Drawing conclusions

Drawing conclusions

Joined: October 14th, 2007, 1:46 pm

March 7th, 2010, 5:21 pm #1

Peter, this is not meant to be disrespectful of your opinions. I am quite confident you are a masterful teacher of the game and have much more knowledge of golf than I could possibly dream of having. However, there is something I don't quite understand.

Perhaps I did not comprehend your statements correctly. But, how can you say "I pay no attention to which ads golfers do so I don't know which 'stable' he may be in....." and other things in the past thread about S&T? It sounded like you feel that many of the pros who proclaim they are S&T are in fact not and you are basing this opinion on photos and video clips?

My point is that if a pro is working with Plummer and Bennett, or someone associated with S&T, shouldn't we at least give them the benefit of believing in what they are saying? I know their swings is not exactly S&T but isn't that due to physical characteristics and strengths of each different golfer?

Thanks in advance of your response and patience.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 9th, 2010, 5:18 am #2

First - I am not a teacher of the game. I am not a golf professional and have no monetary interest in any system of golf or golf teaching. My 'knowledge' of golf is purely based in facts and science which are available to anyone that cares to do research and is hardly unique or inaccessable.

The archives of this forum are full of examples of pros who, for whatever reasons chose to claim they used a particular system of golf (note that I said 'used a particular system' NOT were taught by certain people) but even moderately close examination showed they did not exhibit the specific characteristics associated with that system of golf as marketed to the general public. Given that the system was clearly trying to claim benefits by associating itself with said pros there was clearly a 'bait & switch'.

Examples include Jerry Heard of the Heard Super Swing (HSS), Craig Bowden with Natural Golf.

As a result of these and some other experiences I look to whether a pro 'walks the walk' AND whether their statements make 'physical' sense (as in are scientifically correct). Even if a pro believes what they say 100% it has to be taken with considerable salt if it does not match the physical reality. An example of this is the debate a while back about 'pinching' the ball on a shot. There you had a professional golfer & instructor claiming that the ball was actually 'pinched' between the club and the ground on a shot even though high speed video shows that it is not.

When statements by a pro do not match the physical reality that does not mean they should be dismissed out of hand (at least not when there is no financial incentive) but rather that they need to be interpreted as more of a 'feel' or koan. Hogan's statment about hitting as hard as possible with the trail hand is an example of this given what is seen in video of his swing.

It is fine for Bennett and Plummer to claim some share of credit for the performance of pros they are teaching and that might well encourage people to go to them for instruction (as has been true of Ledbetter, Harmon and others) but it is quite a different thing to claim those pros are using S&T when they don't exhibit the S&T fundamentals as packaged in their real swings. Some of the pros clearly know the difference when they 'tilt on the backswing' in the infomercial but not on their real swings in competition. This makes it clear that the difference is NOT due to the physical characteristics of the golfers. If physical characteristics were a source of difference in these fundamentals then the explanations should make it clear. There are systems of golf that explain explicitly that different body types require different swings.

The over the top notes about 'no disrespect' are not necessary. Simple recognition of objective facts and a civil conversation are all that are necessary here.

Charlie Wi does not 'tilt [towards the target] in his backswing as Bennet says is the foundation of S&T and this was the source of my original statement. Recognizing that it was clear that Charlie did not do this, one on the other side of the discussion first asserted that Bennet did not say you should do this. They suggested that the infomercial was not a 'good' source of information and that there were much better videos available on line. I have now quoted from another of those 'better' videos on line where Bennet (as I've said I like to work from original sources) specifically explains S&T and explicitly says you should tilt [demonstrating towards the target] on the backswing.

These are just the facts. I can think of any number of reasons why, when teaching a sport, you might advise someone to do something that you do not want them to do in reality but none on the other side of this discussion have admitted that was the case (as another 'system' creator has here on a similar issue which fully explained a key element of the philosophy of teaching in his system).

Peter
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 9th, 2010, 4:09 pm #3

Peter, this is not meant to be disrespectful of your opinions. I am quite confident you are a masterful teacher of the game and have much more knowledge of golf than I could possibly dream of having. However, there is something I don't quite understand.

Perhaps I did not comprehend your statements correctly. But, how can you say "I pay no attention to which ads golfers do so I don't know which 'stable' he may be in....." and other things in the past thread about S&T? It sounded like you feel that many of the pros who proclaim they are S&T are in fact not and you are basing this opinion on photos and video clips?

My point is that if a pro is working with Plummer and Bennett, or someone associated with S&T, shouldn't we at least give them the benefit of believing in what they are saying? I know their swings is not exactly S&T but isn't that due to physical characteristics and strengths of each different golfer?

Thanks in advance of your response and patience.
So why would S&T teach what they do when it is clear tour pros (not only the ones they teach but all) don't do it?

The vast majority of ams that I've examined on video do not get their hands ahead of the ball at impact. There are 3 basic causes for the:

1) Allowing the angle between the lead arm and the club to release too soon

2) Not getting the hands far enough forward before impact

3) Not getting the lead shoulder far enough towards the target before impact

A common band aid that ams use to address this and stop the fat shots (though thin can also be a result) is to move the ball further back in their stance. The composite pro developed by Dr. Mann has a 5-iron ball position off the lead breast and you need take a divot from that ball position as well as positions further forward.

As participants here who have followed the Bertholy threads know, fixing #1 requires long term commitment. Not something that will likley give a quick hit of improved performance to generate buzz to sell more videos and stop returns in a 30-60 day evaluation window.

#2 is most often a positure/body movement issue that does not allow the trail elbow to get far enough forward while bent. Bertholy and IMA both address this by providing a specific goal point for trail elbow position.

#3 is most often a result of not getting the weight forward onto the lead foot.

By keeping your weight on your lead foot throughout the swing or tilting towards the target on the backswing you eliminate a lateral move of the lead shoulder away from the target and so eliminate the need for the lateral move to get it back over/past the ball. S&T as packaged would provide this and make for crisper ball striking for most ams in a relatively short period of time (or as Bennett might say - helps you to hit the ground where you want which is a fundamental). BGG addresses this differently by saying you should keep your weight on your lead foot (but without the tilt). Similarly IMA has in all of the 'Impact Backwards' drills direction to keep your weight on your lead foot but again without a tilt of the torso towards the target. The BGG system and IMA drills will, however, result in an address position that is not 'normal' for conventional golf.

This should make it clear why tour pros don't do it - they can get their hands ahead at impact because they don't have problems with #1, 2 or 3 so they don't need an extreme top of swing position to accomplish this. Also reducing/eliminating the shift of weight (which is then arrested prior to impact) reduces the amount of energy available to increase clubhead speed (given a correctly sequenced swing). While this might not be an issue on wedge and some iron shots it would be whenever you wanted maximum distance/distance with minimal effort (to increase accuracy).

So there is good reason you might want to teach ams S&T and there are benefits they could receive. But the 'tilt on the backswing' as explained by Bennett in his YouTube video is demontrably not performed by any tour pro when they are playing in competition. The closest I've seen is a torso that did not move away or towards the target and that on iron shots where maximum distance was not required.

Peter
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