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Hank Haney Project with Ray Romano – Episode 2 Review

The show starts off with Ray saying “I don’t know if you want this on camera. Front nine, I shot a 61.” Ouch. Not good for someone striving to break 80 for 18. Haney 0, Barkley and Romano 2. Haney, trying to defend himself, then says, “He made a conscious decision that he was going to get worse before he gets better so he wanted to make sure he could validate that decision and so he went out and played poorly.” Are you kidding me? You seriously blame the student for shooting 61 for 9 holes because he made a decision he was going to suck? Come on, that’s deflection at its finest.

Look, it happens all the time that golfers take a lesson and get worse for their next round for a million different reasons, often just because they’re focused on learning something new and it distracts them from playing how they normally would. That’s normal, but this excuse is too much for me to stomach. I imagine that Haney is on high alert to deflect any negative criticism about his instructional ability given the disastrous failure with his attempt to help Charles Barkley. At first, I was shocked he agreed to another show, but after thinking about it for two seconds, I realized that Haney’s ego needed another chance to prove he wasn’t a horrible instructor as the show made him appear to be. So, taking on Romano, who has a much better swing than Barkley, probably seemed like more of a sure thing for Haney.

The show then goes on with Haney spewing a thousand “tips” to the rest of Romano’s crew as they play a round of golf. Brian Baumgartner was Haney’s next victim who said “He changed my grip, he’s changed my swing. I now can’t hit the ball. I’m deeply, deeply confused at this point… I’m done.” Later, he has a 100 yard shot and has to decide whether to use his swing or what Haney had him doing. He tries Haney’s way on his “wheelhouse” shot and says “I failed.” Haney now down 0-3.

I have to say, if Haney didn’t have Tiger Woods in the bag, it appears that he would have very few amateur students lining up at his door after this show. I have to liken this to every other reality show ever produced involving a celebrity. You put them on a pedastool and think they are someone special. You then see them outside of the PR machines that run them in a more natural element and are quickly let down by the reality of who they really are. Paula Abdul anyone? People think working with Tiger Woods makes Haney the “best instructor in the world.” This is complete nonsense. I’ll give you a perfect example. I’ve worked with dozens and dozens of touring professionals. One example that is a perfect parallel to this situation is Blake Adams. Blake finished 3rd on the Nationwide Tour last year and already has a top ten finish on the PGA Tour this year. When I first met Blake, his swing was a complete wreck with almost nothing foundational to build on. Over the course of three days, yes, three days, we completely rebuilt his swing which I chronicled on the forum here. Below is a picture of Blake after our first morning session and a comparison pic on the right from the day before (to see the rest of the work I did on his swing, click the link above):

blake

In just our first morning session working together, his swing looked completely different and his ball flight went from a hook to dead straight. We went out and played that afternoon after completely starting from scratch in the morning and he shot even par hitting all 18 greens. This isn’t just because I’m good at what I do. It’s because Blake is a phenomenal talent much like Woods is. Working with Blake and other talented professionals like him is like cheating. It doesn’t get any easier to teach someone who already knows how to hit the ball, no matter what position he’s in at the top. Now, getting the typical amateur hack to hit the ball properly, that’s the true measure of an instructor’s ability.

Kevin James predicted Haney will throw his hands up at the end of the show and give up on helping Romano. Romano didn’t think too much of how he played in their round together. There’s already disagreement between player and coach, Ray disagreeing with Haney’s belief that he can go out and play better right away. Ray’s response to that, “He doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing!” Romano’s face and voice leave little question that he doesn’t have much confidence in Haney after only the first episode. To make matters worse, the previews for next week leave Ray saying, “I’d like to say it’s getting better, but I hate to lie on camera.” To me, this is a lot like watching a car wreck. Barkley was more like watching a plane crash. You hate to watch, but you just can’t look away. I’ll be shocked to see Haney help Ray reach his goal of breaking 80, and given the rate they’re going now, it will be more likely that they’ll have to do another season to help Ray get back under 100. Perhaps it can be titled “Undoing the Hank Haney Project.”

