Chasing the Tiger
Uncommon golfer, common problems. The driver shots going wide to the right and the irons long and low and left.
That’s what one learns from ‘The Big Miss’ by Hank Haney, which truly should be mandatory reading for all wannabe golf instructors as well as wannabe Tiger instructors. Basically his arms would always get ‘stuck’ behind his body, as his body was too quick. That happened because at the top he was too steep and across-the-line with his club shaft and closed with his clubface.
One pro told him to snap his left knee straight to get more distance (I’d surely be sue-ing that pro, because torquing a knee as fast as Tiger does, then getting it into a fully-extended lock-out position with a rapid change of direction is a classic recipe for a torn-ACL). That pro also probably encouraged backswing width, which caused his arms to go too far away from the body during the takeaway.
Another had him practice being laid-off to prevent across-the-line, and then cock the wrists and rotate the forearms at takeaway, to prevent a shut clubface. He was also told that his head hangs back and his body drops down leading upto impact, so he should practice an Annika-like turn-of-head-to-target to prevent that.
Yet another coach, while ‘talking the talk’, and throwing out terms like ‘biomechanics’ strengthened Tiger’s grip and had him lean his shaft towards target. Everyone has seen the long, low misses to the left with the recent swing changes.
The saddest thing about all of these lessons is that all the instructors made Tiger reduce his distance in order to gain direction (which he did not do anyway!). It is a part of any golfer’s mojo to be able to hit the ball as far as possible! A good swing movement must give a golfer maximum distance, straight direction and ideal trajectory.
Bottom line. The golf swing really should not be a case of two negatives making a positive. That is to make a slicer into a hooker and an across-the-liner into a laid-off-er (new English).
Golfers are often told that they get stuck behind because their lower bodies are too quick, and their arms do not catch up in time. Actually, these golfers have all found different compensations to bring their incorrectly positioned joints back to impact correctly! A beginner golfer from similarly mis-placed joints at the top would simply come down in a straight line from the top (ie over-the-top). All compensations occur because the joints are in very opposite positions from where they need to be for correct impact.
A simple example. Where is the right upper body/trunk at address? Where is the right upper body/trunk at impact? Both times lower than the right, correct? (mainly because the right hand is lower on the club’s grip than the left). This means that if the left side/trunk is lower at the top-of-backswing, some phenomenal adjustments must be made to drop the right side down again. The same thing would apply for the shoulders, elbows, wrists and knee! Each misplaced joint needs its own re-routing during the downswing.
With the MGSS full-swing, the bottom-line requirement for Tiger (and others with the same problem) to never get stuck behind is always maintained. In a ‘traditional’ swing the body has to rotate and the arms have to lift, all at the same time, which causes a mix up of the roles of the body and arms. With the MGS, the upper-body is twisted shut at address. Now the left arm simply lifts ‘up’ (this ‘up’ is still always slightly ‘in’ because the left arm moves from the left shoulder, which is twisted ‘closed/shut’). It’s that simple. The ‘in’ of the left arm is just enough to not be ‘out’, and the club never gets stuck behind because the downswing lower-body/upper-body sequence always happens.