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Thread: I played great today!

  1. #1

    I played great today!

    Just want to chime in after shooting an 80, which is a great round for me. I shot it in match play against my arch-rival, which made the round even more sweet. It turns out that an old observation of Kelvin's is helping me enormously off the tee. I forget exactly which article it was, but he pointed out that Dustin Johnson tends to aim down the left side of the fairway with his driver and hit push-draw ballflights down the middle of the fairway. Kelvin seems to like that method and it seems to work really well for me too!

    Here are some specific swing thoughts I use to make that happen:

    Aim feet and shoulders left
    Shut the face a ton at address
    Shift weight back
    Tilt the right shoulder down aggressively
    Try to hit a huge push into right field
    Swing as hard as you possibly can (because if you don't then you'll lose lag and the shut face will cause a nasty pull-hook)

    Naturally, I'm a little shocked that I can hit push-draws so consistently with these exaggerations. I've been taught that CF swings, after all, are very timing dependent and thus there's a lot of dispersion. But for whatever reason I feel very confident that when I shut the face at address I'll be able to instinctively do the right things to find the fairway.

    The other nice thing about this is that I think it's easy to diagnose my misses. Occasionally, I'll hit pull-hooks. When that happens, I conclude that I must have either (a) not tilted the right shoulder down enough or (b) didn't swing hard enough, resulting in a flip. And yes, occasionally I hit some shots that start right and fade that appear to be underplane shallow slices. But I'm willing to try to recover from those because my good drives are so awesome.

    A big part of why I'm writing all this out is that I'm trying to illustrate how lateral bend can be of enormous practical benefit on the golf course during an actual competitive round. Of course I'm not executing exactly the way Kelvin would like to see (see my "endless knee slide," for example, which I can't eliminate during competition yet) but heck, I'm only human. And I still think it's beneficial for many of us to experiment with different "feels" and exaggerations in order to find what parts of Kelvin's teachings we can put into action.

    OK, I'm done rambling. Here's hoping that this doesn't sound like total gibberish. Believe it or not, it makes sense to me (well, sort of)!

  2. #2

    Side-Note

    Oh yeah! One last little side-note. I remember that Jim Hardy has a theory about aiming left and pushing it out to the right. He thinks that doing that for most drives tends to result in back trouble. If I recall correctly, he cites Couples, Trevino and Nicklaus as support for this theory. I'm actually curious that Kelvin and co. think about it. And Dariusz, incidentally, since he's a fan of doing the opposite (aiming right and pulling the ball, a la Snead and Hogan).

  3. #3
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    Yep, sounds like Dustin Johnson!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifter View Post

    Here are some specific swing thoughts I use to make that happen:

    Aim feet and shoulders left
    Shut the face a ton at address
    Shift weight back
    Tilt the right shoulder down aggressively
    Try to hit a huge push into right field
    Swing as hard as you possibly can (because if you don't then you'll lose lag and the shut face will cause a nasty pull-hook)

    Naturally, I'm a little shocked that I can hit push-draws so consistently with these exaggerations.



    I stumbled across this video from Kelvin:




    The caption reads:

    Aim left, swing right with a closed clubface and drive/hold release produces a shot that starts right and draws left. Good image for those struggling with a slice.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lifter View Post
    I've been taught that CF swings, after all, are very timing dependent and thus there's a lot of dispersion. But for whatever reason I feel very confident that when I shut the face at address I'll be able to instinctively do the right things to find the fairway.


    Sounds like you are referring to Jim Hardy's theory that a "two-plane" swing is "timing dependent". That's because Jim wrongly believed that two-planers did not, or could not, play with a drive/hold release. That was one of his biggest conceptual errors, I suppose the others being "right elbow up and back", to bend way over at address and to, at all costs, avoid right side lateral bend and "tilting the shoulders" in the downswing. All tragically "suboptimal" (the kindest way I can put it). IMO, the sooner you get Jim's unsubstantiated theories out of your head, and focus on what the elite swingers actually do, the better off you'll be.