The jury’s still out, we’ll have to wait and see.

Chuck Quinton

 
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Olympics Serve as Reminder Why New RotarySwing.com Golf Instruction Book Long Overdue for Instructors, Golfers

Endeavoring to shift golf instruction away from contradictions plaguing the industry and toward the Olympic model of technique convergence, RotarySwing.com’s new book unveils the most efficient swing humanly possible.

Windermere, FL (PRWEB) February 26, 2010 – Last week, Chuck Quinton, founder of Rotary Swing Golf and RotarySwing.com, unveiled the much anticipated Rotary Swing Tour (RST)  Level 1 Certification Manual for purchase by golf instructors and students alike.  RST Certification aims to move golf instruction away from opinions, personal preference and interpretation of Tour pro swings and toward the Olympic training model, the basis of which is scientific research and facts about how the human body moves safely and most efficiently.

Click image to read excerpts from the RST Instructor Certification Manual - Level 1

Click image to read excerpts from the RST Instructor Certification Manual - Level 1

Quinton is surprised the golf instruction industry continues chasing the latest fad or favorite swings of each era, somehow avoiding the evolution experienced in most Olympic sports.  In speed skating, ski jumping and high jump (to name but three), all competitors’ techniques are essentially the same thanks to research uncovering the most efficient body movements necessary for success.

Perhaps this absence of evolution in golf instruction explains why handicaps have hardly changed the past few decades, despite unprecedented advancements in technology.

“The lack of handicap improvement is an indictment of our industry,” said Quinton.  “A paradigm shift was needed in golf instruction.  We didn’t care what Tour pros did.  Ideal models aren’t based on popularity; they are objective and based on facts about science, the body and the brain.”

This 140-plus page golf instructor certification manual is the culmination of his research.  It offers a foundation in disciplines such as physics, anatomy, biomechanics and physiology to help ensure golf instructors no longer struggle to answer students’ tough questions like “Why am I doing this?” and “How exactly do I get into that position?”

“Many golfers are told they can’t make a full shoulder turn due to a lack of flexibility,” said Quinton.  “They’re victims of bad information.  I’ve never had a student who couldn’t make a full 90 degree turn after I teach them how to use the muscles truly responsible for rotating the body.  Understanding some basic anatomy and biomechanics is the key to helping golfers improve and avoid injury.”

And although the term “golf biomechanics” has been bandied about for several years now, RST redefines the category.

“Most golf biomechanics data comes from top players’ swings,” said Quinton.  “Unfortunately, all of these players are flawed, some significantly so. Statistics show that over 80% of professional golfers will miss 8 weeks of competitive play due to injury during their careers. The vast majority of these injuries could easily be avoided.”

Quinton pointed out that a number of pros in the 1970s had huge hip slides in their swings and played great golf.  Now, they are lining up for hip replacements.

“Basing your swing on Tour pros can be hazardous to your health!” said Quinton.  “Science, not your favorite Tour player, should dictate your swing model.”

The RST model meets this tough standard and receives support from Dr. Jeff Broker, former Senior Biomechanist for the U.S. Olympic Committee and current member of the Rotary Swing Golf Medical Panel.

“It’s based on sound biomechanics….It’s a very simple model, yet it’s powerful,” said Dr. Broker.

Importantly, the RST Instructor Certification Manual doesn’t just stop with the swing model.  It supplies an introduction to research about how the brain learns complex movement patterns–like the golf swing–and how instructors must use this information to maximize students’ practice time and effect real change.

For more information about RST Certification, visit http://www.rotaryswing.com/rst-certification/.

The RST Certification Manual can be purchased as an eBook ($29.95) or a paperback ($49.95).  Click here for details:  http://www.rotaryswing.com/golf-training-aids/rotary_swing_tour_certification_manual-level_1.

