I’ve been a long time ABS lurker, however, I took a hiatus due to kids, career along with life’s other aspects. I started my advanced ball-striking journey again and remembered the wealth of knowledge this forum has in regards to the true greats. I had an epiphany that’s made a huge impact on my swing motion and what I mean by “impact” I mean literally. I feel I have solid control of my low point of the swing. Let me preface this with some basic information. I use Moe’s setup with the straight angle of the lead arm/club (face-on view) and a straight plane line with the club and the trail arm (down-the-line view). This setup isn’t the epiphany, however. The epiphany I had was applying Mike Maves aka Sevam1 swing thought. Now I’ve seen this video a long time ago and I’ve tried to apply it with inconsistent success. Then, it came to me - I remember reading an article of Moe talking about the trail foot…
“Tiger Woods must be having a wonderful time searching for that one little thing he’s doing wrong. I wonder when he’ll notice it—the way his right heel lifts straight off the ground now instead of coming up and toward his left. His weight shift is terrible right now, that’s all. Don’t tell him. It’ll ruin his fun.”
The last piece of the puzzle now is George Knudson. In his book, The Natural Golf Swing, he talks about his weight on the backswing stays on the inside of the trail foot. If it moves to the outside of the foot, one will lose their balance. Now, on the through-swing, Knudson approaches it as simply a transfer of weight and emphasizes the distance the navel travels from the backswing all the way to the finish.
The “too long;didn’t read” (tl;dr) Preset your stance by (ever so) slightly elevating the heel of your trail foot and torquing it towards the target. (Hogan/Knudson flexing in right knee)
Some good thoughts here…
There are a lot of puzzles in the golf swing once you start breaking down the great swings like Moe and Hogan, Knudson, Trevino. What they all did was hold shaft flex into impact and accelerated the club through the strike by internally rotating their core. Swinging heavier gear forces one to use the bigger muscles in the torso and legs, and the additional mass in the clubhead is a very positive factor for impact dynamics and energy transfer into the golf ball. Not just distance but accuracy AND distance control. Very hard to have great distance control swinging light gear.
The heavy gear no doubt played a role. That’s something I, myself, had tweaked a little while ago with massive amounts of lead tape. I’m considering filling the shaft with lead shot as well. That’s definitely helped with leveraging the club and distance control.
What are your thoughts on the Medicus training aid? That concept seems like it would help with maintaining proper shaft flex without resorting to flipping the hands.
I’m confused about the comments here about equipment. Let’s take the driver:
A modern titanium driver head weighs the same as a stock persimmon driver head from 50 years ago. Total driver club weight is lighter because of the shafts, which weigh anywhere from 40-60 grams less than the steel shafts of the past. Modern drivers, even those played by the pros, are also at least an inch longer than what was standard in the steel/persimmon days.
Question: If the point of the swing is to maintain the shaft in a flexed-back position into impact, wouldn’t modern equipment HELP this, not hurt it? If we have the same head weight on a longer shaft, wouldn’t it be MORE conducive to bending back?
Shaft flex is key, but you need that in combination with a shallow approach angle on the ball. Having a flatter lie angle along with a heavier total club weight helps you naturally get into that shallow slotted position. That just leaves the pivot technique around the impact zone to take care of the shaft flex. Your swing becomes consistent because the ball is getting in the way of your shallow swing path. The degree of fat and thin shots become negligible because the clubhead is moving level aka shallow for a long period of time.
It’s not about the amount of shaft flex. Extra stiff shafts don’t bend a lot for good reasons
But holding shaft flex coming into impact has a few powerful perks… For one, the sensory, spatial awareness of the clubhead increases and the force of the strike as well because of the fact that holding a flexed shaft through acceleration makes it very rigid, strong, heavy and resistant to impact. The transfer of forces is just better.
The lighter the club also the harder it is to keep the shaft pressured. A light club is just too easy to throw away from the top. You can see that even modern players who have a good pivot are still throwing the right arm and closing the club face too quickly.
Longer shafts tend to cause more over acceleration on the downswing that can’t be maintained through impact. Also with the clubhead farther from the hands it becomes easier to unkick the shaft sooner (which is basically over acceleration). Graphite shafts also have kick points that release the shaft or face differently if all that happens. Kind of why heavier and stiffer is always a better option to not overaccelerate or unkick the shaft. Which puts the modern driver in a dilemma for most to control cos heavier shafts tend to not work as well with the larger lighter foam filled driver heads. It’s why people with wedges in their hand won’t over flex or over accelerate as much cos the entire design of the club is more in their favor- shorter- heavier and not really a power distance club
The Sanders interview you did was great. Doug talked about how critical it was to hit the fairway… same with the Curtis Strange interview you did… which was fantastic. So many nuggets there with those two.
Like Curtis said, the game has changed… at least on tour… so there is not nearly as much emphasis on accuracy off the tee. Curtis talked about Tiger also and how he didn’t understand how Tiger could be so accurate with irons and recovery shots, but struggle to keep the driver in the same zip code at times.
So… to think about that… what is the difference? The driver itself. It’s certainly not Tiger, it’s the club.
