012

Typical and Atypical situations with respect to the MGSS

Typical and Atypical situations with respect to the MGSS

All ‘typical’ MGSS shots (ie full-swing, pitch/bunker, chip and putt shots) are designed to give a golfer an inside path and wide arc (of both the lead as well as trail arms) during the backswing. Both inside path and width during backswing are concepts based on my years of research which have proved scientifically that these two aspects are important.

So, when a narrower arc is required, in order for the club to arrive steeply at the ball and thus ‘pinch’ the ball, a few minor adjustments must be made.

These are described in the video MGS from Awkward/Unusual Lies in the ‘golf videos’ section of this blog.

The bunker/pitch shot used by the MGSS provides a soft-landing, high shot without significant narrowing of the backswing arc. It may therefore be considered a ‘typical’ MGSS shot. It remains basically the same movement as the full-swing, except that it has reduced distance by cutting out the full-swing downswing body-rotation. It is able to achieve that by having the golfer stand closer to the ball.

With typical MGSS movements and not being required to ‘finish’ (stand-up-and-turn-to-face-target through impact), the chances of hitting a ‘fat’ or ‘skulled’ shot are fairly non-existent.

A video for this has also been posted in the ‘golf videos’ section.

Finally, as of November 2012 you can get an on-line video analysis to see how your MGSS is progressing, PLUS new information, not available in the ebook or website or blog. Email for details/suggestions/questions.

Stack and Tilt and Sergio Garcia’s swing

Stack and Tilt and Sergio Garcia’s swing

The S&T folks named Sergio as someone who exemplifies what S&T is all about, (they show pictures of Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Johnny Miller in their backswings and all of them too have an S&T position halfway or so into their backswings). Even though those golfers did not know they had an S&T position, they all did.

So, Here are some screen shots from a youtube video. Any comments on Sergio’s positions? Let’s see what everyone seeing this has to say? From a swing-plane or joint-position or even color-of-his-apparel perspective!

Stack and Tilt – the good and the not-so-good – In Anatomy

Stack and Tilt – the good and the not-so-good – In Anatomy

A fellow- LPGA Pro who knows of my interest and research in anatomy and golf-specific-biomechanics recently said, “You must see the Charlie Rose interview of the Stack and Tilt guys”.

Also, I’d asked for and received some information from S&T because they are now an LPGA-approved certification provider.

The basic backswing moves of S&T are a ‘extension, a left tilt and rotation of the spine’.

In strictly anatomical terms this means:

  1. The spine is ‘extended’ or straightened backwards (away from the ball/straightened up compared to the forward posture of address)
  2. The trunk/spine is in left lateral flexion (bending sideways towards the left)
  3. The spine is rotated – mainly thoracic and lumbar (because S&T requires a steady head)

S&T have many things absolutely correct, and some quotes from the Charlie Rose interview of 2009:

  1. Shifting weight makes the process more chaotic
  2. S&T makes the clubhead hit the same spot repeatedly
  3. No players have injured themselves in the lower back with S&T
  4. The good players do not like to make swing change, practice what they have and simply throw out the bad shots to chance

The best thing about S&T is the lack of side-to-side movement – even if it looks like a reverse weight shift – which always results in much more solid contact. Another point in the method’s favor is that because of the inside backswing path generated, it is difficult to come over-the-top with the upper body, and thus many injuries are, indeed, prevented. As body-weight stays predominantly on the target side, the club rarely connects the ball on the upswing, thus making crisp contact.

The not-good-in-anatomy factors are that the advocated backswing ‘side-bend’ requires a lateral trunk flexion with the back straightening out of posture. Then at half-way down the golfer should be back in the spinal flexion of address, before once more straightening the back past impact, at the risk of hitting the ground if the second straightening out does not happen in time.

Two factors prevent S&T from being a superior movement:

  1. It is very timing-dependent
  2. It requires a lot of re-routing of several joints. Split second re-routing! The most important ‘joint’ being the spine, which must go from a bend of the left side to a bend of the right at impact. EVERY golfer of the world has to hit the ball with the trail (in this case right) side lower, simply because the right hand is lower at address! A lot of other joints must simultaneously re-route along with the spine when going from one side low to the other side low.

