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Thinking Critically about Instructional Information


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2016-11-04 18.11.14.jpg

Read that.

On first pass, most people wouldn't have any problem with that at all. It sounds right, right?

But think about it critically. Even if you've not read things on this site that might make you question this… you might find yourself wondering why it is supposedly easier to time accelerating into the ball at exactly the right speed over reaching hitting the ball near the peak speed.

If you continue to think about it… if the clubhead needs to be moving 23 or 47 or xx.x MPH when you hit the ball for it to travel a certain distance, which is easier to time: accelerating at impact or hitting it around the "max velocity" (little to no acceleration or deceleration)?

If you remember the putting thread (linked below), this graphic might help:

28efd8b3_ScreenShot2014-08-13at8.14.58AM

From this thread:

This isn't a post about Dave Pelz. It's about thinking critically… and not accepting information just because an instructor - famous or otherwise - says it.

This is a short post, but basically, ask one question of your instructors: why? Whether you ask that in your mind or you actually ask your instructor, ask why.

I tell my students they're welcome to ask "why?" any time they want because I'll always have an answer for them. When they give you an answer, use your BS meter and your intellect to see if it jives. See if it makes sense to you.

Then, go from there…

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I couldn't agree with this more. I've been lucky to find golf instructors who had no issue with my constant questions. I'm the kind of person who always wants to know "why".

Sometimes, that may hold me back (and it may lengthen my lessons!), but it is the only way I can learn. It has paid off on at least one specific occasion, as I was able to self-diagnose a swing fault that I had discussed in a bit of detail during one of those "Why?" asides in a previous lesson.

 

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This bums me out. When you are just starting out you take so much info in that you never consider that its wrong. As your own experience grows you can sift through a little better. I wonder why there is so much contradiction in golf instruction. Some of the famous ones just like to hear themselves talk i reckon. I trust things people say here more because the tips are usually filled with the excitement from the person having success. That said, Its a good day when my magazines show up in the mail. Hit Em Good this weekend

 

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14 hours ago, Strat-Pack said:

This bums me out. When you are just starting out you take so much info in that you never consider that its wrong. As your own experience grows you can sift through a little better. I wonder why there is so much contradiction in golf instruction. Some of the famous ones just like to hear themselves talk i reckon. I trust things people say here more because the tips are usually filled with the excitement from the person having success. That said, Its a good day when my magazines show up in the mail. Hit Em Good this weekend

 

Yep!  to paraphrase Dirty Harry..."a man has got to separate the wheat from the chaff" (and there is a lot of chaff these days).

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15 hours ago, Strat-Pack said:

. That said, Its a good day when my magazines show up in the mail. 

 

Golf magazines?

If so, I once thought that way. Then I noticed that the pics did not correlate with the text, and a lot of it is poor instruction. I haven't picked up a golf mag in 8 yrs.

If I want more about results and player profiles, golfweek on the net.

I ask questions of my instructor -- thankful he has a somewhat open mind, and his answers are based on data.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On ‎11‎/‎4‎/‎2016 at 5:52 PM, iacas said:

 

Read that.

If you continue to think about it… if the clubhead needs to be moving 23 or 47 or xx.x MPH when you hit the ball for it to travel a certain distance, which is easier to time: accelerating at impact or hitting it around the "max velocity" (little to no acceleration or deceleration)?

 

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.

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3 minutes 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.

Read the putting thread linked to above.

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.

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9 minutes ago, garybbq said:

yes but this is about pitching......

The same principles apply.

If you have to send the ball 60 yards, and that requires a clubhead moving 40 MPH, is it easier to "time" it while you're still accelerating, or to "time" it during the wider "peak speed" interval?

The truth is both require "timing." But accelerating into the ball requires more, not the opposite.

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I don't agree, since we are talking about pitching and the club head at the top of the backswing is quite high (compared to chipping or putting) the force of gravity it heavily at play. Gravity alone is going to cause the club head to accelerate the entire time until it meets resistance (ball, ground etc.) so I think keeping the club head accelerating is easier then trying to bring it to a constant velocity or max velocity right at or before the ball. In order to do that you would need to exert some force to cancel out the natural forces at play.

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6 minutes ago, garybbq said:

Gravity alone is going to cause the club head to accelerate the entire time until it meets resistance (ball, ground etc.) so I think keeping the club head accelerating is easier then trying to bring it to a constant velocity or max velocity right at or before the ball.

I'm not saying to bring it to a constant velocity and maintain it prior to and through impact, nor is Dave Pelz saying to accelerate only up to impact. The latter is actually closer to what I am suggesting you should do, while Dave Pelz clearly says accelerate "through and past impact."

Dave Pelz says you should continue to force the club to accelerate "through and past impact." I'm saying let it accelerate to somewhere near impact (anything in the "wide spot" is fine), but don't force it to continue to accelerate past that point.

Accelerating "through and past impact" is actually more difficult to time - opposite of what Dave Pelz says.

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Your graph in the blue area shows acceleration, constant speed and deceleration. I think it would harder when hitting a pitch to time hitting in this area then to accelerate right through the ball and after as Pelz says.

 

If you had a robot swing the club your way might be more consistent but for the average golfer I think its harder and will lead to poor contact.

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I think instructors experiment with us sometimes. Just like when I was a kid and my mom put spinach in the lasagna and I completely flipped out. She just wanted to see what would happen. 

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20 minutes ago, garybbq said:

Your graph in the blue area shows acceleration, constant speed and deceleration. I think it would harder when hitting a pitch to time hitting in this area then to accelerate right through the ball and after as Pelz says.

That's backward. :-)

@garybbq, we could go back and forth on this, but the basic explanation is in the putting thread. You have more time - and thus need less timing - when hitting the ball during the "blue" phase than during the "red" phase:

28efd8b3_ScreenShot2014-08-13at8.14.58AM

The vertical axis is the speed of the clubhead and the horizontal is time… It doesn't even matter if this is a putt or a pitch. The logic/science/math works out the same.

P.S. Never mind that a pendulum begins decelerating when it reaches the bottom… forcing it to accelerate even as it begins to fight against gravity is no simple task.

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Yes we definitely could go back and fourth on this.

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)

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