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.

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.

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?

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!

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.”

Great Swing! Lesson Learned – Mushin Still The Way

I hear “Great looking swing!” quite a lot. I’ve worked hard on it and know all the hours it’s taken and the literal sweat and grime it’s taken to build what I have. I’m proud of that work, it’s sort of a badge of honor. My swing has never been in better positions nor have I had this much control over my ball with so little effort. So, when I was invited to play the Bear’s Club in Jupiter, FL this weekend, I was ready to go out there and throw down a low number.

I’ve always stuggled a lot on courses I play for the first time, especially ones that are visually intimidating. As Jack Nicklaus’ home course, to say this is visually intimidating would be an understatement. Worse yet, it actually IS very hard. The greens are nuts really and rock hard. Want to know how hard? On a par 3 I hit a 7 iron cut into the wind that landed 3 inches from the pin – and ended up 30 feet away. The slope, speed and firmness of these things is something I’ve not seen in a while playing Sugarloaf Mountain this winter.

So, without seeing and know my landing areas, I was immediately intimidated and noticed myself start to tense up. The fairways looked like bowling alleys and all of a sudden, I literally felt like I didn’t know how to swing the club anymore. Sound familiar to anyone yet? It was like I was starting to play golf all over again, I had no idea what to do. Luckily, I recognized this pressure and tried to regain my focus, which worked only about 1/3 the time because what my eyes saw over ruled what my brain was thinking.

Frustrated at the end of the day, I thought about the round on the long, shamed drive back to Orlando. When I got back, I decided to go and hit balls on the range and see what had gone wrong with my swing. My first shot missed the flag by a foot, the second by 4 feet. Grabbed a 6 iron, missed by 2 yards. Grabbed the driver, striped down the middle. Every shot was perfect. My wife came with me to see what the heck was going on, her reply was simple and to the point, “It’s all in your head.” She’s been down this road with me WAY too many times.

So, we started working on some mental exercises and that helped for a while, and then I got so focused on the exercises that I lost focus on my swing and then started spraying the ball. Then, she gave me an imaginary fairway to hit my driver down that was between two flags about 12 yards apart. I looked at her and said to myself, “That’s impossible, it’s stupid, no fairway on the planet is that small, it’s too hard.” Hmmm, that’s interesting. All this internal dialgoue was something new for me, now we’re getting somewhere.

Before we started the exercises, I was striping my driver exactly where I was aiming, but, put this imaginary “gate” in front of me to hit through and I’m totally tensed up and have this “brain chatter” going on. I know I can hit the ball through there, but it was the idea of focusing on hitting it through there that made it impossible. Then I put two and two together and all my mental game work started coming back to me. Focusing so long on my swing mechanics had taken me out of remembering how to take it out the course. I’d become a solid range player, but they don’t count your strokes out there. It was focusing on the result rather than the process that was detrimental.

Many mental coaches advocate focusing on the target rather than the movement. I’ve done both and have sort of sat on the fence with this one. After today, I feel that it’s time to make the decision and go one way or the other. While I believe that both methodologies have validity and their place depending on the golfer, the golf shot is simply the result of me making the correct movements. The results completely take care of themselves when I move the way I want and I have no control over where the ball ends up. Instead, I want to be concerned with the PROCESS as that is in the moment, the result is in the future.

Focusing on the process of the swing is the only thing I truly have control over and it is the only thing that is happening at that very moment that I can exert influence over. It also pulls the mind “back inside” rather than focusing on the external and peripheral, which are all secondary; the movement is primary. So, after I’ve aimed myself to my target, the target is no longer going to be of consequence to me, I’m going to focus on the process and be “in the moment” and no longer will other people’s shots or the golf course dictate how I feel or think on each shot. If I’m not concerned with the result of the shot, what difference does it make if there is a bunker, or water or OB on that hole? It’s hard to be intimidated by an external influence when you are focused on the interal process. The results should take care of themselves. And that’s what Mushin Golf is all about.

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!

Yesterday, it happened, the perfect golf shot…

Ok, I’ve hit a lot of “perfect” golf shots in my life, but this one was different. I’ve been working hard on making changes to my swing. I’ve changed my…. This is going to be a long list…

  1. My setup
  2. My grip
  3. My posture
  4. My knee flex
  5. My weight distribution
  6. My weight shift
  7. My takeaway
  8. My backswing
  9. My top of the swing
  10. My downswing
  11. My impact
  12. My release

This could go on for a while! As you can imagine, playing through this many changes in only 2 months is going to create some inconsistencies. I’ve shot between 68 and 78 and hit perfect shots that have been better than I’ve ever hit before and several slices that would have given Tiger Woods a run for his money. But yesterday, something clicked…

I recall the shot Tiger hit at Bayhill on Sunday on the 18th in 2008 to set up his winning putt. A 5 iron from only 164 yards that he called his best shot of the week. Mine was an 8 iron up the hill, slightly downwind and 154 yards to the flag. In that instant, everything that I have been working so hard on clicked. The backswing happened so fast that I was already transitioning back to the ball effortlessly with no conscious thought. The ball came off low and flew perfectly flat and lower than usual. My divot was perfectly on line with perfectly square edges from front to back and side to side.

