I've made an interesting discovery the past few weeks while doing my Bertholy drills and playing. I've discovered that if I let my trail shoulder come much over the target line before impact that it triggers a massive angle release impulse in my trail arm and wrist. No matter how hard I try to fight it, if I let that trail shoulder come around too quickly or too much, the early release of the angles always happens.
However, if I keep the trail shoulder back ... letting my lower body still shift/rotate, the angle retention is automatic with no effort or thought required at all. To do this, the trail shoulder must go down and start to go under the lead shoulder. This is something that Scott Hazeldine mentions in his "Master the Golf Swing" video, but the relevance of this is just now sinking in. I think that this is why I've struggled to carry my Bertholy training onto the course. I realized that as I stand on a hole, I look down the fairway and say to myself "got to hit it hard." Now, my old habits always equated "hit-it-hard" with plenty of shoulder rotation early in the DS.
To combat this, I now do my Bertholy practice by looking down the fairway (at least imagining that I'm doing this by looking through my practice net and off into the distance) before hitting every ball or doing every drill and saying to myself "keep the right shoulder back." And I may take a few practice swings concentrating on the trail shoulder position. I do this before I launch into my Clearkey both during practice and on the course. The results have been very promising as my ball striking consistency is really starting to come around.
Your comments are extremely interesting. I wonder if you are running into the reason why Hogan and so many others talk about the swing being controlled by the hips / lower body. I do know that when I focus on a body oriented whipping action my impact position is much better then it is when I use an 'arm' swing. LOL I suspect that the approach that you are using is going to lead you to the answer at some point! It seems to me that you are still on a voyage of discovery. I appreciate your comments on your progress a great deal.
Scott H. did want that right shoulder to stay back, but you have to be careful in making a relationship there with Bertholoy, due to the way that Scott held the club in the palm of the right hand, down the lifeline. Scott, Jack H. and the Big Grip guy all preach this philosophy in order to get the under handed throwing motion. Easiest to see with a wedge around the greens. Keep right shoulder back and you will feel that underhanded throwing motion.
more as a side-arm throw, as in skipping stones. An under-hand toss brings images of early angle release to me. And we've spoken extensively about using the IMA grip with Bertholy on this board. No real changes needed with the exception of removing the "catching-raindrops" motion.
Allen, I think there is a lot of confusion on this issue, especially, as it relates to IMA and Bertholy, OR, Moe and Bertholy. These are discussions with Peter and others, like yourself, but do not, necessarily, represent the viewpoints of the swing developers.
It's like with Peter's 2 and 2.5 concept, the "racing around" concept. This is, actually, a wonderful way to hit the ball and , truly, delicious in feeling. However, Scott H. doesn't agree with this concept.
It's important to understand that Scott H., Original NG, and Big Grip all promote the concept of a forced standing facing the ball, the right hand grip touching on the lifeline, and utilizing an underhanded throwing motion, right shoulder back. The easiest way to understand this is to think of playing baseball and the pitcher faces the catcher, but underhand throws (across his body) the ball to the first baseman. I have used this method, used the original NG clubs, and shot par, regularly, and even shot below par about twice a year. Left arm always higher than right through impact. When Scott, NG and Big Grip put the club behind the ball, it is not on the flight path, but inside.
Moe's swing is different. First, he holds the club in the fingers of the left hand, allowing the whole hand to sit on top of the club, comfortably. The toe of the club will not be closing as fast as with 2 and 2.5. The easiest way to understand this is to address the ball with the clubhead behind the ball, on or above the flightpath, and to understand that it returns to almost the exact looking position on the way down. So just grip up like Moe, put the clubhead six to nine inches behind the ball, and simply move your arm to the ball and that is the hitting position that moves through the ball...thumbs up.
Better yet, most people don't understand that on the backswing, the butt of his club, if it had a laser on it, is CONTINUALLY, pointing at his left hip. This is why Graves instituted the plastic pipe drill, and, if you go through this drill, i.e., swinging back, while keeping the plastic pipe on the left hip, it will give new meaning to what you think about Moe, how he drops into the slot and returns to the address position.
