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Next Generation with Sean Foley DVD Review

Dec. 30, 2010     By     Comments (32)

Sean Foley caps a year in which his stock rose significantly with a new instructional DVD.

Sean Foley DVDSean Foley made a splash in 2010. Though he was known prior to this year as the coach of Sean O'Hair, Justin Rose, and Hunter Mahan (along with lesser knowns Stephen Ames and Parker McLachlin), Foley's dim star became noticeable at dusk as rumors that Tiger Woods, dumped by his coach Hank Haney, was going to begin working with the 36-year old Canadian. When the arrangement became official around the time of the year's final major, the Foley star became one of the brightest in the sky.

Capitalizing on his new-found fame (and helping charity - see comments), Sean Foley has put together a Blu-Ray/DVD instructional video that shares his understanding of the golf swing with the masses. Tiger's already shown remarkable improvement, despite remaining winless in 2010, but with solid performances in the Ryder Cup, Australian Masters, and his own Chevron World Challenge. For about $50 USD including the $12.50 S&H charge, you too can learn from Sean Foley.

Sean Foley's Core Ideas
Though the idea that Sean Foley had learned a lot from Mike Bennett and Andy Plummer, "inventors" of the Stack and Tilt pattern, bubbled beneath the surface for a good portion of the year, it came to a head when Charlie Wi made some comments in response to a Sean Foley interview late in the year.

Wi took exception to Foley's tendencies to subtly put down or distance himself Bennett, Plummer, and their swing pattern. Wi saw how often Foley would come up to the duo and ask advice on what to work on next with O'Hair or Mahan, or would show them video, or ask them questions about why something works the way it does. If one was forced to choose a single comment which set off Wi it would be Foley's assertion that he credits them with "maybe five percent" of his own swing. Rich Hunt covered this in an article fairly well, and while I don't want to rehash it here, I will say that Foley is gracious enough to include a quick list of his influences in the introduction, including Mark Evershed, David Leadbetter, Mike Bennett, and Andy Plummer among a few others.

At the end of the day, Sean Foley's core swing philosophy is incredibly similar to Stack and Tilt. Whether he came up with it all on his own or, from the countless hours of tutelage under Plummer and Bennett, or any combination is irrelevant as far as this review goes. Sean prefers a one-plane swing with a centered pivot. Foley wants your hands and the clubhead to stay on their plane without lifting off the body, your shoulders to turn in a circle around a fixed center, your head to remain steady, and for your lower body to move aggressively forward on the downswing. That's all stuff I understand and teach, so I'm happy for more instruction like this to make its way to the masses.

Video Organization
The DVD (I can only assume the Blu-Ray disc is exactly the same but in higher definition) breaks down loosely as follows:

 1:31 - Disc Intro
 1:42 - Introduction
33:14 - Lessons (All)
26:18 - Bonus Drills
17:54 - Team Foley
 0:40 - Sean Foley in Five Words
 2:12 - Closing

In other words, there's roughly an hour of instruction: the Lessons (swing philosophy) and Bonus Drills. Several of the "Bonus Drills" include tips on putting, hitting flop shots or chip shots with a hybrid or fairway metal, etc. and are not full-swing drills. The full swing is about 45 minutes of the 83 (the box says 89) minutes.

Of the 33 minutes devoted to Lessons, each of the six lessons 2-7 is followed by a drill or two, meaning that Foley's entire swing philosophy is covered in under 14 minutes (excluding Lesson 1, which isn't specific to any golf swing pattern):

2:11 - Lesson 1 - Ball Flight
2:12 - Lesson 2 - Reaction Position (setup)
2:33 - Lesson 3 - Takeaway
2:34 - Lesson 4 - Top of Swing
2:06 - Lesson 5 - Downswing
2:26 - Lesson 6 - Impact
1:54 - Lesson 7 - Exit Strategy (follow-through)

The filler material includes one introduction that talks up Sean Foley by way of Sean O'Hair, Hunter Mahan, and Justin Rose clips. That clip is followed by a second introduction from Sean Foley himself, a piece of which you saw above in the "influences" clip. The dics round out with twenty more minutes of fluff: the "Team Foley" segment contains interesting but instructionally sparse segments with Hunter Mahan, Sean O'Hair, and Stephen Ames. The "Sean Foley in Five Words" segment is funniest when O'Hair uses "short" as one of his words and the closing is, so far as I remember, Foley thanking his family for their support.

Instructional Content
I have to assume that most golfers really couldn't care less about PR, marketing, or "thanks mom" and will buy this disc for the hour of instructional content.