    Jeff




  4. #4
    Come on, be fair. Your mixing elements to support your argument.
    Jim has not said a two-planer cannot play with a drive-hold, in fact he has talked about succesful two plane bk swings and one plane dn swings (by his definition). Firstly, Jim prefers a stable release. Two, some of the pro's discussed here, Jim loves because of the athleticisim and lack of pure convention to other modern instruction (Bubba & Gainey fore instance). They hit it solid and repeatable, great.
    Jim never advocated elbow up & back for two planers (and by the way your new two plane swing has your elbow up and back, which is fine if it works), and he certainly never, and I mean never advocated to bend way over at address for two planers, (unless it works for you, then he'd likely leave it alone).
    I know you did not have the success with Jim and his team you hoped for, but some of your statements are reaching. They have helped many, myself included, and have had success at all levels. I have sensed your beef with Jim is more with a couple of people associated and not Jim himself.
    Jim identified two extremes being the one plane and two plane with a many options in between. If your hitting it solid and repeatable, he does not really care if you fit any specific set of fundamentals or elements. The only thing I have ever heard him say does not work well is a one plane bk swing and two plane down swing.
    There's some great stuff talked about here, and I am not sure it does not fall within Jim's beliefs. The swings advocated here are more two plane bk swing, and a lot of the other elements are shallowing elements promoting power and stable release. Great, I think he'd be all for it.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Links View Post
    Come on, be fair. Your mixing elements to support your argument.
    Jim has not said a two-planer cannot play with a drive-hold, in fact he has talked about succesful two plane bk swings and one plane dn swings (by his definition).
    A two-planer with a one-plane downswing is a hybrid, in Jim's terminology.

    Jim has never in my experience said a two-planer could, or should, play with a one-plane release. Recall that I attended three of Jim's two-day seminars, have all of his books, dvds and worked extensively with two of his instructors.

    Firstly, Jim prefers a stable release.
    Yes, of course, and he has consistently identified the "one-plane" swing as his preferred method because of the "more stable" "one-plane" release that is "less timing dependent". That is an extraordinarily misleading recommendation because the most prevalent release style on tour is a drive/hold, be the player one-plane, two-plane or hybrid.

    Two, some of the pro's discussed here, Jim loves because of the athleticisim and lack of pure convention to other modern instruction (Bubba & Gainey fore instance). They hit it solid and repeatable, great.
    Jim is not a dummy and obviously isn't going argue with results. However, he hasn't adjusted his theory to the reality of these players. If his theory was true, one-planers would dominate, since his information has been broadly available since 2005. It hasn't happened, though.

    Jim never advocated elbow up & back for two planers (and by the way your new two plane swing has your elbow up and back, which is fine if it works), and he certainly never, and I mean never advocated to bend way over at address for two planers, (unless it works for you, then he'd likely leave it alone).
    I assume everyone that frequents this site knows that advice was directed at one-planers. But the advice is demonstrably sub-optimal for one-planers and not part of any elite ballstrikers swing.


    I know you did not have the success with Jim and his team you hoped for, but some of your statements are reaching. They have helped many, myself included, and have had success at all levels. I have sensed your beef with Jim is more with a couple of people associated and not Jim himself.
    Not at all. The evidence is in: much of Jim's advice is demonstrably sub-optimal and he has failed to admit it. Instead, he is just re-branding The Plane Truth to swing correction, something he's always been great at.

    Jim identified two extremes being the one plane and two plane with a many options in between.
    Yes, and sadly, his theory that the two extremes are "optimal" has utterly failed to be supported by reality.

    If your hitting it solid and repeatable, he does not really care if you fit any specific set of fundamentals or elements.
    Yep, and that results in players burdened with sub-optimal swing elements who typically are both short and crooked.

    The only thing I have ever heard him say does not work well is a one plane bk swing and two plane down swing.
    He didn't think it "worked" for Greg Norman???

