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Hacker James

staying centered

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Preface: What works for ME...

Noticed on my video that I am pulling body up a little on the backswing. A found that to keep my weight forward and allow me to stay on plane coming down and through, I nudge/set my right knee in a little at address and keep it there. It gives me the feeling I am staying down and makes it easier to transfer more weight forward during the downswing and head position seems fairly steady. I wont know for sure until I video a again, but past couple of days, striking seems more solid.

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My brother walked a round with me Friday and suggested the same thing. It seems to work for me.
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If setting your right knee in means keeping it flexed - that's what I have read and found to be true. I find that a straight right knee will prevent me from pushing off and transferring my weight to the left. However, I do so many other things wrong during my swing it seems like a moot point sometimes!

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Originally Posted by tpcollins

If setting your right knee in means keeping it flexed - that's what I have read and found to be true. I find that a straight right knee will prevent me from pushing off and transferring my weight to the left. However, I do so many other things wrong during my swing it seems like a moot point sometimes!

A straight knee does not prevent that. Your trail leg is actually barely involved in getting your hips to slide forward during the downswing. They've done biomechanical studies, with sensors to determine when muscles fire, and your trail leg does very little during the downswing.

Also, this: http://thesandtrap.com/t/55080/myth-of-maintaining-address-flexion-in-the-rear-knee/ .

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Originally Posted by iacas

A straight knee does not prevent that. Your trail leg is actually barely involved in getting your hips to slide forward during the downswing.

This was an instruction that Michael Breed - 2012 PGA Teacher of the Year - gave on one of his "The Golf Fix" episodes. I found that if I locked my right knee on the backswing, pushing off to transfer my weight to the left side is very difficult. I thought the OP was addressing weight transfer - not sliding the hips, and I thought the hips were suppose to rotate or "clear" instead of sliding - I may be doing everything all wrong then.

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Originally Posted by tpcollins

This was an instruction that Michael Breed - 2012 PGA Teacher of the Year - gave on one of his "The Golf Fix" episodes. I found that if I locked my right knee on the backswing, pushing off to transfer my weight to the left side is very difficult.

Nobody has suggested that you lock your knee. And those kinds of awards are meaningless. Michael Breed decreases the flex in his trail knee during his backswing, too, as does almost everyone who plays at a high level.

Originally Posted by tpcollins

I thought the OP was addressing weight transfer - not sliding the hips, and I thought the hips were suppose to rotate or "clear" instead of sliding - I may be doing everything all wrong then.

I'm glad you've found this site. There's a lot to learn, as there are a lot of misconceptions out there about the golf swing.

http://thesandtrap.com/t/55080/myth-of-maintaining-address-flexion-in-the-rear-knee/

http://thesandtrap.com/t/29616/the-biggest-secret-slide-your-hips

And for good measure: http://purestrike5sk.com/ .

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I've had some good results with having my right knee kicked in slightly towards the target, it keeps me from swaying off the ball and gives me a good feeling for pushing forward. I've gotten away from it recently with other stuff I'm working on but I wouldn't be surprised if I found myself going back there at some point. I don't think it is an imperative for a good swing but it can and will help some players. Gary Player was a pretty good golfer...

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Originally Posted by Ernest Jones

I've had some good results with having my right knee kicked in slightly towards the target, it keeps me from swaying off the ball and gives me a good feeling for pushing forward. I've gotten away from it recently with other stuff I'm working on but I wouldn't be surprised if I found myself going back there at some point. I don't think it is an imperative for a good swing but it can and will help some players. Gary Player was a pretty good golfer...

right! that is more or less what I was saying. Nothing excessive and not really "locked" just a "trigger" if you will  to stay down rather than pulling up or having any sway hence the subject title "staying centered". There is also hip slide involved but that in no way implies swaying, its more of a kinetic signal for transition, Tom Lehman employs something similar and probably involuntariy. I have not read the studies referred to above as to what muscles are actually fired, but I am sure there is something to them.  As I said this is what works FOR ME.

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just took a look at the threads illustrated above and concur. I think the best explanation was from Mvmac illustrating how Charles Howell held the flexion as long as he could before straightening. This is exactly what it feels like to me.

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Originally Posted by iacas

I'm glad you've found this site. There's a lot to learn, as there are a lot of misconceptions out there about the golf swing.

Thanks iacas, I'm here to learn!  My concern is when there's two completely different schools of thought on a particular a golf instruction - how do I know which one is correct?