Unfortunately, this disc is an incredible disappointment from an instructional perspective. The 45 minutes of full-swing instructional content is littered with distractingly poor grammar, incorrect (mis-)statements, and few checkpoints for students to gauge their own flaws, progress, and imrovements.

Lesson 1 covers the ball flight laws in two minutes. First we're shown video as Foley explains the "old" ball flight laws. I'll let slide that when he says "if the club is open the ball curves to the right" because that's still true - the biggest flaw with the "old ball flight laws" was that they said the ball started in the direction of the club's path. Foley then makes a small mistake when he says the ball starts "generally at a 90° angle to where from face is pointed." It's not really 90°, but for the sake of simplicity, that's fine.

Foley then tells us that a proper draw is hit with a clubface that's "open" (he doesn't say to what - and it wouldn't have taken long to say "or right of the target" to clarify this). He also says the clubface is pointed to the right "because the hands are forward," which isn't really true at all - good players can hit a pull-fade with their hands forward. When discussing a fade (presumably a pull-fade), Foley mistakenly says that the clubface is "closed to the arc on which we swing" and the path is out to in. That's misleading (if it's closed to that arc it's a pull-draw at best) or flat out wrong, depending on how gracious you care to be.

Sean Foley Ball Flight

At the end of the explanation Foley hits two shots, a draw and a fade, neither from a camera position that shows anything useful at all. He summaries the lesson by repeating the 90° rule and saying the ball will curve in the direction of the path, then says to curve the ball left you swing to the right and vice versa (i.e. the opposite direction of the path).

Given the number of golfers (and instructors) out there who still believe the "old ball flight laws" are accurate, I'd have loved to see this explained in five minutes rather than two along with Trackman data and some slow-motion video.

This segment concludes with the throw-away phrase "as always, golf is a game of opposites." Really? Always? It's just the first of many "throw-away" quotes.

Lesson 2 is called the "Reaction Position." In other words, "setup" or "address." Foley says:

If you look at PGA Tour players, there's no two are the same height, the same weight, but the one thing they have in common is that even though their setups look different, they're still set up over a base to make a ballistic movement and a power movement with the golf swing absolutely is.

Sean Foley, Lesson 2, "Reaction Position"

Foley likes to use big words, but often does so in the way that makes him look like he's trying really hard to sound smart. The run-on sentences do little to mask this flaw and many times it's kind to call them sentences as Foley's grammar is lackluster. Foley then gets "anterior tilt" and "posterior tilt" backwards - one of the many errors that should have been caught and corrected. Normally things like this wouldn't matter, but in instructional material it's often best to be clear and it's always important to use the correct terms. If Foley wants to use big words, he should endeavor to use them properly.

As for the instruction, Foley focuses heavily on cementing yourself to the ground but neglects other factors of setup including whether your chin should be up or down (it affects how you see the ball among other things), how flexed the knees and ankles and hips should be, whether the feet point out or in, whether your spine is tilted away from the target or remains vertical, etc. I know the answers, and you might pick some of them from watching, but it'd be nice to have the setup fully explained.

Foley makes a big deal out of "gripping the ground" with our feet like they're fingers digging in, and rightly so, but unfortunately ends the segment with another throw-away phrase: "You can't fire a cannon from a canoe." That phrase is an appropriate one, but the segment would have fit together better had Foley perhaps started with it and used it to help explain why gripping the ground with your feet was important. Instead, it's tossed in at the end, leaving the viewer to figure out how it relates.

Two drills - and a few more big words like "innveration of the muscles" -follow this lesson. The drills are fine, but I still think it might have been better to spend more time on fully explaining the setup than telling me to stand on sponges or a half balance ball for 15-20 minutes per day.

Lesson 3 covers the takeaway. We're told to make the club "slightly vertical" and "slightly diagonal." Foley says that this makes the club light (the weight doesn't change, of course, but a steep club shaft will feel lighter). Foley also makes a big deal about the sequencing - first the clubhead moves, then the arms, then the torso, and then the hips.

So in summation, in order to get the club started well, which is really one of the most important parts of the golf swing, you have to do it into a reference of sequence. Clubhead first, arms second, torso third, hips fourth, and the whole time we're trying to create this angle in our hands and arms which gets the club in a slightly vertical position ensuring that the weight of the object is nice and light, which is gonna ensure us to be able to promote and produce more speed.

Sean Foley, Lesson 3, The Takeaway

The first drill in this section is a stick drill that illustrates where the club shaft is pointing. Foley illustrates how his "slightly vertical" position has the butt end of the club pointing between his feet and the ball.

Oddly, he describes this position as being "on plane" despite the fact that if you actually swing the golf club on that plane you'd miss the ball by eight inches. Still, we're encouraged to do this "no less than 90 to 100 times per day for about a month."

