Dragging (or Pulling) According to....Joe Dante

Dragging (or Pulling) According to....Joe Dante

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

November 19th, 2006, 3:10 am #1

I was reviewing the COAM section of Joe Dante's book "Four Magic Moves to Winning Golf" and wound up rereading the "Starting Down" section. A portion:

"The motion is essentially that of the hips. If you have read much about the technique of the swing, you have read that the left hip should lead the downswing. You have read in this chapter that the first movement from the top is a lateral thrust of the hips to the left, eventually followed by an automatic turn of the hips. This is true. But there is more than that. The hips must not only move to the left and turn, THEIR MOVEMENT MUST BE SO CLOSELY TIED TO THE LEFT ARM THAT IT PULLS THE ARM AND CLUB DOWN AND WHIPS THEM THROUGH THE BALL. There must be a definite, conscious feeling that this is happening. It is the most important movement that a good golfer makes. This is not to be confused with the mistaken advice to start down with a pull of the left arm. What happens, actually, is that the left arm itself is BEING PULLED by the hips. The arm is merely the connecting rod between the hips and the club. When the hips exert this pulling action , they cause the shoulders and the left arm to revolve so fast around the axis of the upper spine that the hands have little or no time to manipulate or do anything whatever with the club except hang onto it. If there is one single secret to the golf swing, this is it." [Dante's emphasis]

Well, Dante didn't specify a trail elbow position ahead of trail hip (he said it should be hugging the trail hip) and he did specify hips (rather than legs) as the engine of the swing. Other than that, his concept of the golf swing is strikingly similar to Blake. I suppose that Dante, like Blake, never broke through to significantly influence mainstream golf. Interesting though that both were certain that the lower body can drag/pull the upper body down and through impact with no conscious action by the arms or hands. Jim

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Joined: November 11th, 2005, 11:32 pm

November 19th, 2006, 7:41 pm #2


Jim - From what you have written in the past about Blake's notion that the leg action is directly connected to the hands I do not see any similarity to what Dante is saying (that the hips are the start of a chain reaction).

In addition, let's suppose for a moment that Dante is horribly mistaken with his theory of the golf swing. If he is way off base then those who follow his "secret" are doomed to fail miserably in their pursuit of golfing excellence.

Tom
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Joined: November 11th, 2005, 11:32 pm

November 19th, 2006, 7:46 pm #3

I was reviewing the COAM section of Joe Dante's book "Four Magic Moves to Winning Golf" and wound up rereading the "Starting Down" section. A portion:

"The motion is essentially that of the hips. If you have read much about the technique of the swing, you have read that the left hip should lead the downswing. You have read in this chapter that the first movement from the top is a lateral thrust of the hips to the left, eventually followed by an automatic turn of the hips. This is true. But there is more than that. The hips must not only move to the left and turn, THEIR MOVEMENT MUST BE SO CLOSELY TIED TO THE LEFT ARM THAT IT PULLS THE ARM AND CLUB DOWN AND WHIPS THEM THROUGH THE BALL. There must be a definite, conscious feeling that this is happening. It is the most important movement that a good golfer makes. This is not to be confused with the mistaken advice to start down with a pull of the left arm. What happens, actually, is that the left arm itself is BEING PULLED by the hips. The arm is merely the connecting rod between the hips and the club. When the hips exert this pulling action , they cause the shoulders and the left arm to revolve so fast around the axis of the upper spine that the hands have little or no time to manipulate or do anything whatever with the club except hang onto it. If there is one single secret to the golf swing, this is it." [Dante's emphasis]

Well, Dante didn't specify a trail elbow position ahead of trail hip (he said it should be hugging the trail hip) and he did specify hips (rather than legs) as the engine of the swing. Other than that, his concept of the golf swing is strikingly similar to Blake. I suppose that Dante, like Blake, never broke through to significantly influence mainstream golf. Interesting though that both were certain that the lower body can drag/pull the upper body down and through impact with no conscious action by the arms or hands. Jim
Jim - Is there a way for you to eliminate the "Emoticons" when a member tries to post a message? My internet machine is old and weak by current standards and the emoticons take forever to load before I am able to post a message. Sometimes they do not load at all and my webtv device freezes and I have to abort my attempt.

