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Graves, IMA, Natural Golf(NG)... pros/cons

October 22 2008 at 1:59 PM
JK  (Login brutus37)

Assuming there are many previous posts about each of these swings, has anyone compiled a list of the pros and cons?

From what I can gather from reading items on the forum...

IMA teaching is more detailed and has 5(?) drills to ingrained the feeling of a correct IMA swing. Pros: more power and accuracy. Cons: need dedication to the drills. Good swing option for the better athlete?

Graves brothers is an off shoot of Natural Golf. Pros: worked closely with M. Norman. Cons: not as detailed as IMA. How much difference from Natural Golf?

Natural Golf started the Single axis revolution (marketing wise?) Pros: Been around, possible instructors nearby with a background in teaching NG. Cons: Limitations in how far you can improve?

So, what did I get right and wrong?

 
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AuthorReply

(Premier Login sagf_moderator)
Forum Owner

You left out BGG

October 22 2008, 8:35 PM 

IMA teaching is more detailed and has 5(?) drills to ingrained the feeling of a correct IMA swing.

There are a number of drills (more than 5 in total) but I don't know that these are more detailed than the BGG drills for example.

Pros: more power and accuracy.

IMA allows for a longer backswing. This does not necessarily result in more distance however those that have the fault of not holding the angle long enough for a proper impact position (more than 90% of ams in my examinations) make up for the distance loss with a longer swing and so many loose distance with short backswing swings. Fix the fault and the distance will be roughly equivalent.

Cons: need dedication to the drills.

True of all of these swings.

Good swing option for the better athlete?

Athleticism not required.

Graves brothers is an off shoot of Natural Golf.

All of these are. Scott Hazledine (IMA) was the first director of instruction for NG. Tom Sanders (BGG) was a top NG instructor.

Pros: worked closely with M. Norman.

If you want to reproduce Moe's swing exactly this is a pro. Some have said that there are essential parts of Moe's swing and then there are the idiosyncratic bits. At a macro level Todd's swing looks a lot like Moe's. When you look at some fundamentals they were not nearly so similar.

Cons: not as detailed as IMA.

There are FAR more Graves videos than IMA

How much difference from Natural Golf?

It depends on which Natural Golf you mean. There have been a number of very different NGs over the NG taught by JK to the one taught by Scott to... Todd was the developer of NG instruction at some point(s) so there could be no difference or a lot depending.

Natural Golf started the Single axis revolution (marketing wise?) Pros: Been around, possible instructors nearby with a background in teaching NG. Cons: Limitations in how far you can improve?

I don't think there is a limitation on how far you can improve with NG. The 'Pro' of a nearby instructor can be a 'Con' depending on the local instructor. Chaz has some interesting stories about the differences between local NG instruction in the past Some NG instructors are not NG users - They are CG teaching pros that learned NG to expand their market for instruction. While this may not always be a negative it was in the case of the one such that I've observed.

Peter

 
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JK
(Login brutus37)

Gleaming thru past posts...

October 23 2008, 12:16 PM 

thanks for the detailed response.

Gleaming thru past posts... Looks like I got some things right, and most other things not so much.

Around 2001, I bought the NG material and played according to the current setup. I had some limited success. One issue is I could not generate enough club head speed to get any kind of decent distance with drives. as you know, they promote an arm swing rather than a body generated power. Swinging with my arms today is a little different than the way I sued to do it in 2001. Back then, I swung more wildly. I like to refer to it as a "monkey" swing. Today, I like to use the feeling of the muscles in the back shoulders near the shoulder blades that take the club back and down.

I reviewed the basics of NG from some websites (my NG material has long since been lost), and practiced the grip, setup, and swing motion. I went to a golf store to use one of their demo cages. I wanted see how much power I could produce by just swinging the arms ala NG way. According to their monitor, I was able to produce an average around a 96 mph swing with the driver while maintaining a 12-13 degree ball flight with a dispersion of 9 yds left/right of target. These results would be acceptable for me if I could mostly have that dispersion rate. Unfortunately, golf store equipment monitors are probably setup in order to make your swing look better than it really is.

Are the other swings theories BGG, IMA, Graves, also arm swings?

 
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(Premier Login sagf_moderator)
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Arms/Body

October 25 2008, 12:44 PM 

It is debatable whether NG is an 'arm' swing though much of the instructional material would certainly imply it. NG (nearly all variations over time) have said that the body needs to move first in the downswing. Most generations of NG teach that this will happen if you swing your arms first. In my observation golfers that tryp to swing their arms first will swing them first. Even ams that try to move their body's first seldom move it as far in advance of the arms as Moe did.

The other swings have their own (different) way of teaching the initiation of the downswing however for the developer of each the body moves first. Scott (IMA) says explicitly that there is some variation acceptable in which sets of muscles move first but for him personally it is the lower body.

