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Confusion around release angles and force


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#1 Matadorb32

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 08:16 AM

Hi All,

I’m working hard on building a more fundamental, repeatable swing so I can quit focusing on playing "swing" and actually start playing golf. However, my elementary understanding of physics and angles is causing a lot of mental hiccups. I believe that a lot of my understanding is off base and guided by some misunderstandings or illusions.

I’m having a hard time understanding the release and what the ideal angle is between the arms/shaft at impact. My understanding of what is correct is that the club should be something like 145 degrees in relation to your arms at impact. My confusion: isn’t the force of whipping the club trying to make that angle closer to 180 degrees?

Currently I'm struggling with lifting the handle at impact in order to achieve this incorrect 180 degrees at impact that my mind is telling itself is what is "ideal." I'm thinking "swing in to out for a draw" and just getting weak pushes, or the toe is catching and jamming my wrist around, lead wrist is actually in some pain right now because of this.

The other day at the park, I took a sand wedge and was focusing on the "toe up to toe up" drill and had the most insanely accurate chipping/pitching i've ever experienced. I could not hit the ball wrong, distance control was on point and dispersion was tight. I wasn't thinking "swing in to out" or anything other than get the toe pointing straight up in the backswing and straight up in the follow through. It was silly, but i can't seem to replicate that feel throughout the bag for some reason.

So further on what I believe to be considered ideal:
1. Your hands hold the club out at 135 degrees at address
2. backswing takes the club back to the top and your wrist set at maybe 90-110 degrees
3. club comes down holding that c0cked angle until you release after/through the ball
4. you release your club to like 150 degrees, your unc0cked, nowhere close to a parallel line between shaft/arms

Anyone have any insights as to why I'm struggling with this?


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#2 dlygrisse

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 08:21 AM

Paralysis by analysis?
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#3 Matadorb32

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 08:28 AM

Yes, definitely something I'm suffering from ha.

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#4 Socrates

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 08:36 AM

View PostMatadorb32, on 15 May 2018 - 08:16 AM, said:

Hi All,

I’m working hard on building a more fundamental, repeatable swing so I can quit focusing on playing "swing" and actually start playing golf. However, my elementary understanding of physics and angles is causing a lot of mental hiccups. I believe that a lot of my understanding is off base and guided by some misunderstandings or illusions.

I’m having a hard time understanding the release and what the ideal angle is between the arms/shaft at impact. My understanding of what is correct is that the club should be something like 145 degrees in relation to your arms at impact. My confusion: isn’t the force of whipping the club trying to make that angle closer to 180 degrees?

Currently I'm struggling with lifting the handle at impact in order to achieve this incorrect 180 degrees at impact that my mind is telling itself is what is "ideal." I'm thinking "swing in to out for a draw" and just getting weak pushes, or the toe is catching and jamming my wrist around, lead wrist is actually in some pain right now because of this.

The other day at the park, I took a sand wedge and was focusing on the "toe up to toe up" drill and had the most insanely accurate chipping/pitching i've ever experienced. I could not hit the ball wrong, distance control was on point and dispersion was tight. I wasn't thinking "swing in to out" or anything other than get the toe pointing straight up in the backswing and straight up in the follow through. It was silly, but i can't seem to replicate that feel throughout the bag for some reason.

So further on what I believe to be considered ideal:
1. Your hands hold the club out at 135 degrees at address
2. backswing takes the club back to the top and your wrist set at maybe 90-110 degrees
3. club comes down holding that c0cked angle until you release after/through the ball
4. you release your club to like 150 degrees, your unc0cked, nowhere close to a parallel line between shaft/arms

Anyone have any insights as to why I'm struggling with this?
WTF?  How does anyone get to this point?  You need to stop all of the above and just swing the golf club.  Although at this point, you might want to consider electroshock therapy to remove all this from your brain.
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#5 Matadorb32

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 09:28 AM

View PostSocrates, on 15 May 2018 - 08:36 AM, said:

View PostMatadorb32, on 15 May 2018 - 08:16 AM, said:

Hi All,

I’m working hard on building a more fundamental, repeatable swing so I can quit focusing on playing "swing" and actually start playing golf. However, my elementary understanding of physics and angles is causing a lot of mental hiccups. I believe that a lot of my understanding is off base and guided by some misunderstandings or illusions.

I’m having a hard time understanding the release and what the ideal angle is between the arms/shaft at impact. My understanding of what is correct is that the club should be something like 145 degrees in relation to your arms at impact. My confusion: isn’t the force of whipping the club trying to make that angle closer to 180 degrees?

Currently I'm struggling with lifting the handle at impact in order to achieve this incorrect 180 degrees at impact that my mind is telling itself is what is "ideal." I'm thinking "swing in to out for a draw" and just getting weak pushes, or the toe is catching and jamming my wrist around, lead wrist is actually in some pain right now because of this.

The other day at the park, I took a sand wedge and was focusing on the "toe up to toe up" drill and had the most insanely accurate chipping/pitching i've ever experienced. I could not hit the ball wrong, distance control was on point and dispersion was tight. I wasn't thinking "swing in to out" or anything other than get the toe pointing straight up in the backswing and straight up in the follow through. It was silly, but i can't seem to replicate that feel throughout the bag for some reason.

So further on what I believe to be considered ideal:
1. Your hands hold the club out at 135 degrees at address
2. backswing takes the club back to the top and your wrist set at maybe 90-110 degrees
3. club comes down holding that c0cked angle until you release after/through the ball
4. you release your club to like 150 degrees, your unc0cked, nowhere close to a parallel line between shaft/arms

Anyone have any insights as to why I'm struggling with this?
WTF?  How does anyone get to this point?  You need to stop all of the above and just swing the golf club.  Although at this point, you might want to consider electroshock therapy to remove all this from your brain.

I know... it's embarrassing. I'm hovering around an 18 handicap. I can string together a solid 5-6 pars once in a while, but I can also string together 5-6 solild double/triples once I start overthinking everything.


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#6 Socrates

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 10:15 AM

Seriously, you are thinking about things that no decent golfer is ever thinking about.  You need to stop all this and go see a golf professional who just gets you to do a few basic things in the correct sequence.  No science.  No math.  No mumbo jumbo.  Good set up.  Turn.  Turn.  Done.
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#7 KMeloney

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 10:55 AM

For the most part, you want your hands ahead of the clubhead at impact. Whatever the measure of that angle is, no one should care. Your arms should line up mostly straight with the shaft sometime after impact.

