What do you make of the leg action?

What do you make of the leg action?

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

October 19th, 2007, 3:27 pm #1

In the Connecticut swing?

I don't see much action. He seemed to press forward at
the address and just hold the "pressure". There are four
frames at TOS with almost no discernable movement.
In total I think Claude Pesant has most faithfully
emulated Blake among our gallery. Claude has a noticeable
hip whip tho.
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Joined: December 23rd, 2004, 12:51 am

October 20th, 2007, 3:14 pm #2

has always said that there's no more effort than turning to speak to a friend at the dinner table.

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

October 20th, 2007, 8:02 pm #3

Questions have always arisen in my mind when I think of Richard's now well-known line (among Blakeites) re the alleged gentle effort required by the legs to make a full Blake swing. Assuming that the primary (or sole) energy for a Blake swing comes from leg action, may we conclude that (1) only a gentle effort (combined with the physics of release) is required by the legs to make the arms and hands go very fast, or (2) what appears to be a gentle effort is actually a deceptively powerful action by the strong leg muscles? A third possibility is that leg action actually "triggers" sequential action by muscles in, eg, the back, torso and shoulders which is "added" to leg power and passed to the arms and hands. Of course, there may be other things going in the reflex swing. Jim
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Joined: September 6th, 2004, 3:46 am

October 20th, 2007, 8:41 pm #4

In the Connecticut swing?

I don't see much action. He seemed to press forward at
the address and just hold the "pressure". There are four
frames at TOS with almost no discernable movement.
In total I think Claude Pesant has most faithfully
emulated Blake among our gallery. Claude has a noticeable
hip whip tho.
The hips obviously turn back and forward. I suppose Blake would say the hips turned because of leg action. If he just "held the pressure" with his legs after his forward press, what would make the club go? As you know, Blake made a definite distinction between a leg-controlled swing and a hip-controlled swing. He asserted that modern pros who think they are powering their swings with their legs are actually using their hips. Jim
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Joined: September 22nd, 2005, 12:13 am

October 20th, 2007, 10:49 pm #5

I find that the leg action is different in feel and may be deceptively powerful when you think of how strong the legs are. In a conventional swing the left heel is often raised to some degree in the backswing and I wonder if this means that the leg action is more from the hips or at least feels that way. My feel is that the feet are anchored to the ground (that is both feet flat) and that the legs not only hold against the hips but also pull against them in the downswing. This is a subtle thing in terms of the degree of movement apparent in the legs. I suspect it creates a short but quick movement of the hips and also generates a reflex action in the extended muscles of the torso.
Mac.
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Joined: August 2nd, 2004, 11:57 pm

October 22nd, 2007, 2:47 pm #6

The hips obviously turn back and forward. I suppose Blake would say the hips turned because of leg action. If he just "held the pressure" with his legs after his forward press, what would make the club go? As you know, Blake made a definite distinction between a leg-controlled swing and a hip-controlled swing. He asserted that modern pros who think they are powering their swings with their legs are actually using their hips. Jim
That there is almost no leg action seen in the sequence.
Of course the camera angle is not good for seeing leg
action. There is hip action but not a lot in terms of
length of arc. Maybe Mindy's leg action was more of a
gentle nudge than a big muscular exertion. Perhaps Richard's
turn at table (as Peter pointed out) is correct.
The swing being GSOF probably curbs the leg action some
also.
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Joined: November 21st, 2007, 6:36 pm

December 16th, 2007, 7:19 pm #7

Questions have always arisen in my mind when I think of Richard's now well-known line (among Blakeites) re the alleged gentle effort required by the legs to make a full Blake swing. Assuming that the primary (or sole) energy for a Blake swing comes from leg action, may we conclude that (1) only a gentle effort (combined with the physics of release) is required by the legs to make the arms and hands go very fast, or (2) what appears to be a gentle effort is actually a deceptively powerful action by the strong leg muscles? A third possibility is that leg action actually "triggers" sequential action by muscles in, eg, the back, torso and shoulders which is "added" to leg power and passed to the arms and hands. Of course, there may be other things going in the reflex swing. Jim
I doubt that it's #1, though that argument could be made. #2 is definitely not it and my guess is that #3 is the best bet in that IMHO the legs/stance only help to transmit power rather than create the power. People can hit 75-85% of their normal yardage with a close to feet together stance, more or less proving that the legs by themselves are not the be all/end all mehtod of powering the golf swing.
As to Blake stance and how it differs from almost all other methods of golfing is that with Blake it is difficult to get stuck on your trail side. Kind of a gentle version of a ski jump in that at the top of the backswing the body is coiled and on top of the trail hip and it's just downhill from there with NO lead leg for the body to slam into because of the OPEN stance.
ALL other methods pretty much have a lead leg that the body (train engine) SLAMS into, thereby stopping the train BUT whatever is not bolted down (the arms/hands) is slingshotted by virtue of inertia.
With Blake, it's more gentle and relaxed in that the whole body, as a unit, keeps going.
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Joined: September 6th, 2004, 3:46 am

