“This Isn’t Even Wrong” Edition – Restricted vs Full Hip Turn (Golf WRX)

wrx2OK, everyone is talking about the posting purporting to “test” Brandel Chamblee’s assertions (and it’s news to me that Chamblee is the originator of something I’ve been saying myself for years now, and that Jack Nicklaus rejected in 1974, but whatever), that a restricted-hip swing is harmful to the lower back.

I was going to wait until tomorrow to post this confusing piece of non-analysis from Tom Stickney II over at Golf WRX, because I’m getting emails about it – you fellas are quick – so here goes, guys!

First of all, you’ll remember my favorite phrase when dealing with stuff like this – “This isn’t even wrong…”

And it isn’t even wrong in the same way that someone might be asked, “How do I get to Main Street from here?” to be told, “You know, Mexican Coca Cola is made with real sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup…”

That’s right… the answer isn’t even wrong… and I have the same thing to say about Stickney’s “analysis” of whether Chamblee is correct or not on the restricted-hip swing being bad for you.

Before I even begin, let me quote his opening paragraph so no one will say, “That’s not what he was talking about…”

From the article:

Brandel Chamblee — a famously controversial, but tremendously knowledgable golf analyst — has taken a very firm public stance on the way golfers should use their hips during the golf swing… In fact, he says that restricting the hips may be the cause of long-term injuries that have become common on the PGA Tour.

I think we can all agree what issue it is that Stickney is tackling (or should be, with that opening).

So, what does Stickney proceed to do?

That’s right – he does a Trackman analysis of his ball-striking numbers using a floating-heel pivot vs a planted-heel pivot, and posts the numbers.


And that’s where I am left shaking my head.

Here’s a question:

Since when has Trackman been used for anything other than analyzing impact and ball flight numbers?

Anyone?  I’m stumped.

Get the conclusion above, how with a “tighter” hip turn, you’ll get more control (for the longer hitters).  Well, I don’t think there is any ground-shaking discovery that a less-than-full pivot swing will be tighter, and perhaps give you more control – I bet you’ll have more control tossing a ball 75% of your full effort compared to 90% (which is why you don’t swing a wedge at full speed, because the wedge is a control club), but that’s not what the issue is.

Stickney leads off his article talking about Chamblee’s claims regarding modern swing injuries caused by restricted-hip swinging – where is the testing on that?

Here’s the deal – I bet you Tiger Woods would have had amazing Trackman numbers back in the mid-90’s to mid-00’s period, during the same time he was wrecking his left knee with a mechanically-unsound swing move (the left leg snap through impact, and the restricted-hip back swing that would have put stress on that joint even before the down swing).

I’ll bet you additionally that Jason Day’s Trackman numbers were to be envied by just about any other swinger on the PGA Tour last season as he was shredding his back…again, due to mechanically-unsound technique.

But tell me, please, what Trackman numbers have to do with the fact that swinging with a free and full hip turn is the mechanically-correct way to swing, and that the modern philosophy (which is not even correct) of swinging with restricted hips to purportedly give you more power and control is a very harmful way to swing?

Tiger: “Restricted Hips, Jack?”  Jack: “Uh, no…”

USA team captain Jack Nicklaus(L) puts a

Jack Nicklaus debunked this “modern” swing garbage back in 1974, and it seems that Jack Nicklaus is a guy that Golf WRX would chase from their forums as a quack and know-nothing, which is why you should ask yourself – who do you think knows more about the golf swing – Jack Nicklaus or any guy whose opinion is freely offered on the modern vs classic golf swing?

How about Bobby Jones?  Did he know anything?  He rejected a planted-heel pivot as well, a century ago.

So, aside from name-dropping Chamblee to get clicks from the title – what in the hell does Trackman or comparing Trackman numbers have to do with mechanically-correct vs not?

Trackman will give you your numbers.  In fact, if you broke your back in the middle of a session, all Trackman would say on that particular swing, would be the same as on any other swing – what your ball and club were doing at impact, and what the ball did post-impact.

Nothing more, nothing less.

But then, I bet most of you would have said the same thing before I posted this.

Carry on!

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

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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!

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7 thoughts on ““This Isn’t Even Wrong” Edition – Restricted vs Full Hip Turn (Golf WRX)

  1. D Watts Post author

    This is why no Kinesiology or Biomechanics study or comparative analysis of one modern swing model over another, that begins with the premise that the swing is to be performed with planted feet, is to be taken seriously – they are teaching bad science.

    Where are the doctors on this?!?

    Doing the following, most likely:

  2. targettom

    There were several comments below that post that took him to task for this, so like you many are not buying what he’s selling. One comment was pretty interesting speculation about how the Modern Swing arose.

    Stickney’s TM #’s did show better results with UH though. He says one can get better control with RH; but fails to mention that one could also have a shorter swing with UH for better control. Also I find it interesting these RH guys always say “lift your heel if you’re not as flexible…” like if you lift your heel you have some sort of affliction.

    Here’s one comment I found interesting:

    1. D Watts Post author

      I took the picture you emailed me of the comment and added it to your original comment, Tom – good find! 😀

  3. Laser

    “the way golfers should use their hips”

    –The thing is, hips are part of a system. A coordinated person might notice that his hips are doing something. But, other things are enhancing or even creating what he observes.

    Then, the guru tells a newbie to do something with his hips. The newbie focuses on the hips–to the exclusion of the things that enable the hips to do what they should do.

    Maybe it would be better to get a swing stick and not focus on hips so much.

    1. D Watts Post author

      Maybe it would be better to get a swing stick and not focus on hips so much.

      Laser, I’m starting to love you, man!

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