Byron

Byron

Joined: September 22nd, 2005, 12:13 am

March 27th, 2008, 1:24 pm #1

Thought these quotes from Byron Nelson may be of interest.

"I decided that if I was going to take the club back without any pronation, then I would have to start swinging more upright."

"Then I decided I had to learn to take the club straight back. When I got to the top of the backswing, I felt as if I would just let it fall, with my feet and legs helping to carry it straight back through the ball and keeping it on line toward the target."

"Keep my head still...take the club straight back through the ball....keep my feet and legs very active, leading the club and letting me carry it through the hitting area...keep the legs going straight through towards the target instead of doing any twisting...just back and through."

Perhaps substitute drag for carry?
Interesting eh!
Mac.
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Joined: August 2nd, 2004, 11:57 pm

March 27th, 2008, 5:47 pm #2

And Byron did have a Blake-like action.
Thanks Mac.
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Joined: September 6th, 2004, 3:46 am

March 31st, 2008, 6:35 pm #3

Thought these quotes from Byron Nelson may be of interest.

"I decided that if I was going to take the club back without any pronation, then I would have to start swinging more upright."

"Then I decided I had to learn to take the club straight back. When I got to the top of the backswing, I felt as if I would just let it fall, with my feet and legs helping to carry it straight back through the ball and keeping it on line toward the target."

"Keep my head still...take the club straight back through the ball....keep my feet and legs very active, leading the club and letting me carry it through the hitting area...keep the legs going straight through towards the target instead of doing any twisting...just back and through."

Perhaps substitute drag for carry?
Interesting eh!
Mac.
Byron Nelson is sometimes described as the first truly modern swinger. But then weren't Snead's and Hogan's swings also 'modern'?

The quotes are intriguing indeed, especially the phrase "...I would just let it fall, with my feet and legs helping to carry it straight back through the ball." Nelson's swing must have been analzyed by hundreds of golf instructors and golf theorists. I wonder if any of them ever suggested that Nelson's power came from his legs and not from his shoulders and arms? Please note: the phrase quoted uses the words "legs helping to carry" rather than simply "legs carry".

Over my years in golf, when I tried to explain to people how (I thought) my Blake swing worked, numerous times I have been (confidently) told that human anatomy doesn't operate that way. They would assert that the legs are not connected to the upper body such that one could swing a golf club with speed exclusively with leg power. Sometimes they would go on to say that the main or only function of the legs is to stabilize the body. Some current swing theories do claim a power role for the 'lower body'; however, it's usually along the lines of 'coordinating' lower and upper body power, somehow 'adding' the two together to produce a more powerful swing than was possible with the upper body alone. Blake thought differently, of course, and I have often cited the example of Ben Hogan to show at least one other golfer having believed the lower body (Hogan said hips) could motivate the club by itself. In "Five Lessons" Hogan suggested a demo in which you try to pull the club down from the top by simply turning the hips--no arm or shoulder action. It should be noted that Hogan thought the hips should pull the club down to about waist level, not all the way to impact as Blake says. I find that if one's 'structure' (Peter's term) is set correctly, the club will move down a bit, but does that necessarily PROVE that the lower body can drag the club down AT SPEED?

When I'm swinging Blake I'm sure my legs move first. If the legs truly cannot 'drag' the upper body down, just what are my legs doing? I have speculated that, possibly, my leg movement 'triggers' a response (reflex action?) from my upper body--the stomach, back, torso, shoulders and arms. In other words the upper body is not actually being 'dragged' down but rather is overtly producing the swing's power in reflex to an initial leg movement. In this scenario, legs going first might be useful to begin the hip turn and move the hips out of the way of the downswing. If true, this might explain Richard Wax's perception that his initial leg movement is nothing more than "as if turning to speak with someone sitting next to you at dinner table." How can such a gentle turn produce a high speed golf swing?

How could Hogan and Blake have deceived themselves so thoroughly? Well, think about all the pros who are unable to tell others how their swing really works. Sometimes they try, and even write books, but when one reads the books, they say pretty much what others have previously said and the subtleties (the real secret?) of what makes their swings elite is missing.

