In that regard, let’s just get rid of the word “shift” when it comes to the Classic Golf Swing, particularly the MCS version of it, because there is no “shift” in the optimal swing.
If you view the the swing from a diagonal point of reference rather than face-on, just in case the swing you’re analyzing has any involuntary lateral shifting, then you shouldn’t see anything other than the pivot and downswing.
I mentioned Fred Couple’s swing action last week and showed how, when you viewed his swing motion diagonally, you wouldn’t see any lateral shift (of which he definitely had), and what his swing might look like with a better setup:
Unrelated Aside: Now, give Fred the MCS setup with his superb right-handed swing action (while looking to his left, of course) and he’d swing exactly as he did above but without the lateral shifting and lower back crunching that his setup caused, and perhaps Fred Couples would be an even greater legend.
Without that back injury, he likely wins many more events than he did, and perhaps (who knows) another major win or more – he nearly won the Masters again in ’98 with that wonky back, so I’d give him multiple Green Jackets with a swing that didn’t break his back by his early 30s.
Looking above, you would not say that Freddie “shifts” his weight to the trailing foot on the back pivot and then “shifts” to the leading foot on the transition and down swing.
Rather, without any lateral motion, you would more accurately state that Freddie transfers his weight to the trailing foot to load his back swing and then transfers his body weight to the leading foot to leverage the down swing.
Because the optimal swing should occur with the rotation point at the C7 vertebra (the bone “bump” at the base of the back of your neck is the C7), you now have to figure out how to transfer weight from one foot to the other without a lateral shift in your body or head, for maximum efficiency, stability and power.
If that seems confusing, the rotation point is what I prefer to call it instead of “swing point,” because you could make an argument that the left arm swings from the left shoulder, the right arm from the right shoulder, etc…
Ideally, you want to imagine that if you were hanging from a wire connected to any point of your body that should remain in place during the swing, that it would be connected to the C7 vertebra, around which point your body would rotate on the pivots.
Whether or not you actually keep that connection point absolutely motionless is of course conceptual or theoretical, but if you look at Jack Nicklaus from above, the completely stable head means that the C7 is staying in place and keeping his head stable:
Perfectly stable on the back swing and just a little motion on the transition and downswing through impact, but again, the closer you get to the theoretical concepts of the model, the better you will swing – I’d say Jack was a pretty good swinger.
Now, let me ask you – since we have two legs upon which to stand and we transfer the weight from one foot to the other when in motion, how many ways would there be to setup over the ball and pivot with both a stable C7 vertebra and maximum swing efficiency?
The answer of course is one.
The optimal way.
Somewhat like this, but better than both…
Mine of course above is with a left-dominant arm, otherwise it would be almost identical to Jack’s.
That optimal setup is what I’ve been working on all last winter and through this spring.
More to come.