The Puzzle of Figure 13

The Puzzle of Figure 13

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

February 25th, 2006, 5:16 am #1

I would very much appreciate comments from those who have an interest in Blake's grip change. Blake attempted to show what the trail hand should do during the takeaway with figure 13, a drawing which shows trail elbow in center of body and the right hand supinated. Hah! You thought I was going to say 'clockwise' didn't you? Of course, Blake did use the term clockwise, but presumably 'supinate: palm turns upward' eliminates possible confusion. He also said the left (lead) hand pushes the club under the right (trail) hand, which bends fully back on the first movement. Add to this his words, "...keeping the clubface square to the line of flight causes the left hand to turn anti-clockwise (supinate) with the left (lead) thumb moving up and over." Yes, that's right, for left (lead) hand, it would also be a supinating action, not much though, too much would turn the lead hand under, yielding an arched rather than a flat wrist.

Figure 13 presents a puzzle in that the hand is not holding on to a club. How can the trail hand supinate when it's attached to a club? This would be possible if the clubface were opening during the takeaway, but instead it's closing (Mindy said staying square). An opening clubface would facilitate supination of trail hand but a closing clubface does not. I've made at least three interpretations of Mindy's instructions. (1) Clubface opens during takeaway to accommodate supinating trail hand, then closes during what Blake refers to as the backswing (beyond takeaway). This violates Blake's admonition that clubface stays square throughout the backswing. (2) The fingers of trail hand that are exerting pressure on the shaft (two middle fingers) 'slip' on the shaft to allow trail hand supination. (3) Trail hand 'tries' to supinate, but with no slippage of two middle fingers, all it can actually do is bend back. I used (2) for a long time, but finally decided that (3) was (probably) what Mindy had in mind. Recently, I've been experimenting with (2) again and it's working better for me than (3).

If you wish to see how (2) feels, do this: assume your stance and the unconventional Blake grip, but with the lead and trail elbows pushed right up against each other. Now, as you take the club back try to keep the elbows as close together as possible. They will separate but allow the trail fingers to slip on the shaft to keep elbows as close together as possible (and to accommodate a closing clubface). Remember that trail hand thumb and forefinger are just loosely around the shaft, exerting no pressure, so it's the two middle fingers that slip on the shaft. The grip change is completed just before reaching the top.

Incidentally, and this is not a plug for my part-way-back address, if you start from a position similar to figure 18, the grip change issue is moot. I've always thought figure 11, face-on view of takeaway, is misleading because trail elbow is too far back. The three photos of Blake in the album depicting his forward hip shift in backswing are a better example of where trail elbow should be at completion of takeaway. One other thing: none of my interpretations would seem to result in the following from Top of Swing section, GtTB: "At the top of the swing the two middle fingers of the right (trail) hand are pulling against the left thumb." At top my lead thumb is in the palm of trail hand, not touching the two middle fingers. However, I think he was likely describing forces on the shaft rather than physical positions. SD
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Joined: December 16th, 2005, 11:27 pm

February 27th, 2006, 3:26 am #2

Hi, snakedoc, In regards to fig 13, This is achivable. As Mindy said the right arm turns clockwise or "supinates" . The right hand comes over the top and it feels like the left hand rolls under the right.( this is where I might be confusing people with rolling hands) . It feels like the left hand rolls under the right but is actually just bowed , and the back of the hand faces away from you. Thats the feeling I`m getting anyway . The clubface does stay closed and when the downswing takes place the clubhead again comes into the square position and is held there for a far greater time by not rolling the hands over after impact. They stay in the same position and are thrown upwards, just as Mindy stated.It gives gives you the "feel "of rolling the hands . It gives you the feel that Mindy said, "of skipping stones" the hands are thrown up into the air , they dont roll over. Thats what I think anyway, I hope that helps. Thanks Lea form OZ.
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Joined: September 6th, 2004, 3:46 am

February 27th, 2006, 4:51 am #3

You wrote: "The right hand comes over the top..." What do you mean by 'over the top'?