The second drill is a towel drill. Wrap a towel around your body, and swing the club back. Foley demonstrates doing this improperly two different ways, saying each time that "the towel will fall out" if done wrong. The towel does not fall out either time, leaving the viewer to wonder exactly what he means.

Sean Foley Takeaway
Sean Foley demonstrates the takeaway in this drill following Lesson 3.

The towel drill (I prefer tees or something smaller in my instruction) is an important drill, and it speaks to what's called Pressure Point 4 - the pressure between your left arm and your chest - and Pressure Point 5 beneath your right armpit. Unfortunately, Foley never even came close to touching on these pressure points, what they're for, why they're important, etc. during the lesson.

Remember the earlier part about how we're supposed to sequence the takeaway, with the clubs, arms, torso, and hips starting at different times? Foley says while explaining the towel drill that "What this is going to do is, in continuance of making sure that the club, the clubhead, the arms, the torso, and the hips move together…". This might confuse the viewer: do they start at different times or "together"? Things like this make me wonder if they had a script or just winged everything.

The lessons continue in this haphazard fashion. Lesson 4 is "Top of the Swing" and starts off with this gem:

As we move into the top of the swing what we're looking at is continuing from the takeaway is making sure and ensuring that the body and arms are doing the correct thing to work in connection with each other in collaboration with each other.

Sean Foley, Lesson 4, Top of the Backswing

What?

Foley uses this section to talk about the left shoulder moving down and the head staying stable. I agree with and like both of these things, but am disappointed that Foley never explains how the head stays stable. Foley never touches on what the knees and hips do in the backswing, and I think the lead shoulder going down is a better fit for the "Takeaway" lesson than the "Top of the Swing" lesson. I'm disappointed as well that when discussing the "tilt" (which is part of where Stack and Tilt gets its name), Mr. Big Words uses the awfully generic word "body," as in "the tilting of the body." We're never told what part of the body tilts or where we'll feel or see this tilt, or what happens if we don't "tilt the body" properly. This is an important part of Foley's swing philosophy, and he famously demonstrated the "tilting" to Tiger Woods on the range during the 2010 PGA Championship, yet all we get in his instructional video is "tilt your body."

Lesson 5 covers the downswing. There's something about how the force we exert down into the ground during the backswing is "much like the earthquake that creates a tsunami" or, for a golfer, the "catalyst to clubhead speed." Foley tells us that as the hips and left knee push forward, the arms will "vertically drop onto the shaft plane." I'm not sure what he means by shaft plane here, and unfortunately, you won't either as it's never defined or explained.

Sean Foley Nearly Tops Ball in Instructional DVD
You just "opposite it" on the downswing. Hopefully you make more solid contact than Foley does here…

Lesson 6 covers "impact, or the moment of truth as it's more popularly called." No, I think it's more popularly called impact, and this is yet another one of the examples of throw-away phrases that probably would have been left out had there been a script. These throw-away phrases, like the run-on sentences, pepper the entire video and distract from an already weak message. Another example of something that could have been worded better follows shortly afterwards: "You have to hit down in order to make the ball go up." That's not true at all, as a great many high handicappers succeed in getting the ball airborne while the clubhead is moving up with their flipping, chicken-winging motions. Foley's intent, to be sure, is to emphasize that the handle should be forward at impact and the club still traveling down, out, and forward to deliver maximum compression to the ball, but the throw-away and/or incorrect phrases draw away from that message.

Lesson 7 covers the follow-through and contains two of my favorite Foley-isms. "As in the rest of the swing, we're trying to get the club to swing on the arc or perpendicular to it, which is in a circle that is working around us." Aren't all golf swings around the golfer? And when - and why - should we swing perpendicular to that arc, exactly?

Then we're told that if we do the follow-through properly, "[It's] going to prepare us that we're not going to get into over-use injury and end up having to go to rehab." So if I do it wrong I'm going to injure myself and need rehab? Really? Pardon me while I resist the urge to embed an Amy Winehouse video now…

Drills Section
Following the half hour of instructional content, 15 drills take up just about 25 minutes minutes of the disc and conclude the instructional content. As before, Foley typically doesn't bother to tell you when you should use a certain drill or what fault the drill fixes, so you're left to discover these things on your own.

