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Straight right leg at the top of backswing


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#1 jordcov

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 04:54 PM

Hey all

After recently having a lesson and being recorded for the first time it came apparent, amongst other faults, that at the top of my backswing my right leg is straight and rigid.

Any drills or tips for keeping some flex in there at the top?

Thanks

Jordan


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#2 MacBooky

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 05:25 PM

Yes, get another pro and keeping straightening the right leg ...

Posted Image

Edited by MacBooky, 17 March 2011 - 05:27 PM.


#3 honketyhank

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 05:40 PM

View PostMacBooky, on 17 March 2011 - 05:25 PM, said:

Yes, get another pro and keeping straightening the right leg ...
[pics deleted, see original post]


Of the least straight right legs from the above post (great post by the way), I picked out Hogan and Nelson. But I suspect the key word is not "straight" but  "rigid". If your rear leg straightens and locks in the backswing, I think you are toast.

#4 MacBooky

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 05:59 PM

Well, not many people actually locking it, more failing at keeping it bend (for a reason) .... straightening the leg will allow the hips to keep turning therefore allowing the shoulders to keep turning

#5 MadGolfer76

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 06:54 PM

View PostMacBooky, on 17 March 2011 - 05:25 PM, said:

Yes, get another pro and keeping straightening the right leg ...

Posted Image


Not all of those are bone straight, and pant legs hide a mild bend in a few more.

Flex in the rear leg is more of a feel thing. Get in front of a mirror and make sure you are doing it right. Just hold that top position with some leg flex and repeat until it is second nature.

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#6 PreppySlapCut

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 07:54 PM

Recently, in an effort to maintain some bend, I moved to a square right foot, and a flared left foot, and that seems to provide a better platform for me.
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#7 steve_sieracki

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 08:36 PM

View PostMacBooky, on 17 March 2011 - 05:25 PM, said:

Yes, get another pro and keeping straightening the right leg ...

Posted Image



i cant stop laughing, thats the funniest post ive seen in a while!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#8 PingG10guy

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 08:43 PM

View Postjordcov, on 17 March 2011 - 04:54 PM, said:


Any drills or tips for keeping some flex in there at the top?



All of those greats have some flex in their right leg, its just the camera angle.  Best drill is done without a club and arms over your chest.  keep the head level and turn into your right leg while straightening it at the same time and youll feel the instep of your right foot take most of the weight.  Its a focus drill.  Spend time without the club before you try it on the range.  You can hurt your lower back if you just wing it...

#9 hoganfan924

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 09:13 PM

View PostMacBooky, on 17 March 2011 - 05:25 PM, said:

Yes, get another pro and keeping straightening the right leg ...

Posted Image

The more the hips turn, the more it will appear (in a DTL view) that the right leg straightens because the upper right leg is being rotated, so a DTL view doesn't tell the true picture.  The more the camera is moved towards a face-on view, the straighter the leg will appear.  If you want to get the best view of the bend in the right knee, first swing with shorts on (as the backside of the pant leg will hang straight and also create an illusion) and have the camera positioned so that it looks right down the tush line after the hips are fully turned at the top, that would be roughly a 45 deg back/DTL view, as can be seen here:

<iframe title="YouTube video player" width="480" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/L459G5vwrbU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Edited by hoganfan924, 17 March 2011 - 10:25 PM.


#10 H4CK

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 10:13 PM

View PostMacBooky, on 17 March 2011 - 05:25 PM, said:

Yes, get another pro and keeping straightening the right leg ...

Posted Image



I didn't really want to get into this as I don't know what I'm talking about. I do think it's irresponsible though that without having seen this guy's swing at all to tell him to get a new pro. Imagine if you were the pro and you lose business off of some random forum comment. Maybe this guy had a knee locking straight leg and it's one of the feels the pro left with him?

I probably would've just ignored this post but I saw Hogan as an example. Hogan was pretty adamant about keeping the right knee maintaining the same flex throughout the swing. Even with the camera illusion, he still had plenty of knee bend as does just about everyone (exception being Barber as it's hard to see) in the picture you were trying to use to prove leg straightness.

With the hips turned 45* from the DTL perspective, it gives an illusion of a straighter leg than it really is. Even if the leg does straighten a little (I'm not sure if it does), I believe the feel is that of maintaining a constant knee flex. The picture below is of Palmer. It certainly doesn't look as if straightens as much from face on as it does from DTL.

Whether or not the legs straighten, the collage of photos proving a straight leg proved otherwise to me. Again, please do not be so free to suggest that people get a new pro off one sentence in the OP's post. Pretty ridiculous.

OP, check page 75 of Ben Hogan's Five Lessons if you have it. There's a  picture of him holding a club against his right leg at the same angle as  the leg at address. This image might help you maintain knee flex  without swaying or in other words, help you turn without straightening  your leg ram rod stiff.


