Today I am going to discuss some of the things I have done with my golf swing, in trying to find the answer to this goofy game. This blog will only be the tip of the iceberg of all the things I have tried over the last 18 months. These are the ones that lasted more than one round and at times I thought they had some merit. One of the things that I have felt was misunderstood and taught improperly was wrist cock. Practically all instruction talks about wrist cock as a lifting motion. I think this ignores the fact that the wrists are going to roll over after impact. I tried to just let the wrists break in a back and forth motion like a slapping motion with no upward lifting of the club by the wrists. At the top of the swing this put the right palm pretty much facing the sky. My biggest problem with this is that my wrist always felt a little tight at the top of the swing. After about 2 weeks of doing this I gave up on it because it simply was not producing results. I still think the wrists are still the most misunderstood part of the golf swing and you see tremendous variations of wrist cock by the pros. You have swings like John Cook and Paul Azingers where their wrists seem very stiff and then John Daly and Phil Mickelson have big wrists cocks which makes the club go below horizontal. Another swing debate is whether the left heel should come off the ground during the backswing. Most players today keep their heel on the ground but lets face it, two of the greatest golfers of all time Bobby Jones and Jack Nicklaus raised their heels quite high at the top of their backswings. In fact, Jack Nicklaus said that the first move for him to start the downswing was to plant the left heel back on the ground. So I felt if this was a good swing thought for the great Nicklaus lets try this. Lets raise the left heel at address and keep it there doing the backswing, and plant the heel to start the downswing. By starting the left heel raised at address this solved the problem of how much to raise it during the backswing. I did this for about 6 weeks and had some great lower body action and the results seemed pretty good. But planting the left heel to start the downswing sometimes gave my swing a jarring motion and again the inconsistancy of ball striking especially on the short irons made me finally abandoned the left heel plant. Byron Nelson once said that you can not stand too close to ball. Jim Furyk may have already proved that, but I set out to see if that was really true. I played for awhile by resting the top of the grip on my left thigh at address. Then I would back off just about a quarter on an inch. I will admit I really felt cramped at address but I hit some pretty good shots with this method. Believe me you are close to the ball. I did this for about a month but again the lack of results and never getting really comfortable over the ball caused me to abandon the getting close to the ball experiment.. Things that I tried that came and went quickly, was the 10 finger grip, keeping the weight on the left heel through out the swing, keeping the right knee kicked in for the entire swing, and purposely coming over the top ala Sam Snead. In the next blog I will go into detail on the thing that I called real meat in the blog that I started doing it. This went against all golf teaching, and for awhile there I thought I was really on to something, but alas it was just swing number 287 biting the dust.
3 Replies to “The Goofy Game of Golf Searching for the Answer”
Wow Vet, that is quite a collection! I didn’t see ‘Stack and Tilt’ in there and was wondering if you gave that a shot. Seems completely untraditional but some swear by it.
Thanks and keep ’em coming!
Keeping the weight on the inside of the left heel though out the swing is essientially the stack and tilt. The stack and tilt is another system method that works for awhile but again is not for everybody. I think the stack and tilt got started because it was noticed that Hogan at the top of the swing looked like he was leaning a little to the left. Again I think Hogan’s move was more to avoid a hook which is not most golfers problem. All I can tell you that for over 40 years there is anything that I haven’t tried but the search continues.
I don’t know how some do it. A few years ago I was inadvertently stacking and tilting into a reverse pivot and it was some of the worst ball striking I have ever experienced. I share your observation about the navel leading the arms as a requirement for good contact and that is currently working for me. As you well know from your 40 years, all momentum in the ball striking aspect is fleeting and it’s just one adjustment after another. You really think there is an end to the search?