Steve Stricker: A Complete Swing Analysis Part 1 (Setup)

Steve Stricker’s ascent to the 3rd in the Official World Golf Rankings is an inspirational story to all of us in the golfing world who are striving to improve our games.  Stricker joined the PGA Tour back in 1994 and achieved early success in his fledgling career.  In 1996, he won two tournaments and compiled 7 top ten finishes.  He finished the year 4th on the PGA Tour money list and appeared poised for greatness.  As quite often happens in this fickle game, Stricker had nothing but lean times to follow, however, as he would proceed to struggle mightily and eventually lose his card in 2004.  Determined to rededicate himself to resurrecting his career, Steve persevered, and tirelessly worked at retooling his swing.  Relying solely on sponsor’s exemptions in 2006, Stricker managed 7 top ten finishes and was voted PGA Tour Comeback Player of the Year.  I can speak from personal experience in stating that his story is proof nice guys don’t have to finish last.  I had the pleasure of talking with him on the practice tee at Westchester Country Club in 2007, several days before his fantastic victory at The Barclay’s, the first leg of the inaugural Fed Ex Cup Playoffs.  He is a soft spoken, humble man and undoubtedly one of the nicest professional golfers I have had the good fortune to meet in my career.

Stricker’s golf swing has certainly been the buzz throughout the major golf media these days, and many have analyzed his swing attempting to explain his second coming.  This is the perfect opportunity for us to examine Stricker’s fundamentals and discuss in greater detail how he measures up to the Rotary Swing Model.  We will be breaking down Steve’s swing into five parts:  Setup, Move 1, Move 2, Move 3, and Move 4.

Setup
We shall first examine Stricker from a down the line view.  In this image, it appears Stricker is hitting a hybrid club on what we can assume to be a short par 4.  We have talked at great length about the importance of a proper Setup and how the goal for the Setup is to ensure that our bodies are anchored to the ground in such a way that will provide a stable, centered engine for our golf swing, and that the proper muscles are engaged for correct posture, stability, and power.  As we examine Stricker at address, it becomes quite clear that a number of improvements could be employed.

1.  Improper Hinge from the Hips.
Chuck Quinton and Alison Thietje have gone to great lengths to describe in detail how the body is designed to function.  Rotary Swing commonly refers to these fundamentals as the anatomical absolutes.  These are not opinions or preferences but are facts about the design of the human body.  One of these anatomical absolutes is that the body is designed to bear its weight directly over the ankle joint in order to be balanced.  We want to accomplish the same when setting up to a golf ball.  Stricker’s weight is not properly distributed at address.  He displays an improper hinge from the hips, which causes his upper torso to be positioned very upright.  This can be observed by the blue line drawn from his posterior to the ground.  The lack of space from this line to the back of his heels indicates more hinge is necessary.  Proper hinging from the hips ensures that we will not introduce any excessive curvature of the spine during Setup.  This brings us to our next area of contention.

2.  Rounded Shoulders (Excessive Curvature of the Thoracic Spine)
We want the spine to remain in neutral joint alignment throughout the entire golf swing for obvious health and safety reasons.  Stricker, because of the improper hinge from the hips, has now allowed his thoracic spine to slump or round.  The result of this excessive thoracic bending is becoming disconnected from the core muscles of the body.  Stricker has effectively gotten out of “the box,” put himself into “the rectangle.”  The effects of this will be very eloquently illustrated when we examine Stricker’s Move 1 in the next installment.

3.  Extended Arms
The arms should remain tension free at Setup.  When this is performed correctly, the shoulder and elbow will be in neutral joint alignment.  The arms should hang naturally underneath the shoulders with the elbows directly beneath the shoulders.  The hands will hang naturally underneath the chin.  In Stricker’s case, improper hinge from the hips and the rounding of the shoulders have put him into a position of extending his arms, which can be observed by the red and black lines.  The extended arms and disconnection from the core will greatly affect Stricker’s origin of movement as he starts his swing.

4.  Excessive Knee Flex
Stricker displays an excessive flexion of the knees.  This can plainly be observed by the yellow line drawn up through the center of the ankle joint.  The back of the knee joint should rest on this line, but it is quite evident that this is not the case.  The body is designed to bear its weight over the center of the ankle joint in order to be balanced.  We want to accomplish much the same when setting up to the golf ball.  Excessive knee flex forces the weight of the body to be positioned over the balls of the feet which does not allow for the effective use of the body’s anatomical design.  Once again, this element of Stricker’s Setup leads to some balance issues that become more clearly defined in his backswing.

