Originally Posted Dec 12, 2015. Re-posted in honor of Tom Watson as he announces his retirement at 69 from Champions Tour major play.
I’ve said before that golf will never be taken seriously as a “sport” (although it was for a brief period during the height of the Tiger Woods era) because it doesn’t follow the same athletic principles.
All other sports advance technique from one age to the next, and they don’t regress.
Golf, on the other hand, has regressed so much in swing mechanics that a 60-year old Tom Watson nearly won the Open Championship in 2009.
Update – July 30 2019 – Just look at the beauty and power of this swing!
If you think that’s a fluke, then that’s because you don’t know how mechanically-sound Watson’s swing was and remains, and even a 60 years-old Champions player could compete with today’s players if that 60 year-old is swinging “MCS.”
And you can scoff when I say that golf doesn’t advance mechanical technique – Tom Watson says the same thing, in different words, that I’ve been saying all along.
Take his article in Golf.com, where he’s talking about the footwork involved in mechanically-correct swing:
Whenever I evaluate a golfer’s ability, I first check for a proper grip and a balanced, athletic setup.
Then I watch the footwork, which ultimately determines how efficiently the player creates clubhead speed.
Proper grip and a balanced, athletic setup… hmm, sounds a lot like the Fundamentals Trifecta in the MCS swing theory, doesn’t it?
And when you look at Watson’s swing, you’ll see that he’s swinging with mechanical-correctness from beginning to end:
How about this address position?
Gotta like the erect, relaxed posture with the weight over the feet!
And how about that floating pivot?
If you were surprised by Tom’s performance against guys half his age that event… he’s got a mechanically-sound, classic golf swing that makes hash of the modern swing and it’s gurus.
But it’s this line from Watson’s article that will tell you what you’ve been doing wrong, if you think golf is “different” from other sports:
If you want to hit it longer, copy the power moves in other sports.
Whether it’s hitting a baseball, playing a forehand in tennis, throwing a pass or even kicking a soccer ball, you shift and turn your lower body—feet in particular—toward the intended target.
You plant the lead foot, turn the hips and then go with the upper body or leg. That’s an athletic move.
Golf is the same.
The bold emphasis is mine, but those are Tom Watson’s words.
Kind of like what I’ve been saying… all along…
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