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Jimmy Walker's (lack of a) Steady Head

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 

Is anyone else kind of amazed that Jimmy Walker can play at this high of a level with this much downswing head movement? This has been a problem I have been trying to fix for a while now with my instructor James... and frankly, it is a problem and I want to fix it... but I am just amazed that Walker has this same move, and, well... that he can play as well as he's been playing lately. 

 

 

There's quite a bit of early extension here, no? I know that every good player has some, but this kind of ridiculous. I'd love to hear some of your thoughts on this, guys. What do you think? Am I seeing something that isn't there, or is there something to this?

 

I'd pull out some analyzr photos here to isolate this, but I haven't found a clip of his swing where the cameraman was using a tripod. 

post #2 of 35

At first glance that shot should have been a cold shank... I looked at it a bit more, and I think he's hitting a push fade with spin by hitting steep and in to out with the ball back and his feet set up way open. I hit that shot with irons all the time in addition to my push draw. Same ball position, though I tend to knock this one down a bit more and get my key #2 on.

 

I don't think he would use such a setup as a stock shot, I think this is for shaping the ball because his stance is really far open unless it's a wedge. I don't really see too much head movement until after he hits. He had to pull his arms down a bit and it moved his torso a bit by the looks of it.

post #3 of 35

Yeah, I don't know what the technical term for it is but I call it hinging the lag off of the left forearm instead of the right forearm on the way down with a little humping the goat, and spine coming up.

 

I've always done that myself and have been making a big effort this winter to fix it.

 

The bright side was that it had plenty of power and the other side was that it wasn't consistent (for me but obviously is for him).

 

BTW I don't think that's a very good camera angle.

 

This is a little long and I don't agree with this guy's explanation about hurting his back (because it's never hurt my back at all) but he does have a better camera angle.

 

post #4 of 35

Here's another video - not steady, angle is a tad left too, but not as much.

 

post #5 of 35
Those all meet the definition of steady.

Remember, the most amount of freedom is allowed vertically and next most is towards and away from the golf ball. The least amount of movement, though some is still allowable, is towards and away from the target.
post #6 of 35

Also note though that Jimmy Walker keeps his head over the ball much longer than most touring pros. A little head movement is ok in his swing because his eyes are staying fixated on his target which allows his hand-eye coordination to compensate better than you or I moving our head that much. His head stays even more down over the ball now than in these videos. In the slow mo from pebble beach, the ball had left the screen before his head moved up towards the target area.

post #7 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

Those all meet the definition of steady.

Remember, the most amount of freedom is allowed vertically and next most is towards and away from the golf ball. The least amount of movement, though some is still allowable, is towards and away from the target.

Erik is right that those swings meet the definition of steady. Most of this has to do with the fact that he is a tour player and it is not causing him any direct issues.

 

I would have more concern if this happened to be, say, a single digit handicapper and the compensations necessary were creating ball flight issues. There are two parts to be considered as we look at players like this...1) is the head, as a reference point, steady per the definition/connotation and 2) is movement that is happening detrimental and/or does it have a direct correlation to certain ball flight issues...i.e. is it a priority when looking at the improvement plan for the player.

post #8 of 35

The key things that jump out to me are:

 

1) this swing has a head and postural change which suggests lots of timing required - not all bad but would promote streaky play.

 

2) worry about neck disc and rotator cuff issues down the road.

post #9 of 35

Good explanation, Dave. Some folks are taking your 5 keys much too literally, sometimes to the extent that they cannot imagine anyone being able to hit the ball if their head moves even a little. Obviously, Walker has fashioned a great golf game, regardless of his head movement.

post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious View Post
 

Good explanation, Dave. Some folks are taking your 5 keys much too literally

 

Small correction: they are taking them incorrectly. :-)

 

We've never defined "steady" as "still" - even dating back to the first post I ever made, I emphasized a "relatively" steady head. The small problem is that there's really no word in the dictionary that means "moves a little, manageable amount." The word "still" has a stronger connotation for not moving at all, so we went with "steady" as the connotation implies more what we intend. Jimmy Walker has all 5 Simple Keys®. Most of the time, anyway (like most PGA Tour players, when he's not playing well, it's usually Key #5 that's lacking somewhat…).

post #11 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

Small correction: they are taking them incorrectly. a1_smile.gif

We've never defined "steady" as "still" - even dating back to the first post I ever made, I emphasized a "relatively" steady head. The small problem is that there's really no word in the dictionary that means "moves a little, manageable amount." The word "still" has a stronger connotation for not moving at all, so we went with "steady" as the connotation implies more what we intend. Jimmy Walker has all 5 Simple Keys®. Most of the time, anyway (like most PGA Tour players, when he's not playing well, it's usually Key #5 that's lacking somewhat…).

Being completely honest here,,I bought the five sk video..and that steady head is very true. I filmed yesterday, and was missing slightly left...reviewed and saw head was shifting back... I went back out, kept this thought of a "steadier head" and blammo.. I was back to sole smashing it straight again.. Little things like that really fix so many more issues in our swings. That steady head is a by product of other good traits, but when I stay steady..good things happen
post #12 of 35
Something about weight left does work..comeaux in his videos showed me that. I tried and it worked and steadied my head...never knew in a million years that I would add elements of stack in tilt in my swing... But now my low point is so far forward...I love it..great crisp contact..no more stuck and hope I don't flip at the bottom. I guess you can teach old dogs new tricks..

