Blake article

Blake article

Joined: September 5th, 2004, 1:22 pm

August 15th, 2005, 12:29 pm #1

Thanks to Chris Walker and Snakedoc:





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Regards,
Bob
Lexington, Ky.
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Joined: December 23rd, 2004, 12:51 am

August 15th, 2005, 2:36 pm #2

Too bad there was not a golf scientist on the panel since the panel is clearly a bit short on that side of the discussion.

Do you have the remainder of the article?

Peter
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Joined: September 5th, 2004, 1:22 pm

August 15th, 2005, 5:52 pm #3

I had them in the wrong order...sorry. The entire article is there and now in the correct order.

bdog
Regards,
Bob
Lexington, Ky.
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Joined: December 23rd, 2004, 12:51 am

August 15th, 2005, 11:31 pm #4

Thanks to Chris Walker and Snakedoc:





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The pressure at impact built up on the club squeezes the hands back and they have to give a 'whiplash' action at the bottom of the swing. As hogan says, the wrists only uncock - or reflex - at impact. They're held right back until impact and then you get this explosion.

So it seems that 'reflex' for Blake is the uncocking of the wrist and this only happens at impact and, as he notes elsewhere, completely unconsciously.

Peter
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Joined: September 6th, 2004, 3:46 am

August 16th, 2005, 2:40 am #5

I think Blake was quoting Hogan in that instance. In his books Blake never mentions wrists uncocking in his 'reflex' swing. About Hogan (and Trevino) he wrote that from a point of view of the reflex technique, they could not be considered "...one hundred per cent pure." "The wrists [of Hogan and Trevino] pronate slightly so, even if only to a minor extent, there has to be a hit with the hands..."

On the other hand, in GSotF he wrote, "The energy is being stored up to be released at impact. It can be seen that the pressure of the legs must build up progressively if the the maximum energy is to be stored up in the swing for release during impact." But nothing about wrist uncocking. In GtTB, 'Through the Ball', he wrote, "The hands do not roll over, but remain in the same relationship to each other--as in the two-handed tennis backhand--while the legs drag them together through the ball. The flexed hands provide the feel of the shot." In the text with figures 18 and 19, 'Through the Ball', "The left wrist is still bowed. The right wrist is still flexed." In the same section, "However, the hands are too feeble to apply force directly and the scientific approach is to drag the club through the ball. This means you are bracing against the ground and the wrists are relaxed so that they can be used in reflex (with no conscious effort) to transmit the power of the legs to the ball and generate maximum pressure. It is essential to have the feeling that impact with the ball is a dragging movement if you are to use the legs effectively." Again, dragging but nothing about wrist uncocking. This does beg the question though, ie, if he drags the club through the ball, and there is no wrist uncocking, what did he mean by energy being 'released' at impact. Dragging suggests a continuous motion with wrists staying bowed and flexed respectively and no release. We also know that Richard Wax tries to avoid any 'release' in his swing.

Which brings up another issue of golf terminology or more precisely, golf jargon. The term 'release' is used ubiquitously by golf writers/instructors, though one is often left wondering what the heck they meant by 'release'. Jim
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Joined: August 6th, 2004, 3:03 am

August 16th, 2005, 3:04 am #6

Thanks to Chris Walker and Snakedoc:





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It keeps intriguing me that Blake, having a solid scientific background, could put forward his ideas re to his pressure through distance concept. In the article it clearly appears to be a fundamental of his method. It can be readily shown that during the very short impact duration any possible force exerted by the golfer through the shaft has negligible effect on ball departure speed.

Yet this ideas is very tenacious. Another old-timer Ike Handy also believed in a very similar concept. Clearly and repetitively stating that the slower you swing the more ball speed is generated. Others will say that one should get the body weight into the swing through impact. In TGM one refers to a slow heavy swing with everything moving at the same relative speed.

Mindy Blake and Homer Kelley probably did use the same approach - a very patient process of endless trying and experimenting with their golf swing and in the end when publicizing their findings likely adding the convenient ‘science’ bit to make it look more convincing. No calculations and/or measurements - simply opinions.

mandrin
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Joined: September 6th, 2004, 3:46 am

August 16th, 2005, 5:57 am #7

Setting aside the questionable science, which I did some time ago, a question remains: is the swing itself any good? In my opinion it is for several reasons. As I recall, when you were experimenting with Blake you called it 'a good little swing'. As you suggest, Blake did patiently develop his swing over the better part of 20 years by his own admission. Whether he then added convenient 'science' after the fact, one can only speculate. Obviously, that would constitute intellectual dishonesty, at least. He said that, from the beginning, he was trying to apply the 'more scientific' and known principles of field athletics to golf. He believed that his 'reflex' swing did just that. It does appear that his ideas were taken seriously by the golf establishment in England as demonstrated by panel discussions with such golf royalty as John Jacobs. Why golf scientists such as Cochran and Stobbs, who were his countrymen, didn't step forward to refute Blake's ideas, one can only wonder. Blake's first book was a best seller in Britain so Cochran and Stobbs would most likely have been aware of it. In my research I have not been able to find any refutation of Blake's pressure notion by scientists during the years after publication of his first book. That doesn't mean such refutation doesn't exist. Blake reiterated his pressure idea in his second book. SD
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Joined: December 23rd, 2004, 12:51 am

August 16th, 2005, 12:46 pm #8

I think Blake was quoting Hogan in that instance. In his books Blake never mentions wrists uncocking in his 'reflex' swing. About Hogan (and Trevino) he wrote that from a point of view of the reflex technique, they could not be considered "...one hundred per cent pure." "The wrists [of Hogan and Trevino] pronate slightly so, even if only to a minor extent, there has to be a hit with the hands..."

