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Optimising Clubhead Speed - Is this the real way?


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This is again for those mainly interested in the biomechanics of the golf swing (ie. what is going on rather than how). Just thought it might interest others who are trying to figure out what many of the pros are doing to drive that ball 300+ yards.

Lets use  DJ as an example about optimising clubhead speed.

JohnsonHandArcPath.jpg

The secret to his high clubhead speed seems to fit in with physics.

1. From Image 1  to just before image 3  , he has somehow made biomechanical movements that have created a hand path on a 'straightish'  path (or an arc with a long radius).

2. Along this 'straightish' path , he has increased his hand speed as much as he can.

3. He has retained left 'wrist cock' angle (angle between shaft and forearm) from top of backswing to just before image 3  (where one can see the 'release' of that angle happening- increasing). Physics proves that more wrist cock before a 'natural' release , the faster the clubhead speed.

4. The 'natural release' of that angle happens due to 'pseudo CF forces', because he has performed biomechanical moves that change his hand path from straightish to a more curved path. His wrists just before image 3  act as oily hinges and he is basically letting the 'momentum' of the clubhead (ie. evoked by pseudo Centrifugal Forces) uncock his wrists (ie. a natural release).

A simple 'imperfect'  analogy of point 4 is like driving in a car (ie. your hands) on a straight road increasing your speed and then taking a very tight corner turn. Any objects (ie. the clubhead ) in the back seat will go sliding across the seat very fast. 

The counterintuitive part  is that his 'wrists/hands' end up actually restricting the 'angular velocity' of the clubhead because it is rotating faster than the hands can keep up.  This is proven by physics which says that forward shaft bend into impact means 'negative torque' at the hands (see image below).

image.png.b3704164c965de02cfb5ce06ec9f3d29.png

 

So now we know what DJ's hands are doing , the puzzle is figuring out 'how' he is moving his body parts to create the dynamics and geometry of his 'hand speed/path'.

Obviously , the above is just about creating clubhead speed and not the biomechanics involved in squaring the clubface (a different matter altogether).

So has anyone got any ideas how DJ creates that straight path in the downswing?

PS.

I thought it would be a good idea to show the hand path of Bobby Jones (in red below) which shows a more circular hand path , where he also had an 'earlier' natural release. He couldn't replicate the hand path of DJ because of the limitations on the strength of hickory shafts . If he tried stressing the shaft  using  DJ's hand path (ie. straight path and then speedy acute 'corner turn') the shaft would have broken.

 

Bobby Jones golf swing with red and blue curves to illustrate

 

Edited by Wildthing
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I have no idea what your saying. But it’s cool.

My though on DJ getting the straight path is because belly button is facing the target before his club is anywhere near the ball.

That 4D model of him today at the PGA was nuts. If I tried to turn that fast, far, and powerful I’d be in a wheel chair.

Has to be a super hero, that’s the only way to explain it.

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13 hours ago, Shankster said:

I have no idea what your saying. But it’s cool.

My though on DJ getting the straight path is because belly button is facing the target before his club is anywhere near the ball.

That 4D model of him today at the PGA was nuts. If I tried to turn that fast, far, and powerful I’d be in a wheel chair.

Has to be a super hero, that’s the only way to explain it.

There is a possible explanation for that straight path but its a set of moves that I cannot do without being put into traction .

Cameron Champ does it too:

ChampHandArcPath.jpg

 

Look at :

a. Their left shoulder 

b. Their upper right arm 

c. Their right lateral side bend 

d. Their right elbow.

To get that straight path they do the below almost simultaneously:

1. Pull their left shoulder towards target (this helps brings their left arm down)

2. Adduct their upper right arm towards their right side ( also helps bring the left arm down)

3. Pitch their right elbow towards their right hip (shallows their downswing plane and also stops their right arm getting blocked behind their torso)

4. Perform a lateral side bend (also helps shallow the downswing plane )

Basically , both DJ and Cameron are performing moves that help create that straighter downswing path and also shallow out their downswing planes (at the same time). So much more complex and requires great flexibility but also puts a great deal of strain on the spine. 

Bobby Jones didn't do the above and I can imagine he never had too many back problems, contrary to what I've heard about Cameron Champ  who is already suffering bulging discs at such a young age.

PS.

Just been looking at Wikipedia about Bobby Jones to see if he did have back problems as a player . He actually died of a back related disorder.  What a sad tragic end for him and his family:

Incapacity and death

In 1948, Jones was diagnosed with syringomyelia, a fluid-filled cavity in the spinal cord that causes crippling pain, then paralysis; he was eventually restricted to a wheelchair. He died in Atlanta on December 18, 1971, three days after converting to Catholicism. Jones was baptized on his deathbed by Monsignor John D. Stapleton, pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King in Atlanta, and attended by the Jones family was buried in Atlanta's historic Oakland Cemetery. Jones was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.

His widow Mary died less than four years later in 1975 at age 72, following the death of their son, Robert T. Jones III, of a heart attack in 1973 at age 47.Daughter Clara died in 1994 at age 68.

 

 

Edited by Wildthing
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  • 1 year later...

Been looking at the physics of the swing for a few years now and things have changed .  I first though that the sudden change in the hand path caused the increase in clubhead speed but its just an enabler to create tension in the shaft.