5.  Ankles Not Properly Rolled Inward
Looking at the face on view of Stricker now, he has failed to roll his ankles in slightly which has been highlighted.  This important Setup feature serves to stabilize lateral hip movement in addition to ensuring that the right foot does not roll outward as we load into the right side on the backswing.  This action makes a proper weight shift in the downswing more difficult to perform with maximum efficiency.

In summary, Stricker’s combination of Setup flaws does not put him in an anatomically correct address position.  His main faults are the following: he is effectively disengaged from his core, and his weight is on the balls of his feet.  These faults and their effects will become more apparent as he starts his backswing and will be covered in great detail in the next installment, Steve Stricker:  Move 1(The Takeaway).

Why Can’t I Stay Centered?

I am entering my seventh month as a certified RST instructor, and the number one issue that I see plaguing my students is the ability to minimize head movement and stay centered during the swing.  While it may seem benign enough, I can tell you this problem destroys speed, power, and efficiency of the golf swing.

Examining the golf swing from a purely scientific perspective, we can all agree that the swing is circular.  It stands to reason that we can summon upon our tedious days in physics class to further understand the laws of motion that govern our golf swing.  Who knew our college general education requirement could help us hit more greens in regulation?  The diagram below illustrates the forces at work during circular motion.

The Rotary Swing is based upon creating centripetal force.  Centripetal force can be defined as the component of force acting on a body in curvilinear motion that is directed toward the center of curvature or axis of rotation.  Using the diagram above, we can plainly see that the origin of movement is the figure rotating in the center of the circle.  The figure rotates in order to swing the ball on the end of the string in a circular fashion.  The faster the central figure rotates, the faster the ball will travel at the end of the string.

What would happen to the speed and path of the ball if the central figure moved several inches to the left or right during this rotation?  Would the ball on the end of the string accelerate at a greater rate?  You don’t need a Ph.D. to recognize that once the fixed origin of movement is moved, the resulting path of the ball is disturbed by the added lateral movement.  This is exactly what happens to a golfer that exhibits excessive lateral head movement as the swing begins.  The origin of movement has been disturbed, negatively affecting the speed, power, and efficiency of the resulting swing.

Hope I did my college professor from American University proud with my contrite explanation of circular motion, but now the question becomes, how do I stop this from happening in my swing?  This is what we golfers really care about; no offense Mr. Newton.

First, check your stance width.  Remember that advice you received about your stance being shoulder width apart?  Let’s think about that for one moment.  As Chuck Quinton so eloquently stated to me, “The last time I checked, my legs and feet were attached to my hips, not my shoulders.  Why would the width of my shoulders have anything to do with how wide I want to stand?”  Rather than using the shoulders, the Rotary Swing provides an exact measurement for each golfer to find the appropriate stance width to maximize the swing base and prevent excessive lateral head movement: you must have the center of each ankle joint two inches outside of neutral joint alignment.  In other words, the center of your ankle joint at Setup will be positioned two inches outside the center of your hip joint on each side.  Any wider than this, it becomes very difficult to prevent lateral head movement during your backswing and will interrupt the creation of rotary motion.

Second, in order to create a truly rotary motion, make a full shoulder turn, and minimize lateral head movement, the golfer MUST pull the right shoulder (for right-handed golfers) behind his head to create the desired backswing.  To most golfers, this will feel quite alien in nature, as almost all golfers start the swing either with the hands, arms, or left side.  Any such movement to start the backswing forces the golfer away from center and now has the golfer moving in a linear fashion.  The head and upper body are forced to follow the motion, and the result is a swing sapped of power.

RST’s goal is to create movement that rotates around the spine while staying centered.  If you have been scratching your head asking that perplexing question, “Why can’t I stay centered?” I just provided you with two possible answers.  Check that stance; work on pulling that right shoulder behind you to start your swing, and pay attention in physics class!

Learning Proper Weight Shift…from a Frisbee?

Rotary Swing students must have a firm understanding of one of the key goals of the swing model, to utilize a proper right to left weight shift (for righties) just as we would in any other throwing or hitting sport.  Most amateur golfers underestimate the importance of this simple yet critical step in the golf swing.  You could have the best takeaway in the world, but if you are hitting the ball off your back foot, you are doomed to struggle.