On the other hand, in GSotF he wrote, "The energy is being stored up to be released at impact. It can be seen that the pressure of the legs must build up progressively if the the maximum energy is to be stored up in the swing for release during impact." But nothing about wrist uncocking. In GtTB, 'Through the Ball', he wrote, "The hands do not roll over, but remain in the same relationship to each other--as in the two-handed tennis backhand--while the legs drag them together through the ball. The flexed hands provide the feel of the shot." In the text with figures 18 and 19, 'Through the Ball', "The left wrist is still bowed. The right wrist is still flexed." In the same section, "However, the hands are too feeble to apply force directly and the scientific approach is to drag the club through the ball. This means you are bracing against the ground and the wrists are relaxed so that they can be used in reflex (with no conscious effort) to transmit the power of the legs to the ball and generate maximum pressure. It is essential to have the feeling that impact with the ball is a dragging movement if you are to use the legs effectively." Again, dragging but nothing about wrist uncocking. This does beg the question though, ie, if he drags the club through the ball, and there is no wrist uncocking, what did he mean by energy being 'released' at impact. Dragging suggests a continuous motion with wrists staying bowed and flexed respectively and no release. We also know that Richard Wax tries to avoid any 'release' in his swing.

Which brings up another issue of golf terminology or more precisely, golf jargon. The term 'release' is used ubiquitously by golf writers/instructors, though one is often left wondering what the heck they meant by 'release'. Jim
Hogan never said 'reflex'. He also never said that the wrists only uncock AT impact.

Blake's insertion of his term to clarify his Hogan paraphrase I think is instructive and perhaps sheds a different light on his other writing. Combined with his other descriptions of 'reflex' in the article I get a much clearer picture than I did from his books.

Peter
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Joined: December 23rd, 2004, 12:51 am

August 16th, 2005, 12:59 pm #9

Setting aside the questionable science, which I did some time ago, a question remains: is the swing itself any good? In my opinion it is for several reasons. As I recall, when you were experimenting with Blake you called it 'a good little swing'. As you suggest, Blake did patiently develop his swing over the better part of 20 years by his own admission. Whether he then added convenient 'science' after the fact, one can only speculate. Obviously, that would constitute intellectual dishonesty, at least. He said that, from the beginning, he was trying to apply the 'more scientific' and known principles of field athletics to golf. He believed that his 'reflex' swing did just that. It does appear that his ideas were taken seriously by the golf establishment in England as demonstrated by panel discussions with such golf royalty as John Jacobs. Why golf scientists such as Cochran and Stobbs, who were his countrymen, didn't step forward to refute Blake's ideas, one can only wonder. Blake's first book was a best seller in Britain so Cochran and Stobbs would most likely have been aware of it. In my research I have not been able to find any refutation of Blake's pressure notion by scientists during the years after publication of his first book. That doesn't mean such refutation doesn't exist. Blake reiterated his pressure idea in his second book. SD
Scientists do not generally extend any effort to refute non-science publications even when they become quite popular. From the perspective of scientists if there is no science behind the ideas then there is nothing to refute and Blake's books do not provide the science behind his ideas.

The popularity of the book undoubtedly led to the creation of this article for a popular golf publication and the panel has golf luminaries vs golf science luminaries. Presumably they could have invited Cochran if they'd wanted. Even so I see minimal support from the panel for Blake's ideas though each has their own reasons for disagreeing.

Peter
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Joined: September 6th, 2004, 3:46 am

August 16th, 2005, 5:03 pm #10

Hogan never said 'reflex'. He also never said that the wrists only uncock AT impact.

Blake's insertion of his term to clarify his Hogan paraphrase I think is instructive and perhaps sheds a different light on his other writing. Combined with his other descriptions of 'reflex' in the article I get a much clearer picture than I did from his books.

Peter
The panel discussion was published in 1975. Blake's second book was published in 1978. He didn't say anything about wrist uncocking or release in that second book either. Seems like an important concept that he would have included to make his ideas clear. I should point out, however, that he said nothing about his substantial spine angle, a feature of his swing that I see as key. Could you describe the 'clearer picture' that you now see? SD
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Joined: September 6th, 2004, 3:46 am

August 16th, 2005, 5:19 pm #11

Scientists do not generally extend any effort to refute non-science publications even when they become quite popular. From the perspective of scientists if there is no science behind the ideas then there is nothing to refute and Blake's books do not provide the science behind his ideas.

