Comments and Survey...for discussion

Comments and Survey...for discussion

Joined: July 12th, 2001, 12:35 am

December 20th, 2008, 9:38 pm #1

I have some comments and a question to ask for those of you interested in some healthy discussion...

The question is this: Is there a perfect way to swing a golf club?

Of course I think there is and my answer is Moe Norman and his "single plane" golf swing.

But this debate continues as there are many methods and many variables and golfers. An example is "stack and tilt". I get numerous questions about this method. And my answer is always the same, I don't know how a catchy label is going to help you move the club better. Just because tour players who know how to move the golf club already can do it, doesn't mean it is based on science.

The question that should be ask is this "Is the method biomechanically efficient and simple". If it is not, then it will never prove, in the long run, to be any better than any other non-science based method.

Where I come from is this: Forget about the game of golf for an instant, forget about score, putting, chipping and all the things that the game consists of. Think only of striking a golf ball. Think only of ball and target. Think only of the human body as a machine. Think of the golf club as a tool that the machine uses to strike a golf ball.

One one hand all machines are the same. We have two arms, two legs, a skeleton, body structure, spine, muscles etc. On the other hand, we are all different, sizes shapes, arm lengths etc.

Here is what I have discovered by watching thousands of golfers (yes I continue to watch tour players golf swings).

I have discovered that there are some significant body (machine) and golf club (tool) relationships. They are physical standards or "laws" that absolutely can not be violated. One, for example, is the lead hand / clubface relationship. Another example is how the body works. In my studies, consistency is a bi-product of simplicity. Simplicity is a product of biomechanical efficiency. In other words, you will never be consistent if what you are trying to learn or do is difficult. Moe called this "fighting himself".

Now, when I say that these laws can't be violated, what I mean is that you actually can violate them and still play golf. YOu can even violate them and play great golf. To play golf, you must be able to negotiate the violation of these laws and compensate for them. Golf and Golf Swing are very very different.

This is my point, to be a pure ball striker like Moe, you can not violate the laws.

Now, here is the point of my discussion: There are definitely physical laws. One of them is the relationship of the spine to the golf club at impact. I have learned much about this and continue to develop research regarding the spine clubshaft positioning. Why? Because back problems plague golfers and...there is a reason for it. There is also a solution to it. This solution is to reduce the stress on the back by creating a stress free relationship of the club to the spine. (By the way, this is why I strongly oppose clubs that are too long and too upright).

So, with all of the different golf swings out there, and all of the methods, the only way to really know what is ideal is the answer to this question:

"What is the best way to strike a golf ball using the body as a machine and the golf club as a tool".

The answer to this question is why Moe Norman is such a role model. Moe, in my opinion, intuitively figured it out. What a paradox. Moe Norman intuitively figured out biomechanical efficiency. IT was his intuition that directed him, and to me, that is the most genius thing of all. Something we should all consider.

Thoughts?

Todd Graves


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Joined: April 16th, 2003, 1:48 am

December 20th, 2008, 10:08 pm #2

With all the talk about laws it reminds me of something Bruce Lee said "First learn the rule, then learn how to break the rule"

Todd I have a question that is off this topic a bit but am very interested in your thoughts. You said that you are against clubs being to long. What is your opinion about Tom Wishon's theories on shorter lengths and do you conform to them?

Also, while I have you hear, Could you shed some light on the sngle club length debate and what did Moe have to say about them?
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Joined: November 17th, 2001, 6:19 am

December 20th, 2008, 11:02 pm #3

I have some comments and a question to ask for those of you interested in some healthy discussion...

The question is this: Is there a perfect way to swing a golf club?

Of course I think there is and my answer is Moe Norman and his "single plane" golf swing.

But this debate continues as there are many methods and many variables and golfers. An example is "stack and tilt". I get numerous questions about this method. And my answer is always the same, I don't know how a catchy label is going to help you move the club better. Just because tour players who know how to move the golf club already can do it, doesn't mean it is based on science.

The question that should be ask is this "Is the method biomechanically efficient and simple". If it is not, then it will never prove, in the long run, to be any better than any other non-science based method.

