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As many of you know I am a history buff, with Seve Ballesteros, and Arnie topping the list of my favorite golfers. Ben Hogan is cool too, as is Nick Faldo...

 

Speaking of Faldo, I just read an article about how he didn’t hit anything over 80%. Known for his accuracy over length... and being a stellar iron player makes me wonder where this type of golf went, and why. Yes, that era is gone and it isn’t coming back, which is fine. But for me it is way more entertaining and fun to play that way.

 

Anyways, the moral of my story here is... I’m going to play to my strengths from now on. I am not an accurate driver, I consider myself pretty good with my irons, and the wedge game being my best. I’m going to give the 80% rule a try through the entire bag, and if I lose a few yards so be it.

 

I know we shouldn’t be swinging 100% at everything or anything for that matter, but I am going to make a conscious effort to feel like I’m swinging 50%, that should dial it back to that 80% mark for me. I tend to go after shots that don’t need gettin after.

 

Report to come sometime in the future.

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Only ams swing 100% all the time. Pros generally swing less than 100% unless they are trying to step on the top end of the bag. 

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I like the logic behind this. But, in my case I don’t practice it enough. When I try backing off I get sloppy and end up blocking it out to the right, or hooking it left. Just need to retrain my brain to ease up a little and not try to hit it 300yds every time. All my timing/tempo has been set swinging 90-100%.


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Gave this a try today just around the chipping green. Apparently this place is a fair weather only to play golf. They were closed!

Anyways, I was hitting my chips and pitches at around the 80% mark and was getting better spin and consistency.

Holed out more chips and pitches practicing today then I have all year practicing.

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Great video here with Dustin Johnson talking about his power fade and swing.  Right around the 10 minute mark he talks about how he rarely, if ever, swings harder than 85%.  

 

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Contact is King!

So - if a golfer can make better contact, and ... do it more frequently @ 80 or 90% then they will see better results. 

I'd also hazard a guess that if that golfer were to "pure" a (full swing) shot @ 80% it may even fly further than an off-center hit @ closer to 100% effort..?

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Great video here with Dustin Johnson talking about his power fade and swing.  Right around the 10 minute mark he talks about how he rarely, if ever, swings harder than 85%.  
 


I had watched that video before, but completely forgot about it.

You can definitely tell when he kicks it up a notch, him a BK... it just mKes a different sound when they go more than the 85%. Like a rocket taking off.

But his 85% looks effortless, just back and through. Especially with the wedges. Quite fun to watch.
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1 hour ago, jlukes said:

Great video here with Dustin Johnson talking about his power fade and swing.  Right around the 10 minute mark he talks about how he rarely, if ever, swings harder than 85%.  

 

DJ may think he's only swinging a 85%, but the stats for the year don't agree.  He and the rest of the pros swing above 92%.  

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Kenny B said:

DJ may think he's only swinging a 85%, but the stats for the year don't agree.  He and the rest of the pros swing above 92%.  

I'm just curious, what stats show that?

Also, I think that may show the importance of proper sequencing, and exemplify that hard isn't fast. If DJ can hit 92% speed at 85% effort, no one should EVER swing at 100% effort. 

Edited by GB13
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5 minutes ago, GB13 said:

I'm just curious, what stats show that?

Also, I think that may show the importance of proper sequencing, and exemplify that hard isn't fast. If DJ can hit 92% speed at 85% effort, no one should EVER swing at 100%. 

 

... Yup. I just started my swing speed training and the object is to swing at 100% to train your muscles to swing faster. There is no way I would or could ever hit a golf ball swinging as fast as I possibly can and expect to make good contact or even keep the ball in play. I think people confuse swinging as fast as you comfortably can while maintaining control with good contact ... and swinging at 100%. 

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1 hour ago, Kenny B said:

DJ may think he's only swinging a 85%, but the stats for the year don't agree.  He and the rest of the pros swing above 92%.  

Proof? There may be times they step on it and the rest of the time some may swing at 90 or 92% and dj may swing at 85%. 

Mill take dj at his word he rarely goes above 85%

if you want to see what he or some others can do at max effort check out TMs YouTube where they are having long drive contests or testing products and seeing what they can get out of them

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3 hours ago, GB13 said:

I'm just curious, what stats show that?

Also, I think that may show the importance of proper sequencing, and exemplify that hard isn't fast. If DJ can hit 92% speed at 85% effort, no one should EVER swing at 100% effort. 

Stats from the PGA Tour website through the PGA Championship.

https://www.pgatour.com/stats/stat.02401.html

This is Off the Tee radar swing speeds for the year... Average, fastest and slowest.  The 92% is the slowest in relation to the fastest.  If you compare the slowest to the average, it's more like 97%.

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I feel like I try things like this every once in a while. My problem becomes when an “easy” swing becomes a “lazy” swing. I feel like my mechanics can break down easier if I’m trying to ease off a shot.


