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Sean Foley v. Hank Haney


Justin66
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Here's the Q&A from Golf magazine's April '11 issue. Apparently, the one that's causing the big stink...

 

http://www.golf.com/golf/tours_news/article/0,28136,2057896,00.html

 

Two things I think after reading it:

 

1. My opinion of Foley is about 100% more positive than it originally was.

 

2. This seems like another semi-sensationalist move by golf journalism to move a needle. I didn't come away feeling like Foley disrespected Haney. He wasn't being "PC" (thankfully), but not malicious, either.

 

Any thoughts/opinions?

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Basically two divas who are full of themselves and their ability to teach and analyze the golf swing. The things these guys preach make no sense from a body motion standpoint injuries are expected (TW knee) with unnatural movements. Basically who gives a rats behind about these two ov errated blowhards.

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Basically two divas who are full of themselves and their ability to teach and analyze the golf swing. The things these guys preach make no sense from a body motion standpoint injuries are expected (TW knee) with unnatural movements. Basically who gives a rats behind about these two ov errated blowhards.

110% correct my sentiments exactly!!

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Basically two divas who are full of themselves and their ability to teach and analyze the golf swing. The things these guys preach make no sense from a body motion standpoint injuries are expected (TW knee) with unnatural movements. Basically who gives a rats behind about these two ov errated blowhards.

 

Can you go into more specifics about the bold part?

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It's pretty simple - HH teaches a really flat swing that caused TW to have to lock left knee to clear room for upper body. Club was coming from inside and there was no room to get to left side without this compensation. SF teaches keeping weight on left side and squat then rise - a waste of motion. These guys all see old Hogan film as being flat not realizing that his collarbones were destroyed in the accident. SF is taking from stack and tilt which is mostly based on Hogan late in career ('67 Masters) where his legs were shot and he couldn't transfer weight. Try throwing something heavy without transfer of weight. It won't work very efficiently and you will expend a bunch more energy than you have to plus you will hurt yourself sooner than later. Same idea with throwing a heavy object and having your arms move "flat" around you - lots of stress on your back and lower body has to compensate for lack of momentum.

Any other sport where you throw or hit involves this weight transfer. Hopefully it makes sense that these motions being preached can cause a bunch of problems.

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I don't pretend to be any kind of golf swing expert. But I do know this: there are a lot of internet golf swing "experts" that say such and such instructor is full of it, so and so doesn't know what they're talking about, etc. IMO, there's more than one way to swing a golf club, and probably none of them are "perfect". At the end of the day, Hank Haney has coached over 200 touring pros and his students have won numerous majors. You won't find many instructors with a better record.

 

To hear some people tell it, Haney destroyed Tiger's swing. Well, Haney coached Tiger for 6 years during which time he won 6 majors and something like 50% of his PGA Tour starts. Haney may or may not be the most knowledgeable guy when it comes to the golf swing (I'm not qualified to judge that), but he does know how to get results out of his students, and at the end of the day, that's what counts.

 

Haney was ranked as a top 25 instructor by Golf Digest when Foley was in elementary school. Foley may know more about the golf swing and may even be a better instructor at the of the day, but I think that if you look back to when Haney started working with Tiger you won't find him having been quoted saying anything about Butch Harmon.

Derek

 

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I wouldn't go so far as to say that Haney destroyed Tiger's swing, but he had Tiger making so many compensatory moves that Tiger just couldn't swing the club efficiently. I think Foley will do a better job because, judging by the swings of Foley's other students, he seems willing to put the S&T model aside and use just what the player needs. For example, Tiger already moves his hips forwards quite a bit on the downswing, so Foley isn't going to emphasize that.

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Guys - I am an instructor with many years of knowledge and experience. You cannot say any method is a success until it has had players be conistent for 10 years plus IMO. SF method defies physical motion. Yes the guys have seen success initially, but so did all the S & T guys like Axley, Weir, Wilson, etc. and now are a mess. HH has coached O'Meara and TW. He is truly a good guy, but has a method that lacks in above mentioned efficient physical motion. Butch has a great grip on what works as do his brothers. Bluntly, staying on your left side or swinging your arms around the body put a ton of stress on the spine and cannot be done over a long period of time. The compensations will cause injury issues over time.

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Guys - I am an instructor with many years of knowledge and experience. You cannot say any method is a success until it has had players be conistent for 10 years plus IMO. SF method defies physical motion. Yes the guys have seen success initially, but so did all the S & T guys like Axley, Weir, Wilson, etc. and now are a mess. HH has coached O'Meara and TW. He is truly a good guy, but has a method that lacks in above mentioned efficient physical motion. Butch has a great grip on what works as do his brothers. Bluntly, staying on your left side or swinging your arms around the body put a ton of stress on the spine and cannot be done over a long period of time. The compensations will cause injury issues over time.

 

I think you need to look at the swings of Foley's students a little more closely. Mahan and Rose don't "stay on the left side". They don't move backwards either, they stay centered.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcpODfPbAyQ

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilt03y-sDzo

 

I'd also like to hear your thoughts on why it's necessary to move backwards in the backswing.