About Rotary Swing Golf

Rotary Swing Golf, LLC was founded in 2006 by golf professional Chuck Quinton and is one of the world’s leading providers of subscription-based online golf instruction via www.RotarySwing.com, www.OnePlaneGolfSwing.com and www.RotaryGolfSwing.com.  These websites offer more than 180 instructional videos, totaling 19 hours of content, much of it available in high definition.  In addition, Rotary Swing Golf’s websites offer golf training aids, online golf lessons, an active forum with nearly 5000 members, club fittings and an online video community.  Quinton has authored The Rotary Swing golf instruction book that has sold thousands of copies worldwide as well as the instructional DVD series Swing Plane Made Simple and Short Game Made Simple.  More recently, Quinton founded the Rotary Swing Golf Academy at Sugarloaf Mountain near Orlando, Florida and became the Teaching Professional at Castle Pines Golf Club in Colorado.

For more information, contact Rotary Swing Golf Business Manager Josh Eaton at 734-306-1607.

# # #

This went out via PRWeb on February 26, 2010, at noon Eastern.  You may view the full release here.

 
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Anthony Kim: A Complete Swing Analysis

A two time winner on the PGA Tour, Anthony Kim represents one of the many young, rising talents who has made people sit up and take notice every time he tees it up at an event.  He earned his card through qualifying school in 2007, and made quite the splash during his rookie season notching four top ten finishes.  When examining AK’s statistics from his injury riddled 2009 season, his ball striking numbers were quite fascinating given the much discussed “simplistic” nature of his swing.
Driving Distance:  16th
Driving Accuracy: 175th
Total Driving: 103rd
Greens in Regulation: 164th
Let’s take a look from an RST perspective of both the positives and negatives of Kim’s golf swing.

SETUP
Looking from the face on view, we can immediately notice that Kim’s stance is much wider than 2 inches outside of neutral joint alignment.  This places him in an anatomically inefficient position, which is going to force him to move laterally during the backswing.

AKSetup

From the down the line view, we can see Kim could use more hinge from the hip.  Take notice of the line drawn from his posterior to the ground.  The lack of space from this line to the back of his heels is a clear tell he needs more hinge from the hips.  When examining his weight distribution, the back of Kim’s knees are not directly over the center of his ankle joints, which informs us that his weight is on the balls of his feet at address which will place unwanted rotational stress on the left knee during the downswing.  Finally, the elbows are extended outside of the shoulders, which indicates a slight reaching for the ball.  The farther we extend our arms, the more the weight is shifted to the balls of our feet.  To briefly summarize, Kim is not grounded and anchored correctly at address which places the body in an anatomically incorrect position.

MOVE 1
As Kim starts his takeaway, he makes an excellent shoulder turn away from the ball.  There is no evidence of arm swing, and as he finishes Move 1, his arms are straight and remain directly in front of his sternum.  In addition to a wonderful shoulder turn, I want to highlight the lack of hip rotation.  Kim executes Move 1 by turning his shoulders 45 degrees and the hip turn is almost 0 degrees, exactly the way RST defines Move 1.

AKMove1

AKChuckMove1

Although Kim executes Move 1 very well, his excessively wide stance forces him to have an exaggerated lateral shift to the right.  We have talked at great length in the past of why lateral movement is undesirable in the golf swing, and if you would like to read more please refer to “Why Can’t I Stay Centered” blog.

MOVE 2
As with many players that I encounter on a daily basis, AK starts to get in some trouble during Move 2.  Once the shoulders turn 45 degrees, we need to employ some shoulder elevation to keep the club in front of our chest, keep the club on plane, and prevent the arms from working too far around the body.  AK fails in this critical area.  Take note of his hand position in the following picture.  The arms have nowhere to go when they remain pinned to the body in such a manner.  The club subsequently now works too far around and behind the chest as he arrives at the top of his swing.  In addition, take note of how Kim’s back foot has rolled to the outside.  He has failed to roll the ankles in slightly at address, and once the weight moves to the outside portion of the right foot during the backswing, this makes it much more difficult to transfer the weight efficiently back to the left in the downswing.