See a screen-shot from the Charlie Rose interview of a former S&T user, which shows how he will require to re-route his right wrist, forearm and upper-arm.

The Minimalist Golf Swing on the other hand, places all major joints in positions from which they need no re-routing to drop the club down correctly for ideal impact.

Fading the Ball with the MGS

The Fade, MGSS Style.

The ‘fade’ shot requires a slightly out-to-in path, with slightly more body weight remaining on the back/trail leg, so that the net result is that the clubface opens through impact.

It is therefore not a normal MGSS shot. The basic MGSS shots (full-swing, pitch/bunker, chip and putt shot) will never allow the club to arrive at the ball from an outside path, which is created by a slight over-the-top downswing and thus produces less-than-ideal contact with the ball.

The adaptation to be made for the ‘fade’ should only be made after the set-up and backswing for a regular swing are easily repeated.

The only change to be made is that the golfer ‘twists’ less during the set-up. Or, as some do, twist as much as usual, then undo a bit of the twist.

A video has been attached with the same title, in the ‘golf videos’ section of this blog.

A draw is made by aiming the feet slightly right of target and shutting the clubface (as usual), and then using all the other features of the MGSS set-up and backswing. For those with a slightly forward ball-position (MGSS recommends center for all full-swing shots), that could be moved back a bit too, so as to be more centered.

This post especially for Mike Kenny.

Chasing the Tiger – how he'd benefit from using the MGS!

Chasing the Tiger

Uncommon golfer, common problems. The driver shots going wide to the right and the irons long and low and left.

That’s what one learns from ‘The Big Miss’ by Hank Haney, which truly should be mandatory reading for all wannabe golf instructors as well as wannabe Tiger instructors. Basically his arms would always get ‘stuck’ behind his body, as his body was too quick. That happened because at the top he was too steep and across-the-line with his club shaft and closed with his clubface.

Solutions?

One pro told him to snap his left knee straight to get more distance (I’d surely be sue-ing that pro, because torquing a knee as fast as Tiger does, then getting it into a fully-extended lock-out position with a rapid change of direction is a classic recipe for a torn-ACL). That pro also probably encouraged backswing width, which caused his arms to go too far away from the body during the takeaway.

Another had him practice being laid-off to prevent across-the-line, and then cock the wrists and rotate the forearms at takeaway, to prevent a shut clubface. He was also told that his head hangs back and his body drops down leading upto impact, so he should practice an Annika-like turn-of-head-to-target to prevent that.

Yet another coach, while ‘talking the talk’, and throwing out terms like ‘biomechanics’ strengthened Tiger’s grip and had him lean his shaft towards target. Everyone has seen the long, low misses to the left with the recent swing changes.

The saddest thing about all of these lessons is that all the instructors made Tiger reduce his distance in order to gain direction (which he did not do anyway!). It is a part of any golfer’s mojo to be able to hit the ball as far as possible! A good swing movement must give a golfer maximum distance, straight direction and ideal trajectory.

Bottom line. The golf swing really should not be a case of two negatives making a positive. That is to make a slicer into a hooker and an across-the-liner into a laid-off-er (new English).

Golfers are often told that they get stuck behind because their lower bodies are too quick, and their arms do not catch up in time. Actually, these golfers have all found different compensations to bring their incorrectly positioned joints back to impact correctly! A beginner golfer from similarly mis-placed joints at the top would simply come down in a straight line from the top (ie over-the-top). All compensations occur because the joints are in very opposite positions from where they need to be for correct impact.

A simple example. Where is the right upper body/trunk at address? Where is the right upper body/trunk at impact? Both times lower than the right, correct? (mainly because the right hand is lower on the club’s grip than the left). This means that if the left side/trunk is lower at the top-of-backswing, some phenomenal adjustments must be made to drop the right side down again. The same thing would apply for the shoulders, elbows, wrists and knee! Each misplaced joint needs its own re-routing during the downswing.

With the MGSS full-swing, the bottom-line requirement for Tiger (and others with the same problem) to never get stuck behind is always maintained. In a ‘traditional’ swing the body has to rotate and the arms have to lift, all at the same time, which causes a mix up of the roles of the body and arms. With the MGS, the upper-body is twisted shut at address. Now the left arm simply lifts ‘up’ (this ‘up’ is still always slightly ‘in’ because the left arm moves from the left shoulder, which is twisted ‘closed/shut’). It’s that simple. The ‘in’ of the left arm is just enough to not be ‘out’, and the club never gets stuck behind because the downswing lower-body/upper-body sequence always happens.

