2nd Divergence (Ball Position) Pt II

I’ll use this post to clarify yesterday’s topic – in that people may have varying positions on the optimal placement of their own ball in the stance, and I’m working on how to identify one’s own.

The reason I’m searching for this answer is because I don’t agree with the conventional method of addressing the ball.

That said, if you’re trying to swing in the conventional Classic Golf Swing model, then we have lots of examples of the better way to do it, as Jack Nicklaus, Sam Snead and the other greats were nearly identical in their setups:

Both looking at them down the line and of course in the face-on aspect of it:

From an technical and mechanical point of view, I would call the above “conventional,” because if the greatest swingers had similar things about their setups, then it could be nothing but conventional to follow their example, would you agree?

The thing is, and I will be as delicate as possible here, because it is just musing – what if there were a better way to set up to the ball, from an athletic standpoint?

I’ve spent years working on optimizing the conventional Classic Golf Swing as demonstrated above, and it never occurred to me once I began to study the greatest swingers ever that perhaps there was a way to actually improve the conventional model.

Basically, is the conventional Classic model the Fosbury Flop of Classic swing models, or is the Fosbury version still lurking out there?

We know that there are certain things that would make a golf swing model ideal:

  • a setup with no squatting in the legs (restricts hip turn),
  • erect stance with a relaxed upper spine (instead of ramrod straight),
  • a stable head position on the back pivot and ideally also on the down swing until impact,
  • free motion of the hips & legs,
  • no torqueing or twisting of the lower back, allowing the hip & motion to turn the shoulders,
  • a “Leaning A” impact position (spine tilted away from the target) and
  • stability in the leading foot through impact to the finish, no twisting or hopping.

So, looking at a few of the metrics I’ve identified for a proper and mechanically-sound golf swing, I can identify things I could change in the above pictures of Snead, Nicklaus, Hogan and Nelson without losing one single of the above metrics.

Now, there is one thing I would definitely change about their setups looking face-on, and that would be something I would say is definitely better or optimal, and there is another thing (today’s topic) could well be variable to the individual.

Meaning that one change I believe would benefit everyone swinging with the Classic model, and the other is actually a process or method of finding one’s optimal ball position based upon how they would swing down into impact.

One of the reasons I’ve struggled to perfect my golf swing is that I do not believe in the “swing 75%” philosophy – how hard one is swinging, if one’s ducks are in a row, shouldn’t affect by a large degree how well one strikes the ball.

One would only swing at 75% rather than 80, 90 or up to 100%, in my opinion, because one has flaws in either one’s setup or mechanics, and one is manipulating one’s swing, which gets more difficult the harder one swings.

I have had amazing ball-striking turn to mush when I began to swing freely without any swing thoughts, and I am convinced to this day that it’s because I was able to control my personal flaws until I made an especially hard swing or just swung with natural instinct.

I know why this would happen, and I’m working on my own method of setting up to the ball so that when I make a swing, either at 75% or 100%, I’m swinging naturally and without manipulation.

I also know, both from sad experience and working on it this week, that my particular down swing is manipulated when I start my golf swing from a position where the club head is at the ball as in the conventional setup.

I don’t think it’s from any deformity or lack of knowledge on my part how to pivot – it’s just that the impact position is different from the setup pre-swing position, and what happens in between can make having the club in the same spot for both positions problematic.

It may well be that some people will be able to swing from the conventional setup and do it perfectly, but the only way I can do that is by compensation somewhere between the setup and impact.

I already have my fix determined, all that remains is to get to the lab and test it out.

More to come.

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