Let’s Break It Down – The Purpose Of The Swing

I’ve been doing more work on the 3 Pillars of a proper swing, which are simply, the Swing Point, the Swing Arc and the Hands.

You can distill the swing down to those three pillars (if you don’t want to, then don’t, but my point is that you can), because of the simple purpose of the golf swing.

You have one over-riding purpose of the swing – and that is, to propel the golf ball.

Now, you have purposes within that primary purpose – to propel the ball on a certain path, a certain distance (usually, and even “as far as I can drive it” is a certain distance, to be honest), and of course, the MCS purposes, which are to do it efficiently and with mechanical-soundness, in order to maximize performance and to eliminate the risk of unnecessary injury.

You could look at it in this way:


Now, watching the pros on TV, you will know that they have the first primary purpose down pretty well.

What most modern instructors are either neglecting entirely or, even worse, messing up completely due to ignorance of how the body actually works, is the “other” primary purpose of the golf swing – which is to do it properly, so as to avoid un-necessary injury.

It goes without saying that if your golf swing isn’t mechanically-sound, that you will suffer reduced efficiency and therefore will not be maximizing your performance, but the part I really focus on is the injury aspect.

You should not be hurting yourself swinging a golf club, however hard you wish to swing it, if you are doing it in a mechanically-sound manner.

Now, if you are one of the few, those at the highest level of performance, you may very well injure yourself because of physics – elite baseball pitchers will suffer injuries at times simply because they are throwing so hard, the generated forces exceed their ligaments’ abilities to withstand those forces even though they’re using proper technique.

But not many of us are going to swing so hard that we injure ourselves even using proper technique – you’d be in world class long drive territory before that happened, and even then, it would likely be some minor flaw in your technique that leads to the injury.

Neither are any of us going to make so many swings that even with sound technique, our bodies break down.

Moe Norman hit millions upon millions of balls in his time, as did Ben Hogan, and neither of them ever had to take time off because of injuries due to the number of balls they hit.

I could mention Vijay Singh as well, but he has had recurring injury issues in his career – because he not only hit millions of balls, he had a maniacal physical fitness and workout regime that burned his personal trainers out (yes, Vijay went through multiple PTs due to the intensity, frequency and length of his workouts)… and that is not the same scenario, but you’ve probably heard that Vijay in his 40’s hit more balls than guy half his age, and he could do that because he had a very mechanically-sound swing, if not completely MCS…

Your average Tour pro hits a lot of balls, and you’ll hear that this is the cause of injuries, but again – that’s not the price of playing pro golf, that’s the price of swinging with less than sound technique, and I won’t argue that if that’s how you phrase it!

If the technique is sound and they’re in such great physical shape (as we keep hearing the laughable claim that today’s golf pros are in better shape than, say, Sam Snead and Arnie Palmer were), then this shouldn’t be happening.

Impact


So, when someone tells you that all that matters in a golf swing is the Impact, then they are misleading you.

The only thing that matters to the golf ball is impact, and that point, I will never argue – it doesn’t matter how you got to impact, when it comes to the ball – the ball will do the exact same thing with the exact same impact speed, club path, loft and whatnot, however you’re swinging to get there.


However, it matters a great deal to the swinger, for consistency of performance and injury prevention, how you get to impact, and that’s where I come in with my research.

I could drive a ball over 300 yards with a 3 wood when I began my research.

I wasn’t looking for power or speed, I had that in abundance thanks to having a little athletic talent – what I was looking for was consistency, because I never knew where that ball was going to go until I watched it in the air following impact, and that’s no way to play golf.

Now, a funny thing happened on the way to the Forum – I not only figured out how the body works, I came to realize that the same technique for maximum performance is also that for the secondary objective of avoiding injury.

In short – efficiency and maximum performance come from mechanically-correct swinging, as does reducing the chance of injury while doing so.

And that brings us to the 3 Pillars of the Swing – I’ve already addressed the Fundamentals Trifecta, which have to do with setting up to swing the club and which are the Address Position or Stance, Ball Position and Grip.

So, the Pillars are similar but different in that the Trifecta describes how to set up in order to trigger the 3 Pillars of the actual swing.

So, the Fundamentals Trifecta are how to set up for the swing in order to engage the 3 Pillars of the actual swing.

So, I’m getting into some cool stuff now that I’ve figured out how to overcome my own physical deformity, and while my personal Fundamentals Trifecta will differ from yours with my adjustment – the 3 Pillars are the 3 Pillars and are the same for everyone who swings or wants to swing with maximum efficiency and mechanical-correctness.