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

November 19th, 2006, 11:11 pm #4

I was reviewing the COAM section of Joe Dante's book "Four Magic Moves to Winning Golf" and wound up rereading the "Starting Down" section. A portion:

"The motion is essentially that of the hips. If you have read much about the technique of the swing, you have read that the left hip should lead the downswing. You have read in this chapter that the first movement from the top is a lateral thrust of the hips to the left, eventually followed by an automatic turn of the hips. This is true. But there is more than that. The hips must not only move to the left and turn, THEIR MOVEMENT MUST BE SO CLOSELY TIED TO THE LEFT ARM THAT IT PULLS THE ARM AND CLUB DOWN AND WHIPS THEM THROUGH THE BALL. There must be a definite, conscious feeling that this is happening. It is the most important movement that a good golfer makes. This is not to be confused with the mistaken advice to start down with a pull of the left arm. What happens, actually, is that the left arm itself is BEING PULLED by the hips. The arm is merely the connecting rod between the hips and the club. When the hips exert this pulling action , they cause the shoulders and the left arm to revolve so fast around the axis of the upper spine that the hands have little or no time to manipulate or do anything whatever with the club except hang onto it. If there is one single secret to the golf swing, this is it." [Dante's emphasis]

Well, Dante didn't specify a trail elbow position ahead of trail hip (he said it should be hugging the trail hip) and he did specify hips (rather than legs) as the engine of the swing. Other than that, his concept of the golf swing is strikingly similar to Blake. I suppose that Dante, like Blake, never broke through to significantly influence mainstream golf. Interesting though that both were certain that the lower body can drag/pull the upper body down and through impact with no conscious action by the arms or hands. Jim
This connection is equivalent the 'Five Lessons' pages 94 & 95. 94 also has a nice diagram of a forward trail elbow position (though not as far forward as Blake would like.

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

November 20th, 2006, 12:16 am #5

Peter, The apparent difference between Blake/Dante and Hogan is related to what happens after the leg or hip thrust pulls the arms/club assembly down to about waist level. Blake and Dante both wrote that the initial leg or hip thrust is sufficient to power the entire downswing. Hogan wrote in "Five Lessons" that from about waist level in the downswing he hit the ball as hard as he could with both hands. However, I think you have written that some readers misinterpret what Hogan meant. A straightforward interpretation of Hogan's words would be an overt use of the hands after the hips have done their thing. Are you thinking that Hogan was referring to a reflex action of the hands rather than an overt pushing on the shaft by the hands? What is your interpretation of exactly what Hogan meant by "hit the ball as hard as you can with both hands"? Jim
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Joined: September 6th, 2004, 3:46 am

November 20th, 2006, 2:42 am #6

Jim - From what you have written in the past about Blake's notion that the leg action is directly connected to the hands I do not see any similarity to what Dante is saying (that the hips are the start of a chain reaction).

In addition, let's suppose for a moment that Dante is horribly mistaken with his theory of the golf swing. If he is way off base then those who follow his "secret" are doomed to fail miserably in their pursuit of golfing excellence.

Tom
Tom, In my view, a thrust of the thigh muscles and a lateral thrust of the hips are virtually indistinguishable. I feel that I'm using the thigh muscles of the legs to laterally move my hips (as opposed to turning them). I don't think I can perform a lateral thrust of my hips without using my thighs. Thus, I see Dante's concept as quite similar to Blake's.

Re pursuit of golfing excellence: Would you not agree that there are several ways to effectively swing a golf club? If Dante's method is not a viable way, that will be discovered by those trying it and, eventually, like hundreds of other golf instruction books, the book will go out of print and the method die without even a decent burial. Originally published in 1962, "Four Magic Moves" is still in print.

