The Tight Top Position – Remember The Mallet From “MCS Kinesiology?”

I always go back and look at various videos or pictures from previous blog postings or MCS Golf Swing videos.

Just as I suspected, when I went back to the 2015  “Kinesiology Of The MCS Golf Swing” today, I found yet another thing that conforms to my “aha” moment on the “tight top position” on the back pivot.

The thing I’ve found with the golf swing is that, for whatever reason (likely because the ball is sitting still and we over-think motion), we tend to do things with the swing motion that we would never do with other motions.

Of course, some of that can be laid at the feet of improper instruction or theory (take the entire Modern Golf Swing theory, for example, from A to Z).

I therefore like to look at other motions, especially swinging or throwing motions, to see where the golf swing is diverging from the other, mechanically-sound motions.

Here, the “Mallet” demonstration gifs and pics below from the “Kinesiology MCS” video show once again how even swing differently with a golf club than with another object.

While demonstrating how I would swing a mallet, I was making the exact motions you’d want in the golf swing.

Shown face-on:


You can see that, even with a mallet that is heavier than a golf driver, and even if I were to really try to hammer that wall, I stop the mallet at about parallel to the ground, and I have a pretty tight top position with the right arm.

Looking down the line, you can see the same thing:


Notice as well that, with the mallet swing, I am swinging it with a free hip turn motion, not just twisting my lower back to turn the shoulders.  Just in case you missed it.

If I were to hold onto that same mallet with both hands, you’d see some heel separation that I don’t have because, swinging one-handed, I’m not making a full shoulder turn.


I have drawn the swing plane as defined by the mallet shaft, which would mirror that of a golf club shaft at the same angle.

Now, notice how, without even thinking about it, as I swing the mallet down, I drop it perfectly in the “slot” of the same plane coming back down:


First of all, I drew that plane today on a more-than 3 year old video clip, plus I would have had no way of knowing or seeing anything to do with that imaginary plane, as I wasn’t looking at myself down the line, but rather at the spot I was hitting with the mallet, we’d all agree.

So, how does one find that swing plane so easily swinging a mallet? The answer is that it’s because I’m not swinging a golf club and tying myself into knots with technical thoughts – I’m just setting myself up to the wall (measuring, if you will), and swinging the mallet.

I talked in the last posting about John Daly and how, even though he’s got a very past-parallel shaft, he was still swinging with a “tight” top position.

Now, take a look at my mallet top position vs Daly’s, and you’ll see that Daly swings his club with his right arm pretty much mirroring my right-arm, albeit you’re looking at a two-handed vs one-handed top position:


If I were to reach up and take a two-handed grip on that mallet, I’d look pretty much like Daly, wouldn’t I?

That is what gives Daly the huge leverage and club speed he’s always had.

That is how Big John is able to swing down with a neutral swing plane rather than way over the top despite his top position and shaft:


As I said to D.L. in a comment earlier today, I could “feel” what Daly was doing on his down swing when I watched it, but it wasn’t until I figured out this week the true nature of “tight” that I was able to isolate exactly how he did what he was doing.

Pretty neat stuff, isn’t it?

More to come!


Back Pain or Back Injury Swinging a Golf Club?

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“E = MCS” The Swing Video

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6 thoughts on “The Tight Top Position – Remember The Mallet From “MCS Kinesiology?”

    1. D Watts Post author

      I believe I’ve been doing that for some time, Tom – Ben Hogan, Mike Dunaway, Anthony Kim… most swingers with the right elbow lower than their armpit would have a tight position at the top, John Daly being the exception. He’s a different model altogether.

  1. targettom

    Jimmy sure seems to be firing his lead hip back as hard as he can.

    I have a question: when we look at a baseball batter they take a position similar to the top of a golfer’s backswing and they statically await the pitch; as a researcher have you ever tried that, take a static (hopefully ideal) top of the swing position, then fire from there? I’m going to try this tomorrow if weather permits.

    1. D Watts Post author

      Can’t say I’ve done that. Never found the need to, as the ball isn’t moving whereas in baseball, it is. The pivot should be sufficient to generate the leverage and speed required. But different strokes for different folks!

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