Where I come from is this: Forget about the game of golf for an instant, forget about score, putting, chipping and all the things that the game consists of. Think only of striking a golf ball. Think only of ball and target. Think only of the human body as a machine. Think of the golf club as a tool that the machine uses to strike a golf ball.

One one hand all machines are the same. We have two arms, two legs, a skeleton, body structure, spine, muscles etc. On the other hand, we are all different, sizes shapes, arm lengths etc.

Here is what I have discovered by watching thousands of golfers (yes I continue to watch tour players golf swings).

I have discovered that there are some significant body (machine) and golf club (tool) relationships. They are physical standards or "laws" that absolutely can not be violated. One, for example, is the lead hand / clubface relationship. Another example is how the body works. In my studies, consistency is a bi-product of simplicity. Simplicity is a product of biomechanical efficiency. In other words, you will never be consistent if what you are trying to learn or do is difficult. Moe called this "fighting himself".

Now, when I say that these laws can't be violated, what I mean is that you actually can violate them and still play golf. YOu can even violate them and play great golf. To play golf, you must be able to negotiate the violation of these laws and compensate for them. Golf and Golf Swing are very very different.

This is my point, to be a pure ball striker like Moe, you can not violate the laws.

Now, here is the point of my discussion: There are definitely physical laws. One of them is the relationship of the spine to the golf club at impact. I have learned much about this and continue to develop research regarding the spine clubshaft positioning. Why? Because back problems plague golfers and...there is a reason for it. There is also a solution to it. This solution is to reduce the stress on the back by creating a stress free relationship of the club to the spine. (By the way, this is why I strongly oppose clubs that are too long and too upright).

So, with all of the different golf swings out there, and all of the methods, the only way to really know what is ideal is the answer to this question:

"What is the best way to strike a golf ball using the body as a machine and the golf club as a tool".

The answer to this question is why Moe Norman is such a role model. Moe, in my opinion, intuitively figured it out. What a paradox. Moe Norman intuitively figured out biomechanical efficiency. IT was his intuition that directed him, and to me, that is the most genius thing of all. Something we should all consider.

Thoughts?

Todd Graves

but I think he stood too far away from the ball late in his career. This is why he had to move down into the ball at impact. If you watch his head it dropped into impact. This is due to the straight line setup, which was the same at address and impact viewed from the down the line position, but not from the face on position. In the face on position you see the club in line with his left arm at address, but at impact in order to get the hands ahead he had to move lower otherwise he would not make contact with the ball.

I also think that distance has to be figured into the equation. You need the best combination of both to play your best golf possible. Most of the top players on tour are also long hitters. I think if Moe had stood a bit nearer (I think this was the case earlier in his career) and not so wide, he would have been able to hit the ball farther without losing much accuracy.

I think that if you look at Aaron Baddeley's swing you will see a very efficient modern day swing that is second to none. As close to a machine as you will ever see. IMO

Best Regards,

Ham
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Joined: July 27th, 2000, 3:15 pm

December 21st, 2008, 12:27 am #4

I have some comments and a question to ask for those of you interested in some healthy discussion...

The question is this: Is there a perfect way to swing a golf club?

Of course I think there is and my answer is Moe Norman and his "single plane" golf swing.

But this debate continues as there are many methods and many variables and golfers. An example is "stack and tilt". I get numerous questions about this method. And my answer is always the same, I don't know how a catchy label is going to help you move the club better. Just because tour players who know how to move the golf club already can do it, doesn't mean it is based on science.

The question that should be ask is this "Is the method biomechanically efficient and simple". If it is not, then it will never prove, in the long run, to be any better than any other non-science based method.

Where I come from is this: Forget about the game of golf for an instant, forget about score, putting, chipping and all the things that the game consists of. Think only of striking a golf ball. Think only of ball and target. Think only of the human body as a machine. Think of the golf club as a tool that the machine uses to strike a golf ball.

One one hand all machines are the same. We have two arms, two legs, a skeleton, body structure, spine, muscles etc. On the other hand, we are all different, sizes shapes, arm lengths etc.

Here is what I have discovered by watching thousands of golfers (yes I continue to watch tour players golf swings).