December 19th, 2007, 6:09 pm #8

I find that the leg action is different in feel and may be deceptively powerful when you think of how strong the legs are. In a conventional swing the left heel is often raised to some degree in the backswing and I wonder if this means that the leg action is more from the hips or at least feels that way. My feel is that the feet are anchored to the ground (that is both feet flat) and that the legs not only hold against the hips but also pull against them in the downswing. This is a subtle thing in terms of the degree of movement apparent in the legs. I suspect it creates a short but quick movement of the hips and also generates a reflex action in the extended muscles of the torso.
Mac.
mac, I had intended to comment on this earlier but I lost my train of thought. In fact, I may have lost the whole railroad. Anyway, you said leg action "...generates a reflex action in the extended muscles of the torso." By "reflex action" are you referring to (1) Mindy's idea of power being "transmitted" through stretched and relaxed muscles or (2) to the torso muscles contracting and producing energy, ie, torso muscles being used for more than simply "transmission." Jim
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Joined: September 6th, 2004, 3:46 am

December 19th, 2007, 8:20 pm #9

That there is almost no leg action seen in the sequence.
Of course the camera angle is not good for seeing leg
action. There is hip action but not a lot in terms of
length of arc. Maybe Mindy's leg action was more of a
gentle nudge than a big muscular exertion. Perhaps Richard's
turn at table (as Peter pointed out) is correct.
The swing being GSOF probably curbs the leg action some
also.
One must wonder how much energy a "gentle nudge" with the legs can create. We know the legs are powerful. Mindy and Richard have pointed out numerous times that one can stand on legs all day long, but stand on hands/arms for a few minutes at best. However, analyzing the golf swing is likely far more complex than that simplistic comparison. For example, the forearms have those type 2x fast twitch muscle fibers, seemingly designed to produce a burst of energy such as that needed in the golf swing. Of course, Mindy saw only a "transmission" role for the arms.

In both his books Blake claimed that he was simply applying a well-known principle of field athletics (javelin, discus), ie, generating all energy with the legs and "transmitting" it to the hands via stretched and relaxed muscles. I have been unable to confirm (from other sources) Blake's assertion that the body can do this. Generally speaking, golf theorists espouse varying versions of coordinated lower body/upper body effort, ie, many muscle groups involved in generating energy for the golf swing.

Without the analysis tools now available, Blake was forced to draw conclusions about what was going on in his own swing that may not match reality. Even so, he was adamant about his right elbow/leg action theory. Could he have been wrong about legs being the engine of the golf swing with an unusual position of the right (trail) elbow making energy transfer to the hands possible? Jim
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Joined: December 23rd, 2004, 12:51 am

December 20th, 2007, 2:59 am #10

I think you meant trail elbow vs lead.

It is quite clearly possible to have a swing with the legs as the engine and everything else transmitting. It's also clear from scientific studies that optimal swings begin with action by the legs and that the motion of the wrist (lead or trail) is faster than can be accomodated by the muscles so the muscle type in the arms is not relevant in those optimal swings. There are other reasons why fast twitch muscle would not be relevant to even most am swings as well.

Peter
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Joined: November 27th, 2004, 1:41 pm

December 20th, 2007, 11:04 am #11

One must wonder how much energy a "gentle nudge" with the legs can create. We know the legs are powerful. Mindy and Richard have pointed out numerous times that one can stand on legs all day long, but stand on hands/arms for a few minutes at best. However, analyzing the golf swing is likely far more complex than that simplistic comparison. For example, the forearms have those type 2x fast twitch muscle fibers, seemingly designed to produce a burst of energy such as that needed in the golf swing. Of course, Mindy saw only a "transmission" role for the arms.

In both his books Blake claimed that he was simply applying a well-known principle of field athletics (javelin, discus), ie, generating all energy with the legs and "transmitting" it to the hands via stretched and relaxed muscles. I have been unable to confirm (from other sources) Blake's assertion that the body can do this. Generally speaking, golf theorists espouse varying versions of coordinated lower body/upper body effort, ie, many muscle groups involved in generating energy for the golf swing.

Without the analysis tools now available, Blake was forced to draw conclusions about what was going on in his own swing that may not match reality. Even so, he was adamant about his right elbow/leg action theory. Could he have been wrong about legs being the engine of the golf swing with an unusual position of the right (trail) elbow making energy transfer to the hands possible? Jim
Jim,

In the spirit of swing studies, as Peter mentioned, yes the wrists can release faster than one can muscularly release them. However the context is that there must be sufficient wristcock entering release. In fact, the single most important factor in long-ball hitting is wristcock.

Perhaps one way of looking at tranmission is in this way. The less wristcock there is entering release, the faster the hands must travel to acquire the same clubhead speed. And here one may wonder how to ideally create the link for transmission, i.e., is there enough energy to transmit up the chain?

