Notice Where All Of Golf’s Back Injuries Are Occurring….

jason-day-backOriginally Posted January 24th, 2017

If you want any proof at all how damaging and dangerous the Modern Golf Swing is, you can probably find it yourself simply be looking at the region where most back injuries appear to be occurring in these modern players.

Tiger Woods, Nick Watney, Jason Day – you can go on and on with the list of golfers suffering from lower back pain and injuries, and yet, how does a guy (like yours truly) get up day after day with an aching lower back (from a deformity – scoliosis – and not an injury) with no problem in swinging a golf club?

Remember the story I have told about tweaking my lower back just before a trip to Arizona last winter, and how, when I was speaking at the Wax Golf Southwest Summit, I had no problem ripping 300 yard drives even though I couldn’t bend over to tie my shoes or tee up the ball…

And so, this is a very short and sweet posting, as I’m pushing through the last of the “MCS – Dropping The Hammer” video – most if not all of the back injuries golfers are suffering today are in the “lower back,” which in layman’s terms means the spinal lumbar region:


We know that Tiger Woods did it in that region (which is ironic, considering swing guru Sean Foley wrote a piece when he landed Tiger as a pupil, entitled “4 Steps To Save Your Back”), we know that Nick Watney did it there, and you can see clearly where Jason Day is hurting:


Do you need more examples?

Just read this piece called “A Glut of Injury On The PGA” by Kirwan Kanwal, on the problems every modern Tour player, it seems, is having with their lower backs, and this is a great paragraph for me:

Also, many tour players are unable to rotate their lead hip area during the downswing, so have to forcefully power through with the trail-side gluteal muscles, which creates a lot of sacro-iliac and lumbar-region stress.

There, you have the whole cause for this:

speith swing

See Jordan Spieth above?

I would submit that Tour players “are unable to rotate their lead hip area during the downswing” precisely for the reason I’ve been pounding for years:

Because when you restrict your hip turn on the back swing, the problem shows up at impact where the hips have no where to go, having returned to the impact position far ahead of the rest of the body.

I don’t think I can be any clearer on this.  The modern swing is what’s causing these back injuries, not the simple fact that they are playing golf.

You can swing without breaking your back, and why these players are convinced that the way that is causing all of this damage is the proper way to do it, just baffles me.

So, the whole premise of the Modern Golf Swing is to restrict the hips on the back swing and to twist that lower back region to create resistance and tension to power the down swing…but let me point out what I think should be “painfully” obvious (excuse the bad pun) to the modern swing gurus:

Does Anyone NOT See That This Is Curved? “Twist” Here?!?!

lubar region.jpg

Think about that for a minute and ask yourself how golf got even this far into the Modern age without people simply saying, “Twist my what?!? Are you insane?!?”

That’s what I would ask anyone telling me to do what the modern pros are being told to do.

I would simply point out the glaring disconnect in the logic of the Modern Golf Swing vs the Classic Golf Swing to begin with:

  1. You’re supposed to swing modern to create more power, yet today’s players, if they swung persimmon clubs and used balata balls, would struggle to get the distances the classic era players produced day in and day out. So…where’s all the power??
  2. If the MGS is supposed to produce power and stability, why are all of these players coming down with swinging injuries, and why are they swinging so hard to begin with, with this modern equipment? And why are they all tap-dancing and pirouetting through impact, which I’m pretty sure is the polar opposite of “stable?”

And MY Burning Question: Who let that first MSG guy into the facility rather doing what any other sports’ training facility would have done the minute he opened his mouth, which would have been to provide him with an unceremoniously swift exit, using his head to open the doors?

Burning questions that no one seems to be able to answer.

Save your lower back and turn your hips to power the swing, my friends.

Back to work!

Back Pain or Back Injury Swinging a Golf Club?

Lacking Power, Speed, Distance and or Consistency? 

Need A Swing That Is More Easily Maintained?

If You Answered “Yes” To Any Of The Above Questions, The Answer Is In The Formula For The Golf Swing:

“E = MCS” The Swing Video

13 thoughts on “Notice Where All Of Golf’s Back Injuries Are Occurring….

    1. D Watts Post author

      I actually began my research with ’90’s equipment, Tom – I had a Callaway Big Bertha driver and strong 3, both stainless steel, and Tommy Armour 745 Silver Scot irons. Still have the heads but I broke all of the the above shafts, except for the Big Bertha driver and a couple of the irons.