I have discovered that there are some significant body (machine) and golf club (tool) relationships. They are physical standards or "laws" that absolutely can not be violated. One, for example, is the lead hand / clubface relationship. Another example is how the body works. In my studies, consistency is a bi-product of simplicity. Simplicity is a product of biomechanical efficiency. In other words, you will never be consistent if what you are trying to learn or do is difficult. Moe called this "fighting himself".

Now, when I say that these laws can't be violated, what I mean is that you actually can violate them and still play golf. YOu can even violate them and play great golf. To play golf, you must be able to negotiate the violation of these laws and compensate for them. Golf and Golf Swing are very very different.

This is my point, to be a pure ball striker like Moe, you can not violate the laws.

Now, here is the point of my discussion: There are definitely physical laws. One of them is the relationship of the spine to the golf club at impact. I have learned much about this and continue to develop research regarding the spine clubshaft positioning. Why? Because back problems plague golfers and...there is a reason for it. There is also a solution to it. This solution is to reduce the stress on the back by creating a stress free relationship of the club to the spine. (By the way, this is why I strongly oppose clubs that are too long and too upright).

So, with all of the different golf swings out there, and all of the methods, the only way to really know what is ideal is the answer to this question:

"What is the best way to strike a golf ball using the body as a machine and the golf club as a tool".

The answer to this question is why Moe Norman is such a role model. Moe, in my opinion, intuitively figured it out. What a paradox. Moe Norman intuitively figured out biomechanical efficiency. IT was his intuition that directed him, and to me, that is the most genius thing of all. Something we should all consider.

Thoughts?

Todd Graves

I can say I have tried almost every one of them, and none really been the magic bullet for me.

I think the varible body and personality types factor into the equation more then most instructors wish to acknowledge, because then they would have to be talented enough to know the different swing types and be able to match the right one to the student after diagnosing him/her.

Judging from all the mulitude of swings on the tour, especially the Senior tour, it's pretty obvious that there literally are hundreds of different strokes for different folks.

I guess I am still looking for mine, if it exists?

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Joined: October 26th, 2000, 5:07 pm

December 21st, 2008, 1:27 am #5

I have some comments and a question to ask for those of you interested in some healthy discussion...

The question is this: Is there a perfect way to swing a golf club?

Of course I think there is and my answer is Moe Norman and his "single plane" golf swing.

But this debate continues as there are many methods and many variables and golfers. An example is "stack and tilt". I get numerous questions about this method. And my answer is always the same, I don't know how a catchy label is going to help you move the club better. Just because tour players who know how to move the golf club already can do it, doesn't mean it is based on science.

The question that should be ask is this "Is the method biomechanically efficient and simple". If it is not, then it will never prove, in the long run, to be any better than any other non-science based method.

Where I come from is this: Forget about the game of golf for an instant, forget about score, putting, chipping and all the things that the game consists of. Think only of striking a golf ball. Think only of ball and target. Think only of the human body as a machine. Think of the golf club as a tool that the machine uses to strike a golf ball.

One one hand all machines are the same. We have two arms, two legs, a skeleton, body structure, spine, muscles etc. On the other hand, we are all different, sizes shapes, arm lengths etc.

Here is what I have discovered by watching thousands of golfers (yes I continue to watch tour players golf swings).

I have discovered that there are some significant body (machine) and golf club (tool) relationships. They are physical standards or "laws" that absolutely can not be violated. One, for example, is the lead hand / clubface relationship. Another example is how the body works. In my studies, consistency is a bi-product of simplicity. Simplicity is a product of biomechanical efficiency. In other words, you will never be consistent if what you are trying to learn or do is difficult. Moe called this "fighting himself".

Now, when I say that these laws can't be violated, what I mean is that you actually can violate them and still play golf. YOu can even violate them and play great golf. To play golf, you must be able to negotiate the violation of these laws and compensate for them. Golf and Golf Swing are very very different.

This is my point, to be a pure ball striker like Moe, you can not violate the laws.

Now, here is the point of my discussion: There are definitely physical laws. One of them is the relationship of the spine to the golf club at impact. I have learned much about this and continue to develop research regarding the spine clubshaft positioning. Why? Because back problems plague golfers and...there is a reason for it. There is also a solution to it. This solution is to reduce the stress on the back by creating a stress free relationship of the club to the spine. (By the way, this is why I strongly oppose clubs that are too long and too upright).

