Having Looked At The Trailing Heel/Impact – Looking At The Head

I spent a great deal of time this season making sure of the concept of the trailing heel at impact, which I’ve resolved to my satisfaction.

Now, I am looking at one more thing that I have had my eye on for some time.

There are instances when you look at something and have an idea that you later discard for one reason or another and I’ve been looking hard at the role head position plays in the setup and pivot motion.

Once again, I’ve looked at more than one swinger but of course, I always look at the Mike Dunaway model.

I’ve said before that the reason I abandoned certain principle or whole swing models was when I found something in them that either wasn’t mechanically-sound (the Modern Golf Swing method of restricting the hip turn and twisting the lower back for shoulder turn), or because they weren’t optimal (I left the Mike Austin method of swinging because the big head shift to the right from a centered setup on the back pivot).

I have looked at Mike Dunaway in that regard and while he had some shift in the head, there were certain times he swung in a manner that had very little head shift:

In the swing above, which I love because of the fluid motion, Dunaway has a right tilt to the spine, and very, very little head shift on the back pivot, with the head remaining pretty stable afterward throughout the down swing to impact:

When you look at Ben Hogan’s “floating pivot” move, you get the opposite – a very stable head position on the back pivot and then a shift to his left on the down swing transition:

You’ve therefore got a number of ways the head can move or not move during the start of the pivot back to impact:

  • Stable on both the back swing and down swing into impact,
  • Shifting on the back swing and then shifting again coming down,
  • Stable on the back swing and then shifting on the transition (Hogan),
  • Shifting on the back swing but stable on the down swing (Dunaway)

There may end up being no hard and fast rule concerning the head movement so long as you’re swinging from a right-biased setup as Dunaway obviously is in this swing gif (just look at the line over his right foot touching the side of the head at address, and the line indicating spine angle on the front of his outfit).

Could be there’s a big difference on how it shifts even slightly or doesn’t shift, and it matters greatly.

This is what I’ve been looking into in the days since my last posting, and I believe I will have the answer soon.

More to come!

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


6 thoughts on “Having Looked At The Trailing Heel/Impact – Looking At The Head

    1. D Watts Post author

      It’s a very small thing but has big implications, Uncle JJ! I’ve been looking at this off and on for 2 to 3 years but could never find a set answer or something concrete with proof of exactly which is the best way.

      All part of trying to make the MCS Golf Swing model not just “a” way to swing, but “the” way to swing for the best results in accuracy, consistency and power.

      Shouldn’t be too much longer! 🙂

  1. Mr. McJohn

    Head shift is good for power, while a stable head is better for accuracy, simply because of the manner in which the upper body maneuvers the club. Accuracy would depend on a stable head, so that the arc and motion would be less variable, and a shifting head, more windup. I think this goes back to the “gears” concept you talked about some time ago…

    Mike Austin mentioned a steady head as being more accurate in his teaching I believe. As I’m not sure the exact mechanics behind these things, I can’t say for sure. But it’s just something I’ve noted.

    1. D Watts Post author

      Head shift is good for power, while a stable head is better for accuracy…

      Absolutely, MMJ – if one is going to compete in long drive, then there’s no issue. However, most people looking to build a golf swing intend to play for score on a golf course, and this is my search.

      If it were just long drive, the head shift wouldn’t matter. Raw power has never been my issue, the issue has always been how to repeat a swing. In my early days, I could drive the ball down the pipe 330 yards and then miss the fairway by 50 yards on the next hole. Not the way to play golf!

      Believe it or not, I actually think the optimal lies between the big shift and the absolute steady. I’m on the case, and will have my results soon, with luck!

  2. Brandon Reeves

    I have always found that I hit the ball better when I shift back to the ball but I always thought it was a flaw because I played baseball and I wasn’t necessarily a power hitter like a Trout or Pujols but I could hit for power and my idea was when I was ready to swing my left ear would be just behind my tailbone when I would begin rotating. I felt powerless if I left my head over my rear foot after I would stride. I have found that my striking is most consistent when my head is more on the ball. Can’t wait for this conclusion.

    1. D Watts Post author

      The baseball swing is very close and you get the same mechanics, more or less.

      So, looking at that, most baseball swingers will already be as far into the trailing side as possible, because you don’t have time to shift back to gather when the ball comes at you. This is why there is no back shift, and a forward shift with the baseball swing.

      Plus, you don’t need lateral precision with a baseball swing, just to get the ball “somewhere in the neighborhood…”

      It’s something I’ve looked at from time to time, but I’m now starting to put together the pieces of if, why, and how you do it for a playing golf swing. Perhaps I had to get through all of the other aspects of the model that I’ve been going over, before I could tackle this issue.

      I’m always on the lookout for any little thing, however minute, that might make a good or great swing even better, and it’s been a long while since I’ve found anything, a couple of years in fact.

      At any rate, I’m on it!

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