Squared Foot-Line, Squared Shoulders – Never Been Here

First off – I have never lost faith in my MCS Classic Golf Swing model, which is virtually the same now as it was in 2017 – I always knew that there was something I was getting wrong, and I refused to give up.

For years I’ve felt tempted to just throw in the towel, but I am stubborn if I am anything, and dogged pursuit of a goal is not new to me.

If I could only figure out what I was getting wrong, I felt, I’d prove this model was everything I say it is with regards to optimal golf swinging.

I guess I could find a silver lining in about 10 years of flawed execution of my swing models by saying, “look what I was able to do with flawed execution of a proper swing model,” but I’m not looking back, only forward.

Once I realized that my cross-dominance in everyday life affected my execution of the golf swing, I ground my teeth for a bit before just getting on with it, because there was absolutely no point in lamenting the situation – fix it and move on.

I’m doing the same thing with my discovery that what felt and looked square in the setup with regards to my shoulders was significantly left-biased, much more so than when I first realized about 9 years ago that what I thought was just an S-shaped scoliosis deformity in my spine also twisted my shoulders left.

I have spent the last 9 years thinking I’d solved the problem, first with the angled stance system used by Ben Hogan, then somehow had adapted around 2017 a square foot-line while still having my shoulder square to the target line, only to discover last week that I was still open-shouldered in the setup.

Even now as I work on the setup and swing action with the now-squared shoulders, I know that I’ve never been here before, ever.

And I love it, because I can now at address feel the natural path of the club head before I begin to move, because everything is in now the proper position, or at least I hope so.

Before, I’ve only ever felt that I was aiming the club and setting up the path with my left arm and hand, but now the right side instincts are kicking in because my shoulders are finally square.

The good thing is that, after two days of many reps taking up the stance and ensuring that my shoulders are on the same line as my feet, it’s beginning to look and feel right – and feel is why many people never stick with swing changes.

“It feels weird,” or “it just feels so different, not like the old way…”

New flash – any position flaw will feel natural, that’s why it’s there, and when you change it, it will feel unbelievably foreign – and that’s why you stick with it until it feels natural.

So, every hurdle I felt I was clearing was only a hurdle in place because of my inattention to my setup issues – the minute I began to setup making sure my twisted shoulders were properly squared, everything in the stance from weight distribution to degree of spine tilt fell naturally into place as the model says they should.

Have I cleared that last hurdle after years of mystification about what I wasn’t getting right?  Because I’ll tell you, the model is on point and I’ve been the problem.

I fervently hope and actually believe that I have.  And I’ll know very soon.

That is when I believe the real fun begins – when I can prove how the model works by emulating its model in my own swing from setup to finish, and show that there really is no other model out there that will produce the results that the MCS model can.

I mean, even with major flaws, look what I’ve been able to do trying to duplicate the theory in practice.

When I am actually swinging the club exactly how my model says one should swing a golf club, I can say you probably “ain’t seen nuthin’ yet…”

So the work continues, but man, I think I’m going to see great things my next foray.

A Brief History Of My Left-Dominant And Open-Shouldered Problems

The clues were there – when I began to play golf in ’95, I was a wild over the top slicer with divots that went 45 degrees left even when I’d hit the ball straight, and in early 2014, when going on Launch Monitors was still a new thing for me, I was able to confirm how bad it still was:

I remember that this was during the Open House at the range where I still work out in the outdoor season, a club rep from one of the main club makers (which one exactly escapes me, I just know he was from one of the big makers’ tents promoting the new clubs for the season) kept wandering over to look at the Trackman laptop where I was hitting a few drives at the invitation of the range’s head pro.

One of those times, he muttered “170” to himself, and I realized then that he was looking at my club and ball speeds and not quite believing that some guy at this range was pelting out 170 mph balls (top row, far right number).

Remember that 170 mph ball speed is actually higher than the PGA Tour average.

I wasn’t impressed with that because it was the start of the season and I was shaking off the rust – 113 mph club speed and 170 mph ball speed were probably the floor of my numbers that season.

Let’s look at the huge problem however – an Attack Angle of -2.6 degrees, meaning I was coming down over the top hard, and a club path of -5.6 degrees (out-to-in), but when you look at the spin rate of 2448 degrees and side spin of just 23.2 rpm left, you can see that I had mastered the art of hitting over the top pull drives over 300 yards and nearly straight.

I did it by angling my foot stance so that if I had swung on plane, I’d have hit serious pushes to the right, but with a slightly closed club face and an outside-in path, the ball went where I wanted it to.

Think Bruce Lietzke. with his over the top fades that went exactly where he wanted them to go, or Hogan with his angled stance helping him swipe across the ball to fade his shots.  It’s a nifty trick, really, and not one that I invented, only emulated.

Fast-forward to 2018, when I had build the MCS Classic Golf Swing model which really helped me improve my metrics, though still with a flaw club path but now not over the top, just my shoulders pulling the club left through impact:

May 2018

I had solved the over the top by following my model and I was doing everything correctly except for the left-dominant swing action and that open-shoulders setup – that’s how you get a now-positive Attack Angle of 4.8 degrees.

However, my club path was -4.8 degrees (out-to-in) and I was still hitting fairly straight pulls, because that 334 yard drive was just 2.9 yards offline left and was a gentle fade with 221 rpm of right spin.  Much better, but still a pull fade.

Seeing that outside-in club path really, really bothered me, so I spent a good deal of time shallowing out my club plane even more, so that the next time I hit the monitor a few weeks later, my down swing plane looked like this:

July 2018

I also got great news on the club impact path:

I was able to get my club path virtually neutral by dint of hard effort, but it wasn’t natural.

It was a manipulated effort and liable to break down without constant practice, and you know how I feel about swings that only work with relentless ball-striking – doomed to failure under pressure.

So, rather than frustration at having struggled for years with swing model issues caused not by any model flaws but by the betrayal of my own body, I feel savage vindication in my mind that everything I’ve worked out with the model is correct and that I now know what’s been holding me back personally.

More to come!