I imagine Jack Nicklaus has reason to smile broadly today.
And I imagine that the ghosts of Hogan, Snead, Nelson and Bobby Jones have stopped spinning, at least for the time being.
I have been reading Brandel Chamblee’s newly released (and sure-fire bestseller) book on the swing, “The Anatomy of Greatness,” having been sent a copy by his publisher Classics of Golf with a request for my thoughts on it.
As for disclosure, I have received nothing for my agreement to review the book, and it wouldn’t matter – if I hadn’t received the book, I’d have surely browsed through it at the store, and would have run home with it.
I have been waiting to see a return to sanity from the madness of the Modern Golf Swing principles, and my lonely struggle is over – Brandel has written a masterful piece of analysis of the classic swingers, the same ones upon which I base my swing theory, and has outlined why following the Classic Golf Swing principles is the way to swing.
Mrs. DJ took the bottom picture as I was engrossed in my morning read, and before I began to take notes.
I will be reading this book again from cover to cover, but my primary focus was on the technical aspects of Brandel’s writing – the golf swing, and I have the following notes to make.
First, if you have any past history with Wax Golf and the MCS swing research, you’ll know that I have spent 11 years researching how to swing with athletic and mechanical correctness.
So, it seemed to me that every page I turned was yet another visual assault of mechanical-correctness upon my senses.
If you are looking for a book right now that is out there, by a recognized golf instructor or analyst – Brandel has nailed the essential points:
Review – The Anatomy of Greatness
The Grip – very straightforward and shows how the best swingers gripped their clubs. I call the proper grip a “neutral grip,” but it doesn’t matter what you call it – you will see exactly how the past classic swingers and some of the best modern players (like Tiger Woods during his dominant phase) gripped the club.
The Setup – What can I say about this section?
Chamblee really gets going in this section. Pg. 35, he shows an illustration of Ben Hogan’s bent right leg at address and explains how the best classic players had the same “kicked in” right leg – sound familiar?
Of course it does!
Ball Position – On pg 40, Brandel quotes Bobby Jones on how Jones instructed one to place the ball on the line of the left or leading instep. Sound familiar?
Of course it does!
Chamblee discusses how some of the greatest players had the same ball position for all clubs, but allows that others had a variable ball position based on the club being used.
The premise remains the same – the only ball position for the driver and longer clubs is forward of the stance center, and even the variable ball position moves the ball away from the leading instep from Driver to wedge.
Posture – Absolutely nailed. I have been accused of being “slouchy” in my own address position, and I have always maintained that a proper address contains the same relaxed upper spine as you’ll see in the setups of Nicklaus, Snead, Hogan, etc. In this section on pg 45, Brandel tees it up and smokes it – exactly what the classic players did, you should do.
Generic Nicklaus Picture
Spine Angle – Relentless. Pg 63. Brandel shows again how the center and left-biased setups of the modern fad swing models are just wrong. He shows how all of the great swingers had the rightward spine angle, and again, how am I supposed to review a book from such a noted swing analyst and commentator, whose research comes to the same conclusions that I have reached after 11 years of independent swing research?
Other than to say, “Nailed it,” that is…
Let’s keep going. Pg 77 on the section that addresses initiating the back swing – you can call it whatever you want, a “one-piece” takeaway, or something else. I call it the “full-body pivot,” but the essence of Brandel’s instruction is the same – you don’t “separate” the body, Modern Swing style, on the takeaway.
Pg 95 – Chamblee absolutely excoriates the Modern Golf Swing fallacy of resisting the back swing pivot with the hips. Don’t believe me? Here:
The premise of this theory is so massively incorrect and its problems so numerous that for over thirty years it has almost completely divested the PGA and LPGA Tour players of their ability to build on the methods of a previous generation, not to mention their athleticism, rhythm and health.
Lest you think those words are mine, blog followers – no, that’s Brandel!
This capital crime of expository commentary has been packaged and sold to amateur and professional alike and it is pure myth.
Oh my… so like, when I wrote years ago that Modern Swing instructors and proponents were bordering on malpractice, teaching this garbage – don’t look now, but that seems to be what Brandel just said in his book. Or I don’t know what “capital crime” means.
Full agreement, of course.
And here, in this section of the book, you see all of the greatest swingers (barring Tiger Woods of course, and we all know that the greatest modern swing player in history is kaput at 40, and because of his modern style swing) had a “floating heel” on the back swing.
Pg. 99 – Brandel shows Jamie Sadlowski! And he asks the question that mirrors one from a post of my own, with the same answer:
If it were really true that resisting with the lower body made for a more powerful swing, then why don’t long drive champions follow this axiom? Because, very simply, it’s not true.
OK, slightly different from my answer, “Because they’re not insane and are intelligent and talented athletes,” but you get it…
Pg 101 – This man gets it. You know that video short I created last winter about the “Secret of Separation?” Well, Chamblee shows here with different wording the same premise, that the proper downswing accomplishes the purpose of what people call “separation” of the lower and upper body.
That’s right – you don’t do it artificially on the back swing, as it occurs naturally on the down swing.
So, that is my review of the technical swing aspects of Brandel’s book, and I would not disagree with the phrase “Holy Grail,” if you are lost in the Modern Swing and need a return to fundamental and basic swing principles.
In this book, I was shocked to see time and time again the same pictures from the internet, upon which I’ve based my blogging.
In fact, Mrs DJ, when she told me (while I was in Arizona) that the book had arrived, she had cracked it herself and all she had to say was, “You’re going to love this book!”
So: Chamblee came to the same conclusions researching the same swingers and using many of the same pictures I’ve used.
It’s absolutely stunning.
But it only proves that unbiased minds should reach the same conclusions, given the same research material on a given subject.
As Brandel found with his research, there is no need to re-invent the golf swing – it was figured out a century ago and carried forward by the great Classic era players.
I give this book an A++, and if you think I’m being cynical in my grading because I happen to agree with just about everything in it – that’s absolutely right.
This book validates my own 11 years of independent research, and in turn, my 11 years of research vouch for the findings in The Anatomy of Greatness.
Go get this book, my friends – whether you need a respected voice to tell you how best to swing a golf club, or are already proficient in the mechanically-correct swing principles I’ve advanced for years.
You will want a piece of what is sure to be golf swing history – get it now, on the first printing.
And now, to figure out how to get BC to sign my own copy – this is a future collector’s item, for sure, and one I will be putting beside Curt Sampson’s “Hogan” on my bookshelf.
DJ’s Home Office – Morning Read