ArnoldPalmerSwingSeq.jpg

Edited by H4CK, 24 March 2011 - 12:16 PM.


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#11 mvmac

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 11:32 PM

Losing flex in the right knee is a GOOD thing.  Allows the hips to turn on a slant, arms to gain depth, right hip to gain depth.  If you kept the right knee 100% flexed, it would be very hard to turn properly.  Played with this guy today, great guy and former touring pro.  Said he always tried to keep the knee flexed and it never worked out.  Now in his late 40's and hitting it 300, check out his right knee.  IMO his back swing with the knees and hips are textbook, like all those major winners Macbooky posted



#12 mvmac

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 11:32 PM

Jorcov, does your right knee look similar to these swings?  Are your hips turning steep enough like Graeme and Stricker or are they leveling out?





#13 H4CK

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 11:43 PM

View Postmvmac, on 17 March 2011 - 11:32 PM, said:

Losing flex in the right knee is a GOOD thing.  Allows the hips to turn on a slant, arms to gain depth, right hip to gain depth.  If you kept the right knee 100% flexed, it would be very hard to turn properly.  Played with this guy today, great guy and former touring pro.  Said he always tried to keep the knee flexed and it never worked out.  Now in his late 40's and hitting it 300, check out his right knee.  IMO his back swing with the knees and hips are textbook, like all those major winners Macbooky posted

Hey mvmac, I have a sincere question. If losing knee flex is a good thing, why have too much of it to begin with? Why not just setup with the appropriate knee flex? What is your take on a locked right leg?

Edited by H4CK, 17 March 2011 - 11:43 PM.


#14 mvmac

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 12:39 AM

View PostH4CK, on 17 March 2011 - 11:43 PM, said:

View Postmvmac, on 17 March 2011 - 11:32 PM, said:

Losing flex in the right knee is a GOOD thing.  Allows the hips to turn on a slant, arms to gain depth, right hip to gain depth.  If you kept the right knee 100% flexed, it would be very hard to turn properly.  Played with this guy today, great guy and former touring pro.  Said he always tried to keep the knee flexed and it never worked out.  Now in his late 40's and hitting it 300, check out his right knee.  IMO his back swing with the knees and hips are textbook, like all those major winners Macbooky posted

Hey mvmac, I have a sincere question. If losing knee flex is a good thing, why have too much of it to begin with? Why not just setup with the appropriate knee flex? What is your take on a locked right leg?

Great question.  Just to clarify, when guys say straight or straightens they do not mean locked.  You could definitely set-up with it mostly straight, Steve Elkington felt like he did this in the 2005 PGA.  His hips were turning too level and to get the feeling for the proper hip slant he did this drill and decided to take it to the the course.  Played well too.

So, why don't we set-up this way?  Because it might look weird?  Steve, Dana or iteach would be better equipped to answer but I'll give it a shot.  It's due to the motion being dynamic and using the ground for power.  For simplicity, right knee goes from flexed, to straight, back to flexed and then straight again.  Again when I say straight I am not saying locked, it loses some flexion.  Check out how Martin Kaymer returns his right knee back to address flex during the downswing.  He is doing this to press into the ground and so he can stand up.  

Martin Kaymer P4-P5.jpg


Kaymer P5-P8.jpg


#15 freshprince99

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 02:06 AM

here is the thing i dont understand about threads like this. there are many ways to swing a golf club, and there are conventional systems that teach people to maintain flex in the right knee on the backswing because it suits the rest of the fundamentals that that particular school of thought prescribes. for example, you may have an instructor who teaches some movement off of the ball on the backswing who says it is imparative that you do not straighten your leg on the backswing because in that particular system it will likely cause a reverse pivot, or at the very least some kind of hang back. then there is the stack and tilt system which prescribes straightening the leg on the backswing because it promotes more turn and since you didnt move off the ball anyway and are going to move forward aggressively it promotes good things within the swing.

thats where i dont understand things like "get a new pro". this guys pro could be teaching him just about anything, and he might be very good at it. so i dont really understand why you would tell him to implement one stack and tilt fundamental when you dont know what kind of effect that is going to have on the rest of his swing. i guess my question to people like macbooky and mvmac is do you believe that you can take one aspect of your system and throw it into any swing and expect it to work out well? because i see what you do as a combination of things that when you put them together produces the desired result.

not an attack, just a question because i want to see what you guys have to say. Posted Image


#16 isaacbm

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 02:09 AM

View PostMacBooky, on 17 March 2011 - 05:25 PM, said:

Yes, get another pro and keeping straightening the right leg ...

Posted Image



I've never understood why people use this pic to proove that straightening the right leg is a good thing.  First of all,  You can't see where these players are at address,  secondly,  the angle of the camera doesn't show the best view of what the leg would be doing and thirdly,  quite frankly,  every single one of these players has some degree of bend in their right leg.

