He not only eliminated the #1 Ranked swinger (Maurice Allen) the day before in the Round of 32, he’s got the classic lifting heel pivot, the awesome right-tilting spine at impact with the head behind the right knee, and a flawless left side position.
However, I have spent a lot of time de-bunking the whole myth of “using the ground,” where a swinger’s leading foot leaves the ground at or before impact due to the fact that he’s not transferring his weight from and releasing the trailing foot.
It is not a “power” boost when you’re doing this, but simply a body and swing-saving move that allows you to keep the hips turning with the right foot anchored and to keep the the leading hip, knee and ankle from rupturing from the force of the turning hips against that leading foot.
Simply, you cannot walk or run with both feet planted to the ground, because of the swinging of the hips.
In the same vein, you cannot get a full hip turn to the finish of your golf swing if you’re keeping that trailing foot planted to the ground, so rather than snap everything below the belt into a million little pieces, the swinger’s compensation is to release the leading foot.
If you watched last night’s Round of 16 at the Volvik World Long Drive Championship, you would have heard more of this nonsense of swingers “using the ground” and “jumping for power,” and I actually turned it off before it had even begun, and watched something that wasn’t going to annoy me every ten seconds.
I therefore missed Wes Patterson breaking his shaft over his shoulder on one swing, but H.K. Golf and Chief Cowpie forwarded a clip of it to me, and I just want to show something that will illustrate the point I’m making:
If you watched that clip, you’ll have noticed Michael Breed unable to stop himself from saying the word “jump” when there is absolutely no jump in the swing about which to speak:
Look at how he loads into that trail leg… now he starts to torque the lower body starting first, jumping back… and watch this shaft is gonna break…
At no point in the swing does Patterson do anything remotely close to “jumping,” but that’s the new line everyone has to hammer when analyzing the swing, along with “using the ground” whenever it happens.
And I hate to say, it’s either because the analysts are deliberately trying to mislead the viewer about a swing compensation (these guys are the best, so they can’t do anything wrong, right?) or, perhaps, they have no clue what they’re talking about.
In fact, I can show you that the movement in Patterson’s foot does not come pre or at impact, rather post-impact, and anyone who knows anything about physics knows that nothing you do after impact will affect a ball that has already been struck and is in the air:
Look at the sequence above, which begins right around where Breed mentions the word “Jumping” and you tell me where the jump is.
Patterson’s foot is still on the ground at impact as you can clearly see, and it is only the violence of the follow-through with the continued hip turn that forces the left foot to spin on the follow, because he’s got his right foot firmly anchored and isn’t releasing it.
The flying foot whether it happens just before, during or post-impact, is not a power move, it’s a swing and body-saving move.
Look at Patterson below at impact compared to yours truly about 4 years ago when I was really going after the ball and getting over 8 seconds hang time with a 45″ shafted TaylorMade RBZ driver:
I’ve got more flex in my leading leg, and my hands aren’t as far forward due to the ball position difference, but the only real difference you’d see after this point would be in Patterson’s leading foot moving on the follow, whereas I have all of my weight transferred to the leading foot, allowing my trailing foot to release or “short-stop slide” on the follow.
So last night you saw a long driver snap his shaft swinging virtually exactly the way I would theorize it should be done, with the minor critiques, of course.
Patterson has a gorgeous long drive swing, and my only personal “critiques,” if you will, would be on the setup, which although just barely right-biased, could be a tad more:
… and of course the failure to release the right foot and instead spinning out on the left.
That’s it. There’s not much to pick on with this swing, and no, he didn’t “jump” for more power, and as for “using the ground,” every single person who swings a golf club is “using the ground,” as they’re standing on it.
So, if you took away the three keys that these analysts keep reaching for:
1. “Loading Into The Trailing Leg,” 2. “Using The Ground,” 3. Some Variation of “Jumping For Power,”
… you’d notice that they don’t really have anything to offer in terms of swing analysis.
So, if you see anything note-worthy in tonight’s final, feel free to pass it along, as I’ll likely not be watching – I can only listen to so much of that stuff and by the 5th time, I’ll be gone.
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