The drills presented are as follows:

1:34 -  #1 Cadence
1:45 -  #2 One Foot
1:10 -  #3 Left Arm Only
1:37 -  #4 Right Arm Only
2:09 -  #5 Downhill
1:23 -  #6 Sequence
2:11 -  #7 How to Practice
1:53 -  #8 The Driver
2:24 -  #9 Chipping Setup
1:17 - #10 Left Hand Only
1:52 - #11 Wedge System
1:49 - #12 The Flop
1:19 - #13 Utility Chip
1:55 - #14 Path Drill
1:55 - #15 Speed Drill

As you can guess, everything after Drill #8 is a short game drill, and drill #7 isn't really a drill at all (nor is #1), but rather how to find a rhythm (swing slowly and build up speed is #1) and how to practice. The Cadence drill beings with:

There's a lot of discussion about rhythm in the swing. I think it's one of the most difficult things to quantify, obviously empirically. Now what we do understand is there is a resonance, which is kind of the music that goes along with the physics and the angles and the velocity.

Sean Foley, Bonus Drill #1, Cadence

Take Bonus Drill #4, the "Right Arm Only" drill. At one point in the segment Foley says that we have to "keep the right arm close to the body" in the backswing. Below is an image of Foley demonstrating this swing, and I'll let you be the judge - is his right arm connected to the body or would the glove have fallen out of his right armpit?

Sean Foley Right Arm Drill

One of the gems hidden away in this section is the idea of what's called the right forearm or right wrist flying wedge. Unfortunately, this topic is given very little time and never really fully explained, and it's not something that's exclusive to a right-arm-only drill. It's one of many missed opportunities to truly educate the viewer.

Conclusion
I believe, given the many, many simliarities between Sean Foley's swing and the swing pattern I prefer to teach, that a successful video would have helped golfers far and wide. And given the changes we've seen in the swings of Sean O'Hair, Justin Rose, Hunter Mahan, and now Tiger Woods, that Foley is good at communicating with his students.

Unfortunately, that ability does not come across in this video at all. Instead, golfers are given little actual information, and when they're given information there's a good chance Foley will still manage to make a mess of it with poor grammar, no explanation, or the occasional incorrect statement. The run-on sentences, random use of big words (sometimes incorrectly) alongside generic words like "body," and often contradictory or disorderly advice is mentally exhausting.

Students are given no checkpoints. They're given no way to measure their swings or check their progress. Drills are given without telling students what problem they're going to solve or who should use them. For a high-tech guy and $100 to $200 cameras there's nothing on filming your swing or what to look for when you view your swing on video.

The DVD feels like a rush job done in a day or two with no re-takes and no script. Foley has talked about the "revolutionary graphics" and yet even those are limited to a few squiggly lines and angle measurements drawn on the screen - hardly what I'd call "next generation" graphics.

Because I teach a swing pattern that's awfully similar to Foley's, I understood the video well enough to get through it without being thoroughly confused. When Foley refers to "body tilt" I know what he's trying to say. I can figure out what he's trying to say most of the time. The average golfer will likely not be so fortunate.

I'm willing to pay a premium for good golf instruction, because one good tip or feel or idea that I can use is worth far more than the $50 this video costs, and yet I still feel short-changed. The average golfer will feel even more so because the video will leave them with many more questions than answers. My advice? Don't spend the $50. I don't even know if I'd spend $10 for one of the copies that will surely be on eBay very soon - it's still 83 minutes of your time and ten bucks.

I had reasonably high hopes for this video, but it's less solid than the nearly topped shot Foley hits in Lesson 5.

Discussion

  1. canadianpro says:

    A great review Erik on a terrible instructional dvd. I hear rumors that he has fashioned his career on smoke and mirrors and although he may know a lot about the golf swing and the different methods utilized in playing the game he refuses to acknowledge those who aided him in developing his "system" including some Canadian professionals he worked withas an assistant. Any of the stack and tilt dvd's by Andy Plummer and Mike Bennett are much superior to this and The Golf Evolution's youtube videos explain the moves much more clearly. We now have another "make money while I can" product.

  2. I don't really care about the "S&T vs. Sean Foley" stuff. At the end of the day, Sean Foley understands or "believes" a lot of the same things as I do, and I really wanted this video to do well. I wanted golfers to put on the right track, to understand some basic geometry, to consider the angle on which their shoulders turn, or their hips, or what it means to stay centered.

    I had high hopes for the video. The more folks that teach this rather than the old "get behind the ball, release the clubface, blah blah blah" crap - the better off all of us are. I was rooting for the video to be good, wishing for it to be good.

    But it's not.

    People can and will say I've got some sort of bias against Sean Foley. I won't deny that I think the guy comes off as a bit of a phony (I'm not terribly fond of people who seem to use big words so that they sound smart), but that's got nothing to do with his actual ideas about the golf swing. If other people like him, then I'm happy because the changes he's made in his Tour players are good, and at the end of the day, all I care about is his message and his beliefs and what he does to affect the understanding that golfers have.