That being said, I don’t think there is a solution. There might be a compromise… or I’ve come to a point to suggest just pull out the frying pan on the holes where accuracy off the tee isn’t a factor. Pull it out a few times a round and just take a rip at it. It’s a tool to be used for the occasional shot… like you might use a sand wedge… for a particular situation.
I think that is the smart way to approach it… but I think trying to build a swing based around the modern driver is a fools game… and I say that because even if you hit driver on everyone hole, that would only be 14 swings per round. Some of those tee shots will not require maximum distance…(doglegs) etc… or particularly narrow holes.
Use it as appropriate, and with restraint (in using it)… but when you do… take a hard rip at it.
Great stuff, and insights Lag. Hogan and Jack said they started winning when they learned how NOT to use the driver every chance they got (paraphrased). DECADE golf seems to disagree with this argument.
He (Scott Fawcett) tells all his young guns to fire away if you have a 65y wide landing zone. Mark Brodie’s book says the same stuff. More “go for it” than “think”. DECADE says that most players just don’t have a developed enough pre-frontal cortex to make good decisions. Golfers used to peak later in life, so this makes a bit of sense to me.
Scott Fawcett (DECADE) says it all the time…" you really don’t know where your golf ball is going". Seems insane to play this game that way…but his guys are winning.
Maybe it’s just about lowering expectations…so you perform better under pressure?
I think the players are far more data driven than prior generations. They know from stats like strokes gained and so forth what club choice gives them the best chance of making birdie, of avoiding double bogey, etc. etc., on every hole. They don’t play by fairways hit, becasue they’ve learned from data analysis that it is not predictive of success. Now, that may be because of course set ups, less penalty from rough or bunkers than in the past, I don’t know. Every PGA tour golf tournament (except the Masters) I’ve ever been to has had thick, difficult rough, far more difficult than the ordinary club conditions I’m used to. But maybe it used to be worse, I don’t know. Tiger was incredibly smart and knew his game. He hit his stingers for position when he needed to, but he also knew he had the best iron game in town, and when he felt the risk was worth it, he would blast away knowing he could recover from just about anywhere. Haney wrote in his book that Tiger would aim at the edge of fairways or even the right rough if there was alot of danger left, because he knew his big miss was left and so he was playing percentages. I think even if they dial back equipment, some people might be surprised that they will still play a power game.
I have a pretty good Taylor Made R15 driver right now. Brendon Todd gave it to me from his basement of stuff. He had never hit it but it may be one of the flattest sitting modern drivers I have seen. Matches my slightly flat irons perfectly. It is also a 430CC head size and not 460CC which makes it also look a bit more appealing. It is 45 inches but because it sits flatter it doesn’t feel long
I always just try and bump the shaft weight up a little- somewhere in mid 70 grams in the driver to try and get a little extra weight into the feel of things. Messing with the head with lead tape or other things just doesn’t seem to work. It lumps the hollow foam filled head down too much and just doesn’t sound or feel right.
The new drivers of the past several years, Callaway Epic or Taylor Made SIM or Stealth just don’t do it for me. They sound like tin cans and all this Artificial Intelligence they talk about does nothing from my perspective. Hollow hit. Can’t feel the ball on the face. Too much cut bias on the Sim and Stealth.
It’s a bit of a mess. The pros I am sure know it also. They are always tinkering. Damn I saw Scheffler on the rage in Hartford the week after just missing out at Brookline in US Open messing around with 5 drivers and shaft combos…which I assume means he wasn’t happy with it
This simply because of the courses… this ideology would not work on narrow courses with hazards down the sides of fairways, OB everywhere, long rough, lots of fairway bunkers with high lips etc.
It works on courses that allow errant tee shots. Nothing amazing about such statistics.
Having a pulse on the tour, I’m curious if most guys are desperate week to week for a “fix” like this? I’m surprised that no one has come together to realize “what” is/has happened…kind of blown away actually. Too much money to be made I guess…
The SScheffler story is crazy. I have so many stories of old school guys hitting hundreds of different drivers back in the day, but once they found the one that worked…they rarely changed. Not the case anymore…
It seems the pendulum has swung too far in the wrong direction…new clubs every 6 months, etc. I feel like this makes it impossible to ever really get used to any of your clubs???
Maybe that’s an obsolete way of thinking, but sometimes you find a club that rings in your loins when you pure it…not so much anymore. When I crush a drive I never get that deep gut sense of accomplishment, more…" well it’s online and I think I hit the sweet spot".
I agree about the Stealth and other offerings…the technology has gotten to be so extreme that golf clubs feel somehow…“muted”?
@lagpressure is 100% correct. I wonder if Hogan is turning over in his grave daily now?
Jon Rahm was caught on camera complaining, saying the “piece of shit” pin locations made it basically a putting contest. I’m sure you see some of that on the weekends. I bet BT and HVIII struggle to get it close enough to get in the mix on the back 9 sundays a lot. I don’t watch enough to know…but I’m very curious on how you are observing things.
Probably feels like you are the only sane/grounded guy out there at times.
Give me Moe’s front knee and trail foot movement and Ben’s trail knee movement and George’s front foot stability and I’d never miss the sweet spot. For distance, probably throw in Nicklaus’ float loading as well.