If the Blake swing actually works in the way I speculated, does it really matter for those simply trying to learn the swing? I say: of course. For one thing, we'd lose all potential Blakeites who can't make themselves believe that the legs alone can move a golf club down and through at relatively high speed. The most important reason, however, is: while learning, if a Blakeite spends a lot of time trying to make sure of the 'connection' between lower and upper body, it would be a waste of time.

What do you think?

Side Note: I think Lord Byron's eleven straight PGA tour wins will be (by far) the most difficult record for Tiger to break. Even if he could bring his 'A game' to eleven straight tournaments, an unlikely feat, and considering the large number and high quality of today's tour pros, somewhere along the way, another pro will play 'out of his mind' over a single weekend to keep Nelson's record intact. SD

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Joined: August 2nd, 2004, 11:57 pm

April 1st, 2008, 12:13 pm #4

I'm afraid I'm too intellectually lazy to even be able
to think of all the things you brought up but I'll try
just one:

"when one reads the books, they say pretty much what others have previously said and the subtleties (the real secret?) of what makes their swings elite is missing."

I agree completely with that. I may have read close to
every instruction book ever written. Now, however, when
new ones come out I have strong resistance to them and it
takes a really cagey teaser to get me to bite. And when
I do surrender and buy the new one I am always disappointed
on most levels. It seems I already know everything that
anybody else in the universe knows about the golf swing
but I still can't shoot par. I am ready to concede that
in the case of golf, knowledge is NOT power.
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Joined: September 22nd, 2005, 12:13 am

April 2nd, 2008, 11:26 am #5

I feel the same about instruction. There are some interesting common denominators however. One is that nearly all great ball strikers have some lower body "key" to their swing. Nelson legs, Hogan hips or right knee, Moe Norman felt the hit on his left toe and so on.
Another is the ability/talent to repeat the same action over and over again. Trevino, Blake, Locke. I think this is related to being able to consistently get the right elbow in position in the downswing.
To shot good scores you must add on a dynamite short game by using the same action in shortened form with great touch.
So maybe the secret is hit the ball the same way all the time and with enough power to reach the greens. The second part of this is the hard bit. That darn right elbow!
Cheers
Mac.
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Joined: November 11th, 2005, 11:32 pm

April 3rd, 2008, 3:31 am #6

Thought these quotes from Byron Nelson may be of interest.

"I decided that if I was going to take the club back without any pronation, then I would have to start swinging more upright."

"Then I decided I had to learn to take the club straight back. When I got to the top of the backswing, I felt as if I would just let it fall, with my feet and legs helping to carry it straight back through the ball and keeping it on line toward the target."

"Keep my head still...take the club straight back through the ball....keep my feet and legs very active, leading the club and letting me carry it through the hitting area...keep the legs going straight through towards the target instead of doing any twisting...just back and through."

Perhaps substitute drag for carry?
Interesting eh!
Mac.
Mac - How was your golf game during your hot season?

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

April 3rd, 2008, 3:36 am #7

I feel the same about instruction. There are some interesting common denominators however. One is that nearly all great ball strikers have some lower body "key" to their swing. Nelson legs, Hogan hips or right knee, Moe Norman felt the hit on his left toe and so on.
Another is the ability/talent to repeat the same action over and over again. Trevino, Blake, Locke. I think this is related to being able to consistently get the right elbow in position in the downswing.
To shot good scores you must add on a dynamite short game by using the same action in shortened form with great touch.
So maybe the secret is hit the ball the same way all the time and with enough power to reach the greens. The second part of this is the hard bit. That darn right elbow!
Cheers
Mac.
Could it be that it's not so much an overt positioning of the right elbow, but rather that a good release automatically places the right elbow in the correct position in the downswing?

