The Blake swing

The Blake swing

Joined: March 14th, 2008, 3:03 am

March 14th, 2008, 7:15 pm #1

was very impressed after viewing the Mindy Blake swing. But more to the point, I was very surprised. Disregarding his stance,and even that didn’t look all that unconventional, other than his right foot slightly facing the target, his swing looked no different from the swing of the better players of today. What I saw was what I see in every first class swing, a turning of the upper body against a resisting lower body, resisting rather than rigged, with no attempt made to hold the lower body in place. In other words, the same back swing you will see on any given day at a PGA event. The transition from back swing to down swing is a blueprint of the modern swing. As every thing is still going back, there is a explosive reversal of his lower body forward. No particular limb, set of limbs or part of the lower body being singled out to initiate the move. The fact that his upper body is still going back as his lower body is moving forward, first gives him some series separation from the upper body to the lower body, which gives him the tremendous torque he is able create. It is this torque that slings his passive upper body through the ball.If you compare the Blake wing to the swing of Cris Walker you can see there is no separation from upper body to the lower body. No separation, no torque no speed no power, all his energy comes directly from the upper body. Getting back to Blake, I see two completely different actions. His live action swing is completely different from the swing depicted in his writings and drawings. My views are from a completely unbiased observation, with no hidden agenda.
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Joined: February 9th, 2005, 6:11 pm

March 14th, 2008, 9:22 pm #2

you viewed this where?
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Joined: March 14th, 2008, 3:03 am

March 15th, 2008, 4:13 pm #3

Try the Blake forum photo album. And. If it’s a reflex swing forum, why am I looking at the inventor of a reflex swing, demonstrate a orthodox swing and a student of the Blake method make a poor imitation of the fundamentals of the same method?
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Joined: August 2nd, 2004, 11:57 pm

March 26th, 2008, 4:03 pm #4

but only in the sense that Freddy Couples
has an orthodox swing. And Jim Furyk.
And Miller Barber. And Doug Sanders.
Only in the sense that every golf swing
consists of drawing back a stick and whacking
a ball with it.
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Joined: November 11th, 2005, 11:32 pm

April 2nd, 2008, 3:11 pm #5

was very impressed after viewing the Mindy Blake swing. But more to the point, I was very surprised. Disregarding his stance,and even that didn’t look all that unconventional, other than his right foot slightly facing the target, his swing looked no different from the swing of the better players of today. What I saw was what I see in every first class swing, a turning of the upper body against a resisting lower body, resisting rather than rigged, with no attempt made to hold the lower body in place. In other words, the same back swing you will see on any given day at a PGA event. The transition from back swing to down swing is a blueprint of the modern swing. As every thing is still going back, there is a explosive reversal of his lower body forward. No particular limb, set of limbs or part of the lower body being singled out to initiate the move. The fact that his upper body is still going back as his lower body is moving forward, first gives him some series separation from the upper body to the lower body, which gives him the tremendous torque he is able create. It is this torque that slings his passive upper body through the ball.If you compare the Blake wing to the swing of Cris Walker you can see there is no separation from upper body to the lower body. No separation, no torque no speed no power, all his energy comes directly from the upper body. Getting back to Blake, I see two completely different actions. His live action swing is completely different from the swing depicted in his writings and drawings. My views are from a completely unbiased observation, with no hidden agenda.
Yes, we finally have a real swing sequence of Mindy Blake to look at so that comparisons can be made between the drawings/instructions in the books and the photographic evidence in the archives.

