Modern Golf Experts – Does A Baseball Swing or Javelin Throw “Use The Ground?”

It never occurred to me to point out the simple proof of the “using the ground” fallacy you hear all the time in Modern Golf Swing analysis.

If you can find me another motion better than a baseball swing or javelin throw as an example of leveraging against the ground to swing or throw something, then I’d love to see it.

First, a look at the swing that golf analysts are always referencing – the baseball swing.

Specifically, a home run swing, as that’s when the player is trying to elevate the ball to get it out of the playing field – should be lots of “using the ground” there, right?

Giancarlo Stantion’s Home Run Swing


Questions To Answer:

  1. To which foot is Giancarlo transferring his weight as he begins to swing?
  2. Where is that foot in relation to the ground at the moment of impact?
  3. Which foot leaves the ground, and what is the other foot doing?


Of course, the answers are, “To the leading foot,” “Firmly planted on the ground,” and “The trailing foot, while the leading foot remains planted as it’s bearing the G.S.’s weight!”

If you ever tried to teach a baseball swing where the hips and legs stay in place while the lower back twists to turn the shoulders to wind up, you’d be thrown out of baseball.

If you tried to teach a baseball swing that had the leading foot flying up at impact to get “vertical lift,” the same result.

Now, let’s take a look at a javelin throw performed correctly, and I would ask you kindly to keep an eye on the thrower’s feet during the action:


Now, who can tell me why a javelin throw who is using all of his strength and energy to elevate the javelin as he throws it, has both feet on the ground at the moment of release (diagram 3 below), and why it is the trailing foot that releases and leaves the ground while the leading foot never leaves terra firma?


That’s a rhetorical question, of course, because we know that you cannot “use the ground” for leverage if you’re not connected to it, and that in any throwing or swinging motion, you release the trailing foot as the force and momentum of the swing or throw take in the same direction.

For that reason, a properly leveraged golf swing uses weight transfer in the lower body to power the swing, and if any foot leaves the ground, it is the trailing foot due to the momentum of the swing and transfer of weight to the leading foot.


Pretty simple, and pretty basic, and the whole “using the ground” and “vertical lift” people on TV really should take a basic course in athletic motion or something, so they can stop trying to make a swing flaw and compensation into a power or speed move.

That’s about it.


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“E = MCS” The Swing Video

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7 thoughts on “Modern Golf Experts – Does A Baseball Swing or Javelin Throw “Use The Ground?”

  1. Jason

    One question for your consideration DJ – would a faster foot stomp on the downswing potentially lead to more speed on the downswing?

    1. D Watts Post author

      Here’s the key, Jason – don’t think “faster” stomp, think “deeper” stomp.

      As in, getting your weight into that leading foot aggressively as if to create a depression in the ground under that foot. Thinking “faster” will likely lead to a breakdown in the chain of motion.

      “Deeper” should make you keep the same swing tempo, but increase your leverage with the more aggressive transfer.

  2. Jason

    I like that – deeper. Excellent – thanks DJ. But would fast + deep while maintaining chain of motion be the ideal? Couldn’t you go theoretically deeper with the fast motion? I imagine a drilling going deep into the ground

    1. D Watts Post author

      Sorry J, just saw your comment now, yesterday was a little busy for me.

      Think of throwing something into the ground, say with a lawn dart – you can think “fast,” or you can think “deep” – which motion is likely to generate more force and power?

      Just my view on it 🙂

  3. David Kondzich

    Good evening DJ, I am sure this finds you fast asleep 🙂

    The “deep” concept was very helpful today. As mentioned to Jason, “fast” made everything move in a haphazard way the the ball went everywhere. Deep can be done with more precision. I think trying to stay behind the ball has hindered my pressure shift to a degree. Thanks my friend!!

    David

    1. D Watts Post author

      David,

      Glad you got something out of the discussion. Thanks for the email on the weekend as well, it was a trying time. Now get out there and take some more money! 😀

  4. Jason

    Superb Gentlemen. 🙂 I agree that ‘deeper’ is probably a better way to communicate the feeling.

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