So, with all of the different golf swings out there, and all of the methods, the only way to really know what is ideal is the answer to this question:

"What is the best way to strike a golf ball using the body as a machine and the golf club as a tool".

The answer to this question is why Moe Norman is such a role model. Moe, in my opinion, intuitively figured it out. What a paradox. Moe Norman intuitively figured out biomechanical efficiency. IT was his intuition that directed him, and to me, that is the most genius thing of all. Something we should all consider.

Thoughts?

Todd Graves

it is a no-brainer. Moe's swing is obviously the easiest way to a sound, repeatable swing. All one has to do to verify this is to look at all the complex movements in a conventional swing.

Having said that, I know some people here will dispute that. The point I make is this: Yes, you can strike a golf ball very efficiently using methods other than one modeled after Moe Norman. But in order to do it consistently, you have to either practice/play 20-30 hours a week... or just be an exception to the rule. You can never convince me that for the average golfer that the Moe based swing is not an easier movement to repeat.

Todd, thanks for your input, and I will see you at the next webinar.
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Joined: July 12th, 2001, 12:35 am

December 21st, 2008, 4:43 am #6

With all the talk about laws it reminds me of something Bruce Lee said "First learn the rule, then learn how to break the rule"

Todd I have a question that is off this topic a bit but am very interested in your thoughts. You said that you are against clubs being to long. What is your opinion about Tom Wishon's theories on shorter lengths and do you conform to them?

Also, while I have you hear, Could you shed some light on the sngle club length debate and what did Moe have to say about them?
I apologize but, even though I have met Tom Wishon, I don't know his theories about shorter lengths...what are they?

As far as single length clubs, here is my way too long opinion.

Golf clubs are tools. The most important thing to do is know how to use the tools and what the tools are capable of. This is one side of the story.

The other side of the story is that because clubs with more loft have less sidespin and are more accurate. Therefore, it is helpful to hit shorter iron shots to increase your percentages of shorter putts and more opportunities to hit greens closer to flags.

Distance is an important factor. Over the course of a round, and especially a tournament, the distance you hit a golf ball begins to play a larger and larger factor for scoring. Tiger is often playing par 68 golf courses when he can reach every par 5 in two shots. This is a 4 shot advantage over the shorter hitters who must hit 3 shots into every par 5. In a tournament, this is a 16 stroke advantage.

Now, back to the club question. Single length clubs are a great theory. They work and they are a nice theory. The swing can stay consistent and you can play golf. The problem, I have found, is that there is an advantage in golf to maximize speed and accuracy. In other words, there is a need for a long shot. The question to ask the "single Length" club makers is this "Why aren't the woods also single length?" The answer is that the longer woods are a longer lever to hit the ball further.

When you make clubs "single length" you ultimately lose length.

On another point, I have rarely found that length is a factor to accuracy. The amount of loft and face angle on the club is the main determinant of accuracy whether the club is long or short.

The other factor, that golf club manufacturers have figured out, is that if you keep the swing weights the same through the set, you are "in essence" creating the same feeling swing with every club.

These are my thoughts.

Todd


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Joined: July 12th, 2001, 12:35 am

December 21st, 2008, 5:26 am #7

I can say I have tried almost every one of them, and none really been the magic bullet for me.

I think the varible body and personality types factor into the equation more then most instructors wish to acknowledge, because then they would have to be talented enough to know the different swing types and be able to match the right one to the student after diagnosing him/her.

Judging from all the mulitude of swings on the tour, especially the Senior tour, it's pretty obvious that there literally are hundreds of different strokes for different folks.

I guess I am still looking for mine, if it exists?
I have changed my golf swing dozens of times through hard work but my personality remains the same.

I don't think personality has anything to do with club movement at all. Personality affects learning and changing habits but not the mechanics of the golf swing. The club either moves correctly and consistently or it does not.

The ball is subject to physical laws, the body is subject to physical laws and the club is also subject to physical laws.

I agree that body types, strength issues are variables. But there is still physics that govern them. You can improve strength, you can improve flexibility etc.