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

April 6th, 2008, 4:58 pm #6

was very impressed after viewing the Mindy Blake swing. But more to the point, I was very surprised. Disregarding his stance,and even that didn’t look all that unconventional, other than his right foot slightly facing the target, his swing looked no different from the swing of the better players of today. What I saw was what I see in every first class swing, a turning of the upper body against a resisting lower body, resisting rather than rigged, with no attempt made to hold the lower body in place. In other words, the same back swing you will see on any given day at a PGA event. The transition from back swing to down swing is a blueprint of the modern swing. As every thing is still going back, there is a explosive reversal of his lower body forward. No particular limb, set of limbs or part of the lower body being singled out to initiate the move. The fact that his upper body is still going back as his lower body is moving forward, first gives him some series separation from the upper body to the lower body, which gives him the tremendous torque he is able create. It is this torque that slings his passive upper body through the ball.If you compare the Blake wing to the swing of Cris Walker you can see there is no separation from upper body to the lower body. No separation, no torque no speed no power, all his energy comes directly from the upper body. Getting back to Blake, I see two completely different actions. His live action swing is completely different from the swing depicted in his writings and drawings. My views are from a completely unbiased observation, with no hidden agenda.
Hello jimsvision,
Interestingly, another of our knowledgeable members has a completely different interpretation than yours. After careful study of Mindy's swing, he believes that Blake's lower body does nothing more than stabilize his body while the upper body is producing all the power. Re today's tour pros: I think what you are saying is that the average tour pro gets most of his power from the torque produced by the separation of lower and upper body--right?

If you see Blake's lower body as being the prime mover in his swing, which is exactly what Blake wrote, why do you say that his live action swing is nothing like what is depicted in his writings and his drawings? Blake would almost certainly agree that the torque between his lower and upper body was a critical element of his swing. The drawings in his books were produced from photos of himself, though I cannot vouch for those photos having been dynamic.

Side note: Chris Walker hits with good power and has a 5 handicap. He asserts that his lower body provides all swing power. SD
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Joined: November 11th, 2005, 11:32 pm

April 13th, 2008, 3:36 pm #7

was very impressed after viewing the Mindy Blake swing. But more to the point, I was very surprised. Disregarding his stance,and even that didn’t look all that unconventional, other than his right foot slightly facing the target, his swing looked no different from the swing of the better players of today. What I saw was what I see in every first class swing, a turning of the upper body against a resisting lower body, resisting rather than rigged, with no attempt made to hold the lower body in place. In other words, the same back swing you will see on any given day at a PGA event. The transition from back swing to down swing is a blueprint of the modern swing. As every thing is still going back, there is a explosive reversal of his lower body forward. No particular limb, set of limbs or part of the lower body being singled out to initiate the move. The fact that his upper body is still going back as his lower body is moving forward, first gives him some series separation from the upper body to the lower body, which gives him the tremendous torque he is able create. It is this torque that slings his passive upper body through the ball.If you compare the Blake wing to the swing of Cris Walker you can see there is no separation from upper body to the lower body. No separation, no torque no speed no power, all his energy comes directly from the upper body. Getting back to Blake, I see two completely different actions. His live action swing is completely different from the swing depicted in his writings and drawings. My views are from a completely unbiased observation, with no hidden agenda.
Blake wrote his books more than 30 years ago. And he wrote from an English perspective, which meant that he was accustomed to the type of golf and golf swing that accomodated the small British golf ball. To a large extent, I think Mindy had noticed that the American swing (a large ball swing) was different than the British swing, and in discerning the difference he postulated an evolution in technique. He then extrapolated that perceived evolution to come up with his extreme "Reflex Swing".
I think that jimsvision is correct when he states that Mindy's real swing (which we see on the Mike Douglas Show video) more closely resembles a modern 2008 golf swing than it does the radical swing that Mindy describes in his books. Similarly, I think that Richard Wax's swing as seen on his DVD looks like a modern swing. Maybe 21st Century golf technique as practiced by the professionals has caught up to Mindy Blake?

Since Mindy's time, the golf ball has changed considerably in its flight characteristics. I think that the golf swings used by the professionals today have adjusted to the changed ball. Today the touring pros hit the ball very straight compared to just 15 or 20 years ago. For most professionals the club now goes straight back and straight through. I think Mindy would agree that the modern swing looks a lot like he envisioned it ought to look.

