Jacobs & Manzella on Release, shaft flex, hand paths etc

There has been quite a lot of discussion generated on the interweb by some thoughts / conclusions released by Michael Jacobs / Brian Manzella based on them looking at traits of what they describe as “great” or “high end” golfers. The 3 video’s concerned are here:

Ep 1: Topic: Impact, Low point, hand paths http://youtu.be/mfDasDW1RbM
Ep 2: Topic: Hand paths, release, start downs: http://youtu.be/4mKYXd9erAM
Ep 3: Topic: Shaft deflection / Shaft flex: http://youtu.be/UpSndy-9eC8

I thought there was plenty of meat for some interesting, but hopefully respectful, discussion including agreement / disagreement. For those who can’t be bothered to watch the video’s some of the conclusions suggested is that “high end” players exhibit the following traits:

  1. The low point of the hands is different to the low point of the club head. The low point of the hands bottoms out close to the right thigh and goes slightly up into impact
  2. The transition / start down is characterised by the club moving away from the target line rather than towards it so it travels in the widest possible arc
  3. Shaft lag deflection (Shaft flex in ABS terms) is only significant from approx hip high (p3 in ABS terms) not from the top of the swing
  4. But lag deflection switches to lead deflection pre-impact i.e losing the shaft flex
  5. The club free wheels through the impact zone with no pressure on the shaft

My initial thoughts / questions are:

  • I can see what they are talking about re: the transition move. Pulling the club straight down in an effort to create some false lag angle is always a death move. The overhead of Gary player, which I suspect is in the vault, shows that the butt end of the club goes away from the target clearly but how this ties into the clubs taking the “free ride down” passively I am not sure. Trying to do this consciously might have the opposite effect I would imagine as without passive wrists the club will not fall to where we want it to go.
  • this looks very much to me to be based on modern day “swingers” of the club (It would be interesting to know who the subjects of the study were), trying to time a release which implicitly rejects the objective of attempting to hold lag deflection (shaft flex) through to impact (or as close as we can get it) and beyond.
  • in doing so it gives up pressure on the shaft that I’m sure that Lag will remind us manifests itself in feel
  • I wonder if this is indeed just a reflection that a new golf swing is indeed growing out of modern gear. The lightweight drivers are so easy to over accelerate then the suggestion of the widening the arc for some type of sweep release is where modern instruction is going to go unless you have the guns at the bottom of the swing to deal with such angles. Going up through impact gives us that straight legged, heels off the ground that we see so much more these days. See pic of Lexi Thompson the 16 year old phenom who won last week on the LPGA tour.

Anyway love to hear peoples thoughts. By all means agree / disagree but do so in a way that doesn’t bash other people.

Cheers, Arnie

Good thread Arnie.

Would be cool if Jacobs would wonder on over for the discussion. I find it interesting that he calls “revolutionary” a move from the top that he calls “chucking” the club outward away from the target. That move is really an elbow move, and is not revolutionary by any means. Joe Norwood’s approach more than 7 decades ago was one of moving a club from the top with a chucking out of the elbow- a swinger’s move designed in such a way as to harness a pushing motion from the top versus a pulling motion from the top…and which causes an involuntary reaction of the left hip into a cross-lateral response to allow the arms to power, in a primary sense, that which is left as power sources…

…which leaves a great deal of unused mass on the table for applying maximum compression.

Great picture of Lexi…hadn’t seen it before. Being on her tingly toes as she is makes me wonder if she visited the Captain somewhere in her travels. :laughing:

Great to see you back Rattie :smiley:

Any further mention of the Captain and Lexi is banned - she’s 16!

Arnie–Not to be too simplistic, and we know this to be true, but those that go the modern, lightweight route, are destined to swing this way, throw that club down the fairway. I get to see a lot of driver swings where I practice and play and 90 percent of the players stop their swings at impact and the ball slices terribly. The mind is telling them this club is too light and out of control, put on the brakes! and they do. They’d be better off swinging the toaster with reckless abandon and learn how to aim it somehow.

