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RussUK

"Playing From a Position" à la Jim Venetos

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First, I'll say this. I can't say for certain I've never said "you rotate round your spine" or anything like it. I probably have. I could probably find me saying this here on TST in a few minutes.

But still, there's a context to those types of comments. The context is usually someone rotating their shoulders in a way that's not "around their spine" or whose head is moving around a bunch or something.

That said, I don't feel particularly bad nit-picking at this video a little bit, because of two things:

  • Jim makes the fatal mistake of lumping "traditional swing" people into one giant bucket. It's dumb to do this, for many, many reasons.
  • Jim gets basic facts wrong.
6 hours ago, Vinsk said:

Another example where Jim has a concept but then proceeds to make false claims.

Yeah.

6 hours ago, Vinsk said:

The spine rotates. The thoracic and cervical spine regions are designed to do so. That’s not an opinion. That’s anatomy/physiology 101.

Bingo. Basic facts here. The spine DOES rotate. It twists. It also extends and flexes, in 360°.

6 hours ago, Vinsk said:

I can see where a traditional swing may cause more stress to the spine than his method.

You can also, as a doctor, see that any time anyone does something like play at the PGA Tour level, that their bodies take a bit of a beating. Any sport. Look at the ankles of an old basketball player. The bodies (and minds) of an old football player. The knees of a catcher. The shoulder or elbow of an old pitcher.

The backs of a high-level golfer.

That's what it takes to perform at that high of a level. I am as yet unaware of anyone who has done the @Jim Venetos swing and played on the PGA Tour at all, let alone for a long time like many of the game's best. Like Tiger or Rory or Day. So it appears as though the choice for them might be between the following options:

  • Play on the PGA Tour, at a high level, winning a major or more…
  • Play the Jim Venetos swing, maybe don't injure your back as badly (I'm convinced Jason Day would get injured flossing), and never make it past, what, a Texas mini tour?

Almost nobody is going to choose B if A is a real possibility. They'll risk some injury. Jim also ignores the golfers who have long careers without much injury issue. Jack's back was mostly okay - his hips gave out, IIRC. Fred Couples had a famously balky back but played and contented at Augusta into his 50s. Tom Watson nearly won the British Open at 59. Etc.

6 hours ago, Vinsk said:

But how he goes about explaining it is 100% nonsense.

Also, I didn't care for the part where he said PGA Tour players would be "better" if they got rid of traditional instruction or something. I skimmed that part, but c'mon @Jim Venetos, that's a hell of a claim. If the JV swing was better, we'd have people out there winning majors with it and staying super healthy, no? JV has been teaching this for 30 years or so, hasn't he?


Also, mostly in fun, JV says "your left arm" and "your right arm connect to the club." But, they don't either. Your fingers connect. Maybe even your hands. If your arms are "connecting" to the club, you're doing something wrong. Or you're using an arm-lock putter.

And then he says your left shoulder is the center of the swing (I think). Well, your left shoulder isn't that far from your spine, and it's definitely not "connected" to the club, so…

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I’ve considered the possibility that many people lose interest in pursuing his method due to his incorrect statements. I know @JimVenetosGolf thinks he’s right. But you can’t just answer with ‘try my swing’ or ‘ join my school.’ For instruction sure. But when you’re asked to explain the science and show the data of said claims....you have to produce. 
I noticed many of JV’s followers still believe in things like short game being the most important factor to improving scores. Hell one of his main guys ( who has since left) was making YouTube videos about his journey with this method. He still used the old argument, ‘ Putts contribute the most strokes to a round...putting is where you’ll improve your score...that’s what separates the pros from the amateurs.’ Of course that’s completely bogus.

I’m not sure why Jim just doesn’t promote his method for what it is. A pretty solid method to play some good golf. But it’s not a method for elite golf. 
 

@JimVenetosGolf I don’t think showing your 118mph driver swing on a TrackMan is in any way an unreasonable request nor disrespectful. It’s 2020. Let’s see the swing and the stats on your +7 hcp golfer. We don’t have to prove the ‘traditional’ swing is successful. We have years of the best golfers in the world winning with it. 
 
I really like this swing and continue to play it. But enough with the ‘ pros are inconsistent’ and ‘ they’d be better with this method’ jargon. 

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Another fact to add @JimVenetosGolf: Tiger Woods had a handicap of 9.4 average for the entire year of 2008. Please argue how that’s not ‘consistent’ golf. 
 

In fact....your claim of pros being ‘inconsistent’ is altogether quite ridiculous. Do you follow these guys? Are you really aware of just how good they are?