With respect to clubface orientation, Blake said he kept it square throughout the swing. SD
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Joined: December 16th, 2005, 11:27 pm

February 27th, 2006, 5:39 am #4

The right comes over the top of the shaft. It bends back just like in fig 13.the club is square as it takes off and maintains it`s squareness for a while if not the whole swing. If you read the backswing section of the book again he says it`s square, but if you then read "the top of the swing" he never actually says that he keeps it square the whole time. Now I `m no expert but I`m just going on the pictures , does it look square at the top? I don`t know. Did he mean just the backswing, well then it`s square. As I hit the top I`m not sure but as I look in the mirror it seems to be like a nornal swing at the top.I was looking at the top position of Blakes swing in the article he appeared in with John Jacobs and Ken Adwick. Now in the 3rd page of that section (page 18 of that magazine) there is a picture of Blake at the top of his swing. It does not look closed to me, (that is the club face). It looks like a normal swing action. (very good position actually for a normal swing). Now weather or not his club face closes as he comes down is anyone guess, but I think it did.I get the feeling on the downswing that my hands are rolling back to a square position.Maybe the centrifigal force and the 45 degree stance brings the club square again, I`m not sure.Does that help anything? If you also look at his finishing position on the next page , his hands have not rolled over. This he states is a " curse of the golf swing" lea from OZ
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Joined: September 6th, 2004, 3:46 am

February 28th, 2006, 4:13 am #5

The only way I can see the right (hand) coming over the top of the shaft would be if you were using a fixed grip and rolled the lead hand under in the backswing. Mindy's grip change with the trail hand keeps that hand from going over the top (see trail hand in figures 11, 14, and 15, GtTB).

Blake believed his clubface stayed square throughout the entire swing--no 'rolling back to square' in the downswing but square throughout. This is an important aspect of his technique. Look at Blake's lead hand in figures 11, 14, 15, 17 and 18, GtTB. Lead wrist is flat in every figure--no rolling involved. What Mindy wanted was 'straight back, straight through'.

This does not say anything about the way you swing or how the swing feels to you. Our perceptions of what happens in our swings, like the imagery we employ, vary from person to person. Video of your swing will show what's actually happening.

Yes, Blake himself did not cross over, at least not in the drawing (figure 21). If you're achieving this position, you are well on your way. Again, check it out with video. Chris crosses over but well after impact. Since he hits the ball straight (right Chris?) I must conclude that he's not turning the clubface over during the impact interval. SD
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Joined: September 10th, 2004, 4:03 pm

March 1st, 2006, 8:52 am #6

Jim,

As long as everything is going well (which usually it does !!) then I do hit the ball straight, with no fade or draw.

There was a time when I faded every shot and I scored very well. This is not altogether surprising since predictability is such a virtue in golf.

Regarding the trail hand going over the top of the club shaft in the very early stages of the backswing... in my opinion, this is what it should do !! A grip change that prevents this happening suggests to me that the trail elbow will not be forced forward during the downswing. Your description of "...the right (hand) coming over the top of the shaft ... using a fixed grip and roll(ing) the lead hand under in the backswing" is what I do !! But I shall see once again whether a grip change can help. I know that Mindy thought it to be very important.

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

March 1st, 2006, 11:57 am #7

The only way I can see the right (hand) coming over the top of the shaft would be if you were using a fixed grip and rolled the lead hand under in the backswing. Mindy's grip change with the trail hand keeps that hand from going over the top (see trail hand in figures 11, 14, and 15, GtTB).

Blake believed his clubface stayed square throughout the entire swing--no 'rolling back to square' in the downswing but square throughout. This is an important aspect of his technique. Look at Blake's lead hand in figures 11, 14, 15, 17 and 18, GtTB. Lead wrist is flat in every figure--no rolling involved. What Mindy wanted was 'straight back, straight through'.

This does not say anything about the way you swing or how the swing feels to you. Our perceptions of what happens in our swings, like the imagery we employ, vary from person to person. Video of your swing will show what's actually happening.