From my reading of Blakes's books, Mindy founded his instruction on two principles: 1) Pressure on the ball by the club & golfer through impact, and 2) Field Athletics as a guide to using the human body to its fullest in the golf swing. It seems to me that each of these principles still invites lively discussion.

Tom

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

April 18th, 2008, 1:29 am #8

Tom,
What is there about the reflex swing that suggests Mindy developed it specifically for the small British ball? What was the difference between the large ball swing and the small ball swing? Do you infer that British pros of Mindy's era swung differently from American pros? Aside: I recall (dimly) from the 1970s that when American pros played in The Open, as the Brits call it, or the British Open as we know it, Americans were allowed to use either the small ball or the larger American ball, though once a size was selected, the player had to use that size for all shots in all four rounds. I don't know whether American pros actually switched to the small ball for The Open. The small ball would fly farther but control may have been an issue as well.

Could you explain exactly what you mean by 'club now goes straight back and straight through'? Do you simply mean 'stays on plane' or something else?

I think the overarching principle asserted by Blake was use of the legs to provide all power for the swing, with the rest of the body used in 'reflex'. If he was, in fact, using his upper body as prime power source, this implies a high degree of self deception with respect to his writings. Certainly we've had numerous lively discussions here about the true nature of Mindy's 'extreme' swing. Jim
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Joined: November 11th, 2005, 11:32 pm

April 18th, 2008, 7:42 am #9


JIM: What is there about the reflex swing that suggests Mindy developed it specifically for the small British ball?
ME: I must have misspoke. I meant to say that Mindy's swing seems to me to be a departure from the British swing of his time. The American swing in 1970 as employed by golfers like Nicklaus was more upright and less handsy than the typical British swing. It seems to me that Mindy regarded the British swing as the old swing, the American swing as the current swing, and his Reflex Swing as the golf swing of the future. My own view is that the British swing was a small ball swing and American swing was a large ball swing.


JIM: What was the difference between the large ball swing and the small ball swing?
ME: The small ball had to be helped up into the air a little bit, thus the handsy look, while the large ball had to be kept from ballooning, thus the firm wristed look with the hands often well ahead of the ball at impact.

JIM: Do you infer that British pros of Mindy's era swung differently from American pros?
ME: Yes. The great British Champion Henry Cotton said as much in his wonderful books "This Game of Golf" and "My Golfing Album". Cotton was a very keen observer of how others played golf, and he photographed thousands of golfers both great and dubby in his quest to understand as much as he could about the game. John Jacobs, another renowned British teaching pro and player and author of "Practical Golf" also recognized the difference between the small ball and the large ball players. He said that the Brits would never compete successfully with the Americans until the R&A adopted the large ball. Golf history has proven him to be correct.

JIM: I don't know whether American pros actually switched to the small ball for The Open. The small ball would fly farther but control may have been an issue as well.
ME: According to books and articles, the small ball traveled considerably farther (20 yards) and it flew straighter as well. It was easier for the Americans to switch to the small ball for competitions than it was for the Brits to switch to the big ball. The big ball made the Americans much better shot shapers than the British.

JIM: Could you explain exactly what you mean by 'club now goes straight back and straight through'?
ME: Very few top golfers today try to hook or slice the ball more than 5 yards as their standard shot. Thus, the ball tends to stay between the left and right rough lines (the fairway) along its whole flight. Previously, many top golfers started the ball outside the fairway and curved it back onto the fairway.

JIM: If he (Mindy) was, in fact, using his upper body as prime power source, this implies a high degree of self deception with respect to his writings. ME: It seems to me that Mindy didn't reason from the particular to the general by the empirical method as most theories are constructed. Rather he was proposing for golf a grand theory whose principles he had borrowed from field athletics; that is, he used a postulated grand theory (leg power) to reason out specific swing mechanics. If his postulate was incorrect then his conclusions would become highly suspect even though they are indeed logically derived.