    There's some great stuff talked about here, and I am not sure it does not fall within Jim's beliefs. The swings advocated here are more two plane bk swing, and a lot of the other elements are shallowing elements promoting power and stable release. Great, I think he'd be all for it.
    As I said to Lifter, the sooner you flush Jim's one-plane two-plane theory out your consciousness, the better off you'll be.


    Jeff

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Martin View Post
    A two-planer with a one-plane downswing is a hybrid, in Jim's terminology.

    Jim has never in my experience said a two-planer could, or should, play with a one-plane release. Recall that I attended three of Jim's two-day seminars, have all of his books, dvds and worked extensively with two of his instructors.

    Not at all. The evidence is in: much of Jim's advice is demonstrably sub-optimal and he has failed to admit it. Instead, he is just re-branding The Plane Truth to swing correction, something he's always been great at.

    As I said to Lifter, the sooner you flush Jim's one-plne two-plane theory out your consciousness, that better off you'll be.


    Jeff
    Yes, a hybrid, and he has no issue with any of them. He observed one of our local teaching pros with this pattern and encouraged it because it was natural to him and he stripes it (do not hit the ball with the bkswng). I think Carl Petterson was another example.

    Yes and no. Yes he has been great at swing correction. The trick and complexity is relaying information to help the public get better regardless of you physical ability and style and keep it at less than 10,000 pages. The main reason behind the original two books and classifications that incorrectly branded Jim. Early on, a very well regarded and succesful person in the industry told me that Jim's best contribution was plus/minus system to help correct impact, not one plane two plane, but how do you efficiently try and help the masses. That to me is the biggest issue. Making everyone fit one mold is not going to help the game.




    Again, the one / two plane stuff was a way to organize a set of data to help the widest audience possible. A very difficult task. He does not believe in a fit all swing model, which is much easier to present and market, than information to help every golfer based on their natural tendancies.

    Like you I have all the information and endless hours studying it. I was trapped into trying to nail down every element of the one plane swing until I went for a lesson, and not once did one/two plane come up. Steep vs shallow and how to correct was all that was discussed. Jim helped me get from a 25 to a 6, pretty much on my own. I now understand my swing, can self correct, and have become a fairly consistent and competitive 6 with very little practice. Power and accuracy are good, limiting factor is short game, though that is coming. I follow here to get different perspectives and for the good positive discussions.

  7. #7
    Jeff, I am certainly not telling you that where you have gone with your swing is wrong. Looks great.

    I'm also not saying Plane Truth is bullet proof. Nothing and no one is.

    It helped me, and it helps me help others I play with if they ask and I certainly do not get into swing classification.

    In fact, most of the time it is helping someone understand there misses which is not owned by anyone (Hardy, Harmon etc., although I think they are the best at it). Most of the guys I play with are shallow, never take a divot, lack compression, miss left and right, are good athletes with good hand/eye, and they think they are over the top when they likely have not swung above the plane in there lives. Never seen them hit a pull slice EVER.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Links View Post
    Early on, a very well regarded and succesful person in the industry told me that Jim's best contribution was plus/minus system to help correct impact, not one plane two plane, but how do you efficiently try and help the masses.
    Well, I said the same thing. Now it is obvious that it is his ONLY contribution. The one-plane/two-plane swing models are demonstrably sub-optimal. They should be discarded.

    Making everyone fit one mold is not going to help the game.
    IMO, that is simply a rationalization by those who don't know what is optimal. If you knew what is optimal, you'd never say such a thing.

    Again, the one / two plane stuff was a way to organize a set of data to help the widest audience possible.
    Well, I don't think that worked out very well. He started with the plus-minus system then made some bad assumptions about the two extremes being optimal, without sufficient research as we ultimately learned. I am aware of no evidence that supports his one-plane/two-plane "extremes are optimal" theory.

    He does not believe in a fit all swing model, which is much easier to present and market, than information to help every golfer based on their natural tendancies.
    Again, to me that simply means he doesn't know what is optimal, which, sadly, is pretty obvious from the swings of his students.