AKMove2SE

AKMove2Foot

MOVE 3
From my multiple film study of Kim’s swing, I found a very interesting trend.  There were some balance inconsistencies in a number of swings I examined.  For example, on certain swings I noticed the left heel spinning out indicating the weight had been transferred onto the ball of the left foot in the downswing.

AnthonyKimLegs

In another example, Kim fell backwards slightly indicating his weight was still trapped on his right side.

AKOffBalance

The penultimate issue that I see causing the downswing problems reverts back to the arms being trapped behind the body due to the lack of shoulder elevation.  This paired with the wide stance and the weight shifting to the outside portion of his right foot certainly will cause weight transfer issues even for a golfer with tremendous talent.  Kim displays tendencies to push from his right side in the downswing to compensate for the lateral shift exhibited in the backswing, note the right foot is quite active.  This pushing move, in addition to Kim’s aggressive hip rotation will accentuate the arms getting stuck behind him on the way into impact and may help explain his 2009 ball striking statistics.

AKMove3

 
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Increase Golf Swing Speed by 10% or More in 5 Minutes

Truly, one of the most important set of videos and articles I’ve ever published on this website, I consider these 2 videos to represent a huge piece of the secret for most golfers who want to increase club head speed. Swing speed is an enigma for so many golfers; they just can’t understand how to swing faster no matter how hard they try. For students who have come to me with this problem, I’ve used several drills over the years to bump their swing speed up immediately 5, 10 or even 15 mph in a matter of minutes with these two simple swing speed drills.

The Throw the Ball drill is key for sequencing and learning how to use a proper positive action of the right arm. The Right Arm Only Downswing drill is key for learning synchronization with the right arm throughout the swing and how to properly use it to increase swing speed.

In these two videos, I use a student named Josh who now works for RotarySwing.com as my test subject. Working with Josh for about 2 minutes, his swing speed went from 110 mph to 118 mph in only two swings. If you think you’d like an extra 25 yards in your game, read this swing speed article today!

 
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It’s PGA Tour in Hawaii Time – Are You Watching?

That’s the big question this year, atleast for now. Will you be watching the first tournament of the 2010 PGA Tour season at Kapalua? Granted, Tiger hasn’t played in this event in years, nor has Phil. The reasons could be numerous, Phil’s a high ball hitter and the wind blows like nobody’s business at that course and Tiger plays a high spin ball and is a control freak when it comes to his ball flight. Wind doesn’t do either of those guys any favors.

But, the question on everyone’s mind, if Tiger doesn’t come back this year, will the ratings be lower than they have over the past 12 years when Tiger hasn’t been around? I, for one, won’t be watching a lot of golf this year.  I know many don’t care if Tiger’s playing, but for me personally, he just makes the game more exciting and I think he’ll be sorely missed by those selling commercial time this season. Will they be missing your eyeballs as well?

 
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Steve Stricker: A Complete Swing Analysis Part 4 (Move 3-The Downswing)

The downswing is probably the most misunderstood and misinterpreted move by amateur golfers in the golf swing.  It must be understood that the downswing is largely an uncoiling motion or a reaction to a proper backswing.  The key point that must be illustrated is that the forces of movement in the downswing originate from the hips in a weight shift and pulling with the left oblique, NEVER from the upper body, shoulders, arms, etc.
The proper sequence of the downswing is as follows:
1.  Plant the weight firmly by pushing the left heel into the ground.
2.  Pull from the left oblique, which in turn will rotate the left hip behind you.
3.  Pull with the left lat to pull the arms back in front of the torso.
4.  Optional – fire the right arm by extending from the right elbow.

The result of this chain of events occurring in sequence and being performed from the proper origin is rotational force; the body moves away from the target and the arms and club moves towards the target.  A separation between the hips and the upper torso in the downswing is maximized when the sequence of movements are performed correctly.  Highest ball speeds are produced by those producing the maximal rotational separation between the upper torso and pelvis.

