Think of a basketball free-throw or baseball pitch, for two examples – you can have “perfect” free-throw technique or a “perfect” pitching delivery, mechanics-wise – but if you are not positioned properly, you won’t hit the target.
Think of the Iron Byron machine – if it’s not positioned properly, it doesn’t matter that the mechanical action is perfect and repeatable, you simply won’t hit the target or target line, and it’s as simple as that.
The problem with the body as a machine is that people are so focused on the mechanical action that they neglect the address position as the first part of the action.
If you’re not set up properly, you can’t make that optimal swing action. Your hand-eye coordination will kick in and you’ll make compensatory moves during the swing after it has begun, just to make contact with the ball.
So, you first have to find that optimal position from which to swing, after which point, the mechanical action largely takes care of itself.
Looking at a swing of mine way back in the early days of my swing research, there’s really nothing wrong with the motion of the swing, but the positioning at address, the grip, ball placement – all of these things were not optimal and contributed to everything that was technically wrong with the swing.
Before – August 2008
I’ve been talking about the nearly-distressing feeling I’ve had in the last couple of weeks, where I can’t remember after a swing what exactly I did during the swing – all of my focus has been on getting that address position established, after which my mind largely goes blank and the next thing I know, the ball is in the air.
If you asked me, similarly, how I perform a drop-step fall-away jumper, at which I was particularly adept when I played basketball, I would have looked at you blankly and replied, “I just do it…”
So, I do most of my thinking now when setting up over the ball, and then when I’m ready to swing, there is perhaps one swing thought, if at all (deep right hip, or the leg, or whatever, I really can’t say unless I’m actually doing it), and position takes care of itself.
So, when you get the proper address, grip and ball placement, as I’ve said, there’s very little that can go wrong:
Now – May, 2017
Nine years apart, you’d think there’s no way the guy up top could ever swing the way I transformed my own swing, and there’s the proof – whatever I have as far as “issues” with swinging, be it my scoliosis, the fact that I’m left-handed, or that I never even swung a golf club before the age of 25 – all of what I’ve been doing is finding the optimal position from which to just swing without thought.
And I’d say, looking at the two swings, if I could do it, then just about anyone should be able to make a decent swing if they simply find that optimal position from which to swing.
There will be people who never get it right, because they will insist on swinging from a position that they feel is “comfortable,” never realizing that the only thing that makes the proper position feel strange is that it’s not the usual one.
If one sticks to it however and performs the due diligence in actually applying the position principles and then letting the body move naturally, then it’s doable.
But nothing – and I’ll repeat – NOTHING comes without work.
Heck – I look at my “now” swing and can hardly believe it’s me.
But it is, and the theory work I did over the winter, even when I thought I was finished long ago, was crucial.
I made myself change positions from what I was accustomed to, and kept at it, because I’m just that stubborn, and to be honest, I wasn’t going to give anyone my 12 years of swing research and not be able to swing the same way myself.
At heart, I’m competitive, and I still want my personal swing to be the best swing, MCS-wise, that there is.
Not there yet as far as how good I can make mine, but the Welshman gave me a great compliment when we finally met and worked together and he had a chance to see me swing in person.
“Yours is the most efficient golf swing I’ve ever seen,” he told me, and I was humbled by the statement.
But I’ve got news for him – he hasn’t seen anything yet, because I’m only just beginning to think my swing is coming around, and that’s only because I was able to devote time over the winter to actually work on it rather than on others’ swings.