Mindy's Books vs. Mindy's Swing

Mindy's Books vs. Mindy's Swing

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

December 4th, 2007, 5:56 pm #1


I've been trying to compare the video stills of Mindy swinging with the drawn Figures and descriptive text from "The Golf Swing of the Future" and from "Golf the Technique Barrier". Here are a few tentative conclusions:

1) The Figures and the photo stills do not match. I think the Figures are very misleading in some respects.

2) The text and the photo stills are not complementary in some respects.

3) I am becoming more aware of distinguishing Mindy's stated "feels like" and his "seems as though" from his declarative statements. Formerly, I mistakenly read his "feels like" and "seems as though" as if they were literal.

The #1 objection I have to Mindy's Figures and text is that his own right elbow was not as far forward at impact as he would have us believe. Maybe Mindy "felt" that it was extremely advanced, but my eye sees it differently.

Comments?

Tom


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

December 5th, 2007, 3:43 pm #2

Your 1). In what way do the figures and photo stills not match? How are the figures misleading?
Your 2). In what respects are the text and photo stills not complementary?
Your 3). My view is that Blake's use of phrases such as "feels like" and "seems as though" is to help the reader learn his swing. However, when he states his swing theory he does not use those phrases.

Assuming Blake's right elbow is not as far forward at impact as he claimed, what do you believe is the significance of this observation? Do you think he was mistaken in his belief that his swing was powered solely by his legs? Jim
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Joined: November 11th, 2005, 11:32 pm

December 6th, 2007, 9:54 am #3



Now that we have a real swing of Mindy Blake to look at, I think we should assume that it represents a true Reflex Swing. In other words, I don't think that we should assume that Mindy made a poor swing on the Mike Douglas Show. From Mike Douglas' comment after Mindy hit the ball Mindy drove it dead center into the bullseye of the net.

Even though the angle from which the film was taken is not ideal, and even though it is only one swing, I think it is by far the best piece of evidence that has surfaced to date and that much can be gleaned from it. I don't think anyone does himself justice in trying to learn the Reflex Swing if he adheres solely to the Figures, especially if those Figures sometimes do not match the photos that we now have of Mindy making a real swing and hitting a ball.

For the purpose of stimulating discussion I'll just point out a few spots where the photos might prove to be eye-opening:

1) Figure 15 vs Photo 09:15, THE TOP OF THE BACKSWING. Notice how in Figure 15 Mindy is almost kissing his left bicept muscle. Yet in Photo 09:15 Mindy's left shoulder is well under his chin. The Figure Mindy hasn't really made a full shoulder turn, while the Photo Mindy has fully turned himself. Look at Richard Wax's video and you will see a shoulder turn like the Photo Mindy and not like the Figure Mindy. If I may say so Jim I think you may have copied the Figure Mindy in your own swing perhaps to your detriment. What do you think? Since this is a discussion group about the Mindy Blake Reflex Swing I hope no one takes my remarks either as unduly authoritative or as antagonistic. What I'm hoping to do is to perhaps help move us to consider the Reflex Swing outside of the printed page now that we have some accurate data that exists independently from the books. The books in themselves have not created many Reflex Swingers. Maybe the books when enhanced by other materials will do a better job.

2) Figure 20 vs. Photo 09:28. THE FOLLOW THROUGH
I think it has already been pointed out that in the Photo Mindy's hands (or arms) have rotated counterclockwise while in the Figure they have not. In the Photo the club has passed the hands and in the Figure the club stays even with the hands. In the Photo Mindy has not fully released his body to the point that chest, hips, and thighs are facing the target while in the Figure Mindy is fully released. I think that these differences are significant because an adherence to the image represented by the Figure may lead one to try to establish positions that Mindy himself never got into. In the text accompanying Figure 20 of GTTB Mindy says that "The hands still lead until the end of the swing." Clearly, that is not the case according to the Photo.

Jim, concerning the text I was trying to point out that I had misread Mindy's words and had failed to recognize that when he said "feels like" he was in a subjective mode. I thought his "feels like" and objective reality were the same thing. It was a mistake that perhaps other careless readers like myself might make.

