Those of you who took part in sports in your youth might get what I’m going to say here, because today was the first day I had “that feeling” after watching a Kyle Berkshire swing analysis video on YouTube.
The video itself has nothing to do with “that feeling,” but it was what I did after watching the video that led me there.
The poor fellow doing the analysis, I won’t link to because I’m determined not to call people any longer when I run across something very wrong.
Except, of course, if I feel the person being called out is well-known and promoting something harmful enough that I have to say my piece, and this gent on YouTube doesn’t fit the bill.
Anyways, he was talking about how K.B. gets his power and leverage from something completely unintelligible, “ground force reaction” or something – I really wasn’t going to rewind the video as I was at work on the computer while the video played.
The gist of it is that he was saying K.B. gets his power by performing a “squat” from the top, which lowers his body or weight or both, and then “jump” through impact to “use the ground” or get the “ground force,” at which point I mumbled something like “Oh my G-d” and went back to my work, ignoring the rest of the video.
Actually, now that I think about it, the story goes back further than today – it began when I saw another great Twitter posting from David Poulton, where he showed a young John Daly at the top of his backswing:
Now, Long John Daly was your professional golfer with the talent to win 2 Majors (and could have won many more tournaments if that had been his main focus, but that’s neither here nor there) and who possessed the closest swing you’re going to see to the traditional long drive swing (performed properly, which is why he beats out a player whose name rhymes with ‘Lambo’).
J.D. did it with technique, because the heaviest thing he’d lift was a King Can of beer, but I’m much closer to that end now than I am to the amazingly fit athlete end, if you catch me.
So, when I saw that picture, all of the modeling and mental imagery work I’ve been doing over the winter (along with the re-visiting of the long drive model recently) clicked in, because the instant I looked at his positions, I felt them.
I’ve even had a swing that was very long at one time with nearly the same top position:
… but I wouldn’t have gotten the feeling back then looking at Daly’s top position that I did this week.
That would be simply because back then I was swinging left-arm dominant, so it’s a completely different feeling than being at the top with a proper right-dominant swing.
Looking at Daly’s position, I could feel the next move I’d make – the “left foot stomp” with an aggressive shift to the leading foot, performing at the same time the “gravity drop” with the torso and arms.
I keep going back to look at that picture of Daly because I find it mesmerizing – not because I think J.D. had a perfect swing (and it was pretty darned good), but because of the feeling I’d get looking at the positions.
But that didn’t get me the feeling I got today – fast-forward to this afternoon and that Berkshire analysis video still sticking in my craw.
The only thing I could do to get that fellow’s analysis out of my head was to grab the swing stick and play through my mind the real way to generate speed and power.
Then I got that feeling, when I brought it up to the top and then slowly went through the next mechanical actions.
It’s that feeling you have when you’re doing something and you perfect your technique to the point you can feel what the action is by just thinking about it – whether it’s throwing a ball as hard as you can or swinging a baseball bat and connecting for a towering home run, or when you put your foot through the ball for a curling shot into the top corner of the goal – that moment of impact you see captured in sports photography, when you “feel it” – many of you know that feeling, when you’re doing it perfectly or very well.
I’ve never had that feeling swinging a golf club because I’ve never to this point taken my technique to that point where you feel all of your weight has shifted into your leading foot and you’ve just “given it” leveraging the club down into impact.
I would wager not many golfers have ever gotten that feeling, because we all know that old saw, “If you swing as hard as you can, you’ll lose control.”
I personally can attest to this because, if I’ve ever gone 110% after a ball, it usually went sideways because I lost control, which will happen when you have swing flaws or are manipulating/steering that club.
Of course, when you let it all go, you’ll get the loss of control or, even more dangerously for the modern players more than the classic era players, you’ll simply hurt yourself because your swing isn’t designed for athletic swinging.
I personally have had that experience of going after it and seeing my ball do everything but travel even close to the line I had set out. I’m sure some of those balls are still orbiting the planet, as a matter of fact.
So, swing as hard as you can and you’ll lose control.
But now I’d say, “Perhaps, but if you have your technique down, you should be able to swing as hard as you can and still make solid contact, in theory.”
I have been saying that for a while, because one of my earliest theories about the golf swing was that the technique that gives you optimal speed and power is also the technique that will give you the greatest accuracy and consistency.
And I may now be able to prove that theory because I only got that “all I’ve got, perfectly” feeling when I improved my technique to be able to swing all out with the same swing I’d use to hit a 7 iron, only with more effort of course.
Does this feeling translate over to the Post-Modern swing or just the Long Drive and possibly the Classic swing models?
I don’t know, because the Shift & Post action is so tight and compact that it doesn’t feel like one is swinging especially hard even when going after it.
But that’s what I intend to find out, but I am very confident that I have yet to hit my longest drive, achieve my greatest ball and club speeds, and I’m 52 years old.
So, I give my appreciation to that YouTube swing analyst who so distressed me today that he led me to do what I did, where I got “that feeling.”
Feels like the season will never get here, but at least we’re getting above freezing with our daily highs.
A few weeks to go!