I have been interested in finding whether Blake's "discovery" has also been noticed and documented by other golf "seekers." If multiple, independent golf researchers have found and documented a method like Blake's (in its essence), I think this would tend to verify the method's viability. Of course, documenting a swing technique, even an excellent one, in a book certainly doesn't lead to its common use by golfers. Still, my search helps keep me busy. John Redman ("Essentials of the Golf Swing") is another golf theorist who seems to be in the Blake camp. Another was Percy Boomer ("On Learning Golf") who wrote:

"And please remember before we go on to consider its application that power at golf is centered around the hips. Please note CENTERED AROUND; the power is not PRODUCED by the hips (or very little of it is) but by the feet, calves and thighs--but it is gathered up and given the correct centrifugal golf direction by the hip brace and pivot. And we will fail to drive the ball far and straight as soon as we fail TO TAKE CONTROL OF THE CLUB FROM THE TOP OF THE SWING WITH THE FEET, CALVES AND THIGHS." (Boomer's emphasis) Jim
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Joined: September 6th, 2004, 3:46 am

November 20th, 2006, 2:48 am #7

Jim - Is there a way for you to eliminate the "Emoticons" when a member tries to post a message? My internet machine is old and weak by current standards and the emoticons take forever to load before I am able to post a message. Sometimes they do not load at all and my webtv device freezes and I have to abort my attempt.

Tom
Bob, The emoticons are more trouble than they are worth (and are seldom used). How about deep-sixing them? Jim
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Joined: November 11th, 2005, 11:32 pm

November 21st, 2006, 3:18 am #8

Tom, In my view, a thrust of the thigh muscles and a lateral thrust of the hips are virtually indistinguishable. I feel that I'm using the thigh muscles of the legs to laterally move my hips (as opposed to turning them). I don't think I can perform a lateral thrust of my hips without using my thighs. Thus, I see Dante's concept as quite similar to Blake's.

Re pursuit of golfing excellence: Would you not agree that there are several ways to effectively swing a golf club? If Dante's method is not a viable way, that will be discovered by those trying it and, eventually, like hundreds of other golf instruction books, the book will go out of print and the method die without even a decent burial. Originally published in 1962, "Four Magic Moves" is still in print.

I have been interested in finding whether Blake's "discovery" has also been noticed and documented by other golf "seekers." If multiple, independent golf researchers have found and documented a method like Blake's (in its essence), I think this would tend to verify the method's viability. Of course, documenting a swing technique, even an excellent one, in a book certainly doesn't lead to its common use by golfers. Still, my search helps keep me busy. John Redman ("Essentials of the Golf Swing") is another golf theorist who seems to be in the Blake camp. Another was Percy Boomer ("On Learning Golf") who wrote:

"And please remember before we go on to consider its application that power at golf is centered around the hips. Please note CENTERED AROUND; the power is not PRODUCED by the hips (or very little of it is) but by the feet, calves and thighs--but it is gathered up and given the correct centrifugal golf direction by the hip brace and pivot. And we will fail to drive the ball far and straight as soon as we fail TO TAKE CONTROL OF THE CLUB FROM THE TOP OF THE SWING WITH THE FEET, CALVES AND THIGHS." (Boomer's emphasis) Jim
JIM WROTE: "In my view, a thrust of the thigh muscles and a lateral thrust of the hips are virtually indistinguishable."
ME: If you thrust the thighs the hips get dragged. If you thrust the hips the thighs get dragged. In each case the footwork is not at all the same.

I don't think that the Dante, Redman, and Boomer swings are close to Mindy's swing. Mindy used field athletics as his model in which the legs levered the action from an open position and the right elbow was far advanced as in a javelin throw. Mindy's swing was not conventional and didn't look conventional while the other guys were traditional. They tried to capture the essence of the traditional swing while Blake tried to create a new form "beyond the technique barrier".

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

November 21st, 2006, 5:48 am #9

As I said, I have difficulty distinguishing between a thrust by my thighs (toward the target) and a lateral thrust of my hips. My apparent limitations aside, whether the initial movement is a thigh thrust or hip thrust, Blake and Dante both claimed a similar effect, ie, the arms/club assembly being dragged or pulled down and through with no additional muscular effort after the initial thrust. From reading their swing descriptions, the main difference between Blake and Dante is trail elbow position. Blake adopted an open stance late in his golfing career, but he swung from a square stance for most of his golfing life. Mindy was sure that his discovery of an extremely forward trail elbow position was new to golf, though, he said, well known in field athletics. Dante obviously thought a trail elbow hugging trail hip was its ideal position. Blake did indeed believe that trail elbow position was critical to get a dragging response. My thinking is that Blake's trail elbow position results in superior leverage and more efficient energy transfer than a trail hip-hugging elbow position. I'd dearly love to be able to measure the difference in force delivered due (only) to trail elbow position, other swing positions and motions being the same.

