There are two issues here – consistency & injury risk.
Taking a look at his latest video proffer, I can’t imagine what it must be like trying to hit a ball at full speed and still having to worry about and perform that leading foot twist through impact.
Take a look:
Now, the first thing is about consistency – how on earth can you be consistent when you are actually spinning on your heel at the moment of impact?
Before impact his foot is solidly on the ground, but at the moment of impact, it’s already begin to spin around, and by the finish, my word…
Let’s remember that Bryson is not your poke-it-250 kind of swinger – he’s going for the fences (or for 6 if you prefer cricket terminology), and having to add completely unnecessary parts to a swing that is already giving him physical issues in spinning out on that heel through impact.
Amazingly, this passage from an article by Dallas Morning News via The Associated Press didn’t knock me over in surprise as he was eliminated from the Dell Technologies Match Play event this week:
DeChambeau, who was playing for the first time since Feb. 3 in Saudi Arabia because of injuries to his left hand and hip, was wild off the tee and it cost him.
So, there’s that.
Second, imagine that he doesn’t time that spin perfectly, leaving his foot in place just a fraction too long, or even worse, he catches a snag either with his soft spikes or just a tuft of turf that keeps the foot from spinning out.
You’re talking about blowing out something, and badly, with the force he’s generating.
There was someone else who was considered a great player, and a very long hitter, who did this same thing:
So, if you’re wondering why Arnold Palmer only won 1 major (the 1960 U.S. Open) where there was rough, yet won 6 majors on courses where you don’t encounter thick, juicy rough (4 Masters, absolutely no rough, 2 Open Championships where you also get wide landing areas), you only have to look at Arnie’s footwork.
Palmer excelled on courses where his tee shots weren’t as much a concern as on others with thick, juicy rough (he never won a PGA Championship either), for reasons that go no further than what he did with his feet through impact.
It’s a great way to avoid killing yourself when you get it right, but that’s a sword hanging over one’s head, the more so the harder one swings.
I’d think it would be much easier to get all of the weight onto the leading foot through impact and simply release the trailing foot, which happens as naturally as walking forward – with all of the weight shifting into the leading foot, the trailing foot has no weight to anchor it and will simply slide or step around:
It’s a tough fight for you. I keep seeing golf magazine articles where they encourage readers to “learn from” the technique of guys like Bryson and Berkshire who twist their leading foot, or snap the knee and hop back, or push off the ground “for power”. It all seems so weird. Take a look at the Italian sprinter, Jacobs. He’s burst onto the scene is relatively short order after switching from the long jump a few years ago. His technique looks effortless. He’s relaxed and pulling away from other runners who lose their form and look painfully strained trying to keep up with him. It’s Jacobs relaxed, near flawless techique that allows him to generate such easy power. I think within every athletic discipline there is a corresponding relaxed, flawless technique that allows for optimum power/performance. Golf is no different.
Keep up the fight!
Thanks, Mark – nothing to do but be a voice in the desert until sanity returns to the world of golf 🙂
As for Lamont Jacobs, he’s a technical wonder, isn’t he? From the 20m mark in the Tokyo Olympics, he’s just a running machine. Nearly perfect form, just a little forward lean in the last 10m, probably anticipating the line, but yes, a great specimen of sprinting technique.
Yep, Jacobs is something. He suprised me a little with his win in Belgrade. Maybe Coleman isn’t quite back on form yet, but still, gotta give Jacobs his due. Coleman jumped on him early, but Jacobs held his form and didn’t panic… and for such a short race, that shows tremendous discipline I think. Anyway, I’ll shut up about all that. This is a golf blog. 😉
You can talk track all you want, Mark – it was my first love and I can remember wanting to compete in the Olympics as far back as the 2nd grade.
Unfortunately, I lacked the genetic element, although I did far better for myself in track than I had any business doing, all because I focused on proper technique and drilled hard in my t&f club!
For anyone who’s never been part of a track club, the overwhelming focus is on technique, then technique, and finally, technique. The better you are at that, the better you will do, especially against naturally gifted athletes who don’t do their due diligence in practice.
Now Lamont, that pickup in the first 10m in Belgrade is just superb. The first man sprinting upright in the short sprints is going to be hard to beat and with his technique, I think Jabobs will be lowering his sprint marks for years to come, barring injury or a PED scandal.
ha ha… I know ALL about lacking the genetic elements. I suppose that just puts me in the majority. And yes, hopefully Lamont stays clean.
One of the best ball strikers was George Knudson, and he didn’t ever seem to snap the lead knee. He always had some flex in it. I wonder why the fascination with distance rather than consistent play and longevity?
BM – Knudson was, I’m fond of saying, more Hogan than Hogan.
As for your pertinent question, it’s even worse – effortless distance is possible along with consistency & longevity with a mechanically sound golf swing.
They’ve lost the plot completely, the Modern players and instructors.
Golf is the only sport that doesn’t have a universal, teachable and mechanically sound technique.
In any other sport, the same fundamental techniques are taught from beginner to pro. There are no cliques and “secret methods,” only sound technique.
Why golf stands alone and refuses to go back to basics, I couldn’t tell you, because there are only two possible reasons – collective ignorance or cynical knowledge that teaching improper technique is gold for the instruction and equipment business.
It’s possibly even a mixture of both. Take your pick. But I don’t see another valid reason apart from the above-mentioned.
You’re spot on when you mentioned the fundamental techniques of golf. I realized that after watching so many Youtube how to videos on golf. Although I’ve have learned so much from YouTube, it can also hurt someone if they’re not careful about who they learn from. Thanks for the post!
My pleasure, Lord Ivan! One of my pet peeves is the abundance of swing videos pushing pure rubbish or worse, claiming to have “secret” moves to improve performance or fix flaws. There is no secret to how the body moves, so there is only proper technique and improper.