For the last 3 years I have been analyzing not only my own swing, but the swings of really good ball strikers. YouTube for me is a blessing. I’m trying to get a better sequence to stop the occasional “over the top move”, I started to notice something on every professionals downswing as they begin the transition. Tell me what you see or feel OR tell me I’m completely wrong. When I look from behind, matters not the player…as they wind up on the right leg post and get to the top, everything looks static for a split second, the first move down looks to me that the right elbow becomes attached to the right hip. Almost a str8 pull down move. This seems to me what is flattening their swing plane. Then unwinding of the right hip and basically holding onto the club for dear life, trusting the release because you can’t hold on any longer is causing the lag we are all striving for more yards. When Hogan said it’s the lower body… do you think that’s what he was trying to say? I could be wrong too. Like to hear some thoughts…
Sounds very “Justin Rose Drill” like. Which I can see having utility.
I will give a counterpoint to the Hogan quote you mention. He’s technically correct, I think, but the problem is (quoting heavily from Monte Scheinblum) that the lower body doesn’t lead much. Per him, it starts ~0.02 seconds ahead of the arms.
But the problem is that well-meaning golfers hear that, “fire the hips”, get out of sequence, and Bad Things Happen. The AMG guys have shown, with things like GEARS and pressure plates, that pros are already getting back on their front leg by the top of the back swing, while amateurs are still “trying to coil on that back leg.” Then they uncoil, get stuck, early extend, etc…
The solution, as shown in drills like “Broomforce”, is to drop the arms at the start of the downswing (more exactly, have the feel that you’re doing so), then fire the hips and chest in sequence. On video, the hips are still going first, but everything’s working a lot more together than before. Which is the entire point.
It’s a set of drills I tried at home the last few days, and incorporating at the range tonight in swings with results that were absolutely eye-opening. Higher velocity, solid impacts, longer flatter lowpoint section, lower launches. I’m a fan.
You will look ridiculous doing the drills. But that’s OK, you’re simply trying to teach your body a new way of moving.
I’m actually trying more out-to-in swing path to try to put the brakes on this ridiculous hooky-draw I’ve developed with the shorter irons. Like every other piece of golf instruction, I think I overdid it when.my former instructor tried to get me to hit a push-draw…
As @Jayjay mentioned above the AGM guys have some absolute gold on this topic. The idea is not to connect the elbow as that will get you stuck, rather feel like connecting the upper half of your upper arm to your side.
YouTube is a blessing for many reasons, just as the blessings, as many curse it’ll bring.
In golf swing, everything supposed to happen if you keep a few keep thoughts in practice. Make sure we don’t confuse the results from the cause.
If without getting the lower body involved first ( keep your torso still), bring your leading arm across the front of your stationary body and raise it behind your ear ( you can bend the elbow a little ), then put the trailing hand up with the leading hand as if you’re holding a gold club.
If this is difficult to do for some of us, hold a uninstalled golf grip( for light weight) or a golf club if you prefer. Bring the left arm back to in front of you ( as in address position ). What would the right arm ( elbow) do? In order to keep the hands gripped together, the right arm/elbow has to come down close to the right side of the body to keep the grip in the same position.
If you connect this move to the lower body movement. It’s the golf swing.
To understand the why? We need to go back to paying attention to what the club head is doing, and not what your arm or elbow is doing.
Eveythin, I mean everything in a golf swing is trying to keep the club head swinging as fast as one could muster and return the club face to the golf ball at a desirable angle.
Think in term of moving the club head instead of moving your elbow or other body parts.
If you look at all the golf swings ( except for maybe Moe Norman), pay attention to where the club head is during the swing. If we trace the path of the club head, it is not traveling on the same track back and forth. Simply because the movement of the lower body.
Keeping the right arm/elbow close to the core has been emphasized bu many of the instructor, but why? Most of them won’t tell us why because we don’t need to know and the explanation could in fact confuse some of us.
The secret of the right side is to store up the energy for the final snap going through the impact. Like a rubber band, if snapped before the intended release, then no energy will be transferred.
Hogan was one of the longest hitter in his time with a smaller frame of 5’8" ( advertised as 5’9" but of you compare the archived pictures with other golfers you’ll make a better conclusion ). He could power the golf ball far and long with control.
Someone estimated his driver club head speed ( 42.5") at 135 MPH. With today’s driver and golf balls, he would still be one of the longest driver on the Tour.
The understanding of the power comes from ground up and involving the whole body in motion will generate more power than the velocity of body weight shifting forward, the lags and the torso and last, the arm and the hands will propel the club head just a bit faster. Like the nitro booster for drag racing.
Hogan paid the price and learned to use everything he’s got at his disposal for a golf swing. There is no short cut.
By his own account, when he was caddying, all the caddies could practice hitting golf balls at the end of the day, and the shortest hitter will be the one to retrieving all the golf balls. Ben was the shortest in distance for a long time. Not for long, but also because of this, he had developed the draw/hook swing to get more roll out of the drive. It then took him some time to find his way to a controlled power fade.
Everything he knows about golf came from relentless hard work with determination as if it was the last thing on earth he would do.