Perhaps one with sufficient wristcock need not worry about how and from where the clubhead acquires its kinetic energy - in this type of technique, the difference between a leisurely and "all-out" swing is more subtle and does not require the same muscular exertions or output as the swing with less retained wristcock.

Hint: When you're the waiter holding the tray at shoulder height in a classy restaurant, don't let the contents slide to one side too soon - the patrons will be dissapointed

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

December 21st, 2007, 6:49 pm #12

I think you meant trail elbow vs lead.

It is quite clearly possible to have a swing with the legs as the engine and everything else transmitting. It's also clear from scientific studies that optimal swings begin with action by the legs and that the motion of the wrist (lead or trail) is faster than can be accomodated by the muscles so the muscle type in the arms is not relevant in those optimal swings. There are other reasons why fast twitch muscle would not be relevant to even most am swings as well.

Peter
Peter,
Ben Hogan wrote that after his hips had "carried" his arms down to about waist level he "hit just as hard as I can with the upper part of my body, my arms and my hands, in that order." Following hip action (in "Five Lessons") he wrote: "HIT THE BALL AS HARD AS YOU CAN WITH BOTH HANDS." (upper case used by Hogan).

Mindy asserted that Hogan and Lee Trevino's methods were not 100% pure reflex. About them he wrote: "The wrists pronate slightly so, even if only to a minor extent, there has to be a hit with the hands, but fundamentally both of them drag the club through the ball with the legs and this is the foundation of their success."

How would you describe the differences between Blake's technique and Hogan's technique? Did Hogan consciously "add" upper body power in the latter part of his downswing or was he simply allowing release to occur by reflex (unconscious) action? Jim
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Joined: September 6th, 2004, 3:46 am

December 21st, 2007, 7:02 pm #13

Jim,

In the spirit of swing studies, as Peter mentioned, yes the wrists can release faster than one can muscularly release them. However the context is that there must be sufficient wristcock entering release. In fact, the single most important factor in long-ball hitting is wristcock.

Perhaps one way of looking at tranmission is in this way. The less wristcock there is entering release, the faster the hands must travel to acquire the same clubhead speed. And here one may wonder how to ideally create the link for transmission, i.e., is there enough energy to transmit up the chain?

Perhaps one with sufficient wristcock need not worry about how and from where the clubhead acquires its kinetic energy - in this type of technique, the difference between a leisurely and "all-out" swing is more subtle and does not require the same muscular exertions or output as the swing with less retained wristcock.

Hint: When you're the waiter holding the tray at shoulder height in a classy restaurant, don't let the contents slide to one side too soon - the patrons will be dissapointed

Scott
Scott,
Assuming a golfer attains sufficient wrist cock in backswing, pulling everything down with leg action (as Peter says is possible) would seem to be the ideal way to maintain wrist cock till late in downswing since the arms would not be consciously used and wrist uncocking would be entirely reflexive. Do you believe Blake was wrong in his belief that the legs can drag the arms down? Jim
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Joined: December 23rd, 2004, 12:51 am

December 21st, 2007, 9:08 pm #14

Peter,
Ben Hogan wrote that after his hips had "carried" his arms down to about waist level he "hit just as hard as I can with the upper part of my body, my arms and my hands, in that order." Following hip action (in "Five Lessons") he wrote: "HIT THE BALL AS HARD AS YOU CAN WITH BOTH HANDS." (upper case used by Hogan).

Mindy asserted that Hogan and Lee Trevino's methods were not 100% pure reflex. About them he wrote: "The wrists pronate slightly so, even if only to a minor extent, there has to be a hit with the hands, but fundamentally both of them drag the club through the ball with the legs and this is the foundation of their success."

How would you describe the differences between Blake's technique and Hogan's technique? Did Hogan consciously "add" upper body power in the latter part of his downswing or was he simply allowing release to occur by reflex (unconscious) action? Jim
I accept what Hogan said as 100% correct but that does not mean that others that read the statement have the experience to properly interpret what he said. Personally until I was able to objectively (video) achieve a 'Hoganesque' impact position I did not have the experience to properly interpret 'release'. With that experience I understand that it's possible to feel you are hitting hard even while you are definitely NOT hitting. That experience puts a very different spin on Hogan's comments.

There is a video of Hogan I often reference that shows him with his trail elbow 'on station' and passing through impact from that position. His trail elbow does not leave his side prior to impact. His comments about 'hitting' need to be understood in the context of that reality.

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

December 21st, 2007, 9:11 pm #15

Scott,
Assuming a golfer attains sufficient wrist cock in backswing, pulling everything down with leg action (as Peter says is possible) would seem to be the ideal way to maintain wrist cock till late in downswing since the arms would not be consciously used and wrist uncocking would be entirely reflexive. Do you believe Blake was wrong in his belief that the legs can drag the arms down? Jim
I don't think the legs pull the arms down. Rather if you don't hold your arms up they will drop.

Peter
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