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mvmac

Myth of Maintaining Your Address Flex in the Rear Knee

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Here are two other examples of good driving. One legendary and the other best in effective / expected driving distance (distance accounting for penalty of waywardness) for 2013. Contrasting R hip / knee action, but both excellent drivers of the ball.

Though I couldn't find a back view of Norman and his shirt is hanging down, so I estimated the position of his belt line along the seam of his pants. It seems clear that Norman raises both his right hip and his head about the same amount so his R knee must be losing angle / extending. Bradley looks to have dropped the R hip (line on the top right corner of his yardage book at address) and his head seems to have lowered more so I view him as maintaining or even deepening R knee flex.

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BTW I recorded a new video in the OP. It's more "streamlined" than the first, half as long, more Key focused and more to the point.

The original video is still on my Youtube page, it was recorded before the 5SK dvd came out so it made sense to "update" it. Will probably do the same thing with the "Centered Pivot" video.

You're going to see the same thing. Angle isn't perfect but you see the belt line going from level to tilted, rear leg has lessened in flex, lead knee has gained in flex, which allows the right hip to move up and around.

Again, and hopefully for the last time, the purpose of this thread is to bust the myth of not lessening flex in the trail knee on the backswing by examining HOW the best player's knees and hips work on the backswing to achieve Key #1.

There's no point in nit-picking players stats or how their swings compare to one another (for the purpose of this thread). They all hit the ball extremely well and they all keep their head steady.

Also, we haven't just identified this by looking at 2D video, it's been confirmed by the 3D information that's been gathered.

See what I mean about the viewing angle, though? Left pic - no knee flex, right pic massive R knee flex. That's why I think the R hip height at the top is more telling about how much knee angle is extended, maintained, or deepened. As I see it, if the R leg is holding most of the weight at the top (otherwise reverse pivot) and it extends, then the hips have to rise relative to the ground.

I'm not doubting you have done extensive studies that show many of the best players extend the R leg. I just don't think all the best players do and some may exemplify the myth. But would agree that the 'law' that you have to hold flex to be an effective ballstriker is busted just by the example of Mahan & Norman. I just believe in looking closely at what each individual player is actually doing so I can understand swing principles better. I have already learned much through the discussion.

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You're going to see the same thing. Angle isn't perfect but you see the belt line going from level to tilted, rear leg has lessened in flex, lead knee has gained in flex, which allows the right hip to move up and around.

I would agree that every good player I've seen has hip tilt at the top. I just think it often comes primarily from dropping of the L versus raising of the R hip / extending R knee (my view of Tiger / Hogan). But per my examples in other post clearly not always and maybe not even primarily. I will keep looking for more examples.

Below is your Mahan pic with ground and hip lines. Per the line at the bottom of his foot on the left, the camera clearly jogged and raised in the pic on the right. It looks like his head, R hip, and R foot all moved about the same vertically unless the green dot is maybe a little low on the belt in the pic on the R.

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I worked on this all day today -- when you turn that right hip and put weight on the trail leg, the right hip definitely goes up as that right leg straightens. I wasn't trying to straighten it ... and the left knee does its own thing ... hopefully goes toward the right knee a tad ... I did about 4 hrs of drills today... color me exhausted.

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I just don't think all the best players do and some may exemplify the myth. But would agree that the 'law' that you have to hold flex to be an effective ballstriker is busted just by the example of Mahan & Norman. I just believe in looking closely at what each individual player is actually doing so I can understand swing principles better. I have already learned much through the discussion.

I agree not ALL but the vast majority of good players do. Again, we are looking at commonalities.

But would agree that the 'law' that you have to hold flex to be an effective ballstriker is busted just by the example of Mahan & Norman.

As well as many, many other players, past and present.

I just believe in looking closely at what each individual player is actually doing so I can understand swing principles better. I have already learned much through the discussion.

Well, save yourself some time, it's already been done ;-) (Just kidding of course)

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In the pic below I moved the red line laterally with no change in vertical position to the same belt loop.

That's not true.

Also, we haven't just identified this by looking at 2D video, it's been confirmed by the 3D information that's been gathered.

I want to stress this point, @natureboy - we aren't basing this off 2D video. We're basing it off 3D measurements.