In fact , its the pull on the club that creates the clubhead speed  (Duh!) .  What's really happening in simplistic terms is the clubhead is made to move in one direction (ie. hands start it down and outwards away from the target) but then the hands start moving in another direction (down and out targetwards), this creates tension in the club and pulls at the clubhead (ie. centre of mass) accelerating it .  This increased tension in the shaft  also pulls on the hands/arms slowing it , therefore there is an exchange of energy from the arms to the  club (the hands acting as a conduit).  But obviously , there is  no point just creating speed , one has to ensure the club orbits around the wrists so the alignment of the club in space becomes more vertical so that the clubface can hit the ball.  So you have to ensure your hands go up and allow the wrists to uncock and your forearms to swivel enough to get the clubface on the ball.

So basically the increased speed is due to the actual pull/push on the club , while that acute change in hand path does assist in increasing tension in the shaft and a pull force on the clubhead  but it also has to move in such a way as to redirect that clubface to the ball .

Hope this makes sense.

So maybe a good thought to create speed is to pull the club along the the line of the shaft  , create as much curvilinear speed as possible before changing your hands direction (to increase the speed even more) before allowing your wrists to uncock and your forearms to swivel and square the clubface.

Edited by Wildthing
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  • 11 months later...

@WildthingI've just discovered this feel that started with "pressure on the handle" trying to get more shaft lean, hands ahead, etc.  This led to awareness of needing handle pressure at the top as I started the downswing.  This explanation you give is perfect for explaining what I'm feeling in my swing that is giving me unbelievable results in accuracy and distance.  It also reminded me of the "pulling the arrow out of the quiver" feel I never related to until NOW.  Of course squaring and delofting the face  is a matter of performing any number of feels as you start down too e.g. Hogan Roll, right thumb pressure on the left thumb, turning your right palm down towards the ball, turning the shaft down, turning the thumbs down, etc etc.  Thank you again for your explanation.  [email protected]

 

From Wildthing:

Been looking at the physics of the swing for a few years now and things have changed .  I first though that the sudden change in the hand path caused the increase in clubhead speed but its just an enabler to create tension in the shaft.

In fact , its the pull on the club that creates the clubhead speed  (Duh!) .  What's really happening in simplistic terms is the clubhead is made to move in one direction (ie. hands start it down and outwards away from the target) but then the hands start moving in another direction (down and out targetwards), this creates tension in the club and pulls at the clubhead (ie. centre of mass) accelerating it .  This increased tension in the shaft  also pulls on the hands/arms slowing it , therefore there is an exchange of energy from the arms to the  club (the hands acting as a conduit).  But obviously , there is  no point just creating speed , one has to ensure the club orbits around the wrists so the alignment of the club in space becomes more vertical so that the clubface can hit the ball.  So you have to ensure your hands go up and allow the wrists to uncock and your forearms to swivel enough to get the clubface on the ball.

So basically the increased speed is due to the actual pull/push on the club , while that acute change in hand path does assist in increasing tension in the shaft and a pull force on the clubhead  but it also has to move in such a way as to redirect that clubface to the ball .

Hope this makes sense.

So maybe a good thought to create speed is to pull the club along the the line of the shaft  , create as much curvilinear speed as possible before changing your hands direction (to increase the speed even more) before allowing your wrists to uncock and your forearms to swivel and square the clubface.

Edited August 30, 2020 by Wildthing

Rick Stevens

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  • 2 months later...
On 8/16/2021 at 10:13 AM, RichardWStevens said:

@WildthingI've just discovered this feel that started with "pressure on the handle" trying to get more shaft lean, hands ahead, etc.  This led to awareness of needing handle pressure at the top as I started the downswing.  This explanation you give is perfect for explaining what I'm feeling in my swing that is giving me unbelievable results in accuracy and distance.  It also reminded me of the "pulling the arrow out of the quiver" feel I never related to until NOW.  Of course squaring and delofting the face  is a matter of performing any number of feels as you start down too e.g. Hogan Roll, right thumb pressure on the left thumb, turning your right palm down towards the ball, turning the shaft down, turning the thumbs down, etc etc.  Thank you again for your explanation.  [email protected]

 

From Wildthing:

 

Been looking at the physics of the swing for a few years now and things have changed .  I first though that the sudden change in the hand path caused the increase in clubhead speed but its just an enabler to create tension in the shaft.

In fact , its the pull on the club that creates the clubhead speed  (Duh!) .  What's really happening in simplistic terms is the clubhead is made to move in one direction (ie. hands start it down and outwards away from the target) but then the hands start moving in another direction (down and out targetwards), this creates tension in the club and pulls at the clubhead (ie. centre of mass) accelerating it .  This increased tension in the shaft  also pulls on the hands/arms slowing it , therefore there is an exchange of energy from the arms to the  club (the hands acting as a conduit).  But obviously , there is  no point just creating speed , one has to ensure the club orbits around the wrists so the alignment of the club in space becomes more vertical so that the clubface can hit the ball.  So you have to ensure your hands go up and allow the wrists to uncock and your forearms to swivel enough to get the clubface on the ball.

So basically the increased speed is due to the actual pull/push on the club , while that acute change in hand path does assist in increasing tension in the shaft and a pull force on the clubhead  but it also has to move in such a way as to redirect that clubface to the ball .