He did not, invent the right elbow close to the body move. It was simply the most efficient way for him to deliver a more powerful swing.
The end of the story is, do not just copy the images we saw on videos. Figure out the why, and employ those we could learn from.
For cetain, some of us seniors could not copy a youthful golf swing.
What we could do, id to learn to maximize out ability ( not to leave any on the table so to speak ),
When I practice in the old days, and came upon something of concern with distance or trajectory, I’d work on figuring out how to fix it. This was before the internet time, so no videos, very few reading material available ( some of my friends borrowed books and video tape from me and never returned them ).
Just want to add something a little easier to understand.
Find the video on Hogan’s golf swing sequence and find video of how to throw “sidearm” baseball. Watch the right side of the body. Of course, by swinging a long golf club, like a driver, the closer the right arm/elbow is to the body, the less stress will be felt on the arm and more efficient ( no wasting motion ).
The path/plane are slightly different, the concept is one of the same. In golf you throw the right side for power. The man said it himself that he wished he had 2 right arms.
I want to share this find.
As you could see for yourself, the right elbow is not tucked to the right side, but kept in front of the chest. It happened to be on the right side because of the anatomy positioning. The arms and elbows must be kept in front of the body as the address position.
From the two best golfers in the history.
Thanks for posting this! I used to teach this stuff, I’ve only recently started to break the sequence down into pieces… I’m trying to create more lag in my swing. My downswing is not as a severe downward motion as either of these guys, or Rory or Adam, or anyone! Hogan is flatter. HOWEVER… Forgetting slightly of the lower body shifting to the left leg posting… the green dots are showing a straight pull down of the right elbow to the Right Hip … Nothing else is moving… This is what i’m talking about. The gaps between red and green are almost identical. The first move is a str8 pull down or am I blind too?
First move is always the shifting of the weight weight to the leading side as evident from both golfers. Watch what they do with their leading side before starting down. Their leading leg and hip already prepared them for the quick weight shift. Rory does the same , so were most of the top players.
Going back to the top is instigated by the outside of the circle first ( e.g. club head ) coming back down is always the opposite from the ground up. Imaging the core is the center and the club head will be the most outer point of the golf swing.
It is not dropping the right elbow to the right hip. That will be too far outside of the core ( lose of power ) , it is actually dropped to the front of the right hip. Watch their elbow tip, which is in the front and attached to the inside the the right rib cage. It may seem to be dropping to the right hip, on its way. simply because of the positioning and the POV. When everything is done is sequence, more power and better directional control. Less injury.
Man I don’t know, it looks to me that at the top of their backswing, the first move is straight downward putting that elbow into place all the while maintaining width. Everything stays behind the ball, but the turn onto that front leg, you have to trust and hold on to those angles to create lag. I guess I’m just seeing it different, but the red and green dots aren’t lying in super slo-mo
No need to analyzing it to death. Everyone will interpret the same event differently. From different point of view.
Keep in mind, to achieve the goal ( to hit the golf ball as hard as one could with some degree of control), the path will be similar.
As one misleading quote people like to use over the years. Drop the right elbow to the hip. Try that. I’d bet if you drop the right elbow to the right hip, there is no way to release the club. Hands and arms have to be relatively free to move, in front of the torso. The arms just perform the lift and the drop in conjunction with the turning of the torso.
Since we have more toy for analyzing a simple golf swing. Many of us had managed to make a simple thing complicated. Sure would confuse the majority of the population out there. Which is very good for the teaching professionals. They’d love to see those who want to know everything because they can count on frequent returning visits to “tune up” their game.
Ben Hogan was self taught, Jack Nicklaus only refreshed his fundamentals every Spring with the same teacher Jack Grout ( I believe the act was out of the kindness of his heart).
Vs. when you look at a few of the young phenom ( I won’t mention names) who travels with parents, swing coach, physical therapist… who made a splash and gone forever.
It is really, not a difficult game. One just need to find it in the dirt.
I disagree with those who said, practice more with imperfection will only root the bad habits. Whoever said that only assume to travel half way done the journey and call it quits.
I give you two extreme examples, Mr. Lee Trevino and Allen Doyle.
I don’t need to repeat what’s available to reveal in a search. their golf swing speaks louder than anything.
I am working on right now an exaggerated pause and starting everything by dropping my right elbow to the hip and just holding onto that angle as i start to unwind. I’m really trying to hold that angle. It is flattening everything out. Here’s what I will tell you when the sequence is working. My normal swing speed is 93 to 97. Ball speed approaches high 130s low 140s. When I go at 90% purposely holding that angle and width and a full release, well swing speed is 108 and ball speed is 155. When I get that sequence right. Not kidding. And a lot less effort. It’s interesting
Sounds like you’re a lot more into the technical parts of the swing than I am, but I think that pause at the top is the key. It may feel like you’re just pausing, but without even thinking about it, your shifting your weight to the left, starting to turn the hips, and the arms are dropping. I’ve always done better when I’m “letting the swing happen” rather than trying to force it.
But if you’re getting than big of a jump in speed, something is definitely working.