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#8 glk

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 11:23 AM

I won't get hung up on angles. But that said, the release is different than you'd intuitively think. The arms are actually extending away from your body and it's the body rotation that makes it appear that they are going down the line. Here's a seated release drill that can be eye opening for folks - most folks would swing their arms across versus extend them away from themselves.

Sit in a chair with arms in delivery position on trail knee
Screen Shot 2018-05-15 at 12.15.43 PM.png

Then extend them away from you
Screen Shot 2018-05-15 at 12.15.57 PM.png

Or from face on
Screen Shot 2018-05-15 at 12.20.53 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-05-15 at 12.21.05 PM.png

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#9 MiamiBall

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 05:26 PM

To your question about the club being forced into a 180 impact position - thatís a common issue resulting from your body rotation stalling. Your clubhead continues to travel though and that causes you to lose your wrist angle. You end up with a vertical shaft at impact which leads to all sorts of undesirable ball flights.

You need to be taught how to pivot in a way that lets your body keep rotating through impact, rather than stalling before, so the club naturally releases at the right time and gives you the forward shaft lean at impact.

All those proper angles are a product of doing other things correctly, so itís more relevant to focus on those elements which lead to proper angles throughout the swing.

Edited by MiamiBall, 15 May 2018 - 05:30 PM.


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#10 puttingmatt

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 04:16 PM

You need to find a girl, mate,
Stop over thinking positions in the swing. Trust yourself, go out to the course, on the tee. Pick a spot in the fairway. Swing. Your body will know what to do. Instinctively, your body will know what to do. Repeat this thought process until muscle memory takes over, yeah you will miss your target first time out. But stick with it. Stop over thinking and play. Your body will know what to do, its a more naturalistic approach.

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#11 bogeypro

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 12:34 AM

View PostMiamiBall, on 15 May 2018 - 05:26 PM, said:

To your question about the club being forced into a 180 impact position - that's a common issue resulting from your body rotation stalling. Your clubhead continues to travel though and that causes you to lose your wrist angle. You end up with a vertical shaft at impact which leads to all sorts of undesirable ball flights.

You need to be taught how to pivot in a way that lets your body keep rotating through impact, rather than stalling before, so the club naturally releases at the right time and gives you the forward shaft lean at impact.

All those proper angles are a product of doing other things correctly, so it's more relevant to focus on those elements which lead to proper angles throughout the swing.

miami nailed it!  google the golfing machine "the flail":  http://forums.iseekg...ail-what-is-it/
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#12 wmblake2000

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 12:34 AM

View PostMatadorb32, on 15 May 2018 - 08:16 AM, said:

Hi All,

I’m working hard on building a more fundamental, repeatable swing so I can quit focusing on playing "swing" and actually start playing golf. However, my elementary understanding of physics and angles is causing a lot of mental hiccups. I believe that a lot of my understanding is off base and guided by some misunderstandings or illusions.

I’m having a hard time understanding the release and what the ideal angle is between the arms/shaft at impact. My understanding of what is correct is that the club should be something like 145 degrees in relation to your arms at impact. My confusion: isn’t the force of whipping the club trying to make that angle closer to 180 degrees?

Currently I'm struggling with lifting the handle at impact in order to achieve this incorrect 180 degrees at impact that my mind is telling itself is what is "ideal." I'm thinking "swing in to out for a draw" and just getting weak pushes, or the toe is catching and jamming my wrist around, lead wrist is actually in some pain right now because of this.

The other day at the park, I took a sand wedge and was focusing on the "toe up to toe up" drill and had the most insanely accurate chipping/pitching i've ever experienced. I could not hit the ball wrong, distance control was on point and dispersion was tight. I wasn't thinking "swing in to out" or anything other than get the toe pointing straight up in the backswing and straight up in the follow through. It was silly, but i can't seem to replicate that feel throughout the bag for some reason.

So further on what I believe to be considered ideal:
1. Your hands hold the club out at 135 degrees at address
2. backswing takes the club back to the top and your wrist set at maybe 90-110 degrees
3. club comes down holding that c0cked angle until you release after/through the ball
4. you release your club to like 150 degrees, your unc0cked, nowhere close to a parallel line between shaft/arms

Anyone have any insights as to why I'm struggling with this?

I feel your pain,... I also want to get a really clear idea of what I am trying to do in the swing. I don't think in numbers, however, because the swing is a series of feels.  

What I want is a really clear map that I understand conceptually (here's what and why and how) that translates into some feels without any thinking, just the sensation of a motion, that maps to some objective results (I use a slo motion camera a lot).

Then I want to practice these basic feels (just a few at a time - 1 or 2 or maybe 3) a lot until they sink in.  The thing that makes this hard is it's easy to chase miracle feel after miracle feel - if you don't have some guiding principles, you can just chase your tail forever. The truth is you can hit a ball good and totally mistake why and what made it happen and not be able to repeat it after a day or two.  Feel isn't real, and not only that, but at your stage of development, the likelihood you're focusing on the most critical things is slim.  

What I'm trying to convey is, there really is a process that helps a person improve.  Golf isn't too intuitive for most people. We're really bad at self diagnosis and our theory of the swing (both what we think we believe in and what we actually, more unconsciously believe in) is usually a mish-mash of random reinforcement and superstition.  From your description, this is my guess as to where you are. I have been there, too.  It's just part of the process.

Find a good pro. Take one lesson and once you've really worked on that input, take another.  Get a good idea of what you really need to change and why.

Hope this is of some use to you. For some reason, I really relate to where I think you are...
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#13 bogeypro

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 08:43 AM

View Postwmblake2000, on 17 May 2018 - 12:34 AM, said:

View PostMatadorb32, on 15 May 2018 - 08:16 AM, said:

Hi All,

Iím working hard on building a more fundamental, repeatable swing so I can quit focusing on playing "swing" and actually start playing golf. However, my elementary understanding of physics and angles is causing a lot of mental hiccups. I believe that a lot of my understanding is off base and guided by some misunderstandings or illusions.

Iím having a hard time understanding the release and what the ideal angle is between the arms/shaft at impact. My understanding of what is correct is that the club should be something like 145 degrees in relation to your arms at impact. My confusion: isnít the force of whipping the club trying to make that angle closer to 180 degrees?

Currently I'm struggling with lifting the handle at impact in order to achieve this incorrect 180 degrees at impact that my mind is telling itself is what is "ideal." I'm thinking "swing in to out for a draw" and just getting weak pushes, or the toe is catching and jamming my wrist around, lead wrist is actually in some pain right now because of this.

