Somax Hates Rory’s Swing (Updated)

stability scoreI thought I’d offer you something Wax reader Peter A. sent to me about Rory McIlroy’s swing.

You all know the concerns I’ve had with it, and it seems that the people at the Somax Performance Institute have compared Rory’s action with that of the greats – the post is not very subtle in calling it “The Most Unstable Swing In History.”

Says the opening in the newsletter email:

We recently became intrigued by how much Rory bounces up and down between address and impact.

Since there is no metric for stability in the golf swing, we developed one — the change in Knee Angle between address and impact.

What we found surprised us.

Rory’s Stability Score (TM) is off the charts. His swing is 2-5X less stable than golf legends of the past century. He changes his Knee Angle a whopping 65 degrees between address and impact.

stability score

There is a 37 minute video you should watch if this stuff interests you.  I’ve watched it myself and these are the thoughts I have on it:

2:00 Hip Turn: Notice the part in the first couple of minutes, where “range” is described as the lack of restricting the hip turn, and Tiger Woods is shown as an example of how not to swing.

4:00 Hip Slide vs Using the Legs: At around 4 minutes, you’ll see something similar to what I talk about in the MCS videos, especially the later videos – the hips shouldn’t just slide to the target to start the down swing, you swing from the ground up and the down swing begins with the shift of the weight to the leading foot.  The hips will follow naturally.

6:00 How The Legs Start the Swing: I also talk about this is in a posting on Sam Snead and the “power squat.”

**Update: Here’s the Video Itself:

Note: Some of the rotary hip stuff, I disagree with, and I believe in a tilted spine at impact, and all the best swingers had that too.  Mentioning Iron Byron having zero spine change is silly, as it’s a machine, and we can’t swing like machines.

It’s not that you have a tilt that’s bad, it’s when you change the tilt drastically from address to impact (the mother of all Trebuchet Drops, in Rory’s case) – but the change in tilt is bad, so I advocate starting tilted and staying tilted.  On that, it seems Somax and I kind of agree if not exactly.

I certainly don’t advocate swinging in the manner of their model, shown below, unless you have the requisite flexibility and agility – planted leading heel and no short stop slide with that wide a stance, most people are going to injure themselves seriously trying to swing like what is shown below:

somax swinger

Now, you all know I’m not a big fan of the rotary swing, and so I don’t subscribe to what Somax says is a proper swing, nor would I ever have any use for their training device, but the analysis between Rory and the greats is simply that- comparing his modern-style swing with that of the old time greats.

At the end of the day, the overall message you can take from Somax is that the old time swingers did it much better than what today’s swingers are doing, and I would agree emphatically with that assessment.

One thing I’d ask you to do if you watch the bulk of the video where they deal with the stability factor and knee angle is to observe the address stances of the great swingers. There’s some good stuff in there with the legs and spine angles.

Interesting stuff, and I bid you all a great day!



9 thoughts on “Somax Hates Rory’s Swing (Updated)

  1. Buddhabob

    Had a friend get involved with the Somax stuff. The guy who runs it is a businessman-engineer. He’s not a golfer. My buddy who researched him said he claims there is no such thing as fast and slow twitch fiber and that the only way to get more flexibility is to take one of his weekend or 3 month seminars.

    They consist of massage therapy from one of his trained underlings. Cost of a weekend can run you over 3k. It would seem he preys on older rich guys who are unsure what to do with their money. He also says in the vid that you want to be playing your driver off the middle of your stance.

    Just watching the vid some of the analogies he uses are just horrible like the golf ball on a string thing and the stages of rocket firing,etc. Virtually all of his opinions are expressed as fact, guy sounds like a sociopath to me, I have seen his vids circulating for years now on the Net and he is still using the same model which to me is highly suspect.

    1. D Watts Post author

      lol… why does your opinion not surprise me, Buddhabob? 😉

      I also don’t buy what he’s selling, but the analysis is interesting, perhaps because it is in line with things I’ve noticed in the older swings – they talk about degree of knee bend, I talk about keeping the stance erect with little bend or “squat” in the legs. Since 180 is a straight line, you can see just how little bend there was in the legs for the old era guys.

      I’ve made sure to point out what I do find helpful to people, but again, I wouldn’t buy what he’s selling, and I don’t advise trying to build a swing like his model. If it worked that effectively, that guy would be winning everything on Tour out-driving Bubba and with 90% fairways, and Somax swingers would be everywhere.

