Thoughts From BBG Trip to work w John Erickson

Mike (My buddy, aspiring pro, 25) and I went up and saw John for 2 days at his house. Also got to meet his friend and student Anthony and golf writer Al Barkow.

Check out the 25 second video above.

We shot HOURS of content and after shooting on the deck we ate. During dinner I scrubbed to find a face on video of impact from the deck and on the iPhone I couldn’t quite see impact. It bothered me.

I’m fixated on having a lag impact. Might be unhealthy. I don’t really trust a method if I am in a flip condition at the bottom. Even if I an controlling the ball I won’t like a method that has me flipped.

So after dinner we went back to the house so I could try a few things that we were talking about and I wanted to capture a 240 HD face on of a full swing. It wasn’t until just now looking at my footage that I saw how good this impact was.

JOHN, can you tell by looking at this video what club that is? Is that on eof your FLAT clubs or is that Mike’s modern 3 iron?

USUALLY I can only get a RAHM-esq impact like that with a HALF SWING. This was a full swing I believe, (full distance effort) although the backswing did feel more compact than usual, which would be good.

John, after dinner, right before these swings, do you remember was specifically we were working on?

I believe it was DRILL #3. At first I was getting my low point way too far out front. You brought in the tape on the mat and I scuffed the low point better and did that drill a bit.

Very encouraging. Soon I will capture the HACKMOTION wrist data of this kind of shot and particularly the foresight data.

HOPEFULLY I can reproduce it.

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Looks pretty good to me.

Can’t wait to see the rest of the footage with John.

This is my most recent impact position after many years with ABS.

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There is no evidence of lag tension in that Brendon Devore impact image. It is obvious that the peripheral clubshaft is bent slightly forwards. That is the standard appearance of a golfer who comes into impact with the hands ahead of the clubhead due to correct timing and who is not flipping at/through impact.

The NRG image is uninterpretable because one cannot clearly see the clubshaft to see which way the peripheral clubshaft is bending. Getting the hands ahead of the clubhead at impact is not synonymous with the concept of lag tension.

Brendon also wrote-: “USUALLY I can only get a RAHM-esq impact like that with a HALF SWING. This was a full swing I believe, (full distance effort) although the backswing did feel more compact than usual, which would be good.”

Brendon seems to be implying that Jon Rahm has lag tension at impact. That’s not true.

Here are capture images of Jon Rahm’s driver swing action.

One can see that Jon has lag tension (peripheral clubshaft is bent back) at P5 (image 2) and at P5.5 (image 3) but it is disappears by P6.5 (where the peripheral clubshaft is bent forward).

Here are capture images of his P6.5 - P7 time period.

There is no evidence of lag tension (peripheral clubshaft bent back) in those capture images.

Jeff.

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Jeff, it’s takes time to learn this and some work… hard work for most. Brendon was on the deck for a few hours. There are students that have been working on these concepts for months or years. We made significant progress with Brandon because he already has a very good golf swing, but need to get him to the next level which will be to move his shaft flexation point much closer to the ball. Using a modern tour pro with a super light weight driver and long shaft is just making my point for me. VERY difficult to do that with a club that can be accelerated so quickly from the top. They can’t keep up the pressure on the shaft all the way down. That’s why the all struggle so much to find consistency in their driving accuracy week to week. Stiff shafts help, but must are using swinger releases, so that actually hurts them if they do to stiff with the driver because today’s game is a lot about driving it so far. Courses are wider open, greens are bigger, less rough and trees than in the past… so that is what they have to do.

Not many are going to be holding shaft flex into impact their first day trying. But I can assure you Brendon has moved his point much farther down the arc than before.

Jeff, you are really fixated on this shaft flex thing. That’s good. How do you explain away the pic I posted of me? Remember, that was a 16 ounce driver with a pole shaft in it. Slower to accelerate by it’s nature, much easier to keep pressure on in with that kind of mass to pressure against. You must be able to understand this… no?

