Golf Digest Is Trying To Kill You (Or Wreck Your Back)

torso-twistWhile the byline of this particular crime against humanity is given to Ron Kaspriske, the person giving the tips, I would hold Golf Digest responsible as the magazine carrying this destructive advice to unsuspecting golfers.

What exactly is that?  Only a little more Modern Golf Swing insanity, is all…

Just go check out the piece called “Short On Time? Work Out At Your Desk” and make sure not to follow either Tip #1 nor Tip #3.

The first one (and I can’t believe I have to write this), because no athlete on the face of this earth would ever practice rolling one’s ankles over during an athletic motion:


Yes, you read correctly – the very first bit of advice is on how to practice rolling your ankles over (I imagine, so you can look like Jordan Spieth post-impact – has anyone told these people that JS’s foot roll is evidence of a swing flaw and not proper mechanics? Just wondering…) and I heartily advise finding a golf swing that doesn’t require this type of action:

spieth follow thru

The 2nd tip is a Tiger Woods Special, on how to “fire the glutes,” and I see nothing wrong with what he’s showing, as I like to squeeze and release my lower body muscles as well when on a long flight – it actually feels pretty good, so let’s move on.

I’ve Seen This Before…

chair swing drill

Tip 3 – this is the crime against humanity, and let me remind you that this isn’t new – Paige Spirinac is also telling people how to wreck their back doing something she doesn’t do in her own swing (keep the hips frozen on the back swing), just as this Ron Kaspriske character is doing.

Warning – If You Like Your Back – Don’t Do THIS


He says, and I’ll quote the exact words here:

The obliques… they provide the rotation back and through as you make a back swing and through swing…

So try and keep your lower body as still as possible… just rotate your trunk, back and forth – and really don’t let those hips or knees or anything in the lower body move. Just your upper body. You’re sort of ‘waking up’ those obliques, letting them know that hey – it’s their job to move the spine.

DJ’s Response:


From Golf Digest on Ron: Ron Kaspriske is a senior editor at Golf Digest. He covers fitness, instruction, rules and travel.

Methinks he should stick to fitness, rules and travel, and leave the instruction (if it’s on the golf swing) to people who won’t destroy their students’ backs in the process.

I wonder what Ben Hogan would have said about the lower body on the golf swing and whether you use the lower body or the upper body?

Wait!  Here he is now:

Ben Hogan Showing How It’s Done…

You may recognize the first part of that blurb from my intro to the “MCS – Perfect Pivot” video based on… Ben Hogan’s lower body action… and before anyone quibbles about Hogan concentrating on the down swing in the clip… watch what he does with his hips and legs on the back swing – what do you think, is he keeping the lower body absolutely still and swinging with his obliques?

Or are Golf Digest and Mr. K. completely and utterly out to lunch on this part?

You tell me…

Get Off That “Restricted Hip Back Swing” Before It Wrecks Your Back, Son…

USA team captain Jack Nicklaus(L) puts a

Or how about Jack Nicklaus?

Did you know that Jack Nicklaus destroyed the Modern Golf Swing’s biggest piece of garbage (swinging with restricted hips) even before it had taken hold, and he did it back in 1974?

I understand that there is a theory in golf today that the hips shouldn’t turn on the backswing.  The idea seems to be that the less you turn your hips, while still turning your shoulders, the more leverage you’ll generate.

It’s hogwash, and here’s why.

Stand erect with your arms at your sides and keep them there. Now hold your hips still and turn your shoulders.

Impossible, right? Even the slightest shoulder turn forces some hip turn. And the more the shoulders turn, the more the hips are forced to turn, right?

… unless he’s incredibly supple or some kind of contortionist.

Thus you should never try to restrict your hip turn if you want to hit the ball a long way.

That was Jack in 1974 at 34 years of age, after he’d already won 12 majors.

And while Tiger Woods had 14 majors at the same age, Tiger never won another major after 32, and Jack would go on to win 6 more majors swinging the way he swung.

And that was… using the lower body to power his swing…

And seriously, if you have ever given a penny to Mr. K for golf lessons and he’s gotten you to do this stuff, and you’ve injured your lower back swinging – I’d consider researching a good malpractice legal firm.

No joke.

I don’t know what’s going on here.