As we begin to examine Stricker’s downswing, it should be noted that Stricker finished 9th on the PGA Tour in proximity to the hole, and he hit over 2/3 of both fairways and greens this season.  He has proven himself to be an excellent ball striker, as he does a fantastic job of getting that club on plane on the way down, which is a true testament to both his tremendous athletic ability and work ethic.  Examining his swing from a purely anatomical and biomechanical perspective, however, we will see how the average golfer would likely struggle to recreate Stricker’s move without ample time to practice and improve the timing due to some of the inefficiencies that exist. The first image below is our Rotary Swing Model Chuck Quinton.
StrickerMove3FOC

StrickerMove3FO
When comparing the face on view at impact for our model and Stricker, you can see from the yellow line that Stricker was unable to make a complete shift into his left side which leaves his left hip short of neutral joint alignment.  This has occurred because Striker failed to roll his ankles in slightly at address, which allowed the weight to get trapped on the outside of his right foot during Move 2.  A second cause is Stricker’s need to actively use his arms in his downswing because of his previously discussed push from the left side during Move 1 which allowed his arms to work too deep in his backswing.
StrickerMove3Chuck
StrickerMove3

This series of photos from down the line illustrates how the lack of proper weight shift has affected Stricker’s hip rotation as compared to our model.  The arrow pointing to the right heel shows how our model has efficiently transferred the majority of his weight into the left heel, and is pulling with that left oblique which allows for the right heel to passively rise off of the ground.

StrickerMove3CFoot

Stricker demonstrates a much flatter right foot at impact indicating there is still a significant amount of weight left on his right side.

StrickerMove3Foot
This move can lead to a variety of results, most notably, the hands and arms outracing the body rotation which usually leads to pulls and hooks.  In addition, maximum rotational separation between the upper torso and the pelvis cannot be achieved, resulting in a loss of power.

 
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TRUTHS About Golf Instruction YouTube Series a Big Hit!

With more than 2,000 views in less than a week, the RotarySwing.com series about the TRUTHS in golf instruction has become an instant hit. Yesterday, we published parts 4 and 5. These short segments cover how the brain learns new movement patterns and are the key to understanding why your golf swing hasn’t improved, no matter how many lessons you’ve taken. The three points to take away are:

A: You’ve probably not been told the correct information about the golf swing.
B: It wasn’t communicated to you the way your brain actually learns.
C: Learning is a biologoical process that requires a specific pathway.

Watch Part 5 now:

 
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The TRUTHS About Golf Instruction Video Series

For those of you who have learned the Rotary Swing Tour, you’ve learned one incredibly invaluable thing; that it is based on medical fact and science rather than personal preference and theory. The simple truths of how the body was designed and engineered to create rotation around the spine, to generate speed and power are unarguable truths and that’s what the Rotary Swing Tour is all about.

Rather than being yet another fad swing theory, we looked at the golf swing from the inside out and asked the question, “If God were to come down and pick up a golf club and he was built exactly like us, how would he do it?” This driving question leads you down a path to objectivity. We don’t care how Tiger Woods swings a club if doesn’t move in this same fashion. We don’t care what has been published in golf instruction before. We only sought out the facts of human anatomy in complete objectivity with the help of orthopedic surgeons, biomechanics experts, learning experts and physical therapists.

The result was the Rotary Swing Tour of this cooperative effort and we’re now sharing these truths with the world via a video series on YouTube which we highly encourage you to watch. The first two episodes have been published and can be viewed below.

We hope this helps you along your path to golf instruction enlightenment!

Part 1:

Part 2:

 
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Steve Stricker: A Complete Swing Analysis Part 3 (Move 2-Back to Target)

Move 2 is the completion of the backswing, and specifically, the shoulder turn.  To briefly summarize what occurs in Move 2:

1.    Shoulder blade glide continues turning the shoulders another 45 degrees for a full 90 degree     turn.
2.    The shoulder blade glide pulls the hips to turn approximately 45 degrees.
3.    Arms elevate, hinging from the shoulders (Shoulder Elevation).
4.    The right arm hinges at the elbow (Right Elbow Flexion).
5.    External rotation of the right humerus occurs.

