Connect with us

Published

on

World Long Drive competitor Eddie Fernandes has made impressive changes to his golf swing. Check out what he and I have been working on with the backswing to give him more power and consistency. These are important moves that everyone should make!

Your Reaction?
  • 4
  • LEGIT2
  • WOW1
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP6
  • OB2
  • SHANK33

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.

23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. Branson James

    Aug 12, 2018 at 4:14 pm

    A lot of criticism directed toward the left knee and the club going past parallel but it worked well for Hogan, Sneed and Nicklaus. Today’s tour pros definitely don’t use this technique but I’m not so sure that they’re swings are better

  2. max

    Jul 9, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    what shafts are those?

  3. Luke

    Jul 9, 2018 at 10:34 am

    oh my, no wonder you are now a teacher and not a touring pro. 🙂

  4. Steve Wozeniak

    Jul 8, 2018 at 7:45 pm

    Nope……nope…..NOPE……Dude, the longest hitters on tour have BOTH ELBOWS below the shoulders in the backswing, and yes the left knee MUST break towards the right to load….a given….
    High hands is one of the worst things you can say to a student, because they will DO IT and get way out of position….uh….just like this guy.

    Steve Wozeniak PGA

    • stan

      Jul 9, 2018 at 3:18 pm

      So… you subscribe to keeping the upper arms glued to the chest in the backswing … to keep the elbows below the shoulder girdle span?

  5. ogo

    Jul 8, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    Most rec golfers have little X-factor differential between hips and shoulders… they rotate their hips and shoulders in unison because the core is compromised by belly bulk and inflexibility. But good advice for low handicap rec golfers who can twist.

    • geohogan

      Jul 9, 2018 at 8:55 am

      Rick McCord explains a full shoulder turn, as a result of using feet, knees and legs to make a turn of the torso.
      No coiling, because muscles dont coil or stretch. No need for extreme flexibility because of use of feet, knees and legs.
      The source of power is turning, as Lucas says. Transmission of that rotational power to the clubhead is through the kinematic chain.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhnSInYR1lc

      • ogo

        Jul 9, 2018 at 3:00 pm

        There is coiling in the spine at the thoracic but not lumbar vertebrae. In the backswing the shoulders coils further than the hips (X-factor) and in followthru the coiling is reversed (Z-factor?). Ergo there is coiling in the torso to transmit the kinetic energy from the legs and hips upwards in the kinetic chain. Most rec golfers can’t coil and their hips and shoulders rotate in unison… ergo no power transmission.

  6. Shaaaaannnk

    Jul 8, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    Wow. This is idiotic. No way it will lead to consistency.

  7. SnT coach

    Jul 8, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    I see the power component. But I do not see any correlation to how this could lead to more consistentcy. Consistency is derived from consistently being able to repeat a motion that has less moving parts. This has a lot of moving parts… built to tilt.

    • ogo

      Jul 8, 2018 at 5:38 pm

      So where is the “power component” in this stretched out backswing? Please don’t say it’s the club shaft past parallel… 😉

  8. 3puttPar

    Jul 8, 2018 at 10:03 am

    There’s a reason the long drive guys only hit a fairway once every 8 swings. That move is crazy for the average golfer.

    Not to mention, that diving left knee during the back swing, doesn’t exists on tour (for the most part)

    • ogo

      Jul 9, 2018 at 3:22 pm

      Correct… the tour pros restrain the left knee to reduce power generation and drop the swing speed to 80-90% of potential in favor of accuracy. Desperate and gifted pros will dive the left knee inwards for those 300+ yard drives in their quest for victory and $$$$.

  9. Bob

    Jul 8, 2018 at 1:55 am

    dude look like Gumby he is so flexible… impossible for average joe. I’d suggest the Jim Venetos swing for consistency…

  10. Bob

    Jul 8, 2018 at 1:52 am

    a microphone with a wind muff is a powerful tool…

    • ogo

      Jul 9, 2018 at 3:24 pm

      … and how did you get the word “muff” past the forum swearbot filter..???

  11. bob

    Jul 7, 2018 at 10:27 pm

    Attempting that backswing will totally destabilize rec golfer attempts at golf swings.

    • ogo

      Jul 8, 2018 at 5:44 pm

      … and lose the consistency going into and during the downswing… believe it.

  12. Ccshop

    Jul 7, 2018 at 10:12 pm

    You would have to be extremely flexible for a swing like this. Exactly how I hurt my back. Long swing, not as flexible. Look at Finau and Rahm. Short swing big hitters. That who we should be studying and trying emulate.

    • ogo

      Jul 8, 2018 at 5:41 pm

      I bet you hurt your lower back in the rigid lumbar section which does not allow rotation between the vertebrae. Too much sitting does that to the spine. 😮

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Instruction

Why flaring your left foot out at address could be a big mistake

Published

on

In his book “Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf,” published in 1957, Ben Hogan recommended that golfers position their right foot at a 90-degree angle to the target line, and then position their left-foot a quarter of a turn outward at a 15-degree angle (Note: He was writing for right-handed golfers). The purpose of the left-foot foot position was to assist in the “clearing of the left hip,” which Hogan believed started his downswing.

