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Chamblee: Lift your Lead Heel


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On 22/1/2016 at 7:24 AM, DeadMan said:

Ran across this article today while browsing golf.com (mistake, I know), but I am curious on your thoughts. Brandel Chamblee says that the key to a good swing is lifting your lead heel off the ground, which allows you to make a full hip and shoulder turn: http://www.golf.com/instruction/brandel-chamblee-has-found-holy-grail-swing

 

 

It seems somewhat similar to part of key #1 - a full turn in the backswing. I'm just not sure the lead heel needs to lift to get that. A lot of threads and videos around here that show other ways of getting a full turn. Thoughts?

That article, by the way, has many problems (e.g., he contradicts himself about that 99% of great golfers quote later in the article, which is hilarious). But I'm really just wondering if lifting your lead heel will definitely promote a fuller turn.

I agree. Lifting the lead heel not only allows an easier turn and less strain on your back, but also bringing the heel back down tends (for me anyway) to stop me from popping up and topping the ball. I've noticed a lot of golfers doing this.

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8 hours ago, natureboy said:

I think it could depend how you deal mentally with the tradeoff between some extra distance and a bit more waywardness that may come with it. Hogan was highly competitive and could be seen as a bit of a control enthusiast and when in the mix a loose shot may have caused him intense anguish.

He won about 15 PGA individual medal events in 1946 & 1947 lifting his lead heel very high, including his first major. Probably a couple loose shots in tournaments in 1947 got under his skin in a way that Bubba may just shrug off. Without strokes gained analysis Hogan may not have appreciated the way his distance relative to the field with the high heel lift swing offset the occasional hook into trouble.

When Hogan used his new '5 Lessons' swing in 1948 he won 9 times - but only 1.5 events more than the average haul of the prior two years. But he nabbed two majors, including the U.S. Open, which is an event that tends to put a big premium on tee shots in the fairway. Bubba tends not to do as well on those setups as at the Masters (avg of ~ 27 places different) which is a bit more open off the tee.

Hogan may have found a shift in approach that worked best for his approach, temperament, swing tendencies, and goals - an optimum balance between distance / accuracy / consistency. I think he did say he had to practice less with the '5 Lessons Swing', but he had already put in a ton of time grooving a powerful pivot and 'educating' his hands.

But both swings earned him a bunch of trophies and medals.

Very good point.  I definitely do not know enough about Hogan to challenge it, but I do agree he was a control over distance guy.  

In the end, it's hard to speculate on the correlation between left heel raise and accuracy.  Some guys make it work while others don't.

I guess it's up to you as a golfer to figure that out about yourself.

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12 hours ago, TheDIYGolfer said:

I do agree he was a control over distance guy.

But only later in his career. His first book was titled, "Power Golf" for a reason.

Quote

In the end, it's hard to speculate on the correlation between left heel raise and accuracy.  Some guys make it work while others don't.

I think it pretty clearly adds some 'moving parts' chaos into the timing. But when you have a long club in your hand the distance is usually more critical to expected score than absolute precision.

Bubba, Nicklaus, and Hogan (when he did a big heel lift) use(d) progressive width stances. They automatically lifted the front heel less with the shorter clubs in some proportion to the reduced distance to the pin and club length.

If lifting the front heel was simply a 'good pivot' move, you'd expect them to lift it the same on all their shots. But they did / do the opposite, reducing the heel lift as they get closer to the hole. IMO, they shift from optimizing distance (with sufficient accuracy) to optimizing accuracy (with sufficient distance).

Heel lifting seems predominant with long drive guys. A rough guesstimate of their standard deviation of degrees offline would be about 5 degrees (a generous ~ 2/3 of balls on the grid avg at 400 yard distance with grid width of 70 yards). PGA pro average is about 3.4 standard deviation of degrees offline. Bubba tends to be like top 1-2 in distance and between the middle of the field and the bottom in driving accuracy. That's about what I'd personally expect of a tradeoff for an extreme heel lift. However, Nicklaus (toward the end of his career) was more like top 20 to top 30 in both drive distance and fairways. His heel lift was as big as Bubba on the drive, but I think he went at the ball with just a little less gusto (though probably very similar in his early years) with his body, arms, and hands. Only Nicklaus even in his youth didn't 'jump' like Bubba (Jack's lead heel stayed low) and IMO that adds a bit more potential snap to Bubba's drives at some extra cost to consistency / accuracy, because it's an additional element to time and one that's likely to affect balance and consistently centered impact.

