Swing Cancer....Prevention

Granny was right in many ways…eat your vegetables, don’t smoke etc. But these were good health measures…the old “ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Since we have a “Swing Cancer, Carcinogen” thread…things to avoid and quit, maybe a “Prevention” thread would be good to help keep a list handy of good measures to start, to use, and even make habit.

I’ll throw out a question. Seems like a good percentage of our greatest golfers have some from Texas…Hogan, Nelson( came from the same caddy yard), Trevino, Burke, Kite, Crenshaw,Leonard,Rogers, Barber …just to name a few. Is there some swing cancer prevention in that environment that we can learn from and use? Is it hardpan…or wind? Any ideas?

Texas is cool all right…something about the place. I metioned this long ago but I think in a different context.

On the way to Nacogdoches years ago drove by a “Tin Cup” type of range that compelled me to stop. Just me and the proprietor, who later joined me, hitting balls a few days before Christmas. He did something when we were finished that I still do to this day when closing the range.

He held an iron with just his left hand and walked around the field one-handing chips and punches into a tight area which would then make it easier to pick up balls. Since he had a ball picker he really didn’t have to do that, but it registered with me as something that together combines skill training and work.

We have a spot at our range that is tricky to navigate with our 7-gang picker at full speed…so nearly each night before closing the rat keeps the L hand in good condition by doing the one hand Texas dance to any number of white rocks that have the patience to be still…thanks to the guy from Texas. :slight_smile: RR

Good thread idea. There’s a great interview with Burke talking about Hogan that was posted here a long time ago, but the last time I tried to access it it wasn’t available. It was a Classic Conversation thing with Jim McClean. It may be back up…
He talks a lot about these types of caddy yard lessons, and interestingly, lot of them are more psychological- learning to handle yourself, learning the hustle and sticking to your guns etc. It’s a great piece…
He also talks about something similar to what you’re saying RR, when they caddied they carried a club in there left hand and would hit rocks or sticks or whatever as they walked along. That left hand hinge action is really ingrained with that. It’s not an arm swing action so it creates that pop speed in the wrist. One of the best parts about growing up on a range where you have to use your own balls, is that you have to go pick them up. There’s an inbuilt need to keep them close together out there, in order to make them easier to pick up. But the other part that I miss a lot is along the lines of what you’re saying, and that’s putting down the ball bag and chipping all the balls towards it. I would try to hit it, run it up to it, or land them in on the fly, one handed two handed or normal, in the process developing feel and good wrist action. I would almost do it on the walk so I wouldn’t stop and address the ball, I’d make it all reactive. Again, very much like you’re saying RR.

Do your drills daily, get out and play at least once a week, or more. Fix ball marks and replace divots. Keep you shoes shined.


Having grown up in upstate NY but now having lived in Tx for 30+ years I’ll give you my take.

  1. The wind. In Texas I bet I don’t play 5 rounds a year with no wind and probably fewer than 10 rounds a year in winds blowing less than 10-15 mph. It’s pervasive but you learn to deal with it and after a bit you hardly notice it. Playing with no wind then seems like a piece of cake.

  2. Hardpan… not necessarily hardpan, but grainy bermuda greens which are the norm at most of the muni’s in Texas. Going from those to nice smooth bentgrass is imo much easier than going the other direction. :wink:

  3. Length of golf season - in Texas it’s pretty much 12 months.


Lag wrote

That hit the nail on the head…I need to play more. And shine my shoes.

Robbo wrote

and maybe move to Texas…

Making it a reactive process is something I do also. I’m not totally sure what constitutes a thread hi-jack but your thoughts on this has the old rat brain working a little overtime about how this type of fun practice may have some usefullness regarding ball placement…but maybe precise ball placement can be considered a cancer preventer.

As I was thinking about this today…not sure if you have experienced the same thing when hitting them on the move…but when I’m knocking balls to a specific area and only my R hand is on the club a large portion of the rest of me is in front of the ball when contact is made. And with only the L hand a large portion of weight…even though it’s moving forward towards the ball…is in large part behind the ball at impact.

