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Is this swing theory a thing, or a band-aid?


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For those of you who understand the golf swing, and/or have taught the game, is there any validity to what I'm about to say about the transition move in a golf swing?

If you follow the "How'd you play" thread you've probably seen me talk there about my recent struggles with my irons the last few weeks. I just cannot hit an iron solid, much less hit a green. My round on Saturday was more of the same. 🙄 so I went out yesterday morning to hit some balls hoping to figure things out.

I didn't go to my club's range because I didn't want to be distracted by friends who might be there. I went down the road a bit to the course where my fitter is set up. His shop was closed, but as I was banging away out there, the pro (who knows me and my swing pretty well) came up behind me and asked "wtf happened to your swing....?" He watched me hit a few more, then told me the following:

"There are two ways to start your transition. You can either DROP (your hands), OR ROTATE (your lower body)." 

According to him, I'd somehow become a mish mosh of the two. He said my old (good) swing was one where I dropped my hands, but I was now trying to rotate my lower body like a Dustin Johnson type player would, which isn't something he would advise a person in his mid sixties to suddenly try to emulate. We did the "pump" drill a few times, and right away my swing felt comfortable again. I don't think I hit another bad shot with the rest of the bucket. We talked about when the issues started, and he thinks I went down a rabbit hole when I tried on my own to improve my position at impact in a misguided attempt to "cover the ball" better.

I went back out again this morning to hit another bucket, and it was the best feeling in the world! For the first time in a month I was hitting at targets, not just hoping for decent contact. I'm really hoping there's something to this and it isn't a quick fix band-aid type of thing. I just never feel comfortable starting with my lower body. (I know, I know, it's not supposed to feel comfortable, LOL) 

Edited by Grand Stranded
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For those of you who understand the golf swing, and/or have taught the game, is there any validity to what I'm about to say about the transition move in a golf swing? If you follow the "How'd you

Let me preface this by saying that I am a volunteer coach at the First Tee.  I'm by no means a teaching pro.  That being said, I take lessons, I watch my daughter take lessons, and I talk to our pros

No single way; Have to do what is right for you.

Starting with dropping the hands makes sense to me with the loss of flexibility/rotation that tends to occur as we age. On the same token, your hips likely don’t rotate as far back as they once did, so starting with the hands and moving the lower body accordingly lines up there too.

All in all, I’d believe this to be a solid swing thought to keep that consistency going. 

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8 minutes ago, GBWarPig said:

Starting with dropping the hands makes sense to me with the loss of flexibility/rotation that tends to occur as we age. On the same token, your hips likely don’t rotate as far back as they once did, so starting with the hands and moving the lower body accordingly lines up there too.

All in all, I’d believe this to be a solid swing thought to keep that consistency going. 

To elaborate a little more on what he said, he wants me to feel like my back is still at the target until my hands reach my hip, then release the club. It's a very simple move, and the pump drill worked great to incorporate the feel.

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I think it makes total sense.

If you are DJ flexibility, you get a huge hip turn and arms are back over the shoulder, so need to fire the legs to start the downswing and be on tempo. But you aren’t DJ, so your hips aren’t turned as much, but hands should still be in a similar position. 

If you start your hips/legs first, they are already “ahead” compared to DJ, so the hands have to really speed to catch up. If you drop hands first, they can get in a similar relative position to DJs hips/hands, and lead to more consistent striking. 

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I am not a swing expert but understand exactly what you are saying.   Lots of ways to swing a club and one of the new bug things is the hip rotation stuff (like Gankas teaches).    If the drop and keep the back to the target works,  that is what you should do.   You could change your swing,  but it will probably take a while to make the change.  

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I like what Monte has to say on this topic.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CF44vZBFjpM/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

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@Grand Stranded there is a whole can of worms about the difference between feel and real. 

I can understand how leading with the body without dropping the hands could create complicated impact positions and inconsistencies. However, I can also see how telling someone to start their swing by dropping their hands could create a bunch of problems. It could be that the pro recognized where you could most simply make the most Improvement with the fewest changes. 

My experience of dropping the hands before activating my lower body results in a large loss of distance and more inconsistent impact. But, that is me. 

For you, the hip motion first might have created a late release and a flinch to compensate. Of course, this is just a guess. 

Overall, do what works and enjoy the results more than trying to fit someone else's mold. 

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Sounds like some good advice from someone who knows your swing and how you best time your motions to return to impact in a position to make solid contact. I would say roll with it. I agree with others that it could be a bit of feel versus real, but it's about the results. If it works keep it going. Hope you keep hitting them well.

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I have always been taught that your swing starts from the bottom not the top down. my first movement is to roll my legs/hips forward as as I which automatically drops the club on the inside. It is amazing how far you can move your hips before your shoulder starts to turn.

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2 hours ago, Firebird said:

I have always been taught that your swing starts from the bottom not the top down. my first movement is to roll my legs/hips forward as as I which automatically drops the club on the inside. It is amazing how far you can move your hips before your shoulder starts to turn.

Totally agree. 

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On 10/5/2020 at 2:33 PM, Grand Stranded said:

To elaborate a little more on what he said, he wants me to feel like my back is still at the target until my hands reach my hip, then release the club. It's a very simple move, and the pump drill worked great to incorporate the feel.

