“Using The Ground” = “LOL”

I am betting you’re going to hear a lot of the “using the ground” and/or “vertical lift” nonsense this coming weekend during the television coverage at the Players Championship.

This of course refers to the insane rationalization the analysts are making trying to explain why certain swingers’ leading feet are flopping and flying all over the place through impact.

Like this;

That’s Justin Thomas above, and I have some eye-opening info on his Launch Angle numbers at the bottom of the posting.

The bottom line is that they either don’t know the cause of the “flying foot” or they’re flat out trying to pass the swing flaw off as a performance enhancer – you could consider it either “analyst fudging” or “analytical P.E.D.,” if you would.

I would love to have them try to explain to someone who actually has a working or educational knowledge of biomechanics, and to have that same person ask them point blank, “Why do you think this enhances the swing and why do you call it ‘using the ground?'”

You could show them the following, very simply and easily, to de-bunk both of the assertions made to try to explain away the “flying foot.”

First, if they’re telling you that “using the ground” this way helps provide leverage, that’s poppycock, because anyone can generate lots of leverage with flat feet, as I’m doing below lifting a 9kg (20 lb) Kettle Bell nearly a foot (30cm) without having to do anything with my feet:

That is obviously a load of rubbish, when you consider that a Kettle Bell of that mass is much harder to leverage than a little ol’ golf club, and I have no inclination to try to “help” or create leverage by standing on my toes.

You may also have someone try to explain the flying foot by saying that the “vertical lift” they get from doing this helps them launch the ball into the air.

That would be amazing if true, but again, I have shown that I can get 14 degrees of Launch Angle with a low-lofted driver with a perfectly flat leading foot:

I don’t even really need the protractor on the image below showing the Launch Angle of this drive to be nearly 14 degrees:

I have the Foresight GC Quad metrics from my last session at the TXG Golf facility in Toronto, showing my Launch and Attack Angles (circled in orange) with a Callaway Rogue driver that was lofted at 8 degrees.

Here they are below, showing over 15 degrees average Launch Attack and over 5 degrees average Attack Angle, all without flipping or flopping one foot:

Oh, and Justin Thomas of the “flying foot” syndrome?

Justin Thomas – Launch Angle avg 9.76 Degrees

His last driver model that I could find is a Titleist TS3 lofted at 9.5 degrees… his average Launch Angle this season is currently below 10 degrees, (T-156 @ 9.76) with a high (15.93 degrees) around my average with an 8 degree lofted driver when I last visited TXG.

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Hmmm… with all of that flopping and flying, he’s not even getting an average of 10 degrees Launch Angle with a 9.5 degree-lofted driver…

That’s some “vertical lift,” there, averaging less than 1 degree above his driver loft!

The truth is, that “flying foot” has absolutely nothing to do with generating leverage or aiding in launch angle, it’s a swing flaw caused by improper mechanics.

So, be sure to be on the lookout (or listen-out) for this recurring theme of analysts either flat out not knowing what causes the “flying foot” (improper mechanics) or just plain lying to you about it.

Which one it happens to be, I don’t know, not being a mind-reader, but you can have a good chuckle at them while I try not to grind my teeth when they do it.

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2 thoughts on ““Using The Ground” = “LOL”

  1. Mr. McJohn

    I think “using the ground” might be a term that has been misinterpreted. “From the ground up” seems to be the term this stems from, but it has been twisted to mean something else. It’s like many stories that go around for 20 years and what actually happened is long forgotten.

    My personal viewpoint is that every sporting motion, “uses the ground”, or in other words, is “from the ground up”. If you look at leverage in general, the footwork is what creates the speed and power in any sporting motion. So, “using the ground” is simply a misinterpreted terminology for good footwork. The modern swing uses very poor footwork, so using this term is ridiculous when applied to it.

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