Chris Como Changes The Laws of Biomechanics

chris-comoOriginally Posted February 1, 2015 – but I could have just written this after Tiger’s Memorial performance… /update

Of course the title is tongue-in-cheek, but it goes to show you that even a guy who is supposedly working towards his PhD in Biomechanics thinks that the laws of those same biomechanical principles are not really laws… because they change when it comes to the golf swing!

If you want to know why Tiger Woods looks like a 20-handicap right now, it’s because of this modern swing nonsense. Because that’s what it is.

I just finished reading Chris Como’s Tips on how to “pure it” with your irons, on Golf Digest online, and the first one, I had no complaints with until I actually read past the title:

1. “Set Your Left Side Higher” – this seems to be a great suggestion, because I talk about the tilted spine at address, and the right shoulder being lower than the left…so that makes perfect sense.

But then he writes, “At address for an iron shot, position your left side higher…”

So, just the iron shots?

I disagree.  Violently.  The swing is the swing, whether with an iron or Driver. The only thing that changes is how you adjust for the club.  But why would you want to swing a driver with your shoulders level?

??????????????????????????????????

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Well, I guess that solves the mystery of why Tiger sets up with such a vertical spine position with his driver, and the left shoulder barely higher than the right.  But look at his impact position with the driver.

So, just the irons, Chris?

That’s why your guy has a two-way miss going on.

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The 2nd and most egregious whopper in this piece:

2. “Turn And Stay In Place.” – I’ll just repeat what it is in this particular segment that aggravates me to no end: “Your hip and shoulder turns should feel big and free (below), but your right foot and leg need to stay stable.”

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I would like someone, anyone, to explain to me in physical or scientific terms how exactly you can make a “big and free” hip move while keeping your right leg stable at the same time, especially when you’ve nailed your left heel to the ground.

Is your right leg attached to those hips?

If so, how do you you turn the hips without the right leg moving?

How, exactly?

The answer, of course, it that you can’t turn the hips with a “big and free” move while keeping one of the attached legs ‘stable.’  It’s physically impossible.

chris-como

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Which is probably why Como has such a grotesque rubber-band stretch going on here – how else are you going to turn your shoulders while keeping your right leg stable at the same time?

I’ll tell you where it comes from as well – Ben Hogan, of course.  Hogan talked about keeping the right hip stable, but what he meant was that it shouldn’t slide or shift to the right on the back swing.

Look at Hogan’s swing here – are you telling me his right leg was stable on the back swing?  Look at that right hip moving quite significantly, back and behind him.

hogan dtl

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Instead, all of these modern swing guys are interpreting that to mean you don’t let the right leg move on the back swing.  They look at the face-on angle of Hogan’s swing and the right leg looks to not move much (look above again) on the back swing.

ben hogan swing

And Hogan’s left shoulder?  Higher than the right…

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Which is impossible even for the modern swing – the right leg will move, whether you want it to or not.  Hogan had huge motion in his hips, and his right leg was not ‘stable.’

Everyone’s right leg has motion.  Even Tiger’s.

But if you’re trying to keep your left heel nailed to the ground and still perform a hip turn while keeping the right leg stable, you know what you will end up doing, don’t you?

tiger 2015 gif

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You’ll end up restricting your hip turn, and then will have to “rubber-band” your torso against those hips to get past half-way in the back swing.

In other words, you’ll be Tiger Woods.

Now you know why you need a PhD in Biomechanics to teach a simple pivot in the modern golf swing.  You’ll need it, if you’re changing laws and stuff.

You have to love golf.

It’s the only sport where the instructors and experts can literally change the laws of physics in their instruction, and not only not be laughed out of business – they get to raise their going rate for instruction.

Heckuva game

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10 thoughts on “Chris Como Changes The Laws of Biomechanics

  1. Bill in WA

    Great stuff! Did you see yesterday when Peter Kostis was analyzing Bubba’s swing? He actually advocated for fully turning the hips and letting the heel of the lead foot come off the ground. Maybe Kostis is lurking on your site!