It was the first swing in two months that I allowed myself to make at full speed with no conscious thought. No guiding things going back and no time for thoughts coming down. It was a perfect shot and a perfect swing that created the perfect ball flight that I lay awake at night and dream about. The shot ended up 10 feet from the hole, far from being a perfect result, but I couldn’t have cared less. Two months of hard work seems like a small price to pay to hit shots like that. While I didn’t another “perfect” one like that the rest of the round, I did hit several great shots and that’s all the motivation I need to keep up the hard work.

All Torque’d Up…

Still working here guys. I gave Alison a call for a little guidance on something and she has helped jog my memory on some things. First of all, a good backswing is so torque’d up that it would be impossible to hold that position at the top, or even get there in slow motion. I had lost some of that torque and she gave me something to work on during my takeaway that, along with some extension going back that I felt I was lacking, created a much better position at the top.

The capture from the left is from today and the middle pic is from yesterday. Of course, on the far right that’s “Big Daddy”, or Tiger Woods. You might notice some similarities that were absent yesterday. I looked like a goober at the top of my swing yesterday, but knew I could fix it with some more time. Today’s position is much more torque’d up, in fact, I couldn’t even get to this position in slow motion, I am forced to “swing” to this position with momentum and couldn’t hold it if I wanted to. The more I alter my biomechanics, the more it seems that Tiger is the only person using his body to maximum efficiency. Is that really a surprise?

“300 Workout” – Best Golf Lesson I’ve Ever Given Myself

I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen the movie “300” but those guys were put through a grueling workout to get themselves into the phenomenal physical conditioning they were in to play the part of the Spartans. A couple men’s health magazines put together some workouts called the “300 Challenge”. I’ve kind of done the same thing, but for a very different purpose. Everyone has likely heard that it takes 3,000-5,000 repetitions to develop a habit. That’s a LOT of repetitions, and especially when it comes to learning movements in the golf swing. But, I’ve committed myself to making changes in my golf swing for longevity purposes and to enjoy pain free golf for years to come.

Many of you have watched Alison Thietje’s presentation videos on her website and there is a ton of great information on there, some of which is what I’m working on with my “300 Workout” I started today. In an effort to engrain some changes in to the biomechanics of my golf swing, I decided to do 300 slow motion golf swings in front of a mirror focusing on the changes that I’m making in my swing and this morning was the first “workout”. It was more challenging than I originally thought but incredibly insightful in the end and probably the most productive time I’ve ever spent working on my golf swing. Below I’ve chronicled this first workout so you can see what it was like.

9:30 am – Takes about 5 minutes to do 20 swings, the first 40 were sort of just feeling things out
9:47 am – By rep 60, I started feeling like my brain new what I what I was trying to do, things started clicking
9:54 am – By rep 80, I felt like I could really start to add speed to what I was doing
10:00 am – Rep 100 – Feeling very confident as my swing is looking and feeling like what I want it to
10:06 am – Rep 120 – Takeaway move really feeling good here, starting to focus on left side as well on downswing now.
10:13 am – Rep 140 – Noticing fatigue, arms and shoulders have never felt this soft and relaxed, really feeling left side pulling motion, starting to sweat, it’s a workout now, taking a 5 minute break to stretch and relax my brain.
10:21 am – Rep 160 – Do I even have arms and shoulders now? Club coming through effortlessly, completely core driven and club is ripping through w/ serious speed and zero effort as I’ve started to add a little more speed to my drills.
10:26 am – Rep 180 – Mixing fast and slow now, started getting a little sloppy and losing the feeling of using my core properly.
10:31 am – Rep 200 – Really feeling core now, shoulders super relaxed.
10:36 am – Rep 220 – Back to going super slow again, focusing on takeaway and left side on downswing. My setp feels very comfortable now.
10:41 am – Rep 240 – Tired, sweaty, taking a break. Wondering to myself how many people are actually going to do this? Hayes maybe…. 😉
10:47 am – Rep 260 – Starting to totally feel different muscles powering my downswing and complete separation from my shoulders and core.
10:53 am – Rep 280 – My golf swing feels like it’s from another planet. Completely controlled by the right and left side of my core, I don’t have arms, checking in the mirror to ensure they are still there.
11:00 am – Rep 300 – Don’t have arms but they sure are moving fast. Whew, I’m done!