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Brendon,

That was Mike’s club because I have vintage Crown grips on my set. I suspect that the heavier flatter 1 iron would have just improved that even more. Remember what we talked about. We moved your lowpoint and changed your entry angle, then worked on speeding up your torso/shoulder/pivot dynamic through the strike. So instead of dumping out to right field and rolling the hands over with a flip release, we pressured the shaft with the body using the orbit pull method which pins your left wrist flat… with force, not pretending to drive it to a point where it collapses. This way we also stabilize the clubface and keep it looking at the target much longer, so you get more accurate also.

The main thing I want you to work on is refining your lowpoint awareness. This is just practice. Remember the tape on the mat and taking that out bit by bit.

One of my favorite drills is just going out to some nicely mowed grass and taking divots without a ball there. Just work on taking consistent looking divots in depth and length. We don’t need to be banging down deep into the ground. Moe always said to me “bacon strips not pork chops”. Thin long divots is a good goal. When I am really striking it well, I can take a divot on draw shot that visually trails to the left near the target side, but the ball actually starts a bit right of target and draws back. If you look closely at the divot at the entry side, it does cut ever so slightly to the right… and remember that the ball was initially struck just prior to entering the ground. It’s a real thing of beauty when executed properly. Few can do this at first, but no doubt that flatter lie angles really help achieve this.

John,

You wrote-: “Jeff, you are really fixated on this shaft flex thing. That’s good. How do you explain away the pic I posted of me? Remember, that was a 16 ounce driver with a pole shaft in it. Slower to accelerate by it’s nature, much easier to keep pressure on in with that kind of mass to pressure against. You must be able to understand this… no?

I agree that you can maintain shaft flex (lag tension) throughout the P6.5 => P7 downswing time period when using a heavy wooded clubhead, but I don’t believe that Brendon was maintaining lag tension in that posted swing. I strongly suspect that Brendon will never be able to accomplish that goal of maintaining lag tension all the way into impact because I don’t believe that he has the strength, skill and requisite technique required to “hold shaft flex” with a heavy driver or fairway wood.

I have one question - to maintain lag tension into impact I presume that the hands must be moving fast down the hand arc path between P6 => P7 with no slowing of the lead hand speed.

Do you agree/disagree?

By the way, for comparison purposes, Phil Cheetham showed that lead hand speed decreased by ~20% in a pro golfer’s late downswing between P6 => P7.

What is your lead hand speed at P6, P6.5 and P7 when swinging a driver using your “holding shaft flex” technique and what is your driver clubhead speed at impact?

Jeff.

Can you use ABS terminology here?
P2 top of swing… P3 = parallel before impact… P4 parallel post impact PV5 is shaft vertical to ground at finish. P1 of course would be first parallel on backswing. So if you wanted to refer to the shaft half way between P3 and impact, you could say P3.5

Thanks

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Jeff, I can do it one handed man. :grinning:

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NRG,

I can also do it one-handed if I use a short iron, and if I simultaneously use a “shortened” backswing action and if I use a V-shaped hand arc path and if I am actively pushing/pulling the club handle into impact so that it remains ahead of the clubhead between P6 => P7.

Here are the hand arc paths of Dustin Johnson’s driver swing and short iron swing.

JohnsonHandArcPathDriverWedge

DJ’s hand arc path is more U-shaped with a driver because he needs it to complete the release of PA#2 when swinging a much longer club that has a lower clubhead mass. That type of hand arc path is probably not conducive to the “holding shaft flex” technique of golf swing action.

If you can demonstrate that your peripheral clubshaft is bent-back at P6.8 when swinging a driver at a fast clubhead speed, then I will be very impressed.

John - most golfers/golf instructors today use MacO’Grady’s P system, which is much more useful than your TGM-derived P system.

P system - https://perfectgolfswingreview.net/wrist.htm

Jeff.

Jeff, we use ABS terminology here. It’s simpler and I’m not really concerned about Mac O’Grady’s system. It’s a different system. His entire approach toward teaching is making things as complex as possible and speaking over people as I see it… We keep things as simple as possible here with terminology so concepts DON’T get lost in translation. That’s not good for the learning process. For the record, the P or positions we describe here is my system. I don’t know how TGM instructors are referencing points in the swing.

