Some Sports Science (Finally) Confirms What MCS Does

tiger_woods_injures_back_at_the_barclays_2013_-_pga_tourOriginally posted December 21, 2015. Re-posting in time for Tiger Woods’ announced return… so he says…

The first guy on TV that I ever saw talking about the Modern Swing in a negative way compared to the classic golf swing was Brandel Chamblee.

Move over Brandel, here comes Mike Boyle online!

Thanks to Jerry “Big Toilet” Crowell for alerting me to this article on the modern swing mechanics.

I have blogged for years on the evils of the so-called “Modern Golf Swing” theory, saying that it is harmful to both the golfer and his game, by creating stress and strain injuries where none should be.

Tiger Woods will end his career with the 2nd most majors won in a PGA Tour career, and it’s the things he did in his swing over that career that cut it short.

I don’t have to say that a healthy Tiger Woods would have obliterated the 18 major mark, but he refused to make changes to a swing that wrecked his left knee and then broke his back.



And I’ve talked about the back-breaking “rubber-band” twisting of the torso against restricted hips being the most evil concept ever introduced to the game, so I was pleased to see that there are some in the sport science community finally addressing this.


The title of the article speaks for itself, as written by Mike Boyle, a strength and training specialist at

Is ‘Rotation Training’ Hurting Your Performance? aka “Is Rotation Even A Good Idea?”

I will only give you a couple of tidbits from this blog, I would advise reading it in its entirety if you are still unsure about the harmful effects of the modern swing concepts.

On the subject of torso-twisting or rubber-banding:

Like many performance coaches, I fell victim to this same flawed concept. I was one of the lemmings that I dislike so much, blindly following the recommendations of others and using exercises that I would now consider questionable or dangerous.

Now, that is integrity, ladies and gentlemen – Mr. Boyle was once part of the problem, and now has reversed course and is telling you why the modern swing torso-twist doesn’t work:

A large percentage of low back problems occur because the abdominal muscles are not maintaining tight control over the rotation between the pelvis and the spine at the L5- S1 level. ” (2002 p.71)

The lumbar range of motion that many personal trainers and coaches have attempted to create may not even be desirable and is probably potentially injurious.

You read that above paragraph? In the bold (emphasis mine)?

Seriously, go read the rest of it, and here is what I’ve been predicting for years, out in the wilderness:

I think the future will see coaches working on core stability and hip mobility instead of working against themselves by simultaneously trying to develop core range of motion and core stability.

That bolded part above – do the words “full body swing” ring a bell?  Like, keeping the hips and torso stable together and swinging using the hip rotation?

That’s exactly what the above passage is saying – there will be some separation, as I’ve said and demonstrated, but that occurs on the down swing, and it doesn’t occur during the back swing.

This article made my day – now, if only this was the way golf fitness and strength training were done all around.




26 thoughts on “Some Sports Science (Finally) Confirms What MCS Does

  1. David

    As Chief said, “WAXGolf ringing in the ears” What a way to start off 2016, more validation. Also as you said DJ, I ain’t getting any younger!!!!!

  2. bigtoilet

    And MCS is again validated. When I saw the whole TPI rage going on and some of the concepts and exercises they suggest, I said to myself, “that crap is what hurt me in the FIRST place!!”

    Experts??? EXPERTS!!????

    Gimme Davis J Watts, and I’m just fine thank you….

    1. D Watts Post author

      I’ve been in sports my whole life DB, and I’ve never seen the stuff that people accept without question in modern golf instruction.

      This same stuff would get you thrown out of any other sport…

    1. D Watts Post author

      Pretty wet and warm winter wilderness here with El Nino on the rise – I have played golf and hit balls in colder conditions than current – too bad all the ranges and courses are closed!

      “Closed ‘Til March?!?”

  3. buddhabob

    one of the inherent problems is that many don’t see the floating heel when its happening nowadays, compare Vijay to Jack and you see a big difference, its more subtle with Vij and I think people just think that its planted.

    Anyway this simple concept will be opposed as long as modern golf coaches exist because they have far too much invested in their b.s. and they propagandize by saying that planted heel is more stable and accurate and leads to slingshot power.

    This is what suckers the young golfers in time and time again, that and the fact that you cannot find any golden age instructors anymore, where are they other than DJ who found it on his own and via Austin, and Austin is remembered mostly as a kook and a throw back dinosaur by the modern coaches.

    Only when lawsuits develop which is unfortunate will there ever be a serious controversy and from the controversy will there ever come change.

    Just ask Nicolas Tesla about being trampled by revisionist history and or any number of great creators over looked by so called progress of modernity

    1. D Watts Post author

      Only when lawsuits develop which is unfortunate will there ever be a serious controversy and from the controversy will there ever come change.

      buddhbob, I have said exactly that – my precise wording on it when Peter Kostis praised the travesty of Jordan Spieth’s mechanics:

      I hope every young lad who breaks their back or knee trying to emulate this swing because of people like Kostis submits their medical bills to him for reimbursement at the proper time.

  4. Laser

    “rubber-band” twisting of the torso against restricted hips being the most evil concept”

    –The key word is CONCEPT. It’s not what any pros actually do. Looks can be deceiving.

    I think I’ve been exposed to just about everything in the world of golf instruction, and I have yet to hear or see a quotation from a pro saying that he twists his torso against restricted hips.

    1. D Watts Post author



      I think I’ve been exposed to just about everything in the world of golf instruction, and I have yet to hear or see a quotation from a pro saying that he twists his torso against restricted hips.

      Umm, you must not have looked too hard:

      My big secret to straight drives that soar over 250 yards on average? … Strong legs help me minimize my hip turn in my backswing, creating more coil at the top. That coil is key.