Through this Hogan instruction book and the others he wrote through the years, there four categories that defined his advice;

  1. He accurately described what was occurring in his swing.
  2. He described a phantom move that never occurred.
  3. He described something that occurred but to a lesser degree than indicated.
  4. He inaccurately described what was happening in his swing.

As evidenced by today’s modern video, Hogan did not open up his left hip immediately as he described. This piece of advice would fall into the fourth category listed above — he inaccurately described what was happening in his swing. In reality, the first move in his downswing was a 10-12 inch shift of his left hip forward toward the target before his left hip ever turned open.

SPINNING OUT

Those amateur golfers who strictly adopted his philosophy, opening the left hip immediately, ended up“spinning out” and never getting to their left foot. The spin-out was made even worse by the 15-degree angle of the left foot Hogan offered. That said, based on Hogan’s stature in the golf world, his advice regarding the positioning of the feet was treated as if it were gospel and adopted by both players and teachers. Since that time his hip action has been debated, but the positioning of the left foot has remained unquestioned — until today.

THE FLARED FOOT POSITION

The flared position of his left foot may or may not have been of assistance in helping Hogan achieve the desired outcome in his swing. That really is not the point, but rather that over a half-century there has never been a voice that argued against the flared foot position he advocated.

The rest of the golf world accepted his advice without question. In my opinion, the left foot position advocated by Hogan has harmed countless golfers who slowly saw their swings fall apart and wondered why. His well-meaning advice was a poisoned pill, and once swallowed by golfers it served to eventually erode what was left of their left side.

DEAD WRONG

The subject of this piece is not to debate Hogan’s hip action but the piece that accompanied it, the 15-degree flare of the left foot. I’m of the opinion that it is not only wrong. Because of its toxic nature, it is DEAD WRONG.  The reason has to do with the tailbone, which determines the motion of the hips in the swing. The more the left foot opens up at address, the more the tailbone angles backward. That encourages the hips to “spin out” in the downswing, which means they have turned before the player’s weight has been allowed to move forward to their left foot and left knee.

As a consequence of the hips spinning out, players move their weight backward (toward the right foot), encouraging a swing that works out-to-in across the body. You can see this swing played out on the first tee of any public golf course on a Saturday morning.

FOOT FLARE ISSUES

The problem with the 15-degree foot flare is that it promotes, if not guarantees, the following swing issues:

In the backswing, the flared left foot:

  1. Discourages a full left- hip turn;
  2. Encourages the improper motion of the left-knee outward rather than back
  3. Reduces the degree that the torso can turn because of the restrictions placed on the left hip.

In the downswing, the flared left foot: 

  1. Promotes a “spinning out” of the left hip.
  2. Does not allow for a solid post at impact.

STRAIGHT AHEAD

In working with my students, I’ve come to the conclusion that the most advantageous position for the left foot at address is straight ahead at a 90-degree angle to the target line. The reason is not only because it encourages a positive moment of the player’s weight forward in the downswing, but it also improves the player’s chances of making a sound backswing.

THE POWER OF THE LEFT HEEL

There is an inherent advantage to placing the left-foot at a 90-degree to the target-line. It is the strongest physical position against which to hit the ball, as it provides a powerful post at impact that serves to increase both power and consistency.

JACK NICKLAUS

A number of years ago, Jack Nicklaus appeared on the cover of Golf Digest. The byline suggested that in studying Jack’s footwork, they had discovered something that up to that point was unknown. The “secret” they were describing was that after lifting his left heel in the backswing, he replanted it in the downswing with his heel closer to the target line than his toe. The intimation was that this might be a secret source of power in his swing.  This was hardly a “secret,” and something that Nicklaus was probably unaware of until it was pointed out to him, but it’s a demonstration of the fact that his natural instinct was to turn his foot inward, rather than outward, on the downswing.

THE DISCUS THROWER

The discus thrower whirls around in a circle as he prepares to throw. On the final pass, he plants his left toe slightly inward, relative to his heel, because this is the most powerful position from which to cast the discus. This position allows the thrower to draw energy from the ground while at the same time providing a strong post position from which additional torque can be applied. The point is that as the discus thrower makes the final spin in preparation for the throw, he does not turn the lead foot outward. Why? Because if it were turned outward, the potential draw of energy from the ground would be compromised.

The same is true when it comes to swinging a golf club for power, and you can test the two positions for yourself. After turning the left foot into a position that is 90 degrees to the target line, you will immediately note the ease with which you can now turn away from the target in addition to the strength of your left side post at the point of impact. Conversely, when you turn your left foot out, you will feel how it restricts your backswing and does not allow for a strong post position on the downswing.

