Everything in an athletic model of motion is designed to deliver optimal performance, this we know.
Broken down into micro, it’s all about leverage, and how best to produce said leverage in motion, whether it be throwing, running or swinging.
While preparing to get back out hitting balls in the next week or so (hopefully), I have been studying one thing & one thing only – the leverage created by the optimal top position at the termination of the back pivot, and what makes it optimal as opposed to just good or great.
Once you know that position and the motion that results from this top position as one begins the transition to the down swing, you can spot right away that optimal leverage comparing it to other down swing motions.
Take Mike Dunaway’s model – having worked on his model for approaching two years now, most of it offline due to other pursuits and of course the pandemic, I can assure you that you won’t see more or better leveraging of the golf club than how he did it.
It truly is the “judo throw” of down swings:
It doesn’t matter which of his swing iterations you watch, either. In all of his motions, you see that great top position & the leverage he created with the simple action of the weight shift back to the leading foot.
It’s my feeling at this time (which may of course change after I hit balls and study the video in the next weeks), that too much emphasis has been placed on the arms & hands in describing the down swing action.
I no longer like the term “throw release” for this reason. The action certainly is that, but the visual image doesn’t create any insight on the nature of the leverage versus any other swing.
In my eyes, the action begins and ends with the lower body action, which will produce all the other action required, provided you’ve built the correct setup, including the grip and ball position.
From there, if you’ll forgive my using a term I coined for the MCS Classic Golf Swing pivot action in the 2017 “E = MCS” swing video, you combine that leg & hip action with “One Major Move,” which is the trailing or right arm action in a right-handed swing.
On leverage, there is a very quick & basic way to gauge the effectiveness of an action when it comes to generating it.
- What are the most powerful muscles in the body?
- What are the longest levers in the body?
- If leverage is produced by the rotation of the torso, as is also done with the judo throw, how best to “rotate the torso” to produce it?
Looking here, we know that there is an element of use of the hands and arms, where the thrower grasps the other person then “throws” him:
However, as the White Gi grasps the Blue Gi, you see that nothing happens at all until the White Gi makes a step & turn with his legs, hips and body.
The arms simply hang onto the person, whereas it’s the hips & legs that rotate the torso to leverage the Blue Gi up, over and to the ground.
Because, the leg & hip muscles are the most powerful muscles in the body, the leg bones are the longest bones, and so the secret to leveraging the golf club is an open secret – you use the hips & legs to do it.
And that’s the problem – in all of the instruction and explanations you’ve heard regarding the MA/MD swing models… how much of it has been spent on the hip & leg action, and how much of it has been devoted to talk of the hands, pronation, supination, throwing et al?
Far too much hand talk, not near enough leg & hip talk, because that’s where the swing is occurring!
So, what I’ve been looking at are the components of:
- Maximizing the hip & leg action,
- Adding the action of the trailing arm & hand and
- Combining the two into a simple action that does the job desired – swinging the golf club with maximum efficiency & leverage, therefor the maximum speed & power.
What I’m finding in swinging, for myself, is that there is actually no time to devote thought to the hand action in a swing, because it simply occurs to quickly to control or guide this.
What you want to focus on is the proper action of the hips & legs, which will drive the swing action.
Leverage is the key, and the hidden secret to the 3 Levers in this diagram:
Is one I’ve already provided! The Red Lever is powered/moved by the hip & leg action:
It is actually pointless to discuss the leading arm as a lever until it is understood what moves it, at which point you’re back to the hips & legs.
The Second or Yellow Lever does of course play a factor, as does the Third or Orange Lever.
But they are secondary, beside the primary lever which is the Red.
That brings us back to Dunaway’s “Figure 7” concept with the leading arm.
More to come.