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Regarding Dustin photo above on the left… could very well be distortion from rolling shutter. I don’t trust many of these photos. Believe me, I have researched this stuff to no end. Rolling shutter cameras do not always show the reality of what is happening.

RAHM-esqe impact to me means shaft leaning towards the targe (but not too much), appropriately shallow delivery (shaft lead with an attack angle too down doesn’t count), continuation of left forearm pointed past the ball, buttoms on shirt pointed past the ball. That shows the club was probably TOWed into impact.

I’m not sure if Jon actually tows it all the was to the ball or if the club flings it off a little before.

I think Jon is the Ideal modern ball striker.

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Brendon,

The concept of “towing the club” into impact does not mean that lag tension is present. It simply means that the lead hand is pulling the club into impact, and through impact, in such a way that the lead hand gets to impact slightly ahead of the clubhead due to perfect timing.

Milo Lines also uses a “towing” technique and here are capture images of his late downswing action.

Most importantly, note that his peripheral clubshaft is bent forward at P6.5 (image 3) and also just before impact (image 4) and that means that lag tension is absent in the later downswing after P6 (image 2).

Jeff.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CZ5wua8gJ9a/

Notice how open the shaft is at P3 prior to impact… and how the pivot rotates to square up the clubface with rotation. Notice post impact how the clubface never rolls over through P4. Also taking advantage of the flat lie angles that moves the left vector of possibilities to the right or back toward the target. Right elbow is still bent post impact as Hogan did. It’s not needed to assist in closing the clubface. Rotation is doing the bulk of the job. Also note how the hips and shoulders are moving in every frame in unison. Nothing out of sequence here. Repeatable, reliable, simple…

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I totally disagree with your claim that body rotation can close the clubface relative to the clubhead path.

Your clubface is open at P3 (P6 in the other P system) because your lead forearm is markedly pronated. You seem to be using a neutral lead hand grip where the clubface is straight-in-line (parallel) to the back of your flat lead wrist and the watchface area on the back of your lead lower forearm. Between the end of your backswing and P3, the back of your lead wrist remains parallel to a shallowing swingplane, which means that your clubface is also continuously parallel to that shallowing swingplane. Because you are shallowing the clubshaft to a shallower plane during your early-mid downswing, while keeping the back of your lead hand parallel to the shallowing swingplane, your lead forearm is becoming more pronated to allow the back of your lead hand (and watchface area of your lead lower forearm) to continuously remain parallel to the shallowing swingplane. At P3, your clubface is significantly open relative to your clubhead path.

To get a square clubface by impact where the clubface is square to the clubhead path (and also square to the target if the clubhead path is square at impact) you have to supinate your lead forearm by a finite amount. The fact that you are simultaneously rotating your pelvis/upper torso counterclockwise between P3 => impact has no effect on the degree of clubface closing relative to the clubhead path. To prove my claim - rotate your pelvis/torso counterclockwise between P3 => impact in your usual manner and to the same degree, but avoid performing any lead forearm supinatory motion and any external rotation of the lead humerus in the lead shoulder socket. Your clubface will then be as open at impact as it was at P3.

Here is a demonstration of that “fact” using a badminton racquet.

I am using a neutral lead hand grip where the racquetface is straight-in-line (parallel) to the back of my lead hand and the watchface area of my lead lower forearm.

Image 1 shows a simulated P5.5 position (near P3 in your P system) where the clubface is open relative to the clubhead path because the back of my lead hand is parallel to the shallowing swingplane.

Image 2 is at a simulated impact position. Note that I have rotated my pelvis and upper torso a lot counterclockwise, but the clubface is still open to the same degree as it was in image 1 - because I did not allow my lead forearm to supinate or allow my lead humerus to externally rotate.

Image 3 is at a simulated impact position. Note that I have rotated my pelvis/upper torso counterclockwise by a much larger amount (compared to image 2) but the clubface is still open to roughly the same degree as it was in image 1 - because I did not allow my lead forearm to supinate or allow my lead humerus to externally rotate.

