Right at the outset, I’m going to give the gentleman doing the analysis and explanation of Bryson DeChambeau’s “pull up, pull down” approach to the swing a break – he’s a PhD but not in the field of Kinesiology or anything else sports related, so he’s a layman here.
That’s important – they really try to pull a fast one here on the viewer by introducing “Dr. XYZ, PhD“ for the segment, when he essentially wouldn’t be any more of an expert in the discussion than anyone else.
I actually checked and the gentleman’s doctorate is in Human Factors Engineering, which doesn’t seem remotely connected to sports motion, so the fact that he is a PhD is, for all intents and purposes, meaningless here.
And that’s a relief, because if he had earned his PhD in Kinesiology or something else related to sports motion, it wouldn’t be worth the sheepskin on which it’s printed.
So, in the clip, you hear the other gent introducing the Dr. say, “OK Bryson – what are you feeling – is it here, is it here…”
Watch it for as long as you wish, but you’ll know roughly by minute 10:00 in the clip what I’m laughing about.
It is the contention of these men that Bryson isn’t getting his enhanced speed and leverage from the hip and leg action – and they specifically state this – but rather from his lat muscles, pulling the club down in the transition.
Which is laughable, because I’ll give you a quick experiment to perform:
Take a practice back swing to the top and then, without using the hips, legs or shoulders, pull the hands and club down.
Oh, and one more thing – do this while keeping the left or leading arm straight, since this is how the swing works on the down swing.
Hint – all you’ll be able to do is pull the hands and left arm down with the right arm. You know, like when you’re casting the club and releasing early.
Now, watch this motion from Bryson and watch his shoulders, hips and legs every time he “pulls” to demonstrate his “feels.”
You see, Bryson is describing a “feel,” as is explicitly stated, because there’s no way on this green earth that what the fellow and his guest the good Dr. are saying is going on can actually happen.
The hips and legs powering the shoulder turn leverage the swing down using the leading arm, and no one is going to change this mechanical fact, whatever they’re pretending to say.
Even the modern planted-heel swingers are doing it this way albeit with a restricted hip and leg action with lower back twisting to complete the shoulder turn. They are still driving the hips and legs to power the down swing.
If Bryson were actually doing it as claimed, he wouldn’t have to use his hips, legs and shoulders to demonstrate the action.
Pure and simple.
I won’t even get into the part where they discuss “ground force reaction,” because.
The fact that sports scientists aren’t calling out all of this modern swing bunk is likely due to the fact that no sports scientist worth his degree is actually studying and analyzing this stuff.
Any sports scientist or kinesiologist who isn’t describing the proper golf swing in the Classic Golf Swing terms of using the hips and legs to power and leverage the action is, I’m sad to say, far afield and just describing either nonsense or, worse, telling people the best way to swing improperly.
We’re all familiar with the term “kinetic chain.”
That is, the hips pull the shoulders, the shoulders pull the leading arm, the leading arm pulls the hands and club.
There aren’t five different types of high jumping technique that are optimal, there aren’t five ways to sprint that are optimal, and you don’t power the golf swing by “pulling up and pulling down,” because those are just feelings, and feelings that have been around forever, really.
Plus, we’re not even talking about “optimal” here, just what happens and what definitely doesn’t.