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Baseball vs Golf...The Most Important Difference

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 

Extension. That's the most important difference between the two swings, and extension is not natural for us. That is why the golf swing needs a swing key.

 

Imagine a ball on a tall tee that is almost up to your shoulders. Take a short iron and make some very slow horizontal swings, maintaining as much extension as you can with your lead arm.  Keep your eyes on the back of that imaginary ball. Can you feel what is controlling that swing? If you can, you can use that as a swing key for your golf swing, and your lower body movements will be perfect without ever thinking about them, just as they are in the baseball swing.

post #2 of 46

The difference to me is decent, need it in golf to get the ball from resting on the ground into the air.  

post #3 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post

The difference to me is decent, need it in golf to get the ball from resting on the ground into the air.  


Absolutely.  I think of it as swinging down, instead of forward.  Even if you intend to hit the ball on the upswing with your driver (I don't), you still must swing down through the lowest point before impact.  I also feel that swinging down ensures that I have full extension before and through impact.
 

 

post #4 of 46
There are 2 major differences on the baseball/golf swings. The baseball swing does not shift it's weight to he front foot. After a hard baseball swing all your weight is still back. The second is hitting down on the ball. Baseball players hit up on the ball with it well in front of them. Golfers hit down on it. IMO the 2 swings are completely different.
post #5 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by slabm7 View Post

There are 2 major differences on the baseball/golf swings. The baseball swing does not shift it's weight to he front foot. After a hard baseball swing all your weight is still back. The second is hitting down on the ball. Baseball players hit up on the ball with it well in front of them. Golfers hit down on it. IMO the 2 swings are completely different.


actually, it's more of a 50/50 distribution with both golf and baseball, it just looks/feels differently. lots of hitters of the golf ball hang back with their upper body which is evidenced by their driver swing. bubba watson, angel cabrera, bj holmes, etc. biodynamically, the two swings are incredibly similar. and if you've played both sports, you can feel the same movements you make to hit a draw are the same movements you make to pulll a ball to left field and vise versa. 

post #6 of 46

exhibit A:

 

 

 

Exhibit B:

 

 

note: max extension of lead arm, lower body shifting forward into impact, hips opening and driving with legs. extension through impact and max speed coming just after contact. 

post #7 of 46

There's a lot of shift in baseball, a lot of it lower body.  Ball players really load up on the rear leg, kick it in some to get a lot of push off, usually have a square to the line rear foot.  The back swing is shorter, less shoulder turn, and more explosive, more secondary axis tilt to get the bat approach the ball on a higher angle from the ground.  Swing is much much quicker.  All of that is designed to provide enough rhythm to generate bat speed in as little time as possible to react to a fastball.  Bat is too heavy to manipulate so it's a body move more than anything.  Other than that you still shift you still turn you still lag it.  Same in hockey.

post #8 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by slabm7 View Post

There are 2 major differences on the baseball/golf swings. The baseball swing does not shift it's weight to he front foot. After a hard baseball swing all your weight is still back. The second is hitting down on the ball. Baseball players hit up on the ball with it well in front of them. Golfers hit down on it. IMO the 2 swings are completely different.

Well, this is just incorrect.  Baseball swing involves stepping into the ball, which shifts the weight to the front. 
 

 

post #9 of 46

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious View Post

Well, this is just incorrect.  Baseball swing involves stepping into the ball, which shifts the weight to the front. 


It shifts the pressure there (temporarily). The weight doesn't go nearly as far forward as it does in the golf swing.

 

Pressure != Weight.

post #10 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious View Post

Well, this is just incorrect.  Baseball swing involves stepping into the ball, which shifts the weight to the front. 

Maybe if you're just trying to hit a grounder to the right side on a hit an run, but on a home runs swing, I'd be very surprised if a force plate analysis showed that most of the weight was on the front foot. For most players, stepping is simply a timing mechanism. A lot of guys don't even stride forward, they just pivot their foot (Pujols is an example of that).
post #11 of 46

As a former Jr Blue Jay and NCAA Div 1 baseball player, my baseball experience helped me with Golf and put me far ahead of my peers who started playing golf when I did 7 years ago.

 

The one thing that I was able to grasp in Golf right away was the concept of using my core (legs, mid section, etc) to generate power and speed with the swing where my peers used their hands and arms to generate power/speed and very little core.  The baseball swing doesn't require to move the majority of your weight forward but it does require using your legs and core to approach a pitch from the inside while extending your arms through impact (similar...not the same but similar to golf). 

 

I was a pitcher/center fielder and surprisingly, I realized that my pitching experience might be the biggest contributor to learning how to get my weight to the left in the golf swing.  Pushing off of the mound during a pitch really translated to pushing in a similar fashion with the inside of my right foot while I'm at the top of backswing just before the downswing starts.  Similar to pitching, the energy in your arms etc stays back until it's powered forward (in the case of the golf swing, the energy is exploded through impact).

 

The way you hold a baseball bat and the way a baseball bat is swing with your wrist is the biggest difference, for me a least, between the baseball swing and golf swing.  To start, I had a "baseball grip" when I first started playing golf (I now overlap).  Not saying that a baseball grip is bad but it leads me to my second point.  In the baseball swing, the way your right wrist acts through impact isn't the same as the "flying wedge" in golf.  In baseball, even though you are approaching the pitch from the inside, you must swiftly release your right wrist to 1. catch up to a ball that's travelling 90+ mph, and 2, get the barrel of the bat onto that same 90+ mph fastball that's on the inside of the plate.  When I started playing golf, I would have my right wrist react in the same way which caused me to loose the flying wedge and the result was a "cut across the ball" action at impact (it was really predominate with the driver).  Understanding the pressure that needs to be maintain with the right wrist (think PBA ball striker) was the #1 thing I had to learn...it wasn't weight transfer, it wasn't using my core muscles...none of that...it was all my right wrist.  That's my expereince.  Maybe other baseball players have a different expereince but for the sake of contributing to this post, I figured I would share my experience on the subject.

post #12 of 46

Exactly. I've played baseball all my life and the mechanics definitely helped me have a steeper learning curve with golf than most others. However, I refuse to compare the two swings, it just screws me up. There are mechanical similarities but the hardest thing for me that I am finally fixing is the flying wedge vs the release with baseball. 