Hope this makes sense.

So maybe a good thought to create speed is to pull the club along the the line of the shaft  , create as much curvilinear speed as possible before changing your hands direction (to increase the speed even more) before allowing your wrists to uncock and your forearms to swivel and square the clubface.

Edited August 30, 2020 by Wildthing

 

Hi Richard - sorry for the delay in replying as I've been busy with other issues for many months .

I'm glad that I have provided some information that has been useful to you.

Regards

Wildthing

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  • 6 months later...

This a bit of a techy post so won't make much sense to non-science forum members and it probably won't help improve your swing but might give you a different perspective of what could be happening. 

Been looking at some other stuff that the biomechanic experts have previously published and found some very strange things that didn't make much sense.

This a video from Dr Sasho MacKenzie called 'Intro to Club Kinetics' and provided an example of the theorised hand forces that could be expected at the start of the downswing.

 

 

image.png.291962b435d42d4007fa55f148de7266.png

 

So at the top of the backswing the right hand is pushing up more than the left hand is pulling down . This is true because the COM goes up as shown in Adam Scott downswing image below.

image.png.678eb475d876d08717908910e2860757.png

The lead hand is pulling down with 190N which is about 43 lbs force which is quite large (imagine a weight of 3 stone approx). 

But the trail hand is pushing up with 200N which is about 45 lbs force and that seems difficult to comprehend. The trail hand is also supporting the weight of the 2 arms and the club which weigh approx 22lbs while also pushing up on the grip with an extra 23 lbs force.  So Adam Scott is theoretically applying a total upwards force of 3+ stone weight which takes quite a lot of strength to do, even for a very small amount of time (ie. at the very start of the downswing).

I've tried lifting my 22lb dumbbell over my head with a bent trail arm and found it almost impossible to do with just my shoulder girdle muscles . So, it does suggest that the whole upper torso also being utilised to help lever the bent trail arm/hand  upwards for a short amount of time.

Apparently, that extra trail hand force helps the club retain the lag angle between the lead arm and clubshaft preventing early casting/release. Again, this is non-intuitive because one would think that pulling with the lead hand while extra pushing with the trail hand would cause the club to cast (as if there was a pivot between the middle of the hands on the grip like a seesaw).  See the graph (a) below which show the forces applied across the grip in the downswing by the right and left hand of a pro golfer (using sensors inserted in a specialised grip handle).

Note that some of these graphs have been critically reviewed by Dave Tutelman in the below link (so the results could be questionable).

Opening the loop -- instrumented grips (tutelman.com)

 

Koike_graphs.jpg

 

For clarity I used a GEARS avatar and drew the forces and torques that each hand was theoretically applying ACROSS grip at the start of the downswing for this specific pro golfer being measured. The red force is the right hand push up across the grip while it's also applying a torque/twist in the clockwise direction, whereas the left hand (yellow force/torque arrows) is pulling down and also applying its own torque/twist in an anticlockwise direction. 

Note that I haven't shown the ultra important axial forces  (reflected by graph 'b ) that are applied along the shaft which are mainly responsible for generating clubhead speed up to the point of release.

image.png

 

When I look at the image above, it almost seems that the right hand is pushing the fleshy pad (ie. under the right thumb) against the left thumb but also using the fingers of the right hand to help retain clubhead lag angle with the lead arm.  Basically the hands are working against each other with the left hand looking like it's trying to cast the club while the right hand is preventing it from doing so, but both could theoretically assist in applying forces more along the shaft at the same time.  This particular golfer is primarily trying to pull the grip off the shaft in the downswing , while the right hand is being allowed to just get dragged along (see graph 'b').

Anyhow, this is just theoretical until more detailed research is conducted on a much larger sample of golfers rather than just a single pro golfer.

As I implied before, this may not help with your golf swing, but it might change your perception on how it theoretically works.

 

Edited by Wildthing
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This is quite interesting.  Thanks.   It would seem for these guys that further in the swing there is pull from left hip around as well as possibly right shoulder.

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I just watched the 16 minute video by Dr. Sasho Mackenzie and while I think i understood what he was saying I'm pretty sure I did NOT learn anything that I can take to the driving range to use to gain any clubhead speed. The Dr. provided lots of science but I'm not sure he provided any helpful infomation on HOW to swing the clubhead faster.  

I also have to ask YOU golfer here if you have ever "Pushed" UP with your right hand during the down swng? Pushing up with the right hand is what he is telling us that we all do and this pushing up is what causes the clubhead to go up. I'm pretty sure I have NEVER pushed up with  my right hand when I swing the club. Mostly my right hand just goes along for the ride. Is there something that I missed watching his video?  

Could it be that when the left hand pulls down and the right hand stays at the same level, the left hand pulling down causes the head of the club to go up as the club pivots around the point between the two hands?  That would be my bet. 

Has anyone here gained any knowledge about how the forces work in the swing that you can take to the range to use?  I'm pretty sure I have not. 

All my clubs are custom built with aftermarket shafts that have been spine and FLO aligned for max performance every swing. 

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37 minutes ago, IONEPUTT said:

Has anyone here gained any knowledge about how the forces work in the swing that you can take to the range to use?  I'm pretty sure I have not. 