Sounds like the same thing I am seeing. I guess I need to buy the "How to Master the Golf Swing" DVD because the earlier "Master the Golf Swing" DVD just does not cover or emphasize some of the keys to the IMA swing motion. From the scigolf site I have picked up several tidbits, and you are describing one of them. Everything moves down the target line. The trail shoulder moves under the lead shoulder. Maybe not literally, but in feeling. My mental image of the upper body is that the trail side hits into the resistance of the lead side. And down the line.
I picture the resistance of the lead side as being primarily the connection of the arm to chest. Resistance is not the best word but it has the right connotation for me. It means, keep the left arm straight and near the chest, and let the right side move it, down the line. The left arm is not passive, but it's not overly active either.
For now I'm letting the lower body do whatever comes natural. It seems to be okay with that.
When I try to drive the lower body, that is when I get the "hit it hard" impulse, flying shoulders, pulls, slices, the works. It seems my lower body will add enough drive on its own, without me telling it.
Todd Graves, at the free clinic I attended, talked about playing golf under control, with good trajectory, and less than maxed out swings. If you need a full 8 iron, use an easy 7 iron instead. It's not easy to do that without some practice. But I think it works well. I'm swearing to start doing it again. I've been practicing it. One benefit is throttling of the hit it hard impulse.
The other thing, the main point he made, is that a max swing is not only wilder mechanics-wise, but also the ball flight is more erratic. More spin variation which affects ball flight, more height, more things to go wrong. I definitely agree. It's like the difference between a running chip shot versus a lob wedge shot from the same greenside lie to the pin. The well executed LW shot is a thing of beauty. But the plainer chip shot will work better more often.
One impediment to swinging easier is all of the practice emphasis on full body involvement, late release, etc. All of that screams Hit It Hard!!! My ultimate goal is to have those good mechanics on a nice controlled swing.
but your version of swinging easy (limited lower body movement and angle retention) does not guarantee good ball contact, control or good mechanics. The hit impulse is not tamed until you can properly perform these motions. Lead-lag as espoused by Bertholy is not a violent, uncontrolled motion. In fact, Bertholy teaches just the opposite as he hammers home the point of the gentle, easy start of the DS, letting conservation of momentum (starting the DS with the lower body) and angle retention generate all of the swing speed.
Yes, this feels very uncomfortable and uncontrolled at first. But I can guarantee you that once the motions become habit, the golf swing looks and feels very smooth and controlled, with very little apparent effort required. In fact, once you learn how to lead-lag properly a less than max swing will send the ball farther and straighter than you have ever hit it with your hardest, wildest, most uncontrolled swing. Another benefit is that the ball flight/distance that is possible with a proper lead-lag swing, resulting in a divot in front of the ball, is exceptionally precise and consistent.
An interesting thing that I've noticed lately is that my golf balls are all clustered together in a tight group (all touching) at the bottom of my practice net after a session. When I first started they would be scattered over the entire bottom of the net.
I didn't say limited body movement. I said I am letting it move naturally rather than focus on "driving" with it. Because the latter is making me try too hard. Everyone is different in how they key their swing. I was just offering my ideas.
"One impediment to swinging easier is all of the practice emphasis on full body involvement, late release, etc. All of that screams Hit It Hard!!! My ultimate goal is to have those good mechanics on a nice controlled swing."
You are equating full body involvement with a hit impulse and over-swinging. This is incorrect thinking, and I'm afraid, will lead you down a path of giving up on proper mechanics because it feels uncontrolled now. I'm pointing out just the opposite, that leg drive and angle retention, once learned properly, will result in a controlled and precise swing.
This message has been edited by allenws on Oct 4, 2009 12:11 PM
Another part of my goal is to have as good and simple swing as possible with as little work and maintenance as possible. Currently when I try to focus on leg drive and angle retention, bad things happen. I have some other mechanics I want to get down first, and they won't be wasted if/when I work more on leg drive etc. As it stands, I'm already doing better with lower body motion and angle retention than I've done since I started with SA. The closer I get things to what Scott H teaches, the better it works.
Long ago I posted about 'Master the Golf Swing' that you effectively have to highlight all of it. There really isn't any part that you can afford to relegate to less importance. In my view IMA is a 'machine' and just like you don't choose to eliminate odd bits in your car engine without risk, you need to view IMA the same way.
but I have difficulty accepting something unless I understand the "why" of it. IMA contains a ton of information but very little explanation as to why it is necessary, or its relative importance, other than the grip. This is one of the reasons I'm so attracted to Bertholy.