Yes, Blake himself did not cross over, at least not in the drawing (figure 21). If you're achieving this position, you are well on your way. Again, check it out with video. Chris crosses over but well after impact. Since he hits the ball straight (right Chris?) I must conclude that he's not turning the clubface over during the impact interval. SD
Hi guys , snakedoc and chris, you didn`t comment on the position fo Mindy at the top of his swing.Re: Adwick and Jacobs interview.It looks pretty much like a normal swing. It doesn`t look closed, (the clubhead that is ) so how then can you say he had a closed swing throughout. It doesn`t figure . When we have actual footage of Mindy we may be able to solve this. I meant also to say right thumb comes over the top, not the whole right hand.Also my hands roll by themselves , by the action of the downswing and the leg thrust. It`s an automatic reaction to the 45 degree stand and the downward pull of the legs.Let me know when your in Oz. It would be great to play with a fellow Mindian.Good luck Lea from Oz
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Joined: September 6th, 2004, 3:46 am

March 2nd, 2006, 3:51 am #8

Jim,

As long as everything is going well (which usually it does !!) then I do hit the ball straight, with no fade or draw.

There was a time when I faded every shot and I scored very well. This is not altogether surprising since predictability is such a virtue in golf.

Regarding the trail hand going over the top of the club shaft in the very early stages of the backswing... in my opinion, this is what it should do !! A grip change that prevents this happening suggests to me that the trail elbow will not be forced forward during the downswing. Your description of "...the right (hand) coming over the top of the shaft ... using a fixed grip and roll(ing) the lead hand under in the backswing" is what I do !! But I shall see once again whether a grip change can help. I know that Mindy thought it to be very important.

Regards, Chris Walker.
Chris,
Do you know why you no longer have the reliable fade? Did you make a deliberate change to your swing to cause that?

Here's what I see in the still photos of your swing. From your address grip, if you 'rolled the lead hand under' back of lead hand would be facing the ground and an arched position of lead wrist would result at top of backswing. Instead, you have a good flat lead wrist position at top. So, from your address grip, lead hand 'turns' (vice rolling under) from about two knuckles visible (in the face-on view of your swing) to entire back of lead hand being visible. Back of lead hand is still fully visible at top of backswing. Maybe it FEELS like 'rolling under' or maybe I'm just misunderstanding the phrase 'rolling the lead hand under'.

With respect to elbows being forced together, that occurs with Blake's grip change. Mindy might have been surprised to learn that it happens with a fixed grip. Is that why you adopted a fixed grip, ie, elbows weren't being forced together when you used a grip change? Cheers, Jim
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Joined: September 6th, 2004, 3:46 am

March 2nd, 2006, 7:23 am #9

Hi guys , snakedoc and chris, you didn`t comment on the position fo Mindy at the top of his swing.Re: Adwick and Jacobs interview.It looks pretty much like a normal swing. It doesn`t look closed, (the clubhead that is ) so how then can you say he had a closed swing throughout. It doesn`t figure . When we have actual footage of Mindy we may be able to solve this. I meant also to say right thumb comes over the top, not the whole right hand.Also my hands roll by themselves , by the action of the downswing and the leg thrust. It`s an automatic reaction to the 45 degree stand and the downward pull of the legs.Let me know when your in Oz. It would be great to play with a fellow Mindian.Good luck Lea from Oz
Re the top of backswing photo in the Golf World article. You wrote: "It doesn`t look closed, (the clubhead that is ) so how then can you say he had a closed swing throughout." Blake, not I, wrote that his clubface stayed square, not closed. Also, I wouldn't make any generalization based on one photo. The photo appears to have been taken at an angle to target line, presenting a perspective issue. To my eye, the camera angle makes the swing look flat and that lead arm has come well inside the line. If photo could be rotated to a face-on view as in figure 15 of GtTB, I reckon clubface orientation would look much like figure 15.

Re trail hand action in backswing: If you are using Mindy's grip change, during the takeaway trail hand should turn as shown in figure 13, GtTB.