To my eye, the Mike Douglas video indicates that Mindy's actual swing and his book swing are not a close match. I think that if Mindy swung the way he said he swung in his books he would not have hit the ball very well. But, Mindy may very well have FELT like he was swinging according to his book directions. How Mindy actually swung probably was much different than the British small ball swing which he likely used when he first learned the game. This great difference may have FELT to him just as he describes his swing in his books. If so, he was not deceived, only radicalized.

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

April 19th, 2008, 3:55 am #10

Assuming Blake believed what he wrote to be true, but is actually untrue, he may have been radicalized by the notion of having discovered a grand principle of golf, but he was also deceived, albeit deceived by that notion and what he 'felt' when he swung. Of most importance, his written instructions for other golfers to follow would be of no value. Jim
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Joined: January 23rd, 2005, 12:18 pm

April 19th, 2008, 5:06 am #11


If Mindy was greatly mistaken then his written instructions might be of limited value, but certainly not of no value.

One obvious clue indicating that Mindy Blake was not 100% on the mark is his notion of applying "pressure" to the ball through impact. A corollary to the pressure theory is Mindy's claim that the Reflex swing could produce more distance from a given clubhead speed than could a conventional swing. I think these assertions have never found any support in actual field testing.
When one discards the pressure theory one naturally wonders what else in the books might not be quite right? For me, I doubted that Mindy kept the clubface as "square" as he said he did. To me, the Mike Douglas video indicated that Mindy's clubface looked quite conventional and not "square".

If we take away the "pressure" theory and take away the "squareness" principle, what remains of the Reflex Swing? I guess the answer would be the legs as the sole power source. But if the point of using the legs was 1) to keep the clubface square and 2) to pressure the ball at impact, and if neither of these things happen in Mindy's own swing, then Mindy has not achieved his stated purpose. Yet he has achieved something important in his own swing - "straightness". And for me, if the key to straightness lies somewhere in Mindy's writings or in his instructions then it's well worth seeking. I've had the opportunity of viewing the actual Mike Douglas video over a hundred times. Except for Mindy's absolutely steady head (the steadiest I've ever seen) I can't figure out how he hit the ball so straight. Any ideas?

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

April 19th, 2008, 1:20 pm #12

to address just one of your points, that the "pressure"
Mindy felt was real but was not involved with the ball?
Could it be that the pressure was an internal biological
sensation that was kinematic in nature? Could it be that
the pressure was intrinsic to the "dragging" of the club
shaft?

I hit my best Blake shots when I feel "pressure" from my
lead arm against my chest with no flipping of the wrist.
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Joined: September 22nd, 2005, 12:13 am

April 19th, 2008, 3:59 pm #13

If Mindy was greatly mistaken then his written instructions might be of limited value, but certainly not of no value.

One obvious clue indicating that Mindy Blake was not 100% on the mark is his notion of applying "pressure" to the ball through impact. A corollary to the pressure theory is Mindy's claim that the Reflex swing could produce more distance from a given clubhead speed than could a conventional swing. I think these assertions have never found any support in actual field testing.
When one discards the pressure theory one naturally wonders what else in the books might not be quite right? For me, I doubted that Mindy kept the clubface as "square" as he said he did. To me, the Mike Douglas video indicated that Mindy's clubface looked quite conventional and not "square".

If we take away the "pressure" theory and take away the "squareness" principle, what remains of the Reflex Swing? I guess the answer would be the legs as the sole power source. But if the point of using the legs was 1) to keep the clubface square and 2) to pressure the ball at impact, and if neither of these things happen in Mindy's own swing, then Mindy has not achieved his stated purpose. Yet he has achieved something important in his own swing - "straightness". And for me, if the key to straightness lies somewhere in Mindy's writings or in his instructions then it's well worth seeking. I've had the opportunity of viewing the actual Mike Douglas video over a hundred times. Except for Mindy's absolutely steady head (the steadiest I've ever seen) I can't figure out how he hit the ball so straight. Any ideas?

