I became enamored of Mindy Blake's swing back in 1972 when I was stationed in Edzell, Scotland, took up the frustrating game of golf, and read about Mindy's first book, "The Golf Swing of the Future," in a British golf magazine. I wrote him through the book's publisher and he called me a few weeks later. Actually, when the book was published in other countries, including the U.S., he was beginning to receive calls from all over the world. A lively debate began in the British magazine, "Golf World," about his technique, with argument centered around his claim that the legs could (and should) provide 100% of swing power. He called his swing, the "reflex swing" because he believed all body muscles, other than the legs, acted in reflex to leg action in the downswing, ie, the legs "dragged" the upper body (arms, shoulders, hands and club) down and through impact. He thought it to be the final piece of the golf swing mystery, the solution of which, in his view, had eluded all golf theorists over the centuries. He believed that Ben Hogan and Lee Trevino had come close to, but not fully developed, purely reflex swings. In fact, Hogan had written that the hips (not the legs) did, in fact, provide all the power for the first part of the downswing, ie, from top of swing to about waist level, at which point the shoulders, arms and hands came into play and made their contribution to swing power.
Anyway, I visited Mindy at his home (near Wentworth Club in Virginia Water, Surrey, England) three times during my military tour in Scotland. I was able to develop what seemed to be a pretty good reflex swing and had quite good success with short clubs, ie, from wedges up to seven or six iron. Longer clubs, from six or five iron up to and through the woods, I never swung truly well. Also, I occasionally experienced what I called my "fatal flaw," where my swing would break down completely and I would hit inexplicably weak, powerless shots, even with short irons. Mindy tried to help me during our visits and through a correspondence with we continued through about 1977 after I'd returned to the States. He published his second book, "Golf: The Technique Barrier," in England in 1977 and in the U.S. in 1978. He died suddenly in 1981 but I didn't know that until several years later. I had given up on golf for a few years until I happened opon a paperback copy of GTTB in the 1990s. My enthusiasm was renewed and, from then, my interest waxed and waned for more years until I met Richard Wax through the Single Axis Golf Forum. In September 2004 (can it be that long? OMG!) Bob Staib opened the Mindy Blake Golf Forum and asked me to moderate. We've been discussing and cussing Mindy's ideas ever since. My tank is empty and I feel I have nothing of value left to contribute to the forum. I wonder how many active members we still have? For those who discover Blake's books in the future and are curious to learn more, I do hope that (at least) the archives of this forum remain available to such presently unknown persons.
Along the way, our esteemed member, Tom, who suffers from cancer and other serious maladies, convinced me that Blake's swing could be nothing more than a method of "control," ie, not a sound swing method, but rather a method by which a golfer who already has an elite swing, such as Richard Wax, may control his shots, somewhat in the fashion of pros who use varied techniques to control a tendency common among elite swingers to hook the ball. Of course, Mindy himself sincerely believed that his method was much more than a "control" technique, and others, including Richard Wax, are still fully convinced that Blake had found something unique (and true) that no one else had discovered. In fact, Richard has always maintained that Mindy's downswing is simply a relaxed "turn," initiated by legs, which requires no more effort than one would expend to turn at dinner table to speak with someone sitting next to you. I never understood how such a relaxed action could possibly generate enough power to hit the ball a sufficient distance. Richard, now in his later sixties (as I recall), still says he can play golf all day because of the easy and relaxed effort with which he swings. There are others who wrote of somewhat similar techniques, such as John Redman and Joe Dante, but (like Blake) their ideas were never fully embraced by mainstream golf instruction.
To all I wish happy trails and, naturally, good golfing! Signing off, with warm regards, Jim Hamilton (Snakedoc)
This message has been edited by Snakedoc on Apr 23, 2011 5:33 PM