Welcome back, double R.

Seems to me to be observation based speculation. I would really need to see both Jacobs and Manzella swing the club themselves hitting full shots before I could comment much about their teaching work. At that point it would be clear to me
as to what they are feeling in their own swings and give me a better understanding as to what they are implying and teaching to students.

For example, if I see an instructor who is using a swinger’s release, I would not expect them to be teaching something totally different to what they are doing… nor would I expect them to fully understand a hitter’s release in the way I teach it.

If they are teaching a swinging release, I understand what they are doing because I can do that also… different protocols and movement objectives. There are a lot of ways you can strike the ball with good results.

A very pretty…girl…to be sure, but a girl none-the-less. So her parents can rest easy. :wink:

I only lament all of the flamingos that perished much too early in their lives in order to color her wardrobe. :wink:

Captain Chaos

Have only watched a few videos from Jacobs and pure swinging stuff in my eyes. He does however talk about toe up deflection in one of the videos posted by Arnie that is interesting and viable for swinging…but also speaks to opposing forces loading a shaft ABS style, but not quite from the same orientation.

Jacobs tells what happens, but doesn’t as far as I know tell why the toe up deflection appears, or how to do it. It’s like the breaking a tree branch example by snapping the branch in half: one hand pressures down and in clockwise and the other hand pressures down and in counter-clockwise resulting in massive pressure loaded into the tree branch, or shaft in this case.

In the picture I grabbed from his video one can clearly see the hands pressuring the shaft in opposite directions- clockwise and counter-clockwise almost unnoticed from the down and in motion of the hands.
The toe up happens during swing transition. When arriving at the top the clubhead, if left unattended is seeking DOWN toward the ground…but the transition allows the hands to seek a little UP. The down clubhead and up hands load the shaft much like cracking a whip.

If you watch the video around the 7 minute mark you can clearly see the down and in ( clockwise - counterclockwise ) pressure he applies. But again, a swingers move in general, but good stuff about shaft loading. :slight_smile:

Definitely swingers stuff in my opinion. They talk about there being a flick of the hands through impact, but they don’t explain much about how it’s done. They are focusing on how the bent right wrist before impact is straightened soon after, and not to try to hold on to a flat left wrist. The latter I agree with. The main problem I have with their videos is that I think they are forgetting about the importance of forearm rotation.

I don’t think you can properly explain the golf swing in three 10 minute videos…
You can try though.

yeah this never happened with the old, HEAVY equipment of the 60’s?.. :unamused:

Range Rat, glad to see another Norwood reader here! When I first saw these videos and their descriptions of their ‘new revolutionary discovered’ release I immediately first thought of Norwood. Norwood’s Chuck-out-of-elbow move even predates TGM. Same with Mike Austin and his controversial hit from the top he advocated. These both predate these Jacobs/Manzella “discoveries”. Joke.

I think the mindset here is that the ball should be the first thing to leave…whereas it will, and should leave last all on its own. :sunglasses:

I knew i would find this topic discussed on this forum on a bit more “neutral” basis - thanks for that.
From what i understand (it will probably be understood better when they come out with their videos that they´ll sell to the masses) its kinda of an antimove to the idea from TGM of dragging the handle into oblivion to sustain lag. Lagpressure seems to be a big supporter of Lag :smiley: , but i never saw him sell the idea of dragging the handle - actually in his instruction video he speaks against it, yet he also doesnt seem to belive in some early kind of release, which IMO is a bad bad thought for most golfers tbh.

But i came across something else, which i have a bit of a problem understanding with - maybe somebody could enlighten me what this actually means (or draw a picture?)? What exactly (in a geometrically fashion) is “force across the shaft” and how and why is it produced?

I don´t know the source of the study, but that was data posted by Micheal Jacobs:

In my understanding - every kind of force that bends the clubhead back is okay, yet every other force is not really welcome? Is this the idea behind it? So in a golf swing we would strive for the club moving through the dimension and trying to minimize disturbing force?