I'm not doubting you have done extensive studies that show many of the best players extend the R leg. I just don't think all the best players do and some may exemplify the myth.

We never said they all do it.

Now that that's cleared up, can we get back to helping people instead of trying to find exceptions (and doing a poor job of it with 2D numbers and slightly fudged graphics)?

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That's not true.

We never said they all do it.

I drew a line from his R belt loop down to his pant leg. Then I copied and pasted on top of the R pic and adjusted the position (not the length / height) of the line so the bottom hit the same spot on his pants leg. The issue is that the camera has jogged so the pic on the R is lower than on the L. Yes it is 2D which is less desirable, but the ground isn't moving. That's why I focus on the R hip height relative to the R foot. I strongly believe that if loading R then the hip height relative to the ground / R foot is more indicative of knee flex than the angle of the knee when looking down the line, because the R hip socket is moving around & back while the R heel remains pretty much fixed.

Below is the pic with the right pic adjusted so his R foot is at the same level in both pics and lines for R hip and head height. Note how well the hip height line matches the text on the trash box in the background. The height of the red lines above the bottom of his R foot is identical in the right and left pics.

I agree that some / many good golfers extend the R leg and raise the R hip, but I'm not convinced most do.


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I agree that some / many good golfers extend the R leg and raise the R hip, but I'm not convinced most do.

Then I would suggest you continue to study it until you are.

I'm not sure where you think this will continue to go. I'm pretty comfortable. We don't tell players to fully straighten their knees, nor do we tell them to maintain the same flex at address.

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I agree that some / many good golfers extend the R leg and raise the R hip, but I'm not convinced most do.

I don't know what to tell you, the hall of fame and 3D data would disagree with you.

It seems like you're biased against the rear leg decreasing in flex, not sure why that is, we're just sharing what most good players do to achieve a centered pivot/Key#1.

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I don't know what to tell you, the hall of fame and 3D data would disagree with you.

 

It seems like you're biased against the rear leg decreasing in flex, not sure why that is, we're just sharing what most good players do to achieve a centered pivot/Key#1.

No not biased. I have no swing theory axe to grind. Just trying to understand your point and make sure it jives with what I perceive.

This is how I learn something in depth. I just think measuring knee flex angle from down the line will tend to exaggerate any straightening, and could be visually misleading as a feel. I do think R hip height is more indicative of the amount of R leg flex lost vs maintained.

Here's how open-minded I am:

I did an experiment with a paper clip bent to a simple wire-frame model of a golfer at address. With an anchored R heel, if the R shin becomes more vertical (which mine does with a R loaded hip & shoulder turn), and there is no change in R knee angle then the R hip will lower slightly. So if the R hip height is maintained relative to the ground going back then the R leg has to have actually extended somewhat to maintain that height. If the R hip rises above its height at address as with the examples I posted then I would say the R leg has extended even more.

Having gone through this exercise, I concede this could (and probably does) put most pros into the (at least slightly) extending category. If the R hip drops a lot (how much?), then I think the flex has been maintained. For me at least, I think the intent of holding knee flex probably results in an 'automatic' slight extension of the R leg. I will in future experiment to see if less 'trying to hold flex' improves or hurts my particular swing results.

Do you have a 3-D model you can post pics of from DTL, Back, & 45* between that shows the angles? I would personally find that more helpful in visualizing than the DTL pics alone.

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I just think measuring knee flex angle from down the line will tend to exaggerate any straightening, and could be visually misleading as a feel.

I don't believe we've ever said we're "measuring" knee flex changes. You can't from a 2D image on a screen. We have "measured" it using machines other than cameras.

I will in future experiment to see if less 'trying to hold flex' improves or hurts my particular swing results.

I'm not terribly interested in the results of one person doing this on their own with no direct supervision, and an unknown swing, priority, etc. Since you've listed your handicap as 27… if that were accurate, I imagine there would be ten things I'd worry about first.

I'm glad we can put this issue to bed, though. Thanks.

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I don't believe we've ever said we're "measuring" knee flex changes. You can't from a 2D image on a screen. We have "measured" it using machines other than cameras.

I'm not terribly interested in the results of one person doing this on their own with no direct supervision, and an unknown swing, priority, etc. Since you've listed your handicap as 27… if that were accurate, I imagine there would be ten things I'd worry about first.