    Like you I have all the information and endless hours studying it. I was trapped into trying to nail down every element of the one plane swing until I went for a lesson, and not once did one/two plane come up. Steep vs shallow and how to correct was all that was discussed.
    When did this take place? At the three seminars I attended, in 2006 to 2007, it was all one-plane/two-plane theory, all the time. Sounds like he had moved away from that by the time you saw him. As I have said, (1) the evidence did not support his one-plane/two-plane models, (2) Jim is no dummy and (3) he has apparently reverted to the plus-minus system and quietly abandoned the one-plane/two-plane models. So should everybody else.

    Jim helped me get from a 25 to a 6, pretty much on my own. I now understand my swing, can self correct, and have become a fairly consistent and competitive 6 with very little practice. Power and accuracy are good, limiting factor is short game, though that is coming. I follow here to get different perspectives and for the good positive discussions.
    Good for you. As far as I'm concerned, though, getting to scratch is the objective and it became obvious to me that wasn't going to happen following Jim's method. BTW, I don't think anyone in golf understands what is optimal in the golf swing other than Kelvin, so I'm not just picking on Jim. As far as I'm concerned, nobody, as in nobody, has come close to Kelvin in figuring it out. And that is simply because they haven't done the research he has.


    Jeff

  9. #9
    Good points, Jeff. Hardy's poster boy, Olin Browne, has perhaps the ugliest swing in the history of professional golf. Regarding releases, I recall Hardy pointing out that David Toms was one of the few players with a two plane swing and a "one plane", ie drive hold, release. From Kelvin's work, we know this is nonsense.

    I found Hardy's work interesting, but the ugly swings his Tour students had put me off, and his appearance on Academy Live where he demonstrated a basic misunderstanding of spine movement finished it for me.

  10. #10
    Olin's made $11 million plus with that ugly swing. I'd take it.

    Took me a long time to understand that it does not matter what it looks like. Gainey, Watson, Trevino, Furyk.

    Jim does not care what it looks like. Just wants to help you play better with what you got.

    Jeffy is searching for optimal which he may have found. Maybe, not sure yet but will keep watching. Like the research and it's working for some. Just not sure a one size fits all solution works for everyone, although I am not sure I have heard anyone here say it would work for everyone (shape, size, athleticism, flexibility).

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Links View Post
    Olin's made $11 million plus with that ugly swing. I'd take it.
    You're welcome to it. He has obvious flaws that cost him distance and do nothing for accuracy. If you don't understand that, you haven't been reading Kelvin's articles with any care.

    Took me a long time to understand that it does not matter what it looks like. Gainey, Watson, Trevino, Furyk.
    Again, sounds like someone that wouldn't know optimal if it smacked him in the face.

    Jim does not care what it looks like. Just wants to help you play better with what you got.
    You want to know the truth? What Jim "cares" about doesn't interest me in the slightest. He is so wrong on so many issues, I've given up on him.

    Jeffy is searching for optimal which he may have found. Maybe, not sure yet but will keep watching. Like the research and it's working for some. Just not sure a one size fits all solution works for everyone, although I am not sure I have heard anyone here say it would work for everyone (shape, size, athleticism, flexibility).
    Kelvin has found optimal. Not everyone can achieve it, but all can aspire.


    Jeff

  12. #12

    In-to-In vs. In-to-Out

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Martin View Post
    Sounds like you are referring to Jim Hardy's theory that a "two-plane" swing is "timing dependent". That's because Jim wrongly believed that two-planers did not, or could not, play with a drive/hold release. That was one of his biggest conceptual errors, I suppose the others being "right elbow up and back", to bend way over at address and to, at all costs, avoid right side lateral bend and "tilting the shoulders" in the downswing. All tragically "suboptimal" (the kindest way I can put it). IMO, the sooner you get Jim's unsubstantiated theories out of your head, and focus on what the elite swingers actually do, the better off you'll be.