Note that in the hotlink I provided Scott talks about moving the hands on plane to the ball while maintaining the extension of the trail wrist. The kinesiological definition of the motion of 'extension' related the the wrst in layman's terms is the 'bend back' or be 'bent back'.

Peter

 
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Remington
(Login Berettaii)

Arms swing

October 25 2008, 2:44 PM 

If you use the Graves method, the stance is, relatively, wide. I am 6'2" and my stance, with driver is 25 inches wide at the heels.

I think of arm swing as elbow to shoulders, and there really isn't much else I can do...the shoulders have already started to turn in my set-up, and my feet are so wide apart all I can do is swing my arms!! So I kind of think about arm swinging as moving the arms while your lower unit stays, relatively, quiet.

My lead knee leads the downswing. With my wide stance the left knee bends almost straight out (like in front of the person), on the backswing, and the right leg is stumped and appears slanted forward (towards the pin), at the top of the backswing, so that I am almost forced to lead with that left knee, and you can actually feel it moving forward as the backswing is being completed.


 
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(Login dbogey72)

Single axis stance, etc.

October 25 2008, 9:07 PM 

This discussion on single-axis hits home for me. In past years, I played using a CG swing. This worked for me, (pretty good anyway). One and a half years ago I had my right knee replaced, which required me to take a close look at a different type of golf swings, one that wouldn't put a lot of torque or pressure on my mechanical knee. When my knee surgeon gave me the go ahead to start playing golf again, he spent some time with me discussing various types of swings that would prevent putting too much torque on my new knee. He suggested using a rather wide stance, short backswing, and feet planted throughout the swing. To accomplish this, I began working with the Graves swing. In a correspondence with Todd Graves on the GS forum, he suggested that I also favor my left side at setup,60/40 weight distribution. I've been working with these suggestions, and am beginning to hit the ball fair. I still have some difficulty with the arm extension required to get the right forearm parallel with the golf shaft, as required in the SA swing. I'm continuing to work on this and it's coming along slowly.
The positive result of all this is my getting my drives in the fairway 90% of the time. This didn't happen with my old CG swing. Anyway, this is a somewhat windy post, just wanted to chat about where I am at present.

Allen

 
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Remington
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Secret might help you

October 26 2008, 1:18 PM 

Allen, there is a little secret to Moe's swing that you might find helpful. With driver, Moe has a wide stance. Learn to have the left knee flex more forward (it almost has to), as in front of the person; not forward as towards the pin.

This will stump the right leg and actually kind of slant it forward so that you will start the downswing before the backswing is completed.

You can also play (experiment) with the flair of the left foot. If you put the left foot straight in the knee will actually flex forward in front of the person AND towards the pin, and starting the swing with that left knee moving foward becomes apparent. However, you should flare it a bit, left foot, and it will work just fine, but focus on allowing the knee to bend on the backswing in front of your person. This will give you hip rotation into a stumped right leg.

The knee action, along with a proper grip are the two most important key elements to the swing, in my opinion.

 
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(Login dbogey72)

Old man's stance (me)

October 27 2008, 6:38 PM 

Rem -- thanks for the hints on setup. In my present stance, I'm setting up fairly wide with my trailing foot 90* to the target line and my lead foot slightly flaired. My lead knee is flexed forward toward the target line and my trailing knee is fairly straight. This setup shifts my weight somewhat forward. Is this approx. what you were suggesting in your post?

This setup feels pretty good, seems to take the pressure off my trailing knee. I'm not hitting the ball great distances, but it's straight 90* of the time. (Just love being in the fairway).

thanks -- Allen

 
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Remington
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Moe's set-up

October 28 2008, 11:32 AM 

Allen, what your are doing is just fine. Let me explain something to you.

Tom Sanders (bright instructor)teaches a single axis system in which he move the weight to the left side over the instep PLUS he JUTS THE HIPS FORWARD. He is absolutely correct with this idea. Not in swinging to look like Moe, but to get similar effects as Moe.

Let me explain why, and you can learn this looking in a mirror. Set ups with a wide stance, just like you described in your post, and with an imaginary club stand in front of the mirror and start a backswing with the left knee bending pretty close to directly in front of your person. Notice how it kind of keeps your thighs facing forward (kinda), but, also, notice how it rotates your hips into your stumped right leg, which has the weight on the inside of the foot.

As you allow the left knee to bend in front of your person, watch the hips and they will jutt forward, square up, and you will look like Sanders in his address position. It's important to understand this move.

Again, let me explain. As you address the ball, the clubhead is above the flight path...you are reaching, and the clubhead is 9 inches behind the ball, like with a three wood. The first movement is that the hands come in. Why? Because you are reaching out so far!! So that inside motion that Moe has off the ball, especially, with his longer clubs is somewhat determined by that knee flexing in front of his person.

