Resistance to Openness

Resistance to Openness

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

February 18th, 2006, 5:55 am #1

One problem which has plagued my efforts to develop a reliable swing is my inclination toward a square stance. Blake thought the open stance was the missing key for his swing and when he found it, the matter of restricting hip turn was fully resolved. When I practice I find that after just a few swings, doggone it, I'm gravitating back to a square stance. It's partly a lack of concentration and a bit of laziness with respect to the act of assuming the stance. If you are square, you lose the advantage of simply allowing the hips to turn from open to about square in the backswing.

For each swing Richard uses the set up recommended by Mindy. He stands behind the ball looking down the fairway at his target, then moves in next to the ball as he cocks his head so that right eye is vertically under the left. The hips are well open. He sets the club behind the ball with feet together, then draws his lead leg back. He then 'twists the rubber brick' by closing his shoulders until they are only slightly open. If you watch his entire swing motion, you see that he never is stock still but is constantly moving till the moment he does his forward press with trail leg and begins the swing.

When I get lazy (too frequently) I don't go through this routine. If you do the routine properly you are virtually guaranteed to be well open, but if you move into the stance from perpendicular to target line, rather than from behind looking down the fairway, you may set up too squarely. If you use Mindy's set up, the stance has a definite side-saddle feel to it. SD
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michael talianchich
michael talianchich

February 18th, 2006, 6:53 pm #2

Hi Jim
Long time no respondy.
My preference is for a square stance also. I like Mindy's stance from book1, namely left foot turned towards the target by 30* and the right foot similarily by 10* rather than the 35* to 45* open stance.
Mindy wrote an entire book based upon the 30/10 stance and up to 1977 or so, resulted in an entirely effective reflex swing. In the late 1970's he improved on this by going to an open stance, however both work. Unfortunately for me neither work in producing a true working reflex golf swing as I just don't really understand all the details listed by Mindy. If I lead my downswing with my legs ( knees unrotating and sliding towards the target ), the arms and clubhead end up nowhere close to where the ball is waiting to get whacked.

I read with interest two postings back where Lea introduced the subject "rolling hands under" and Chris Walker and you responded. There seems to be a disagreement on the matter. Chris, Richard Wax, you and others seem to be the most expert on a true reflex feeling. I don't get this feeling. What would help me immensely and possibly others, is photographs of the hands ( closeup ) at the top of the backswing and the clubhead at the top of the backswing taken from two views. I would suggest standing on a stool with the camera ( one will need an amiable, agile and cooperative wife to be the photographer ). One shot taken standing opposite the golfer and one shot taken down the target line with the photographer having their back to the target ( just remember to not hit the golf ball ).
It seems to me that not many of us can agree on clockwise, anticlockwise, square etc etc. With actual photographs, it will show the position of the hands at the top of the backswing and where the toe of the club is pointing, both being very important issues. I don't think it matters too much how you got into these positions at the top of the backswing, however it seems that it must be imperative to be in this position for a reflex swing. From my readings of the postings in the archived sections, I recall somehow Richard mentioning that Mindy would tweak his hands at the top of the backswing during the many hours that they were together, as he considered this most important to produce an effortless reflex swing.

I realize I am asking a lot so please ignore this request if it is too much effort. However if just one of you three or any other Mindian expert could produce one set of photos, this could be helpfull.
I would happily do this, however my swing is all over the planet at the moment and Mindy would turn over in his grave if he heard me utter that I have a reflex swing.

Getting back to the stance issue ( open or square ), Mindy wrote in book2 on page 21 -- " I would like to make it clear, however, that this book is meant to be a contribution to the theory of golf, not an instructional manual. ". So Jim, maybe both stances are ok.

regards
mike t
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Joined: November 20th, 2005, 12:14 am

February 18th, 2006, 7:12 pm #3

One problem which has plagued my efforts to develop a reliable swing is my inclination toward a square stance. Blake thought the open stance was the missing key for his swing and when he found it, the matter of restricting hip turn was fully resolved. When I practice I find that after just a few swings, doggone it, I'm gravitating back to a square stance. It's partly a lack of concentration and a bit of laziness with respect to the act of assuming the stance. If you are square, you lose the advantage of simply allowing the hips to turn from open to about square in the backswing.

For each swing Richard uses the set up recommended by Mindy. He stands behind the ball looking down the fairway at his target, then moves in next to the ball as he cocks his head so that right eye is vertically under the left. The hips are well open. He sets the club behind the ball with feet together, then draws his lead leg back. He then 'twists the rubber brick' by closing his shoulders until they are only slightly open. If you watch his entire swing motion, you see that he never is stock still but is constantly moving till the moment he does his forward press with trail leg and begins the swing.

When I get lazy (too frequently) I don't go through this routine. If you do the routine properly you are virtually guaranteed to be well open, but if you move into the stance from perpendicular to target line, rather than from behind looking down the fairway, you may set up too squarely. If you use Mindy's set up, the stance has a definite side-saddle feel to it. SD
Hi Jim
I just spent an hour and a half responding to your article and it seems the message got lost when I posted it. I posted it about 15 minutes ago and normally it shows up immediately. I will wait until tomorrow before trying again. I think this only happens when I am logged in. It seems to me it is better not to log in. Is there any way we can keep a backup copy before we click on the button "respond to Mindy's message" as once this is clicked the message diappears from the screen.