      … Take an extra-wide stance and plant each foot well outside your shoulders (photo, above). This broader base further restricts your hip turn…Backswing: Move everything except your lower body for a power-packed turn…

      Michelle Wie – My 4 Driving Secrets,


      Original Comment

      Well, you’re quibbling with the wording, Laser. Those are my words, and they are my description of what Tiger Woods and modern golf do and are proponents for:

      “Drill 7 – One of the chief keys to power is increasing shoulder turn while minimizing hip turn… To produce power, you need that resistance.”

      The Tiger Woods Way by John Adrisani

      Minimizing hip turn – Restricted hip turn… sounds like the same thing to me. Just differently worded.


      More of the same:

      In a certain sense, his original X-factor concept can be thought of as being a static X-factor, because it represented the body’s position at the end of the backswing, and he believed that if the upper body was correctly coiled against the resistance of the lower body at the end-backswing position, that a golfer was storing swing power energy that could be unleashed during the downswing.

      Jim McLean’s Triple X-Factor, A Critical Review

      “Coiled against the resistance of the lower body” versus “rubber band twisting” … six of one, half a dozen of the other…

      Google “golf backswing resistance” and you will find hundreds of references of what the pros do and people should also do.

      1. Laser

        You’re the master, so I’m not calling you out. Just looking to point the finger in the right direction…at the gurus, not the professional golfers. The guru explanation about restricted hips comes from misinterpreting video. If that was happening, there would be no Tour…the golfers would all be in the hospital.

        Jim McLean and John Andrisani are NOT golf pros, and neither is that bozo with a beach ball between his legs. And, I question who really wrote “Michelle Wie’s” article. Most likely, it was ghost-written…by Leadbetter? Golfers don’t write, they play golf. That’s why Andrisani writes their books (Daly, Couples, etc.).

        1. D Watts Post author

          How about Jason Day?

          I trace a path along those tracks as long as I can, keeping my right arm straight. This creates a wide swing arc. The wider the arc, the more power I can generate.

          I also try to keep my lower body stable, so I can create a nice, tight body coil. I don’t want my right knee and hip to drift away from the target; that ruins the coil.

          Wide arc, stable lower body, tight body coil, not wanting “the right knee and hip to drift”… sounds like rubber-banding against a restricted hip turn to me… let me guess, he didn’t write it!

          But his name is on it, just like Michelle Wie, whomever is saying it…

          … and that’s what is going to shorten his career, but he luckily will have enough money, like Tiger Woods, to buy spare body parts.

          1. Laser

            “I also try to keep my lower body stable”

            –I’m guessing this is his interpretation of no backward HEAD movement, which is what you teach. Also, stability to him probably means that he’s swinging in balance.

            As for the rest of it, you said it here: “If you listen to anyone talk about the swing, even the best ball-strikers ever, you’ll do so at your own peril, as many of the greatest swingers had no clue exactly what they were doing.” ~ DJ Watts

            If he were really doing what he says he’s doing, then my question is…where is the power coming from?

            1. D Watts Post author


              Where do you get “Stable Lower Body” to mean the head? I would advise against taking up mind-reading for a living.

              No, that’s what they’re doing. And it doesn’t have anything to do with power. Tiger Woods could hit it past anyone except Daly at his peak.

              The issue is producing power efficiently and with mechanical-correctness, so you can do it consistently and for a long time, not just a few years.

              You can break a window as well with your face as your fist, by head-butting it – but how does your face look after a few times?

  5. bigtoilet

    Laser???? LASER??!!!! Oh well, DJ already explained it.

    Would anyone like to see instructors putting big physio balls between students knees on the practice range? There’s your rubber banding concept right there! I see it waaaaay too much!

  6. bigtoilet

    Annnnnnnnnnnnnd call it what you wish!! Rubber band, restricted hips, “stability”, etc. It will and IS being questioned FINALLY!! It’s MCS or else……

  7. targettom

    How anyone can think that restricting their hips will produce more power than having a free-flowing swing (as I would describe Nicklaus, MCS, etc. ) is beyond my understanding. Do I need to start smoking dope? Or turn off my highly tuned B. S. meter?

  8. Laser

    “twisting of the torso against restricted hips being the most evil concept”

    — I’ve gotta say that you’re right about that. Not only regarding injury, but also speed and power.

    I’ve done a lot of study regarding the human body. Too much, actually. It’s a mistake to assume that the hips & torso are not inter-connected. The way the mechanism works, your lower body is a single interconnected unit going from your feet up to your rib cage. By looking at the hips, a person is breaking into the middle of it.

    1. D Watts Post author

      The way the mechanism works, your lower body is a single interconnected unit going from your feet up to your rib cage.

      Ding-ding! Laser hits the nail on the head!

      PS – Ben Hogan would agree…

  9. Idabedda

    I have practically no L5/s1 disks left due to an auto accident 30 years ago,complete hip replacement, 3 unsuccessful carpal tunnel surgeries on each hand. I’m always longest driver or on occasion second longest driver in my group. Add to that low round three out of four outings.THANK YOU, D. J. Watts and MCS!!!!

    1. D Watts Post author

      I’m always longest driver or on occasion second longest driver in my group.

      And that, Idabedda, is the best thing you could tell me after stating that you have no L5! Thanks for sharing that! 🙂

  10. targettom

    Fred Couples is playing again, first time in 8 months (due to back injury). They showed him hitting a 3 wood off the tee at Thousand Oaks, and at the very top of his swing his left heel was off the ground. Not quite the floating heel pivot but maybe a “step” in the right direction

    1. D Watts Post author

      Fred Couples is likely being held together with duct tape and German blood-spinning

      I imagine the lifting heel will prevent him hitting the DL list quickly again, but the damage has been done for him… a long time ago too.

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