ChuckMove2DTL-1

ChuckMove2FO-1

The effects of Stricker’s Setup and Move 1 become more clearly defined in Move 2.

StrickerMove2FOColors

StrickerMove2BlowUp

By this point in the backswing, the Rotary Swing Model advocates that an efficient right shoulder blade glide will have turned the shoulders almost a full 90 degrees and the hips approximately 45 degrees.  This is demonstrated by Chuck Quinton on the left, as the yellow arrow illustrates the position of the right shoulder.  Notice how Chuck’s right shoulder is not apparent in the photo, while Stricker’s right shoulder is clearly visible, indicating the inefficient turn due to the arms dominating the backswing.  The orange arrow further highlights this point as Stricker’s left shoulder has “shrugged” and is disconnected from the core muscles of his body.  The blue arrow illuminates that Stricker’s left arm is above his right, further indicating his arm driven turn.

StrickerMove2a2

When examining Stricker from down the line at the same point in his swing, we must pay attention to the circled area.  Stricker’s hands are noticeably behind his sternum, his right elbow is securely glued to his side, and the left forearm is over-pronated.  Once again, Stricker’s push from the left side has caused the club to work too deep, too around, and too flat at this point in his backswing.  He has failed to perform proper shoulder elevation which is responsible for creating some vertical movement of the club to keep the club on plane.

StrickerMove2dtl

Here we can see the full results of Stricker’s complete backswing.  The orange arrow illustrates the arms being too deep and slightly behind the torso.  The red arrow highlights the loss of right knee flexion, which can lead to weight transfer issues in the downswing.  Finally, the yellow line was placed on the front of Stricker’s head at address, and it is quite clear how much he moves toward the ball on the backswing.  This tipping forward onto the balls of the feet is inevitable for Stricker, because his body must attempt to counterbalance the forces that he created by pushing the club to the inside.

StrickerMove2B

StrickerMove2FeetBlowUp

This final image serves to illustrate the effects of Stricker failing to roll his ankles in slightly at address.  The black arrow on Stricker’s right foot shows how his weight has rolled to the outside portion of the ball of the foot.  Notice the white arrow on Chuck that shows that foot securely planted on the ground.

The culmination of Steve Stricker’s slight flaws: push from the left, out of the box, lack of shoulder elevation, loss of the flex in the right knee, and weight distributed over the outside portion of the right foot all contribute to make a proper weight transfer more difficult, even for an elite golfer.  This shall be examined in detail in our next installment, Move 3-The Downswing.

 
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Rotary Swing on Facebook

For all you Facebook fans out there, you can keep up to date on the new RotarySwing.com Facebook Fan page. Use this link to become a fan of Rotary Swing!

http://www.facebook.com/pages/RotarySwingcom/208473937768#

-Chuck

Rotary Swing Golf on Facebook

Rotary Swing Golf on Facebook

 
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Rotary Swing Golf Instruction – Quick Results!

Al Consoli, Rotary Swing golf instructor, teaching a student how to properly take the club back.  Nothing like immediate results and another happy Rotary Swing student!

 
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Steve Stricker: A Complete Swing Analysis Part 2 (The Takeaway)

Before I begin to discuss Stricker’s Move 1, it is necessary to briefly summarize how Rotary swing classifies the correct sequence for the Takeaway.
1.    Golfer in proper posture, in the box with the lat muscles engaged.
2.    Hips shift 1 inch right transferring approximately 80% of the weight into the right heel (right hip almost to the point of being directly over the right ankle.)
3.    Right shoulder blade glide (pulling the right shoulder) focusing on moving the scapula two inches in and slightly down toward the spine.
4.    Torso turns 45 degrees.
5.    Hips turn 0 degrees.
6.    Arms remain passive, straight, and directly in line with the sternum.