Tom
Tom
From Page 74 of GSoF
"the left thumb will slip into the palm of the right hand, forming a very strong grip."
This is a description of the palm grip used by Natural Golf and in a weaker form by Moe Norman. I believe the straight shots come from this grip position and I have confirmed it, for myself at least, by experimenting with grips over the last 10 years or so. This kind of grip gives very straight shots and excellent ball striking but in my experience the trade off is just slightly less power.
The still head will also add to consistent, square ball striking.
cheers
Mac.
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Joined: November 11th, 2005, 11:32 pm

April 19th, 2008, 6:29 pm #14

to address just one of your points, that the "pressure"
Mindy felt was real but was not involved with the ball?
Could it be that the pressure was an internal biological
sensation that was kinematic in nature? Could it be that
the pressure was intrinsic to the "dragging" of the club
shaft?

I hit my best Blake shots when I feel "pressure" from my
lead arm against my chest with no flipping of the wrist.
CD: Could it be that the pressure was an internal biological sensation that was kinematic in nature?
T: What purpose does that achieve?

CD: Could it be that the pressure was intrinsic to the "dragging" of the club
shaft?
T: What sort of "pressure" is dragging the shaft?

CD: I hit my best Blake shots when I feel "pressure" from my lead arm against my chest with no flipping of the wrist.
T: That "pressure" may exist for you, but I don't think it pertained to Mindy because his lead arm (at least in his books) was set well away from his chest and not against his chest.

Tom
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Kenneth LEWIS
Kenneth LEWIS

April 23rd, 2008, 8:12 am #15

If Mindy was greatly mistaken then his written instructions might be of limited value, but certainly not of no value.

One obvious clue indicating that Mindy Blake was not 100% on the mark is his notion of applying "pressure" to the ball through impact. A corollary to the pressure theory is Mindy's claim that the Reflex swing could produce more distance from a given clubhead speed than could a conventional swing. I think these assertions have never found any support in actual field testing.
When one discards the pressure theory one naturally wonders what else in the books might not be quite right? For me, I doubted that Mindy kept the clubface as "square" as he said he did. To me, the Mike Douglas video indicated that Mindy's clubface looked quite conventional and not "square".

If we take away the "pressure" theory and take away the "squareness" principle, what remains of the Reflex Swing? I guess the answer would be the legs as the sole power source. But if the point of using the legs was 1) to keep the clubface square and 2) to pressure the ball at impact, and if neither of these things happen in Mindy's own swing, then Mindy has not achieved his stated purpose. Yet he has achieved something important in his own swing - "straightness". And for me, if the key to straightness lies somewhere in Mindy's writings or in his instructions then it's well worth seeking. I've had the opportunity of viewing the actual Mike Douglas video over a hundred times. Except for Mindy's absolutely steady head (the steadiest I've ever seen) I can't figure out how he hit the ball so straight. Any ideas?

Tom
I like these comments but I found Mindy's books to suggest a string of improvements to conventional thinking, not just two.
1. The open stance with the feet turned towards the hole
2. The strong grip with the left thumb more behind the shaft
3. The right elbow being well forward
4. The head position which gives great sight of the line
5. The floating trailing hand grip.
6. The knee press at commencement
7. The restriction of the turning of the shaft during the swing
8. The way to control the motion with the legs alone
9. The emphasis on what Johnny Miller later called shaft speed as opposed to clubhead speed thru the ball
You may be able to list a lot more but the above are the points that have each improved my game and can recommend as worth trying. I wanted to point out there is more to Mindy than the square clubface and applying pressure thru the ball. I could say why these points seem to work for me but you are probably better off applying Mindy's books for yourself I think.
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