All athletic moves come from a relaxed slightly bent position.  Imagine shooting a basket ball with straight legs,  or throwing a punch, or swinging a bat, tenis racket, or even a sword.

The notion that you should have a straight leg is ridiculous!!  

Maybe you mean to say that it's ok if the leg straightens slightly in the back swing but to say that it's straight is totally misleading!

#17 isaacbm

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 02:15 AM

View Postfreshprince99, on 18 March 2011 - 02:06 AM, said:

here is the thing i dont understand about threads like this. there are many ways to swing a golf club, and there are conventional systems that teach people to maintain flex in the right knee on the backswing because it suits the rest of the fundamentals that that particular school of thought prescribes. for example, you may have an instructor who teaches some movement off of the ball on the backswing who says it is imparative that you do not straighten your leg on the backswing because in that particular system it will likely cause a reverse pivot, or at the very least some kind of hang back. then there is the stack and tilt system which prescribes straightening the leg on the backswing because it promotes more turn and since you didnt move off the ball anyway and are going to move forward aggressively it promotes good things within the swing.

thats where i dont understand things like "get a new pro". this guys pro could be teaching him just about anything, and he might be very good at it. so i dont really understand why you would tell him to implement one stack and tilt fundamental when you dont know what kind of effect that is going to have on the rest of his swing. i guess my question to people like macbooky and mvmac is do you believe that you can take one aspect of your system and throw it into any swing and expect it to work out well? because i see what you do as a combination of things that when you put them together produces the desired result.

not an attack, just a question because i want to see what you guys have to say. Posted Image

ONe of the best posts of the year!  And especially coming from Prince who is not being confrontational for a change!  Just kidding prince!

Seriously,  I want to hear the answer to because I have no idea what to expect....

#18 MacBooky

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 03:34 AM

A straight or 'rigid' right is not a sign of a bad backswing ...... there is a reason for it straightening .... it being straightened out completely does in no way mean that it will not bend again during the downswing.

OP doesn't describe why he needs more flex .... just that he does ..... he is also asking for drills on a forum, so let me be nice and ask

"why does you pro want your knee to be flexed more"

#19 jordcov

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 03:45 AM

Wow guys! Some great great posts and thanks everyone for their imput!

As i'm at work I'm gonna have to wait until lunch to answer some questions and see if i can get a vid posted too or at least a link to one for you all.

#20 cbrian

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 08:33 AM

While we are asking questions, can someone explain to me how the right hip can get farther away from the right foot and have the right knee maintain the same flex? That just doesn't make much sense in my brain....


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#21 mvmac

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 09:42 AM

View Postfreshprince99, on 18 March 2011 - 02:06 AM, said:

i guess my question to people like macbooky and mvmac is do you believe that you can take one aspect of your system and throw it into any swing and expect it to work out well? because i see what you do as a combination of things that when you put them together produces the desired result.

not an attack, just a question because i want to see what you guys have to say. Posted Image

Losing flexion in the rear knee is not a S&T fundamental, imo it is an important component seen in effective golf swings, one that S&T prescribes.  Kinda cool video



freshprince, good question and that's why in my last post I asked the OP some questions.  Important thing is that the hips are not leveling out and that they turn on a slant. and the rear hips gains depth.

Edited by mvmac, 18 March 2011 - 09:51 AM.


#22 hoganfan924

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 10:10 AM

View Postmvmac, on 18 March 2011 - 09:42 AM, said:

View Postfreshprince99, on 18 March 2011 - 02:06 AM, said:

i guess my question to people like macbooky and mvmac is do you believe that you can take one aspect of your system and throw it into any swing and expect it to work out well? because i see what you do as a combination of things that when you put them together produces the desired result.

not an attack, just a question because i want to see what you guys have to say. Posted Image

Losing flexion in the rear knee is not a S&T fundamental, imo it is an important component seen in effective golf swings, one that S&T prescribes.  Kinda cool video



freshprince, good question and that's why in my last post I asked the OP some questions.  Important thing is that the hips are not leveling out and that they turn on a slant. and the rear hips gains depth.

I think we can all agree that many great players lose some right knee flexion in backswing, however, there are also great ballstrikers who do not, such as Sergio Garcia.  There are also many Hogan swing videos out there where he doesn't lose flexion either, and he specifically addressed this in Power Golf.  Getting a lot of hip slant and straightening the right leg may be prescribed by S&T, but it's not the only way.  IMO, there's another way that I believe is just as, if not more effective, but the S&T guys are blind to it because:

1. It's not part of their paradigm
2. They don't know how to do it or integrate it into an effective motion

I find it interesting that the S&T crew like to use video of Sergio to illustrate the S&T spine model, but then ignore his hip pivot.

IMO, if you completely straighten the right leg (which O'grady told me face to face was acceptable) in the backswing, you've "run out of right leg" and give up most of the power that can be provided by right leg in the transition.

