There May Still Be Two Models (On Theory)

In previous years, I might have railed and considered my Tuesday range session to be an abject failure and waste of time, but that’s because I didn’t have the attitude I currently hold.

More than one attitude, actually – the first being that theories are established after data mining, analysis and lab work (experiments), and the range session was lab work.

I’ve said before that I don’t work on the golf swing at the range or on the course.  I work on it at home with my swing aid and a lot of thought and consideration, after which I hit the lab, which is the range or the course.

There, I collect data (video and how things felt physically while swinging, and of course the results of the swinging) and I return home to analyze.

While I didn’t capture the motion I was seeking that day, the data and analysis brought me to today’s discovery that the standard Classic Golf Swing and Post-Modern Golf Swing models, while very similar, require more than a different pivot action.

So, another attitude or view I hold (and is shared by science theoretical mentality) is that a theory is nothing more than a conclusion or prediction based upon verifiable data.

A theory is not “fact,” it is simply the best prediction or conclusion arrived upon by analysis of data and that if the data changes, the theory may well change as well.

This is not a failure of the original theory, but merely the improvement or disproving of said theory, based on the data – Isaac Newton’s theory of gravity, while very accurately calculated, was that gravity is a force.

Einstein of course came along and proved (as well as we know now with the data) that gravity is actually a deforming or warping of space/time by an object with sufficient mass to do so.

We sent men to the moon with the scientific calculations that Newton made developing his theory and proof of gravity, so it can’t be viewed as a “failure,” only that someone else improved upon the theory of gravity while simultaneously disproving part of the theory, that gravity is a force.

So while I’m sure that my love and enjoyment of this process of modelling I’m currently engaged in might not be shared by those impatient for results and, “better yet, DJ – how about a swing video,” I am having a ball, because I just am.

Not Even Close – But Valuable Data Derived!


The mistake I could be committing is relaying my findings and hunches (and subsequent research and analysis) in real-time, but that’s because I have nothing else regarding the golf swing about which to write.

I’m tired of looking at terrible mechanics and telling people why they’re terrible, or not-bad swings to tell people what’s not bad about them (with the accompanying flaws).  So, I’m left with the option of writing nothing at all while I conduct my work, and posting no videos or still pics.

Right now, that’s about all I want to do with this blog.

So, I’ll now talk about what I’ve been looking at and why only yesterday I mused that there may only be one swing model to present or feature, with a quick U-Turn to “perhaps two, after all.”

That’s because I have no dog in this theoretical fight between the idea of one model or two – I am simply observing and reporting, and if the data indicates that my theory needs adjustment or changing, I do so without qualm – there can be no ego in the search for truth.


So – back to the modelling – I got into the setup change required to get the standard Classic Golf Swing model working  optimally and, when I applied the same change to the Post-Modern model, I discovered that there are two different head positions for the two models to work optimally.

I came about that discovery because I was again struggling to snap the swing aid with the Post-Modern swing even though I was sure I was in the proper setup.

I then said, “Hold on,” and let my head drift a smidgen to the right on the back pivot and that swing produced a savage snap with seemingly no effort.

I then moved back and forth between the two models (Classic, floating head on the pivot – Post-Modern, allowing the head to move slightly) and was snapping the swing aid at will, and there it was.

So why the difference?

Simply, because the body is built and moves in a certain way, and if you change something in the setup or the motion, you’ll likely also change the motion or the setup, if even ever so slightly.

And it makes sense – the nature of the hip and leg action is different with the two models, so there are also (according to today’s work) slight differences in the actual setup and head positions/motion on the back pivot.

Perfectly logical, but now what to do about there being two models?

The answer, I’ll believe I’ll find, is that because of the difference in pivot action, one model may suit a person better than the other model, based upon the individual swinging.

That’s without yet determining which swing if any produces more power (I already am confident it’ll be the Post-Modern model) and which model if any is more accurate and consistent in ball-striking (I have no clue yet, but I’m guessing the standard Classic because of the stationary head).

Older WAXers will remember that I have said for years that even if a model produced more power, the most accurate and consistent motion comes from swinging with a stable head position.

This is why I’m loving this research.  Without having had to adjust my setup on the Classic model following Tuesday, I likely wouldn’t have figured out what I’ve been working on the last two days.

Sometimes, it’s more important what you get wrong than right when doing the research, if you’re willing to check your ego, determine that nothing is written in stone and that in a theory, the data is king, not the theory-maker.

I’m very enthused about next week’s lab work at the range.

More to come!

4 thoughts on “There May Still Be Two Models (On Theory)

  1. JJ

    This is fascinating stuff, DJ! I, for one, vote that you keep blogging and riffing with us every step of the way. I think the complexity of what you’re working through will ultimately distill into a very simple swing model (or models) for simple-minded people like me! Keep going, brother!

    1. DJ Watts Post author

      Thank you for the kind words, J – and you are correct, there is some degree of complexity trying to work out two models simultaneously but I’m up to it and loving the process. Also correct – both models will be simpler than any golf swing model I can bring to mind, because the way the body works and moves, the simpler = the more mechanically-sound.

      When you get to the simplest in each model, you have optimality.

      So, there’s that! 🙂

  2. Mark

    love the deep dives. if you put out content at regular intervals I’d suspect you were giving me fluff. Discoveries, breakthroughs, test results, etc,… just happened whenever they happen. Since I don’t think about this stuff every day like you, I need more time to digest the theories/techniques you propose. The pace of your posting suits me just fine. and now that I’ve got to wrap my brain around two very similar yet disctinct swings is, well…

    1. DJ Watts Post author

      It may seem mind-blowing right now but one plays off of the other. Get the Classic basics down and the transition (if desired) to the Post-Modern will make much more sense 👍🏼

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