A great way to gain a deeper understanding of proper weight shift would to be to grab a Frisbee and head into your backyard.

When we examine my fine Frisbee form, you can see the kinetic sequence as it evolves.  I begin by twisting my torso opposite the direction of the throw.  The rotation of my torso turning pulls my hips around as my weight transfers into my rear ankle joint.  My weight now shifts into my front heel as the front foot plants.  Once planted, my hips begin to rotate causing my upper body to lag behind.  I continue my pivot, and my right arm begins to extend and the disk is propelled out of my hand as the shoulders and arm are pulled through with maximum power, speed, and extension.  Does this chain of events look familiar to anyone?  We can learn many lessons from a simple Frisbee toss, but the take home message that you can apply to your golf swing is simply this, in order to maximize your efficiency, you need to learn to utilize a proper weight shift.  My power was produced by loading into my trailing side, and transferring my weight back to the leading side.  My first move down was to transfer my weight into my front heel and unwind my hips.  At no time did I attempt to use my small muscles in my arms and shoulders to propel the disk forward.  It would not work well with a Frisbee, and its works even less efficiently with a golf club in your hands.

The Secret to Your Success…

I have been playing the game for 27 years, and I have the calluses to prove it.  Back in my amateur days, I was fortunate enough to live on a golf course, and I had the time to spend hours on the range perfecting my swing.  I would rise at the crack of dawn and head over to the practice tee armed with a roll of medical tape, a handful of cigars, and a gallon of iced tea…not exactly the breakfast of champions, I admit.  I would pound balls with the efficiency of a manufacturing plant assembly line, whacking a shot and raking in the next nugget.  If Ben Hogan was correct and the answers were in the dirt, I was ready to dig to China.  As time wore on, I could develop a ball flight that pleased me for the session, so off to lunch I would go.  After a turkey club on wheat toast, no mayo of course (I have to make up for the cigars somehow) and an icy beverage, I was ready to go back to the gold mine.  Another couple of hours would pass, and the afternoon play on the course would slow, so I would head out for a quick 18.  2 ½ hours later I would come in for another sandwich, maybe another cigar if I had any left, and back to the range to toil some more.  Dusk would be upon me, and the assistant professional would go through his nightly ritual of shooing me away; all in all, a great day.  My hands were tender, my back was sore, but a small price to pay for excellence in my humble opinion.

Does anyone else see the flaw in my master plan?  What exactly was I doing?  I had goals for each session, and I displayed the dedication necessary to master this game.  I wonder if this scenario sounds familiar to anyone.  Well if it does, I can tell you from personal experience, STOP WASTING YOUR TIME!

The fatal flaw in my master plan to achieving excellence was the brain simply does not learn at 100 miles per hour.  Effective change in a movement patterns does not occur by beating balls like a semi-automatic weapon.  In essence, all I was doing was improving my timing, not improving my swing.  Believe me, my plan was not one for true improvement.  I thought I was mining for gold in that practice tee dirt…all I was unearthing was pyrite.

The key to understanding an effective plan for golfing success is becoming educated on how exactly the brain learns.  Neuromuscular Reeducation is the definition given to any form of athletic training, rehabilitation program, or bodily movement that requires muscles and nerves to relearn a certain behavior or specific sequence of movements. It is important for us to fully understand how our muscles and nerves eventually learn and develop the neural networks and motor pathways necessary to perform the task effectively.  As a new movement is introduced, the body begins to develop a broad kinesthetic sense (sensation of muscle movements through nerves) necessary to facilitate the movement (Dr. Larry van Such). As the first movement is perfected, the next segment is stacked on top of that movement.   This forces the muscles and nerves to increase their kinesthetic ability or awareness to adapt to the new movement.  The process is repeated and ultimately the muscles and nerves become perfectly coordinated, together producing the desired effect.  Every day one practices, the muscles are constantly refining the pathways necessary to master these movements.  This makes them appear effortless and without any conscious thought.  When one masters a new motor skill, the athlete transitions from active effort to automatic ability.  Essentially, the new movement pattern becomes hardwired into the brain.  This is known as implicit or procedural memory.