My knowledge of Joe Dante and John Redman is derived solely from their books. I have never met a golfer who claimed to be a Dante adherent, so I cannot comment on how well his method works in practice. Redman's star pupil was Paul Azinger who advocated Redman's method for many years, though some golf analysts had always questioned how closely Azinger's swing was to what Redman taught. Dante's and Redman's belief that an initial hip thrust (Dante) or hip turn (Redman) alone is sufficient to power the golf swing does not place them in the mainstream of conventional golf, at least to my understanding of the (so called) conventional golf swing. Having personally seen Blake swing from a square stance, what I can tell you is that his swing did not look particularly unconventional. Rather, it was graceful, compact and powerful. Jim
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Joined: December 23rd, 2004, 12:51 am

November 21st, 2006, 10:00 pm #10

Peter, The apparent difference between Blake/Dante and Hogan is related to what happens after the leg or hip thrust pulls the arms/club assembly down to about waist level. Blake and Dante both wrote that the initial leg or hip thrust is sufficient to power the entire downswing. Hogan wrote in "Five Lessons" that from about waist level in the downswing he hit the ball as hard as he could with both hands. However, I think you have written that some readers misinterpret what Hogan meant. A straightforward interpretation of Hogan's words would be an overt use of the hands after the hips have done their thing. Are you thinking that Hogan was referring to a reflex action of the hands rather than an overt pushing on the shaft by the hands? What is your interpretation of exactly what Hogan meant by "hit the ball as hard as you can with both hands"? Jim
Hogan said what he said but this is the reality of Hogan immediately post impact:



While everyone is different this does not match my image of 'hitting as hard as possible with both hands' from the time the hands are waist high. Never the less I accept that it felt this way to Hogan and that the pictured position was the result. When you come close to this position in a real swing Hogan's report is less of a mystery though not the way I'd relate it.

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

November 22nd, 2006, 12:29 am #11

Are you suggesting that the last part of Hogan's downswing is more like what Dante described than an overt "hitting hard with both hands." But how could Ben Hogan have been so wrong about what was actually occurring in his swing? If a "pulling" (or dragging) was happening, surely the subtle sensibilities likely possessed by Hogan would have enabled him to perceive what his own body was doing. My own interpretation of the Hogan clip is that the final segment of Hogan's downswing does appear to be a continuation of what has gone before. However, I'm not sure how the clip would have looked if Ben had, in fact, hit hard with both hands. What I have always wondered re Hogan's statement is the intricate timing problem that "adding" overt hand power late would seem to introduce. Jim
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Joined: December 23rd, 2004, 12:51 am

November 22nd, 2006, 2:27 am #12

the mistake is in assuming that our understanding of 'hit hard with both hands' was the same as Hogan's. In my experiments with achieving 'pro' positions I have learned that when video objectively showed I was achieving the goals that the feelings were:

1) Novel - indicating that I was not close before

2) Not consistent with language I would use to describe what was objectively visible

Given that Hogan started as a child it would be no suprise that what I found novel and inconsistant with language based on my experience was neither novel nor inconsistent for Hogan.

In the photo I posted Hogan's trail elbow is within an inch of so of his trail side. That means that whatever 'hit' he did (this is driver after all) was done with no more than an inch of so of movement of his trail elbow away from his torso. However the clubhead did move very rapidly from club horizontal to impact with a resultant rapid movement of his hands.

So at a macro level striking the ball was a linear continuation of the movement from before however the club movement is clearly accelerating.

