I don’t think there are two better-known books about the golf swing than Hogan’s “Five Lessons” and the “Little Red Book.”
Especially interesting is the quote about the down swing you’ll see in there, which is pertinent to the down swing “Drop & Pop” treatment from earlier in the week.
Here are some nuggets of sound swinging from one of most respected golf instructors from the 20th century:
On the Modern Golf Swing’s Worst Feature, The Planted Leading Heel:
“… a Seasoned Citizen must let the left heel come off the ground in the backswing…. Some modern teachers demand that their students keep the left heel on the ground. I don’t agree with that teaching for players of any age, but especially not for a Seasoned Citizen.” p.56
“Don’t raise the left heel, just let it come up as it will want to do.” p.57
“In my opinion, keeping the left heel flat on the ground throughout the swing will shorten the player’s period of success.” p.61
On the Right-Biased setup:
“Before you can stay behind the ball, you must get behind it. I mean set up with your head behind the ball and keep your head behind the ball.” p.75
On the Back Swing Pivot:
The Turn: “Turn your body to the right with your weight shifting to your right foot, and let your left foot gently come up about an inch. It’s like turning to say howdy to someone on your right….
Now let your weight shift back to your left foot at the same time your right elbow starts back toward your side, and continue turning as if to say howdy to someone on your left.” p.87
On The Down Swing:
The Magic Move:
“… to start your downswing, let your weight shift to your left foot while bringing your right elbow down to your body. This is one move, not two…. Your head will stay well back.” p.96
Now, how many of you have watched the “E = MCS” video (or even some of the previous MCS works) and are scratching your heads, saying “DJ must have read what Penick wrote about the down swing with the feet and the right elbow!!”???
Well, I can tell you that it is coincidence – it’s simply a matter of the proper mechanics being the proper mechanics, and you’ll find much of MCS in the greatest players’ and teachers’ swing philosophies, whether in very similar language or not.
What I found gratifying was JJ’s comment to me (which I’ve said more than once) that:
At this point in my understanding of your work, I realize that many of your conclusions are resurrections of standards from the greatest golfers and teachers in history – standards that have been discarded like common trash by the modern swingers.
What you have done, however, is synthesize these standards into a remarkably simple, safe, and fundamentally sound swing. With one caveat – the exaggerated right leaning setup is your truly original thought.
I’ve said just about what he said above several times:
Most of MCS principles are exactly what the Classic Golf Swing players did themselves back in the day, that Modern Golf Swing convention has robbed today’s players of the benefits of these principles, and the only thing I really put into MCS that wasn’t a bedrock of the Classic Swing is the right-biased address, which is more right than the players of old, who were closer to center-biased.
However, if you look at a young Jack Nicklaus and myself about a year ago…
It seems that the G.O.A.T. had at some point in his playing career the same right-biased setup as MCS, and his later instruction on how to swing definitely adopts the right-biased setup:
If you have read Brandel Chamblee’s seminal “The Anatomy of Greatness” book – which I reviewed at his publisher’s request (and heartily recommended of my own volition) last yearon returning the golf swing to the Classic Golf Swing days, you’ll find many of these same principles were nearly universal in the bygone age – and that’s why many golf fans were able to enjoy seeing their favorite golfers play extended years into their 50’s and 60’s on the Senior/Champions Tour.
To be honest, I think people would get far more out of books such as Chamblee’s and Penick’s than anything found in the “Five Lessons.”
Today’s players are struggling to make it through their 30’s without suffering career-ending injuries.
Sadly, Tiger Woods, the greatest player ever in the modern golf swing age, will likely never play a Champions Tour event, as he’s been finished with regular golf now for the better part of the last four years (his 1st back surgery was in April 2014 at the age of 38, and he really hasn’t played much since, let alone do anything of note), so he didn’t even make it out of his 30’s in one piece.
And Tiger is merely the forerunner of many shortened careers due to Modern Golf Swing-incurred injuries, trust me – the MGS wasn’t so dangerous as it was just difficult for the slower swingers
With Tiger’s advent however, working out and gyms became part of many young players’ careers, and we have yet to see the full toll of this swing method on the back of the power swingers currently in their 20’s and 30’s…
There’s an old saying that I find apt, when talking about golf swing models and instructors – “They don’t make’em like they used to!”
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