Jason Day Goes Stealth Heel Lift – Freeing Up The Hips

Several people who read WAX Golf have noticed that Wells Fargo champion Jason Day is now employing a “stealth heel lift” on some of his driver swings, and I got one angle that shows it clearly on a drive he hit yesterday.

From not being able to play regularly the past two seasons since hitting the Number 1 World Rankings, he has now won two events this season.

I’m wondering if his new-found discovery of the heel lift will be able to save his back, which seemed likely to take him out of golf by the age of 30 just a couple of years ago.

It isn’t much, but I’ve said time and time again that it’s not the degree of heel lift that will matter, but rather that one is freeing up the hips to turn more naturally, and J-Day appears to have at least done that (freeing up the hips more).

See the evidence here:

Before, he was so frozen in the lower body on the back swing, and his change of direction to start the down swing was so violent, that half the time he was playing (when he was fit enough to do so), you saw this:

Now that he’s freeing up the lower body, even if just a bit, he’s able to employ that “left foot stomp” move from the top to really get into that left foot and hip coming down and just pulverize that ball – but now, without having to grab his lower back all the time!

I would still like to see freedom in the hips, but for a player who just a couple of seasons ago looked like he wasn’t going to be around much longer before something snapped – it’s a definite improvement!

And perhaps, when he gets used to more movement in the lower body on the back swing pivot, he’ll free them up even more.

And that would be bad news for the rest of the Tour, because a healthy Jason Day, while he may put you to sleep with his pre-shot routine (they don’t call him “All Day” for nothing), he may snag more events and majors that he otherwise wouldn’t have.

Time will tell!

The tide is turning, my friends.

It is only a matter of time before the Modern Golf Swing principles are abandoned as former adherents find relief in their backs and more years in their playing careers by swinging in a more mechanically-correct manner.

And when the majority of the world’s best players are swinging with free hips and a lifting front heel – the rest of the world will follow.

For now, I gotta do this:

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

10 thoughts on “Jason Day Goes Stealth Heel Lift – Freeing Up The Hips

  1. Jeff

    He is letting that heel lift over so slightly, but it looks like he is still really trying to restrict his hips. Watch that book in the back pocket, it hardly moves compare to what I think we should be seeing. I’m sure that heel coming up feels good since it is relieving some of the torque in his lower spine but I don’t think it will save his back long term. I hope you are right, DJ, and he does become more and more comfortable with that heel coming up and how his hips will turn more as a result.

    1. D Watts Post author

      He’s got a ways to go, Jeff – you’re correct that he still appears to be restricting his hip turn, but he’s at least getting that much more turn in the lower body in that the heel is separating as he gets to the top.

      Too bad he doesn’t get it – with freer hips, he’d get even more power and speed than he does now, and without all of the back issues.

      But it’s progress!

    1. D Watts Post author

      Thanks for the link, Chief.

      The article has a paywall around it, but the paragraph that you can read tells it all:

      It was as casual as pulling out a driver. As Tiger Woods stood in the 10th tee box on the first day of the Masters, he removed a white bottle from his bag, poured two white pills into his hand and swallowed them.

      “It’s called ibuprofen,” Woods explained afterward. “My surgeon says to take it all day.”

      Translation: TW is already dealing with back pain again, after his 4th back surgery, the last one being a fusion process.

      You don’t take ibuprofen to “prevent” back pain that isn’t already there

      As DKondo and I discussed – Not Good.

      1. Mike Divot

        “Ibuprofen stops the body from producing large amounts of prostaglandins when you have an illness or injury.

        Prostaglandins are natural chemicals that are released into your body when you are injured or sick. When prostaglandins are released, they make nearby nerves very sensitive to pain – which helps your body realise something is wrong.

        Because ibuprofen blocks the production of prostaglandins, it works at the site of pain to help relieve pain and reduce inflammation.”

        This guy is running towards a cliff but wearing a blindfold so he can tell himself there is no danger.

        1. D Watts Post author

          This guy is running towards a cliff but wearing a blindfold so he can tell himself there is no danger.

          Couldn’t have said it better myself, MD – and everyone cheering that 120 club speed & 180 ball speed is in for a big disappointment if what this revelation reveals – the clock is once more ticking the countdown on either surgery 5 or the end of the road.

          No one takes ibuprofen for kicks.

    2. D Watts Post author

      PS – Correct that it’s harder to restrict the hips when the heel is lifting.

      Day is trying to keep those hips still, but the little more turn he gets when that heel comes up, is right before the change of direction, and that makes his swing that much easier on the lower back.

      I’d like to see more freedom, but it’s still an improvement over his previous way!

  2. Mark

    Glad you were able to confirm my observations from the Wells Fargo. Great video capture. We can call it “Day’s Secret Move” or “Day’s Secret to Success.”

    1. D Watts Post author

      We can call it “Day’s Secret Move” or “Day’s Secret to Success.”

      Or simply, “the proper way to do it,” Mark! 😉

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