    1. D Watts Post author

      Yes, Bill in WA – in fact, Big Toilet and I were discussing that very segment that I also caught on Friday’s telecast…actually someone on another blog linked to the video, but still, I saw it on Friday.

      I almost fell out of my chair – someone on TV talking about golf swing mechanics – and correctly!!

  2. bigtoilet

    Kostis is “Old School”, Bill.

    He has some of the same thoughts as Deej….But Kostis STILL get’s things soooo wrong. Just go see his analysis of other players who are mechanically IN-correct.

    Peter Kostis is one of those politically correct guys who takes a stand on NOTHING! Like Michael Breed…..

    1. D Watts Post author

      Just got back from the grocery store, had to pick up some stuff for Super Bowl Dinner

      If I remember correctly, Kostis was one of the biggest fans of Tiger’s harpoon drop and flail when he was winning tournaments under Foley (and other things – how many times have I linked a Youtbue video and had to say, “But don’t listen to what Kostis is babbling about…?”).

      But I don’t listen to any of the TV guys, they’re usually wrong, but like a stopped clock, they’re right a couple of times a day…

  3. Bill in WA

    Thanks bigtoilet…I have to plead ignorance of what Kostis talks about because I long ago trained myself to hit the mute button immediately when I saw the bizhub logo on the screen! I only watched him this time because I had to hear what he would say about Bubba.

    And if I watch Breed for more than about 2 minutes I start to flinch.

  4. jh32

    I may be mistaken, but I was watching the seniors last wk. and saw, of all people with back issues, Fred Couples actually lift his left heel on full shots? Once I saw it, I had to watch a few more times to make sure, but a number of shots were less that full, so I didn’t get but a few with him on full shots and the heel lift.

    On topic here, yep, I stop listening to them talk about the swing, except to watch Brandel and Notah start arguing about Tiger’s changes. Brandel was stating that he needed to do more of what DJ advocates, (to some degree), and of course Notah was defending Tiger. Jim

    1. bigtoilet

      It’s crazy aint it fellas? It’s not hard to figure out that guys like Kostis and Breed have to please THE MASSES. They will say whatever they have to in order to keep their job.

      They cannot be critical (or honest), or it’s over for them. Either don’t watch those guys, mute them, or laugh at them. That’s all we can do. Everything you need in a golf swing is right here on WAX.

      It’s game over here, just go practice it.

  5. Laser

    Kostis was right about the left heel lifting (right heel for Bubba)…and yes, I did silently accuse him of lurking on your site.

    But then he completely discredited himself. He said that the feet control the knees, and the knees control the hips… hmmm. He probably wanted to say that you use the ground, but I don’t think it came out right.

  6. Laser

    And, here a couple of serious errors that will probably be with us for a long time.

    1) Bio-mechanics are NOTHING like machine mechanics. The same principles of physics apply, but the motion is produced in a completely different way.

    2) Gurus mostly try to reverse-engineer what they SEE. If a heel LOOKS planted, they teach stack-and-tilt. If Hogan’s right leg LOOKS like it doesn’t move much (from a certain camera angle), then they teach leg stability.

    How does someone shoot a free-throw in basketball? Not by trying to imagine how he looks to an outside observer. So, why do they try to teach golf athletics almost exclusively that way? Maybe they haven’t improved much over Harry Vardon, who just had students swing a club for a month with out a ball. (That sounds quite a bit like your Swing Stick.)

    1. D Watts Post author

      Laser, on Point 1 – Bingo. On Point 2 – You Don’t Say! 😉

      Funny you mention the swing stick. I am a big believer in it in that it isolates the macro swing and takes out things like worrying about the club head.

      I’ve said that a swing stick won’t teach you how to swing, but it will give you a good way to practice a proper motion once you have learned it.

      And the most important thing is that it will likely take you gradually to a neutral grip, since you won’t be thinking about manipulation when making macro swings.

      At least, you shouldn’t…

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