This is the great danger and and tragedy of how the modern golf swing has damaged countless swingers’ bodies over the years – it is easy to get someone swinging in the planted-heel manner when they are extremely young and pliable, and even though they are doing damage to themselves, it’s not noticeable yet…
You’ll remember my amusement when Tiger Woods blamed normal youthful playing about as the reason for his degenerated left knee, which required surgery even before he turned pro (many people think his knee only became a problem in the 2000’s, but it was an issue when he was in college, believe it or not).
As an aside, Jason Day is on his way to completely wrecking his back, but let’s stick with Tiger, as he is at or near the end of his own career.
Looking at Tiger’s knee history, and then looking at his swing as the world’s best amateur, you can see that he was straining the whole left side and especially the knee on the back swing, and then you had the hyper-extension and snapping of the left leg and knee through impact – he couldn’t even get out of his amateur years (first surgery: 1994) before requiring surgery to that left knee, and this is the point I’ll try to make here:
Not many young people will damage their knee as young as Tiger Woods did, because they won’t be swinging with the athleticism and speed that he generated as a young man, but the danger is exactly that – the damage is incremental and you won’t really notice or realize the destructive nature of the modern golf swing model – until it’s too late.
And so, MCS (swinging in a mechanically-correct manner) is certainly important when you are young, but many young swingers, being immortal and indestructible, won’t heed my caveats on the modern golf swing – however as one gets older, it becomes even more important to change one’s swing to a more mechanically-sound action if one wishes to continue to play and enjoy the game.
This is the thing – the modern golf swing requires extreme flexibility to even perform the way it is taught – looking at Tiger’s top position, how many people are this flexible in the lower body to begin with?
Tiger is twisted to a near pretzel at the top, and everyone’s wondering how he wrecked his lower back by 40? You can see with your own eyes that torquing that lower back with a big leg and hip drive from that position… was never going to end well…
Meanwile, Wax Golf reader David D. is 73 years old and swinging better than he ever has, having made the switch in recent years from planted-heel to classic floating heel style:
So, you need extreme flexibility to even perform a “decent” (in modern swing terms) back swing pivot with a planted leading heel, and that is asking for trouble.
Which brings me to the point – if someone that flexible and athletic wrecked his lower back trying to keep swinging this way has he aged and became less flexible – why would you even be trying to swing this way if you’re older than 25 years old?
It’s madness, and all of these left knee and lower back problems are directly related to the modern golf swing.
Remember how Greg Norman led the British Open into the final round in his 50’s as a senior player, and how Tom Watson nearly won it, finishing 2nd to Stewart Cink in 2009, at 60 years of age?
Guess how Norman and Watson swing?
In the classic style, of course. It’s not coincidence that they could run with the young bucks who all swing modern (with the exception of Bubba, Phil and Vijay), with a classic swing and modern equipment.
Meanwhile, we have yet to see Tiger Woods play a round of golf after turning 40, and Jason Day is not guaranteed to get much past 30 if he doesn’t make changes.
Danny Willett, current Masters champion, is out with another back injury…and on and on…
As we get older, we lose flexibility, and so it is crucial to swing with mechanical soundness, which means with the entire body and not in segmented, call-your-back-specialist parts.
I’ll keep hammering that theme – you don’t have to break your back to play golf, and the long drivers, nearly to a man, all swing “old man style,” as the classic modern swing is sometimes described by the young and ignorant.
Look me clarify that for you all – it’s the way to swing for the old man, it is the way to swing for the middle-aged man, and it’s the way to swing for the young man and the youthful boy.
You don’t even have to take it from me – how about Jack Nicklaus?
I can assure you, you don’t know more about the golf swing than Mr. Nicklaus, and he spoke the wisest words you’ll ever hear about the foolishness of modern swing theory – and he did it 40 years ago…the following are his words:
I understand that there is a theory in golf today that the hips shouldn’t turn on the backswing…It’s hogwash…you should never try to restrict your hip turn if you want to hit the ball a long way.
So, there’s that…
Want to learn more about the MCS Golf Swing Theory? Try one of DJ’s “Secrets of the MCS” video shorts available via download.
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!