Johnny Miller Didn’t Get The Memo On Balls & Clubs

What on earth is going on in the world of Modern Golf? 

It seems that every time I turn the TV on to watch a golf broadcast (or have it watch me while I’m working), I hear something mind-boggling regarding golf swing mechanics or otherwise.

I don’t know exactly what the situation was, because I was working on the “MCS – The Kinetic Chain” video in between the craziness of the back-to-school week with the three kids, but it was at about 3:20 EST this afternoon on the Golf Channel telecast of the Dell Technology, when Johnny Miller spilled the beans.

Johnny: The Balls & Springy-Face Clubs Of Today Are Longer!


I had just blogged about Chris Kirk’s ridiculous comments about how the modern balls and clubs aren’t making players longer than in the past, and I believe that Johnny Miller was talking about a hole where hazards guarding the fairway had in the past really intimidated players.

But “with today’s balls and springy-faced clubs, not anymore,” Miller mused, obviously saying that players with today’s equipment are now just blasting their tee shots beyond the danger spot on that hole.


This is what you get when you have a certain meme that the industry is pushing, when it is a false meme – eventually someone will trip up and give the lie away when they are off-guard and thinking about something else, in this case, how a hazard on a golf course affects player tee shot.

And it’s not the first time I’ve caught the meme-busting musings on a telecast – back during the Players Championship telecast, Gary Koch (I believe it was him) gave away the lie of the “Flying Foot Syndrome” meme, where repeated analyses on TV claim it’s a move to “use the ground” or get “vertical lift” as a player’s leading foot is flying around during impact:

NBC showed a slow-motion replay of Lee’s swing, face-on, and I’ll paraphrase Koch’s analysis as it showed Lee’s flying leading foot through impact:

You see the left foot there coming off the ground, he never got to that left foot, never got his weight off his right (trailing) foot and you gotta do that to hit a fade…

Unfortunately however, Miller’s redemption was short-lived as on a Bryson DeChambeau putt on the 8th hole, he ridiculously claimed that DeChambeau’s straight-arm putting style and swing involves “the arms moving the body, not the body moving the arms…”


He also said it was a great way to swing, to let the arms move the body “rather than having the torso do it,” which would lead me to ask the question:

Pardon me, but if the arms are straight (so that the elbows don’t contribute any movement to the putter) and not moving within the shoulder sockets as Bryson “rocks the shoulders…” please tell me what on earth is making the arms swing back and forth, if it isn’t the torso???

Do I have to point out that if the arms are moving and it isn’t the shoulder joints doing it, that the only other source of motion possible is the torso?

I’ve already heard some nonsense on TV that DeChambeau doesn’t have any wrist cock in his single-plane back swing, so this much be a CGI-created image of him:



As you can see, Dechambeau’s club shaft reaches a 90-degree angle to his left forearm at the top of the back swing, and if you’re going to tell me you can do this without cocking the wrists, I’m sure there is a Nobel Prize in Physics awaiting you.

I’m sure I would testify under oath that, yes, it seems DeChambeau has a lot less cock in his right wrist than the usual swinger, but to claim that there is none at all, is just more balderdash.

Sometimes I think the guys on TV are trolling everyone, because they really can’t believe what they’re saying on the air, can they?

PS – On a more positive note, it seems that DeChambeau is about to notch the 4th win of his young career and the 3rd of this season.

After a very rough and non-card-earning 1st season, one of the most successful amateurs in modern history is finally beginning to play as a pro the way he did before turning pro!


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

 

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13 thoughts on “Johnny Miller Didn’t Get The Memo On Balls & Clubs

  1. targettom

    For me, pro golf is going the way of pro tennis; I have to turn off the volume for all the tennis grunting/screaming and for golf because of the commentary. I find B DC’s swing unwatchable.

    On a positive note Chris Crisologo won the amateur division of the Vancouver Open. He hit a drive 364 yards at Glen Abbey a few weeks ago. Yesterday on #9 at Fraserview (367 yards uphill) he was driver – pitch of about 35 yards, maybe 40. I think he weighs 150 pounds and probably 5’8″.

    1. D Watts Post author

      Thanks for sending me the swing clips, TT – I’ll be getting back to you on them shortly!

  2. targettom

    Excellent. I’ve asked him to post some full swing videos, we’ll see if he has time. On 18 yesterday, 520 from the tips, he was driver-short iron (over a very deep creek) to 5 feet or so = eagle 3. He has a total game. I think he could play longer courses easier because these short courses around here get very narrow past 300 yards, he’s forced to use irons off a lot of the tees. He played in a couple groups where the others were pros ( the #2 and #3 finishers) and he was way past them, 30 to sometimes 70 yards. And so straight most of the time. Serious clubhead speed. Someone to watch for.

  3. D.L. Moriarty

    Over the past 6 to 12 months I’ve been thinking Johnny Miller needs to retire because he was losing it a little. I guess now that hes at the end of that contract, he can say whatever he damn well pleases….like the truth!
    If I start seeing a slew of people at the course we live on swinging like DeChambeau, I’ll burn my clubs while I stand there.