First, what each of us feels is almost never what is actually happening.  When we go to the range, or take a lesson, we're hoping to find a feel that gets us doing the right thing, or making a positive change.  It doesn't matter that you have never felt that "pushing up" with the right hand, its probably happening all on its own.  The forces that make us rotate our hips come from the ground (they can't come from anywhere else, really), but we might get that rotation correct through a feel of rotation.  So to me, I want my instructor to understand all of the stuff about forces in the golf swing.  That should help him in finding the feels that get me swinging better, but I don't need the knowledge of those forces.

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8 hours ago, IONEPUTT said:

I just watched the 16 minute video by Dr. Sasho Mackenzie and while I think i understood what he was saying I'm pretty sure I did NOT learn anything that I can take to the driving range to use to gain any clubhead speed. The Dr. provided lots of science but I'm not sure he provided any helpful infomation on HOW to swing the clubhead faster.  

I also have to ask YOU golfer here if you have ever "Pushed" UP with your right hand during the down swng? Pushing up with the right hand is what he is telling us that we all do and this pushing up is what causes the clubhead to go up. I'm pretty sure I have NEVER pushed up with  my right hand when I swing the club. Mostly my right hand just goes along for the ride. Is there something that I missed watching his video?  

Could it be that when the left hand pulls down and the right hand stays at the same level, the left hand pulling down causes the head of the club to go up as the club pivots around the point between the two hands?  That would be my bet. 

Has anyone here gained any knowledge about how the forces work in the swing that you can take to the range to use?  I'm pretty sure I have not. 

I personally have never actively tried to push up with the trail hand during the downswing, but maybe the upper body pivot rotates the framework unit of  'left arm/hinged wrist & folded trail arm/extended wrist' transferring some component of force (via the trail arm/hand) across the grip. 

I looked at Will Zalatoris swing in this video below and the COM of the club doesn't seem to go up at all during the downswing and quite different to Adam Scott. Maybe that's because Adam Scott pivots more in his backswing and gets his club shaft past horizontal.

 

The Sasho MacKenzie video seems to offer a qualitative explanation of what forces cause the release of the golf swing. It's basically the net eccentric force applied across the grip (mainly a pull force via the lead arm) that helps angularly accelerate the club with no active wrist torque. Actually, the net wrist torque becomes negative in the later downswing which means the hands are being angularly dragged around approaching impact (because they cannot keep up with the increasing rotational speed of the club). 

There is a more detailed vimeo video below that offers a clearer explanation and also shows that the 'up' force (applied theoretically by the trail hand) can actually assist in the retention of the lag angle between shaft and lead arm in the early downswing.

With regards how to increase clubhead speed , Dr Mackenzie has produced an article about that.

How Amateur Golfers Deliver Energy to the Driver | Published in International Journal of Golf Science (golfsciencejournal.org)

It's a long slog trying to read through all this stuff but basically most clubhead speed is caused by linear forces applied to the grip along the hand path.

If I was trying to apply these 'linear force' ideas to increasing clubhead speed, I would personally be trying to feel as if I was pulling the grip off the shaft all the way through the downswing and through impact. 

 

Edited by Wildthing
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Found another interesting graph from one of Dr Kwon's you-tube videos (which seem to be attracting a lot of attention). 

You'll have to see the whole video to understand the swing events and phases.

 

It portrays a typical swing graph pattern from golfers recorded on his 3D system (operating at 1000 Hz frequency). The section of the graph that I found interesting was between the 2 yellow pointer arrows (which I inserted myself) between the top of the backswing (TB)  to just before lead arm horizontal in the downswing (EDA  or P5 ).  You can see that the angular velocity graphs of the shoulder line (SL) , Upper lead arm (UL) and the Club are all rotating virtually together as a unit up to the 'Release' point where the lead wrist starts to uncock.

You can also see that 'Release' (uncocking of the lead wrist) at MC position starts happening just before lead arm horizontal (EDA/P5) and there doesn't seem to be much holding of the lag angle to later in the downswing. 

Maybe Jack Nicklaus was right when he said "you can't release the club too soon". I'm guessing you have to give yourself enough time to allow energy to be transferred to the club so it can angularly accelerate and optimise clubhead speed before impact. 

Personally, I can't even get my lead arm too far above horizontal in the backswing, so my ability to create lots of linear force in the early downswing using my upper body pivot is limited. I don't have much choice as I get older and less flexible but to use my shoulder girdle muscles more but still with the intention of pulling the grip off the shaft in the downswing in the early downswing to optimise the use of linear forces (ie. aligned more with the COM of the club). 

image.png.d74f8d3b5532076843b27c1ebcf35591.png

Edited by Wildthing
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I enjoyed these even if I can't full understand them. I found this video from Crossfield that I think can help show how information like what @Wildthing is sharing gets trickled down from this advanced theory to coaches on the cutting edge, to coaches more on the front lines. They talk about creating depth and width in the swing and Mark even demos the want to move the hands up and away while the front side moves closer to the target as an exaggerated move. This idea I think is a bit more of the practical application of some of what has been shared above. Really interesting to see how swing coaching evolves. From cupped wrists are the best position at the top to now everyone wants a flat or bowed wrist.