Edited by natureboy
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1 hour ago, natureboy said:

His heel lift was as big as Bubba on the drive, but I think he went at the ball with just a little less gusto (though probably very similar in his early years) with his body, arms, and hands. Only Nicklaus even in his youth didn't 'jump' like Bubba (Jack's lead heel stayed low) and IMO that adds a bit more potential snap to Bubba's drives at some extra cost to consistency / accuracy, because it's an additional element to time and one that's likely to affect balance and consistently centered impact.

Jack went after it pretty hard. Here is a nice comparison of both swings. Interesting to see Jack's reaction to it.

 

 

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1 hour ago, natureboy said:

His heel lift was as big as Bubba on the drive, but I think he went at the ball with just a little less gusto (though probably very similar in his early years) with his body, arms, and hands. Only Nicklaus even in his youth didn't 'jump' like Bubba (Jack's lead heel stayed low) and IMO that adds a bit more potential snap to Bubba's drives at some extra cost to consistency / accuracy, because it's an additional element to time and one that's likely to affect balance and consistently centered impact.

Yes I agree having that lead leg more grounded at impact almost gives you something to hit against, providing some extra stability.  Although the video above talks about Jack moving that lead foot, you'll see that it still stays grounded.

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21 hours ago, TheDIYGolfer said:

Yes I agree having that lead leg more grounded at impact almost gives you something to hit against, providing some extra stability.  Although the video above talks about Jack moving that lead foot, you'll see that it still stays grounded.

Video is talking about the raised lead heel at the top. Jack unweights / de-pressures the lead foot so much I swear the toe shifts / slides position along the ground a hair just before he starts to plant it.

Interesting difference between their feet / legs through impact & beyond. Nicklaus doesn't seem to snap the lead leg quite as hard and retains more knee flex through impact & beyond. Nicklaus snapped the lead leg straighter when he was younger (also less 'reverse C' finish when younger). No jump / full airborne after impact like Bubba, though.

 

 

 

Edited by natureboy
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I've never thought about whether I raise my left heel or not. My Evolvr instructors have never commented on it. But yesterday doing mirror work, I noticed that I do lift the heel a small amount. I am not going to really think about it again unless my instructor mentions it.

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not sure when this was taken, probably couple of years ago. I do not remember what I was working on either, but that swing is much different than today's. I am not sure but perhaps I should revisit it. On the other hand, it might be full of holes, hard to say without the rest of the video, or perhaps one of the expert swing doctors could spot something . It looks as though I am a bit closed to the target, and I would wager I am coming across i.e. too much "around before down" or is it vice versa?

 

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41 minutes ago, Hacker James said:

It looks as though I am a bit closed to the target, and I would wager I am coming across i.e. too much "around before down" or is it vice versa?

Not sure what you mean, it's the top of your backswing, your body should be "closed" to the target.

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9 minutes ago, mvmac said:

Not sure what you mean, it's the top of your backswing, your body should be "closed" to the target.

ha ha, I know. My back is more or less facing the target.  Its just I was over analyzing and noting the position of my trail foot. Not really knowing precisely what to look for, it just seemed a little too far back (to me).  Also, it might also be that I am remembering what somebody else had mentioned long ago. Obviously, (or not), if I am swinging out to the right and drawing back to the center, then there is no problem. It gets back to that old adage:  "I wish I did not know now, what I did not know then".

 

Edited by Hacker James
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I should also mention that I posted this to demonstrate "heel lift" as in the OP. It appears that I may have strayed off topic which was not really my intent, other than to show an old swing where my heel did come up.  (My mind drifts/morphs sometimes).  Its OK, give me my "OFF TOPIC" warning,l and I will cease and desist.  My bad. Sorry.

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11 hours ago, Hacker James said:

Its just I was over analyzing and noting the position of my trail foot. Not really knowing precisely what to look for, it just seemed a little too far back (to me). 

Ah, I see. Also have to consider camera angle, it may be a little too far in front of you.

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Note: This thread is 1815 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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