Very similar to what Monte Scheinblum teaches with his No Turn Cast drill.  Look for new version on Instagram and on his website

https://video.rebelliongolf.com/programs/noturncast

I would keep doing what your pro said.

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If I purposefully try to get my hips moving first, really bad things happen, like really bad. According to that post I linked to, Monte says that yes, the hips do start first, but only by about 0.02 seconds ahead of the arms. I now try to feel that the arms and hips are moving at the same time.

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39 minutes ago, dlow206 said:

If I purposefully try to get my hips moving first, really bad things happen, like really bad. According to that post I linked to, Monte says that yes, the hips do start first, but only by about 0.02 seconds ahead of the arms. I now try to feel that the arms and hips are moving at the same time.

I totally get the same thing when it is synced up it's all good, but if the hips get going too fast it's not good.

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Since I started SuperSpeed, I am more prone to a high flare to the right. Last week, after hitting such a flare, my friend said something along the lines of "it's hard to diagnose because your club is moving visibly faster, but it really looks like your lower body is starting early and your arms are dragging behind and never catch up." It makes sense to me given the push-slice ball flight, but I don't have a good "feel" for what I need to do to correct it. Maybe the thought of starting with the hands is something to think about?

Man, I need some lessons....

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49 minutes ago, MaxEntropy said:

Since I started SuperSpeed, I am more prone to a high flare to the right. Last week, after hitting such a flare, my friend said something along the lines of "it's hard to diagnose because your club is moving visibly faster, but it really looks like your lower body is starting early and your arms are dragging behind and never catch up." It makes sense to me given the push-slice ball flight, but I don't have a good "feel" for what I need to do to correct it. Maybe the thought of starting with the hands is something to think about?

Man, I need some lessons....

The push slices definitely happen for me with driver when my hips start moving first. I hate it.

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Normally I got an alligator swing, my body turns but my arms and hands look lazy and stuck and kind of come along for the ride.  When I swing like this it doesn't hurt but it feels like hard work.  But the clubhead control is better.  Maybe there is too much?   There is some power there. (carry on good drive 260-270, srixon z565 8 iron 150)

Over the last couple of days for the hell of it I've tried to "cast" the club from the top on purpose and the body rotation just happens.   It feels like I have more clubhead speed (feel ain't real, but is it always wrong?)   Everything feels much freer through to the finish.  However the clubface at impact isn't reliable or repeatable.  The heel of the club always seems to get to the ball first.   

This a video from 2019 is about hand speed, getting to max hand speed sooner in the start of the downswing.

 

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Let me preface this by saying that I am a volunteer coach at the First Tee.  I'm by no means a teaching pro.  That being said, I take lessons, I watch my daughter take lessons, and I talk to our pros about how to teach kids to swing a golf club.

The advice this pro gave you, it was very much tailored to you and what you are doing right now.  

When a teaching pro wants you to correct an issue in your swing, they frequently have you overcompensate in an opposite direction.  If your tendency is too far one way, they'll push you too far the other way, in the hope that you'll find the middle.  It's rare that any of us actually swing the way we think we do, the way we feel like we do.  So what feels to you like an overcompensation is probably somewhere close to where you want to be.  This is great teaching, but it's personalized for you.

My recurring personal swing flaw is dragging the club back too far inside.  My teacher will take an alignment rod, lay it behind the ball and point it 15* left of target.  He'll tell me to take it back along that line.  I try to do it; I feel like I'm doing it, but when he shows me videos of my swing, it's right down the line.  What I'm doing feels awful, but it's where he wants me to be.

Feel ain't real.

On the flip side, my daughter takes the club back too far outside.  If my teacher (our teacher) made her do my drill, she'd get even further inside-out.  We're both trying to get to the same place at impact, but he's doing very different things to get us there.  That's what worries me about trying to deal in absolutes in the golf swing.  Good teachers are trying to create matchups that will work for the student.  But a change that a teacher makes for you to create a better matchup might destroy another golfer.

 

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8 hours ago, SlowNLow said:

Normally I got an alligator swing, my body turns but my arms and hands look lazy and stuck and kind of come along for the ride.  When I swing like this it doesn't hurt but it feels like hard work.  But the clubhead control is better.  Maybe there is too much?   There is some power there. (carry on good drive 260-270, srixon z565 8 iron 150)

Over the last couple of days for the hell of it I've tried to "cast" the club from the top on purpose and the body rotation just happens.   It feels like I have more clubhead speed (feel ain't real, but is it always wrong?)   Everything feels much freer through to the finish.  However the clubface at impact isn't reliable or repeatable.  The heel of the club always seems to get to the ball first.   

This a video from 2019 is about hand speed, getting to max hand speed sooner in the start of the downswing.

 

Fascinating

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Some very interesting comments, thanks guys!

I googled "rotate or drop" last night, just to see if there was anything on the internet with instructors talking about this subject. I found a video right away that explains the two methods(?) really well, and even shows each swing in super slow motion.

The problem is I don't know how to imbed a link or video, so I'm hoping maybe someone who I know does will do it for me? @Rickp @Kenny B @SlowNLow @dlow206 or @Buffly?

It's on YouTube, I googled rotate or drop, and found a series of videos by a female instructor named Cristina Ricci. The series is called Make More Pars and the video is titled "Drop hands or rotate during downswing".

Thanks, fellas.  I'd appreciate anyone's help posting the video.

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