It occurred to me that the whole idea of swinging with a lifting heel versus a “planted heel,” as I like to term it (deliberately pressing the leading foot into the ground so that the heel doesn’t lift) has become a tiresome debate.
This may be due to the fact that I don’t think a proper swing has anything to do with whether the heel lifts a lot, a moderate amount or even a minimal amount.
The heel issue obscures what the real issue is – and that is, the full and free turn of the hips on the back swing pivot.
I’ve been joking with Welshman about the phrase, but I’ll use it here just to make him smile – the full and free hip turn is the sine qua non of the mechanically-correct golf swing.
Without that, there is no mechanically-correct swing. You’re now looking at the various modern models, of which there are too many to single out.
There is only one basic move in the optimal and mechanically-sound golf back swing pivot, and it isn’t the the lifting of the heel.
If that floors you, it should – the “Modern Golf Swing” guys talk a whole lot about reducing “moving parts” in the swing, but all they’re doing is adding more moving parts, which is ironic.
I can think of a bunch of moving parts created by the restriction of the hips on the back swing, whether done consciously or by planting the leading foot so that the hips turn only part of the natural rotation:
- How about that head moving all over the place?
- What about that left foot through impact?
Here’s another “great” modern golf swing, if you listen to the analysts:
These are “moving parts” that shouldn’t really be moving during this part of the swing.
I’ve actually heard analysts on the television praising that left foot moving all over the place, whether it’s twisting, jumping, or turning on the heel, all of which are compensations for flaws in the swing model being used.
The people praising this action either don’t know that it’s a compensation or worse, they fully know it and are lying to their audience.
Compensations are not things to be praised, my friends.
They are the signs of improper mechanics, and if you don’t care about that, why are you looking at and analyzing motion to begin with?
To tell people how great improper mechanics are, and that you should emulate a flawed technique because… whatever?
So, in the simplest, optimal golf swing pivot, there is actually only one real move, and the body simply reacts to and follows that move.
Watch my little “Human Swing Machine” gif below, and you’ll see the one move I’m referring to, with the body simply following that move on the back swing:
If you see the ease with which you can perform a back swing pivot in order to swing the club, when you allow the hips to move with the pivot, then you know it’s not about just lifting the heel on the leading foot.
It’s about using the fewest “moving parts” in the swing, which is the whole notion of “simplicity.”
My own swing isn’t perfect, if such a thing can exist for a human being performing a motion.
But I’m very close to getting to “optimal,” which would be defined by the best possible way in which I personally can swing with my own body, with all of what I bring to it (being left-handed, having a spinal deformity, etc.).
I’ve been working feverishly in the eight weeks since I dropped the writ for the upcoming “E = MCS,” and not on anything you’d expect.
Sure, I’ve been recording swings on video and am currently waiting for a good light day without rain in the forecast to shoot the tutorial portion, but the real work has been behind the scenes, on the swing model.
How simple is it?
How simply can I explain it?
Can I demonstrate it in a way people will grasp it intuitively?
How simple is it?
It’s very simple, my friends.
So simple, I can’t believe no one has figured this out in all of the biomechanics and kinesiology studies on the golf swing, year over year, since the science of motion began.
Instead, they’re all feverishly trying to make a silk purse out of the sow’s ear that is the modern, restricted-hip and planted-heel golf swing pivot, which is not only mechanically-incorrect, but wrecking backs and bodies left and right.
Hey, I didn’t create this crazy world, I just live in it.
Mike Dunaway was so close, it’s unreal… this model below shows two moves on the back swing, one of which is the head shifting laterally.
The other move is the same one as in my model:
But that shifting head on the back swing – not optimal. So, there’s a moving part that doesn’t have to be there.
But that’s how close MD was – give him a little more right-bias at the address, and he’d have been there.
It was the address. The un-optimal address position he used created that one extra moving part that didn’t have to be there.
Just one extra part…
So, it’s not something I’ve made up out of whole cloth – there are some very good swing models out there, and I would be swinging their way, if not for this stubborn refusal of mine to accept anything that is not optimal in a motion.
Why do all of this research if one isn’t going to go all the way?
Still, I credit Mike Dunaway for having the closest thing to the optimal golf swing model that I will be presenting soon.
One conscious move, with the body simply following that move on the back swing.
It has nothing to do with me.
Swing this way, and you’ll be turning heads on the range and the course.
And it all starts and ends with the proper address position.
Nearly forgot to show the gif. of my “floating pivot” and classic golf swing that shows barely any lifting of the leading heel!
As I said, it’s not how much the heel lifts, but that you’re making a full and free hip turn, the degree of lifting will vary: