Knees, please!

I am in a bit of bind. I posted on this a while back. Is the way Hogan advocated setting up to the ball recommended?(Power Golf/5 Modern Fundamental) I know that may sound a bit arrogant of me, but I find that I have an unbeleivable amount of knee bend when I do so.

  1. Stand up straight with requisite stance width. The spine is as straight at though your were walking down the fairway;
  2. Lower arms
  3. Bend knees until the club is soled
  4. Tilt the head forward from the neck only

Hogan seemed to think that the there was no bending from the waist.

I feel like I am about to lay an egg! Am I missing something here? Please help I have no idea what might hatch!

:laughing: :laughing: I’m laughing with you, not at you. That made my day…I have some ideas for you. Are you an ABS student?

I am…in a parasitic sort of way! :blush: I have spent a lot of time studying TGM. It lead me to Lag’s version of hitting, and the unworkability (for me) of swinging. I am always open to ideas.

Bobscottjnr: We will have to go back and forth a few times to nail this down, but it will be a good test to see if we can get points across in writing.

Now keep in mind, these are my points and others may disagree…but I basically believe that if one understands cognitively why they need to get into certain positions at address…then they will find their own way to do it…as long as that way falls within the norm for the task at hand, and it generally does cuz your brain will sort it out for you, give or take fractional differences.

Copying someone’s address position has to be done with care as people have different ratios of torso length, to arm length to leg length…so keep that in mind. Let’s discuss spine angle, absent the equipment variable, first in a very general kind of way to see if you agree…

Take a club, get into WHATEVER address position you want for illustration purposes, then bend your torso all the way down until your spine is parallel to the ground. Now along with that, bend your knees alot so that your torso stays parallel to the ground but is now about a foot and half above the ground. Hope you don’t have a bad back :slight_smile:

Make a full swing or hit from that position and pay attention to what happens to those angles. You will have to rise up considerably or else risk hitting 3 feet behind the ball. The club needs room to expand so your subconscious- which knows the task at hand says– " Ok, I’ll give you the room you have not given me." How much did you rise up in order to not hit behind the ball? Who knows! But your brain figured it out for you…it’s a survival mechanism as it specifically relates to the task at hand.

Ever walked on a pitched roof before? If you have then how many degrees is your spine angle in relationship to roof pitch, or the horizon? You could guess and say it is perhaps 52 degrees to the horizon but your subconscious has computed key variables like body weight, body height, shoe surfaces, roof pitch, weather conditions, etc. and maybe placed your spine angle at 53.876 degrees…your subconscious is that precise…

Do you agree with the above points…if you don’t that’s ok, but then there is no need to go further. :slight_smile: RR

So…if you are too bent over your brain will straighten the spine in an unconscious corrective response, and visa versa? If so then we are in agreement!

Cool…so one can now argue that if your spine angle at address is not within normal limits for the task at hand your subconscious will start to make corrective measures the moment you start moving that clubhead away from the target—which is not the ball. So…if you are 1/4 inch bent over too far, guess what? You will more than likely rise up 1/4 inch on your way forward…now this is being stated in quite general terms…but as I said…if we understand why we need to adhere to the major concepts finding those postions is much easier

About the visa/versa aspect. A little different there…if one is going to err…it’s better to be more upright than bent too far over…still with me? If you are…will get to your question about the knees next as the knee flex has alot to do with how the spine is set. Again, this is very general stuff…without seeing you in person some of these things may change. :slight_smile: RR

This is actually the genesis of my question or what I am attempting to make my address more Hoganesque (or at least understand the principles he applied) A “straight” more upright spine is easier to rotate. The more waist bend the more tilty the shoulder turn becomes, the more the weight is towards your toes, making it tough to pivot aggressively (because you are essentially out of balance) Also the upper arms naturally pack against the torso when the torso is upright. The arms tend to “hang like an orangutan” (like my coach used to say) when there is more waist bend, disconnecting the upper arms from the torso. The amazing thing to me is that Hogan did not appear (from my perspective) to be standing that upright, nor do his knees seem to have the same degree of knee flex. Lag seems to have the same thing going. I am guessing that a wider stance will automatically set the body lower so it is a combination of:

Straight spine + head bow + wide stance + knee flex = straightest possible rod around which to dervish!

Neat picture with the lines on it…wish I knew how to do that…

Knee flex is critical IMO…and goes a long way in helping set other areas up in their proper relationships; and is important for static and dynamic balance. I also feel that there is an aspect of knee flex that is often overlooked.

Take a look @ Johhny Miller’s video on the Jo Jo Dancer topic page posted by Nick. About halfway through he talks about knee flex in terms of feeling that one can jump straight up. Here’s the part that’s not addressed. Watch the video closely…he drops down with his knees in order to jump up. IMHO, one should be able, if their knee flex is correct, to spring straight up without having to go down further first.

Look at your Hogan picture…from that flex he can jump straight up without transferring any weight down first.

As to feel…to me the address postions feel like I’m a NFL quarterback. Doesn’t Hogan look like a quarterback behind center with really the only difference being how his wrists and hands are set to hold a club. He could very easily from the same set-up switch his hands around to take a snap from center.