The question still exists, "what is the model for the human body to strike a ball on the ground with a stick."

Moe was not the Magic Bullet for me either but he was the biomechanical answer. Once I had that, I could then do what Moe told me was the secret to his success...hard work. This is part of the problem, people are looking for magic bullets instead of looking for the answer and then working at it.

No matter how you decide to swing a golf club, repetition is the only way to learn. When you match your repetition with biomechanical perfection, you can guarantee yourself results. You know this if you have ever lifted weights. If you lift weights, you are not guaranteed to get stronger. If you lift weights correctly (boimechanically) your body, if healthy, is guaranteed to get stronger. It is genetics. Moe's golf swing is the genetic equivalent in golf.

That is what I have experienced and that is also what i continue to experience in my teaching.

The constant variable in my teaching is ME and how well I communicate my message.

Yes, there are definitely different strokes for different folks but remember, my question said "forget about scoring and the tour" and focus on perfect ballstriking where the body is a machine.

Your argument is that all 'human" machines are different. That is a valid argument but then we must all stop listening to any advice from anyone on how to lose weight, stay healthy or brush our teeth -right? Must we all figure out everything through trial and error? If this was true, I would still be trying to rub sticks together to keep warm.

I'm just joking by the way - having a little fun here.

EVERY SINGLE tour player could improve their ball-striking...especially on the senior tour. The game is not a ball-striking game on tour. It is a game of many factors, one of them being ball-striking. This is why comparing scoring to the ability to hit a golf ball is futile. You might be able to look at statistics but even stats do not tell the total story because of conditions, situations, etc.

Biomechanics is the only way to tell the story. In my opinion of course, biomechanics is the only way to "really" help more people shortcut their way to enjoying the game of golf.

On another note, I have worked with some of the best instructors known today. I never "tried" their methods. I "did" their methods until I exactly matched their model. Once I had mastered their model, I then tested my ability to repeat and achieve ball striking results. Not SCORE but my ability to repeat correct club movement efficiently. Of course this is only one man's experience but

Because of "doing" these methods, I learned about the golf swing and what it takes to hit a golf ball. I also learned what it takes to work at a golf swing.

The primary lesson was not to "try" but to "do". I would not have seen the genius in Moe had I not had these experiences. Now, I guarantee that if you were trained to swing the club like Moe, you would get Moe-like results. No matter what your personality.

Thanks for the conversation Chaz. I enjoy your opinion and the discussion.

Todd



















Last edited by Tgraves on December 21st, 2008, 5:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: January 13th, 2001, 8:30 am

December 21st, 2008, 6:08 am #8

I have some comments and a question to ask for those of you interested in some healthy discussion...

The question is this: Is there a perfect way to swing a golf club?

Of course I think there is and my answer is Moe Norman and his "single plane" golf swing.

But this debate continues as there are many methods and many variables and golfers. An example is "stack and tilt". I get numerous questions about this method. And my answer is always the same, I don't know how a catchy label is going to help you move the club better. Just because tour players who know how to move the golf club already can do it, doesn't mean it is based on science.

The question that should be ask is this "Is the method biomechanically efficient and simple". If it is not, then it will never prove, in the long run, to be any better than any other non-science based method.

Where I come from is this: Forget about the game of golf for an instant, forget about score, putting, chipping and all the things that the game consists of. Think only of striking a golf ball. Think only of ball and target. Think only of the human body as a machine. Think of the golf club as a tool that the machine uses to strike a golf ball.

One one hand all machines are the same. We have two arms, two legs, a skeleton, body structure, spine, muscles etc. On the other hand, we are all different, sizes shapes, arm lengths etc.

Here is what I have discovered by watching thousands of golfers (yes I continue to watch tour players golf swings).

I have discovered that there are some significant body (machine) and golf club (tool) relationships. They are physical standards or "laws" that absolutely can not be violated. One, for example, is the lead hand / clubface relationship. Another example is how the body works. In my studies, consistency is a bi-product of simplicity. Simplicity is a product of biomechanical efficiency. In other words, you will never be consistent if what you are trying to learn or do is difficult. Moe called this "fighting himself".