    He knows enough, and he teaches an awful lot of the same geometry, the same concepts, the same everything as I do. A rising tide raises all ships, and that's why I wanted this DVD to be a hit, but I don't think this DVD is going to do much to change the level of the ocean.

  3. Thanks for the review Erik. While I still am happy that Tiger is working with Sean, his added popularity won't blind me from his inability to deliver a sound golf swing message in his DVD. It is very disappointing that his DVD turned out as poorly as you described and for me, concludes that Sean is a good teacher for the pros but not equally as good for mid- high handicaps looking for help.

  4. The_Pharaoh says:

    Great review! I'll be staying as far away from these DVDs as the centre of Sean's clubface from the ball in Lesson 5.

    Sean reminds me of a guy at my local golf club that always has something to say about someone else's swing but does it cryptically, in a half-hinting fashion making you have to work it out yourself. Or by saying nothing but mimicking the swing flaw with a look of bemusement and horror. One day he did this to me while I was discussing my poor ball striking round with a friend and I said to him, "either speak up and explain yourself correctly, thereby helping me, or shut up and leave me alone". He hasn't spoken to me since.

    I also had a friend that was like Sean Foley - Mr. Big Words. Once I asked him if he looked up the meaning of 10 new words a day and incorporated them into his vocabulary. He replied, "yes".

    But all of this begs the question - what the hell is Tiger doing working with these guys and not Plummer & Bennett?

  5. sjsconcepts says:

    I bet Tiger is secretly watching the Stack & Tilt DVD's when Sean isn't around. LOL If his clients weren't so high on the food chain, we wouldn't even know his name. Has he coached anyone that wasn't an established player yet? I am curious about that? Thanks for the review...

  6. The_Pharaoh, I don't know. It might be something as simple as "Tiger is friends with Sean O'Hair and Foley is sponsored by Nike too." I suspect the only one who really knows is Tiger, and he's not going to tell anyone. Maybe we'll read it in his memoirs in 30 years.

    The changes Tiger's made are exactly the ones I think he should have made, so Foley and Tiger get an "A" in my book so far. The same is true of O'Hair and Mahan and even Justin Rose, the latter of which was finally able to break through and win after years of disappointment.

    Foley clearly communicates a solid message to his students. The mark of a teacher's ability is not how he comes across on a TV, but what changes he can make in the play of his students and their understanding of the golf swing.

    But this is a review of a video, not a man. Producing a video is difficult, and I've tried not to pass any on Sean as a person or an instructor, just on how well this video shares its message.

    sjs, I just saw your comment… and I'll simply point out that Sean didn't just pop on the scene. He's worked at Core Golf Academy in Canada and Florida (I think) and I believe he spent a decade or more coaching juniors and adults of all abilities.

  7. ThomasG says:

    I think a lot of people will just say you're bashing the guy because you don't like him but those people will be missing out on a good opinion that you back up well.

    I'm a Foley fan and I ordered the video and I agree with most of what you said. I got mine in time for Christmas watched it and then gave it to a friend as a present because I didn't want to keep it around.

    I also agree he is doing something right because Tiger is looking dangerous for 2011 but that does not come across well on this DVD.

  8. sjsconcepts says:

    I am more dissapointed and not out to bash. Maybe it was just hype and I got caught up in it. Im just wondering if he has had a student he has worked with from their start that has excelled. Didn't Mahan used to use Harmon? Tiger did look promising at the Chevron though.

  9. My favorite part is where you quoted the section on rhythm. It's like Sean had a brain-vomit and just blurted out a bunch of big, technical words. I might pick up the video, or I might not, but if it's this poor I won't do it until it's dirt cheap on ebay.

  10. sharkhark says:

    I appreciate any review so i know where to throw my money. but one thing fails in your review. If i counted (and i don't have that much time....) how many times you say things like i.e. well they should have expanded that 2 mintues to 5 and explained more fully____ fill in the blank.
    Then repeatedly well that could have used a bit more explanation or more time etc. Based on how much you wanted expanded on...the guy would have had to put out a 12 disc....50 hour collection....i think i read enough in your review that i can tell i should save my bucks..but i cannot help but think...your desire for him to expand further in several areas would add up to too much for an info video.

  11. mvmac says:

    Thanks for taking the time to review Erik. It's a shame the DVD isn't well produced. Sounds like it was rushed. Seems like the way he presents the information will go over the heads of many viewers. He's obviously a capable instructor and has good information. Wish he would get to the meat of his knowledge rather than talk in generalities .