FORWARD ELBOW POSITION. It is my observation from the Photos that Mindy's elbow was several inches short of the ideal forward position that he advocated in his text and that he illustrated in his Figures. Yet he says at the end of GTTB, "Keep that right elbow well across the body. Otherwise you are wasting your time." I can imagine readers focusing on this instruction above all the others to the extent that they make learning Mindy's real Reflex Swing nearly impossible.

Jim asked about whether I think Mindy's power came "solely" from his legs. My short answer is "no way".

In closing this essay, I'll make a general comment on what I see in Mindy's real swing. Remember, I have access to the video so I have seen it in motion. To me Mindy appears to be a superb physical specimen - strong, lean, wiry, spry, flexible, and with a great command of his body and how to move it in space. His overall physical swing style reminds me of Jesper Parnivik's.

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

December 7th, 2007, 3:02 am #4

A few things to keep in mind when analyzing Mindy Blake's reflex swing:

(1) The Mike Douglas Show (MDS) swing was recorded in September 1973 before Blake adopted his open stance. However, Blake himself could easily execute the reflex swing from a square stance. Even so, he thought the open stance made his swing "very much simpler and very much easier to perform."

(2) Blake could certainly achieve all of the positions depicted in the book drawings/figures because they were rendered from actual photos of him. However, I do not know whether those photos were dynamic or posed.

(3) Both Blake and Richard Wax (a low-handicap golfer mentored by Blake) were quite athletic, low-handicap golfers before they adopted the reflex swing method. The reflex swing method resulted in significantly greater "control," ie, straightness, accuracy of length, and repeatability without significant power loss. They attributed the improvements to Mindy's leg-centered technique. Could they have simply been wrong about why their swings got better? Could leg action have been only a trigger for upper body action rather than energy provider?

(4) Only very few people (that we know of) have developed low-handicap reflex swings from Blake's books alone. They include: Chris Walker, 5-handicap, and Julian Zabielski, near scratch. There are other forum members who have reported good results with Mindy's method. Of course, we golf "seekers" have long known that developing a swing from a book alone is a daunting task/journey. For example, thousands, if not millions, of golfers have tried to learn Ben Hogan's swing from his famous book "Five Lessons." Yet, I have never personally known anyone who developed a viable swing from "Five Lessons." Larry Nelson, the touring pro who began playing later than most, claimed that "Five Lessons" was a major factor in his swing development.

(5) We do have at least one set of dynamic photos other than the MDS swing stills. One of that set was annotated by Mindy indicating right elbow position achieved at impact was not as far forward as he desired. Of course, one set of photos doesn't prove that his usual right elbow position at impact was different than what he advocated in his books. However, the photo from the MDS swing does add one more piece of evidence.

(6) Blake's main idea was to place the body in a top of backswing position such that leg-generated energy could be directly transferred to the hands. He believed that previously known techniques for more efficient use of legs in field athletic events such as discus or javelin could be applied to golf. If he was wrong about this basic tenet, his books would seem to be virtually useless since they are all about how to achieve leg-energy transfer. Could Mindy's reflex technique have incidentally improved control while his basic idea was wrong?

(7) Blake is not the only golf theorist who believed that the legs and/or lower body are an important (or critical) element in providing swing energy. Hogan himself believed and wrote in "Five Lessons" that the first part of the downswing is executed by the hips alone. Others include: Cochran & Stobbs, "Search for the Perfect Swing," Ralph Mann, "Swing Like a Pro," Joe Dante, "Four Magic Moves to Winning Golf," John Redman, "Essentials of the Golf Swing." The difference with Blake is that he believed the legs provided swing energy SOLELY.

(8) If Blake's books are all wrong, then we are left with the MDS swing video and a few photos, some of which may have been posed. The MDS swing video depicts an excellent, and perhaps extraordinary, golf swing. What can we learn about Mindy's swing without any input from Mindy himself, assuming what he wrote to be wrong? We see examples of excellent golf swings every day on the Golf Channel, but it's doubtful we learn anything from seeing them.