      I don’t see much difference in the irons, except for the fact that they’ve been steadily de-lofting them – today’s 4 iron is more a 3 or even a weak 2 iron in loft – I still think a 36 degree iron is what you call the 7 iron, but now that’s probably closer to the 9.

      Other than the scam in delofting irons to make them longer, I don’t see much difference ,and right now I use my old Ben Hogan Apex F.T.X. irons. The work for me!

  1. Jonas

    Oops. I put the following comment in the wrong posting, sorry deej!

    Looking at that diagram I must say I’m surprised that the modern swing has lasted as long as it has. That’s kind of the last place you’d want to be exerting twisting forces! Nice post, Deej. Doubt you’ll be asked to host Morning Drive any time soon.

    1. D Watts Post author

      No worries Jonas, I took care of it! And no, I’ll likely not be guest-hosting “Morning Drive” in the near or any future 😉

  2. Mike Divot

    Jim McLean and his “X factor” have a lot to answer for.
    Later, McLean claimed that he never meant for anyone to “restrict” the hips, but that sure as hell didn’t come across in his book about it.
    It made a big splash at the time. Here it is! The secret! The formula! The no-miss guaranteed recipe for POWER ( … ower … ower … ower …) !!
    And worse than screwing up a bunch of golfers at the time who bought into it, it gave credibility and SCIENCE!! to the MGS and now it’s not only golf orthodoxy, it’s heresy to question it.

      1. D Watts Post author

        Wow – The BS runs deep with this one. Take a look at this couple of paragraphs from the piece:

        *Editor’s note: Because Jack Nicklaus is mentioned as the model for both viewpoints, we asked Jim Flick, who has coached Nicklaus since 1990, if Jack ever thought about restricting his hips in the backswing.

        Here’s what Flick said: “Jack does not believe in the concept of consciously restricting the hip turn. He allowed his hips to react to the swinging of his arms going back. And the amount of arm swing and hip turn was dictated by the club he was swinging–the least for a wedge and the most for a driver.”

        Back to McLean:* Nicklaus did restrict the turn of the hips by keeping flex in the right knee on the backswing. The X Factor states this acts as a governor to overturning.

        Shorter McLean: Who you gonna believe, Nicklaus & Flick, or me?

        Unbelievable hubris.

        I’ll go with the guy who won 18 majors and knew his own swing, and who said outright as far back as 1974 not to restrict the hips.

        There are only two possible conclusions about this:

        1. McLean’s entire swing premise is based on a lie about how Nicklaus swung. Period. Or,
        2. McLean had no idea what he was talking about or what Nicklaus actually did in his swing.

        You pick.

    1. D Watts Post author

      McLean – don’t get me started.

      You know, there is an equation (or formula, if you will) in science that goes by E=MC2… there is also an equation for the golf swing, on which I’m currently working.

  3. D Watts Post author

    It’s not the worst visual, Laser, but that’s all that it is. It worked for JN so that’s the important part.

    I remember saying in a swing clip somewhere in the last year or so, as a visual for the back swing and down swing that “the hips follow the shoulders, then the shoulders follow the hips.”

    That seems to be almost the same thing, but again, it’s just a visual. It would work best for people who don’t want to overly focus on the legs and hips and just use the upper body motion on the back swing to trigger the hips and legs naturally.

    So, it’s just a visual or concept that either works for you, or doesn’t. And that is the problem with using other peoples’ visuals – what they see isn’t necessarily what someone else will see.

    1. Laser

      “don’t want to overly focus on the legs and hips and just use the upper body”

      –Of course, the real problem is separating upper & lower body.

      If you ask people how they throw, bowl, or chop with an axe, they might describe it as arm motion. But, the more coordinated somebody is, the more they just naturally get the other stuff too, without thinking about it.

      But, if somebody teaches it that way, and a less coordinated student takes them literally, then problems might result. So, the more coordinated the students are, the better the teacher is! And, Nicklaus didn’t hang out a lot with Flick. A once-per-year “tuneup”?

      1. D Watts Post author

        I agree, best to be as accurate as possible. I just happen to know what Flick & Nicklaus meant.

        And no, I don’t think there was much coaching at all, other than perhaps Jack having a set of eyes to check him out once in while, as his mentor Jack Grout did.

        There’s a true champion. I don’t know why TW or any other pro needs a swing coach perched on their shoulder once they get to a certain level. If you’re that unable to put the club on the ball, perhaps the coach should get the trophy when you win.

        Jack went out and did it.

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