The other day at the park, I took a sand wedge and was focusing on the "toe up to toe up" drill and had the most insanely accurate chipping/pitching i've ever experienced. I could not hit the ball wrong, distance control was on point and dispersion was tight. I wasn't thinking "swing in to out" or anything other than get the toe pointing straight up in the backswing and straight up in the follow through. It was silly, but i can't seem to replicate that feel throughout the bag for some reason.

So further on what I believe to be considered ideal:
1. Your hands hold the club out at 135 degrees at address
2. backswing takes the club back to the top and your wrist set at maybe 90-110 degrees
3. club comes down holding that c0cked angle until you release after/through the ball
4. you release your club to like 150 degrees, your unc0cked, nowhere close to a parallel line between shaft/arms

Anyone have any insights as to why I'm struggling with this?

I feel your pain,... I also want to get a really clear idea of what I am trying to do in the swing. I don't think in numbers, however, because the swing is a series of feels.  

What I want is a really clear map that I understand conceptually (here's what and why and how) that translates into some feels without any thinking, just the sensation of a motion, that maps to some objective results (I use a slo motion camera a lot).

Then I want to practice these basic feels (just a few at a time - 1 or 2 or maybe 3) a lot until they sink in.  The thing that makes this hard is it's easy to chase miracle feel after miracle feel - if you don't have some guiding principles, you can just chase your tail forever. The truth is you can hit a ball good and totally mistake why and what made it happen and not be able to repeat it after a day or two.  Feel isn't real, and not only that, but at your stage of development, the likelihood you're focusing on the most critical things is slim.  

What I'm trying to convey is, there really is a process that helps a person improve.  Golf isn't too intuitive for most people. We're really bad at self diagnosis and our theory of the swing (both what we think we believe in and what we actually, more unconsciously believe in) is usually a mish-mash of random reinforcement and superstition.  From your description, this is my guess as to where you are. I have been there, too.  It's just part of the process.

Find a good pro. Take one lesson and once you've really worked on that input, take another.  Get a good idea of what you really need to change and why.

Hope this is of some use to you. For some reason, I really relate to where I think you are...

Iím a believer that you learn feel from mechanics, not mechanics from feel.
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#14 ShutSteepStuck

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 08:51 AM

OP, toe up to toe up might lead to good success with a wedge b/c a short game and finesse wedge swing pattern is very very different from, almost the opposite sequence from, a mid/long iron & driver swing pattern.
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#15 parmark

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 09:30 AM

Best tip I ever got - from one of Monte's traveling circus - ONE thought backswing, ONE thought downswing.  Changed my whole game.


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#16 MountainGoat

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 09:44 AM

View PostMatadorb32, on 15 May 2018 - 08:16 AM, said:

I’m having a hard time understanding the release and what the ideal angle is between the arms/shaft at impact. My understanding of what is correct is that the club should be something like 145 degrees in relation to your arms at impact. My confusion: isn’t the force of whipping the club trying to make that angle closer to 180 degrees?


You are correct to be asking these question.  It's not paralysis by analysis.  Hardly anyone really understands release, and few can explain it because a thorough discussion requires the use of anatomical terms few people understand.  Furthermore, the explanation you'll hear from an old-school pro is likely to be far different from a younger pro.

There is a belief among some teachers that the club returns to the same position at impact that it was at address.  These teachers will have you dragging the handle of the club down and in to achieve the initial angle and to whip the club head around thru impact.  I believe this teaching to be dead wrong.  Your arms are trying to move away from your body during the downswing, and this will cause the angle between the club and your arms to be straighter than it was at address.  To try and prevent this is to try to unnaturally manipulate the club thru impact.  You're much better off simply keeping a light grip and letting nature take it's course.  If you swing a bit to the outside, the wrists will do exactly what they need to do without any other help from you.  You don't need to force anything; in fact, forcing the issue is counter-productive.

Edited by MountainGoat, 17 May 2018 - 09:53 AM.


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#17 yellowballs

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 10:00 AM

The photos in post #8 were eye opening to me.  Like another "arm swing illusion" in the downswing.

Edited by yellowballs, 17 May 2018 - 10:01 AM.


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#18 dbleag

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 10:07 AM

View Postparmark, on 17 May 2018 - 09:30 AM, said:

Best tip I ever got - from one of Monte's traveling circus - ONE thought backswing, ONE thought downswing.  Changed my whole game.

Sounds good, but you obviously never tried the Club Pro Guy's "747" method.  

He teaches 7 individual swing thoughts for the backswing, 4 thoughts for the transition and 7 individual swing thoughts for the downswing.

He hopes to be a big hit with his new method.

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#19 Jim Waldron

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 10:16 AM

View Postwmblake2000, on 17 May 2018 - 12:34 AM, said:

View PostMatadorb32, on 15 May 2018 - 08:16 AM, said:

Hi All,

I’m working hard on building a more fundamental, repeatable swing so I can quit focusing on playing "swing" and actually start playing golf. However, my elementary understanding of physics and angles is causing a lot of mental hiccups. I believe that a lot of my understanding is off base and guided by some misunderstandings or illusions.

I’m having a hard time understanding the release and what the ideal angle is between the arms/shaft at impact. My understanding of what is correct is that the club should be something like 145 degrees in relation to your arms at impact. My confusion: isn’t the force of whipping the club trying to make that angle closer to 180 degrees?

Currently I'm struggling with lifting the handle at impact in order to achieve this incorrect 180 degrees at impact that my mind is telling itself is what is "ideal." I'm thinking "swing in to out for a draw" and just getting weak pushes, or the toe is catching and jamming my wrist around, lead wrist is actually in some pain right now because of this.

The other day at the park, I took a sand wedge and was focusing on the "toe up to toe up" drill and had the most insanely accurate chipping/pitching i've ever experienced. I could not hit the ball wrong, distance control was on point and dispersion was tight. I wasn't thinking "swing in to out" or anything other than get the toe pointing straight up in the backswing and straight up in the follow through. It was silly, but i can't seem to replicate that feel throughout the bag for some reason.

So further on what I believe to be considered ideal:
1. Your hands hold the club out at 135 degrees at address
2. backswing takes the club back to the top and your wrist set at maybe 90-110 degrees
3. club comes down holding that c0cked angle until you release after/through the ball
4. you release your club to like 150 degrees, your unc0cked, nowhere close to a parallel line between shaft/arms

Anyone have any insights as to why I'm struggling with this?

I feel your pain,... I also want to get a really clear idea of what I am trying to do in the swing. I don't think in numbers, however, because the swing is a series of feels.  

What I want is a really clear map that I understand conceptually (here's what and why and how) that translates into some feels without any thinking, just the sensation of a motion, that maps to some objective results (I use a slo motion camera a lot).