I´d really appreciate the input. Thanks!

That post doesn’t make a lot of sense to me… unless he is describing tangential force in a reverse way or the loss of shaft flex.

For those interested in understanding the golf swing from a more clinical aspect, there are a few different forces acting upon the golf club and shaft during the swing.

I hear a lot of conflicting views on this topic, both within TGM and outside of it.

Centrifugal force is generally understood and the force moving outward and away from the center. Let go of the club and it flies away from you. I have also heard radial acceleration described this way… meaning acceleration traveling along the radius line away from the center. Contrarily I have heard radial described and the radii accelerating sideways in a circular way. I have also heard some TGM experts describe this as longitudinal acceleration… Ben Doyle used to throw water out of a bottle and splash a golf ball with it… and referred this as being longitudinal.

There is a point in the swing at transition where the shaft moves inward toward the center of the body… compressing toward the center… before it then changes into an outward throw. I have used the term centripetal to describe this based upon definitions I have read or studied. “Acceleration toward the center of a circle”.

O Grady I believe calls the cut it left move a centripetal release… as compared to and swingers dump out to right field being a centrifugal release.

A lot of descriptions can end up being lost in translation. I think Homer Kelley tried to standardize a lot of this terminology which to me is one of his finest contributions… however… I still hear people argue about what is what and then the scientists - golfers usually try to set everyone straight.

Ultimately from a players standpoint… the club wants to move away from you on the backswing… when you change direction of the club it compresses toward you or inward. Then right about at P3, the club starts to move away from the body toward the ball and once again away from you. That outward force with at some point become resistant because our hands are gripped onto the club. So a hitter does one thing and a swinger does another in the way they are going to resist this CF or centrifugal force.

There certainly is another force existing that deals with holding shaft flex, and to accelerate the clubhead along the circumference of a circle or arc some consider tangential while others would describe this a radial.

There is also a torquing acceleration of the shaft… or a twisting action that occurs due to forces of acceleration being applied by active forearm rotation against the clubhead itself that is NOT inline with the shaft. This is a very real and important form of acceleration that is for the most part overlooked in golf instruction.

So to me… it’s only important that any student and teacher are simply agreeing on what to call these things in a way that is understandable in layman’s terms, and tangible enough to communicate the basic concept that is being discussed.

Yes, M.O.R.A.D. would call ‘cutting it left’ or ‘ABS Hiting’ as a ‘CP Release.’ And the opposite would be a CF Release.

I had mentioned that in the first video where Jacobs discusses things like the low point of the hands and the clubhead being in different spots and not actively trying to hold lag and some other things…were stuff that I believe Mac discovered 20 years ago and one of Manzella’s guys got really pissed off at me for saying that…and still doesn’t believe me, even though others have told him the same thing, even though they had a falling out with Mac.

The ‘normal force’ thing and tangential force stuff I’ve never seen discussed in M.O.R.A.D. I don’t quite understand their point with it and initially, I don’t quite agree with it. They have 1 pic of Hogan from a TIME LIFE pic where he’s hitting off a tee and that is considered ‘normal force’ and then one with an iron off of grass and that is ‘tangential force.’ They really look the same to me, just the clubhead making contact with the grass slows the clubhead down post impact.

I personally think that based upon the Jacobs’ videos…they are missing some the big picture. It’s a lot of focus primarily on what the hands and wrists are doing and there are other body parts that they haven’t discussed yet that I find that are vital. That being said, it has provided me a different perspective as to how to look at the hands in the swing.


I’ve found it interesting in that the stronger my hands and forearms get… the more passive they can feel. Over time you start getting comfortable with the orbit pull, and resisting CF.

Similar to tightening down a piece of wood in a vice. You tighten it down… the phone rings and you get distracted, go have lunch then walk back into the garage and realize all that pressure is still on the wood.