Snakedoc-- I n researching Mindy Blake i

Snakedoc-- I n researching Mindy Blake i

Joined: October 29th, 2006, 3:58 pm

August 14th, 2007, 1:07 pm #1

find his life story as interesting as his golf swing.
In 1939 Mindy met the Harvard track coach who told him
he didn't understand about how to use his muscles for
stretching power and the coach proceeded to show him
and Mindy gained about a foot in height in pole vaulting.

This coaches name was Jaakko Mikkola , who coached the Norwegian
track and field at the Olympics during the 1920's
I wonder what Jaakko showed Mindy almost 70 years ago.?

ALSO i know that Mindy's sport was pole vaulting yet he uses
the example of a javelin thrower to compare his swing too.

Snakedoc are there similarity's between the two sports or
could pole vaulting better explain his swing?

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

August 14th, 2007, 3:39 pm #2

Mindy conditioned his torso and arm muscles to
contract with power from extreme elongation by
pole vaulting. I wonder if there are other
former vaulters who play scratch golf.?
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Joined: October 29th, 2006, 3:58 pm

August 14th, 2007, 6:42 pm #3

are pole vaulting and other track event related or is there something
unique about vaulting that Mindy incorulated into his swing?
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Joined: August 2nd, 2004, 11:57 pm

August 14th, 2007, 9:27 pm #4

Pole vaulters run full speed down the road
holding out a long pole and then they stick
it in the ground and then it yanks their
shoulders out of their armpits and then it
bends and then it recovers and sails them
up over the top of it like a bullet and then
they come down in a sand pit all stretched
out and elongated.

I don't know of another athletic event that's
similar. Maybe that scottish thing where they
run down the road balancing a telephone pole
and then stop and see how far they can throw it.
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Joined: September 6th, 2004, 3:46 am

August 15th, 2007, 5:33 pm #5

Though not as long as a telepone pole, a caber is a hewn log used in the Scottish game of "tossing the caber." At most games there will be cabers of various lengths and sizes. I've watched this event at the granddaddy of all Scottish games at Braemar in northern Scotland, near the Queen's summer castle. The winners of regional games during the summer come to Braemar each September to compete. In tossing the caber, the athlete selects the largest caber he thinks he's capable of handling. The caber is balanced against his body and head and held under the larger end with both hands. The athlete begins to walk with the caber, then runs and finally tries to toss the caber such that the far end goes into the ground and the near end goes up and over and lands in a perfect "12 o'clock" in the direction which the athlete was running. It's pretty amazing the first time you see it, then it gets boring pretty quickly, something you don't mind watching maybe once a year. More interesting, and moving, at Braemar was when the "massed pipe bands" from all over Scotland marched round the field playing "Scotland the Brave." It gives me chills just to think about it.

Mindy's arms were well developed and he had fairly large hands. The way he held the club in his hands reminded me of a musician lovingly holding his instrument. Physics tells us that Blake's swing couldn't have worked in exactly the manner he described. So, how did it work? Perhaps the "stretched though relaxed muscles" idea is key, though the same phenomenon would presumably be at work in any golf swing. However, Blake stressed that stretching "takes time", so perhaps the slowness of the backswing is also a necessity. The part of the swing that seems to be the most controversial, setting his "pressure" notion aside, is that the legs can pull the upper body, including arms and club, all the way down and through impact, with no apparent conscious effort by the upper body. For me, the downswing does seem to operate in just that way. If anatomy and kinesiology simply preclude that, then we must look elsewhere for the answer. One possibility is that leg movement triggers conditioned action by the upper body that feels like upper body being dragged down but really isn't. Another puzzle, for me anyway, is that Richard Wax says his leg action is minimal and that his downswing "turn" with his legs feels like no more effort than if turning to speak with someone at dinner table.

As for Blake's claim that leg action with unconsious action by the rest of the body is a "well known principle" of field athletics, I haven't been able to corroborate that. I don't know what the Harvard track coach taught Mindy. Jim
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Joined: August 2nd, 2004, 11:57 pm

August 15th, 2007, 6:50 pm #6

Mindy's arm and torso muscles were trained
to stretch and recover explosively. It had
to help him in golf to some degree.