By the way, did any of you see the article "Sergio's Power Lag" in the Feb 08 "Golf" magazine (pp 40 & 41)? Talk about good right elbow position--check out Sergio and Hogan in the two comparison pictures. Hogan's right elbow is a little further forward when their hands are waist high and their club shafts are in the same position. Hogan wrote that his hips got his hands into that position--was he right about that? SD
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Joined: September 22nd, 2005, 12:13 am

April 4th, 2008, 6:02 am #8

Mac - How was your golf game during your hot season?

Regards,
Tom
Tom
Our weather has been very hot. I was hot in the autumn but very cold since then. Having problems with my aging bones but on the way to recovery now (fingers crossed). Put two hybrids in my set and some "new" wedges and I am still getting used to them.
Cheers
Mac.
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Joined: December 23rd, 2004, 12:51 am

April 7th, 2008, 6:25 pm #9

Byron Nelson is sometimes described as the first truly modern swinger. But then weren't Snead's and Hogan's swings also 'modern'?

The quotes are intriguing indeed, especially the phrase "...I would just let it fall, with my feet and legs helping to carry it straight back through the ball." Nelson's swing must have been analzyed by hundreds of golf instructors and golf theorists. I wonder if any of them ever suggested that Nelson's power came from his legs and not from his shoulders and arms? Please note: the phrase quoted uses the words "legs helping to carry" rather than simply "legs carry".

Over my years in golf, when I tried to explain to people how (I thought) my Blake swing worked, numerous times I have been (confidently) told that human anatomy doesn't operate that way. They would assert that the legs are not connected to the upper body such that one could swing a golf club with speed exclusively with leg power. Sometimes they would go on to say that the main or only function of the legs is to stabilize the body. Some current swing theories do claim a power role for the 'lower body'; however, it's usually along the lines of 'coordinating' lower and upper body power, somehow 'adding' the two together to produce a more powerful swing than was possible with the upper body alone. Blake thought differently, of course, and I have often cited the example of Ben Hogan to show at least one other golfer having believed the lower body (Hogan said hips) could motivate the club by itself. In "Five Lessons" Hogan suggested a demo in which you try to pull the club down from the top by simply turning the hips--no arm or shoulder action. It should be noted that Hogan thought the hips should pull the club down to about waist level, not all the way to impact as Blake says. I find that if one's 'structure' (Peter's term) is set correctly, the club will move down a bit, but does that necessarily PROVE that the lower body can drag the club down AT SPEED?

When I'm swinging Blake I'm sure my legs move first. If the legs truly cannot 'drag' the upper body down, just what are my legs doing? I have speculated that, possibly, my leg movement 'triggers' a response (reflex action?) from my upper body--the stomach, back, torso, shoulders and arms. In other words the upper body is not actually being 'dragged' down but rather is overtly producing the swing's power in reflex to an initial leg movement. In this scenario, legs going first might be useful to begin the hip turn and move the hips out of the way of the downswing. If true, this might explain Richard Wax's perception that his initial leg movement is nothing more than "as if turning to speak with someone sitting next to you at dinner table." How can such a gentle turn produce a high speed golf swing?

How could Hogan and Blake have deceived themselves so thoroughly? Well, think about all the pros who are unable to tell others how their swing really works. Sometimes they try, and even write books, but when one reads the books, they say pretty much what others have previously said and the subtleties (the real secret?) of what makes their swings elite is missing.

If the Blake swing actually works in the way I speculated, does it really matter for those simply trying to learn the swing? I say: of course. For one thing, we'd lose all potential Blakeites who can't make themselves believe that the legs alone can move a golf club down and through at relatively high speed. The most important reason, however, is: while learning, if a Blakeite spends a lot of time trying to make sure of the 'connection' between lower and upper body, it would be a waste of time.

What do you think?

Side Note: I think Lord Byron's eleven straight PGA tour wins will be (by far) the most difficult record for Tiger to break. Even if he could bring his 'A game' to eleven straight tournaments, an unlikely feat, and considering the large number and high quality of today's tour pros, somewhere along the way, another pro will play 'out of his mind' over a single weekend to keep Nelson's record intact. SD
Byron Nelson is sometimes described as the first truly modern swinger. But then weren't Snead's and Hogan's swings also 'modern'?

