Wax reader T.C. sent me a link to an article on the fellow (Dan McLaughlin) who goes by the moniker “Dan Plan,” based on his plan to see if he could become a professional-level golfer by following the “10,000 Hours” principle.
That being that it supposedly takes a minimum of 10,000 hours of working/studying to master something. Followers of MA will remember he said the same thing long ago.
I believe his goal was to qualify for the PGA Tour, but basically, the DanPlan is on hold after it began 6 years ago because Dan hurt his back about two years ago, and he hasn’t really done much since.
T.C. sent me the link with the query – was it the modern golf swing that did him in?
And the answer is, simply, most likely, because of what I’ll show you below.
First, this is what his swing looked like a couple of months before he suffered the back injury:
And here’s a swing from the month before he reported the back injury, where he’s swinging on the 18th tee at Pebble Beach.
Now, what you’re seeing above is a modern, planted-heel swing model, with very little hip motion on the back swing, and a top position that looks like this:
So, the whole generation of power here comes from the violent change of direction from the top, to swing down, and the lower back and core/back muscles are taking all of the load:
What you see there is a back injury waiting to happen (and, since T.C. emailed me asking about it, I guess it did…), because this is what occurs when you don’t use the lower body to generate power.
I’ll prove it – here’s what he had to say about it at the time:
May 2, 2015
“JUST A BAD WEEK. SAW CHIROPRACTOR SETH AND HE SAID I WAS ALL TWISTED UP IN THE HIPS AND LOWER BACK AND NEEDED A COUPLE OF ADJUSTMENTS … THE BACK FEELS BETTER, IT’S JUST THE LOWER RIGHT SIDE NOW WHICH IS THE FINAL ADJUSTMENT COMING MONDAY…”
I’ve said before, and I’ll say again, you certainly can swing the way Dan is swinging above, and you can certainly play great golf (I believe he was at or approaching scratch at the time), but it doesn’t mean it’s the proper way to do it.
And if Dan still hasn’t gotten back to serious playing and practicing two years after this injury, it means the DanPlan is going no further without a swing overhaul.
The ironic thing is, he has a good-looking swing action, a very nice MCS-type setup, if you don’t look at the fact that his leading heel is nailed to the ground the entire time of the back swing:
If you’ve been following Dan, you might be waiting a while, because with a back injury and a swing model like his, that’s about the end of the road for him.
However, if he makes a change to the mechanically-sound classic golf swing and begins to get some leg and hip action into his back swing, then all he has to do is wait until the back is fully healed, and then get back to work.
And if anyone reading this has ever corresponded with him, tell him what he needs to hear right now:
“Classic Golf Swing…“
That’s the answer to his woes.