In developing my own version of the reflex swing, I never used the figures rigidly to be learned and imitated rotely. Rather, I used them as a general guide and paid more attention to his words, including his "feels like" and "seems as though" phrases. However, I have always kept in mind Blake's main idea of transferring leg energy to the hands by "dragging" the club down. You wrote that in the MDS swing photo Mindy's hands (or arms) have rotated counterclockwise. Wouldn't counterclockwise rotation (from the golfer's perspective) close the clubface? Blake is like Jesper Parnevik? Interesting. Is Jesper an "arm swinger"? Jim





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

December 7th, 2007, 4:12 pm #5



SD ASKED: "Wouldn't counterclockwise rotation (from the golfer's perspective) close the clubface?"
RESPONSE: I think yes, at least close it enough to square it at impact.


SD ASKED: "Blake is like Jesper Parnevik? Interesting. Is Jesper an "arm swinger"?
RESPONSE: His body type looks a lot like Parnevik's to me. I think Parnevik is not considered an arm swinger.

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

December 11th, 2007, 3:51 pm #6

Tom,

You wrote:

SD ASKED: "Wouldn't counterclockwise rotation (from the golfer's perspective) close the clubface?"
RESPONSE: I think yes, at least close it enough to square it at impact.

I was referring to the backswing, not the downswing. About his takeaway (early part of backswing) Blake wrote:

"As the left hand pushes the club straight back, the action of keeping the clubface square to the line of flight causes the left hand to turn anti-clockwise, with the left thumb moving up and over."

Turning the left hand anti-clockwise in the early part of the backswing would tend to close the clubface (Blake said keep it square). Do you believe that he got this wrong, ie, that his left hand was NOT, in fact, turning anti-clockwise (from the golfer's perspective)? If he opened the clubface in the backswing, rather than closed it, that would mean his perception of what the clubface was doing was exactly backwards. Jim
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Joined: November 11th, 2005, 11:32 pm

December 11th, 2007, 9:34 pm #7

Jim - I'm sorry that I misunderstood what you were saying.

From the Mike Douglas video it does appear to me that Mindy closes (keeps square to line of flight) the clubface early in the takeaway just as he describes it in his books. However, about half way back as he fully cocks his wrists the clubface appears to open somewhat, suggesting to me an arm rotation.

I just extracted and added to my webpage a few more stills from the MD video showing the takeaway in greater detail:

http://community.webtv.net/RoverII/MindyBlakeSwing
Tom
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Joined: September 6th, 2004, 3:46 am

December 12th, 2007, 6:22 pm #8

Tom,
Thanks much for posting additional stills from the Mike Douglas Show video. Note: To get to the video stills web site I had to eliminate the (>) symbol at end of the URL in your post.

To my eye, Mindy's top of backswing position in the video stills is quite similar to his position in figure 28 of GSOTF or figure 15 of GTTB, at least with respect to his left hand position which is facing away from his body. Though the video stills are not perfect, the position can be discerned because one can see the face of Blake's watch. Interestingly, Mindy was also wearing a watch in figure 28. I'm thinking he could not have achieved this left-hand position at top of backswing if he had allowed the clubface to open in the backswing. Jim

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

December 12th, 2007, 6:23 pm #9

Jim - I'm sorry that I misunderstood what you were saying.

From the Mike Douglas video it does appear to me that Mindy closes (keeps square to line of flight) the clubface early in the takeaway just as he describes it in his books. However, about half way back as he fully cocks his wrists the clubface appears to open somewhat, suggesting to me an arm rotation.

I just extracted and added to my webpage a few more stills from the MD video showing the takeaway in greater detail:

http://community.webtv.net/RoverII/MindyBlakeSwing
Tom
Tom has given the OK to animate the video stills he has posted on his web site. Is this something you could do? Thanks, Jim
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Joined: September 5th, 2004, 1:22 pm

December 13th, 2007, 1:06 am #10

Regards,
Bob
Lexington, Ky.
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