Then I want to practice these basic feels (just a few at a time - 1 or 2 or maybe 3) a lot until they sink in.  The thing that makes this hard is it's easy to chase miracle feel after miracle feel - if you don't have some guiding principles, you can just chase your tail forever. The truth is you can hit a ball good and totally mistake why and what made it happen and not be able to repeat it after a day or two.  Feel isn't real, and not only that, but at your stage of development, the likelihood you're focusing on the most critical things is slim.  

What I'm trying to convey is, there really is a process that helps a person improve.  Golf isn't too intuitive for most people. We're really bad at self diagnosis and our theory of the swing (both what we think we believe in and what we actually, more unconsciously believe in) is usually a mish-mash of random reinforcement and superstition.  From your description, this is my guess as to where you are. I have been there, too.  It's just part of the process.

Find a good pro. Take one lesson and once you've really worked on that input, take another.  Get a good idea of what you really need to change and why.

Hope this is of some use to you. For some reason, I really relate to where I think you are...

Brilliant post, W!

I would go a step further to the OP.  You are suffering from a very strong case of what I call "contamination" a kind of mild neurosis that most golfers also suffer from, to varying degrees. It is one of the first things I look for when working for the first time with a new student. Contamination is responsible for both a ton of bad golf shots when playing and when practicing (because it makes your body flinch, think a mild intensity yip) and for a ton of frustration when learning the golf swing.

Contamination means mainly that you are using the exact wrong mindset for the task at hand. Golf is a sport and the golf swing is an athletic motion that takes place start to finish in about 1.5 seconds. Top to impact is about 1/4 second. All the major muscles are used in this high speed athletic motion (except for the biceps).  There is lateral and rotational weight shifting happening and a ton of body parts changing their orientation in space from where you start. (extreme side bending while rotating of the trunk is just one example).

Believing that you can "think your way" to better mechanics while doing that short time interval high speed motion is superstitious nonsense - the golf equivalent to believing the sun revolves around the earth.

It's like trying to use an abacus to solve a complex math equation that only a super computer has the power to do.

You do need some basic Big Picture swing theory to get you started on your journey, but it needs to be just that- "big" non-technical concepts about what makes the ball go far, up and straight (my Six Laws of Club Motion theory for example which I can explain to a ten your old in about 15 minutes and they will "get it"), Power generation in backswing and application in forward swing, and the role of the pivot, arm motion and wrists. And all that theory does is provide some basic clarity in your mind so when you move on to the next step which is directly training the body, it will make sense to you.

The most important thing for you to understand is that learning a good golf swing - once you are past that initial swing theory stage - is a SENSORY experience and NOT an intellectual experience.

The problem is that traditionally golf has been "taught" as mainly an intellectual experience - far more than any other sport. I forgot the exact number of books devoted to intellectual theory of the golf swing in the USGA library but it is several thousand at least.

And I am talking old school teaching. Since the advent of the Internet, we are seeing an explosion of highly technical swing theory, which has made old school contamination seem mild by by comparison.

By sensory experience I mean the ability to focus your Awareness clearly on how your body and club are moving in space. In the early stages this is done using your vision while looking at your reflection in a mirror, in real time (far more effective than looking at video after the fact) while moving in slow motion. In the intermediate stages you learn how to feel your body without judgement  - just pure awareness using proprioception.  You can play golf by feel, no one can play golf by thinking, since the thinking mind cannot actually control high speed moving body parts with precision, and one reason for that is that the intellectual mind cannot keep up with the speed the body parts are moving.

I have told this kind of story here a few times but it is a good one for folks struggling with mechanics. A few years ago, I had a new student who signed up for a three day private custom golf school with me. He had been playing golf for five years, had worked with six top teachers all over the USA, and spent countless hours watching youtube instruction videos, and read over 50 books on the golf swing, and practiced beating balls on the range twice a week. He was 50 years old and in good shape fitness-wise. Here is the shocker - his average golf score was 125!  His lowest ever was 110.

And yet he continued to indulge in his contaminated mindset, thinking that somehow eventually he would find the "secret" using a new swing theory to magically transform his game.  When we met the morning of his first day, I asked him what the other teachers had recommended. It was 100% swing theory with no actual application protocols at all - zero. Meaning not one teacher had explained to him that the basic purpose of the teaching was to ingrain a new movement pattern to the level of dominant habit. And how to practice using the mirror, slow mo, feel awareness, reps, etc to ingrain that pattern.

What he "got" from them was that if he used "swing thoughts" while at the range hitting balls, somehow his body would figure out how to translate that theory into actually new and better body motion. (I wont even go into how that strategy often leads to the yips!).

I explained why and how that strategy almost always leads to some kind of failure to make the body change, or at least vastly delays success. And then we got to work on Awareness training, learning to shut off the thinking mind and turn on the feel mind, and how to let go of consciously manipulating the body and club. He improved rapidly that morning and for the next two day made remarkable progress. Got an email from him a month later saying he was shooting in the low 90's and could see how his scores would continue to come down.

19

#20 bogeypro

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 10:57 AM

View PostJim Waldron, on 17 May 2018 - 10:16 AM, said:

View Postwmblake2000, on 17 May 2018 - 12:34 AM, said:

View PostMatadorb32, on 15 May 2018 - 08:16 AM, said:

Hi All,

Iím working hard on building a more fundamental, repeatable swing so I can quit focusing on playing "swing" and actually start playing golf. However, my elementary understanding of physics and angles is causing a lot of mental hiccups. I believe that a lot of my understanding is off base and guided by some misunderstandings or illusions.

Iím having a hard time understanding the release and what the ideal angle is between the arms/shaft at impact. My understanding of what is correct is that the club should be something like 145 degrees in relation to your arms at impact. My confusion: isnít the force of whipping the club trying to make that angle closer to 180 degrees?

Currently I'm struggling with lifting the handle at impact in order to achieve this incorrect 180 degrees at impact that my mind is telling itself is what is "ideal." I'm thinking "swing in to out for a draw" and just getting weak pushes, or the toe is catching and jamming my wrist around, lead wrist is actually in some pain right now because of this.

The other day at the park, I took a sand wedge and was focusing on the "toe up to toe up" drill and had the most insanely accurate chipping/pitching i've ever experienced. I could not hit the ball wrong, distance control was on point and dispersion was tight. I wasn't thinking "swing in to out" or anything other than get the toe pointing straight up in the backswing and straight up in the follow through. It was silly, but i can't seem to replicate that feel throughout the bag for some reason.

