Knudson's most important lesson

I find it odd no one has mentioned this yet, but maybe it’s just more significant to me because of the timing of it.

I had been following the modules as usual, and trying to come to grasp with some mechanics and Lag had been telling me to only use the most basic of swing thought on the range/course.

At about this time I was reading Knudson’s Natural Golf Swing and the point he stresses quite a few times, in fact calls it his ‘most important lesson’ was balance in the swing. He noted on tour how many players were finishing without balance, possibly jutting forward, or pulling back after the release, but here was Hogan, seemingly NEVER off balance.

I think it’s a difficult lesson though because it just seems to simple to be true, but I had a significant jump in performance as I made balance my main thought. The simple concept seems to stop a lot of bad things from happening, and once it started to feel ‘natural’ (oddly enough) then the improvements came.

George gives several illustrated examples of himself trying to hit low, high, etc, shots, but the one thing they all have in common is total balance. I wonder if that lesson would have had near the impact on me if I wasn’t already well into Lag’s hitting… probably not… but it was well worth the read.

Also thanks to George’s recollection of aiming at a flag pole back in Winnipeg’s St.Charles golf club, he reminded me not to be so ball oriented, but rather target oriented. This is something I’m particularly guilty of.

George’s book has quite a few different takes on things. It’s not nearly as mechanical as many of today’s golf books are. A lot of it is ‘feels’ and ‘intentions’. It becomes obvious throughout the book George was a huge fan of Ben Hogan. It’s worth the read.

You may be interested in purchasing Knudson’s DVD which was filmed in Bermuda a couple of years before his death. It took me about two years to find a source for the DVD. The DVD is only about 22 minutes but to watch is to marvel at the efficiency of K’s swing. His explanations are brief and to the point. The cost is $35.00 US. Simply write a short note and mail a check to:

Graham Sanborn Media
2349 Queen St E
Toronto, ON Canada
M4E 1H2
ATTN: Bernadette Mahoney

I very much enjoyed reading the “The Natural Golf Swing” book and I thought at the start that it was going to map very closely to the hitting principles that we are learning here. All that great stuff about the flagpole and having the “same hand wrist formation at the end of the swing as the beginning”. It seemed to be all about the importance of acceleration. But I can’t deny that as the book went on I found that many of the principles seemed to be more in line with those using a swinging protocol than a hitting one. Lots of stuff about relaxation, passivity of the hands, non interference with the natural laws…

Personally I came to the conclusion that what Knudson wrote 20 years after the peak of his playing career was somewhat different to that which he utilised on tour. I believe that he did find the life of a tour pro very stressful and waring and this was partly behaind his decision to not stay out there too long. So I speculate that some of his teaching ideas are somewhat the product of or a reaction to the stresses he felt during his time as part of the game elite. The pure ideology of swinging may have been particularly appealing to a character like George with its emphasis on relaxation, looseness etc. I think there is some direct evidence in the book that he changed his mind on some things after he finished playing. For instance I think at one point he advocates a very light grip but says at the same time that he gripped it very tight when he was playing on tour. Anyway its all speculation, no more than that. Great fun to read, no doubts!

Really interesting to hear about the DVD 3eagles. Could you tell us when it was recorded?

Cheers, Arnie

I’ve been re reading George’s wonderful book this time with a highlighting pen, and I’ll be harping on I’m sure about how
what he talks about relates to our course here.

I suspect George did switch to swinging as he got older, and might have realized that as a teacher of the common man,
those concepts would work better for the average golfer who is just not really going to put in the hard work and drills to
learn the way that George did as he pursued Hogan’s methods as well as most anyone ever had.

His book is more conceptual and a lot about feel… I think he knew that rewriting Hogan’s Five Lessons was not necessary…
Once things settle down a bit here, getting this site off the ground, I’ll be back here to really dig into what I think George
brings us with his great golfing wisdom.

I really liked how Knudson talked about the body using the body to swing the club.
Most people try and move the club and the body gets left behind. I find it very useful when my game is off to use my body and concentrate on it’s patterns and believe it or not the club just follows suit.
He never talked much at all about club positions. just use the body back and through and let the club go where the body tells it too
Good advice, so long as the body goes in the right movement and direction

One of the issues I have had with typical TGM instruction is the amount of emphasis that goes toward the hands…

The hands are very important, but the body must be moving from the core before anything the hands do will really
have great impact.

I agree wholeheartedly, start with the body first, then worry about the hands… last of all the arms…

If my arms are locked to their armpits I am much more consistent whether in full swing, pitching or chipping. The pivoting core provides drive and fully releases the clubhead. How do active wrists add to this ?

It has to do with the sequencing of our power sources… A proper pivot accelerates at transition, then it slows to allow the hands, arms and club to catch up… during this temporary void in pivot acceleration, the hands take over. They either fire actively like little motors, (hitting) or they act as passive hinges (swinging).

Either way, the pivot must then re fire and this starts the second stage of the rocket firing. The hands are done… spent, either way, then, the pivot takes over and really drives the golf swing post impact.

George talks a lot about “A move toward the target” and acceleration. As we would say here in our class, a post impact accelerating pivot. George did this about as good as anyone ever.