November 5, 2019- by Steven E. Greer, MD
I recently decided for the second time to quit golf, almost. While I have made good progress, I was still unable to get consistent ball striking even on the range. At some point, I have to call it quits.
On the real course, my typical round would be to go even or under par until the fifth hole. I always smack a 310-yard drive on the first hole and reach the Par-5 with anything from a 220-yard 5-wood or a 6-iron. But after five holes, like clockwork, old flipping habits came back that were disastrous now that my swing had changed for the better in other areas. I generated bad snap hooks.
Coincidentally, I had seen one of my advisors on TV as a featured instructor on The Golf Channel’s Swing Expedition with Chris Como. He was discussing drills to get the weight transferring to the left foot even as the club was still going back to the top of the swing. I had discovered on my own that I needed to do that, and the TV segment caused me to try it again.
But on the range, I failed badly. I could not figure out how to make the downswing when I was leaning so much to the left. It was demoralizing.
I was 90% decided to quit the game. I am not a quitter. I am a rational man. But at some point, one has to cut their losses and admit failure.
I reached out again in desperation to my golf advisors and got some feedback. I was told to perform at home the five anthropometric tests pioneered by New Jersey instructor Mike Adams, who was also featured in the Como series. He calls them BioSwingDynamics.
After performing these tests and filming them for my instructor to see, I was amazed at how I was unable to pivot and turn the hips back without dipping to my left leg. I had no idea that different anatomies cause much different pivot motions. Also, one of the other tests confirmed that I have a tendency in the early backswing to supinate the right wrist. That is why I have naturally preferred a stronger grip over these last few years.
All of these tests, including the filming and editing, took less than 30-minutes for me to perform. My instructor was able to put me on a batter plan of action. The next day, I tried out the new concepts with air swings and knew right away that I was on a better path.
For the first time, I felt natural in my backswing. That sense of my body fighting itself was gone.
I highly recommend these tests that Mike Adams and others use.
The next step for golf is to add a scientific analysis of data to prove that “variable A” leads to “outcome B”. In the case of these tests, for example, the various body measurements tell the instructors that the student is likely to have a certain type of swing. That is based on their experiences with students. But bias is powerful. Maybe they are wrong.
More importantly, what other correlations and relationships exist that we do not yet know about? Why do outliers, such as Cam Champ and Bubba Watson, hit the ball faster? Is it because Bubba has freakishly wide shoulders and long arms? Is Cam Champ built differently or is it his technique?
In 10-years, I think that we will know these answers and everyone on tour will be getting 120-MPH club speed. Stay tuned.