 

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1 minute ago, Wildthing said:

Here's another Mark Crossfield video demonstrating that what he's learnt regarding ground reaction forces seems to have changed his golf swing and significantly increased his clubhead speed. 

 

 

Yes another great one and love the technical details. Right not that anyone would be on course thinking about their vertical forces, but it helps refine feels and moves that will achieve the goal set out by the bio-mechanics.

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On 5/20/2022 at 7:04 AM, ejgaudette said:

I enjoyed these even if I can't full understand them. I found this video from Crossfield that I think can help show how information like what @Wildthing is sharing gets trickled down from this advanced theory to coaches on the cutting edge, to coaches more on the front lines. They talk about creating depth and width in the swing and Mark even demos the want to move the hands up and away while the front side moves closer to the target as an exaggerated move. This idea I think is a bit more of the practical application of some of what has been shared above. Really interesting to see how swing coaching evolves. From cupped wrists are the best position at the top to now everyone wants a flat or bowed wrist.

 

I just watched a Golf Channel "lessons" episode with Padraig Harrington and how he practices doing the Happy Gilmore two step hit drill to reinforce that lateral power move feeling.  Don't know about you, but I think getting lessons from Paddy would be an absolute blast.

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19 hours ago, fixyurdivot said:

I just watched a Golf Channel "lessons" episode with Padraig Harrington and how he practices doing the Happy Gilmore two step hit drill to reinforce that lateral power move feeling.  Don't know about you, but I think getting lessons from Paddy would be an absolute blast.

https://www.golfchannel.com/video/best-lessons-ever-driver-preview-padraig-harrington

Dr Kwon explains how lateral movement  horizontal ground reaction forces could be a factor to increasing angular momentum in the golfer, but no-one has confirmed 100% how a 'Happy Gilmore' type lateral motion (or even vertical ground reaction force) gets somehow transformed to optimal forces applied by/via the hands to the grip of the club which will ultimately increase clubhead speed.

We seem to see patterns in ground reaction forces (like in the Mark Crossfield video) , that if somehow changed does seem to increase clubhead speed, so maybe it doesn't matter but I'd like to know the physics involved. 

Maybe the lateral motion is a precursor to increased vertical ground reaction force but what exactly is happening?  How does it effect the timing, magnitude and direction of the forces applied via the hands on the grip?  If we knew, then maybe golf instruction could be targeted better.

PS. Even if we increased our clubhead speed , it won't guarantee we will hit the ball solidly, so it all has to be matched up.

 

Edited by Wildthing
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1 hour ago, Wildthing said:

Dr Kwon explains how lateral movement  horizontal ground reaction forces could be a factor to increasing angular momentum in the golfer, but no-one has confirmed 100% how a 'Happy Gilmore' type lateral motion (or even vertical ground reaction force) gets somehow transformed to optimal forces applied by/via the hands to the grip of the club which will ultimately increase clubhead speed.

We seem to see patterns in ground reaction forces (like in the Mark Crossfield video) , that if somehow changed does seem to increase clubhead speed, so maybe it doesn't matter but I'd like to know the physics involved. 

Maybe the lateral motion is a precursor to increased vertical ground reaction force but what exactly is happening?  How does it effect the timing, magnitude and direction of the forces applied via the hands on the grip?  If we knew, then maybe golf instruction could be targeted better.

PS. Even if we increased our clubhead speed , it won't guarantee we will hit the ball solidly, so it all has to be matched up.

 

Just guessing here but feel that many players (self included) loose power from two non-optimal motions or lack of motion.  First that the hands get raised just as the downswing begins, from the "over-the-top" move so many have, and second is the failure to get the hips cleared/turned and the belt buckle aimed at the target at the end of the swing.  I see Padraig's drill as a way of emphasizing that turn/motion memory.  Note that he also emphasizes holding the finish which I think targets not leaving the hands stuck behind.

To your last point, absolutely correct. high swing speed + incorrect face path = deep woods.   Ever notice why so many instructors have students do the 1/2-3/4 swing drills and how much better both the ball striking and aim is when doing so?  It seems that last part of our backswings are where most poor strike problems begin.  It's like "no man's land" back there... where an otherwise near perfect takeaway and pending great ball strike goes down the crapper.

All of the swing kinematics stuff you've shared is pretty interesting and my engineering background/career helps me get most of it.  But, if I start thinking about that level of detail during practice or play the results won't be good. 😆  

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2 hours ago, fixyurdivot said:

Just guessing here but feel that many players (self included) loose power from two non-optimal motions or lack of motion.  First that the hands get raised just as the downswing begins, from the "over-the-top" move so many have, and second is the failure to get the hips cleared/turned and the belt buckle aimed at the target at the end of the swing.  I see Padraig's drill as a way of emphasizing that turn/motion memory.  Note that he also emphasizes holding the finish which I think targets not leaving the hands stuck behind.

To your last point, absolutely correct. high swing speed + incorrect face path = deep woods.   Ever notice why so many instructors have students do the 1/2-3/4 swing drills and how much better both the ball striking and aim is when doing so?  It seems that last part of our backswings are where most poor strike problems begin.  It's like "no man's land" back there... where an otherwise near perfect takeaway and pending great ball strike goes down the crapper.

