I just got the first book and I'm waiting on the second book to arrive. From reading the first book this weekend and trying it in my backyard with some whiffle balls it seems to give good accuracy and power but of course whiffle balls in the backyard is hardly the real thing so I will have to wait until I get to the course and work with it. But I agree with you that it would seem a more simple way to adapt to than what I've read and heard about the second book. At 65 I'm not sure about that much of an open stance and the torque on my body. I also don't think I will ever be able to allow a grip change during the swing. But this whole concept is very interesting to say the least and I will continue to play around with it to decide whether to really try to learn it. At my age I don't know whether I want to take a couple of years to learn a new swing but I might.
Jerry, I can't speak for anyone else of course, but I picked up the swing right away. At least good enough to use on the course if I wanted to. I'm sure there would be some tweaking to get it just right and such. I'm not an athletic guy but by following Blake's directions it really seemed to work as advertised. I've tried some swings of the style in the second book. They perform about the same as the first one for me but I can feel the stress on the back. I don't see the need to go there, for me.
If your hips don't turn much (how can they?), and your arms go back properly (and deliberately!), you are loaded. All that's left to do is basically stand up and pull the club through. That's what it feels like to me. It seems almost too simple. It's very seductive.
Right now I'm still clinging to the hope that I can get my SA swing working right. But it's on probation for sure because I can see that this Mindy Blake swing is for real. Please post your progress or lack thereof as you go forward. We can compare notes etc.
Will do, Don. I played for several years with HSS but like many others I fell into the hooks with my irons and couldn't shake it. I can still hit driver with HSS. Played my best golf and hit my longest shots using it. Lately I've reverted back to my old CG swing and actually haven't been playing to badly but due to the heat I haven't played much during the summer. Fall and winter are the best months for golf where I live, at least for my tastes. Fall is really nice and the winters aren't usually too cold here in coastal SC. Anyway, back to Mindy Blake. One thing I've noticed is that I have always stood very upright and that makes it hard to get the trail elbow/arm into the right position through impact. I really concentrated on keeping my weight on my heels with this and maintaining the forward spine tilt and that was an eye opener. Keeping the weight on the heels was the key, I think. My balance is not the best so I have always tended to come up out of my posture. This may be the key I have always needed. I really like this site as there seems to be lots of good info and the atmosphere is friendly.
One thing I'm seeing is that applying a lot of effort during the swing is counterproductive. When I get it right, an effortless motion produces as good a shot as a stronger motion. Check the hit impulse at the door.
How are you doing with longer clubs, ie, long irons and woods (woods! heck, they are metals aren't they)? When you swing, do you get a feeling of the upper body being pulled down by the action of the lower body? SD
Well, I don't know if this is addressed to Don or to me or both of us but I haven't used anything but a 7 iron in my backyard so far. Hope to get some range or course time in this week. But I have had that feeling with the 7 iron. Only thing I thought about was starting by letting my knees kind of roll a little toward the target and that seemed to start the whole motion. It was a good feeling. I have always been pretty much upper body oriented so this was a different feeling for me.
Yes, I always had more difficulty getting the same feeling with longer clubs that I could quite easily get with shorter clubs, ie, 7 iron and shorter. However, Mindy and Richard Wax (taught by Blake) always told me that they got exactly the same feeling with longer clubs that they got with shorter ones. Over the years I surmised that the long-club problem may be related to the amount of forward tilt of the upper body at address that Blake recommended and depicted in his book drawings (see figures 10 and 12 of GTTB, the second book). Jim
Don, I'm thinking you have the 2nd book by now and have read all or part of it. What do you think? I just got mine yesterday and though I haven't read it completely, I did some speed reading through it last night. It was like reading the first book all over again except for the stance. I'm sure there must be some more info in there that isn't in the 1st book? Anyway, what do you think of it?
Opening the stance was the major change in book 2, but Blake also changed his left-hand grip from a "four knuckle" grip to a "three knuckle" grip, so you could say he "weakened" what had been a very "strong" left-hand grip. Probably helped him reduce chances of hooks and pull-hooks. SD
Thanks, Snakedoc. I could probably have done without ordering the 2nd book just for that. Oh well, it was pretty cheap and now I have both books and since I like to collect golf books thats okay. Actually I think I like the setup in the first book better.
I feel about the same as you about the second book.
It might be a better swing overall but I don't think it's for me. I am having some success with an SA "version", and that's being generous, of the first book's swing.
-Slightly open stance (more than GSotF)
-SA grip and arms
-Ball farther back than Mindy
-Swing along target line, not foot line
-Allow hips, although restricted, to turn back as much as they can (not that much, really)
-Be deliberate: allowing the backswing to fully load, and the body to lead going forward.
It feels very natural to me. And it makes it easier for me to hit ball first, then divot. It sounds a bit like what Stan describes: open stance and block the ball to the right.
There's not really more torque in the body with the open stance. With a square stance you try to get a full shoulder turn while the hips turn only enough to allow a full shoulder turn. If the hips turn too much ("collapse") less tension is created between upper and lower body. With an open stance you don't have to concern yourself with hips turning too much, ie, when you start with hips open, they can only close to about square with a full shoulder turn. This seems to virtually guarantee maximum tension between upper and lower body, ie, no worry of hips collapsing. However, some people do have trouble getting a full shoulder turn when they start with hips open. SD
Thanks for the info, Snakedoc. At 65 and with a somewhat thick upper body I'm not as flexible as I would like to be. Probably should start working on losing a pound or two and doing some stretching exercises. Maybe I'll start off trying just a little open on the stance and see how that goes. Hopefully the second book will be here this week. btw, what is the dvd you have and is it still available. Please let me know how to order it if so. Thanks.
The DVD is a video originally made at Riveiera Golf Club in LA several years ago. It contains a Blake swing lesson/discussion by Richard Wax, a low-handicap golfer who was mentored by Mindy himself. It also has a section depicting Richard swinging every club in his bag. Some forum members have found it to be quite useful. There is one Richard Wax swing on the forum's video album. I don't have any of the DVDs now, but you might query the Blake forum owner (Bob S. of Lexington, Kentucky). SD (Jim)
To truly understand Mindy Blake's method, you should get a copy of (at least) his second book, ie, "Golf: The Technique Barrier" (out of print but available from used book dealers) in which he fully describes his method and the rationale for it. Blake is one of very few golf theorists who believed that power for the swing should be derived exclusively from the legs, with all other muscle groups acting in "reflex" to leg action. His method has always been considered radical. Some of our own members believe that Mindy was mistaken about how his swing really worked, ie, that the upper body is more involved than Mindy would admit. SD