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7 hours ago, Kenny B said:

Stats from the PGA Tour website through the PGA Championship.

https://www.pgatour.com/stats/stat.02401.html

This is Off the Tee radar swing speeds for the year... Average, fastest and slowest.  The 92% is the slowest in relation to the fastest.  If you compare the slowest to the average, it's more like 97%.

Imo that proves nothing. Nobody but the person swinging the club knows the percentage they are swinging. 

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Sometimes I wonder if this is all a matter of semantics.

A lot of golfers associate swinging at 80% (or swing easy, or swing within yourself, etc) with swinging without tension, so no tightening of the hands or the arms, which then allows for faster movement and better clubhead speed. From what I've seen and read over the years (I spend more time online than on the golf course, which is a whole other topic itself!) too many golfers who self-diagnose their swings think that swinging "hard" or "fast" means tensing up in a mistaken effort to add more power.

There are a lot of coaches who want amateurs to swing as absolutely as fast as they can, and use 100% power... just do it controlled and without tension.  

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On 5/21/2019 at 10:42 PM, robertson153 said:

I like the logic behind this. But, in my case I don’t practice it enough. When I try backing off I get sloppy and end up blocking it out to the right, or hooking it left. Just need to retrain my brain to ease up a little and not try to hit it 300yds every time. All my timing/tempo has been set swinging 90-100%.


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This is me in a nutshell.  As soon as I try to ease up my swing, which isn't great to start with, it becomes downright horrible.  

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1 hour ago, 00sportsman said:

This is me in a nutshell.  As soon as I try to ease up my swing, which isn't great to start with, it becomes downright horrible.  

One of the TV announcers, I can't remember which, mentions quite regularly that hitting partial shots cause problems (even for pros) because if you swing too slow your timing gets off.  For example, it can often be better to hit a full shot than a knock down shot when you're in between clubs.  I'm paraphrasing but I think that's the gist of what he says.  As usual, finding the right balance is key.  It's also the hard part.  Don't swing too light but don't over-swing.  Find what works for your swing and abilities. 

I also think it's easy to confuse swing speed and tempo.  You can have good an bad tempo with both fast and slow swing speeds.

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I like the 80% rule. I think that the reality of it is that slowing down to an 80% swing, we will actually hit the center of the face more often, which will in some cases hit the ball farther than a full 100% swing. Hitting the center of the face means better spin, better ball flight, better overall awareness of where the club is. What I do find is that when I take an 80% swing I seem to fade the ball much more. I don’t know why that is or if others find the same thing, but it helps control the ball better for sure 

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3 hours ago, russtopherb said:

Sometimes I wonder if this is all a matter of semantics.

A lot of golfers associate swinging at 80% (or swing easy, or swing within yourself, etc) with swinging without tension, so no tightening of the hands or the arms, which then allows for faster movement and better clubhead speed. From what I've seen and read over the years (I spend more time online than on the golf course, which is a whole other topic itself!) too many golfers who self-diagnose their swings think that swinging "hard" or "fast" means tensing up in a mistaken effort to add more power.

There are a lot of coaches who want amateurs to swing as absolutely as fast as they can, and use 100% power... just do it controlled and without tension.  

I agree that a lot of this is semantics.  Personally, I think of swinging as fast as I can while maintaining proper sequencing and balance.  This isn't absolute max effort, its something less, because of that requirement for sequencing and balance.   I don't even try to put a number or percentage on it, but an instructor (or someone writing about the subject for the 100th time in Golf Digest) needs to quantify it somehow.  80% seems like a reasonable estimate.

A pro like DJ understands where his maximum speed comes from, how much effort he needs.  He also understands his personal trade-off between swing effort and control, and can choose the appropriate approach.  He also practices much more on "less than 100%", and can do those partial shots without losing sequence.

I think for most amateurs, maximum 100% effort gets them off balance and out of sequence.  More muscular effort does not equal more clubhead speed, and definitely doesn't equal consistent contact.  For many, the idea of 80% gets them back in balance, back in sequence, and more consistent contact.  

But then what do they do with a partial shot, say 60% effort?  Many will take a normal backswing, and ease off coming into the ball.  Some will take a half backswing, and jump at it.  Neither one is good.  Taking a slightly shorter backswing, but maintaining the same sequence and timing is the way to go, bit it takes practice.  I don't do a lot of it, but occasionally I'll try to hit a 5-iron to the 120 flag at the range, and it does help.  The same with knock-downs, which @TwoCoatsOfWax mentioned.  Adjust my ball position, take a shortened backswing, but keep my forward swing sequence the same.  Practice makes it a valuable shot.  Without practice, its a guess.

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4 hours ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

Imo that proves nothing. Nobody but the person swinging the club knows the percentage they are swinging. 

I agree.  It's a moot point because while a player may feel like they are swinging 80%, they are likely swinging at the maximum speed that they know they can comfortably control the ball.  The point of the stat data is to show that there is really very little variation between their fastest and slowest swing off the tee; that is, about 8% difference between fastest and slowest.  I'm sure all of them have more gas, but they swing what they can control.  We all do that, I'm sure, but the pros are better at it.

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