    1. D Watts Post author

      To be honest, I don’t find his swing to be harder to watch than your standard planted-heel, twisted-back swing, D.L. – what I find hard to swallow is the hard-sell from the announcers on how B.A.D. “uses science” to swing a club.

      I mean, when another golfer and his caddie are discussing yardage, no biggie – however, as soon as it’s B.A.D. and his caddie, they are magically “using science,” and the constant hammering of this theme just.gets.old. after the first hundred times you hear it.

      Yesterday, while they were deciding on a club or shot, I heard “does his brain ever stop working?” I guess they haven’t seen Jordan Spieth and his caddie discussing a shot. Or Phil and Bones.

      And every single pro out there uses science when figuring out a shot with a certain club – you have trajectory, carry, roll out or spin-back, shot shape – all of it includes calculations made on the fly, for crying out loud.

      Dustin Johnson is a great wedge player because he uses Trackman to dial in his distances nearly to the inch, but I haven’t ever heard him of being accused of being a scientist.

      A lot of the old pros from the persimmon era used to build and customize their own clubs, in case people aren’t aware, Byron Nelson had a wood-shop and if I”m correct, was the first to grind bulge on his faces to his liking. If figuring out and using the “gear-effect” on rounded driver faces isn’t science, I don’t know what is.

      Ben Hogan used to spin balls in water to make sure they were perfectly rounded and balanced, and Bobby Jones was the first to use numbers for clubs instead of names, ushering in standard lofts for irons.

      I know they’re all looking out for a new standard-bearer and hero since the heyday of T.W. has ended. I’d just like to be able to watch an event on TV without the giggling about drive yardage and the never-ending meme-hammering.

      I get it – T.W. is back and playing solid golf, Justin Thomas drives it long weighing 140 lbs, B.A.D. was a science major, Brooks Koepka likes to work out… give it a rest, please.

      If you turn the sound off, watching Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth or B.A.D. play the course is tolerable. But these guys in the booth would do me a huge favor if they would SHUT UP and let the playing speak for itself.

      Give us yardage, club and result. Even discussing a particular hole, what kind of shot to what part of the fairway gives the best angle, where on the green they want to land it, that stuff is fine. You know, stuff the viewer might want to know to enhance their appreciation of the quality of play.

      The rest is nonsense – especially the “analysis…”

      1. D.L. Moriarty

        Maybe we need some of the UK guys running our broadcasts! They are at least good at leaving space and not just talking for the sake of turning oxygen into CO2!

  4. Jason

    BDC’s swing looks a bit front-heavy at the top to me – almost like those old stack-and-tilt swings we saw a few years ago, though with a slightly better head position than the stack-and-tilt ones.

    I found this ESPN blurb quite comical:

    The 24-year-old Californian is known as the “Mad Scientist” for his approach to the game, from his single-length clubs (34 inches, roughly the length of a 7-iron), to his work on biomechanics to the calculations that go into every shot.

    Nine calculations, to be exact.

    DeChambeau doesn’t want to give away all his secrets, but they range from yardage and wind to air pressure and adrenaline.

    “He’s facing the biggest and best fields,” Rose said. “There’s a lot of conjecture about how he goes about it. But when he delivers as he is now, it just proves it.”

    How much better can he get?

    “You can always get better,” DeChambeau said. “How much? I would say it depends on what I can do in the restrictions of my biomechanics. So it’s all about error tolerances and being … less sensitive to error. So that when you do feel like you mess up, it’s not going to be that big of a mess-up. I hope that makes sense.

    1. D Watts Post author

      I don’t think B.A.D. has anything to worry about with people stealing his secrets. If you can’t hit a shot without knowing the atmospheric pressure (isn’t the warm-up on the range before tee-off supposed to give you the feel for ball flight and yardage?), then you have little too much going on, in my opinion.

      But that’s me. I’ll take Ben Hogan playing the course without even needing the yardage to the green or hole, before hitting an approach, any day, and twice on Sunday.

  5. Doiubou2014

    Hogan spun his balls in water to make sure they were rounded and balanced? I thought I had checked all the boxes, including atmospheric pressure, but spinning balls in water is a new one. I am going to try that. It may be the final missing element in my game. Do you know if he used cold or hot water?

    1. D Watts Post author

      Actually, back in the 50’s, many of the balls were imperfect. Hogan figured that out, and he would put a dot on the balls and by spinning them in water, could see if they were wobbling. Those ones went in the trash.

      As for temperature, I think it was regular water into the sink, but I don’t know if it was the hot or cold tap, doubou 😉

  6. David

    The balls were spun in regular tap water with a high concentration of epson salts. Makes the balls buoyant 🙂 Dave Pelz ball spinner works the same way.

    1. D Watts Post author

      Thanks David – I love how, no matter how obscure a data point may be, if I don’t know it, one of WAX Nation surely does 😉

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