The key point here is to understand that when you have a wide stance, and you set up correctly (you do), then, if the knee flexes in front of the person, the hips will square up, jutt forward a bit and the hips will rotate into the right STUMPED leg...it just all works like clockwork.

Allen, just recently I figured out something that will get your distance back, and I learned it from a fabulous left-handed player on the driving range. He had high hands, and he wanted to rotate the hips off the ball and he hit in front of himself (like Moe), and he had a bent right (bent left for a right handed player), and the key to his power was to brace that bent right knee (left knee in our case).

I got 10 yards back by understand that basic fact. More importantly, I came to understand something that has been bothering me for 13 years. I could never understand how Moe so, precisely, pivoted around the edge of that left shoulder. I tried everything to get that move, including setting up with shoulders closed, and then opening them through the downswing...this was a close idea but no cigar.

Here is another important secret. Moe starts that downswing, with the left knee leading, and it starts before the backswing is completed, and Allen that will work correctly for you, once you understand the knee position on the backswing.

To get the power, on the downswing, you move onto that bent left knee but it is RESISTANT, and this resistance causes a rotation of the upper body around that leg so that you are facing the target and this is what lifts you up and out of the flat footed position.

Now you know all the secrets.

 
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(Login dbogey72)

Thanks again ---

October 28 2008, 7:41 PM 

Rem -- that is a great, informative post. I made a copy, and will work in front of the mirror until I have a better understanding of the setup. You need to get busy and write a SA instruction book, it would sell like hotcakes. Not many good books on SA available. I had the Tom Sanders instructional tapes at one time, but just didn't get much out of them. Probably my fault -- good one-on-one instruction would be much more effective I'm sure.

Thanks -- Allen

 
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Remington
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Sanders

October 31 2008, 9:38 PM 

I didn't get Sanders at first either...I will give it another look, but I have Moe's swing down pretty well now....so won't change at this point. Plus, winter is here.

 
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(Login dbogey72)

Re: Sanders

November 1 2008, 6:50 PM 

Rem -- I had the Sanders VHS tapes about 4 years ago, and worked with the swing for six months or so. I drifted back to CG (shame on me) and gave the BGG tapes to a friend. I'm now working with the Graves swing. I was wondering, is the current CD offered by Sanders an updated version of the old BGG swing, or is it the same information as on the old VHS tapes? I might be interested in getting an updated version of the swing. I recently checked in on the BGG golf forum, and there was very little action there. Is the BGG system fading or is there other reasons for no action on the forum? Just curious.

Has winter settled in to a point where you can no longer play golf? later -- Allen

 
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Remington
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Long winter coming

November 2 2008, 7:34 PM 

I am ending my sumo career here in Mn (voice getting embarassingly high), and walked today for one mile on the golf course, which is closed for the season, in 70 degree weather. Took the five iron, and hit a couple of balls along the way.

If I were you, I would understand what the Graves Bros. have to say, and, when you have understanding, take a look at Sanders once again.

Single axis swinging is much easier than it appears from these forums.


 
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(Login dbogey72)

Graves swing

November 3 2008, 8:51 AM 

I have one of the Graves DVD's, and I'm continuing to work on their swing basics, as I understand them. Wish I could attend one of their schools, but this is not financially possible, at this time. The swing seems to be working good for me. I'll spend the winter honing my SA skills.

As for walking, it's one of the best exercises out there, and coupled with proper diet, will help take off those excess pounds. I try to walk daily, along with my gym workouts. As for getting rid of those "love handles," that's another problem, and a tough one for us old guys.

Allen

 
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(Login dbogey72)

Tour tempo

November 3 2008, 9:04 AM 

Along with the Graves swing work, I've also dug out my "Tour Tempo" book and DVD. Started working on smoothing out my swing tempo this weekend. My swing tends to get a little quick. The tempo work helps smooth out my overall swing ----

Allen

 
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Remington
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Looking through the archives

October 28 2008, 12:20 PM 

JK, as it concerns looking through the archives, I would do this with a bit of caution. Some of us have been posting since 1995 (it's a sickness, I tell ya). Most of us had to unlearn the original NG teachings...not that they were bad for that style of technique/equipment; indeed, I shot par, regularly, with that system.

You should have been around during the PUSH/PULL days....went on for years!!

We have all evolved, and the level of knowledge is, relatively, sophisticated today, as compared to just last year. Even the swing developers have all evolved and changed ...in fact, dramatically, in just the last year.

Best to stay with current info on this forum.


 
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Remington
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Finally

November 2 2008, 8:49 AM 

In regards to change by the swing developers, FINALLY, the Graves Bros have come out and said that the 1995 Golf Digest article about holding the club in the palm was wrong...an invention of Jack K; not a property of Moe's swing. Lots of stuff that these swing developers should own up to, in order to get single axis as an accepted motion.

 
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