I'm glad we can put this issue to bed, though. Thanks.

It wasn't clear to me from the discussion / presentation so I asked. Isn't that the point of a forum? I kinda thought my paper clip / wire frame analogy would be helpful to those like me who don't get the concept right away.

I didn't presume that you or anyone cares about my results.The intent of my second statement was that now that I really 'get' and accept the concept, I will work with it. Maybe down the road as you suggest.

Despite my current high handicap (dropping fairly steadily), my full swing isn't terrible. I can hit GIR on par-5, par-4, & par-3s, just not as consistently as I would like. Short game & putting is now the bigger weakness, though I am still working on everything. I try to understand these 'over my head' concepts so I can build good fundamentals early and understand enough about swing mechanics to diagnose faults & errors on my own and on the course. I started the game late and am trying to make up for that lack of foundation with good knowledge.

If you don't think the discussion adds anything of value to the thread, free to delete all my posts. I'm still glad I asked the questions, because I learned something.

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It wasn't clear to me from the discussion / presentation so I asked. Isn't that the point of a forum?

It didn't seem like you were asking as much as you were trying to tear down their position. @iacas and @mvmac are both very knowledgeable and very good at what they do. It's obviously ok to question their findings, but know that they've probably done a lot more research and analysis than you or I could ever dream of being able to do. Their findings are based on observable data; they're not pulling things out of thin air.

Despite my current high handicap (dropping fairly steadily), my full swing isn't terrible. I can hit GIR on par-5, par-4, & par-3s, just not as consistently as I would like. Short game & putting is now the bigger weakness, though I am still working on everything.

This is highly unlikely.

I try to understand these 'over my head' concepts so I can build good fundamentals early and understand enough about swing mechanics to diagnose faults & errors on my own and on the course. I started the game late and am trying to make up for that lack of foundation with good knowledge.

You're not seeing the forest for the trees. Having a lot of swing theory knowledge does not necessarily mean you're going to be good at golf. When you start nit-picking the little details (like whether the right hip goes up and by how much), you're really losing sight of the whole point. The rear knee straightens in the swing, but that's not what we're trying to achieve. The why it should (helps with centered pivot, etc.) is the reason we look at the what.

Be careful about self-diagnosis. There aren't that many people out there who are truly capable of doing it correctly.

If you don't think the discussion adds anything of value to the thread, free to delete all my posts.

We wouldn't do that because it changes history. This discussion happened, others saw it. It's important that other people can see it. Even if we can't get through to you (and I sincerely hope that we do), it may help others from going down this path in the future.

@natureboy , the rear knee loses flex. It's real, despite what many PGA Tour pros and coaches have to say about it. It helps with a bunch of other issues many golfers have in their swings.

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It didn't seem like you were asking as much as you were trying to tear down their position. @iacas and @mvmac are both very knowledgeable and very good at what they do. It's obviously ok to question their findings, but know that they've probably done a lot more research and analysis than you or I could ever dream of being able to do. Their findings are based on observable data; they're not pulling things out of thin air.

This is highly unlikely.

You're not seeing the forest for the trees. Having a lot of swing theory knowledge does not necessarily mean you're going to be good at golf. When you start nit-picking the little details (like whether the right hip goes up and by how much), you're really losing sight of the whole point. The rear knee straightens in the swing, but that's not what we're trying to achieve. The why it should (helps with centered pivot, etc.) is the reason we look at the what.

Be careful about self-diagnosis. There aren't that many people out there who are truly capable of doing it correctly.

We wouldn't do that because it changes history. This discussion happened, others saw it. It's important that other people can see it. Even if we can't get through to you (and I sincerely hope that we do), it may help others from going down this path in the future.

@natureboy, the rear knee loses flex. It's real, despite what many PGA Tour pros and coaches have to say about it. It helps with a bunch of other issues many golfers have in their swings.

Wait, if you didn't lose the flex in the rear leg, wouldn't you end up picking up the rear foot off the ground at finish? That would look kind of awkward. :-$

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Wait, if you didn't lose the flex in the rear leg, wouldn't you end up picking up the rear foot off the ground at finish? That would look kind of awkward.

We were talking about during the backswing to the 'top'. I don't understand what you are saying would make your rear foot 'pick up'?

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