Peter
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Joined: October 25th, 2004, 12:28 pm

November 22nd, 2006, 6:00 am #13

Are you suggesting that the last part of Hogan's downswing is more like what Dante described than an overt "hitting hard with both hands." But how could Ben Hogan have been so wrong about what was actually occurring in his swing? If a "pulling" (or dragging) was happening, surely the subtle sensibilities likely possessed by Hogan would have enabled him to perceive what his own body was doing. My own interpretation of the Hogan clip is that the final segment of Hogan's downswing does appear to be a continuation of what has gone before. However, I'm not sure how the clip would have looked if Ben had, in fact, hit hard with both hands. What I have always wondered re Hogan's statement is the intricate timing problem that "adding" overt hand power late would seem to introduce. Jim
After watching some film of ol' Ben he might have felt that he used his hands, but well after impact.
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Joined: November 27th, 2004, 1:41 pm

November 22nd, 2006, 9:22 am #14

the mistake is in assuming that our understanding of 'hit hard with both hands' was the same as Hogan's. In my experiments with achieving 'pro' positions I have learned that when video objectively showed I was achieving the goals that the feelings were:

1) Novel - indicating that I was not close before

2) Not consistent with language I would use to describe what was objectively visible

Given that Hogan started as a child it would be no suprise that what I found novel and inconsistant with language based on my experience was neither novel nor inconsistent for Hogan.

In the photo I posted Hogan's trail elbow is within an inch of so of his trail side. That means that whatever 'hit' he did (this is driver after all) was done with no more than an inch of so of movement of his trail elbow away from his torso. However the clubhead did move very rapidly from club horizontal to impact with a resultant rapid movement of his hands.

So at a macro level striking the ball was a linear continuation of the movement from before however the club movement is clearly accelerating.

Peter
Interesting discussion about one says or feels vs. what can be objectively seen. However, a trail-handed hit does not mean that the trail arm must be less unbent by impact or beyond. It's a matter of the degree of openness of the body during delivery and at impact. Put in terms of a trail-sided "hitting" feeling, if you opened up for delivery and you felt your trail arm was the last to release, you might use the same quote as Hogan, especially when your trail arm made its way into a full and continued extension without a premature lead elbow fold.

Scott
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Joined: November 11th, 2005, 11:32 pm

November 26th, 2006, 3:35 pm #15

As I said, I have difficulty distinguishing between a thrust by my thighs (toward the target) and a lateral thrust of my hips. My apparent limitations aside, whether the initial movement is a thigh thrust or hip thrust, Blake and Dante both claimed a similar effect, ie, the arms/club assembly being dragged or pulled down and through with no additional muscular effort after the initial thrust. From reading their swing descriptions, the main difference between Blake and Dante is trail elbow position. Blake adopted an open stance late in his golfing career, but he swung from a square stance for most of his golfing life. Mindy was sure that his discovery of an extremely forward trail elbow position was new to golf, though, he said, well known in field athletics. Dante obviously thought a trail elbow hugging trail hip was its ideal position. Blake did indeed believe that trail elbow position was critical to get a dragging response. My thinking is that Blake's trail elbow position results in superior leverage and more efficient energy transfer than a trail hip-hugging elbow position. I'd dearly love to be able to measure the difference in force delivered due (only) to trail elbow position, other swing positions and motions being the same.

My knowledge of Joe Dante and John Redman is derived solely from their books. I have never met a golfer who claimed to be a Dante adherent, so I cannot comment on how well his method works in practice. Redman's star pupil was Paul Azinger who advocated Redman's method for many years, though some golf analysts had always questioned how closely Azinger's swing was to what Redman taught. Dante's and Redman's belief that an initial hip thrust (Dante) or hip turn (Redman) alone is sufficient to power the golf swing does not place them in the mainstream of conventional golf, at least to my understanding of the (so called) conventional golf swing. Having personally seen Blake swing from a square stance, what I can tell you is that his swing did not look particularly unconventional. Rather, it was graceful, compact and powerful. Jim
Jim - Do you have any ideas about how the thigh and/or hip thrusts make the arm/club assemblage move down and through? The two components (thighs/hips & arms/club) are not working on the same plane. What are the mechanics of converting genrative motion in one plane into recptive motion in another plane? In a rear wheel driven automobile, for example, the drive shaft rotation and the wheel rotation are not in the same plane and a complex gearing mechanism is needed to get power from the drive shaft to the reflexive wheels. Does the human body contain such a conversion mechanism?

Tom
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