The Kinetic Chain Made Me Change My Setup

Almost from the time I picked up a golf club, I could send the ball a good ways, even when I had no idea what I was doing.

Distance comes from speed and power.

Having played baseball among several sports as a youth, and having swung axes and sledgehammers from a young age living in the country and working on my father’s construction sites, I learned to utilize the Kinetic Chain quite effectively.

What I call the Kinetic Chain is simply this – from the feet up, you use the tension created when you rotate the upper body against the lower body to generate maximum leverage swinging an object.

Kinetic Energy is that energy created when an object is in motion (in golf, the club head), and the Chain in question is formed by the linked body parts from the feet to the hands holding the club.

So, even when I didn’t know anything about golf, swing technique or anything else, when I made contact with a golf ball, it was going to travel because the nature of how I swung.

I’ve never done anything more than bring the club back and then accelerate it using my Kinetic Chain, but I forgot an important part of the nature of that chain when I began swinging a few years ago with a foot line parallel to the target line.

Because of my hand-eye coordination, I could more or less get away with it, and I’ll showcase two swings from July of 2018 as I discuss the Chain issue:

July 2018

The fatal error was in thinking that as long as my feet and shoulders were square to the target line, I could come into impact in the same manner – but the way in which I swing was always going to doom this thought, because of the Chain.

Very simply – if my shoulders are twisted open when I stand neutrally facing forward, that is the relationship between my hips and shoulders.

So, it didn’t and will never matter how I stand at address because, from the top when everything has been pulled back so that the natural tension of the Kinetic Chain pulls the shoulders, arms and hand back to impact, what would logically occur with my shoulders at impact?

Down The Line

There is only one answer to that – they will be open to the target because the hips and shoulders are locked together in their natural offset position.

Two not-bad swings above, would you say?  However, here is my shoulder position at impact, and something you wouldn’t really notice unless you look for it:

As you can see clearly by the club path on another drive on a ForeSight GC Quad launch monitor about a month before these swings, it isn’t just a little leftward:

We’re talking about nearly 5 degrees, which is a vicious outside-in path, and yet I only missed the center by 2.9 yards left, which was possible because my club face was open close to 2 degrees from square (take the Club Path number and subtract the Face To Target number).

Only hand-eye coordination could keep this impact position from becoming a disaster, although if I opened the club face a degree or two from square as in the ForeSight GC Quad drive and learned to live with it, I’d likely be hitting consistent pull-fades.

In fact, this occasion below when I drove the ball flag-high on a 350 yard hole, the drive I hit was a massive pull-fade that started left of the hole but as you see faded a little too much, missing the green right:

I don’t have to say that hitting a 350 yard pull-fade no matter your age (I was 39 at the time) requires a little club head speed, and that’s how I swung and still swing – using the full Chain from the feet upwards and maximizing leverage.

I only realized last week how instinctively and fully I utilize the Kinetic Chain when swinging, and this is why disaster always struck when I didn’t quite get my hand-eye coordination right to square the face at impact or simply when I went after a swing and used pure Chain leverage.

Everything goes left, from the shoulders to the club path and the ball unless it’s a pull-slice, otherwise it’s a pull-hook that leaves orbit and there goes that hole and likely the round.

So, what would I change about the above swing model for my personal use?

  1. Setting up so that my naturally offset hips and shoulders are in position where my shoulders are square to the target line at impact instead of open,
  2. Grip, too strong here and
  3. Swinging right-dominant rather than the left-dominant action above

The setup in these swings, you see, is my preferred setup with regards to balance and weight distribution, but it doesn’t match the balance and weight distribution of the standard Classic setup.

If you know how they differ, then you’re ahead of the game, but I’ll refrain from discussing precise details until I’m finished with my personal model-building.

What I’ll do in my next video will be to describe how to set up in the standard method for the new model, used by those without a congenital deformity that would affect the club path, as well as how I use my setup to personalize the exact same model for my personal use.

There is only one way to set up for a swing using pure Kinetic Chain action to leverage the club, and that’s to do it so that no matter how hard or fast you swing, you’re in the proper impact position with regards to shoulder/target line aspect.

More to come!