Bottom line is that I think it's very bad advice to tell the OP to seek another instructor when you have no idea why his instructor believes that maintaining flex in the right knee is important.  Perhaps maintaining flex is and important component of HIS swing model and clearly demonstrated by many effective golf swings.

#23 mvmac

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 10:49 AM

Don't ignore Sergio's hip pivot at all, Andy and Mike love it, right hip gets higher than the left and turns on a slant.  He just doesn't straighten the leg very much, like I said in my last post, " Important thing is that the hips are not leveling out and that they turn on a slant. and the rear hips gains depth."  Sergio does this well.  But it's a lot easier to get these components by allowing to rear leg to lose flexion.

#24 hillrat0917

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 11:15 AM

if I don't clear out my right hip or have the feeling of being stuck then it is usually due to 'locking' my knee into a flex position which then makes me unable to turn into my right side.

#25 mvmac

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 11:17 AM

Red line represents right knee at address and blue line is where it is at the top of bs.  Just showing that is loses flex but not locking. Rear hips turning on an incline.  I am just sharing information, not trying to prove anyone wrong.  Good to hear others opinions.

Charlie and Grant, regarded as the models for S&T, not even close to straight, but in the act of straightening, knees will return to address flex and then straighten again. Charlie and Grant right knee.jpg

DJ and Bubba right knee.jpg


#26 carrera

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 11:26 AM

Funny that Lema doesn't come close to straightening up his left knee on the slo-mo swing.  I guess this just reaffirms that sometimes things don't need to be taken literally.

#27 freshprince99

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 02:18 PM

View Postmvmac, on 18 March 2011 - 11:17 AM, said:

Red line represents right knee at address and blue line is where it is at the top of bs.  Just showing that is loses flex but not locking. Rear hips turning on an incline.  I am just sharing information, not trying to prove anyone wrong.  Good to hear others opinions.

Charlie and Grant, regarded as the models for S&T, not even close to straight, but in the act of straightening, knees will return to address flex and then straighten again. Attachment Charlie and Grant right knee.jpg

Attachment DJ and Bubba right knee.jpg


so basically what you are saying is that the right knee (for a right hander) will lose some flexion to accomodate the act of turning, but the idea of the right knee straightening in all swings universally is not the desired result? because that makes a whole lot of sense to me, although i come from the school of thought that you want to aspire to maintain some flex in the right knee i understand that some losing of flexion will occur.

good posts!

#28 stevesnis

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 02:27 PM

I think the problem word here is "straighten."  You can take it many different ways.  If you tell someone to  "straighten your right leg", that could mean you want it completely straight, OR it could mean that you want it to be straightened a bit from when it was flexed at address.  IMO Mike & Andy could have described that a bit better.

They clearly want the right leg to straighten a bit during the backswing.  Not lock out completely straight, but straighten as compared to the original knee flex at address.  It is that act of straightening the leg (losing some flex) which allows the hip to turn.

At least that's how I've interpreted it.

#29 freshprince99

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 02:32 PM

View Poststevesnis, on 18 March 2011 - 02:27 PM, said:

I think the problem word here is "straighten."  You can take it many different ways.  If you tell someone to  "straighten your right leg", that could mean you want it completely straight, OR it could mean that you want it to be straightened a bit from when it was flexed at address.  IMO Mike & Andy could have described that a bit better.

They clearly want the right leg to straighten a bit during the backswing.  Not lock out completely straight, but straighten as compared to the original knee flex at address.  It is that act of straightening the leg (losing some flex) which allows the hip to turn.

At least that's how I've interpreted it.

i think mvmac's use of "losing flex" is a better term, it certainly makes more sense to me.

#30 PingG10guy

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 02:54 PM

View Postcbrian, on 18 March 2011 - 08:33 AM, said:

While we are asking questions, can someone explain to me how the right hip can get farther away from the right foot and have the right knee maintain the same flex? That just doesn't make much sense in my brain....

I used to play with a tightly flexed right knee.  If its locked in a flexed position the knee doesnt get farther from the right foot in a vertical sense, and it forces the hips to turn on a plane parallel to the ground; which contradicts the spine tilt you have at address and twists the lumbar portion of your spine in a very un-natural way.  I used to have a lot of muscle spasms in my back from golf on a weekly basis.  After it stopped hurting I would hurt it again.  

Watching the hip action from the rear of hogan, snead, etc reveals that the right hip socket is higher at the top of the backswing then it was at address.  So the right knee looses flex but never completely locks out.

cbrian Im familiar with your posts and I understand you know all of these things.  Your comment just reminded me of the pain I used to feel from swinging a golf club.  I wish I could find the guy who posted something like "you MUST preset the flex of the right knee at address and maintain it through the swing".  I was the retard that had to try it lol


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