      All I ever see is that same model. Where are all the other success stories? That young guy could kill a ball swinging a number of ways, let him try MCS with the UGS principles 😉

  2. Buddhabob

    he has been trolling the Net for years pitching his device and still using the same model, at least if he’s going to stoop to miracle anecdotes to move product why not use at least a dozen guinea pigs?

    And when i saw the hip trainer on vid I went out and bought a stretch band with handles for 12 dollars at Big 5, then threw it around a pole off the back porch and secured it tightly to my belt buckle. Same thing. Problem is its engineered for a horizontal pelvic turn but the golf swing employs pelvic tilt and an elliptical turn and if anyone trains as he suggests in his vids, his leading meniscus is going to get challenged from all the spinning.

    That guy is a crass flim flammer who’s target market is 65 to 80 and mostly stuck down in Lazy-boys. Have I mentioned yet how much I despise Internet sociopaths? Running down Sam Snead at the end of this vid as if he was a failed has-been was the last straw. Fortunately I type fast, there are better things to do than respond to the Somax drivel.

  3. peterallenby2013

    With all due respect Buddhabob, Somax has been around for a long time and IF this were nothing more than flim flammery as you put it, I suspect we would be reading testimonials averring that this methodology for increasing flexibility is a hoax or a waste of dollars. I don’t recall seeing much in that vein, if anything, And he actually claims to work with lots of folks across a spectrum of ages, not just rich Barca blobs, and in sports other than golf as well. Until and unless you have personal knowledge of his therapy process as being ineffective, rein it in.

    Don’t get me wrong. I am no apologist for Bob Pritchard. And I will not be spending my coins on his therapy. Nor do I think his swing thoughts make a huge amount of sense. But more flexibility in ANY golf swing, including MCS, is a good thing. If he has satisfied clients and others feel it is worthy of their wealth, bless’em all!

    1. D Watts Post author

      Peter, I hear what you’re saying, and while it may seem that I’m being selective in my opinion of Somax (what I agree with is great, but not the stuff with which I disagree), I have to be – the analysis of the leg and knee action is very relevant to Rory’s consistency and injury problems.

      So you could say I agree with the diagnosis and disagree with the prescribed cure

      Bottom line is there is much to find in Rory’s swing mechanics that is problematic. 20-year olds do not injure their backs swinging a club unless they’re doing something very wrong – you can make a case for older players who’ve made millions of swings by the time they’re in their 40’s-50’s, or perhaps the age itself making them more brittle and prone to injury.

      Rory hurt himself when he was barely out of his teens, and the swing is where you find the issues.

      Thanks for sending me this article, I found it very interesting 🙂

  4. peterallenby2013

    I concur 100% with you DJ. The so-called Somax swing hurts just to view! But the substance of this article does indeed point out a significant flaw in Rory’s swing mechanics regardless of swing methodology. Pretty interesting research though the Somax swing solution is the golfing equivalent of blood letting to surgery…!!

  5. Buddhabob

    Peter the promise of miraculous elasticity is bogus. When I started back into golf last year on a whim after a several decade layoff I spoke to him on the phone because I was interested in his machine. I have practiced yoga for 35 years and taught for 5.

    His claims about his massage therapy and his theories on scar tissue fibers, their formation, his hostility to weight lifting in most sports and his blatant claim that there is no such thing as fast twitch and slow twitch fiber is a complete throw back to something that received attention in the 70s and then was cast aside as nonsense.

    The people who sold that stuff back then were mostly chiros and massage therapists who charged large sums of money to a very gullible assortment of clients. In a word they were quacks, something California is not unfamiliar with in its storied New Age tradition. The endgame with Prichard is to get you signed up into his weekend and 3 month seminars who’s cost is exorbitant.

    If you listen to how he phrases language and the tone he uses he makes all his opinions sound like fact which is the trademark signature of a salesman and not a scientist or a genuine teacher. He headquarters in Tiburon, Calif. which is one of the richest havens in America with a very high percentage of senior citizens.

    1. D Watts Post author

      I actually think we’re all on the same page here, Buddhabob – none of us are about to sign up with Somax, and Rory’s swing needs a makeover 😉

  6. andreasldswe

    I saw Somax a few years ago. The hiptrainer is fairly easy to build, cost me 20$ as I work in a metalshop. Only thing I bought was a spring device(sorry dont know what its called in english). If I see something I havn’t tried and it can be built of metal, I’ll try it. The hiptrainer was not for me:-) Anyone that has seen me swing understands it 😉

    As Budda says, hips are restricted to one movement in it. I rather spend my time on something else than this.

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