  12. The_Pharaoh says:

    Erik:

    I think it is as simple as Tiger doesn't like the look of the S&T swing or feels it would take him too long for the complete overhaul. He's done some research, asked around (O'Hair, Mahan etc.) and then gone to Sean for a watered-down version he can put into play immediately. I agree with you that he must communicate a solid message to his students, but then that makes this dreadful DVD all the more disappointing. Did he see the final version before it went into production? It is very difficult to be critical about someone's work without passing judgment on the man himself. This DVD reflects on him and it is a shoddy, amateurish put-together-in-an-afternoon-after-work production which is insulting to the paying public.

    Sharkhark:

    What Erik is saying is that Sean should have cut out the waffle, poor instruction and useless, unexplained drills and really packed the DVD with some premium meat. As Tiger's new swing coach, Sean is now the centre of attention and everyone is looking at him as the swing guru of the future. This was a brilliant opportunity for him to go into detail on the ball flight laws, which are still misunderstood or discredited by a lot of golfers/instructors, but all succeeded in further confusing the issue.

    At the end of the day, Sean has ripped off Plummer & Bennett and tried to fob S&T off as his own but without calling it S&T. Unfortunately, as he hasn't done the work behind the concept he's struggling to explain perfectly what he's teaching. The result of which is this DVD.

  13. Whoopy says:

    Thanks for putting in the time to break down your thoughts on the DVD Erik. Always interesting. However, I disagree with the accusation that he is capitalizing on his fame with this DVD. It was made PRIOR to Sean hooking up with Tiger, and 50% of the proceeds go to charity... The other 50% at best might cover the cost of production and shipping and handling which in the end probably cost a hell of a lot more than they expected because of all the delays and overnight shipping they paid for to get the DVD's on time for christmas... So really Sean probably hasn't benefited much if at all from the DVD, but charities have.

    It's clear that the DVD was designed for the masses and its likely that it wasn't scripted like you said, they probably got a base idea of how they are going to structure the DVD then Sean winged each individual part.

  14. Whoopy, thanks for commenting.

    The first announcement I saw about the DVD was mid-November of this year. I'm not sure how far back you'd have to go to qualify as "pre-Tiger" (the rumors were circulating in April/May, but they largely remained rumors until August or so), but if you have a URL or something please share. None of the articles dated November 22 mention a prior announcement…

    Indeed, I've read about the charity contribution, and did not mean to imply that Foley was raking in mad dough, as there are other ways to "capitalize" on something without without direct monetary gain.

    To your last comment, I think that's the biggest issue. It's a bit easier to get away with "winging it" or going script-less when you're talking to other instructors or pros or people who can read between the lines and still figure out what you're trying to say. "Winging it" when your intended audience is regular golfers is a recipe for disaster. Videos for "the masses" need to present the clearest message.

  15. awolgolf says:

    I guess the biggest dissapointment for me is that if Tiger had chosen Andy and Mike, S&T would fianlly gain the credibility it deserves. Instead, it's all about Foley, who in my opinion is an imposter. You see, I knew him when. When he was a student at Tennessee State University and couldn't bust a grape to make the team. He has always had a propensity to talk above everyone else so that he sounds more intellegent than he actually is. I think the the kid is brilliant. Because if he wasn't he wouldn't be where he is. He doesn't posess any more knowledge than anyone else about the swing.

    More concerning to me is this non-sense about his bio-mechanical, psychology, and philosophical accumen. Last time I checked, TSU was a minority teachers college. The only way Foley could end up at a place like TSU is because as a white-Canadian, he was eligible for minority scholarship funding. Further more, TSU is not known as a bastian for psych, philosophy,and bio-mechanical phds.

    At any rate, I don't have any problem ripping a guy that has tried in the past to make us believe that a golf ball has seams that when compressed, emit enough air to cause the ball to make a hissing sound when struck solidly, and then follow up with some lame excuse about how his new born baby caused him to say that. What's more unbelievable, that Foley would say that, or that Tiger hasn't heard about it, or doesn't care? If a guy would try to make someone believe that BS, what would he possibly try to sell next. He's already getting the rep as BS'r. What's common denominator here?

  16. The_Pharaoh says:

    If anyone is in doubt that this guy is a tosser, they haven't read this interview.

    This is his excuse for the crummy DVDs:

    Talk about your new DVD that's coming out. What's the idea behind it? What are you trying to accomplish, other than obviously trying to help people play better?

    You can't make it as analytical or technical as you'd like based on the fact people have to understand it. We put a ton of drills and skill sets in there that would improve anyone. I try to give people an idea of what I believe. They'll notice that we cross all the T's and dot all the I's. It's [part of] the next generation of teaching, too, guys who can talk about geometry and the necessity of having the core fire and the importance of face positions vs. get your elbow over your shoulder. That helped a lot of guys but this is a new generation.

