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Thinking Critically about Instructional Information


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1 hour ago, garybbq said:

I'm not quite sure I follow what you mean about "timing acceleration" ? I always thought the club head is accelerating up until it hits the resistance of the ball.

Well you can definitely decelerate, which I think is what Pelz is really talking about. Quitting on a shot (often arising from too long a backswing, starting down with too much speed for the shot distance, or fear of going long) is a likely higher HCP fault. Given his point about 'coming up short' this seems to be what Pelz is addressing.

Per the point of the OP it would also seem to be valuable to say '"What do you mean by that...what issue do you see that it will address?".

If you took it from the resulting conversation that instructor Dave was primarily talking about avoiding 'quitting on the shot' then the advice makes some sense. Start from a relatively short backswing position for the intended distance and use the intention of a longer follow through to carry enough speed through impact to ensure you don't quit on the shot. In instructor Dave's experience (correctly or not) an evenly matched backswing and follow-through may have more bias to quitting on the shot for various reasons. Then maybe the instructor's point may make more sense. Language can be imperfect. It's always smart to ask questions.

1 hour ago, iacas said:

Good putters often hit the ball with a slightly decelerating blow. There's more margin for error in getting the speed right than those who try to accelerate into and through impact.

Isn't this primarily because good putters often position the ball slightly ahead of low point to ensure a slightly ascending AoA?

http://grammarist.com/usage/gibe-jibe-jive/

 

Edited by natureboy
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4 minutes ago, garybbq said:

All I am saying is that my pitching has gotten much better when I focus on accelerating right though the ball as Pelz says. (I did not get that from Pelz but another instructor who explained it a slightly different way)

That's your feel. It may or may not (experience would say it's most likely not) what's actually happening. Decelerating quite a bit into impact is arguably worse than accelerating into impact, but the "red area" is the same size… it's just on the right side instead of the left side of the arc.

4 minutes ago, natureboy said:

Isn't this primarily because good putters often position the ball slightly ahead of low point to ensure a slightly ascending AoA?

Not "primarily." There's little cause/effect here. Poor putters can put the ball wherever they want in their stance and many of them still have the "Poor" dynamics seen in that other topic.

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5 minutes ago, iacas said:

Not "primarily." There's little cause/effect here. Poor putters can put the ball wherever they want in their stance and many of them still have the "Poor" dynamics seen in that other topic.

I meant the fact that good putters often are decelerating before impact. Pendulum stroke with ball positioned ahead of low point to ensure slightly upward AoA.

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25 minutes ago, natureboy said:

I meant the fact that good putters often are decelerating before impact. Pendulum stroke with ball positioned ahead of low point to ensure slightly upward AoA.

I know what you meant. I'm saying there's little cause-and-effect here. Nobody actually swings their putter like a pendulum - you'd need to make a huge backswing for all but the shortest of putts.

It's really not the topic here, either, hence my brevity.

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41 minutes ago, iacas said:

That's your feel. It may or may not (experience would say it's most likely not) what's actually happening. Decelerating quite a bit into impact is arguably worse than accelerating into impact, but the "red area" is the same size… it's just on the right side instead of the left side of the arc.

Not "primarily." There's little cause/effect here. Poor putters can put the ball wherever they want in their stance and many of them still have the "Poor" dynamics seen in that other topic.

Whats actually happening is not relevant, the point of this piece of instruction is to help someone with their pitching. Golf instruction is not programming a robot.

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6 minutes ago, garybbq said:

Whats actually happening is not relevant, the point of this piece of instruction is to help someone with their pitching. Golf instruction is not programming a robot.

It's incredibly relevant. Pelz wasn't saying "this feel may work for you." He was saying "actually do this."

If someone goes out there and actually tries to do what he says, more often than not that's not going to help them. It defies the logic and physics of the situation.

I give a lot of "feels" that aren't what's actually happening to my students, but they're in a very carefully defined context. The student knows what we're trying to "actually" achieve in reality, and if the feel produces it, cool.

Dave Pelz has no carefully defined context, so in pitching a feel to people, he's risking doing more harm than good.

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2 minutes ago, iacas said:

It's incredibly relevant. Pelz wasn't saying "this feel may work for you." He was saying "actually do this."

So you would tell a student "hit it in the middle of this graph because it easier to time"?

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10 minutes ago, garybbq said:

So you would tell a student "hit it in the middle of this graph because it easier to time"?

You're confusing empirical data (which is universal) with the instruction resulting from that data (which is student-specific).

For a student who decelerated WAY too early, the instruction might actually end up being to "feel like you're accelerating through the ball".

(not speaking for @iacas, of course, just in general)

The point of this thread is not that the specific "quick tip" doesn't work for some golfers (sounds like it did for you), but that we should think critically about "quick tips" since so many of them describe swing feelings as if they are empirically correct, when they aren't.

TL;DR: Feeling like you're accelerating through the ball might work, but actually doing it is not ideal.

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18 minutes ago, garybbq said:

So you would tell a student "hit it in the middle of this graph because it easier to time"?

What @Hardspoon said.

Though, FWIW, I don't think I've ever had to tell someone to feel as though they're accelerating through their putts… and I do have to tell a lot of students to feel as if they're doing nothing on their pitches as they get too "hitty" at them.