The Rotary Swing model takes this fundamental fact about human learning into account and has developed a hierarchy for learning the golf swing. The hierarchy is as follows:
1.    How the Brain Learns
2.    Setup
3.     Weight Transfer
4.    Takeaway (Move 1)
5.    Back to Target (Move 2)
6.    Downswing (Move 3)
7.    Follow Through (Move 4)

Chuck Quinton and Alison Thietje have developed a plan in which the golfer learns each fundamental and then stacks another one on top of it.  It makes no sense for us to worry about the downswing if we cannot even set up correctly to the golf ball.  Once we observe a breakdown in a step, we will remove a piece and go back to perfect that step.  Once the Setup has been mastered, the next step is stacking the Weight Transfer.  If at any time there is a breakdown in one of the fundamentals of the Setup, we must remove any instruction about the Weight Transfer, and readdress the Setup.  This follows the process of neuromuscular reeducation.  This process should be continued throughout the course of building a sound golf swing.  While this process may not necessarily be viewed as fun, it is necessary to impart real change in motor patterns rather than allowing ourselves to expect to make any lasting change in our golf swings with a “quick fix” or improved timing.  As Chuck always says, “There are no quick fixes in the golf swing, only temporary ones.”

RotaryGolfSwing.com Premier Instruction Website Nearing Launch

The premier golf instruction website, www.RotaryGolfSwing.com, is nearing launch! Unlike anything you’ve ever seen, this golf instruction website will be the standard by which all other golf instruction websites are measured! The new integrated and custom built video player keeps the videos ordered in the same format as the Rotary Swing Tour Hierarchy of Learning. Other improvements to the current www.RotarySwing.com website include a new navigation that keeps the video that you are on viewable in the navigation bar below the video screen. When you click a new video, only the video itself changes, the entire page is NOT reloaded!

New Rotary Swing Video Player
New Rotary Swing Video Player

The new video player loads very fast and is easy to use. ALL the videos are HD, allowing you to see detail like never before, yet encoded to allow even slower, older computers and slower internet connections to view the more than NEW 200 instructional videos.

The Online Golf Lessons system is also much improved and cleaner, allowing for easier reading of notes from your instructors and allowing you to upload multiple files at once. Another new feature is that you can now manually delete files that you have uploaded and deletes posts in the comments section.

If you haven’t visited the new site, there is a great description page available at http://www.rotarygolfswing.com/why-rotary-swing.php that describes the new website and learning system in great detail. We are hoping to launch by the end of November, 2009, so stay tuned!

6 Months and Counting…

It’s been a little over 6 months since I embarked on changing my golf swing to the Rotary Swing Tour model based on Anatomical Absolutes. It’s been an incredibly exciting, challenging, fun and frustrating experience all rolled into one. The exciting part has been seeing my swing in positions that I’ve never seen before and understanding the exact muscles and feelings that create these movements. It’s been challenging as I’ve learned there are no shortcuts to your brain learning to do something new, 3-5k reps is mandatory. That’s the most frustrating part, having to drill something over and over and over because the brain learns no other way.

At this point, I’m well on my way and am glad I’ve made the journey. I still continue to work on things and put in my reps daily and wanted to put together a little list of my drills I’m doing at the moment.

  1. Right arm in front of my chest to the top.
    This has been a challenging one for me. I have to feel that my left arm never leaves my chest by moving the correct muscles in my back to rotate my torso. My humerus has to rotate clockwise as it I go back to keep my elbow from flying away from my body.I do this 100 times each day so it will take me a minimum of 1 month to master the movement.
  2. Weight Shift – stabilizing left side.
    Because of the hip injuries I’ve had from two car accidents, this one is a multi-faceted approach. I still require therapy on my hip which I’m going to twice a week right now to loosen up the connective tissue that’s been bound up for years. The work yesterday was so great I felt an inch taller! My left hip pops in my backswing a lot (it’s gross, you can hear it) and it’s because the femur is pulled up against the hip socket and has no room. I’m doing some specific yoga poses and stretches twice a day to help remove these restrictions as part of working on my weight transfer and stabilizing as I come down into impact.Yoga and stretches 2X per day and weight transfer drills (see Weight Shift Part 3 Video here) 100 times per day.

These are two of the biggest things in my golf swing to fix and I’m quite excited about the possibilities after these two changes are made. I have to work hard as I want to be in great playing shape by the time I get to Castle Pines at the end of May, so I’ve got some great motivation!