  17. Guys, please limit discussion to the DVD. If you own them, your comments are especially welcome, particularly if you can provide a different perspective than I can (as an instructor).

  18. cbrian says:

    I watched it and talk about disappointing... wow. Coming from a guy that seems very intellectual and seems to have a pretty vast vocabulary, his DVD was shockingly shallow. I know he said that it was meant for your average golfer and not for instructors, but looking back, it seems like that was after he watched the DVD himself and realized what he had made. I just have a very hard time thinking that this is what he wanted to make.

    If you want a better understanding of some of the pieces that Sean talks about in the DVD, I would advise picking up the S&T book.

  19. spill says:

    I thought the DVD was pretty damn good. It breaks advanced swing concepts into simple terms which is freshing. Really focuses on the proper position at impact and compressing the ball - concepts often overlooked in alot of instructional DVDs. Perfect at the top does nothing if weight shift and the timing of the hand, arm, hip sequence are off. Foley does a good job of explaining how is should be.

    Also the ever present "head steady over the ball" theme in this video always makes you hit it purer.

    It is certainly targeted to the low handicaper and I feel it could help players (like me) who after striving to improve now stuggle with to many swing thoughts. Alot of the same drills that you see in Faldo and Leadbetter instruction; which is fine. It just re-enforces that they remain valid and I should be doing them more often.

    I recommend it.

  20. Mr. Desmond says:

    I received the DVD earlier this week, and after reading your review and one other, did not open it. I am sending it back. I ordered the Stack and Tilt book instead -- I think Foley does much of the same work (without as many drills) on the Golf Digest Young Instructor Series ($10 and 4 lessons (philosophy, power, rhythm, etc) for one hour of Sean Foley). I bought that two months ago -- I was hoping that the Next Generation was more than the general outline he gives on the GD Series. Apparently, it's similar.

    I'm just a novice when it comes to tech talk, but it appears that Foley blends elements of The Golfing Machine with some Stack and Tilt. Since I have an issue with getting off my back foot - I thought some aspects of Stack and Tilt would help.

  21. Jgingeri says:

    I was so pumped to watch this DVD when it arrived in the mail yesterday, funny I found this review, along with this site, one day later. I live in Chicago and have been working indoors on changing my swing according to some of the Stack and Tilt/Foley techniques. I have not read the Stack and Tilt book nor have I watched the DVD, I've only read and watched what free information I could obtain as well as followed Foley closely on the Golf Channel, read articles featuring him, etc. I love what I've produced by combining all of these sources and hoped that this DVD would kind of put it all together for me. It was quite a disappointment but not a complete loss. I couldn't help but think, "thats it?" at the end of the lessons. I can't hate Foley at all as what I have gathered from him has changed my golf game forever, regardless of how much of it came from stack and tilt. I'm lucky enough to have a good feel for my body as I practice, and can take his basic principles and figure it out on my own. We all know Tiger knows a lot about the swing, maybe he has done something similar and just taken some of the main ideas from Foley's swing and made progression mostly on his own while under Foley's supervision. Its hard to really know. I'd pay 20 bucks for this DVD if I had to go back, maybe Foley can redeem himself with some better material next time.

  22. Mike Downey says:

    Erik, i bought the DVD and just recieved it last night. I watched it and actually feel the same way you do. The difference is your a teacher and i am a average beginner who fell for the hype. After watching it again today i have more questions than i have answers. Golf is difficult as it is and when you look to a DVD for instruction it is very frustrating to have some one tell you in 2 minutes how to hit two shots. If i could hit those shots i wouldnt need the DVD or the 2 minutes of instruction. I want to be shown how to hit these shots and what needs to happen everystep of the way. Thats the main reason i bought the DVD and that not what i recieved. Live and learn!

  23. James Grant says:

    I purchased the DVD in early December 2010...and it didn't to me until early Jan 2011. My thoughts on the DVD are:
    1. The Lesson section is pretty solid. I think it provides some good fundamentals to focus on for your swing.
    2. Really like how he breaks down the body and how it functions in your golf swing. I was confused on what to do with my hands in my golf swing (release, etc). I think Sean's video has helped me with that.
    3. He uses 'summation' a lot! Its pretty funny actually. Although, Sean uses 'big words' (HAHAHHAHAHAAHAHAHAA) he communicates well. I was not annoyed listening to him, at all. He's more funny than annoying, I would say.

