Words definitely matter when you’re speaking or writing about the swing, because if the diagram, picture or video were sufficient, we’d simply watch and implement, wouldn’t you agree?
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.
Little Jackie had Grout standing in front of him with a chunk of the boy wonder’s blond hair held firmly in his hand. That’ll learn ya to keep your head still. 😉
That would do it!
DJ, when you look at Jack’s hands at the top, they’re deep. They would hit the vertical line extending up from his tush. How does that factor into the MCS? Note: I would love to see pressure plates on Jack at setup.
BM – Jack was doing exactly what you want to do, which is pivoting and not steering. The ball, club and hands are in front of you – your pivot pulls the hands and club behind you.
The whole “don’t get too deep or you’ll get the club stuck behind you” is more Modern nonsense.
Jack’s swing was the best match to Mike Austin’s “Swing the 7 around C-7” that I can identify. Thanks for the overhead. What is your observation of Jack’s swing re. D. Lee’s “counter fall’?
A proper back swing pivot and top position would eliminate the need for Mr. Lee’s “counter fall” theory. If in the optimal top position, the weight transfers naturally to the leading foot while the arms, hands and club simply drop. No leveraging move required.
Do you have a post on the backswing pivot in your new model? I’m confused. When I try to get my hip deep in the backswing, my butt goes toward the target. My current coach has me shifting over right hip socket in backswing and then pivoting around that hip. Of course my lead heel comes of ground. When I was doing a modern rotational swing, like I said, my butt goes toward target like a weird reverse pivot. What are your new model basics? I know you say similar to Jack’s swing but Jack talks about how Grout would have him roll his feet in toward backswing then toward downswing but you are saying rotate which is the modern swing. I’m confused.
Hi Jeff. I actually haven’t released anything on the golf swing in years. Anything I discuss currently is basic swing mechanics, good & bad, as well as my ongoing modelling work (this ongoing discussion could be the source of your confusion) – but I certainly haven’t released anything nor posted any instructions on the new model. Right now, it’s still in the research phase.
Thanks DJ. I was new to the site and was moving through posts and just wanted to make sure I didn’t miss something. Love the site.
More than welcome, Jeff, and thanks for the kind words. 😊