The popularity of the book undoubtedly led to the creation of this article for a popular golf publication and the panel has golf luminaries vs golf science luminaries. Presumably they could have invited Cochran if they'd wanted. Even so I see minimal support from the panel for Blake's ideas though each has their own reasons for disagreeing.

Peter
The difference is that Alastair Cochran and John Stobbs were GOLF scientists with respect to their groundbreaking work 'Search for the Perfect Swing'. I wouldn't expect most scientists to pay any attention to a golf book with 'scientific' claims. I would expect golf scientists to pay attention to what they may well have viewed as pernicious ideas being read by thousands of people who bought Blake's first book. Of course, it is possible that they simply ignored it thinking it unworthy of their attention. It is also possible that they refuted Blake's claims somewhere but that I am unable to locate the pertinent documentation.
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Joined: December 23rd, 2004, 12:51 am

August 16th, 2005, 11:45 pm #12

I doubt that Cochran and Stobbs would have thought of Blake's ideas as 'pernicious'. Given the WIDE variety and HUGE amount of golf information that is not consistent with science the golf science community seems to have taken the approach of working in their own 'parallel universe' with rarely even a comment about some of the inaccurate representations elsewhere in the golf world. Horwood from Apollo shafts was one of the few to make such a comment when he said:

Perhaps this is how the term kick point came into being, the notion that the shaft recovers and "kicks" the ball providing extra distance. This belief is suprious.

in Golf Shafts - A Technical Perspective. While he made the statement it was not in a forum that would likely reach the non-scientific world and there is FAR more of that belief that ever knew of Mindy Blake.

Peter
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Joined: December 23rd, 2004, 12:51 am

August 17th, 2005, 1:01 am #13

The panel discussion was published in 1975. Blake's second book was published in 1978. He didn't say anything about wrist uncocking or release in that second book either. Seems like an important concept that he would have included to make his ideas clear. I should point out, however, that he said nothing about his substantial spine angle, a feature of his swing that I see as key. Could you describe the 'clearer picture' that you now see? SD
The hands must be used in reflex to transmit the power generated by the legs and body.

During that final --- just as you keep up the pressure through the ball, the hands 'explode' - it's really a reflex action...

I say it again - the hand movement has to be a reflex action; it mustn't be a conscious action.

The movement of the legs generates automatic timing because you are dragging the club through the ball and you get the reflex action when you hit it.

Once you're in my position at the top of the swing, there is no movement with anything except the knees - it's a reflex action from this movement.

As Hogan says, the wrists only uncock - or reflex - at impact. They're held right back until impact, and then you get this explosion.

...the other way is to take the club back and wind up on the downswing so that at impact you have a lot of reflex action and pressure.


These are the mentions of 'reflex' in the article. It is clear to me that 'reflex' represents not only an unconscious movement but Blake is proposing a true himan reflex. Like Bertholy the only conscsious thought in the downswing is with the legs and everything else is trained so that conscious thought is not required (like the correct position of the elbow) or 'reflex' because of the position of the elbow.

Assuming Blake really meant REFLEX the likely candidate is M2 which would be activated by sufficiently extreme joint positions. However the response time of M2 (or M1 for that matter) is far longer than the impact duration even in Blake's extended contact so it would not be possible for either reflex to affect the club in response to impact.

Peter

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Joined: September 6th, 2004, 3:46 am

August 17th, 2005, 1:06 am #14

I doubt that Cochran and Stobbs would have thought of Blake's ideas as 'pernicious'. Given the WIDE variety and HUGE amount of golf information that is not consistent with science the golf science community seems to have taken the approach of working in their own 'parallel universe' with rarely even a comment about some of the inaccurate representations elsewhere in the golf world. Horwood from Apollo shafts was one of the few to make such a comment when he said:

Perhaps this is how the term kick point came into being, the notion that the shaft recovers and "kicks" the ball providing extra distance. This belief is suprious.

in Golf Shafts - A Technical Perspective. While he made the statement it was not in a forum that would likely reach the non-scientific world and there is FAR more of that belief that ever knew of Mindy Blake.

Peter
Agreed, there is a lot of published golf information not in consonance with science. However, it is rare that a scientist who is also a well known fighter pilot publishes a book on golf offering a startling theory which is completely contrary to accepted concepts. The book becomes a best seller. Golf scientists ignore it and say nothing. It could have happened that way. If it did, the golf media were remiss in not seeking contrasting views from other scientists. Presumably, golf scientists would have deigned to answer questions. Note: I think of Blake as being more an engineer/inventor rather than a scientist, though his publishers billed him as a physicist, scientist or lecturer in physics. SD
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Joined: December 23rd, 2004, 12:51 am

August 17th, 2005, 1:07 pm #15

Like you said Blake was not a scientist but rather an engineer and inventor. I doubt that any golf scientist considered Blake a scientist and the fact that he never (to my knowledge) published anything in a science journal (which would have meant peer review) puts his work outside of the scientific process.

Like Cochran and Stobbs or Jorgensen, Blake might have provided the physics behind his pressure theory in his books but he did not. However refutation is there (if not directed) in a large body of golf science.

Peter
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