Rotary Swing Backswing Enhancements

Continuing to work on the evolution of refining the swing into the simplest set of moving parts on the planet. Here is the swing from my book “The Rotary Swing” on the left and the swing on the right is after working on the changes with the new 2.0 model. 

It’s clear to see that I’ve not “pushed” from the left on the right sided picture and my hands have stayed in front of my chest just as they did at address. This means that I’ll have to do less work on the downswing to get them back in front of my at impact. The next sequence of photos is at the top of the backswing, or the completion of “Move 2”.

These changes have limited the arm swing significantly making the overall swing much easier to repeat, stay tuned for more!

Rotary Swing 1.0 vs Rotary Swing 2.0 – Some Differences

To explain all the differences would take a while, so I’m just going to point out a few here that can be seen to help you guys moving along while we prepare to shoot the DVD. The images on the right are from 2005 and the images on the left are from today.

At address, it’s pretty easy to see that my setup has improved significantly. I’m biomechanically better connected to my core at address with my shoulder blades (don’t ask, covered in the DVD!) and my legs are not “knock knee’d” to provide more stability and allow me to rotate against my lower body. I’m also set up with the ball more up in my stance and my head more behind the ball.

At the top of the swing, I’m clearly more “torque’d” up at the top. I no longer allow my hips to rotate back with my upper body, I coil against my lower body and this helps to control the length of my backswing, amongst other things. I’m much more stable here and feel far more powerful.

Needless to say, I have much more control over my ball flight now! My impact position has changed a lot. The shot on the right was a little steep so I was digging a trench, but that just helps illustrate the point. My divots are much shallower now, again, giving me a flatter trajectory and more control over the spin. Before, I was at the mercy of how clean my strike was.

Moral of the story: your golf swing is a journey and you can make tremendous progress, but be patient and enjoy the ride. It lasts a lifetime and I still feel like I improve almost everyday!

397 Yard Drive Today – 13th at Sugarloaf Mountain

It was a cool day today, around 60 degrees this morning and windy. The 13th hole at Sugarloaf is a hole that is flat until around 250 yards and then starts going downill a bit until around 300 yards where it starts to significantly go downhill. It’s a 507 yard par 4 that was playing downwind. If I hit a good drive here, I’m typically about 200 yards out and hitting a 7 iron because the second shot is where the hole really starts to play downhill. Not today 🙂

After giving some lessons and hitting a couple balls, I went out to the 13th to play a few holes. We’re overseeding the range right now, so Sugarloaf is on a temporary tee box where we can’t hit drivers on the range, so I wasn’t warmed up very well. I decided to go this hole and hit my first drive of the day. Not being warmed up, I took it pretty easy, I thought, and smashed a drive. Zero effort, didn’t feel a thing and it was as straight as an arrow. Knowing I hit it well, I went to my “usual” spot in the fairway but my ball was nowhere to be found. I saw something shining down near the bottom of the hill about 100 yards away, but my eyesight’s not that great, so I couldn’t tell what it was. When I drove down to the bottom and realized it was my ball, I was STOKED! Hey, I still get excited about smashed tee shots! I found the closest sprinkler head that read 120 to the middle of the green and I was 10 yards ahead of it for a total of 397 yards off the tee! The pin was upfront to boot, so I hit a lob wedge to the hole. Not bad, driver, lob wedge to a 507 yard hole. It was downhill and downwind, but still a poke and 100 yards longer than normal for me, so I’ll take it. There might be something to this Rotary Swing 2.0 stuff. 😉 Did I mention I felt no effort?

Rotary Swing 2.0 Takes a Turn to Revolutionize Golf Instruction

Last week, I spent four days working with Alison Thietje of Motion Memory Golf in St. Louis, MO. Alison and I had been talking about teaming up because our ideas of the swing are so incredibly similar, but approached from two different angles. I’m primarily concerned with sending the ball to the target with the proper compression, trajectory and shot shape and have developed a swing model that allows golfers of all levels to do that using the body as the primary mover in the swing. Alison is primarily concerned with how the body moves in the golf swing from a medical and biomechanical perspective and uses neurokinetics to engrain “muscle memory”. Put the two together and you have a match made in heaven for golfers.