All of the swing kinematics stuff you've shared is pretty interesting and my engineering background/career helps me get most of it.  But, if I start thinking about that level of detail during practice or play the results won't be good. 😆  

 

Agreed, I don't think about this stuff when I swing and nor does Dr Sasho Mackenzie who basically uses external focus cues (he's a pretty good golfer).

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I watched the Mark Crossfield video and didn't learn a thing. Then I watched a second one where he was taking a lesson from Mark Bull, and it that video I learned what Mark Bull was having Crossfield doing, And that was when I learned HOW Crossfield had changed his swing and how he had increased his swing speed.  The second video was well worth the time and I will be watching more of Mr. Bulls videos in the future to see what I can learn from him and with any luck I can use his instruction and add a few more MPH's to my swing speed soon. I would love to get my 105-108 MPH up to over 110 on a steady basis and enjoy the added distance off the tee. I've been up over 120 a few times but it was only a FEW times so learning how to do it on command would be great way to kick off a new golf season this spring. 

All my clubs are custom built with aftermarket shafts that have been spine and FLO aligned for max performance every swing. 

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On 5/23/2022 at 5:29 AM, Wildthing said:

 

We seem to see patterns in ground reaction forces (like in the Mark Crossfield video) , that if somehow changed does seem to increase clubhead speed, so maybe it doesn't matter but I'd like to know the physics involved. 

Maybe the lateral motion is a precursor to increased vertical ground reaction force but what exactly is happening?  How does it effect the timing, magnitude and direction of the forces applied via the hands on the grip?  If we knew, then maybe golf instruction could be targeted better.

PS. Even if we increased our clubhead speed , it won't guarantee we will hit the ball solidly, so it all has to be matched up.

 

Good morning Wildthing.  I think the answer to your question is rather simple if you look at the "BODY" of the golfer as "Mass". When the body of mass is moving toward the target, that body of mass has momentum. and that added momentum is attached to the golf club via the hands. So the simple answer is that this added momentum increases the "Total" amount of energy that the golfer can apply to the back of the golf ball at impact.  It's the same thing you see in baseball  when a hitting takes a step toward the pttcher as he starts to swing the bat. His body mass adds energy to his swing and he can hit the ball farther using this step toward the pitcher and the ball.  I hope this makes sense to you the same way it makes sense to me. Let me know what you think of what I just posted. 

All my clubs are custom built with aftermarket shafts that have been spine and FLO aligned for max performance every swing. 

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22 hours ago, IONEPUTT said:

I watched the Mark Crossfield video and didn't learn a thing. Then I watched a second one where he was taking a lesson from Mark Bull, and it that video I learned what Mark Bull was having Crossfield doing, And that was when I learned HOW Crossfield had changed his swing and how he had increased his swing speed.  The second video was well worth the time and I will be watching more of Mr. Bulls videos in the future to see what I can learn from him and with any luck I can use his instruction and add a few more MPH's to my swing speed soon. I would love to get my 105-108 MPH up to over 110 on a steady basis and enjoy the added distance off the tee. I've been up over 120 a few times but it was only a FEW times so learning how to do it on command would be great way to kick off a new golf season this spring. 

I think this is a better video that explains the lateral, rotational, and vertical forces that help increase speed.  

 

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Thank you for the link cnosil. Great video explaining the ideas of moving the body in different directions.  I can clearly see how this would help to create speed in the swing, but I can also see how it could cause some major problems in consistency. There are all kinds of ways this movement could be a problem as it all has to happen at the right time in the swing. It explains why so many long hitters can hit the ball long, but it also explains why they can have a really bad day if their timing or sequence is off just a small amount. I wonder how long it would take a good golfer to get the timing right and be consistent with said timing?  One thing I will say is that watching this video makes me want to have one of those weight/balance plates to stand on to see how I weight my feet during the swing. 

All my clubs are custom built with aftermarket shafts that have been spine and FLO aligned for max performance every swing. 

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I just went to the Swing plate site and found out the "Price" for one of those force plates. NOT in my budget this year for sure. My car didn't cost as much as what they want for these plates. 

All my clubs are custom built with aftermarket shafts that have been spine and FLO aligned for max performance every swing. 

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On 5/18/2019 at 9:40 PM, Shankster said:

I have no idea what your saying. But it’s cool.

My though on DJ getting the straight path is because belly button is facing the target before his club is anywhere near the ball.

That 4D model of him today at the PGA was nuts. If I tried to turn that fast, far, and powerful I’d be in a wheel chair.

Has to be a super hero, that’s the only way to explain it.

he's dropped his right elbow onto his hip and is whipping thru with his body

On 5/24/2022 at 12:33 PM, IONEPUTT said:

I watched the Mark Crossfield video and didn't learn a thing. Then I watched a second one where he was taking a lesson from Mark Bull, and it that video I learned what Mark Bull was having Crossfield doing, And that was when I learned HOW Crossfield had changed his swing and how he had increased his swing speed.  The second video was well worth the time and I will be watching more of Mr. Bulls videos in the future to see what I can learn from him and with any luck I can use his instruction and add a few more MPH's to my swing speed soon. I would love to get my 105-108 MPH up to over 110 on a steady basis and enjoy the added distance off the tee. I've been up over 120 a few times but it was only a FEW times so learning how to do it on command would be great way to kick off a new golf season this spring. 

swinging hard=less clubhead speed, swinging fast and insync =increased clubhead speed

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Love this topic.  When it comes to optimizing clubhead speed and specifically the hands like you are talking about, there are two key things that stand out in my mind.  I think one of the main issues in translating anything golf related into action is that the mechanical "how" of doing things often gets mixed in and confused with the motor control "how" of doing them. One is a set of instructions to accomplish a certain movement, the other, the parameters to accomplish a certain movement without completely guided instructions.