Now, when I say that these laws can't be violated, what I mean is that you actually can violate them and still play golf. YOu can even violate them and play great golf. To play golf, you must be able to negotiate the violation of these laws and compensate for them. Golf and Golf Swing are very very different.

This is my point, to be a pure ball striker like Moe, you can not violate the laws.

Now, here is the point of my discussion: There are definitely physical laws. One of them is the relationship of the spine to the golf club at impact. I have learned much about this and continue to develop research regarding the spine clubshaft positioning. Why? Because back problems plague golfers and...there is a reason for it. There is also a solution to it. This solution is to reduce the stress on the back by creating a stress free relationship of the club to the spine. (By the way, this is why I strongly oppose clubs that are too long and too upright).

So, with all of the different golf swings out there, and all of the methods, the only way to really know what is ideal is the answer to this question:

"What is the best way to strike a golf ball using the body as a machine and the golf club as a tool".

The answer to this question is why Moe Norman is such a role model. Moe, in my opinion, intuitively figured it out. What a paradox. Moe Norman intuitively figured out biomechanical efficiency. IT was his intuition that directed him, and to me, that is the most genius thing of all. Something we should all consider.

Thoughts?

Todd Graves

I had several thoughts while reading your post and here are a few of them

I think that we agree that Moes swing evolved a bit from the time that the two iron photos were taken to the time when you began using him as a model? It may have evolved some more while you knew him?
Anyway some here suspect that Paul Bertholy had an influence on Moes swing. For instance he appears to be more slantdicular at the top of backswing later in his life; that is his spine is tilted away from the target a bit later on compared to the two iron picture. This is something that Bertholy emphasized in his teaching. I wonder if you have ever looked at any of Paul Bertholys training methods? My curiosity is purely academic and I am not trying to imply anything regarding your teaching or Pauls. Hmmm, along these lines Peter has shown that amateurs generally do not achieve proper late hit position (6/100s) or impact position. Learning to achieve these positions is a big part of Bertholy training, I wonder if you would care to discuss how you address these issues with your students?

Regarding back pain I have trouble with my lower back and going to a more upright swing standing closer to the ball helped that situation a great deal. It seems that standing far from the ball with a fair amount of spine tilt and swinging on the plane that is established really caused me some pain. I was actually starting to hit the ball really well that way and I regressed a bit when I changed to standing closer. The change that I felt was required is also one reason that I decided to pursue Scott Hazledines teaching. I still have the most problems with back pain when hitting the driver because it is the longest club producing the flattest swing and most likely to induce some back pain. I attribute the pain to the pulling force caused by centripetal force due to the weight of the club head pulling my arms. That is sure what it feels like anyway. Before I changed I was setting up pretty close to how you recommend that is with a fair amount of spine tilt and swinging the club so that it felt like the swing was perpendicular to the spine. I liked hitting the ball that way but it hurt my lower back.

Regards, Herbert
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Joined: October 11th, 2001, 7:22 pm

December 21st, 2008, 3:24 pm #9

I have some comments and a question to ask for those of you interested in some healthy discussion...

The question is this: Is there a perfect way to swing a golf club?

Of course I think there is and my answer is Moe Norman and his "single plane" golf swing.

But this debate continues as there are many methods and many variables and golfers. An example is "stack and tilt". I get numerous questions about this method. And my answer is always the same, I don't know how a catchy label is going to help you move the club better. Just because tour players who know how to move the golf club already can do it, doesn't mean it is based on science.

The question that should be ask is this "Is the method biomechanically efficient and simple". If it is not, then it will never prove, in the long run, to be any better than any other non-science based method.

Where I come from is this: Forget about the game of golf for an instant, forget about score, putting, chipping and all the things that the game consists of. Think only of striking a golf ball. Think only of ball and target. Think only of the human body as a machine. Think of the golf club as a tool that the machine uses to strike a golf ball.

One one hand all machines are the same. We have two arms, two legs, a skeleton, body structure, spine, muscles etc. On the other hand, we are all different, sizes shapes, arm lengths etc.

Here is what I have discovered by watching thousands of golfers (yes I continue to watch tour players golf swings).