The Mindy tape, if it turns up, may be helpful in analyzing some of these details, but its main value, in my opinion, would be to show the overall swing motion. SD

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Joined: December 16th, 2005, 11:27 pm

March 2nd, 2006, 11:28 am #10

snakedoc, I didnt` say he had a square swing throughout, You stated Mindy said it was square throughout. I said it didn`t look closed from the image in the article.After you said that Mindy stated it was square throughout, I`ve tried to find in the book where he says it`s square the whole way but I can`t.He says during the backswing, it starts off square. I don`t know if it finishes square at the top.if you look at hi arm , the shaft , the club . It looks like an ordinary swing at this point.
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Joined: September 6th, 2004, 3:46 am

March 2nd, 2006, 7:31 pm #11

What I was telling you with respect to clubface orientiation was that (1) I was quoting Blake not making claims myself, and (2) that Blake didn't say 'closed', as you did, rather he said his clubface stayed 'square' throughout.

I then expressed my opinion that the perspective (not directly down target line) of the top of swing photo would make it difficult to analyze clubface orientation. Using a little imagination, rotating the photo might result in a position similar to figure 15, GtTB.

Blake makes several references to the advantages of keeping the clubface square--he considered it an important part of his method.

From p.63 in GSotF presenting rationale for his radical technique: "The recurrent problem I encountered was the question of opening and closing the clubface during the swing. The reason why the club opens on the backswing...is that when the club is held in two hands with a conventional grip, the wrists would have to dislocate if the face was to remain square to the direction of travel as with, say a tennis racket." He wanted to eliminate opening and closing of clubface in the backswing and downswing.

Figures 18, 19, and 20, GSotF. To demonstrate what he wanted to do with clubface, he used an analogy showing how a hammer would have been 'swung' using the old-fashioned Scottish swing (figure 18), the square-to-square swing (figure 19), and how a hammer would be used naturally (figure 20). He wanted a swing which would correspond to figure 20, ie, clubface square throughout the swing. For lead hand to simulate figure 20, he concluded that trail hand would have to change in relation to lead hand in order for clubface to stay square.

The clearest statement of what he was trying to do is in the Takeaway section on p.68 of GtTB: "In fact, this [figure 13 action] means that the left hand pushes the club straight back WITH THE CLUBFACE REMAINING AT RIGHT ANGLES TO THE LINE OF FLIGHT [my emphasis]. This is normally referred to as 'hooding the club', but IT IS ACTUALLY A TRULY SQUARE METHOD [my emphasis] which eliminates the complications that arise when you are trying, as in the conventional golf swing, to strike a ball with an implement which is rotating in two planes--around the body and around the arms--simultaneously." SD

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

March 2nd, 2006, 8:05 pm #12

It is pretty clear in the top of swing photo from the inerview that Mindy's clubface is not aligned with his lead arm but is in what would normally be considered a more 'closed' position ('square' being parallel to the lead arm). In fig 15 the clubface is also shown as 'closed'. While fig 15 does not allow you to compare the clubface to the lead arm it is clear that it is closer to horizontal than to vertical which is another conventional indication of a more 'closed' position.

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

March 3rd, 2006, 6:03 pm #13

What I was telling you with respect to clubface orientiation was that (1) I was quoting Blake not making claims myself, and (2) that Blake didn't say 'closed', as you did, rather he said his clubface stayed 'square' throughout.

I then expressed my opinion that the perspective (not directly down target line) of the top of swing photo would make it difficult to analyze clubface orientation. Using a little imagination, rotating the photo might result in a position similar to figure 15, GtTB.

Blake makes several references to the advantages of keeping the clubface square--he considered it an important part of his method.

From p.63 in GSotF presenting rationale for his radical technique: "The recurrent problem I encountered was the question of opening and closing the clubface during the swing. The reason why the club opens on the backswing...is that when the club is held in two hands with a conventional grip, the wrists would have to dislocate if the face was to remain square to the direction of travel as with, say a tennis racket." He wanted to eliminate opening and closing of clubface in the backswing and downswing.

Figures 18, 19, and 20, GSotF. To demonstrate what he wanted to do with clubface, he used an analogy showing how a hammer would have been 'swung' using the old-fashioned Scottish swing (figure 18), the square-to-square swing (figure 19), and how a hammer would be used naturally (figure 20). He wanted a swing which would correspond to figure 20, ie, clubface square throughout the swing. For lead hand to simulate figure 20, he concluded that trail hand would have to change in relation to lead hand in order for clubface to stay square.