I think they are all 'modern' (i.e. optimized for steel shafts) but Nelson hit it big before the other two.

Nelson's swing must have been analzyed by hundreds of golf instructors and golf theorists. I wonder if any of them ever suggested that Nelson's power came from his legs and not from his shoulders and arms?

I think the golf analysis is more like to reflect the bias of the analyzer vs a measured reality based on most of what I've seen.

They would assert that the legs are not connected to the upper body such that one could swing a golf club with speed exclusively with leg power.

Some time ago there were a few here who made similar comments. The response was that you don't see many sets of legs walking around without upper bodies The human anatomy is 'neat' in that connections can be created and destroyed at will by the way we use our muscles.

Sometimes they would go on to say that the main or only function of the legs is to stabilize the body.

Many golf analysts say this: few if any scientists do.

It should be noted that Hogan thought the hips should pull the club down to about waist level, not all the way to impact as Blake says.

From waist level to impact there is not much left to be done is the swing is correct.

I find that if one's 'structure' (Peter's term) is set correctly, the club will move down a bit, but does that necessarily PROVE that the lower body can drag the club down AT SPEED?

It's not necessarily the case that the club has to be moved down that quickly so 'AT SPEED' has an imbedded assumption that may not be true. A while back I posted a little 'exercise' to demonstrate how you could get your arms to impact position with NO independent arm movement. Just put a broomstick or some such behind your neck and hod on with your hands near your shoulders with your elbows positioned directly under. From this position with an appropriate movement of your lower body (that produces a movement in your upper body) you can move your trail elbow to a position in front of your trail hip yet your arms never moved relative to your torso. There are many things possible that may not be obvious.

I have speculated that, possibly, my leg movement 'triggers' a response (reflex action?) from my upper body--the stomach, back, torso, shoulders and arms.

Unlikely. More likely that movement of your legs triggers a learned action.

If true, this might explain Richard Wax's perception that his initial leg movement is nothing more than "as if turning to speak with someone sitting next to you at dinner table." How can such a gentle turn produce a high speed golf swing?

If you maintain 'structure' it is no suprise that a gentle motion could produce the results.

How could Hogan and Blake have deceived themselves so thoroughly?

My experience in golf is that you should be careful before arriving at the conclusion that top pros deceive themselves. More likely that there is a 'truth' in what the pro is saying that is not being understood.

If the Blake swing actually works in the way I speculated, does it really matter for those simply trying to learn the swing?

Assuming Blake actually had a 'truth' in his swing then you should follow his directions as that was his best guide on how to get to that 'truth'.

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

April 8th, 2008, 12:00 am #10

Peter,
You wrote: "From waist level to impact there is not much left to be done is the swing is correct." What is left to be done from waist level? Is there more left than simply 'release' which happens automatically, ie, no further effort from the golfer? At that point in his swing Hogan said he hit as hard as he could with both hands. Does that suggest no further effort on his part?

You wrote: "More likely that movement of your legs triggers a learned action." Blake wrote that leg action drags the arms and club down. Do you consider that dragging constitutes a 'learned action'? It seems more like an action that must occur, assuming Mindy was correct. Jim

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

April 9th, 2008, 1:16 am #11

What is left to be done from waist level? Is there more left than simply 'release' which happens automatically, ie, no further effort from the golfer?

Exactly. No further effort is required.

At that point in his swing Hogan said he hit as hard as he could with both hands. Does that suggest no further effort on his part?

I assume that Hogan was honest and candid about what he felt. That leaves it up to the reader to interpret how that statement can be true along with the objective reality:



What you see represents 'hitting as hard as possible with both hands' though I don't think the interpretation of most would result in this reality.

You wrote: "More likely that movement of your legs triggers a learned action." Blake wrote that leg action drags the arms and club down. Do you consider that dragging constitutes a 'learned action'?

Yes I would consider 'dragging' in a way that lowers the arms a learned action or perhaps a learned lack of action.

Peter
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