Now this is interesting to me because when we push something we are behind it and infront of it when pulling…but in the one hand example just the opposite happens: R hand pushing but we are ahead of the object or L hand pulling and we are behind the object.

Have some ideas about this that I’m going to explore as I very often get lazy with ball placement.

Any thoughts…it’s bizarre really…how are we pushing something that we are ahead of? :slight_smile: RR

I think it probably has to do with pushing and pulling being incomplete terms to describe what’s happening. It may also be that your still ‘behind’ the club in terms of it’s journey, irrespective of where the ball is. I don’t know…
But I like the way you’re thinking because it points out an important aspect of the right side’s journey in the swing. From set up it’s always going some version of forward toward the target and gets ahead of where it started in order to strike the ball. All great strikers have their right shoulders ahead of where they started when the reach impact.
You can’t really move the club backward with the right side because it’s always pulling it in and up and forward. The left side goes backwards etc. and this may speak to your point about where you are when you hit left sided shots. Maybe? I haven’t experienced the left side doing what you’re saying with one handed shots, though I may just not have noticed. I’ll have to check next time I’m chipping.
This is sort of connected to the rotation question that I was philosophizing about in the other thread. I really think it’s important to recognize and obey what the sides need to do while you’re moving. Cool observations, RR.

As I understand it (some of the Docs here can correct me if I am wrong). But cancer pretty much forms in the body on a daily basis, scary thought. And the only way to really battle it is to look after your immune system by eating a good healthy diet.

I am definately going to start looking at my module work as being my “5 a day” from now on and really look after my swing. Mind you I need to get it right first.

Oh and breathing in hardwood dust isn’t too good for the old big C either, so sand down your persimmons outside or with some form of extraction if its too cold outside.

Coronary disease accumulates daily in all of us, at different rates, like silt building up on the sides of a mudbank.

Cancer, on the hand, is a binary event, you either have it or you don’t have it. Very simplistically, it is caused by mutation within our DNA.

(Hope you don’t mind the correction NRG…just could not have my poor fellow ABSers worrying about how fully grown their own individual cancers were!)


I asked for a correction, so thanks for that.

I will have to dig out the book where I got that from and have bit of a re-read.

But thats still the way I am going to think about it in terms of my 5 a day.

(and i hope I didn’t scare everyone too much).

Good point Aiguille. The coronary disease/ silt build up is probably a better analogy for golf swing disease. Lag has used the term “poisoning” also, another useful model.

Anyway…the silt build up/poisoning can be slow, but relentless…and sometimes not cause symptoms for a long while, then present suddenly. I want to do what I can to stave the bad stuff off. Particularly if it is simple. Write me a prescription…I’ll comply!

My Swing cancer prevention…Bring Head phones or ear plugs to the range.

I will never forget this…Last year I was at one of the local ranges. There are probably 50 slots all lined up. So I grab a slot and start with my normal warm up. A few wedges and then a 7 iron hitting alternating draws and fades at the big smiley face in the middle of the range. This guy comes and sits down behind me and watches me hit about 15 balls. He then tells me…“hey you need to start hitting them balls lower”. About 2 weeks later…my swing was gone. No more alternating draws and fades just trying to fend of a nasty hook.

Lesson learned. Bring big huge head phones to the range. People dont talk to you that way :smiling_imp:

keep a hard shell…

turtle ears not rabbit ears!

Comparing my swing to the pros… and tried to change it from a still picture…
and the next time I played… I had a hard time getting the ball airborne or keeping it straight…
It took me like a month to get my swing back…
I swear I will not do that again… lesson learned (module 3.5) …

Compare is OK but force change is no no… or maybe before trying to change we have to think the cause and effect first…
Modules are enough for me… I’ll trust my swing to Lag (I can trust you right :slight_smile: )

good point joniindo
the difficult task about comparing still shot pictures is they are just that- stills
the swing is a constant motion and different forces and feels are in place that aren’t visible when the swing is sometimes broken up into little snippets

So long as you remember a ‘static position’ is the cause and affect of some other chain of events throughout the swing, improvement can be rapid.
If you just try hit a position you see in a picture at a certain point of the swing by sticking the club there to match it- then the recipe for a solid sound flowing swing is poisoned