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I made a simple web search on "flexed or stiff right knee in the golf backswing" . On the first page and a half, every link said to keep the right knee flexed. I'm going to stay with a flexed right knee.

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Originally Posted by tpcollins

I made a simple web search on  "flexed or stiff right knee in the golf backswing". On the first page and a half, every link said to keep the right knee flexed. I'm going to stay with a flexed right knee.

Yeah, try that.

What they say and what they do are two different things.

Look at youtube swings of pros - that lag leg straightens - we didn't say locked - we said straightens - some more, a lot more, some less.

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Originally Posted by Mr. Desmond

Yeah, try that.

What they say and what they do are two different things.

Look at youtube swings of pros - that lag leg straightens - we didn't say locked - we said straightens - some more, a lot more, some less.

"There is nothing new under the sun".....if you think about it, even modern day instruction is not all that new and the characteristics of good players of the past and present pretty much all share many of  the same things. I think the difference is that today we have much more technology to review, understand, and illustrate and explain. Remaining flexed is something I strive to do, but at the same time it definitely straightens before impact - it has to.  I probably would not have even realized how I was pulling up had I not viewed my own video then when I kicked that knee in, the correct "feeling" ensued and was what I had done in the past. It is also evident that it did indeed straighten or perhaps a better term would be "post".

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As I said, what they say and what they do are two different things.

And if you're posting (pivoting) around the back leg ...

As to your post, I'm finding it confusing ... we were talking backswing here, right? and the straightening of the rear leg during the backswing. I've listened to too many instructors in previous years, who do not question what they are saying -- it's as if they were brainwashed and repeat the mantra in a robotic voice - "do not straighten the back leg ... do not straighten the ..."

And then, they do straighten the back leg in their swings.

If you want truth, go to youtube and find the top players.

Tiger straightens, but definitely does not lock

Luke Donald straightens:

Justin Rose straightens:

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Thanks Hacker but I was under the impression that the OP was talking about the knee's position at the start of the backswing, not impact - maybe I misunderstood his entire post. I agree that the right leg would straighten at impact - but I thought he was talking about the knee's position at the start of the backswing, at the top of the backswing, andthe weight transfer at the beginning of the downswing. I've read his post several times but obviously I'm missing something . . .

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Originally Posted by tpcollins

Thanks Hacker but I was under the impression that the OP was talking about the knee's position at the start of the backswing, not impact - maybe I misunderstood his entire post. I agree that the right leg would straighten at impact - but I thought he was talking about the knee's position at the start of the backswing, at the top of the backswing, andthe weight transfer at the beginning of the downswing. I've read his post several times but obviously I'm missing something . . .

Nope, you did not misunderstand. I don't know at what precise moment the trailing leg will straighten but yes indeed I was talking about keeping the knee flexion intact as long as possible to keep myself centered and to prevent the torso from being lifted.  I further agree that there is a feeling of pushing off with the right instep, this in of itself more than likely also leads to the straightening. I don't really think that anybody has said anything in disagreement.  I will leave it up to the professional instructors for technical analysis as they are better equipped to do so than I.  and I AM the OP

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The only time i kick my right knee in, is when i am doing short pitches and chips. I will bank my right foot in, so the right side of my right foot is off the ground. This keeps me on my front let when pitching. Its similar to putting the right foot back, taking it out of the swing.

Other than that, for full swing i make sure my left foot is flared out, so it locks my knee from banking to far to the right. I like to focus more on what i my front leg is doing, rather my back leg. If i am hitting it good, there is hardly any feeling of my right leg doing anything.

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Originally Posted by tpcollins

Thanks iacas, I'm here to learn!  My concern is when there's two completely different schools of thought on a particular a golf instruction - how do I know which one is correct?

Originally Posted by tpcollins

I made a simple web search on  "flexed or stiff right knee in the golf backswing". On the first page and a half, every link said to keep the right knee flexed. I'm going to stay with a flexed right knee.

I'm really not trying to pick on you, but the two bolded statements are in conflict with one another.

There's a lot of shitty, terrible golf instruction out there. You found one of the larger topic areas (another is ball flight and the "ball flight laws").

Again, watch what PGA Tour pros do, and disregard what instructors SAY to do. The two are often directly opposed to one another.

Virtually every great player decreases the flex in the trail knee during the backswing. Biomechanically, it becomes VERY difficult to turn your hips without decreasing the flex in the rear knee.

There are opinions, and there are facts. The above bolded sentences are two facts.

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