Tony Lema Demonstrates Why Jason Day Hurt His Back

jason dayI was watching the highlights yesterday, having missed the live coverage wherein Jason Day re-injured his back on a particularly vigorous cut on the 16th tee.

Earlier in the round against Graham McDowell, he had driven the 370 yard 5th hole with a big bomb, as well.

But when he finished his swing on 16, he immediately dropped his driver and clutched at the worst place you want to see someone grabbing – the lower back.

day back


From ESPN.Go.Com, Jason’s comments were not encouraging:

“It’s really hard to play when there is searing pain in both sides of your back,” Day told The Australian Associated Press as he made his way to the clubhouse.

“I’m really struggling. I need to get treatment right away to see what’s wrong.”

Well, I can tell him what’s wrong – it’s the Modern Golf Swing model he’s using and he’s shredding his lower back with that planted-heel, twisting back swing and quick change of direction from the top.

jasaon day


I’ve been pretty clear that Jason Day is my favorite player on Tour and I hate to see him in the condition he’s currently in.

Hopefully, he can get some swing changes done where the current model is hurting him.


And in one little motion gif. I can show you all, with “Champagne” Tony Lema loosening up before a match in the 1960’s, why I myself can have an injured back and not continue to injure it by swinging a golf club.

It’s because a proper golf swing kinda works like this:

tony lema loosens up

The lower back is not designed to twist in the manner the planted-heel back swing with restricted hips forces the modern swinger to do. It is that simple.

And if you perform unsound athletic movements with speed and power – the damage will be significant, and quick in the coming.

Tiger Woods proved he could win with any swing you gave him, but even he couldn’t skip out on the bill when he ordered a double helping of modern swing and fixings with Sean Foley.

Now, Jason Day is 28 years old and I doubt he’ll last to 30 on Tour – swinging the way he does.

And that would be a great shame to the game, because this young man has the game and physical talent to win a good deal more majors, let alone regular Tour events.

The problem is, his swing is destroying his back.

We’ll see how this story ends, I suppose…



23 thoughts on “Tony Lema Demonstrates Why Jason Day Hurt His Back

  1. Laser

    Tony Lema…looks kinda similar to Hogan. I could be wrong, but it doesn’t look like he’s torquing his back a whole bunch:

    (0:49) Hogan, Ed Sullivan exercise

      1. targettom

        Yeah I missed it; I’m on vacation and it’s difficult to keep up to date just by a tiny phone. Hope Nick also sees the light before it’s too late

  2. Ken Joersz

    Mr. Lema is demonstrating a warmup drill identical to Jack Nicklaus’ drill. It’s too bad the video doesn’t show his footwork. I’m relatively certain it would show a floating left heel. Unfortunately, modern instructors rarely do this, the most simple of drills, correctly. I’m searching for video of Nicklaus doing this drill but no luck so far.

    Laser’s Hogan video is an excellent example of how the swing properly progresses.

    1. D Watts Post author

      Well, KJ, you’re right on the floating heel.

      Lema, like all of the classic swingers, had the floating heel. Never in doubt! 🙂

  3. robert crissy

    My name is Bob Crissy I am the teaching director at a 36 hole private CC in Boca Raton Fl.

    Our membership is over 60 and I believe the information you have on your website will help me help our membership What would you suggest that I purchase.

    I am glad to purchase what you have so I can get all the information organized


    Bob Crissy Sent from my iPad

    1. Brandon

      Everything on this site(Ben Hogan Project & Perfect Pivot along with the secret MCS) and Brandel Chamblee’s upcoming book

    2. D Watts Post author

      Mr. Crissy,

      Thank you for dropping in and leaving a comment.

      As Brandon stated, the MCS Perfect Pivot video will fully explain the proper pivot, and while not yet available, you can pre-order the video download and receive the download link by email when is completed in early April.

      I recently had a Summit in Goodyear, AZ and many attendees were over 60 – it was a delight to see them pivoting easily and hitting solid shots after years of modern swing misery.

      I hope that helps!

      Best Regards,

      DJ Watts

  4. humbray

    Mr Crissy, Your best bet is to fly DJ Watts to Boca and have him do couple clinics for your membership. Golfers who have back pain and those who want to gain 10-20 yards off the tee. His teachings work and having DJ there will jumpstart the process. Best wishes humbray

    1. D Watts Post author

      And I’ll be seeing you in a week, humbray! In the 20’s yesterday with an ice storm the night before, looking forward to some sunny desert climate soon! 😉

      1. andymac01

        Come on DJ – come to Europe. Or you could fly out to Thailand where I am now, am playing tomorrow at what is a spectacular course.

        1. D Watts Post author

          I will go anywhere people want me, andymac – all it takes is a group and a commitment! 😉

          1. andymac01

            I go every year we play in Pattaya and Phuket. Phuket I love Blue Canyon – Tiger and Fred Couples said it was one of the best in the world back in the 90s It think – however condition last few years has been poor, playing tomorrow so well see the. The other course I like (although played them all in Phuket) is Red Mountain which is the most stunning course I have played, but I think the pros would probably tear it apart, for the amateur its tricky, condition is amazing.

            In Pattaya generally play Siam Plantation each year which IMO is fantastic, condition is incredible. Laem Chabang (sp) is great as well. Never played any of the courses round Bangkok.

            1. D Watts Post author

              My sister was showing me pictures that she took at Pompeii on her visit to Italy some years back – I’ve gotta get over to Europe and do some historical sight-seeing! Probably starting with the U.K…

  5. jingusus

    Found this pretty interesting DJ:

    You can see that even though Rory doesn’t lift that heel, his motion on the front foot is still more mechanically-sound than Jason’s….

    1. D Watts Post author

      Actually, Rory does have a tiny heel lift at times, Jason, which will certainly ease the strain on the pivot, as seen here on a different day:

      As well, he gets a better pivot action because he’s more center-biased. The whole reason for the center and left-biased positions is because it’s easier to pivot with a planted heel. However, he isn’t in the proper impact position starting from there, so he has to trebuchet-drop during the down swing.

      Both very good modern golf swing actions, which unfortunately is the exact reason for the injuries both of them have suffered since turning pro.

      If either of them ever goes mechanically-correct… there would be no one in their league…

  6. Jason

    Absolutely agree DJ that he does get heel lift on SOME swings. In others, he almost lifts the heel, but at least he seems to juts that heel outwards in that direction whereas Day’s heel and foot position don’t change at all. Hope Jason figures it out!!

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