Good stufff

That weight left steadies the upper torso and head..still a lot of grooving to do, but I will use that this season,

His students swing looks kinda goofy..but the weight left steadies the whole ship..
post #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by c peterich View Post

Something about weight left does work..comeaux in his videos showed me that. I tried and it worked and steadied my head...never knew in a million years that I would add elements of stack in tilt in my swing... But now my low point is so far forward...I love it..great crisp contact..no more stuck and hope I don't flip at the bottom. I guess you can teach old dogs new tricks..

Good stufff

That weight left steadies the upper torso and head..still a lot of grooving to do, but I will use that this season,

His students swing looks kinda goofy..but the weight left steadies the whole ship..

 

FWIW, that's not really representative of what we'd teach at all.

 

This thread is about Jimmy Walker, too, not whatever stuff you and Lee are up to.

post #14 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious View Post
 

Good explanation, Dave. Some folks are taking your 5 keys much too literally, sometimes to the extent that they cannot imagine anyone being able to hit the ball if their head moves even a little. 

 

I somewhat disagree, Harmonious. I know there is leeway allowed here. But I've never seen a successful player have this much early extension before. Go find another one who does this as much as Walker does. I dunno if you can (I stand correct though if wrong!).

 

I simply didn't know it was possible to play this well with this much downswing upward head movement. I thought this was a major, major flaw and it appears I was wrong on that.

 

And I got a good explanation:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

Those all meet the definition of steady.

Remember, the most amount of freedom is allowed vertically and next most is towards and away from the golf ball. The least amount of movement, though some is still allowable, is towards and away from the target.
 

Thanks, Erik. It makes sense that lateral head movement would be more detrimental to the swing than upward movement. 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by david_wedzik View Post
 

Erik is right that those swings meet the definition of steady. Most of this has to do with the fact that he is a tour player and it is not causing him any direct issues.

 

I would have more concern if this happened to be, say, a single digit handicapper and the compensations necessary were creating ball flight issues. There are two parts to be considered as we look at players like this...1) is the head, as a reference point, steady per the definition/connotation and 2) is movement that is happening detrimental and/or does it have a direct correlation to certain ball flight issues...i.e. is it a priority when looking at the improvement plan for the player.

 

 

Right, but then what would you even change in his swing if you were his instructor? Obviously you'd ask him his miss and compare his good day swings with his bad day swings and show him the difference, but would you even address this issue with him? Would you tell him his right arm shouldn't be so bent at A6 and that his chest needs to feel like it's going downwards through the strike? That would be a major swing change. 

 

I understand that PGA Tour pros need to be handled differently than regular folks for several reasons, but wow... if the instructor has to ignore this flaw in his tour pro, then what do you even suggest to him he should work on or change? 

 

Sorry, I'm just still amazed he can play this well. I would just be massively confused over how to proceed. It's almost like Butch Harmon is right in how he handles his stable of guys: Just feed them placebos and hope to god they get out of their own way and play well?

 

Anyway, I appreciate all the responses here, fellas. You guys are the best. I'm glad I started the thread because I'm really learning something here. :beer: 

 

And I know my hypothetical question may be too hypothetical to answer, Dave. But here's my rare opportunity to converse with you, so I'm taking advantage!! :-D Thanks so much for coming on here and chiming in!

post #15 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by festivus View Post
 

The key things that jump out to me are:

 

1) this swing has a head and postural change which suggests lots of timing required - not all bad but would promote streaky play.

 

2) worry about neck disc and rotator cuff issues down the road.


I believe Walker has already had neck issues that kept him down for quite sometime. Apparently from the force created by him forcing his eyes to stay down after contact.

post #16 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by JetFan1983 View Post
 

 

I somewhat disagree, Harmonious. I know there is leeway allowed here. But I've never seen a successful player have this much early extension before. Go find another one who does this as much as Walker does. I dunno if you can (I stand correct though if wrong!).

 

VIJAY SINGH

 

 

 

Sorry, I'm just still amazed he can play this well. I would just be massively confused over how to proceed. It's almost like Butch Harmon is right in how he handles his stable of guys: Just feed them placebos and hope to god they get out of their own way and play well?

 

Interesting thought about Harmon. Just feeding placebos. OKay.....

post #17 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JetFan1983 View Post
 

 

I somewhat disagree, Harmonious. I know there is leeway allowed here. But I've never seen a successful player have this much early extension before. Go find another one who does this as much as Walker does. I dunno if you can (I stand correct though if wrong!).

 

VIJAY SINGH

 

 

 

Sorry, I'm just still amazed he can play this well. I would just be massively confused over how to proceed. It's almost like Butch Harmon is right in how he handles his stable of guys: Just feed them placebos and hope to god they get out of their own way and play well?

 

Interesting thought about Harmon. Just feeding placebos. OKay.....

 

OK, I'm definitely not trying to turn this thread into this, so sorry for that comment. Just an opinion of course. 

 

And I disagree Vijay Singh is a good example here. But I'll stand corrected if shown why they're the same. 

post #18 of 35
Thread Starter 

@Harmonious OK, I think I found one, and as such, stand corrected. Jordan Spieth pretty much does this too, just not as aggressively as Jimmy Walker does.

 

 

I know there are exceptions to every rule, and I'm certainly not saying this disproves steady head as being important! Haha. I just never knew that this was part of the "realm of acceptable head movement" until I got all these responses here.

 

Really appreciate all you guys taking the time here. 

 

PS- sorry for the double posting. 

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