These guys are supposed to be helping, not hurting, and twisting the lower back on a golf swing rather than making a full body pivot is the easiest way most people who know better can think of doing to hurt one’s lower back.

But if a Tiger Woods Microdiscectomy is something you really want for Christmas… then full speed ahead with that chair exercise!

Want to learn more about the MCS Golf Swing Theory? Try one of DJ’s “Secrets of the MCS”video shorts available via download.

hogan pivot

Or you can download the very latest MCS Golf Swing video “MCS – Perfect Pivot based on the flawless pivot action of Ben Hogan.**

**”MCS – Perfect Pivot” is Part 3 of the “MCS Golf Swing Trilogy,” now available for download!

wax shirts


12 thoughts on “Golf Digest Is Trying To Kill You (Or Wreck Your Back)

    1. D Watts Post author

      Hi Lance – been trying to nail that down (I have to confirm that the concept really works, which takes range work and video analysis), but I’ve been side-tracked with the Short Game video production. I hope to be able to still get something beyond the Perfect Pivot video (which is six months old already!) for those who think they’re ready for some real theory stuff.

      Will be catch & go, but I have until Sunday (so I’ve heard) before the golf academy shuts its doors for the year.

      Fingers crossed.

  1. Mike Divot

    “He covers fitness, instruction, rules and travel.”

    Pretty wide range of responsibilities there. Sounds like GD has a production staff of two people. The other guy covers the tour, equipment, advertising, handling petty cash, emptying the waste paper baskets, and making sure they have enough coffee.

    They’re a low rent fly by night outfit, out to bilk you and then get out of town fast!

    1. D Watts Post author

      LOL – it didn’t even occur to me, MD, but you have a point.

      What I wonder is, who is doing their legal work – it’s only a matter of time before someone with a bad back from all of this nonsense puts 2 & 2 together and goes after someone for inexcusable “biomechanics” mumbo-jumbo…

    1. Mike Divot

      Jones is an old dead guy who didn’t even know what myelin is, so we can dismiss his opinion.

      Oh, also, he used old equipment, so everything he ever knew is wrong. Only guys who hit big titanium drivers know anything about golf.

      1. D Watts Post author

        A guy from 100 years ago knew more about the swing than all Modern swing gurus combined…

        Bob Jones had Stewart Maiden.

        Nicklaus had Jack Grout.

        Hogan and Byron Nelson had themselves.

        Tiger Woods (after Butch Harmon) went to… Hank Haney and then Sean Foley…

        A sad indictment of the modern game…

    2. D Watts Post author

      How sad is it that best swinger of the hickory era and that of the classic era said the exact same things…and yet no one listens to them?

      Nicklaus said 40 years ago that the restricted-hip swing stuff was hogwash

      I’ll go with Jones and Nicklaus and proper athletic motion…

  2. Laser

    Let’s see if I can sum it up. Modern swing gurus don’t know anything about anatomy. They don’t know anything about visual perspective. And, they don’t know anything about history. If anyone wants to see a good golfer…then how about Sam Snead, who won more Tour events than anyone else. Restricted hips?


  3. Mike Divot

    It’s hard to think of a parallel in other sports.

    “Oh, sure, Ted Williams said to keep your eye on the ball. But gee, in his day they didn’t really have relief pitching as such. So what would he know?”

    Also the deification of “Mr Hogan” and the bible-like status of “5 lessons” seems to overlook and be in sharp contrast to that eensy weensy little point about not restricting your hips …

    It’s cognitive dissonance and the dam will break eventually. Watch everyone run for cover then.

    1. D Watts Post author

      The only ones running will be the “experts,” MD – everyone else will be lucky to walk, let alone run, when this whole house of cards collapses.

      But when you mention Hogan – did you notice that around ’05-’06, all of the great classic swingers disappeared from the Golf Channel features? I watched them, even have some old VHS video of the greats from Jones to Nicklaus, all recorded after I began my swing research in ’05. Within a couple of years, you couldn’t see them anymore.

      In fact, I remember the early days of the Golf Channel. I began watching it after Tiger’s ’97 Masters win, and between the few events they broadcast, it was nearly wall-to-wall features on the old time greats.

      And Peter Kessler before he got the boot…

      Those were the days…

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