So further on what I believe to be considered ideal:
1. Your hands hold the club out at 135 degrees at address
2. backswing takes the club back to the top and your wrist set at maybe 90-110 degrees
3. club comes down holding that c0cked angle until you release after/through the ball
4. you release your club to like 150 degrees, your unc0cked, nowhere close to a parallel line between shaft/arms

Anyone have any insights as to why I'm struggling with this?

I feel your pain,... I also want to get a really clear idea of what I am trying to do in the swing. I don't think in numbers, however, because the swing is a series of feels.  

What I want is a really clear map that I understand conceptually (here's what and why and how) that translates into some feels without any thinking, just the sensation of a motion, that maps to some objective results (I use a slo motion camera a lot).

Then I want to practice these basic feels (just a few at a time - 1 or 2 or maybe 3) a lot until they sink in.  The thing that makes this hard is it's easy to chase miracle feel after miracle feel - if you don't have some guiding principles, you can just chase your tail forever. The truth is you can hit a ball good and totally mistake why and what made it happen and not be able to repeat it after a day or two.  Feel isn't real, and not only that, but at your stage of development, the likelihood you're focusing on the most critical things is slim.  

What I'm trying to convey is, there really is a process that helps a person improve.  Golf isn't too intuitive for most people. We're really bad at self diagnosis and our theory of the swing (both what we think we believe in and what we actually, more unconsciously believe in) is usually a mish-mash of random reinforcement and superstition.  From your description, this is my guess as to where you are. I have been there, too.  It's just part of the process.

Find a good pro. Take one lesson and once you've really worked on that input, take another.  Get a good idea of what you really need to change and why.

Hope this is of some use to you. For some reason, I really relate to where I think you are...

Brilliant post, W!

I would go a step further to the OP.  You are suffering from a very strong case of what I call "contamination" a kind of mild neurosis that most golfers also suffer from, to varying degrees. It is one of the first things I look for when working for the first time with a new student. Contamination is responsible for both a ton of bad golf shots when playing and when practicing (because it makes your body flinch, think a mild intensity yip) and for a ton of frustration when learning the golf swing.

Contamination means mainly that you are using the exact wrong mindset for the task at hand. Golf is a sport and the golf swing is an athletic motion that takes place start to finish in about 1.5 seconds. Top to impact is about 1/4 second. All the major muscles are used in this high speed athletic motion (except for the biceps).  There is lateral and rotational weight shifting happening and a ton of body parts changing their orientation in space from where you start. (extreme side bending while rotating of the trunk is just one example).

Believing that you can "think your way" to better mechanics while doing that short time interval high speed motion is superstitious nonsense - the golf equivalent to believing the sun revolves around the earth.

It's like trying to use an abacus to solve a complex math equation that only a super computer has the power to do.

You do need some basic Big Picture swing theory to get you started on your journey, but it needs to be just that- "big" non-technical concepts about what makes the ball go far, up and straight (my Six Laws of Club Motion theory for example which I can explain to a ten your old in about 15 minutes and they will "get it"), Power generation in backswing and application in forward swing, and the role of the pivot, arm motion and wrists. And all that theory does is provide some basic clarity in your mind so when you move on to the next step which is directly training the body, it will make sense to you.

The most important thing for you to understand is that learning a good golf swing - once you are past that initial swing theory stage - is a SENSORY experience and NOT an intellectual experience.

The problem is that traditionally golf has been "taught" as mainly an intellectual experience - far more than any other sport. I forgot the exact number of books devoted to intellectual theory of the golf swing in the USGA library but it is several thousand at least.

And I am talking old school teaching. Since the advent of the Internet, we are seeing an explosion of highly technical swing theory, which has made old school contamination seem mild by by comparison.

By sensory experience I mean the ability to focus your Awareness clearly on how your body and club are moving in space. In the early stages this is done using your vision while looking at your reflection in a mirror, in real time (far more effective than looking at video after the fact) while moving in slow motion. In the intermediate stages you learn how to feel your body without judgement  - just pure awareness using proprioception.  You can play golf by feel, no one can play golf by thinking, since the thinking mind cannot actually control high speed moving body parts with precision, and one reason for that is that the intellectual mind cannot keep up with the speed the body parts are moving.

I have told this kind of story here a few times but it is a good one for folks struggling with mechanics. A few years ago, I had a new student who signed up for a three day private custom golf school with me. He had been playing golf for five years, had worked with six top teachers all over the USA, and spent countless hours watching youtube instruction videos, and read over 50 books on the golf swing, and practiced beating balls on the range twice a week. He was 50 years old and in good shape fitness-wise. Here is the shocker - his average golf score was 125!  His lowest ever was 110.

And yet he continued to indulge in his contaminated mindset, thinking that somehow eventually he would find the "secret" using a new swing theory to magically transform his game.  When we met the morning of his first day, I asked him what the other teachers had recommended. It was 100% swing theory with no actual application protocols at all - zero. Meaning not one teacher had explained to him that the basic purpose of the teaching was to ingrain a new movement pattern to the level of dominant habit. And how to practice using the mirror, slow mo, feel awareness, reps, etc to ingrain that pattern.

What he "got" from them was that if he used "swing thoughts" while at the range hitting balls, somehow his body would figure out how to translate that theory into actually new and better body motion. (I wont even go into how that strategy often leads to the yips!).

I explained why and how that strategy almost always leads to some kind of failure to make the body change, or at least vastly delays success. And then we got to work on Awareness training, learning to shut off the thinking mind and turn on the feel mind, and how to let go of consciously manipulating the body and club. He improved rapidly that morning and for the next two day made remarkable progress. Got an email from him a month later saying he was shooting in the low 90's and could see how his scores would continue to come down.

I have no idea what Jim just said.  

To answer the op...Iím assuming you are asking about the angle from the club to the forearm as viewed from down the line (behind) at impact.   Simple answer is that it changes depending on many factors.... how far you stand from the ball, posture, what type of release you have, what type of shot are you hitting, side hill lies, etc....  

I think you should instead be looking at face on view and determining if you are swing through impact or if you stalling and flipping (which can have that high handle effect you are talking about).

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#21 crapula

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 11:29 AM

180 degrees or the straight line is met a couple feet after impact or around 4 o clock if looking face on at a right handed golfer.


