“Losing One’s Level” Is Not A Good Thing

You may have heard some things regarding the tendency of Modern Golf Swingers to do what I call “losing one’s level,” which is also called the “harpoon” by some and which is actually praised in modern analysis.

Even worse, you will hear some analysts calling this losing of one’s level on the down swing (where the head precipitously drops) as “getting ready to jump” at the impact stage, which is absurd – if you lose your level on the down swing and don’t react to it before impact, you’ll hit the ground about a foot behind the ball.

The nature of my development of a swing model with a stable C7 swing point is that, for maximum consistency in your swing, you don’t want to be trying to time something like this – imagine if you played a version of the chestnut and string game.

Kids used to play a game where they’d swing chestnuts on strings, and they’d make them clash, in which the chestnut that shattered first lost and the intact chestnut won.

Now, imagine swinging a chestnut on a long string in an arc just behind the ball, and then you moved your hand forward to make that chestnut strike the ball on the tee.

Imagine again that while doing so, you dropped your hand (the primary fulcrum) a foot or 30 cm – you’d hit the ground behind the ball, wouldn’t you?

Do You Want Your Fulcrum Steady Or Moving Around?

So, imagine being told that you must drop your hand a foot during the down swing, which meant that you must also lift the hand swiftly just before impact in order to not hit the ground first – how effective would you be in striking that ball cleanly compared to just being permitted to swing the chestnut into the ball with a fairly steady hand position?

Now, add to that the combination of having your head drop and simultaneously move toward the target starting the down swing – you’re going to have to move that head up and back in order to make clean contact, aren’t you?

In the same way that I’ve said every swinger swings from the C7 (some just don’t know it, or insist that they’re swinging from some other point), you simply can’t lose your level on the down swing without having to react to that, and remember that professional golfers are among the most gifted in hand-eye coordination due to the nature of the precision required to play golf.

So, whenever you see someone on TV “harpoon” dropping into the down swing, remember that there are two things happening – the initial drop, and then the “jumping” up at impact in order to regain that level.

And even worse for your physical health, some swingers may drop like stones into the down swing without “jumping” back up, in which case they’re severely contorting and compressing their torso and lower back regions to get through the ball, and that can’t be good (which it isn’t) for your body.

And the question I have is, why would you ever do anything like that intentionally?

The answer is you wouldn’t, and that this is yet another swing flaw and compensation in the swing that seems to have originated with the advent of the modern golf swing.

I found that, during my swing research, you not only lose natural leverage when you separate the upper and lower halves of the body (the restricted-hip and torso twist move), one had a tendency to lose one’s level when beginning the down swing.

The poster-boy for this move is and was Tiger Woods, who at one time was the best golfer on the planet and a brilliant iron player, but remember what I said about hand-eye coordination – if you are talented enough, you can actually strike the ball better with five compensations than a less-talented swinger with less compensation moves.

But eventually, as with any deal with the devil, the payment comes due, and then you suddenly find that you can’t get away with it any more the way you did, and when I think of 3 players that come to mind right away (Woods, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy), you’ll notice as well that all three players, while reaching #1 in the world at times in their careers, also have or have had stretches where they couldn’t even find the ball with the club face.

“It’s a mystery!”

No, it’s not.  You’ll remember that all three swingers are Modern style swingers, and there’s the root of the problem right there, in my estimation.

If you think it doesn’t matter – how many more wins and majors would each player have if:

  • Jordan Spieth could actually hit fairways,
  • Rory McIlroy could stay healthy and
  • Tiger Woods could still hit the ball like it was 1999?

Remember Rory McIlroy’s nagging rib issues that began last winter?

Remember what I said about the strain you put on your body when you drop into the down swing and don’t regain that level?

Well, the swing below is from the week during which he initially injured his rib:


So, the stable C7 position is something that takes yet another un-necessary element out of a golf swing – if you’re not moving it all over the place, it is much, much easier to develop consistent ball-striking, since you’re swinging that chestnut with a steady hand and not dropping or moving it:

You’ll likely never eliminate all motion from the C7, as we’re flesh and blood and not machines, but imagine how much easier it is to go after a ball with speed and power and not have to regain a lost level or, worse for your back, have to develop compensations to get through that ball with a much lower level than you had at address.

The exercise I’ve developed which I mentioned in yesterday’s posting takes care of this as well, due to the nature of using a weighted object to train the proper pivot sequence as well as using it to increase your power and speed.

Momentus Heavy Driver – 160 MPH Ball Speed

And when you look at how this exercise is the equivalent of swinging the Momentus Heavy Driver in what it will do for you, look how steady I’m able to keep my own C7 swinging a club that twice the mass of a regular one in the above gif.

More to come!

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


8 thoughts on ““Losing One’s Level” Is Not A Good Thing

  1. msattler2013

    I need any drill I can get . I had not hit any balls for several weeks . Went to the range today at noon . I started with wedges , I could hot those pretty well , but tied 6 iron and driver . A complete disaster, I had no power at . Very frustrating today the least .

    I still struggle to keep the back (right shoulder) from moving too soon. Always been my Biggest problem. I can do it without a ball or club in my hand. But get that club in my hand and ball in front of me and it all goes to hell.

    1. D Watts Post author

      Working on it, msattler – I’m becoming ever more certain that it’s not so much the mechanical that gives people fits, but the mental – so we’re finished with the swing modeling and now it’s getting down to fixing the mental aspect in the trouble areas of the swing.

      I myself go for periods of time without picking up a club now that my research has concluded with regards to mechanics, but the drills and exercises I do almost daily out of habit keep me at a level where, when I do pick up a club, it’s like I’ve been swinging every day.

      This exercise will serve you in good stead that way! 🙂

  2. msattler2013

    Well I’m sure I have not put near enough time in to the drills. I start doing some and think well this is easy. I Have this mastered, oh yes until I go out to hit balls again and realize I am doing exactly the same over the top B.S. I was before !!!

    1. D Watts Post author

      Ah, the OTT move, yes – if you knew how much angst and frustration I endured before I figured out how to stop doing it. I feel your pain, my friend. I used to think I was hitting the ball superbly (and I likely was, based on the ball flight), then I’d look down and those divots were still going left.

      I was just compensating and had enough time hitting balls and the requisite hand-eye coordination to pull it off, but that old yank and slice were never far way, especially out on the course.

      You have to train the body out of bad moves and into good ones, and this exercise, with enough reps and due diligence, should keep you in a better motion in the time away from the game if you stick to them.

      Heck, I will repeat that I still do drills and swing my sticks every day at home, even during long stretches away from the range and course. Not everyone has my OCD obsession, but a little work every day for a few minutes is all you’ll need, provided you’ve got the right exercises.

      I have one here that is going to help a lot of issues, yours included. Hang in there!

  3. msattler2013

    Well I ordered your new video today , and it looks like I maybe having wrist surgery in mid Oct. So I will have all winter to do drills !!!

    1. D Watts Post author

      Thanks much, msattler.. and the new exercise will help with re-strengthening the wrist, just take it easy when you start.

      Speedy recovery!

      1. msattler2013

        Another question DJ , ( Is your forum still open ? )

        Do arms stay passive pretty much ? And the pivot basically move the arms ? Or are you actively also swinging the arms as well as using the pivot as a major power source ??

        1. D Watts Post author

          The forum is currently on hiatus, msattler – I don’t have enough time to devote to maintaining it, unfortunately, at this time.

          As for the arm, the less you think about swinging with the arms, the better. The only real activity in the arms is the bending and extending of the power or trailing arm, and thinking of “swinging” with the arms leads to turning through the down swing, which is likely the cause of your OTT.

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