    Its a good DVD. I'd recommend it to people. Personally, I think some people just don't like the guy because he's short and kind og comes off like a know-it-all. It really depends on if you can deal with his type of personality. I don't mind his personality...but I can see how he could rub some people the wrong way.

  24. enis750 says:

    bought it loved it, nothing bad to say about it
    this coming from a 2.9 index, I found it to be very easy to understand and well worth the $34
    from a 0 to a 25 index, i think you would find this DVD usefull to improving your game

  25. arube1 says:

    First off i am an 11 handicap and benefited greatly from watching The stack and tilt dvd's---never hit the ball better in my life...
    As far as the next generation--I could not believe how bad this dvd was especially in light of all the hype Foley received recently....Erik Barzeski's review is excellent and coincides exactly how i felt after seeing it.... In fact after watching the dvd i thought that perhaps i was missing the main dvd- the one that actually spends time explaining the golf swing... I do not usually write my opinions however- this was such a rip-off --not to mention the 2 months it took for me to receive this...so please save your money...i can't imagine how anyone would think this dvd was good except for perhaps Foley employees or maybe his family members.... maybe.....even then i can't imagine anyone who watched the stack and tilt and then watched this would think they are even comparable...

    i would rate the stack and tilt dvd's a 9 and this a 1 in a 1-10 scale....

  26. Mick says:

    I ordered the DVD on December 29th and received it less than a week later. I'm enjoing the content. There is no fluff or time filling chat and all instruction seems clear and concise.

    As opposed to some here who thinks we, the unwashed who are not professional golf instructors, may not understand the various nuances or unstated intructions, I understood every word.

    As an aside, I don't think instuctors should review the works of their fellow instructors. I could be wrong but I've never heard Haney, Harmon, Flick et al critique one another or their work. Personal feelings are inescapable (we're only human) and when a "leader" speaks, group think may follow. (emphazise "may")

    I couldn't care less whether someone tilts toward to the SnT school, A's method, B's method, Foley's method etc. It's just a golf swing. We're all built differently and what works for one may not work for another. That's why I'm opposed to instuction "methods". I've had much more success going to the practise range and sorting out my own swing as opposed to fitting into someone else's pattern

    Of course, this is all just my personal opinion so please accept it as such.

    Mick

  27. Mick, Haney, Harmon, and many, many others have reviewed the works of their peers. And why shouldn't they? It forces them to think about the material presented and it clears their viewpoints for others to read. The golf world could do with more peer review - and only a phony level of "politeness" has limited it to this point.

    What works for one will work for all. It's geometry and physics. Some may be built differently, but we've all got joints in the same places and need to swing the club on an arc. Geometry and physics aren't different if your name is Phil, it's 4:23pm on April 23, or your clubs are made by Nike and not Callaway.

  28. Mr. Desmond says:

    If this is the Next Generation, either throw in the towel or burn this DVD and start over with the Prior Generation. I kept the DVD, it was collecting dust after reading the initial review above. I made the mistake of opening it. Novice Golfers will get nothing from this DVD. Golfers who are knowledgeable may pick up a handful (possibly) of decent tips, but otherwise, this instruction is so general as to be completely useless.

    It sucks.

    Sean, I'd like my money back, or a free copy of the next Stack 'n Tilt DVD's.

    You owe us.

    Signed,

    Taken.

  29. howiseeit says:

    Wow - this may the most thorough review I've ever read. Great job.

  30. I've just found this review and have to admit the Foley DVD has le me perplexed, it's just poor by anyone's standards. He's just re- wording Hogan mixed with some S and T and loads of strange adjectives, too many to mention, and some strange pseudo science. I found the whole thing utterly unfathomable as an instructional DVD, he even at one point suggests you go to see a swing specialist, forgetting you've paid to see one actually on the damn DVD. But my fave quote is during the power section, he spends 12 mins quoting Newton and making stuff up, such as one plane swings are the holy grail and two plane is 'traditional' therefore bad ( doh, Hogans book anyone), he goes onto say ' there is a bit of swing stuff', referring to er, the swing. It's all positions and angles and nothing about how to get there. It's as if he's just written down a load of quotes from 15 years to listening to everyone else.
    I bit of swing stuff indeed.

  31. talltexan says:

    I was very disappointed with the Foley DVD. It was a rushed production which did very little for the high handicapper. This DVD was a total failure and I feel that it was a disservice given the price. I have no problem with anyone trying to make a buck, but come on, give us a worthy product from which we can learn. I must say that in today's golfing world , 50 per cent of golfing instruction is a failure

  1. [... Sean Foley made a splash in 2010. Though he was known prior to this year as the coach of Sean O'Hair, Justin Rose, and Hunter Mahan (along with lesser knowns ...]

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