That speed increases is only when I’m getting the sequence correct. Right now it’s still all over the board. In my youth, my swing was because of athleticism. As I got older and making poor, on the go adjustments, I lost speed and distance. I’ve since gotten better, especially since last year, but I knew there was more. Video of myself showed me I was losing width and breaking down. It’s practice and repetition for me. I gotta get certain feelings. When it executes it is really cool. When it doesn’t. I’m hitting the ground. I do let the swing happen, it happens because of repetition. I’m waiting for that light bulb moment. It’s trusting the moves and ingraining the moves. I literally feel like I’m holding on to that width for dear life. I’ve never held that angle that long. It’s going to get more natural with reps.
Bring the right arm/elbow to the front of the right hip ( camera angle will show likely to the side of the hip). It is easier to maintain the L shape lag between the shaft and the arm.
Do more exercise with your fingers and the wrist/forearm. By the old reliable way of squeezing a rubber ball while sitting in your comfort chair watching cable. Give it a few weeks to increase the strength of your fingers and wrist/forearm. You will have more acceleration through the golf ball.
Relax your grip and wrist/forearm before coming into the “hit”, this is how the better golfers have more angle showing during the lag. It’ll be impossible to hold on to that angle if one grips the golf club too tight.
Take some practice to gain confidence, but not difficult to do. Just remember not to “re-grip” while relaxing the last linkage to the golf club.
I’m sorry, I have to disagree. The issue is not with my grip or grip pressures at all. It’s learning to trust that holding on to that width I created going back will release instead of me breaking down that angle, I’m teaching my brain to do something it’s not used to doing from years of adjusting due to pain.
I was working on it last nite. The first move is a drop of the right elbow straight down to the hip with a pronation of the left wrist and it feels like my right hand is palm up holding a cocktail tray. Look at the 3:39 spot on that video above. The green dot for transition appears at top of the backswing and it’s a drop down, it’s a split sec before the green dot of the hip transitioning. Hold on to the width, you are kinda flattening the swing. As you unwind, and still hold that angle (this is where I’m saying I’m holding on for dear life) right knee is heading towards the ball, the hip is unwinding and the right shoulder is coming down to about a 52-55 degree angle and then just let it go. It’s like a whip. And I’m not trying to hit the ball, I’m unwinding with no effort. That is why I think it appears the right elbow is in front of the right hip … it’s not… when it is you are hitting pull snap hooks. I hit 2 dozen balls putting the right elbow in front of the R hip and missed the damn net. When it is done correctly, the club feels like it’s going out to the right, but it’s actually going right down the line— full extension is happening just after impact about left knee high. There is no doubt about it. Just so you know this is happening in less than a second. I hit 200 balls last nite and it’s getting better. When I did this correctly I was hitting a tight fade, SS avg of 105, BS of 148 and Distance was pumped out to 278-285. That is incredible for me now.
You’ve probably already seen this, but check YouTube for the ‘pump drill’. Sounds like this is similar to what you’re working on.
Yes Thank you. That is part of it. I’m working on the sequence. It’s like trying to find that trigger to start the downswing. Every single great ball striker I’ve seen on YouTube…every one of them and it is like at blinding speed, the downswing starts with the elbow pulling down, the hip starts to unwind, then the push off the ground. boom, boom, boom… I had/have a tendency to start the move with my right shoulder… that’s the over the top move. Then I proceed to throw the club… I mean I can still hit it 240-250 doing that… I’m losing power though. I’m retraining myself NOT to be afraid of holding on to the angle I created in my backswing. IT’s MENTAL, For me, I want to be able to do this without thinking about it. I tried several different things. The great ball strikers are pulling that club down (maybe 3-4 inches), the shoulder aren’t moving at all. The angle is created at the top of that backswing. Look above in the vid Dew posted 3:39 mark… the club moves downward, the hips then start to unwind and the push off the ground goes…in that sequence.! I’m not trying to swing like them…I’m trying to sequence what I got to their sequence of events…if that makes sense.
As long as you could, point the butt end of the grip to the golf ball, there is your swing plane. Shorter person will have a flatter swing plane. Same as the shorter clubs will have a steeper swing plane, and the driver will have a flatter plane.
This game is whatever works for you, the idea is not to be mirror image of someone else. A few major winners disappeared from the competition after they tried to revamp their golf swing to near perfection. The move perfected showing them the door.
I would say, it is great that you have continue trying to find a way to better your golf game. Sometimes the answer is simple and right in front of your eyes.
A feel I’ve been taught, first by my instructor, then again watching Monte’s series of videos, is “to keep my shoulders closed as long as possible.” But move the arms/hands.
Yes, yes, yes---- that is the feeling. It’s not what is happening… BUT you feel the shoulders are staying static. I know this is sounding stupid. The right elbow is moving downward, the hips begin to unwind, the Left shoulder and hip are moving upward. It has to be an ingrained muscle memory move for me, Coming over the top is a bad move, that’s what my brain is telling me…"YOU’RE NOT GOING TO HIT THIS BALL HOLDING ON… so I am ending up alot of times throwing the club at the ball. If you look at ball position of these great ball strikers…everything until the finish is behind the ball… the weight shift is actually upwards and to a solid posted left leg.