View PostMatadorb32, on 15 May 2018 - 08:16 AM, said:


3. club comes down holding that c0cked angle until you release after/through the ball


Don't hold. You actually release the angle all the way down to 4 o clock. What holds it is momentum, if your arms and hands are moving toward the target and you are trying to release they sort of negate each other.
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#22 wmblake2000

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 11:41 AM

View Postbogeypro, on 17 May 2018 - 10:57 AM, said:

View PostJim Waldron, on 17 May 2018 - 10:16 AM, said:

View Postwmblake2000, on 17 May 2018 - 12:34 AM, said:

View PostMatadorb32, on 15 May 2018 - 08:16 AM, said:

Hi All,

I'm working hard on building a more fundamental, repeatable swing so I can quit focusing on playing "swing" and actually start playing golf. However, my elementary understanding of physics and angles is causing a lot of mental hiccups. I believe that a lot of my understanding is off base and guided by some misunderstandings or illusions.

I'm having a hard time understanding the release and what the ideal angle is between the arms/shaft at impact. My understanding of what is correct is that the club should be something like 145 degrees in relation to your arms at impact. My confusion: isn't the force of whipping the club trying to make that angle closer to 180 degrees?

Currently I'm struggling with lifting the handle at impact in order to achieve this incorrect 180 degrees at impact that my mind is telling itself is what is "ideal." I'm thinking "swing in to out for a draw" and just getting weak pushes, or the toe is catching and jamming my wrist around, lead wrist is actually in some pain right now because of this.

The other day at the park, I took a sand wedge and was focusing on the "toe up to toe up" drill and had the most insanely accurate chipping/pitching i've ever experienced. I could not hit the ball wrong, distance control was on point and dispersion was tight. I wasn't thinking "swing in to out" or anything other than get the toe pointing straight up in the backswing and straight up in the follow through. It was silly, but i can't seem to replicate that feel throughout the bag for some reason.

So further on what I believe to be considered ideal:
1. Your hands hold the club out at 135 degrees at address
2. backswing takes the club back to the top and your wrist set at maybe 90-110 degrees
3. club comes down holding that c0cked angle until you release after/through the ball
4. you release your club to like 150 degrees, your unc0cked, nowhere close to a parallel line between shaft/arms

Anyone have any insights as to why I'm struggling with this?

I feel your pain,... I also want to get a really clear idea of what I am trying to do in the swing. I don't think in numbers, however, because the swing is a series of feels.  

What I want is a really clear map that I understand conceptually (here's what and why and how) that translates into some feels without any thinking, just the sensation of a motion, that maps to some objective results (I use a slo motion camera a lot).

Then I want to practice these basic feels (just a few at a time - 1 or 2 or maybe 3) a lot until they sink in.  The thing that makes this hard is it's easy to chase miracle feel after miracle feel - if you don't have some guiding principles, you can just chase your tail forever. The truth is you can hit a ball good and totally mistake why and what made it happen and not be able to repeat it after a day or two.  Feel isn't real, and not only that, but at your stage of development, the likelihood you're focusing on the most critical things is slim.  

What I'm trying to convey is, there really is a process that helps a person improve.  Golf isn't too intuitive for most people. We're really bad at self diagnosis and our theory of the swing (both what we think we believe in and what we actually, more unconsciously believe in) is usually a mish-mash of random reinforcement and superstition.  From your description, this is my guess as to where you are. I have been there, too.  It's just part of the process.

Find a good pro. Take one lesson and once you've really worked on that input, take another.  Get a good idea of what you really need to change and why.

Hope this is of some use to you. For some reason, I really relate to where I think you are...

Brilliant post, W!

I would go a step further to the OP.  You are suffering from a very strong case of what I call "contamination" a kind of mild neurosis that most golfers also suffer from, to varying degrees. It is one of the first things I look for when working for the first time with a new student. Contamination is responsible for both a ton of bad golf shots when playing and when practicing (because it makes your body flinch, think a mild intensity yip) and for a ton of frustration when learning the golf swing.

Contamination means mainly that you are using the exact wrong mindset for the task at hand. Golf is a sport and the golf swing is an athletic motion that takes place start to finish in about 1.5 seconds. Top to impact is about 1/4 second. All the major muscles are used in this high speed athletic motion (except for the biceps).  There is lateral and rotational weight shifting happening and a ton of body parts changing their orientation in space from where you start. (extreme side bending while rotating of the trunk is just one example).

Believing that you can "think your way" to better mechanics while doing that short time interval high speed motion is superstitious nonsense - the golf equivalent to believing the sun revolves around the earth.

It's like trying to use an abacus to solve a complex math equation that only a super computer has the power to do.

You do need some basic Big Picture swing theory to get you started on your journey, but it needs to be just that- "big" non-technical concepts about what makes the ball go far, up and straight (my Six Laws of Club Motion theory for example which I can explain to a ten your old in about 15 minutes and they will "get it"), Power generation in backswing and application in forward swing, and the role of the pivot, arm motion and wrists. And all that theory does is provide some basic clarity in your mind so when you move on to the next step which is directly training the body, it will make sense to you.

The most important thing for you to understand is that learning a good golf swing - once you are past that initial swing theory stage - is a SENSORY experience and NOT an intellectual experience.

The problem is that traditionally golf has been "taught" as mainly an intellectual experience - far more than any other sport. I forgot the exact number of books devoted to intellectual theory of the golf swing in the USGA library but it is several thousand at least.

And I am talking old school teaching. Since the advent of the Internet, we are seeing an explosion of highly technical swing theory, which has made old school contamination seem mild by by comparison.

By sensory experience I mean the ability to focus your Awareness clearly on how your body and club are moving in space. In the early stages this is done using your vision while looking at your reflection in a mirror, in real time (far more effective than looking at video after the fact) while moving in slow motion. In the intermediate stages you learn how to feel your body without judgement  - just pure awareness using proprioception.  You can play golf by feel, no one can play golf by thinking, since the thinking mind cannot actually control high speed moving body parts with precision, and one reason for that is that the intellectual mind cannot keep up with the speed the body parts are moving.

I have told this kind of story here a few times but it is a good one for folks struggling with mechanics. A few years ago, I had a new student who signed up for a three day private custom golf school with me. He had been playing golf for five years, had worked with six top teachers all over the USA, and spent countless hours watching youtube instruction videos, and read over 50 books on the golf swing, and practiced beating balls on the range twice a week. He was 50 years old and in good shape fitness-wise. Here is the shocker - his average golf score was 125!  His lowest ever was 110.

And yet he continued to indulge in his contaminated mindset, thinking that somehow eventually he would find the "secret" using a new swing theory to magically transform his game.  When we met the morning of his first day, I asked him what the other teachers had recommended. It was 100% swing theory with no actual application protocols at all - zero. Meaning not one teacher had explained to him that the basic purpose of the teaching was to ingrain a new movement pattern to the level of dominant habit. And how to practice using the mirror, slow mo, feel awareness, reps, etc to ingrain that pattern.