The clearest statement of what he was trying to do is in the Takeaway section on p.68 of GtTB: "In fact, this [figure 13 action] means that the left hand pushes the club straight back WITH THE CLUBFACE REMAINING AT RIGHT ANGLES TO THE LINE OF FLIGHT [my emphasis]. This is normally referred to as 'hooding the club', but IT IS ACTUALLY A TRULY SQUARE METHOD [my emphasis] which eliminates the complications that arise when you are trying, as in the conventional golf swing, to strike a ball with an implement which is rotating in two planes--around the body and around the arms--simultaneously." SD
If the golf swing were a pendulum motion such as using a hammer (Blake's analogy) or a croquet mallet, assessing degree of squareness or lack thereof would be straightforward. For example, if croquet mallet is taken straight back directly over target line and mallet face is perpendicular to target line at the point being analyzed, then one could confidently say face is square.

In my opinion, it's more complicated with a golf club. Blake referred to "...the complications that arise when you are trying, as in the conventional golf swing, to strike a ball with an implement which is rotating in two planes--around the body and around the arms--simultaneously." He tried to eliminate the 'around the body' element but, even with Mindy's swing, the club still comes inside to some extent. To make an assessment of the squareness of a golfer's clubface leading edge, you would need knowledge of the planes (backswing and downswing planes) employed by the particular golfer being analyzed. With solid geometry, one could determine and plot, at all points in three-dimensional space (x,y and z axes) along the golfer's planes, perfect squareness for the golfer being analyzed. Actually, it seems that a line in three-dimensional space, corresponding to clubface leading edge, would be needed rather than a single point, so two sets of x, y and z values would be needed in order to plot a perfect squareness line along the golfer's planes. Finally, to determine the golfer's degree of squareness at a particular point within his/her swing, the perfect squareness line at a point in the swing would be compared with golfer's clubface leading edge (line) at that point. The angle between the two would yield degree of squareness.
Doc, I can't believe you just said that. Well, that's what happens when my motor keeps running at night when sleep won't come. Does anyone know of a good article on this subject somewhere in accessible golf literature? SD





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Joined: June 5th, 2005, 10:08 pm

March 5th, 2006, 1:56 am #14

I use a 'simplified' method for assessing the squareness of my club during swing. First, I simplify by assuming a single plane for both backswing and downswing. Second, I assume, with Blake, that the center of rotation for both swings is the spine at the base of the neck. For me, at 5' 11'' this is approximately 5 feet when at address. When I address the ball with my 5 iron(60 degree lie) my eyes are over the club shaft, between the ball and my hands. When I look down(my floor is 1' tiles) I estimate that my center of rotation is 1' inboard of the ball. This 1', divided by the 5' altitude of my center of rotation, gives me the tangent of the plane of rotation of my swing, which turns out to be 11 degrees from vertical.
When I reach the position shown in Fig. 12(G:tTB) and look at my club, the grooves on the club face should be 11 degrees off the horizontal.
The squareness of the club face is totally under the control of the leading hand. It's grip on the club never changes.
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Joined: December 16th, 2005, 11:27 pm

March 5th, 2006, 11:43 am #15

Re the top of backswing photo in the Golf World article. You wrote: "It doesn`t look closed, (the clubhead that is ) so how then can you say he had a closed swing throughout." Blake, not I, wrote that his clubface stayed square, not closed. Also, I wouldn't make any generalization based on one photo. The photo appears to have been taken at an angle to target line, presenting a perspective issue. To my eye, the camera angle makes the swing look flat and that lead arm has come well inside the line. If photo could be rotated to a face-on view as in figure 15 of GtTB, I reckon clubface orientation would look much like figure 15.

Re trail hand action in backswing: If you are using Mindy's grip change, during the takeaway trail hand should turn as shown in figure 13, GtTB.

The Mindy tape, if it turns up, may be helpful in analyzing some of these details, but its main value, in my opinion, would be to show the overall swing motion. SD
I`ve had a good look at other golfers at the top of their swing and they all seem to have the same position as Mindy? It looks normal at the top. Does anyone agree or am I missing something here.
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