It took an hour and a half to complete 300 swings like this, about the same time it takes to hit a large bucket of balls on the range, but this was way more productive in the long run. It’s certainly not a short term, quick fix, but in the end my joints are going to thank me – in fact, they already are!

I once watched Tiger Woods practicing at Isleworth here in Windermere where he lives and I saw him do the same takeaway drill for 45 minutes, non-stop, without ever hitting a ball. If you think about that, it’s amazing. He was intensely focused on a drill while a hole pile of brand new Nike One Platinum’s lay at his feet just begging to be hit. I never thought I could do just a drill for an hour and a half, but I just did and I learned a ton about the muscles that I want to actually fire in my downswing. I’m 10% of the way there!

To check my progress, I went downstairs immediately afterward and hit a few balls on film to see if anything stuck, here’s the sequence:

 

I’m very happy with a few things that I can already see as a result of my work this morning. One, I’m much happier with the coil and position of my left knee going back. I have a tedency to let it go back a bit far and get loose and sloppy. I’m extremely happy with my downswing progress, not perfect, but definite progress. My left leg is completely posted up on, not by using leg, using my core in the downswing! Because of this impact position, I’m getting a great release where the club is ripping through due to centrifugal force and nothing else.

Filming my swing helped me see what I need to focus on again tomorrow when I do another “300 Workout”, but I’m very pleased that swing has progressed already and can’t wait to see what happens when I hit 3,000 reps!

Day 2 Progress – Rotary Swing 2.0

A lot more work poured into my swing today, I’m beat, mentally and physically. It’s tiring working so hard on changing a golf swing and rewards often come in only small doses. Today’s rewards were small, nice straight ball flight, decent speed and I’m getting closer to some positions that I wish to achieve, but I still have a long way to go.

In the sequence below from today, I’m still trying to get comfortable with my setup, which looks fairly poor here looking at my spine. The top of my swing has gotten loose and a little disconnected and I’m more rotated early in the downswing than I would like. Sheesh! I’m not sure I saw much that I like, except the ball flight was still good. I’m so focused on my balance at address and during my backswing that it’s tough to do the other things I want, but I’ll keep plugging away!

RotarySwing.com Revolutionizing Online Golf Instruction

RotarySwing.com is changing the face of golf instruction by simplifying the way the swing is taught. No longer relying on complicated backswing positions that can take the average golfer years to learn, the Rotary Swing makes it easy for ANY golfer to improve and enjoy the game. Golfers can learn the Rotary Swing online through online golf instruction with a former professional golfer!

RotarySwing.com is changing the face of golf instruction by simplifying the way the swing is taught. No longer relying on complicated backswing positions that can take the average golfer years to learn, the Rotary Swing makes it easy for ANY golfer to improve and enjoy the game. Golfers can learn the Rotary Swing online through online golf instruction with a former professional golfer!

Windermere, FL (PRWEB) April 22, 2008 — Through the use of its proprietary golf swing and online instruction technique, RotarySwing.com is quickly changing the golf instruction landscape. The Rotary Swing is the simplest way to learn to swing a golf club and with the new online golf instruction program, golfers can submit their videos online and receive a “movie” back of their online golf lesson from a former professional golfer on the Nationwide Tour. Currently, RotarySwing.com is offering a discount on these online golf lessons for only $49.

Chuck Quinton, founder of the Rotary Swing technique and golf instructor in Windermere, FL, has helped thousands of golfers shave their handicaps by learning his simple swing technique. “So many golfers come to me in desparation, frustrated with the current state of their games. Golf instruction in the past has failed them because it was too complex and difficult to learn given their limited practice time. I’ve simplified the golf swing into simple Rotary Swing fundamentals that can be learned in less than 15 minutes so that even the busy professional with limited time to practice can improve after online one lesson,” Quinton says.

Quinton’s results have been impressive to say the least, with members of his golf instruction website shaving over 10 strokes off their handicaps in as little as 2 months. And his work on the professional tours has been equally impressive with one of his students, Paul Dickinson, leading three rounds of a 2007 Nationwide Tour event. Now, Paul is Quinton’s lead instructor and performs all the online golf lessons. “Adding Paul to the team was a strategic move to ensure we could handle all the new students who are coming to the Rotary Swing and provide them with world class golf instruction. Paul has now done hundreds of online lessons via our website and we couldn’t be happier with the results,” said Quinton.

Simplify your golf swing today and enjoy your best ball striking ever by learning the very simple technique of the Rotary Golf Swing. If you are tired of struggling with your golf swing and want to simplify your technique, visit the home of the Simple Golf Swing –http://www.RotarySwing.com

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This went out via PRWeb.com on April 22, 2008.  View the PRWeb version here:  http://www.prweb.com/releases/2008/04/prweb876294.htm.