Given our understanding of the forces of rotary motion (please see the blog “Why Can’t I Stay Centered?”), we know a pulling motion is an action that moves an object toward center, while a push is a force moving an object away from center.  It becomes quite clear that we must invoke a pulling motion in order to efficiently turn the torso in a fashion that keeps us centered during the backswing.  This move also serves as a spine stabilizer during the backswing, in turn, protecting the spine during this phase of the swing.  Any origin of movement that comes from the left side of the body is a push, and Stricker’s Move 1 is a prime example of its effects.


Stricker initiates his swing with a forward press of the hands.  The club is subsequently started back by a pushing motion from his left side.  His left arm pushes across his chest which immediately causes a disconnection from his core rotation.


He is now at the mercy of his arms to turn his shoulders, which can be observed by looking at the figure above.  Notice the difference in shoulder turn between Chuck and Stricker as the club is parallel to the ground.  It is quite clear that the arms have been forced significantly behind Stricker’s sternum by this point.  As a result, the right arm is no longer straight, but instead has been forced to bend.  In addition, the left wrist has begun to pronate, as can be observed by the circles.


Pay particular attention to the logo on Chuck’s glove as compared to Stricker’s glove.  The culmination of these movements results in the club getting inside, the hands and arms working too deep, and the club being moved on a flat plane.

 
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A Shift in the Right Direction

I am extremely proud to be working with Hooters Tour Professional Kris Lim.  Kris is an extraordinary young man, whose desire to excel is only exceeded by his desire to understand the fundamentals of the golf swing.  Kris did not come to the Rotary Swing Golf Academy looking for quick fixes to improve his game immediately; he came to us seeking answers to questions that were not able to be provided to him through “traditional” instruction.  He was tired of hearing that his swing looked great; he wanted results.  Kris is a prime example of the type of change that is possible through intellectual understanding and kinesthetic awareness that comes as a product of structured practice that focuses on the anatomical absolutes.

In previous forum posts, I provided some examples of how we first began a little over a month ago.  We started by addressing Kris’s Setup and perfecting Move 1 (The Takeaway).  As these elements improved, we introduced proper shoulder elevation to keep the club working on a proper plane throughout the backswing.  Today is November 23, and it was time for some serious business…Move 3 (The Downswing).  Kris is a prime example of a golfer who would rotate his hips without ever making a proper weight shift into the left heel.  The results of this dastardly movement can be illustrated from the picture below.

On the left side is a trace of Kris’s swing path.  The red line represents his backswing, and the yellow line represents his downswing.  It becomes quite clear Kris was over the top which resulted in many “wiped” shots that would weakly balloon and fade.  On the right side, you can plainly see Kris’s failure to shift that left hip which left him well short of Neutral Joint Alignment.  Kris’s weight is now trapped on his right side which results in the excessive axis tilt and his head backing way up as he comes into impact.  He never covers the golf ball effectively, and fails to compress or flight the shot the way he desires.  Due to his improper origin of movement, the more he would try to cover the ball, the more fat shots he would hit.

Now let’s examine footage from the lesson on November 23.  On the left, you can see a significant improvement in Kris’s swing path.  The red line represents his backswing, and the yellow line represents his downswing once again, but take note the orientation of the lines are dramatically different.  Due to the backswing improvements, Kris takes the club on a much better plane, and is capable of keeping the club in front of his body.  A proper weight shift, planting the left heel and pulling from the left oblique allows the club to shallow slightly and attack the ball from the inside (note the yellow downswing line is underneath the red backswing line).  On the right half of the picture, you can see Kris’s head has not backed up nearly as much, and the axis tilt is improved.  Kris’s left hip has shifted toward the target before he unwinds the hips which allows him to get into NJA at impact.

I want to mention at no time during this lesson did we talk about swing plane or what the club was doing; we focused solely on proper origin of movement in the downswing.  The golf swing needs to be based on a pull-pull relationship in order to abide by the laws of physics of rotary motion.  Kris serves as an excellent model of what can be achieved by focusing on how the human body is designed to work.  While we have lots of work left to do, Kris is finally traveling on the road to success.  RST provides the road map for this journey…want to follow along?

 
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steve strickers golf swing analysis the 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).

 
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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).

 
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