As an experiment, if you put a bar (club shaft)
with a universal hinge at horizontal rest
at the top of a wedge cut cube
and twisted the cube counter-clockwise what
would be the resulting motion of the bar?

Mindy is saying that turning his legs
counter-clockwise drags his arms and club
down on an inclined plane.
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Joined: September 6th, 2004, 3:46 am

August 16th, 2007, 1:51 am #7

cd,
I don't know what would happen in the experiment you described. What is its relevance to how Blake's swing works?

You wrote: "Mindy is saying that turning his legs counter-clockwise drags his arms and club down on an inclined plane." Though it may simply be that no one ever thought of it before, I believe Blake was the first (and only) golfer to claim that his legs could drag his arms and club all the way down and through with sufficient energy emanating from the legs and being "transmitted" to the club to power a full golf swing. Ben Hogan believed that hip action alone could drag the arms and club down to about waist height, but he thought the upper body should become active at that point to complete the swing. Do you believe Blake's claim is consistent with human anatomy and kinesiology?

Richard Wax says that "release" is undesirable in executing a reflex swing. What role, if any, do you think "release" has in Blake's swing? What do you think of Richard's comment that his "turn" with his legs takes no more effort than would turning to speak with a person at dinner table. I think such turn involves slight hip and upper body effort--my legs are pretty much at rest when seated, even when turning to speak with someone. Thus, the analogy itself is questionable. Jim
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Joined: October 29th, 2006, 3:58 pm

August 16th, 2007, 11:39 am #8



replaced Jaakko Mikkola in 1952 as track coach.

Perhaps he knew about what Mikkola told Mindy.
the current Harvard track coach is Frank Haggerty
who ran for Mccurdy for 3 years before becoming coach.

Snakedoc, maybe if we give this information to Detective Chazman
he will be able to find out more info about this.
surly someone must know something about this.


HARVARD GAZETTE ARCHIVES


McCurdy, Legendary Harvard Track Coach, Dies


William W. McCurdy




William W. "Bill" McCurdy, the head coach of Harvard men's track and field and cross country from 1952 until 1982, died on Thursday, March 11, at his home in Harvard, Mass. He was 82.

McCurdy's career in Cambridge began in 1950. In his first two years at Harvard he was an assistant under -Jaakko Mikkola- and, upon Mikkola's retirement in 1952, was named head coach of men's cross country and indoor and outdoor track.

As Harvard's cross country mentor, McCurdy compiled a 201-62-1 record with 10 Greater Boston Championship (GBC) titles and six Heptagonal (Heps) crowns. In indoor track, he finished with a 132-30 mark, a dozen GBC titles and eight Heps crowns. And in outdoor track, his teams yielded a 112-26-1 record with an amazing 15 GBC crowns and five more Heptagonal titles.

Harvard named its outdoor track in McCurdy's honor in 1985, and in 1992, the Harvard Alumni Association presented him with the Harvard Medal for his extraordinary service to the University.

"He defined the word 'legend,'" said present director of cross country and track and field Frank Haggerty '68, who ran for McCurdy for three seasons, was an assistant coach under him, and succeeded him as head coach. "Bill was a legend while he was coaching, and not only to the kids who were at Harvard, but also to opponents and fellow coaches. Everyone had fabulous respect for him. To this day, many coaches remember him fondly and speak of him as one of the true pioneers of the sport. He was inspirational. You saw him out there in his sweats ready to go, and you couldn't help but be ready, too."

Born May 1, 1916, in Bolinas, Calif., McCurdy graduated from Stanford University in 1937. There, he was an outstanding quarter- and half-miler, and later went on to captain the San Francisco Olympic team, helping them win the 1939 AAU meet. McCurdy spent two years in the business world before entering the Army. During World War II, he held several assignments, including director of the First Army Instructors' School.

McCurdy is survived by his wife, Jince, five children, and numerous grandchildren.

The Friends of Harvard Track will hold a Bill McCurdy Celebration on Saturday, April 17, in the Murr Center's Hall of History, following the Harvard-Yale track and field meet that day at McCurdy Track. Call (617) 495-3535 for details.







--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Copyright 1999 President and Fellows of Harvard College

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

August 16th, 2007, 2:18 pm #9

cd,
I don't know what would happen in the experiment you described. What is its relevance to how Blake's swing works?