Optimizing hand and club speed requires a good hand path plane into the ball, as any manipulation will cause a slowing down of the hands and club.  And also, giving ourselves the motor control parameters needed to allow us to create the proper forces that are applied with the hands to the club.  Not a mechanical instruction list of how forces are applied, but the parameters of how to create the wanted actions, without having to "try" to apply them through mechanical control. 

One of the first things that good golfers do, that amateurs don't, has to do with how the pelvis or "hips" move.  What's this have to do with the hands, well, where the lower body goes, the upper body and arms will follow.

The first problem is that most amateurs think about turning their "hip" sockets in the backswing. What they actually do is move at the waist.  This generally leads to a standing up move, flat hip plane, and from there its either throw it over or slide under to get back to the ball.

Instead of moving their "hips", most pros move their pelvis and do so with the rotation occurring at the hip socket around the top of the femur.  They are rotating their pelvis into their rear leg. If you look at all the pictures posted in this thread, you'll see each players leg mostly pointed straight forward with their pelvis turning into it.  This move is important to hand path, because the hands will follow where the body leads (as long as you turn your body).  In the downswing, this position is held and then instead of turning the "hips", most pros turn their pelvis into the lead leg.  Cameron Champ is a great example of this.  This move allows the "hips" to move on an inclined plane and this inclined plane allows for the upper body to move within a good plane.

This pelvis move is the basis for a good upper body move, allows for t-spine rotation (as opposed to the body turning from the waist area) and when done properly translates to a great stretch shorten cycle that allows for proper force application with the hands.  Which leads me to my second key to maximize force production, the "how" of how we get to the top and actually get that force.

My number two issue for most golfers trying to maximize this is that they overly controlling their swing and movements.  If you are someone that is constantly concerned with hitting positions in the backswing, as most golfers are, you will forever struggle with golf.  If you are setup well, have a proper grip, and can turn your pelvis as opposed to your waist, all you need is a cue to start the swing and allow the body to turn.

The backswing starts with a tensing of the muscles.  As soon as this cue initiates the swing back, there is a relaxation period of the muscles on the way to the top. As the club reaches the top and the downswing begins there is another tensing of the muscles to initiate the downswing, then relaxation, and then application of the swing at the ball with more tensing of the muscles.  The key in all of this is the relaxation part. Most golfers don't have any at the right times and it's crucial to speed. 

If you muscle and control your backswing (or downswing for that matter), your body will never have the opportunity to properly brace the club with the trail hand (as Sasho describes) and transfer it to the club properly. The best way to think about it is that you are throwing everything back to the top, stopping the throw, reversing it, and then applying at impact.  If you can do this and turn your pelvis correctly, you will be setup to maximize your club speed.

 

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I liked the first few posts, which seemed to make a lot of sense.

lost me with the Doctor....

but I still like this topic and will try to think through it more.

thanks,

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OK, so there's a tendency for golfers looking at swings to focus on minutiae, to not see the forest for the trees. Here is Sasho MacKenzie's most recent research, which is just about as simple as it can be in terms of what a golfer has to do to maximize clubhead speed. (https://www.golfsciencejournal.org/article/12640-how-amateur-golfers-deliver-energy-to-the-driver) BTW, when I said "simple", I didn't mean you don't have to know physics or math. It is a very simple explanation in terms of the physics needed.

The message from the study is that the most effective way to get clubhead speed is to maximize the work done along the hand path. In physical terms, work means force in the direction of motion. So it is the component of the force (not torque couple) the hands apply to the club in the direction of the hand path, integrated over the hand path from transition through impact.

If you are familiar with physics and math, this is a very simple statement of what you have to do. If not, let me suggest a similar goal that will probably be the same in practice. (If Sasho is on this forum, I'll be glad to defer to him as to whether this is accurate.) During the downswing, move the hands along the hand path as fast as possible. Not the release of the clubhead nor any slap at the ball; torque applied to the grip during the downswing is pretty ineffective in producing clubhead speed.

If you are doing this and want even more clubhead speed, you might try a longer hand path (bigger turn). That works better than trying for more wrist cock, according to Dr Sasho.

I have said nothing about what the hips, the feet, the glutes, the trail pinkie need to do to make this happen. That is technique, which may be different for different golfers, or starting from a different swing. But the goal is clear: accelerate the hands to the maximum possible speed all through the downswing.

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14 hours ago, Dave Tutelman said:

OK, so there's a tendency for golfers looking at swings to focus on minutiae, to not see the forest for the trees. Here is Sasho MacKenzie's most recent research, which is just about as simple as it can be in terms of what a golfer has to do to maximize clubhead speed. (https://www.golfsciencejournal.org/article/12640-how-amateur-golfers-deliver-energy-to-the-driver) BTW, when I said "simple", I didn't mean you don't have to know physics or math. It is a very simple explanation in terms of the physics needed.

