REAL Sports Science Puts Modern Golf To Shame

zuback-6It boggles my mind that Zuback, in the early 2000’s, was around 200 mph in ball speed (Ryan Winther now holds the official record in ball speed at around 227 mph and an unofficial mark of 237 mph).

That’s because I have actually gotten into the mid-190’s without having to live in the gym because of technique over muscle power, but one thing I can tell you – the clip below puts the Modern Golf Swing industry to shame.

All you have to do is watch from about the 6:40 mark of the video, and you’ll see what I’m talking about:

Jason Zuback Goes For 200 MPH Ball Speed

Here are selected quotes on how Jason Zuback achieved the 200 mph mark in the lab, and the times where you can find them:

7:03 – It’s all due to a chain of events called “kinetic linking.”  The energy starts in Jason’s feet.  Jason plants himself on the ground, and winds his body up like a spring.

Now, that sounds a lot like the Modern Golf Swing stuff, doesn’t it?

Except for the fact that Zuback’s is a Classic Golf Swing model, and I would bet you that you won’t hear any Modern swing reference to using “the ground” or “planting” before 2007, because we’ve only begun to hear the “using the ground” stuff since PGA Tour players began jumping into the air at impact due to their bad technique.


So, the Classic Golf Swing guys were “planting” themselves “on the ground” and “winding up like a spring,” you’ll hear, as far back as 2007… which means all of this Modern Swing mumbo-jumbo about springs and using the ground isn’t even original… now, look at the “floating heel” of Zuback’s computer model as the analysis continues:

7:23 – The power multiples as it travel upward through his knees, and with the smooth twist of his hips, the energy races into the massive muscles of his core.


So, what’s missing in the Modern Golf Swing?  Oh yes, the part I underlined in the previous quote – the smooth twist (or turning) of the hips!

Modern Golf is missing everything from the hips on down, so no, they are NOT using the ground or their legs and feet as the analysts on TV try to tell you.

I’ts pretty simple – if you’re not letting the hips move freely, how are you then using your legs and feet and the ground? All you’re using is the core region, and that’s why all the backs are breaking!





9 thoughts on “REAL Sports Science Puts Modern Golf To Shame

  1. Brady

    Outstanding article DJ! You are absolutely spot on about MSG, my new phrasing for modern swing guys. They’re clueless.

    Reminds me of a GD article/interview from 1996 when your buddy Peter “if the player leading the tournament is using a twist and heave swing on biz hub I’ll endorse his swing” Kostis actually stood up for himself against a panel of swing gurus at the time which I believe included Bedletter,Harmon, Flick, McLean etc.

    PK differed in that when asked about the coming advent of soft spikes, he expressed concern that a golfer using soft spikes will no longer be able to use his feet and legs in order to properly utilize the ground for leverage or something to that effect.

    The disadvantage of softspikes is something that is not brought up any more and it underlined what I believe to be Kostis’ true opinion of a MCS which is you’ve got to be able to use the feet,legs and hips to power the swing. Don’t get me wrong I think you can achieve a MCS with soft spikes but it’s far easier w steel spikes.

    Does anyone here agree? DJ did you ever get to play golf in steel spikes and feel the satisfying clacking and resultant noise emanating as you walked from the putting green to the first tee? Powerful stuff my friend. I remember being
    so bummed out when in Jan 98 we had to switch to soft spikes. It sucked!

    Sadly, we won’t be going back to steel, I felt at the time the switch to soft spikes although being touted by the manufacturers as being beneficial for the player(more comfortable and no more spike marks!) was essentially money driven and benefitted the soft spike manufacturers and golf course owners.

    My main point however is that steel spikes made it far easier to execute a MCS, smoother greens notwithstanding. Hmmm now that I think about it I wonder if Spieth could sink all those 20 footers if softspikes didn’t exist, we may have never heard of him. Lol

    1. D Watts Post author

      I first played in ’95, Brady, so I do remember a couple of years playing with metal spikes before the change to soft. I’ll say that spikes make a swing easier with faulty technique, because of the twisting and pushing forces one will exert upon the ground. However, the better one’s technique becomes, the less “spikage” one requires.