All those guys with their incorrect, inefficient traditional method.🤔

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On 4/25/2019 at 11:18 PM, Pretzel said:

Your swing has no turn to the hips or shoulders. Do you know where "power", or more accurately clubhead speed, comes from in the golf swing?

The answer is in using the entire body to create tension and "lag" in multiple areas that can be used to snap each piece into place faster than if there was no tension.

The hips being ahead of the shoulders creates tension in your abs, lats, traps, and obliques - tension that can be used to help "pull" your collarbone to rotate faster than it could on its own. Your arms folding across your body puts more tension on the lats and traps, as well as increasing tension in the rhomboids, triceps, deltoids, teres major, and rotator cuff muscles (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis) primarily on the side of the leading arm (left side for right-handed golfers). All this allows the arms to rotate faster than they would otherwise. When you hinge your wrists you put tension into primarily the flexor carpi ulnaris, helping to pull the wrist straight again and rotate the clubhead faster than your hands alone can move. 

Back down below the hips, your legs can increase the speed of the forward hip rotation with the tension applied to the gluteal muscles in combination with using the quads to snap the leg into a straightened position. The gluteus maximus pulls the lead thigh backwards, while the quads pull the lead leg straight (pulls the whole leg behind you, dragging the hips from in front) and the quads of the rear leg push it straight (with the hip flexors moving the thigh towards your front) as a means of using the trail leg to "push" the hips faster. This is made possible by a squatting motion at the top of the downswing and an extension of the legs (alongside those thick glutes pulling the front thigh back and the hip flexors pulling the rear thigh forwards).

All of this tension is introduced to the various muscle groups during the normal/"traditional" backswing, which serves the purpose of storing energy much like what would happen if you stretched a spring or an elastic band. Unlike a spring or elastic band, however, our muscles can also contract on their own and actively pull instead of only passively pulling in response to being stretched.

The swing you teach, @Jim Venetos, does not store as much energy during the backswing as a traditional golf swing. You do not move your legs or hips at all during the backswing, and only barely move the shoulders. All that energy that is stored during the backswing of a normal golf swing is lost entirely, and the muscles used during the downswing do not have as much leverage to be able to rotate your body and club through the ball as quickly.

Here's a comparison of how much/where energy is stored at the top of the backswing for your swing versus a traditional swing:

Jim Venetos vs Rory McIlroy.jpg

Note that in purple I'm specifically referencing the amount of arm rotation relative to the shoulders. You both have about the same angle between your shoulders and your arms. McIlroy has more energy from his arms being rotated further behind the ball, however, but this is covered in the other points.

Here's a comparison of those two swings again, except this time at impact and including context from the motion of the downswing:

Jim Venetos vs Rory McIlroy at Impact.jpg

You're only swinging with your arms and a little bit of your shoulders. Rory McIlroy, and others with a traditional golf swing, can utilize the gigantic muscles in their abdomen, hips, and thighs to maximize the power of the golf swing.

You remove the motion of half the body in the golf swing. This can simplify the swing, as you intended it to, but it will never result in increased power because you're not utilizing all the muscle groups that you could otherwise use to increase swing speed.

Why don't you go ahead and share those clubhead speed numbers achieved by you and your students? I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is and propose the following bet:

We both create an video of 3 driver shots in a row on a launch monitor, attempting to fulfill the following goals:

  • Power
    • The swing speed on all 3 shots should be 120 mph or higher
  • Accuracy
    • The difference in carry distance between the longest and shortest shots should be no more than 20 yards
      • This filters out big mishits that result from swinging beyond your abilities
    • The horizontal distance between the furthest left and furthest right shots should be no more than 35 yards
      • This is the width of an average fairway
      • This filters out uncontrolled hooks and slices that result from swinging beyond your abilities
  • Video
    • No cuts or editing that would make it possible to edit separate swings into a single attempt
    • Video must visually show the speed, carry distance, and horizontal dispersion for each shot
      • This can be shown in a single graph at the end of the 3 shots or individually for each shot
    • I will post my video on YouTube and publicly share it in this thread
    • Your video can be of either you or one of your students, so long as the person in your video uses your swing technique
      • If you would rather not post it publicly, you are more than welcome to post it as a private YouTube video and send the link to access that video in a PM directly to myself and a second site moderator/staff member
      • The second site moderator/staff member should be sent the video just so they can verify the results - I will be honest about what I see, but this can give you extra assurance that I have honest intentions
      • If it is a video of a student, you're welcome to protect their anonymity by placing a black block over their head/face so long as we can still see their swing mechanics
    • Both videos must be created within 2 weeks of you accepting the bet
      • This gives you time to record it yourself or find a student willing to help you
    • Unlimited attempts are allowed, so long as each attempt is 3 swings in a row