As a golf instructor who has always advocated the use of the core to power the golf swing, it was very exciting for me to work with someone who could explain the exact “How” to my “What and Why” in my swing model. Alison’s teaching model she has developed is unlike anything else in the market place and fits perfectly with ALL aspects of Rotary Swing, including the “Mushin Golf” mental aspects and this has prompted us to look into moving further down the road with introducing a product to the golf market unlike anything ever seen before. We plan to show the golf world at large the irrefutable biomechanically correct way to swing a golf club that will be unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. The swing model is still very simple, in fact, even simpler, but there is a very specific way that it must be learned. In order to best present our ideas to the world, we are looking into producing a DVD or set of DVD’s that will completely change your understanding of the golf swing, so stay tuned as we get closer to this momentus occasion in golf instruction!

-Chuck

Rotary Swing 2.0 – Lesson 1

So, I’ve been working on the Rotary Swing 2.0 concepts into my lessons and wanted to share with you some video of the first official “Rotary Swing 2.0” lesson that I gave. He is a high handicapper, as evident by the first two baseline swings you can see in the video. His posture at address had him way out on the balls of his feet with a very rounded spine making it impossible for him to swing in balance and make decent contact. After 15 minutes of work, I think you’ll be impressed by the change in his posture, swing and balance.

Now take a look at the video:

Finally played golf today…

I’ve been working hard on the changes and been busy teaching, so it was nice today to get out and actually play golf. Yesterday, I was doing the first day of a mini 2 day clinic for a couple of students and in the afternoon we went out and played 9 holes. This was the first time that I’ve played with someone since embarking on all these changes, previously I’ve just played on my own and practiced, so there’s a bit more pressure (if you let there be!) than when nobody’s watching. What would happen in the real world?

To say the least, I was very pleased! I hit the ball as well as I ever have, in all honesty. The first 6 holes I hit every fairway and every green and did so authoritatively. Right down the middle with all my tee shots, perfect control over my ball flight, unbelievably flat trajectory with the longer clubs and I hit the irons relatively close. I almost made a hole in one on the 5th hole par three from 160 with an 8 iron that stopped a foot from the hole. I had two loose tee balls that found the rough, but that was it and I still hit the green from there anyway. In fact, I didn’t miss a green and only missed two fairways. It was only 9 holes of focused play, but it was a VERY solid 9 holes and gave me a lot of reinforcement in the changes I’m making.

Made Progress with the Driver

It’s far from where I want to be, but, it’s progress. These swings were taken about an hour a part. The photos on the left are the baseline swing (embarrassingly horrible) are the baseline swings and the swings on the right are after some video work. I post the baseline swing because it is SOOO bad that it should offer some encouragement that quick progress can be made by ANYONE when you’re working on the right things. Let’s take a look.

At address, I’ve been really setting up behind the ball too much in an effort to get a solid positive angle of attack. But it got a little sloppy and I started hitting the ball too high and slipped into having too much weight on my back foot at address. I now feel that my left leg is slightly more vertical and the ball is slightly back in my stance (ignore the tee height, I was tired of breaking plastic tees so I just left it on the little rubber peg). There is a point of diminishing returns when it comes to how high to launch the ball with the driver. As a rule of thumb, the faster the clubhead speed, the lower launch angle necessary to achieve maximium distance.

At the top of my backswing, I’ve turned into John Daly. This swing on the right is a slower swing and I’m thinking about coiling going back and am clearly overdoing it. This is super common when working on your swing, certain other things that may have been good before get a little loose because your swing is slower and your transition later, etc. I’m not worried about this and I’ve actually still managed to get into a much better position on the right as I’m not nearly as far on my right leg. This was, again, a result of really trying to launch the ball high – Mission Accomplished! I can now back it down and be more coiled at the top as I am here on the right and now really use my left glute to get set onto my left foot.

This is just flat out embarrassing. I’ve started the downswing with my arms (maybe I should read that golf instruction book, “The Rotary Swing”) and I’ve completely failed to set my weight onto my left side. Because of this, I’m just “spinning out”, more or less, right from the top and throwing the club away. You can clearly see that I have less lag on the left compared to the swing on the right. On the better swing, I’m more set onto my left side and my arms and wrists are very relaxed. My swing thought here was to “squat” onto my left side and feel my left glute rather than just spin out from the top.  The “bump” onto the left side I describe in the book is the same thing.