    Jeff
    Jeff, you and I both know that this idea of an "in-to-in" vs. "in-to-out" clubhead path does not come solely from Jim Hardy. Many many many accomplished experts say that "swinging left" results in much straighter ballflights and less dispersion (and thus less reliance on timing) than "swinging right." Off the top of my head, I can think of the Trackman guys, Frederik Tuxen, Gregg McHatton, John Erickson, Bradley Hughes, Wayne DeFrancesco, Brian Manzella, etc. etc. The list goes on and on.

    Now for me, I'm finding that CF'ing the driver works well for now. But I'm still CP'ing my irons for accuracy. And I'm still confident that if you want to "zero out" your impact and hit a perfectly straight shot with an iron, then the path must be headed to the left (since the angle of attack must be negative in order to hit a ball that isn't teed up).

    You've still got a lot of work to do to persuade me that this idea of CP and "swinging left" vs. CF and "swinging right" is invalid. For the moment, I just happen to find that CF can be useful for getting more distance with the driver. Didn't Dana Dahlquist suggest that you CF the driver and CP the irons back in the day? I can sure see why he would advocate such a thing, at least intuitively.

    Think of DFJohnson. He's extremely open-minded and in agreement with so much of the technique you and Kelvin are advocating. But I can't imagine him dismissing the idea that an in-to-out swing path is an unreliable thing!

  13. #13
    Below is a great video of John Erickson with a wonderfully in-to-in swing plane:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTP7j9fE6D8

    Seems to me that this is an exaggerated version of the moves guys like Hogan and Sergio employ in order to swing in-to-in. The instructors at Advanced Ball Striking, Wayne DeFrancesco and the Manzella Forum have all highlighted how Hogan, Sergio and others lay the shaft off big-time right at the beginning of the transition. They all have different ways of talking about it but it seems to amount to the same thing. The Manzella guys say that laying it off early sets the shaft up to "Tumble" and square the face effortlessly through impact. DeFrancesco says that Hogan (and Yani Tseng's) early shallowing of the shaft allows them to steepen the shaft angle throughout the rest of the downswing.

  14. #14
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    So where is the "proof" by all these experts? Based on Kelvin's research and Richie's statistics, I don't see either the one-plane/two-plane theory or the CP/CF theory holding up, and I think the reason is pretty obvious: there is A LOT more that goes into the quality of a player's ballstriking then those one or two elements.

    For example, you can be a two-planer and CF with a roller release like Mickelson and spray your driver and you can be a two-planer and CF with a drive/hold release like Bubba and be the best driver on tour.

    I think the conventional wisdom that two-planers and CFers have a higher rate of closure, are more timing dependent, and have greater dispersion is simply because most rollers are two-planers and/or CF. I think Kelvin's research and Richie's statistics show that release style has the real correlation with ballstriking, not the left arm position at the top or how much you swing left.


    Jeff



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lifter View Post
    Below is a great video of John Erickson with a wonderfully in-to-in swing plane:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTP7j9fE6D8

    Seems to me that this is an exaggerated version of the moves guys like Hogan and Sergio employ in order to swing in-to-in. The instructors at Advanced Ball Striking, Wayne DeFrancesco and the Manzella Forum have all highlighted how Hogan, Sergio and others lay the shaft off big-time right at the beginning of the transition. They all have different ways of talking about it but it seems to amount to the same thing. The Manzella guys say that laying it off early sets the shaft up to "Tumble" and square the face effortlessly through impact. DeFrancesco says that Hogan (and Yani Tseng's) early shallowing of the shaft allows them to steepen the shaft angle throughout the rest of the downswing.

    What you are talking about is externally rotating the right shoulder/humerus (the right elbow move) and internally rotating the left shoulder/humerus (which will point the left elbow at the target at impact). This puts the right elbow under the left and will shallow out or "lay off" the shaft. It also opens the clubface. All the great ballstrikers do that (at least the ones I think are great!).

    I won't even comment on the Manzella BS. DeFrancesco is simply pointing out the obvious: if you shallow the shaft and open the face with upper arm clockwise rotation at the start of the downswing, you're going to need some closing and steepening to hit the ball with a squared up clubface. Left forearm supination and left wrist palmar flexion will do that.



    Jeff

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