Chasing the Tiger – how he’d benefit from using the MGS!

Chasing the Tiger

Uncommon golfer, common problems. The driver shots going wide to the right and the irons long and low and left.

That’s what one learns from ‘The Big Miss’ by Hank Haney, which truly should be mandatory reading for all wannabe golf instructors as well as wannabe Tiger instructors. Basically his arms would always get ‘stuck’ behind his body, as his body was too quick. That happened because at the top he was too steep and across-the-line with his club shaft and closed with his clubface.

Solutions?

One pro told him to snap his left knee straight to get more distance (I’d surely be sue-ing that pro, because torquing a knee as fast as Tiger does, then getting it into a fully-extended lock-out position with a rapid change of direction is a classic recipe for a torn-ACL). That pro also probably encouraged backswing width, which caused his arms to go too far away from the body during the takeaway.

Another had him practice being laid-off to prevent across-the-line, and then cock the wrists and rotate the forearms at takeaway, to prevent a shut clubface. He was also told that his head hangs back and his body drops down leading upto impact, so he should practice an Annika-like turn-of-head-to-target to prevent that.

Yet another coach, while ‘talking the talk’, and throwing out terms like ‘biomechanics’ strengthened Tiger’s grip and had him lean his shaft towards target. Everyone has seen the long, low misses to the left with the recent swing changes.

The saddest thing about all of these lessons is that all the instructors made Tiger reduce his distance in order to gain direction (which he did not do anyway!). It is a part of any golfer’s mojo to be able to hit the ball as far as possible! A good swing movement must give a golfer maximum distance, straight direction and ideal trajectory.

Bottom line. The golf swing really should not be a case of two negatives making a positive. That is to make a slicer into a hooker and an across-the-liner into a laid-off-er (new English).

Golfers are often told that they get stuck behind because their lower bodies are too quick, and their arms do not catch up in time. Actually, these golfers have all found different compensations to bring their incorrectly positioned joints back to impact correctly! A beginner golfer from similarly mis-placed joints at the top would simply come down in a straight line from the top (ie over-the-top). All compensations occur because the joints are in very opposite positions from where they need to be for correct impact.

A simple example. Where is the right upper body/trunk at address? Where is the right upper body/trunk at impact? Both times lower than the right, correct? (mainly because the right hand is lower on the club’s grip than the left). This means that if the left side/trunk is lower at the top-of-backswing, some phenomenal adjustments must be made to drop the right side down again. The same thing would apply for the shoulders, elbows, wrists and knee! Each misplaced joint needs its own re-routing during the downswing.

With the MGSS full-swing, the bottom-line requirement for Tiger (and others with the same problem) to never get stuck behind is always maintained. In a ‘traditional’ swing the body has to rotate and the arms have to lift, all at the same time, which causes a mix up of the roles of the body and arms. With the MGS, the upper-body is twisted shut at address. Now the left arm simply lifts ‘up’ (this ‘up’ is still always slightly ‘in’ because the left arm moves from the left shoulder, which is twisted ‘closed/shut’). It’s that simple. The ‘in’ of the left arm is just enough to not be ‘out’, and the club never gets stuck behind because the downswing lower-body/upper-body sequence always happens.

Tiger Woods, Hank Haney, 'The Big Miss' and -naturally – MGSS

Tiger Woods, Hank Haney, ‘The Big Miss’ and – naturally – MGSS

Read Hank Haney’s book ‘The Big Miss’ and could not put it down – not for the relationships of the various protagonists or anything as minor as that, but for the swing changes that Hank made and that he alluded to the coaches before and after him having made.

Was completely horrified at what these best of teachers teach! Basically, long-term band-aids, not cures. See the ‘MGS for Tiger and all Pros’ section of this blog for details and how MGSS would be the making of Tiger.

The goal of my life is to be Tiger’s next golf instructor and he truly needs MGSS. That is even more apparent after getting some insight into his psyche from all the comments ascribed to him in the book. What a waste for such a PHENOM to be compromising on distance to hit the ball straight – and still not always being able to do so!

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