Thanks
mike t
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Joined: September 5th, 2004, 1:22 pm

February 18th, 2006, 8:31 pm #4

When you are not logged-in,your message must be approved before it will appear. Usually the problem can be resolved by following the info in this link.

http://www.network54.com/Forum/445702/m ... +logged+in

Hope this helps.
Regards,
Bob
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Joined: September 6th, 2004, 3:46 am

February 19th, 2006, 12:49 am #5

Hi Jim
Long time no respondy.
My preference is for a square stance also. I like Mindy's stance from book1, namely left foot turned towards the target by 30* and the right foot similarily by 10* rather than the 35* to 45* open stance.
Mindy wrote an entire book based upon the 30/10 stance and up to 1977 or so, resulted in an entirely effective reflex swing. In the late 1970's he improved on this by going to an open stance, however both work. Unfortunately for me neither work in producing a true working reflex golf swing as I just don't really understand all the details listed by Mindy. If I lead my downswing with my legs ( knees unrotating and sliding towards the target ), the arms and clubhead end up nowhere close to where the ball is waiting to get whacked.

I read with interest two postings back where Lea introduced the subject "rolling hands under" and Chris Walker and you responded. There seems to be a disagreement on the matter. Chris, Richard Wax, you and others seem to be the most expert on a true reflex feeling. I don't get this feeling. What would help me immensely and possibly others, is photographs of the hands ( closeup ) at the top of the backswing and the clubhead at the top of the backswing taken from two views. I would suggest standing on a stool with the camera ( one will need an amiable, agile and cooperative wife to be the photographer ). One shot taken standing opposite the golfer and one shot taken down the target line with the photographer having their back to the target ( just remember to not hit the golf ball ).
It seems to me that not many of us can agree on clockwise, anticlockwise, square etc etc. With actual photographs, it will show the position of the hands at the top of the backswing and where the toe of the club is pointing, both being very important issues. I don't think it matters too much how you got into these positions at the top of the backswing, however it seems that it must be imperative to be in this position for a reflex swing. From my readings of the postings in the archived sections, I recall somehow Richard mentioning that Mindy would tweak his hands at the top of the backswing during the many hours that they were together, as he considered this most important to produce an effortless reflex swing.

I realize I am asking a lot so please ignore this request if it is too much effort. However if just one of you three or any other Mindian expert could produce one set of photos, this could be helpfull.
I would happily do this, however my swing is all over the planet at the moment and Mindy would turn over in his grave if he heard me utter that I have a reflex swing.

Getting back to the stance issue ( open or square ), Mindy wrote in book2 on page 21 -- " I would like to make it clear, however, that this book is meant to be a contribution to the theory of golf, not an instructional manual. ". So Jim, maybe both stances are ok.

regards
mike t
It is certainly true that Blake spent most of his golfing career using a square stance, but he thought an open stance made the swing easier to perform. From the open stance the hips will naturally turn back to about square and (also) the hips don't have to be 'cleared' for the downswing. The photos you are wishing for are really contained in just one drawing, ie, the masthead drawing showing top of backswing from above. This was drawn when Blake was still using a square stance, but the only differences between it and open stance are that with open stance hips will be square and shoulders may not attain a full 90 degree turn at top of backswing.

The main key to a top of backswing position from which the upper body can be dragged down is trail elbow position. It must be relatively forward to make reflexive action possible. You start with the trail elbow pushed well forward then swing back slowly and quite vertically. The action of the hands in the backswing forces the elbows closer together. Mindy described on p.68 of GtTB how you can demonstrate for yourself the forcing together of the elbows by hand action. Another key, IMHO, is wrist position at top, ie, lead wrist flat and trail wrist flexed backward. Chris Walker has described several times an exercise to determine whether your top of backswing position is reflexive. Answering Lea's post that you referred to, Chris wrote:

"Just as a training exercise: do what you describe on the backswing, then stop at the top (at which point your arms should be forced together into a pretty firm unit) and just open your hips. You should find that your hands are forced down somewhere close to an impact position with your right (trail) elbow well in front of your torso. This, in my opinion, is at the heart of a proper Mindy Blake swing."

Good luck and please keep reporting on how you're doing. SD
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Joined: September 10th, 2004, 4:03 pm

February 19th, 2006, 10:01 am #6

Just to be clear... in case anyone is trying to use the exercise I most recently described for Lea's benefit and possibly having trouble, namely:

"Just as a training exercise: do what you describe on the backswing, then stop at the top (at which point your arms should be forced together into a pretty firm unit) and just open your hips. You should find that your hands are forced down somewhere close to an impact position with your right (trail) elbow well in front of your torso. This, in my opinion, is at the heart of a proper Mindy Blake swing."

