October 17th, 2012

From short fade to long baby-draw – Case Study for teachers and players

From short fade to long baby-draw a Case Study for teachers and players. See the youtube video with the same title for details. Also on this blog in the 'golf videos' section. Posted this series of pictures on two professional teachers blogs asking members to comment on what this student should do to go from his current situation where he consistently slices the ball with a big loss of distance to a long, superb trajectory, minimally curving back baby-draw. The only five responses from two facebook-pages of golf-teachers-organizations were: 1. Check the fundamentals - grip, ball-position, alignment. Are they weak, strong, open, closed. Set up for a draw and have the student hit short shots off a tee. The student should feel,, see and expect something different. 2. Weight forward, handle forward, clubface open to target and closed to path. 3. The body is spinning on the back leg which has become the axis of rotation, with weight falling through that back leg and, as that happens, the club face opens causing a fade. You can see this in the 3rd pic. Get him to move the weight forward creating a better axis of rotation. 4. I would work on face position at impact which is related to the players present grip positions, and work on a shallower swing plane to change the path. 5. Have you done a KCA for this player to see if he has any physical limitations which prevent him from moving onto the left side. Could be he has a problem with his thoracic spine which prevents him from loading up in the backswing thus causing him to fall back through impact. MGSS responses:
  1. Just as knowing one’s A, B, C’s does not convert to writing an essay in Newsweek or The Economist, the set-up or ‘fundamentals’ are only the starting point and do not convert to ‘poetry in motion’ in the golf swing - many things can go wrong in-swing, despite perfect starting positions, and the fundamentals are only the tip of the iceberg.
  2. Weight forward, handle forward to my mind is a delofting of a club - why then bother to carry 14? It’s ‘settling’ and will not always work if joint positions at the top still force the golfer to come over the top, spin around on the trail leg and have a clubface that is opening (present continuous tense) through the impact area.
  3. This analysis is great but once again, the golfer would surely ‘load’ through if they could. They usually cannot because their typical or traditional golf backswing has made the right side of their trunk higher and rotated away from target. Now the golfer has to make 3 independent moves in quick succession (rotate trunk forward, drop trail side down, drop arms down) and when there is no time the poor golfer can but come ‘over-the-top and spin around on the back leg!
  4. We all want to work on face position at impact - how? even with a strong grip and a decent swing plane (as the golfer in the picture has) it is possible to slice the ball
  5. The Titleist performance Institute lists as the top 4 most commonly seen swing ‘faults’ - early spinal extension, swinging over-the-top, and casting/early release during the backswing, and sway. These, they say are all muscular imbalances. While it is important to be able to assess such imbalances, a set-up and backswing with better positioned body joints can cure all of these 4 faults. So, the golfer must decide - work out every day forever or spend a week learning a more efficient swing!
CONCLUSION - the MGSS does not look at set-up or swing faults at all. Whatever they may be they get sorted out simply with better joint positions.

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