REPAIRING YOUR SWING

Do you have trouble cutting across the ball? You might look to the position of your left foot and the action of the left hip. The first step would be to place your left foot at a 90-degree angle to the target line. The second step would be to turn you left hip around in a half circle as if tracing the inside of a barrel. The third step would be to feel that you left your left hip remains in the same position as you scissor your weight towards your left toe, and then your right heel, allowing the club to travel on the same path. The combination of these changes will encourage the club to swing in-to-out, improving the path of your swing.

Your Reaction?
  • 171
  • LEGIT12
  • WOW10
  • LOL8
  • IDHT2
  • FLOP5
  • OB6
  • SHANK177

Continue Reading

Instruction

WATCH: Over-the-top vs. over-and-through: 1 destroys a swing, 1 can save it

Published

on

This video is about OVER-AND-THROUGH, which is very different than being over-the-top. Over-and-through is a great recovery from a backswing that is not quite in the right position. Over-the-top is flat-out a full default to the ball. See how you can bridge the gap with getting your swing to deliver better to the target!

Your Reaction?
  • 2
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK7

Continue Reading

Instruction

Stop Practicing, Start Training. Part 1: The long game

Published

on

This article is co-written with Zach Parker. Zach is the former director of golf at the Gary Gilchrist and Bishop’s Gate golf academies. Zach is a golf coach, an expert in skill acquisition, and he has years of experience setting up effective training scenarios for golfers of varying abilities. 

Zach Parker

The act of working on your golf game is often referred to as practice. This is a problem, however, because the word “practice” infers repetition or rehearsal. But golf is a sport that has a constantly changing playing surface, varying conditions and mixed skill requirements. So, if we use the traditional practice model of hitting the same shot over and over again, then we have a complete mismatch between our training and the requirements of the sport. This can lead to the following frustrations

  • Grinding on the range but not improving
  • Being unable to transfer performance on range to course
  • Finding practice boring
  • Plateaus in performance

These annoyances can lead to overall disappointment at underperforming and falling short of expectations developed in practice sessions. The most likely root cause of this issue is having no structure and the wrong context to your training, mistakenly focusing on repeating the same shot over and over again. 

So let’s try shifting our approach and aim to train and not simply practice. By introducing these three key principles to your training, we can not only get better at golf, but do so a way that is more efficient and more fun too! For more detailed insight to this topic, check out the podcast that Zach recently recorded with Game Like Training Golf

Spacing

Dr. Robert Bjorks suggests that the theory of spacing dates back centuries and simply means taking some time between training or learning tasks. By spacing things out the learner is forced to try and recall what was learned in the previous session, which makes that original learning stronger. The act of remembering strengthens the retrieval process, meaning it is more accessible in the future and easier to bring about.

Variability

Performing the same task over and over can allow you to appear to have “learned” the skill however we know that this is simply a false sense of competency (good on the range, but not on the course). Therefore if you’re truly looking to “learn” the new skill or desired movement pattern you need to introduce variability to the learning environment.

Challenge Point

Challenge point theory is a relatively new concept championed by Dr. Mark Guadagnoli and Dr. Tim Lee. The central idea of this theory is to create training sessions that are appropriate for the learner. A large emphasis is placed on matching up the difficulty of the practice task to the skill level of the golfer.

Guadagnoli and Lee present the idea that a beginner golfer with a low level of skill is better off spending time on practice tasks that are easier, and in a blocked style. Whilst golfers with a higher level of skill are better off spending time in practice tasks that are slightly harder, and in an interleaved style.

Challenge point needs to reflect the ability of the individual

Practical Example

In this example we have a college golfer aiming to incorporate a particular technical move into his golf swing. He is using a GravityFit TPro to help with feedback and learning. But instead of simply bashing balls using the TPro, he has been set up with a series of stations. The stations are divided into learning and completion tasks and incorporate the principles of Spacing, Variability and Challenge Point.

The aim is to work through three stations. If at any point the completion task is failed, then the participant must return back to the start at station one.

Station 1

Learning task: Three balls with a specific focus (in this case technical), performing two or three rehearsals to increase understanding of the desired pattern.

Completion task: Must two-putt from 35-45 feet, right-to-left break

Station 2

Learning task: Perform posture drills with the TPro, followed by one learning trial (hitting a shot) where the focus in on re-creating the feelings from the TPro exercise.

Completion task: Must two-putt from 30 feet, uphill

Station 3

Learning task: Transfer previous technical feels to a target focus, aiming for two out of three balls landing inside the proximity target.

Completion task: Must make an 8-10 footer.

You can either have a go at this circuit or create your own. There are no set rules, just make sure to include a mixture of tasks (Variability) that are appropriate to your level of ability (Challenge Point) with plenty of time between repetitions (Spacing).

For more information on the featured GravityFit equipment, check out the website here

 

Your Reaction?
  • 44
  • LEGIT2
  • WOW2
  • LOL6
  • IDHT2
  • FLOP2
  • OB1
  • SHANK16

Continue Reading

Trending