The swing on the left is ugly, but after an hour of work, I got it more straightened out, so I consider this good progress. I post this to show that:

a) everyone slips into bad and even terrible habits without realizing it
b) progress can be made quickly when you work on the correct things
c) progress still took an hour working exclusively on this one thing! (Keep this mind you are trying to change something in your swing next time!)

Wow, is that really me on the left? Just awful, I’ve lost a ton of lag and my left leg looks like it’s broken. Good on the right though, much better use of my hips to bring the club down and set on to my left side and I’m maintaining lag here still. The shaft is still stressed, more evidence that I’m not “throwing the club away” as the grip of the club is pointing vertical is still.

That guy on the left is a total hack.

More posted up at impact, it’s obviously creating a much lower launch.

In the last sequence, I have a much better release, more of a crossover release that I’m working towards. Below is a video of the swing on the right from today. As I’m working on things, these swings are a bit slow, this was 111 mph.

112 mph 8 Iron – Breaking the Speed Limit

My “300 Workouts” have left me with a lot of confidence that while making a controlled swing I can get into many of the positions I want, but the problem is that it’s a controlled swing. By controlled, I mean that when I practice and film I’m often swinging between 60% and 70% of full speed so that I can focus on what I’m trying to accomplish. When doing this, it’s easy to get caught up in a rut of being too mechanical and lose a ton of clubhead speed in the process. That’s why it’s important to balance out slow, controlled training for building muscle memory with full on, all out, speed training.

I’ve done about 1,000 slow motion reps and that’s enough to start to slow things down in a hurry, so today I decided to balance it out with some 100% swings to remind my muscles and my brain how to move fast. It’s also interesting to check your progress with your changes to see if they are adding clubhead speed and if you’re making the right changes, they should add speed or atleast maintain what you have. I decided to test my speed with an 8 iron since that was the club I was working with all day and I don’t like swinging the driver in doors. My average “full speed” on the course swing with an 8 iron is around 95 mph, and I average more around 90 on a stock shot. I’ve never really tried to go up to 100% until today, so I don’t have a great baseline for this, but I do know that 3 weeks ago I was swinging my DRIVER the same speed I was with my 8 iron today!

The first swing I took was 105 mph. I thought that seemed high and sometimes the Swing Speed Radar can catch the ball as well, so I tried again, but moved the ball a little further forward to ensure an accurate reading and went all out. When it said 112 mph, I was shocked! As I mentioned in my earlier post, I’m really working on powering my golf swing with the correct big muscles of my backside and in the perfect sequence. It’s obviously working because I’ve never swung such a short club that fast. I’m posting the video of the swing below.

My swing is a bit all over the place here, but that’s fine, mechanics are going to break down when going all out and working on swing changes, but I wanted to see progress and to make sure I still had speed! I’ll give you a little tip here, what I was specifically working on in this swing was speeding up my backswing to go as fast as I could, not actually trying to make my downswing as fast as I could. The downswing speed was instinctive and not me actually trying to swing that fast through impact. Lastly, my finish is completely relaxed and balanced, something I could never have done before the RS2.0 changes while swinging this fast.

Hindsight is 20/20 in Golf

Today, I’m working on another view after Alison requested a swing of mine from this angle. This is a great angle to see just how the key muscles of the backside to the Rotary Swing 2.0 are working. I have some really bad habits in my golf swing that I’m learning to break with Alison’s Motion Memory training and am still making my 300 hundred swings per day. But, I’ve started adding some speed to what I’m doing and I’m looking at my swing from more than just face on now.

In the swing below taken from the rear, you can clearly see how my lower body is not only braced going back, but also I’m using my left side more actively to clear out. My bad habit is to “push” as Alison calls it with the right side and over power my left. This causes numerous problems, one in particular is to get your head and body too far out in front of the ball and come too far from the inside. Here, I’m staying back better and using my left side better.

I’m most pleased with my transition here as I’m working to get it to happen earlier in my backswing and that work is beginning to show. If you step through frame by frame by dragging the slider (hit play first and then pause it) you can see that I’m actively setting my weight to my left side and beginning to use my glutes and core muscles to unwind me from my backswing. This is a powerful and dynamic move that is the secret to power, and as you’ll see in my next post, I’m already starting to experience some stupid power with no effort.