I will give you very generous terms for this bet as well. The terms of the bet's payouts can be seen below, with all situations assuming that all video requirements are met unless stated otherwise:

  • I pay you $40 if
    • You meet the power, accuracy, and video requirements - it doesn't matter what my video looks like
    • I fail to produce a video that meets the video requirements
  • I pay you $20 if
    • You meet the power requirement - even if you fail the accuracy requirements - and I cannot meet the power requirement myself
  • I pay you $10 if
    • You meet the power requirement - even if you fail the accuracy requirements - and I meet the power requirement but fail the accuracy requirements
  • You pay me $40 if
    • I meet all requirements and you fail the power requirement
  • Nobody pays anybody if
    • Anything else happens

The only way for you to lose money is if I am 100% successful in meeting both power and accuracy requirements and you are unable to back up your bold claims about not losing power to a traditional swing. If you truly believe what you teach, put your money where you mouth is and take this bet with me. I have the advantage of youth, which is why I'm letting you have favorable terms for the bet AND letting you pick any person who uses your swing methods.

When it comes to the power of your swing method, this is all I have to say:

Put up or shut up

Hey @Pretzel...I had to go and revisit this post. Yesterday I got an email from Jim after having commenting on one of his videos on YouTube. It was in regards to him discussing how to eliminate the ‘flip.’ Having slowed his video and taking a still I believed his impact position was ‘borderline flipping.’ I even conceded that some great golf shots can be done with this method but that his impact position was not ideal. These were the images I sent:B499358F-561C-4E2D-843A-7932E08935B5.thumb.jpeg.d3eb32601008c93b140d60b1e822ee31.jpegC56DF2B7-3743-496A-8088-023EED7BC339.thumb.jpeg.60a61ed4e493eaaa5dfd0844076b8023.jpegUnfortunately this was his response: It’s not a flip or even a borderline flip. You shouldn’t comment on things you don’t understand.
 

I then tried to engage him in a discussion regarding his comments that pros aren’t consistent ( Tiger had a + 9.4hcp for the entire year of 2008) and that it’s a myth that the spine rotates..it only flexes..and why he gets so defensive when asked to prove his claims. It’s just golf and and a worthy discussion.

Silence. I suppose you haven’t heard from him? I also figure you won’t. @JimVenetosGolf apparently has a philosophy similar to Scientology where questioning simply isn’t accepted. I know more than you and if you won’t accept my concepts you’re just wrong. If you ask for proof....forget it. You’re not worth my time. Disappointed with his attitude. I can’t believe he wouldn’t welcome a challenge to prove his methods on power. 

 

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On 6/4/2020 at 7:47 PM, Double Mocha Man said:

It almost sounds like a religion...

It is rather cult-like, yes.

9 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

These were the images I sent:B499358F-561C-4E2D-843A-7932E08935B5.thumb.jpeg.d3eb32601008c93b140d60b1e822ee31.jpegC56DF2B7-3743-496A-8088-023EED7BC339.thumb.jpeg.60a61ed4e493eaaa5dfd0844076b8023.jpegUnfortunately this was his response: It’s not a flip or even a borderline flip. You shouldn’t comment on things you don’t understand.

I’m not seeing a flip in that image, but he could have spent a minute or two explaining why it’s not a flip instead of being a jerk.

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1 hour ago, billchao said:

I’m not seeing a flip in that image, but he could have spent a minute or two explaining why it’s not a flip instead of being a jerk.

That’s the point. I admitted it wasn’t a flip. I did say it was borderline in that his lead wrist isn’t really straight nor is his trail wrist bent back.

He says his set up puts his impact into a position of power at impact including lead arm leading the club. While it does ( the picture @Pretzel posted shows a poorly positioned trail wrist) he certainly isn’t doing it like Tiger for example.

But yeah...a jerk response. But I’ve learned this is what Jim does: If he’s confronted by anyone of knowledge...he makes some condescending remark about stillness and his years of experience then disappears. If he knows you’re not an instructor he just acts as though you’re not worth a discussion. It’s a super philosophy. To this day he won’t post any TrackMan stats, data,  or show his students performing at a high level. If asked ....a snarky comment and he’s gone.

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5 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

I did say it was borderline in that his lead wrist isn’t really straight nor is his trail wrist bent back.

That’s not how I define a flip at all.

 Is the shaft behind the trail shoulder (or where the shoulder “should” be)?

No.