You wrote: "Mindy is saying that turning his legs counter-clockwise drags his arms and club down on an inclined plane." Though it may simply be that no one ever thought of it before, I believe Blake was the first (and only) golfer to claim that his legs could drag his arms and club all the way down and through with sufficient energy emanating from the legs and being "transmitted" to the club to power a full golf swing. Ben Hogan believed that hip action alone could drag the arms and club down to about waist height, but he thought the upper body should become active at that point to complete the swing. Do you believe Blake's claim is consistent with human anatomy and kinesiology?

Richard Wax says that "release" is undesirable in executing a reflex swing. What role, if any, do you think "release" has in Blake's swing? What do you think of Richard's comment that his "turn" with his legs takes no more effort than would turning to speak with a person at dinner table. I think such turn involves slight hip and upper body effort--my legs are pretty much at rest when seated, even when turning to speak with someone. Thus, the analogy itself is questionable. Jim
Interesting that Stack and Tilt is a "no release" swing.
Dead hands are a requirement.

My experiment is flawed and would prove nothing.

I believe that a horizontal turn of the hips and
legs will pull the arms thru impact on an inclined
plane if the swinger "locks out" all other possible
paths.
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Joined: September 6th, 2004, 3:46 am

August 16th, 2007, 6:49 pm #10



replaced Jaakko Mikkola in 1952 as track coach.

Perhaps he knew about what Mikkola told Mindy.
the current Harvard track coach is Frank Haggerty
who ran for Mccurdy for 3 years before becoming coach.

Snakedoc, maybe if we give this information to Detective Chazman
he will be able to find out more info about this.
surly someone must know something about this.


HARVARD GAZETTE ARCHIVES


McCurdy, Legendary Harvard Track Coach, Dies


William W. McCurdy




William W. "Bill" McCurdy, the head coach of Harvard men's track and field and cross country from 1952 until 1982, died on Thursday, March 11, at his home in Harvard, Mass. He was 82.

McCurdy's career in Cambridge began in 1950. In his first two years at Harvard he was an assistant under -Jaakko Mikkola- and, upon Mikkola's retirement in 1952, was named head coach of men's cross country and indoor and outdoor track.

As Harvard's cross country mentor, McCurdy compiled a 201-62-1 record with 10 Greater Boston Championship (GBC) titles and six Heptagonal (Heps) crowns. In indoor track, he finished with a 132-30 mark, a dozen GBC titles and eight Heps crowns. And in outdoor track, his teams yielded a 112-26-1 record with an amazing 15 GBC crowns and five more Heptagonal titles.

Harvard named its outdoor track in McCurdy's honor in 1985, and in 1992, the Harvard Alumni Association presented him with the Harvard Medal for his extraordinary service to the University.

"He defined the word 'legend,'" said present director of cross country and track and field Frank Haggerty '68, who ran for McCurdy for three seasons, was an assistant coach under him, and succeeded him as head coach. "Bill was a legend while he was coaching, and not only to the kids who were at Harvard, but also to opponents and fellow coaches. Everyone had fabulous respect for him. To this day, many coaches remember him fondly and speak of him as one of the true pioneers of the sport. He was inspirational. You saw him out there in his sweats ready to go, and you couldn't help but be ready, too."

Born May 1, 1916, in Bolinas, Calif., McCurdy graduated from Stanford University in 1937. There, he was an outstanding quarter- and half-miler, and later went on to captain the San Francisco Olympic team, helping them win the 1939 AAU meet. McCurdy spent two years in the business world before entering the Army. During World War II, he held several assignments, including director of the First Army Instructors' School.

McCurdy is survived by his wife, Jince, five children, and numerous grandchildren.

The Friends of Harvard Track will hold a Bill McCurdy Celebration on Saturday, April 17, in the Murr Center's Hall of History, following the Harvard-Yale track and field meet that day at McCurdy Track. Call (617) 495-3535 for details.







--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Copyright 1999 President and Fellows of Harvard College
McCurdy began his career at Harvard in 1950. The advice Mindy Blake got from the "Harvard field events coach" occurred in 1939, many years before McCurdy started at Harvard. The advice had to do with "storing power in the muscles by stretching them." This info is in the Intro to GSOTF.