What he "got" from them was that if he used "swing thoughts" while at the range hitting balls, somehow his body would figure out how to translate that theory into actually new and better body motion. (I wont even go into how that strategy often leads to the yips!).

I explained why and how that strategy almost always leads to some kind of failure to make the body change, or at least vastly delays success. And then we got to work on Awareness training, learning to shut off the thinking mind and turn on the feel mind, and how to let go of consciously manipulating the body and club. He improved rapidly that morning and for the next two day made remarkable progress. Got an email from him a month later saying he was shooting in the low 90's and could see how his scores would continue to come down.

I have no idea what Jim just said.  

To answer the op...I'm assuming you are asking about the angle from the club to the forearm as viewed from down the line (behind) at impact.   Simple answer is that it changes depending on many factors.... how far you stand from the ball, posture, what type of release you have, what type of shot are you hitting, side hill lies, etc....  

I think you should instead be looking at face on view and determining if you are swing through impact or if you stalling and flipping (which can have that high handle effect you are talking about).

OP is an 18 index.  Your input is not appropriate to that level of golf, seems to me and his own analysis is way off in the weeds. Almost certainly there are fundamentals all along the swing path that set up poor impact conditions and what you‚Äôre pointing to are symptoms of earlier issues that cannot be corrected without other stuff first being addressed.

Edited by wmblake2000, 17 May 2018 - 12:07 PM.

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#23 Swisstrader98

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 12:10 PM

YIKES!!!

18 handicap and youíre worried about angles and degree of angles??? Crazy time.

Just hit the ball!!



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#24 WILDTHING

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 06:45 PM

Check out Shawn Clements videos to get a basic idea 'how' to swing , not 'what'  is optimally required in a golf swing. And don't just hit the ball but rather swing to meet your 'pictured task' and let the ball be part of that picture not some sole focal point. If you need expert help, find a good teacher that uses 'external focus' techniques (rather than internal body focus) and who accentuates the positives (rather than the negatives) to increase your confidence and expectation levels.

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#25 larrybud

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 10:15 PM

I'll add this:

Don't worry about the angles.  Why?  Because even if there were ideal angles which were the same for everybody (there's not), you and the vast majority of people don't know how to achieve those angles, because you need to understand cause and effect in the golf swing.  

Without knowing cause and effect, you end up building in a series of compensations which are not achievable on any kind of consistent level, and you'll never get any better.


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#26 Matadorb32

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 08:52 AM

View PostJim Waldron, on 17 May 2018 - 10:16 AM, said:

View Postwmblake2000, on 17 May 2018 - 12:34 AM, said:

View PostMatadorb32, on 15 May 2018 - 08:16 AM, said:

Hi All,

I’m working hard on building a more fundamental, repeatable swing so I can quit focusing on playing "swing" and actually start playing golf. However, my elementary understanding of physics and angles is causing a lot of mental hiccups. I believe that a lot of my understanding is off base and guided by some misunderstandings or illusions.

I’m having a hard time understanding the release and what the ideal angle is between the arms/shaft at impact. My understanding of what is correct is that the club should be something like 145 degrees in relation to your arms at impact. My confusion: isn’t the force of whipping the club trying to make that angle closer to 180 degrees?

Currently I'm struggling with lifting the handle at impact in order to achieve this incorrect 180 degrees at impact that my mind is telling itself is what is "ideal." I'm thinking "swing in to out for a draw" and just getting weak pushes, or the toe is catching and jamming my wrist around, lead wrist is actually in some pain right now because of this.

The other day at the park, I took a sand wedge and was focusing on the "toe up to toe up" drill and had the most insanely accurate chipping/pitching i've ever experienced. I could not hit the ball wrong, distance control was on point and dispersion was tight. I wasn't thinking "swing in to out" or anything other than get the toe pointing straight up in the backswing and straight up in the follow through. It was silly, but i can't seem to replicate that feel throughout the bag for some reason.

So further on what I believe to be considered ideal:
1. Your hands hold the club out at 135 degrees at address
2. backswing takes the club back to the top and your wrist set at maybe 90-110 degrees
3. club comes down holding that c0cked angle until you release after/through the ball
4. you release your club to like 150 degrees, your unc0cked, nowhere close to a parallel line between shaft/arms

Anyone have any insights as to why I'm struggling with this?

I feel your pain,... I also want to get a really clear idea of what I am trying to do in the swing. I don't think in numbers, however, because the swing is a series of feels.  

What I want is a really clear map that I understand conceptually (here's what and why and how) that translates into some feels without any thinking, just the sensation of a motion, that maps to some objective results (I use a slo motion camera a lot).

Then I want to practice these basic feels (just a few at a time - 1 or 2 or maybe 3) a lot until they sink in.  The thing that makes this hard is it's easy to chase miracle feel after miracle feel - if you don't have some guiding principles, you can just chase your tail forever. The truth is you can hit a ball good and totally mistake why and what made it happen and not be able to repeat it after a day or two.  Feel isn't real, and not only that, but at your stage of development, the likelihood you're focusing on the most critical things is slim.  

What I'm trying to convey is, there really is a process that helps a person improve.  Golf isn't too intuitive for most people. We're really bad at self diagnosis and our theory of the swing (both what we think we believe in and what we actually, more unconsciously believe in) is usually a mish-mash of random reinforcement and superstition.  From your description, this is my guess as to where you are. I have been there, too.  It's just part of the process.

Find a good pro. Take one lesson and once you've really worked on that input, take another.  Get a good idea of what you really need to change and why.

Hope this is of some use to you. For some reason, I really relate to where I think you are...

Brilliant post, W!

I would go a step further to the OP.  You are suffering from a very strong case of what I call "contamination" a kind of mild neurosis that most golfers also suffer from, to varying degrees. It is one of the first things I look for when working for the first time with a new student. Contamination is responsible for both a ton of bad golf shots when playing and when practicing (because it makes your body flinch, think a mild intensity yip) and for a ton of frustration when learning the golf swing.

Contamination means mainly that you are using the exact wrong mindset for the task at hand. Golf is a sport and the golf swing is an athletic motion that takes place start to finish in about 1.5 seconds. Top to impact is about 1/4 second. All the major muscles are used in this high speed athletic motion (except for the biceps).  There is lateral and rotational weight shifting happening and a ton of body parts changing their orientation in space from where you start. (extreme side bending while rotating of the trunk is just one example).

