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Everybody’s talking about ground reaction forces and using the ground properly to gain speed and power in the golf swing, but it’s far more important to understand the key core movements of the great players. Focus on those and forget about “pushing off the ground” or “using the ground” to generate power. You’ll love the results.

 

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Lucas Wald is a former touring professional turned instructor. Lucas has been recognized by Golf Digest as one of the Best Young Teachers in America (2016-2017) and the Best Teacher in Arkansas (2017). His notable students include Brad Faxon, Brandel Chamblee, Jeff Flagg (2014 World Long Drive Champion), and Victoria Lovelady (Ladies European Tour). Lucas has been sought out by some of the biggest names in the game for his groundbreaking research on the golf swing, and he’s known for his student case studies – with juniors, adult amateurs, and tour pros – that show that significant improvement in power and ball striking is possible in golfers of all levels. Check out his website - lucaswaldgolf.com - and be sure to follow Lucas on social media.

22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Ed

    Jan 30, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    Ground Reaction Forces, GRFs, are exactly that; the reaction forces that are applied in the ground from the forces and torques that the golfer generates in their golf swing.
    If you understand and are able to measure the forces that are applied to the ground through the feet you will better understand what is happening within your golf swing.
    If your golf swing is good then you should forget about “Using the Ground” because the ground forces are reaction forces. You can’t get extra power from GRFs because they ARE the forces that you generate in your golfswing, nothing more.

  2. Tumba

    Jan 30, 2018 at 4:44 pm

    Activate the glutes

    • Ed

      Jan 31, 2018 at 12:54 pm

      To activate the glutes requires a neuro-muscular signal from your brainlet. It’s all programmed in the brainlet.
      The golfswing involves big muscles. There is no ‘muscle memory’ because big muscles have an IQ of about 4. Big muscles are stupid muscles and inherently clumsy.

      • Joe

        Feb 1, 2018 at 8:48 am

        you guys have come up with a bunch of BS like band-aid fixes in the golf magazines. You do leverage the ground for more power. Just like the bad instruction that teachers say “be in a athletic stance” be ready to move. Hog wash!! You use you glutes when you load into your left side and then back to the right side.

        • OB

          Feb 1, 2018 at 11:24 am

          But you also use your leg quads to stabilize your legs, perhaps moreso than the glutes. Many golfers have big glutes but their legs are weak and useless because they can’t lunge laterally from the left to the right side (for RH golfers).
          Tour pros have solid muscular legs in addition to strong glutes while most rec golfers are leg deficient because of their sedentary lifestyle. Office workers do not make good golfers.

  3. Andrew Cooper

    Jan 30, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    Good stuff Lucas. “Using the ground” confuses what happens in a good swing with what you should be thinking of doing.

    • tony

      Jan 31, 2018 at 2:15 am

      … and what should you be thinking of doing…. answer that… 😛

  4. Marc

    Jan 30, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    He’s not wrong that the golf instruction world tries to find some buzz word (i.e. ground forces) to latch on and run with. For a time it’s “stack & tilt” and then it’s “one-plane”, then it’s “X-Factor”. But he shouldn’t discount the presence of it either. For me, the proper use of the ground is a result of an effective sequence and motion. So, it happens anyways. You don’t need to do it on purpose.

    • tony

      Jan 31, 2018 at 2:18 am

      IOW, GRFs only happen if you generate GF&Ts in your body… 😎

    • Andrew Cooper

      Jan 31, 2018 at 2:57 am

      Think of whatever works for you. But you should never have to think of “using the ground”-anyone with any athletic sense will do that naturally, as they would do in any throwing or hitting athletic motion. The kinetic chain is hard-wired into us.

      • Ed

        Jan 31, 2018 at 12:46 pm

        Suggest you do a Wiki search on “open” and “closed” kinetic chains …. and then apply it to the golf swing and GRFs. Wald should also learn about the kinetic chains and GRFs to better understand the science because his interpretations are erroneous.

        • Andrew Cooper

          Jan 31, 2018 at 3:32 pm

          Ed, understanding the kinetic sequence is a starting point, but the bigger question is what should a golfer be thinking of doing to make that good sequence show up? “Using the ground” obviously and measurably happens, but it’s questionable whether a golfer could or should consciously try to do it, keeping in mind the fraction of a second that it takes to move the club from the top of the backswing to impact.

          • Ed

            Jan 31, 2018 at 7:09 pm

            Of course golfers shouldn’t try to consciously sense the forces their feet/shoes apply to the ground when playing. However, it should be part of their practice routine and quantified on force plates to ensure their force patterns are consistent and appropriate. Force plate GRFs reveal how and when you generate forces within your body; forces that are ALL resolved into the ground as GRFs. Force diagrams and numbers reveal everything. “Feel” only reveals “feeelings” and feeelings are emotions. Are you an emoticon golfer? 😉

            • Regis

              Feb 1, 2018 at 5:39 am

              But realistically probably less than 1% of avid golfers have access to force plate training and probably less than 10% even know what’s involved. The problem (which I think is the authors point) is that when modern teaching sets focus on using the ground it results in a practise range of golfers jumping around like mexican jumping beans. Thats true of overemphasis of any one swing ckmpknent

              • OB

                Feb 1, 2018 at 11:19 am

                But if avid golfers don’t synchronize their golf swing to their GRFs that means they have a faulty swing. Instead of seeking more distance and control from their clubs they should seek out a teacher using force plates to optimize their swing dynamics. Knowledge is power.

  5. 4right

    Jan 30, 2018 at 11:23 am

    Exactly HL… If you didn’t use ground force, it would feel like being suspended under water, or floating in air, slow and less energetic. I’m sure Mr. Ward’s points are valid, but the sequence is more important. The vast majority of us regular golfers get tossed in with the world’s best and that is not a far comparison… Top players have far more talent and god given abilities to play at that level.

  6. HeineyLite

    Jan 30, 2018 at 11:12 am

    Question? Where do they get the energy to rotate then? The ground!!!

    • tony

      Jan 31, 2018 at 2:20 am

      No… you get the energy to rotate from your brand new club head which is loaded with power… according to the advertising. I mean just look how powerful the clubs are in the hands of the tour pros. You can buy that power and feel what the pros feeel.

      • 4right

        Jan 31, 2018 at 9:48 am

        LOL

        • Nac

          Jan 31, 2018 at 12:42 pm

          So true! When you hand someone an ax to chop a tree down you do not need to tell them how to use the ground to swing the ax harder. It’s a natural move.

          • Ed

            Jan 31, 2018 at 12:50 pm

            Yes it’s natural for chopping wood but you had better synchronize your golfswing mechanics so your GRFs are proper. Somebody with a reverse pivot has faulty GRF results.
            Golf instructors are learning about GRFs from force plate technology because everything that happens dynamically in your body appears as GRFs. GRF or GTH.

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