The message from the study is that the most effective way to get clubhead speed is to maximize the work done along the hand path. In physical terms, work means force in the direction of motion. So it is the component of the force (not torque couple) the hands apply to the club in the direction of the hand path, integrated over the hand path from transition through impact.

If you are familiar with physics and math, this is a very simple statement of what you have to do. If not, let me suggest a similar goal that will probably be the same in practice. (If Sasho is on this forum, I'll be glad to defer to him as to whether this is accurate.) During the downswing, move the hands along the hand path as fast as possible. Not the release of the clubhead nor any slap at the ball; torque applied to the grip during the downswing is pretty ineffective in producing clubhead speed.

If you are doing this and want even more clubhead speed, you might try a longer hand path (bigger turn). That works better than trying for more wrist cock, according to Dr Sasho.

I have said nothing about what the hips, the feet, the glutes, the trail pinkie need to do to make this happen. That is technique, which may be different for different golfers, or starting from a different swing. But the goal is clear: accelerate the hands to the maximum possible speed all through the downswing.

 

Hi Dave

But what hand path is the optimal hand path? Say the golfer reaches the top of the backswing and then pulls his hands straight down as fast as possible, that could cause a positive MOF and early release. This is why I thought a good feeling for the golfer was to try and pull the grip off the shaft (from top of backswing all the way through impact) so that the net force applied via the mid-hand-point  is directed closer to the COM of the club in the early-mid downswing (with a smaller moment arm to prevent early uncocking of the lead wrist). Basically, shouldn't the hand path in the early downswing be as least curved as possible to minimise divergence between the hand and club COM paths?

For example, here is Jamie Sadlowski at the top of the backswing.

 

8ZCHTI0MG557.png

 

If JS tried to pull his lead hand down as fast as possible in the direction of the red arrow he would early release unless he applied other forces to the grip to prevent that from happening. Obviously, I have exaggerated the scenario above, but if a golfer had a wrong perception of hand path and actually did the latter, you can see that the COM of the club would tend to rotate and try and align itself with the tail end of that red arrow net force vector.

Therefore, a golfer, especially those that are not acquainted with the physics of the situation, may need guidance on how to optimise his/her hand path to prevent early release. 

 

 

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On 5/24/2022 at 5:52 PM, IONEPUTT said:

Good morning Wildthing.  I think the answer to your question is rather simple if you look at the "BODY" of the golfer as "Mass". When the body of mass is moving toward the target, that body of mass has momentum. and that added momentum is attached to the golf club via the hands. So the simple answer is that this added momentum increases the "Total" amount of energy that the golfer can apply to the back of the golf ball at impact.  It's the same thing you see in baseball  when a hitting takes a step toward the pttcher as he starts to swing the bat. His body mass adds energy to his swing and he can hit the ball farther using this step toward the pitcher and the ball.  I hope this makes sense to you the same way it makes sense to me. Let me know what you think of what I just posted. 

 

Hi IONEPUTT

I'm not sure it's as simple as that in the golf downswing (I wish it was!).

If you have the book ' The Physics Of Golf' , Theodore Jorgensen provides a possible reason how a lateral movement of the hub of a double pendulum (used to model the golf swing) can cause an increase in clubhead speed.

I did email Dr Scott Lynn about lateral movement caused by ground reaction forces and how they could influence clubhead speed and this was his reply:

"Thanks so much for your email.  You ask some really good questions that I don’t think anyone has the answers to yet.  I’m not aware of any published work that has been done to date where the GRFs have been measured on the same swings where club inverse dynamics analyses were run so that the calculated club/hands kinetic values could be related to the measured GRFs.  Hopefully this type of work will happen soon as this would really help our understanding of golf swing mechanics.

 My hypothesis would be that creating more horizontal braking GRF from the ground could result in some of that force (directed away from the target) being transferred through the body and to the club in the late downswing (as this is when we see the peak horizontal braking GRF in high speed swingers).   It is interesting to note that in a few of the fastest long drive competitors in the world that I have had the opportunity to measure, the horizontal braking GRF peaks at the same time as the vertical GRF.  If the golfer is able to peak the vertical and horizontal braking GRFs at the same time and transfer these forces through the body to the club, this could result in the net force on the club having a large magnitude and being directed more away from the target in the late downswing, thus increasing the moment arm between the line of action of the net force and the center for mass of the club.  This would increase the in plane moment of force during the late downswing, when Dr. Mackenzie’s work has shown us that this particular moment is dominant in speeding up the club (the CoM of the club trying to “line up” with the line of action of that force vector). 

I have made a quick figure using one of Dr. Mackenzie’s animations to illustrate my point (see attached).  If the purple vector is the net force applied to the club in the late downswing by a golfer with limited horizontal braking force, the blue vector would be my hypothesized net force vector applied to the club if horizontal braking GRF was increased in the late downswing.  By using the horizontal braking GRF to lean this net force vector away from the target more, this would increase the moment arm distance (estimated in red…hard to do in 2D but you get the idea) and hence the in-plane moment of force and speed the club up as it heads into impact.

Again this is just a hypothesis at this point and I’m open to other ideas and/or being proven wrong. "

image.png.ddb92dad3a0cc8c9a5cd1fc6d106f20b.png

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