I havent swung a baseball bat in about a year and I went out and played some wiffle ball with friends and struck out the first two times haha. 

post #13 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious View Post

Well, this is just incorrect.  Baseball swing involves stepping into the ball, which shifts the weight to the front. 
 

 


Nah, more like straight up, straight down. If you step forward you're going to get out on your front foot and hit weak groundballs to short and 3rd all day.

post #14 of 46



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaSportsGuy View Post


Nah, more like straight up, straight down. If you step forward you're going to get out on your front foot and hit weak groundballs to short and 3rd all day.



 this is true if your timing is off.  The reason for the step, the pick up/put down/whatever the hitter does is to shift your weight forward in TIME with your swing to get the most power you can into the ball.

 

No one who can hit homeruns has most of their weight on their back foot.  A lot of powerful hitters will actually have so little weight on their back foot that it will either be sliding or off the ground at impact. 

 

What gets people caught up is that there are usually THREE good shifts in weight for a baseball swing.  The first is onto the back leg(the loading phase), the second is onto the front side(the explosion), and the third is again on the back leg(recoil).  This third one happens because just like in golf, you post up on your front leg at impact but since the swing is more around than down, the weight shifts back again.

post #15 of 46

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradox View Post

No one who can hit homeruns has most of their weight on their back foot.  A lot of powerful hitters will actually have so little weight on their back foot that it will either be sliding or off the ground at impact.


I think you're confusing pressure and weight.

 

If your upper body is straight up and down and the center of your hips is equidistant from where both feet touch the ground, is more of your mass closer to the back foot or the front foot? It's dead in the middle, 50/50. And if your upper body is leaning back at all from the hips, it's more back than forward.

 

Pressure is not "weight." Nobody that I've seen denies that tremendous pressure is put into the front foot in a baseball swing. We've seen the back foot come off the ground. But comparing the hitting motion to a golf swing where the weight must be well forward is almost backwards. Pressure isn't weight.

 

The camera angle on the left in each of these seems to be the best. The ones on the right seem to be not squarely "face-on" which would distort the view to support my viewpoint. But the one on the left appears solid, and Pujols - a microsecond before impact - is clearly about 55/45 or 60/40 on his BACK foot. But even in the images on the right you can see his upper body tipped back, which doesn't support the idea that the weight is forward. It's definitely not leaning forwards.

 

Pujols_Hitting.jpgPujols_Hitting_2.jpg

 

The distinction between pressure and weight wouldn't be important except that in the golf swing we don't get to step. We don't get to plant or do anything else like a baseball hitter. We need to get our WEIGHT forward, and the only way to do that is unlike how it's done in baseball: we need to push our hips forward, not tip back with our upper bodies, etc.

 

The ball's on the ground in golf. That's the biggest difference. It's such a big difference it dramatically changes some basic components of the stroke. :-)

post #16 of 46

Erik nailed it. In baseball, we call it posting (I've also heard that term in golf). Our weight is certainly not forward but the body and weight and power is completely thrown forward and held off by the straight left leg.

post #17 of 46

The swings are different because the tools and situation are different. A baseball bat is a solid piece of wood (or aluminum - whatever) designed to hit a moving target. It's designed to move from a [relatively] motionless positon to and through a moving ball that could be in different positions and still be very hittable. The baseball can be hit [almost] anywhere from the fists to the end and still produce the desired result - getting the ball in play and out of the reach of defending players. Not every baseball swing is for the fence any more than every golf swing is hitting a teed ball with a driver so comparing specialty swings might not serve a purpose. Every golf swing though is hit with very small portion of the stick - a head designed to hit the ball within relatively small angles of attack and on a relatively small portion of the specially designed striking surface of the weighted head. The head is propelled by a relatively flimsy and fragile shaft. They're different activities. Would a better comparison to hitting a baseball be chopping down a tree with an axe? How about comparing a golf swing to casting a fishing rod or even cracking small whip while sorting cattle (not the ridiculous whip carried by Indiana Jones and members of the circus).

 

There are golfers who look like they could drive a baseball pretty far (like JB Holmes or KJ Choi) and there are golfers who look like they'd hit for average and would have to get everything just right to clear the fence, like Mark Wilson or Fred Funk.

 

Potayto Potahto.

 

jb-holmes-swing.jpg

post #18 of 46

you guys might be missing something. What's important in my opinion is the leaning 'A' angle at impact in both baseball and golf. I call it the fully leveraged position. Many golfers just don't get this or are not athletic enough to do it and its not talked about alot with the pretty finishes sold in the modern swing.  The really long hitters in golf have a pronounced leaning back 'A' angle at impact with the head well back behind the ball.  Ryan Winther the longest hitter in golf today leans so far back that he never shifts onto his front leg in the classic one-legged stork- at- the- photo- shoot finishing pose. He swings upwards of 167 mph, about 40 mph faster than Bubba on average and yes, he was a minor league slugger and pitcher. The reason the leaning A is so effective is because it uses the principles of the trebuchet to catapult the clubhead thru impact. The action of the head and upper body moving back as the hips spin forward and thru intensifies the force at impact. Baseball sluggers use extreme leaning A position at impact, without it - no real power.

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