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Thread: 9 out of 10 Golf Legends agree: raise the left heel!!!

  1. #1
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    9 out of 10 Golf Legends agree: raise the left heel!!!

    I was looking at the top of the backswing positions of the top-10 players by number of PGA tour victories, and was reminded how the notions of a "quiet lower body" and "planted left heel" are almost non-existent in the swings of the true greats. Here they are in descending order:

    Snead and Tiger:

    sam tiger.PNG

    Jack and Hogan:

    jack and ben.PNG

    Arnie and Byron Nelson:

    palmer and nelson.PNG

    Billy Casper and Walter Hagen:

    casper hagen.PNG

    Phil and Cary Middlecoff:

    phil and cary.PNG

    Numbers 11 and 12 are Tom Watson and Gene Sarazen:

    tom and gene.PNG


    So, of the group, the only one with a "quiet" lower body and a planted left heel is Tiger. Quiet lower body advocates, naturally, consider Tiger their trump card, but maybe they shouldn't. Tiger has been a great driver, a so-so driver and a horrible driver in the course of his career, whereas Snead, Nicklaus, Hogan, Nelson, Palmer, and Casper were generally superb drivers. You have to get to Hagen, Phil and Watson to find other erratic drivers on the list.

    Another thing to consider is the possible linkage between Tiger's restricted lower body and the one nagging swing flaw Tiger has fought since his amateur days: the early fire of the hips, which he discusses in this segment with Butch:





    The "early fire" would get Tiger's arms stuck behind him, as we can see here:

    tiger early fire.PNG

    Would trying to maintain the right leg position and right knee flex throughout the backswing create a build-up of tension that predisposed an early fire of the right leg and hip? I know it does for me and countless other golfers who have followed that destructive advice. Why should Tiger be any different?


    Jeff

  2. #2
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    I can keep doing this all day...

    Bobby Jones and Mickey Wright:

    jones and mickey.PNG



    Jeff

  3. #3
    Off-topic but I CAN'T BELIEVE how steep Arnold Palmer's shoulders were back in the day. See below:

    palmer and nelson.PNG

  4. #4
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    Good catch, Lift! They almost pointed at the ball, very unusual.


    arnie's shoulders.PNG



    Jeff

  5. #5
    Here's Wayne DeFrancesco advocating lifting the left heel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoZHlBhdb2E

    And here's Bubba Watson advocating it:

    http://www.golfdigest.com/golf-instr...printable=true

    "You've probably heard teachers say not to lift your front heel like this. That's why I don't listen to teachers. Letting the heel come off the ground is especially helpful for amateurs who lack the flexibility to make a full turn."

  6. #6
    Potential connection between the left heel and lower back problems? "Staying Centered" with reduced weight shift to the right (almost a requirement to keep the left heel down) resulted in lower back pain while a pronounced shift has stopped it. Only anecdotal I know.

  7. #7
    Lukman Ahmed Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Martin View Post
    Would trying to maintain the right leg position and right knee flex throughout the backswing create a build-up of tension that predisposed an early fire of the right leg and hip? I know it does for me and countless other golfers who have followed that destructive advice. Why should Tiger be any different
    Yup, Kelvin's description of that--what I in my head and that Kelvin may actually call a short-circuited SSC, is extremely compelling.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Cockerill View Post
    Potential connection between the left heel and lower back problems? "Staying Centered" with reduced weight shift to the right (almost a requirement to keep the left heel down) resulted in lower back pain while a pronounced shift has stopped it. Only anecdotal I know.
    Eric-

    I got some insight into this topic from my physical therapist, Annie Gow, on Thursday. I asked her why I feel so much more pressure in my lower right back if I extend my lower spine (belly out towards the target) and I unweight my right foot. She answered immediately: because unweighting the back foot allows a greater amount of extension for the lower spine, putting it into hyper-extension, which adds compression to the discs and facets of the lumbar spine and SI joint. Done repeatedly, the wear and tear can lead to arthritis, bulging dics and facet problems. Guess what Tiger has been doing that he didn't used to? 2014 on the right (left foot planted, right foot sliding), 2013 on the left (right foot stays put, left foot pulls back):




    And he is still doing it in 2015, on the left, 2002 on the right:




    2015 Tiger and "bad-back poster boy" Greg Norman:




    Would "'Staying Centered' with a reduced weight shift to the right (almost a requirement to keep the left heel down)" promote excessive slide towards the target, dragging the right foot and hyper-extending the lower back? It's possible...





    Jeff

  9. #9
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    Some clips of the great women golfers; all but Lopez raise the left heel. They will also tend to "fall back" after the finish, indicating that the center of pressure does not stay left after transition and the left heel plant, but flows back to the right during the downswing and follow-through. This restricts the available range of lower spine extension, keeping it from hyper-extending, and protecting it from injury.






    Jeff

  10. #10
    Norman spins on his left heel with toes up!!!

  11. #11
    Interesting post. It appears Tiger fixed what troubled his knee but introduced a move that compromised his back. It doesn't seem fair.

  12. #12
    It is interesting that I've been hitting the ball well lately, and perhaps not coincidentally, have been falling back after impact, particularly with longer clubs. My level of concern...zero as long as the shot was good and repeatable.

  13. #13
    Did these players raise the left heel with long irons aswell ?

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Cockerill View Post
    It is interesting that I've been hitting the ball well lately, and perhaps not coincidentally, have been falling back after impact, particularly with longer clubs. My level of concern...zero as long as the shot was good and repeatable.
    That is my experience as well. One of the best amateurs in my area (and one of the straightest drivers) looks like he's falling down when he hits his driver. Now I have a better understanding of how this motion might not be bad even if it looks bad and flies in the face of most instruction.

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