July 9th, 2013


Golf Swing BIO-mechanics Explained This post is dedicated to all the people I’m ‘meeting’ for the first time, via the newly-joined GOLF BIOMECHANISTS facebook group. BIO-MECHANICS involves two parts - the biological system (in this case the human golfer) and the study of that system in terms of mechanics. The whole golf world talks of the 9 ball-flights, the 5 ball flight laws, the 14 preferences and the infinite principles (within which it’d probably be possible even to stand on one’s head and still make a ‘conforming’ golf swing!) Then we talk of kinematics and kinetics of whole-system movement - of the club (shaft plane or forces on it), of the body (swing-plane, centers of pressure and mass, sequential summation of forces, ground reaction forces and so on, ad nauseum). However, amazingly, the whole world seems to believe that just by an understanding (and an ever more detailed study of) all of the above one can improve the ball-striking ability of golfers. Sorry, folks, not happening. Think of all that you discuss as the EFFECT. Then think of the set-up and backswing as the CAUSE. Everything you do in the backswing, will have a downswing consequence. OR think of the backswing as a collection of INDEPENDENT VARIABLES and the downswing as a (poor, helpless) bunch of DEPENDENT VARIABLES. Truly, the only effect we need to know about is that the ball must be struck with maximum possible speed, on its inside right quadrant and below its equator. [ONLY if we want ideal impact - straight, far and high - of course!] We also need to know that the only downswing body movement pattern that can help us do all of the above is what is known as a ‘sequential summation of forces’ (SSF) aka ‘kinematic sequence’. That’s IT, folks. STOP wasting time (and perhaps university funding money) on effects, let’s discuss HOW we can get EVERY GOLFER from Tyro to Tiger to make that highly-sophisticated ‘from the ground up’ rotation of the body - SSF. Bottom-line we need to understand where each of the major body joints needs to be at impact, then work backwards from there by placing every one of those joints in positions they can be most efficient from (in planes they are DESIGNED to work best in)! So, here goes - at impact, positions (for the right handed golfer) should be (all major joints described as either ‘body’ or ‘arms’): BODY: Ankles, knees, hips, shoulders - as purely transverse plane as possible (the hip and shoulder rise is the ‘double dip’ EFFECT of having to drop the right side and then straighten the wrists). Therefore, any sagittal plane backswing movement of body-parts (eg. knee in flexion with medial translation) or frontal plane backswing movement (eg. left lateral trunk flexion) hampers pure downswing SSF. ARMS: Right arm - as purely frontal plane as possible, allowing complete freedom of its scapulo-humeral rhythm (SHR), which, if impeded prevents the left arm from being the radius of the swing at impact. Therefore any sagittal plane backswing movement of the arms (eg. right wrist extension) or transverse plane backswing movement of the arms (eg. right shoulder internal rotation), hampers pure downswing SHR of the right arm. Now, we need a set-up and backswing which will allow all major joints to fall into their required impact positions as easily as possible. Imagine this - if the trunk is in left lateral flexion (the silliest movement in the game of golf) at the top of the backswing, is it EASY for the body to laterally flex the right side, while trying to ‘uncoil’ from backswing torso rotation and simultaneously trying to extend the right elbow? OR, if the right arm is internally rotated, has a pronated forearm and an extended wrist ......imagine all the joints where repositioning must take place. ONLY one method has ever been developed which positions ALL joints so that they are in their most efficient positions at the top, and can thus deliver not only SSF but also GRF and X-Factor-Stretch - WITHOUT VOLITION. Forget the further, straighter, higher requirements of the golf swing. Have any of you studied which positions can cause injury? Look at what Tom Watson is recommending in a 2008 Golf Digest Article (see Knee Injury in the ‘walking the talk’ section of this blog). Or understand John Daly’s sites of July 2013 injury (in the ‘injury’ section) The highly evolved 2013 Minimalist Golf Swing separates the body’s requirement for transverse plane movement from the arms’ requirement for frontal plane movement by FINISHING body-rotation pre-swing. Then with the right trunk remaining in lateral flexion at all times, the upper body is unable to mis-cue the start of the downswing and SSF is easy. The right heel remains grounded for as long as possible, and body weight remains centrally positioned, so GRF is created in a meaningful direction. Invite me to do a seminar for your golfers and see GOLF SWING MAGIC. Not only for highly athletic people but for ANY golfer. (ONLY a person with an eclectic Masters’ level education in anatomy, biomechanics and orthopedic physical assessment can conceive of all this!)

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