For publicizing GSOTF Blake came across the pond and spent four weeks in the U.S. He visited Boston, Hartford, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Richmond, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago. He appeared on 25 local TV shows and one nationally broadcast show. This tour occurred in 1973 (I think) so possibly, though not probably, archival film or tape may exist somewhere along the book publicity trail he followed. The archives of the newspapers in those cities might be a good starting point for a golf swing detective. SD
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Joined: September 6th, 2004, 3:46 am

August 16th, 2007, 7:19 pm #11

Interesting that Stack and Tilt is a "no release" swing.
Dead hands are a requirement.

My experiment is flawed and would prove nothing.

I believe that a horizontal turn of the hips and
legs will pull the arms thru impact on an inclined
plane if the swinger "locks out" all other possible
paths.
Stack and Tilt swing: One must wonder how high clubhead speed can be generated without release. Regarding Mindy and release, I am always drawn to his statement in the Golf World article in which he was quoted as saying (in a discussion with John Jacobs and Ken Adwick): "During that final bit [of the downswing] just as you keep up the pressure through the ball, the hands "explode"--it's really a reflex action..." Could it be that Mindy was experiencing release without realizing it? Many golf "experts" do think of release as a "reflex action," ie, it happens without any overt action by the golfer, you know, centrifugal force, conservation of angular momentum--physics in action. With respect to Richard's statements re avoiding release, I think what he actually tries to avoid is not release, specifically, but rather wrist rollover through impact to maintain straightness of ball flight.

In previous forum discussions some members have asserted that some of the photos of Blake show his clubface in what appears to be an open position, in apparent contradiction to words in his books that clubface should be "shut" (closed). I'm presently experimenting with allowing the clubface to open in the backswing and close in the downswing, rather than trying to keep it square throughout. We're in the middle of Erin (tropical storm) today, so I won't be able to try this idea out at a range until at least tomorrow. Jim
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Joined: October 29th, 2006, 3:58 pm

August 20th, 2007, 1:09 am #12

McCurdy began his career at Harvard in 1950. The advice Mindy Blake got from the "Harvard field events coach" occurred in 1939, many years before McCurdy started at Harvard. The advice had to do with "storing power in the muscles by stretching them." This info is in the Intro to GSOTF.

For publicizing GSOTF Blake came across the pond and spent four weeks in the U.S. He visited Boston, Hartford, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Richmond, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago. He appeared on 25 local TV shows and one nationally broadcast show. This tour occurred in 1973 (I think) so possibly, though not probably, archival film or tape may exist somewhere along the book publicity trail he followed. The archives of the newspapers in those cities might be a good starting point for a golf swing detective. SD
i wonder if any of the golf magazines did a article
about Mindy that was released in 73 or 74

JC
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Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:09 am

August 20th, 2007, 7:43 pm #13

Interesting that Stack and Tilt is a "no release" swing.
Dead hands are a requirement.

My experiment is flawed and would prove nothing.

I believe that a horizontal turn of the hips and
legs will pull the arms thru impact on an inclined
plane if the swinger "locks out" all other possible
paths.
cd, I'm not so sure I would describe S+T ( which I've been using for the last 2 months with considerable success ) as a "no release " swing, although the hands and wrists do remain entirely passive. It feels to me ( although I know feel can be misleading ) that there is a considerable "release" just before impact, caused by the power/momentum generated by the rotary hip/body action. The hands and wrists just react. But I make no conscious effort to manipulate them at any stage of the swing.
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Joined: September 6th, 2004, 3:46 am

August 20th, 2007, 8:35 pm #14

David,
Is all power for the S&T swing generated by rotary hip/body action? Is the feeling of the swing that the arms and club are pulled/dragged down with no apparent effort by the upper body? Jim

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

August 21st, 2007, 2:01 am #15

i wonder if any of the golf magazines did a article
about Mindy that was released in 73 or 74

JC
We have found a few articles from British golf magazines from that era, but no American golf magazine articles. My guess would be that at least one of the Amercian golf magazines would have covered Mindy's swing or reviewed the book. There may be nothing new in such article(s) though perhaps there would be some photos we haven't seen. SD
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