The position of the hands at the top of the backswing is crucial. Lea could well be getting this completely correct. If not, then I go back to an earlier suggestion I made, again just for the purpose of this exercise: take a conventional backswing but, at the top, close the clubface by 30 to 40 degrees. Your lead hand's wrist should now be convex and your trail hand's wrist very concave. Now try the openning of your hips - and nothing else.

Regards, Chris Walker.
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Joined: September 6th, 2004, 3:46 am

February 19th, 2006, 4:12 pm #7

A question about one aspect of your exercise: When I think of a 'conventional' backswing I think of one in which the lead arm comes well inside, presumably far enough inside to take the trail elbow out of reflexive position. Why not swing 'straight back' as in an ordinary Blake backswing in order to keep the lead arm from coming inside (more than 15 degrees) too much? Perhaps by 'conventional' you meant an ordinary Blake backswing. Jim
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Joined: September 10th, 2004, 4:03 pm

February 19th, 2006, 6:10 pm #8

Jim,

OK perhaps best not to swing too far round yourself for the exercise that I have proposed. But by "conventional" I meant as per a conventional golf swing, not a Blake swing.

Just one other point, which I am fairly sure I have made before: you can go back TOO straight in a Blake swing. It is important to have the lead arm just (14 degrees ??) inside of the line to the target. If you do not then:

a) the initial move in the downswing may not force the trail elbow in front of your torso without your hands having to tense up, and

b) you are most unlikely to be moving the club through an important position both on the way back and the way down.

The vital position in b) comes as the club shaft is parallel to the ground. At this point (as I said, both during the backswing and the downswing), it must be pointing at the target.

Sometimes I (and possibly others !!) concentrate so much on different hand positions etc., I forget the importance of the plane in which the club is swung. Incidentally, the other point at which the clubshaft should be pointing at the target is in the follow through, again as it is parallel to the ground.

If anyone finds point b) helpful in a Blake swing, then please let me know.

Regards, Chris Walker.
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Joined: December 16th, 2005, 11:27 pm

February 20th, 2006, 4:20 am #9

Just to be clear... in case anyone is trying to use the exercise I most recently described for Lea's benefit and possibly having trouble, namely:

"Just as a training exercise: do what you describe on the backswing, then stop at the top (at which point your arms should be forced together into a pretty firm unit) and just open your hips. You should find that your hands are forced down somewhere close to an impact position with your right (trail) elbow well in front of your torso. This, in my opinion, is at the heart of a proper Mindy Blake swing."

The position of the hands at the top of the backswing is crucial. Lea could well be getting this completely correct. If not, then I go back to an earlier suggestion I made, again just for the purpose of this exercise: take a conventional backswing but, at the top, close the clubface by 30 to 40 degrees. Your lead hand's wrist should now be convex and your trail hand's wrist very concave. Now try the openning of your hips - and nothing else.

Regards, Chris Walker.
Chris you are right. I must be confusing people. It is a very hard swing to grasp on paper and on video. But once you have nailed it, you know you are right and have the correct swing. The ball goes straight down the middle virtually.I bend my right wrist straight away which puts me in position straight up. It`s then just a matter of keeping the hands fixed . When you start your downswing the hands are still locked together. It`s only when they pass your body that they roll under, and they don`t cross over after completing the swing.They are thrown up into the sky. Just like in the book. I would say it`s like a golfing tip that I was looking up a long time ago. It`s like grabbing a bucket of water with hands either side , take it back like a golf swing . When you come through you are supposed to throw the water over your left shoulder on a conventional swing, your hands having crossed over each other!!! But that is just the reverse with Mindians. You throw the water over to the right side.The hands stay under.!!!! Does that help.
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Joined: November 19th, 2005, 12:32 pm

February 20th, 2006, 10:13 am #10

One problem which has plagued my efforts to develop a reliable swing is my inclination toward a square stance. Blake thought the open stance was the missing key for his swing and when he found it, the matter of restricting hip turn was fully resolved. When I practice I find that after just a few swings, doggone it, I'm gravitating back to a square stance. It's partly a lack of concentration and a bit of laziness with respect to the act of assuming the stance. If you are square, you lose the advantage of simply allowing the hips to turn from open to about square in the backswing.

For each swing Richard uses the set up recommended by Mindy. He stands behind the ball looking down the fairway at his target, then moves in next to the ball as he cocks his head so that right eye is vertically under the left. The hips are well open. He sets the club behind the ball with feet together, then draws his lead leg back. He then 'twists the rubber brick' by closing his shoulders until they are only slightly open. If you watch his entire swing motion, you see that he never is stock still but is constantly moving till the moment he does his forward press with trail leg and begins the swing.

When I get lazy (too frequently) I don't go through this routine. If you do the routine properly you are virtually guaranteed to be well open, but if you move into the stance from perpendicular to target line, rather than from behind looking down the fairway, you may set up too squarely. If you use Mindy's set up, the stance has a definite side-saddle feel to it. SD
my english is bad, and some photos of what you are talking would be nice

thank you all
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