      I can swing a Momentus heavy driver while wearing sandals, because the tighter you get in your pivot and leveraging, the more stable your swing. When you’re not in perfect position, you have to either twist the hips or push off with the right foot to get that hip turn (when you see players lose their right footing on the down swing).

      So, if you really want to test your swing, hit some balls in shoes with no spikes. Then you’ll see how well you’re doing! 😉

  2. Laser

    “Modern Golf is missing everything from the hips on down, so no, they are NOT using the ground or their legs and feet.” — I see two things here: 1) modern golf theory, and 2) modern pro golfers.

    Modern theory does not explain what modern pro golfers are doing…only what gurus think that it LOOKS like what they’re doing. (What they’re missing is the body’s internal design.)

    Einstein used “thought experiments,” so maybe I can try one too. In preparation for space travel, the air force used to fly cargo planes in a kind of a hump pattern. On the downhill side of the hump, the would-be astronaut passengers would be weightless. I dare somebody in a weightless state to swing a golf club. Could he break 20 mph? In order to use legs, maybe you have to use gravity and the ground.

    1. D Watts Post author

      I would re-phrase my earlier statement, Laser to “they are NOT using the ground (any more than a classic swinger is), or their leg and feet much at all (if the hips aren’t turning freely).”

      They use their legs quite a bit on the down swing, but the down swing is only half the swing, and this is the cause of the injuries – ever more violent transitions and down swings to counter the lack of leverage from improper back swing pivoting.

      And you couldn’t swing a golf club in in mid-air, so I fail to see how these guys keep saying that jumping into the air is “using the ground.”

      A kangaroo uses the ground too, while it’s jumping, but not while it’s in mid-air… but this is what you get when people who have no knowledge of proper athletic motion, nor of anything to do with physics or science, try to explain why the flawed swings they are praising are “correct.”

      Garbage in, garbage out.

    2. Mike Divot

      I saw a guy swing a club while dropping into a swimming pool. Boy, that was great experiment! I am now convinced that if you swing a club in mid air while dropping into a pool, you will get wet. And that’s every single time.

      1. Laser

        Diving board…hmmm. Let’s see, take a club, jump off the board, swing at the top of the arc, and…..

  3. Mike Divot

    >>> “But all you hear from the analysts is what’s happening to the swinger’s body, not what he’s doing mechanically.”

    You are right, DJ. They call it the way a horse race is called. “Now he’s moving the club back, his arms and shoulders are moving, now he’s at the top of the backswing, down he comes, the club whips through the ball and away it goes. And Kostis trails in last place.”

    I would like to see these guys look at video of a guy they’ve never seen before, some college guy maybe, with the ball flight not shown, and have them say what the player’s tendency is, like whether he hits fades or draws, high or low, long hitter or not, what his miss is likely to be.

    If they really know swings, they should see all that clearly. Instead we get pretty lines drawn on the screen.

    1. D Watts Post author

      I hate to say, but if they’re praising the swings I see on TV, they don’t know anything. A good track & field trainer can tell you a good running technique from a bad. Same thing with a pitching coach. Or a high jump coach.

      All you get from the modern golf swing analysts is, “Different but it works…”

      And the lineups at the rehab trailers get longer and longer.

      Think about a self-taught musician who can play piano by ear and who can play songs that he memorizes. He could be brilliant, but his technical knowledge is zero. Hand him a sheet of music and ask him to read or play it, and he’ll ask you, “What the hell am I supposed to do with this?”

      Now, ask a modern swing analyst, even one who is a former player who fashioned a playable swing, to technically analyze a swing they’ve never seen before, and you’ll likely get the same response.

      So, I agree with you.

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