Jeff.

Jeff,

Nice pics and demonstration. You keep proving my point for me. In your pics you are in fact closing the racket with the pivot rotation. Look where the racket is pointing between the first and third pic. Notice that at impact it is just slightly open… which is what I do when I hit a golf ball. I like the cupped left wrist at P3. What you are missing is that there must be some unhinging of the left wrist to get down to the ball. There is some forearm rotation going on as well that happens in unison. It’s not the uncock and then rotate that most TGM people assume. That happens together if done properly. So the difference is that in your demonstration, the racket would just be pointing down at the ball in the second photo… rather than zeroing out any downward wristcock motion if you were to be striking the ball. This is why we work so hard on the bag drills in Module 1. Also, the hands would not be so far ahead of the ball in your 2nd pic, then we would just fire the body rotation at that point to keep pressure on the shaft. You almost have it though… good stuff.

We operate in two very different mental universes when we think/talk about the details of golf swing biomechanics/mechanics.

The clubface is only a little more more closed in image 3 (compared to image 1) because I rotated my upper torso (and left shoulder socket ) so much that I could not physically avoid allowing my lead humerus to externally rotate and my lead forearm to supinate to a small degree. Any clubface closing seen in image 3 (compared to image 1) was due to the counterclockwise rotation of my lead arm/forearm and not due to body rotation.

Unhinging of the lead wrist (due to the release of PA#2) will have no effect on the degree of clubface closing if the golfer maintains an intact LFFW/GFLW alignment (intact left forearm flying wedge/geometrically flat left wrist alignment) - as seen in the following capture images of Kelli Oride’s downswing.

Note that her clubshaft and lead lower forearm rotate in perfect synchrony/unison (indicating that she continuously maintains an intact LFFW alignment) to cause the clubface to close relative to the clubhead path, and body rotation plays no role in the clubface closing phenomenon (relative to the clubhead path). The fact that the club is simultaneously releasing during this late downswing time period has no effect on the clubface closing phenomenon because the lead wrist uncocking action happens within the plane of her intact LFFW (which is the plane of radial-ulnar deviation of the lead wrist).

Jeff.

Jeff,

I think you just don’t understand the difference between hitting and swinging. Kelly clearly swinging… because I can see the mop handle drag through impact. I’m a hitter, not dragging anything. I’m pressuring the shaft actively with a combination of body rotation and actively rotating forearms. Of course I am also uncocking the wrists so I don’t miss the ball… but I do that in unision with forearm rotation and it’s sequenced in a way that the hand forearm rotation can’t outpace the acceleration of the torso rotation…therefore the club doesn’t flip. This is essentially what I was doing with Brendon without over explaining it to him. I just told him to do a couple things that would get the desired result we were looking for… and then the scientists can come along with their testing equipment and confirm the changes.

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JEFF MANN: I totally disagree with your claim that body rotation can close the clubface relative to the clubhead path."

JOHN ERICKSON:
I don’t believe I have ever said this… can you show me anywhere on this site that I have used those exact words? “Close the clubface relative to the clubhead path?”

You never used those exact words.

However, you stated-: “Notice how open the shaft is at P3 prior to impact… and how the pivot rotates to square up the clubface with rotation.

When you state that the shaft is open at P3, you are surely referring to the clubface relative to the clubhead path? What else can it mean to state that the clubface is open at P3? Then, you stated that "the pivot rotates to square up the clubface". As I previously stated, I do not believe that the pivot’s rotary motion can square up the clubface because the clubface was open at P3 due to the fact that you pronated your lead forearm between your address position and P2 and then even slightly more between P2 => P3 as a result of your clubshaft shallowing action. Therefore, to square the clubface by impact that lead forearm pronatory action has to be reversed, and it cannot be reversed by any pivot motion. It requires a counterclockwise rotation of the lead forearm to reverse the clockwise rotation of the shaft that was due to lead forearm pronation. I also do not believe that a swinger has to use less-or-more counterclockwise rotation of the lead forearm between P3 => impact than a hitter in order to get the clubface square by impact.

Jeff.