FWIW @Jim Venetos knows I’m an instructor and still won’t answer my questions. 🙂

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23 minutes ago, iacas said:

FWIW @Jim Venetos knows I’m an instructor and still won’t answer my questions. 🙂

Right. He made silly little ‘stay still’ comments then disappeared. There have been several ‘debates’ in the comments on YouTube and from another site and anytime someone knowledgeable comes along he just says they don’t understand power in a golf swing then disappears.

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1 hour ago, Vinsk said:

Right. He made silly little ‘stay still’ comments then disappeared. There have been several ‘debates’ in the comments on YouTube and from another site and anytime someone knowledgeable comes along he just says they don’t understand power in a golf swing then disappears.

I’d love to see a JV guy and a Mike Austin guy get together and debate power in a golf swing 😃

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I just had about a half hour conversation on the phone with Jim himself. Very interesting and I wish someone more knowledgeable could’ve been present as I’m a poor representative for this discussion. That being said some main points that I gathered:

1. I was wrong about the ‘borderline flip’ and admitted to that. So I apologize for posting on his YouTube comments about that.

2. Jim admitted he was wrong in saying the spine doesn’t twist. He just believes the spine is subjected to unnecessary stress when performing the traditional ‘90* shoulder turn.’

3. Jim wants amateurs to learn how to hit the ball with their lead side, with a shallow, circular and descending blow. He stated the weight shift performed by pros isn’t as much as people think it is. He believes the extra movements in arriving at the strike as described above is what causes so many amateurs to fail.

4. He said he has many students generating considerable power with this method including a +7 hcp who’s still an amateur but is making his way.....

5. Jim said he would post a video of his 118mph swing. I have to say he talked about his long drive competition and it was interesting. I’m inclined to believe he’s able to produce this speed. I don’t think he’s a freak of nature so being able to swing the club 118mph while keeping the lower body as still as he does..no or very minimal weight shift is impressive, and would make for a good discussion.

I wish I was better equipped for such a discussion. And I wish Jim would come back here and engage with those of you who are so knowledgeable. I gave @Jim Venetos a hard time...and I apologize for that. I can get snappy as many here know..even when I’m wrong...lol. 
 

But hey...it’s just golf and I love discussing damn near anything about it. Cheers.

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2 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

I just had about a half hour conversation on the phone with Jim himself. Very interesting and I wish someone more knowledgeable could’ve been present as I’m a poor representative for this discussion. That being said some main points that I gathered:

1. I was wrong about the ‘borderline flip’ and admitted to that. So I apologize for posting on his YouTube comments about that.

2. Jim admitted he was wrong in saying the spine doesn’t twist. He just believes the spine is subjected to unnecessary stress when performing the traditional ‘90* shoulder turn.’

3. Jim wants amateurs to learn how to hit the ball with their lead side, with a shallow, circular and descending blow. He stated the weight shift performed by pros isn’t as much as people think it is. He believes the extra movements in arriving at the strike as described above is what causes so many amateurs to fail.

4. He said he has many students generating considerable power with this method including a +7 hcp who’s still an amateur but is making his way.....

5. Jim said he would post a video of his 118mph swing. I have to say he talked about his long drive competition and it was interesting. I’m inclined to believe he’s able to produce this speed. I don’t think he’s a freak of nature so being able to swing the club 118mph while keeping the lower body as still as he does..no or very minimal weight shift is impressive, and would make for a good discussion.

I wish I was better equipped for such a discussion. And I wish Jim would come back here and engage with those of you who are so knowledgeable. I gave @Jim Venetos a hard time...and I apologize for that. I can get snappy as many here know..even when I’m wrong...lol. 
 

But hey...it’s just golf and I love discussing damn near anything about it. Cheers.

This is so indicative of the big picture.  When you can actually converse with someone so many misgivings fall by the wayside.    Human interaction can be so beautiful and redeeming.  Stepping off of soapbox now...

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10 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

5. Jim said he would post a video of his 118mph swing. I have to say he talked about his long drive competition and it was interesting. I’m inclined to believe he’s able to produce this speed. I don’t think he’s a freak of nature so being able to swing the club 118mph while keeping the lower body as still as he does..no or very minimal weight shift is impressive, and would make for a good discussion.

He may very well be able to. Heck, @david_wedzik swung ~80 sitting in a chair.

As you know, that doesn't mean he wouldn't generate more speed using more of his body to generate that speed.

@Jim Venetos has always been invited to answer questions, and to share actual facts and theories and to engage in a discussion here. Thus far, he's chosen instead to do different things with his posts.

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11 hours ago, Double Mocha Man said:

This is so indicative of the big picture.  When you can actually converse with someone so many misgivings fall by the wayside.    Human interaction can be so beautiful and redeeming.  Stepping off of soapbox now...

That’s a pretty good soap box. Stay on it.

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