Believing that you can "think your way" to better mechanics while doing that short time interval high speed motion is superstitious nonsense - the golf equivalent to believing the sun revolves around the earth.

It's like trying to use an abacus to solve a complex math equation that only a super computer has the power to do.

You do need some basic Big Picture swing theory to get you started on your journey, but it needs to be just that- "big" non-technical concepts about what makes the ball go far, up and straight (my Six Laws of Club Motion theory for example which I can explain to a ten your old in about 15 minutes and they will "get it"), Power generation in backswing and application in forward swing, and the role of the pivot, arm motion and wrists. And all that theory does is provide some basic clarity in your mind so when you move on to the next step which is directly training the body, it will make sense to you.

The most important thing for you to understand is that learning a good golf swing - once you are past that initial swing theory stage - is a SENSORY experience and NOT an intellectual experience.

The problem is that traditionally golf has been "taught" as mainly an intellectual experience - far more than any other sport. I forgot the exact number of books devoted to intellectual theory of the golf swing in the USGA library but it is several thousand at least.

And I am talking old school teaching. Since the advent of the Internet, we are seeing an explosion of highly technical swing theory, which has made old school contamination seem mild by by comparison.

By sensory experience I mean the ability to focus your Awareness clearly on how your body and club are moving in space. In the early stages this is done using your vision while looking at your reflection in a mirror, in real time (far more effective than looking at video after the fact) while moving in slow motion. In the intermediate stages you learn how to feel your body without judgement  - just pure awareness using proprioception.  You can play golf by feel, no one can play golf by thinking, since the thinking mind cannot actually control high speed moving body parts with precision, and one reason for that is that the intellectual mind cannot keep up with the speed the body parts are moving.

I have told this kind of story here a few times but it is a good one for folks struggling with mechanics. A few years ago, I had a new student who signed up for a three day private custom golf school with me. He had been playing golf for five years, had worked with six top teachers all over the USA, and spent countless hours watching youtube instruction videos, and read over 50 books on the golf swing, and practiced beating balls on the range twice a week. He was 50 years old and in good shape fitness-wise. Here is the shocker - his average golf score was 125!  His lowest ever was 110.

And yet he continued to indulge in his contaminated mindset, thinking that somehow eventually he would find the "secret" using a new swing theory to magically transform his game.  When we met the morning of his first day, I asked him what the other teachers had recommended. It was 100% swing theory with no actual application protocols at all - zero. Meaning not one teacher had explained to him that the basic purpose of the teaching was to ingrain a new movement pattern to the level of dominant habit. And how to practice using the mirror, slow mo, feel awareness, reps, etc to ingrain that pattern.

What he "got" from them was that if he used "swing thoughts" while at the range hitting balls, somehow his body would figure out how to translate that theory into actually new and better body motion. (I wont even go into how that strategy often leads to the yips!).

I explained why and how that strategy almost always leads to some kind of failure to make the body change, or at least vastly delays success. And then we got to work on Awareness training, learning to shut off the thinking mind and turn on the feel mind, and how to let go of consciously manipulating the body and club. He improved rapidly that morning and for the next two day made remarkable progress. Got an email from him a month later saying he was shooting in the low 90's and could see how his scores would continue to come down.


I would just like to clarify, I am definitely not so deep into my head that i'm thinking "ok, club is at 150* ... in .02 seconds it needs to be at 160* ..." Thank you to everyone so far for your thoughts. A lot of this is really resonating with me.

I am just trying to get a general idea of where things should be to make sure that I am not too far off base. I will admit that I tend to get a little too analytical, but my learning style involves seeing a finished product and then working to achieve that. Think looking at the last page of instructions when putting together a piece of furniture. I will leaf through the book and follow the steps, but I am consistently looking at the front of the box to see what the TV stand looks like once complete. In golf, my mind needs to know what is "ideal" just so I have something to base the finished product off of, but I'm having a little trouble understanding the basics, somewhere along the way I mixed some stuff up. Ultimately, I understand that I may have put the left drawer in the right drawer slot -- but at this point, I just need something to hold the TV up. I get that it won't be perfect.

I always laugh when I hit a great shot because I can reflect that I wasn't really thinking about how far back my swing was going or what my wrist angle was at p4, etc.

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#27 DaveLeeNC

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 09:56 AM

View PostMatadorb32, on 27 May 2018 - 08:52 AM, said:



I would just like to clarify, I am definitely not so deep into my head that i'm thinking "ok, club is at 150* ... in .02 seconds it needs to be at 160* ..." Thank you to everyone so far for your thoughts. A lot of this is really resonating with me.

I am just trying to get a general idea of where things should be to make sure that I am not too far off base. I will admit that I tend to get a little too analytical, but my learning style involves seeing a finished product and then working to achieve that. Think looking at the last page of instructions when putting together a piece of furniture. I will leaf through the book and follow the steps, but I am consistently looking at the front of the box to see what the TV stand looks like once complete. In golf, my mind needs to know what is "ideal" just so I have something to base the finished product off of, but I'm having a little trouble understanding the basics, somewhere along the way I mixed some stuff up. Ultimately, I understand that I may have put the left drawer in the right drawer slot -- but at this point, I just need something to hold the TV up. I get that it won't be perfect.

I always laugh when I hit a great shot because I can reflect that I wasn't really thinking about how far back my swing was going or what my wrist angle was at p4, etc.

I am hardly a qualified instructor but here is my input, FWIW. BTW, I am also an analytical guy and if I don't have an intellectual understanding of the what's and why's of what I am trying to do, that is an inhibitor for me. I will also add that, FOR ME, "just swing" is a horrible thing to do. Despite having had a 4-5 index in my younger days, my instinctive swing is a miserable, suck it inside, thing that is pretty unmanageable on the course.

1) It is hard (not impossible in all cases) to directly manage the downswing, particularly the last half of the swing. Maybe that will work for you, but the odds are against it.

2) If you have early extension to a large degree (where your shoulders/head move well away from the ball at impact vs. your address position), you can't hit the ball unless you have a much closer to 180 angle between arm and shaft than where you started. For other posters in this thread we are not talking about lag angle (best viewed from face on). We are talking about the angle between the shaft and arms that is best viewed from the rear looking down the target line.

3) Maybe I am the only one who does this, but instinctively I will take this 145 degree (or whatever it is) angle between arms and shaft and straighten in out on the backswing. It is so hard for me to manage on the course that I have played good rounds of golf where I do ALL of the arm motion and wristcock first, then pause, then turn and finish the swing. To use Jim Waldron's terminology, my arm swing illusion is quite severe.

dave

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