That’s about it for now…again, very general stuff here…just things to ponder…have fun. RR

I figure that the knees need some flex given that the hands come in flatter and lower, unless of course your release the arms and/or hands to get down to the ball. I have found that a good pivot tends to cause the flex as opposed to deliverately sitting down, or the sitz as Joe Norwood called it! Interesting about flexing in order to jump…sound like a post pivot #5 accumulator concept.

Doesn’t dropping just a bit, or more, activate the muscles that one uses to jump, climb, or twist. This makesit more powerful. If you climb stairs, dropping down just a bit,once you place the climbing foot on the step, helps you activate the quads. I think this is the plyometric principle, but someone else may can elaborate.

Maybe I am misunderstanding your premise…Your initial question, if I read it correctly, was set-up positions at address only. The following was not addressed and is almost entirely something else.

Although this wasn’t addressed…it is quite true…a good pivot will create more flex coming in. RR

You mentioned Miller so I threw in my understanding of what knee flex does for in the downswing. What I am really after is confirmation on Hogan’s idea that there be not bending from the waist. You can only lower the club to the ball 3 ways (with all of the possible combinations)

  1. Waist bend
  2. Lowering arms
  3. Bending knees

Hogan sounds like he was eliminating one these variables (a good thing for consistency) namely the waist bend.

Were getting close :slight_smile: The bend is from the hip sockets and not the waist…big difference. Hips are below your waist…it’s where that little ball and socket thing is…if you were to have a hip replacement.

Back to knee flex…at address if you feel that you have to go down first in order to spring straight up…the flex is generally not correct. If you start with too much flex…add more on the way down by way of a great pivot…you mightend up with too much knee flex near the ball and have to come up out of it a little to allow to club to expand…and it will happen automatically much like having too much spine angle tilt will do like we talked about earlier.

Again…this is very general stuff…and subject to varying degrees of interpretation and application. RR

OK. So is it possible then that bending from the sockets (not sure how to do that really) is achieved by the bending of the knees as a response to…dang I do not know what the hell I am talking about. :laughing: As I read Hogan he is suggesting that the spine remains straight. So I thought it looks bent because of the change in anatomical relationship between the lower body and upper body courtesy of the knee bend :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:

Bobscottjnr: Told you this would be a hard task with words, but hang in there…

Bending from the hips…Do this: stand straight up, at attention, and put your a finger on each one of those two little ball sockets. Now stick your but out so it is about 6-8 inches past the heels of your shoes. Did you feel how your spine tilted forward in response to doing that? That is a close proximity to bending from the hips. Again, this is general information and subject to varying degrees of application. Just trying to get you in feel mode, which will make things totally easier… :slight_smile: RR

That’s what I admire most about great writers…few words…dynamite effect…

Thanks for hanging in there with me! I may be off my rocker but I achieve what you recommend by simply sitting down. That is the essence of my original query is that does the knee bend result in the requisite hip bend? I think if you try to bend from the hips you are probably bending from the waist. I liken it to a barbell squat. If you have ever done that horrible exercise you know that a real key is to keep properly aligned through the heel throughout the enire motion, no waist bending, but I guess a degree of resultant hip bending, courtesy of the knee bending! I am going to go find a corner and rock myself :confused:

Bobscottjnr: Almost to the promised land… :laughing:

It could if you include the spine in that equation. However, if you don’t, one can execute proper knee flex only and still be stacked upon the ball sockets in a vertical relationship from the tailbone to the neck. The spine actually includes the tailbone.

However, your statement rings true if one allows the torso to move/tilt while setting the knees.

I set all 3 simultaneously…the hips, the knees, and the upper body. It’s like a little kabooky dance to set all three at the same time. Still with me? :slight_smile:

You’re right on there, Bob. Build your set up out of that squat. IMO you build your set up from coming up out of that squat, not by going down into the set up-its too hard to find the right proportions going downward since we’re all so used to bending over with straight legs to do random tasks. Go down into that barbell squat(shoulders over toes) and instead of holding the barbell, hold a club with your normal grip just like at set up- let the arms and hands hang between your knees touching the ground with the shaft perp to you flat on the ground(or as close these locations as you can get them without reaching unnaturally out of position.) Rise up out of that position with your legs, with your weight focused towards your heels, and with the club dragging towards you in reaction to the rise until the sole of the club is a it should be at set up- have a sense that your shoulders are coming up while staying over the front part of your feet. That will give you as natural a set up as you can have in terms of spine angle, knee bend, and arm and hand position, as well as strength and balance(can’t believe I’m giving that one out for free) Those are the natural proportional angles to work with- and they do change according to shaft length imo. And if you follow the clubhead with your eyes as it’s coming towards you, with your neck relaxed but not floppy, this will also give you the correct angle to have your head at- an unappreciated thing that’s extremely important. Go back to 5 Lessons and check out the pictures of what you’re not meant to do- you’ll probably recognize one of them.

Bom: Nice to hear from you again…that’s pretty neat…building from the ground up instead of the other way around. Maybe us little people find it easier to settle into that from the top downward. Same basic feels though.

There you go Bob…you have what you need…now get out of the recliner :laughing: and find those positions. RR

Thanks RR and Bom. Starting at the bottom had never occured to me. I will give it a whirl and report back.