I have discovered that there are some significant body (machine) and golf club (tool) relationships. They are physical standards or "laws" that absolutely can not be violated. One, for example, is the lead hand / clubface relationship. Another example is how the body works. In my studies, consistency is a bi-product of simplicity. Simplicity is a product of biomechanical efficiency. In other words, you will never be consistent if what you are trying to learn or do is difficult. Moe called this "fighting himself".

Now, when I say that these laws can't be violated, what I mean is that you actually can violate them and still play golf. YOu can even violate them and play great golf. To play golf, you must be able to negotiate the violation of these laws and compensate for them. Golf and Golf Swing are very very different.

This is my point, to be a pure ball striker like Moe, you can not violate the laws.

Now, here is the point of my discussion: There are definitely physical laws. One of them is the relationship of the spine to the golf club at impact. I have learned much about this and continue to develop research regarding the spine clubshaft positioning. Why? Because back problems plague golfers and...there is a reason for it. There is also a solution to it. This solution is to reduce the stress on the back by creating a stress free relationship of the club to the spine. (By the way, this is why I strongly oppose clubs that are too long and too upright).

So, with all of the different golf swings out there, and all of the methods, the only way to really know what is ideal is the answer to this question:

"What is the best way to strike a golf ball using the body as a machine and the golf club as a tool".

The answer to this question is why Moe Norman is such a role model. Moe, in my opinion, intuitively figured it out. What a paradox. Moe Norman intuitively figured out biomechanical efficiency. IT was his intuition that directed him, and to me, that is the most genius thing of all. Something we should all consider.

Thoughts?

Todd Graves

Would say that there is no "perfect way to swing a golf club"? He would say that each must find his own authentic swing from the myriads of swings that beckon the golfer to "use me, use me!" Only after a golfer learns to be true to his self, and swing HIS swing will he be "swinging perfectly". Moe knew how to find his Authentic swing shot after shot. All esoteric and mystical sounding so lets break it down for "logical discussion".

As we all know, and as has already been mentioned, there are many DIFFERENT LOOKING swings. They all "get the job done". If you observe at all these different looking swings though, they all do exhibit certain fundamentals, and not coincidentally, at certain points in the swing, they ALL LOOK THE SAME. From this observation, we can draw a conclusion - no matter which way you choose to swing the golf club, these fundamentals must be present. I think Moe said something like "you must hit your positions"? This sounds simple and I am sure the readers are saying DUH, of course. The "perfect way to swing a golf club", is the way that allows the golfer hit his positions and strike the ball with repeatability shot after shot. If they are doing this, then they are swinging the club the perfect way. IMO, most golfers never get to this point, they never develop their swing to the point that they can repeat it on a consistent basis.

Think about this carefully and it all becomes very clear. Let's imagine that there IS a perfect way to swing a golf club. Let's go even further and say it is Graves ( Moe's )way. Most golfers will still "never get it". That is because they will not do the things they need to do so that they can swing the perfect swing the same way every time.

So IMO, we are asking the wrong question. We shouldn't be asking or trying to find the perfect way to swing the club. WE SHOULD BE TRYING TO FIND THE PERFECT WAY TO ACQUIRE THE SWING. THAT is what is not being addressed by most of today's golf instruction. It simply isn't being taught by the majority of pros. Most teachers teach golf swing mechanics, few teach GOLF SWING ACQUISITION. So this student of the perfect golf swing will never be able to swing the golf club in this perfect way, until the swing has become internalized. This is why many students go to golf schools and while in attendance, under the watchful eye and guidance of the instructors see some improvement, sometimes some see marked improvement. But then they go home, and schools out, and they never really develop the swing. They even regress from how they were doing at the school.

Ask 10 people if they would like to be a millionaire. 10 out of 10 will say yes. Then explain to them what they have to do. Live below their means, work 60 hour weeks, spend time away from their loved ones, fail badly and perhaps many times before succeeding, etc. Ask the same 10 again, and you have a lot less takers! Its the same with the golf swing. Most simply will not do whatever they need to do in order to acquire the perfect swing - Graves, JKs, Simple swing, Stack and tilt, IMA, etc. Each of these methods proclaim theirs is THE WAY to swing a golf club. THEY ARE ALL RIGHT AND THEY ARE ALL WRONG AT THE SAME TIME.