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I think you may need a little look yourself. Neither one gets to the right side. Your center of gravity needs to get behind the ball to deliver a square forceful shot. Neither of these guys could stand on their right foot at the top due to weight being on the left side. Look at any other physical/athletic activity - throwing, hitting, chopping. To get optimal force, weight must ne tranfered. If the head doesn't move with the spine, you will be out of balance. You will see this if you look at a swing from the rear angle(behind player). You can never say that this is the way as it has only been done for a short period of time. The very best ball strikers of all time moved behind the ball. Nicklaus started keeping his head over it and ruined a hip. Simple facts. Let's see how this works as time goes on, my bet is you won't be able to repeat this once age increases.

The very thought of staying centered and not moving back defies the laws of physical motion. You will twist the trunk and put your spine and hips in a very compromised position. Try throwing a heavy object and making this move, then try it moving to the right. No brainer.

Foley is swing of the day. Period.

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I think you may need a little look yourself. Neither one gets to the right side. Your center of gravity needs to get behind the ball to deliver a square forceful shot. Neither of these guys could stand on their right foot at the top due to weight being on the left side. Look at any other physical/athletic activity - throwing, hitting, chopping. To get optimal force, weight must ne tranfered. If the head doesn't move with the spine, you will be out of balance. You will see this if you look at a swing from the rear angle(behind player). You can never say that this is the way as it has only been done for a short period of time. The very best ball strikers of all time moved behind the ball. Nicklaus started keeping his head over it and ruined a hip. Simple facts. Let's see how this works as time goes on, my bet is you won't be able to repeat this once age increases.

The very thought of staying centered and not moving back defies the laws of physical motion. You will twist the trunk and put your spine and hips in a very compromised position. Try throwing a heavy object and making this move, then try it moving to the right. No brainer.

Foley is swing of the day. Period.

 

Interesting analogy. I too have always thought weight should move. Call me old fashioned, it just makes more sense to me.

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Interesting analogy. I too have always thought weight should move. Call me old fashioned, it just makes more sense to me.

 

 

I have to agree. Hunter had an instruction article in Golf magazine a couple of months ago... things sound good until they're practiced. He talks about staying centered. He also says to lean into the shot once the backswing is completed. The majority of the speed is done by the arms and hands... after that, the weirdest part (in my opinion) happens: he say to be at 100% effort at impact, but slow down through impact. This is so your finish is balanced.

 

To me, this sounds like it encourages people to pull off the gas too soon, or worse yet, maybe lead to throwing the club to start the downswing, trying to make sure they're at 100% during impact. I've always have been taught to accelerate into impact. An example I was given is the distance discrepancy between a 95 mph swing that accelerates into impact and a 95mph swing that decelerates: the accelerating swing will always be longer, because the fastest point will be at (maybe even after) impact... not before it. Telling someone to go from 100% effort to 60% in what amounts to miliseconds after impact seems odd to me.

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Great point on slowing down at impact to stsy in balance - there is no other way to slice that statement othert that it is a compensation. Watch the guys that roll over on their left foot at finish. If that's a balanced finish you would encourage that position in other activities. Mahan rolls on that left foot and ankle at finish. This puts stress on not only the ankle, but the knee. You can't fight Mother Nature.

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A lot of this is me playing devil's advocate, just to see what you guys think, so keep that in mind:

 

Justin66: There is a term called "pivot braking" that some people like to throw around. My guess is that Sean Foley heard about it, and Hunter was trying to regurgitate it to sound smart. For Mahan, it seems to be more of a feel than anything.

 

lowballhitter: While going onto your back foot might give you more power, golf isn't specifically about power. I would imagine that staying centered makes it easier to shift weight to your front foot, which would let you make better contact.

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You may make contact but it won't give you reliable direction and you will definitely won't get all you can out of your swing. Look at all the instructors that really understand - Harmon Brothers, McLean, Trahan, and the father of it Ballard - they will never preach this. It goes back to the old drill a spike through your spine into the ground and rotate around it. This ruined more backs than you can count. This is why a lot of instructors preach putting ball way back in stnce for beginners - to get contact. Golf shots are more than contact alone - this leads into trajectory, curve, direction and distance. This is why we see some beginners who recieve bad advice lack the swing to get it airborn with sufficient trajectory.

Granted golf is not all power, but a player needs to provide sufficient and consistent speed in the swing to hit good quality shots. One area many forget to include when criticizing this move to the right is you need to balance and brace your lower body at set up - weight evenly distributed. Think of a baseball pitcher's trail leg. His weight doesn't go to the right past his leg, creating coil and allowing him to fire at the plate.

Go back to some of my earlier analogies to see some other ideas in this.

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A lot of this is me playing devil's advocate, just to see what you guys think, so keep that in mind:

 

Justin66: There is a term called "pivot braking" that some people like to throw around. My guess is that Sean Foley heard about it, and Hunter was trying to regurgitate it to sound smart. For Mahan, it seems to be more of a feel than anything.

 

lowballhitter: While going onto your back foot might give you more power, golf isn't specifically about power. I would imagine that staying centered makes it easier to shift weight to your front foot, which would let you make better contact.

 

Playing devil's advocate can be fun sometimes! I think you're right about the whole trying to sound smart thing. I've watched Mahan swing, and either he does the lean very fast, does it differently than how he described it in the article, or just doesn't do it at all. His swing, other than the finish, just doesn't seem to look the same compared to the article.

 

I don't know why, but it's bugging me for some reason... I wonder if I'm missing something, or am I right?

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