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55 minutes ago, iacas said:

It's incredibly relevant. Pelz wasn't saying "this feel may work for you." He was saying "actually do this."

If someone goes out there and actually tries to do what he says, more often than not that's not going to help them. It defies the logic and physics of the situation.

How does this defy logic? Gravity and momentum are causing the club head to accelerate naturally, Pelz is just saying to keep it accelerating right through impact.   

34 minutes ago, Hardspoon said:

You're confusing empirical data (which is universal) with the instruction resulting from that data (which is student-specific).

For a student who decelerated WAY too early, the instruction might actually end up being to "feel like you're accelerating through the ball".

(not speaking for @iacas, of course, just in general)

The point of this thread is not that the specific "quick tip" doesn't work for some golfers (sounds like it did for you), but that we should think critically about "quick tips" since so many of them describe swing feelings as if they are empirically correct, when they aren't.

TL;DR: Feeling like you're accelerating through the ball might work, but actually doing it is not ideal.

Well any "quick tip" can be wrong without the proper context. I would agree that most likely any "quick tip" is pretty useless but this thread is a discussion spicific to poor pitching and leaving it short.

Edited by garybbq
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3 minutes ago, garybbq said:

How does this defy logic? Gravity and momentum are causing the club head to accelerate naturally, Pelz is just saying to keep it accelerating right through impact.

Gravity would also have the club head decelerating at and through impact… which is the opposite of what Pelz tells you to do.

And at the core… accelerating or decelerating is tougher to time than "coasting" (neither accelerating or decelerating much).

7 minutes ago, garybbq said:

Well any "quick tip" can be wrong without the proper context. I would agree that most likely any "quick tip" is pretty useless but this thread is a discussion spicific to poor pitching and leaving it short.

There's no context. He says to swing short to long to ensure crisp contact, then he says something that's factually wrong (easier to time it when accelerating than when trying to hit it near peak speed).

Let's both leave it at that. :-)

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1 minute ago, garybbq said:

How does this defy logic? Gravity and momentum are causing the club head to accelerate naturally, Pelz is just saying to keep it accelerating right through impact.   

At the bottom of the downswing, gravity is causing no acceleration in the horizontal motion of the clubhead, since the motion is perpendicular to gravity;  just beyond the bottom, since the clubhead is rising, gravity is decelerating the clubhead. 

Momentum is velocity times mass. It does not cause acceleration. 

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1 minute ago, iacas said:

Gravity would also have the club head decelerating at and through impact… which is the opposite of what Pelz tells you to do.

And at the core… accelerating or decelerating is tougher to time than "coasting."

yes the gravitational force is less at the bottom of the arc, and the club head would start to decelerate right before the ball. However the student needs to add force to get the club head to reach the certain speed needed to hit the ball the proper distance.

I think that it is easier to "accelerate" to that speed then it is to "coast". That might be wrong but that's my point. (and I'm trying to think critically about this piece of instruction)

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9 minutes ago, garybbq said:

Well any "quick tip" can be wrong without the proper context.

Yep, exactly.

10 minutes ago, garybbq said:

I would agree that most likely any "quick tip" is pretty useless but this thread is a discussion spicific to poor pitching and leaving it short.

No, it isn't. It's about analyzing instructional content critically. The article was an example of a "tip" that contains factually inaccurate information, no matter how helpful it might be to a specific player with a specific (arguably rare) issue.

Perfect example that fits perfectly in this thread: every article ever published pushing the "drive for show, put for dough" myth.

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16 minutes ago, garybbq said:

I think that it is easier to "accelerate" to that speed then it is to "coast". That might be wrong but that's my point. (and I'm trying to think critically about this piece of instruction)

@garybbq, please refer to the graph I posted.

And again… let's leave it where it is. This topic isn't about this specific piece of instruction.

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I think a lot of this "accelerating through impact" stuff comes exactly from what natureboy said about "quitting on the shot". Far too many times, I've seen buddies with short pitches to the green take practice swings that were way too big for the shot, only to dump the clubhead into the ground and chunk it, or somewhere in the swing figure out that it was going wrong, try to correct, and blade it over the green!

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10 hours ago, Buckeyebowman said:

I think a lot of this "accelerating through impact" stuff comes exactly from what natureboy said about "quitting on the shot". Far too many times, I've seen buddies with short pitches to the green take practice swings that were way too big for the shot, only to dump the clubhead into the ground and chunk it, or somewhere in the swing figure out that it was going wrong, try to correct, and blade it over the green!

Which might be fine advice if that's what you do… but that's part of the problem with these tips: they're very specific tips that benefit only a specific audience, and the reasoning or "physics" or whatever behind it is not even accurate.

It's not easier to "time" accelerating into the ball, and the follow-through length is at best an indicator of what was happening around impact.

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I agree. Everybody has a little different way to do things. As for myself, I've been trying to adopt what I call the "tic-toc" method. Equal length and tempo for the backswing and through swing on chips and pitches. This helps me stop lunging at the ball, which I am prone to do.

The trick, or perhaps I should say the "skill", to be able to do this can only come through practice. You have to know just how far to swing the club back to produce the results you want.

Oddly enough, this ability seems to "float around" a bit for me. Sometimes I'm pretty good, other times I suck! I've had stretches this year where nearly every chip threatened the hole, and others where I looked like a 36+ chop!

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Note: This thread is 1522 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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