The 3 Pillars are How You Get To Impact in the most efficient and the simplest manner possible, and that’s why there are only 3 of them.

And why are they what they are?

Well…

That’s what “E = MCS” the equation is all about!

More to come!


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

“Dropping The Hammer!”

hammer-drop

Or you can download the very latest MCS  video “MCS – Dropping The Hammer , Part 3 of the MCS Golf Swing Trilogy**

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8 thoughts on “Let’s Break It Down – The Purpose Of The Swing

    1. D Watts Post author

      Hey, I’m not a magician, JC – there’s no magic in “how to swing a golf club,” just basic athletic principles and a little working knowledge of body motion.

      It’s really not that difficult – look at the lower back:

      Now, if you have any knowledge of the spine (and most people don’t, as I didn’t really, until I took a look at the above picture, and my belief that the lower back shouldn’t be twisted became a conviction), then it becomes much clearer.

      I would challenge ANY person to look at that diagram of the lower back and then assert that it’s perfectly fine to twist the lower back.

      So, I’m trying to educate the larger public outside this blog, that the modern swing is not only not optimal, it’s harmful to the body, and when you have these two factors, there is no excuse to teach a swing that involves twisting the lower back, nor to be a proponent of it.

      If that’s pulling things out of my sleeve, then I plead “Guilty as charged!” 😉

    1. D Watts Post author

      Hmm… you mentioned “cooking” before, DB, and I suddenly had an epiphany on how to view what I’m doing.

      I’d liken it more to baking, actually – I’ll give this a little more thought and expand on it in a posting later today…

      Cheers

  1. Laser

    Not “fine to twist the lower back”

    –If some is good, more isn’t necessarily better. We could say that the lower back gets turned. And, some have observed that the shoulders give the appearance of turning more than the “hips.”

    Since the torso works with the rest of the lower body, my guess is that the torso is simply taking up the slack–not twisting against lower body resistance. Shoulders don’t turn…they’re on top of what’s turning. It might be more accurate to say that the shoulders are involved with swinging, not turning.

    If we look at Hogan’s “Five Lessons,” I believe this came from Hogan himself because it’s not something that came from photo analysis–page 71: “A golfer wants to have tension; he wants the mid-section of his body to be tightened up, for this tension is the key to the whole downswing…When you have this stored-up tension in the muscles between the hips and shoulders (and the muscles of the thighs that work with the hips), you have something with which you can begin the downswing. (This tension will, in fact, automatically help to pull you down into the ball).”

    It seems that Hogan was close to the truth, if we acknowledge that the torso is part of a system and not something that’s just stacked on top of the hips. To me, the tension is taking up the slack, not stretching. Bobby Jones also talked about “pulling with a slack rope.” So, having slack in the system is not good, but trying to rubber-band something that doesn’t rubber-band is a wrong turn.

    1. D Watts Post author

      To me, the tension is taking up the slack, not stretching. Bobby Jones also talked about “pulling with a slack rope.” So, having slack in the system is not good, but trying to rubber-band something that doesn’t rubber-band is a wrong turn.

      Really nice points there, Laser – nothing to add, really.

  2. Harleyweedwhacks

    The only time I’ve really almost injured myself was when I tried to angle my spine, and that was because my weight was over my toes, which was because I stood too low to the ball. Once I stood taller I was able to alleviate all the left spinal tension. Also, once I stood taller, the weight automatically moved from toes to center of the feet. Even with flat feet, that is what I’ve noticed.

    1. D Watts Post author

      Well, you’ve just likely thrown an ice-cold shaft of terror into the hearts of many of those who “teach” the golf swing, HWW – people thinking for themselves is something I encourage, but that would be the death knell for Modern Golf Swing theory.

      I very rarely “argue” about the swing with anyone unless they post comments on here that I find to be incorrect, because this is after all my forum and I decide what is presented, hopefully for the benefit of my readers.

      If someone has a contrary view, it would be my hope that they would start their own blog and do the world a favor. For that reason, though I have done it in the past, I no longer venture beyond this blog to offer my opinion. Anyone who is interested in my opinion and thoughts on the swing will find them here.

      Even when consulting with someone on the swing, if they insist they know more than I do, I will shrug and say, “It’s a free world, do what you see fit…”

      Of course, I will also decline to consult with them further, since if they know more than I do, there’s no point in it – but i always encourage independent thinking about the swing.

      Keep it up! 🙂

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