Words, pictures, instruction, books, manuals, webinars, seminars....all these fail in their intended effort to get the swing into the golfer. As Bertholy says: "IF HE {the golfer} FEELS, HE WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER. A PRECISE SENSATION IS WORTH A THOUSAND PICTURES AND TEN THOUSAND WORDS."
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Joined: July 12th, 2001, 12:35 am

December 21st, 2008, 4:26 pm #10

I had several thoughts while reading your post and here are a few of them

I think that we agree that Moes swing evolved a bit from the time that the two iron photos were taken to the time when you began using him as a model? It may have evolved some more while you knew him?
Anyway some here suspect that Paul Bertholy had an influence on Moes swing. For instance he appears to be more slantdicular at the top of backswing later in his life; that is his spine is tilted away from the target a bit later on compared to the two iron picture. This is something that Bertholy emphasized in his teaching. I wonder if you have ever looked at any of Paul Bertholys training methods? My curiosity is purely academic and I am not trying to imply anything regarding your teaching or Pauls. Hmmm, along these lines Peter has shown that amateurs generally do not achieve proper late hit position (6/100s) or impact position. Learning to achieve these positions is a big part of Bertholy training, I wonder if you would care to discuss how you address these issues with your students?

Regarding back pain I have trouble with my lower back and going to a more upright swing standing closer to the ball helped that situation a great deal. It seems that standing far from the ball with a fair amount of spine tilt and swinging on the plane that is established really caused me some pain. I was actually starting to hit the ball really well that way and I regressed a bit when I changed to standing closer. The change that I felt was required is also one reason that I decided to pursue Scott Hazledines teaching. I still have the most problems with back pain when hitting the driver because it is the longest club producing the flattest swing and most likely to induce some back pain. I attribute the pain to the pulling force caused by centripetal force due to the weight of the club head pulling my arms. That is sure what it feels like anyway. Before I changed I was setting up pretty close to how you recommend that is with a fair amount of spine tilt and swinging the club so that it felt like the swing was perpendicular to the spine. I liked hitting the ball that way but it hurt my lower back.

Regards, Herbert
I spent a bit of time with Paul Bertholy. Yes, I think he did have some influence on Moe but mostly the mental side and very little regarding the golf swing. I would actually say Paul derived much of his theories from watching Moe and not the other way around. I think Moe validated his theories also.

I think you must also be careful that you do not look at one picture (such as the 2 iron) and make assumptions about it. If you look later in that sequence of photos, Moe is demonstrating his backswing and his right hand is off of the club. He is clearly demonstrating for the camera. This is the problem with looking at pictures, they get taken out of context.

The late hit position is not a problem of amateurs is not a problem of when but a problem of where. Let me explain. If we unhinge too early in the downswing, for most amateurs, it doesn't mean that they did not hinge, what it means is that it was unhinged at the wrong place. I address this issue by correcting where the club unhinges in the downswing. It is sort of a timing issue but things must be addressed such as properly hinging the hands and the movement of the handle of the golf club. Hand action I call it.

Back Pain

People have back pain for various reasons and I am surely not an expert in that area. What I observe, when watching students, are a number of things to cause this problem. Being out of shape or unhealthy (flexibility) is one issue. It is a growing issue as we age and is something to be considered for your health and for golf. And because of this "lack of flexibility" issue, biomechanics suffers. In other words, you compensate to accommodate the pain.

While I agree, this is a necessary compensation for pain free golf, the biomechanics of the golf swing remain and technique suffers.

Trust me, on the side of health, pain and fitness, I work with all levels of students and compensations for these elements are where the variables come from. The great thing is that I work from the model backward - the closer to the model the better the results...always.

On a side note regarding your back pain - one issue i see often is an interesting phenomenon. Bi-focals tend to cause the issue but it is not always bi-focals. What I observe is that people tend to lift their head (mis-aligning the spine and back of the head) causing a little stress in the upper back, however, the upper back stress causes more stress on the lower back.

For some reason, the mis-alignment of the head and spine stresses the lower back during the swing. I was just wondering about the position of your head at address and during your swing.

Todd
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