Shaft flex images - Overacceleration?


Thank you for the pointers, alas the photo was not included in either collection.

However, what a gem the Jules Alexander site is, I have ordered a second hand copy of the book via Amazon, some great Hogan quotes on there too!

Hi guys - I think some of these images are the result of modern high definition cameras. I’ve read on another site somewhere that HD cameras scan from top to bottom and so each frame takes a few thousands of a second (or whatever) to scan - thus by the time the camera has scanned to the bottom on each frame the club has moved and so we see the reverse shaft flex. If the camera were turned upside down I think we’d see extreme shaft flex instead of these extreme throwaways. I’m pretty sure this is the case and not because these golfers are massively decelerating.

There is no doubt there are certain issues with certain cameras. I know, I used to have one. No matter what I did the shaft would flex the wrong way. Later I used the Sony CCD V101 which is what I rebuilt my golf swing with in the late 1980’s. It was excellent. It would shoot at 10K shutter, with no distortion. I shot Moe Norman with it in 1987.

There was a fine player named Rick Todd who won the first two events back to back on the Canadian Tour one year, and I shot him, and he was holding shaft flex and playing great golf. A month later he was missing cuts… and I shot him again, and his shaft was dumping flex 24 inches before impact.

It appears that the “SwingVision” cameras capture things properly, at least the ones I have seen clips of.

You also have to be aware of toe dip… meaning that because a golf club is not balanced in line, the weight of the head will bend the shaft downward, and as it is rotating from P3 into impact, a camera fixated from caddy view may show the toe dip at P3 before it rotates into impact, and this can appear to be shaft flex loss when in fact it is not.

We can’t always judge a still frame as absolute truth, but the fact remains that clubs that are designed too light are “over acceleration”— “black holes” that suck in not just amateurs but even top tour players who clearly are not controlling the golf ball as well with the driver as the greats from the persimmon age who where using heavier clubs that are much easier to keep accelerating and pressuring upon.

By scanning from above in time the shaft should look straight with the grip end behind the clubhead. This does not explain the bowing. Even if the camera scans from both ends the shaft should look bowed backwards.

regardless of camera images we see, holding shaft flex needs to be right on top of our objectives. It can be done, the better it is done, the deeper our compression into the golf ball for any given shot. The more flex we hold, the more energy is efficiently transferred into the golf ball. The less the forces of impact slow down the clubhead, the better. We don’t want to feel this happening at all. The ball should feel incidental. … ensors.htm

Just re posting here for many of us who have been confused if not completely dumbfounded by what we often see in video captures on some sequences…

I think this might finally clear the mystery…

Thanks Dap!

I know this is an old thread, but it is interesting none the less. There is nothing wrong with any of the photos, except the slacks… Slow shutter speed causes a blur, not a change in the laws of physics. In a golf swing, like anywhere else in the universe, any object (i.e. clubhead) at rest will tend to stay at rest; any object in motion will remain in motion until acted on by some other force. Rotation is not a natural act, but rather a combination of forces continually affecting the inertia of an object. In this instance the clubhead starts from a position of rest at the top of the backswing. It wants to remain at rest. It is forced into motion by the unwinding of the players body and the turn through the swing. Thus through acceleration and a wanting to stay at rest the two levers at work (the players left shoulder and left wrist for a right handed player) are collapsed to their maximum and it is said the the shaft is ‘loaded’ or bowed out. At a point approximately when the player’s hands are at waist level the clubhead reaches its maximum speed. Now at its greatest speed it now wants to continue to travel at that great speed in a straight line, straight away from the player. The player resists that force and now in that split second the clubhead is at the same time travelling faster than the player is turning and is pulled back toward the player. This dual motion is referred to as unloading or extending through the ball. The photos show quite naturally what is really happening when the clubhead is decellerating before contact with the ball. This decelleration MUST happen or else the wrist would not uncock and the clubhead would not travel anywhere near the ball. It looks quite odd to see the shaft bowed in such a fashion but is quite natural. No camera trick and no over acceleration because there are no such things.

I’m sorry lecoeurdevie but I respectfully disagree. Those images are not natural, especially the 2nd one on the first page. No professional player can hit a ball with that kind of shaft flex deceleration, and I don’t believe a shaft can actually flex that much due to deceleration. This issue with certain types of cameras has been well explained here and on many other web sites.

Hi lecoeurdevie and welcome,

There is no doubting that the shaft can bend in both directions, and good reasons for both, however photos can lie. I’ve encountered similar sampling problems in image processing before and like in the link Dap supplied, have seen the shaft bend excessively both ways (and eliminated completely) just with different camera orientations and settings.

There is no way it is a digital camera trick because there are a thousand pictures of a thousand players done with old cameras of exactly the same thing. Somewhere around here I’ve got a old Golf Digest with a sequence of Tom Weiskopf from like 1975 that looks EXACTLY like Trevor. From dead on the driver head looks at least a foot ahead of his hands, and that’s Macgregor wood with i tipped Dynamic X shaft. Absolute Phone Pole! As soon as can find it I’ll upload it. Find any high speed shutter of anybody and it’s always there. Also if it was a time delay in the digital picture the blur of the shaft would be the same width from grip to tip, instead it gradiates toward the tip at least if not several disconnections in the shaft.

Also, ‘compression’ occurs when the club hits the ball, is immediately further slowed, allowing the hands to re-paas the clubhead, re-bow the shaft back and force the ball up the face as the kinetic energy is transferred into it. But if y’all wanna believe that over 100 years of photographs as plain as day are lying go right ahead.

And in the case of John’s film of Moe Norman, he never loaded the shaft in the first place, any player such as him who plays shut to open, or square to the target as some put it never loads the shaft on the downswing. See Lee Trevino or Paul Azinger. The only bend in the shaft is lateral, no vertical load on the downswing. So it doesn’t matter if the club is accelerating or deceling at impact. Another inate advantage of a move which is almost impossible to teach.

It’s no camera trick, it’s a camera limitation.

Even film cameras will exhibit the same effect as high shutter speeds are implemented by a narrow slit passing horizontally across the film plane. It’s just too mechanically complex to so quickly open and close a shutter to expose the whole film at once. Bent bicycle spokes and weird archery strings are other sports it’s seen in.

Stroboscopic photos will not show this effect as there is no shutter involved. All parts of the film here are exposed at the same time and it makes for a truly instantaneous snapshot of the shaft. They will show the true bend, whether that be lagging or leading.


High-speed movie cameras such as the Casio FH-20 that TwoMasters posts here with won’t show the effect much, because they’re only capturing at low resolutions and the image can be scanned fast. Shoot a 9 Megapixel image though at a high shutter speed and go banana go.

Old film cameras used mechanical shutters which cannot capture an entire frame instantaneously just like rolling shutters.Old film footage also had the jello effect but perhaps not quite as pronounced.

Global shutters which capture an entire frame instantaneously were only just recently introduced with CCD sensors.