This is rather depressing – according to Justin Rose (and many others for certain), the quest to increase power & distance in golf is going to lead to shortened careers.
This is depressing to me because it means that the golf industry is still mired in the harmful mechanics of swinging in the Modern Golf Swing style, which means that it will shorten careers (Tiger Woods being Exhibit A), but also that it’s something that doesn’t have to happen.
Says Justin in this Telegraph.com article by James Corrigan:
The bombs of DeChambeau and the likes of Matthew Wolff and Cameron Champ will no doubt explode into the headlines and catch the attention of juniors with their sights set on an eye-stretching future. But Rose would like to ask them a few questions. “Is it the short term or the long term that they are thinking of when it comes to their time as a professional?” he says. “Because with some of these swings nowadays, I’m not sure it can be both.”
… “Whereas I feel like that the generation coming up behind us is pushing the limit much harder than than we did from a physical point of view and even though science is improving and we are understanding more and more about the body, eventually those aggressive motions have to take their impact.
“If it carries on like this and if everyone coming out here is looking for the power game, then maybe careers will get shorter and there won’t be players in their 40s still able to compete at the top of the sport.”
Jack Nicklaus, Sam Snead, John Daly and other golfers known for their prodigious power off the tee did not suffer from shortened careers due to the way they swung the club – in the mechanically-correct method of the Classic Golf Swing.
Sure, John Daly’s career can only be called under-achieving with the talent he possessed, but his downfall was his personal lifestyle & demons, not the way he swung the club.
I have posted about Justin’s search for proper swing mechanics in past years. Sometimes, he was on the right track with more hip turn & the lifting leading heel, but he always tinkered and would eventually stop doing the right thing while pursuing some other way.
Justin On The Right Track
Unfortunately for him, he’s still incurring injuries that are affecting and will shorten his career:
The Players Championship: Justin Rose withdraws due to injury and replaced by Steve Stricker
Justin Rose has withdrawn from The Players Championship due to injury, with US Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker replacing him in the field.
… The Englishman was a pre-tournament doubt after pulling out mid-round from the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Saturday, citing a back injury, with Rose unable to recover in time to tee it up at TPC Sawgrass.
I will repeat – the golf swing is not supposed to hurt you, if you perform it the way your body is designed to move.
I would point Mr. Rose to this post of mine from a while back, my open letter to the modern player, but I won’t hold my breath he or any other pro will take the advice until it’s too late.
That means powering the swing with your hips & legs the way it’s done in all other sports (baseball, cricket, track & field events like javelin, shot put, discus), in which case you can swing as hard as you please without breaking various segments of your body (back, knees, hips).
Look at MLB’s Mike Trout producing 180 mph ball speed (which exceeds the PGA average ball speed) just goofing around with a beat-up Topgolf driver & ball, never in danger of hurting his back, if you don’t believe me:
Not the greatest technique in the world but with regards to athleticism & mechanical-correctness, his swing is superior to most of what you watch on TV every week.
This is yours truly below at 49 years old, out of shape & overweight – driving the ball 330 yards and more, without ever fearing of a back or knee injury:
And trust me – even now at age 51, if you gave me the incentive to actually get into shape, work out a bit on the weights & swing/play 4-5 days per week, I would blow the numbers I’ve had the past few years out of the water.
In fact, I would likely produce more speed & distance now than I was in my 20s when I had no idea how to swing a golf club with mechanical correctness, as the only two instructors from whom I ever took lessons taught the Modern Golf Swing.
I was fortunate in that I quite golf in my late 20s out of frustration with inconsistency, before I injured myself swinging in this mad manner, before taking up swing research at age 35 out of a desire to figure it out if no one else could show me.
Swinging a golf club that weighs much less than a baseball or cricket bat shouldn’t be putting you in traction. It may just do that however if you’ve never learned how to swing it in a mechanically-sound manner.
And that the golf world still isn’t getting it is the depressing part.