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How/where to learn more about swing mechanics and instruction?


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I feel like you all have done such a great job teaching me more about the golf swing as well as how to improve my golf game.  On top of improving my game, I have picked up a strong desire to learn more and more about the intricacies of the golf swing.   This isn't necessarily out of desire to improve my game more (I will likely sign up for evolvr once it warms up to achieve that), and it's definitely not out of desire to start coaching others (I only do that when my less skilled friends ask for tips - I may give them some small pointers, but I always just point them here).  

 

Ultimately, I feel like I've soaked up (almost) as much as I can on this forum over the past 2-3 years (I mainly lurk), and I've read most of the top books mentioned on here (Hogan, Pennick, Nicklaus, Clampett, Hardy, Stockton, Utley, Peltz, McClean, and more - not golf machine, though).  However, my understanding falls so thoroughly below iacas and mvmac's level that I figure there may be some other resources out there to satiate my hunger for knowledge.  

 

Let me be very clear.  I don't expect to understand the swing at a professional instructors level.  I understand that takes a lot of time and dedication, just like any profession.  I feel like I'm up to maybe a 4 on a scale of 10, while Erik is a 9.5.  I'm wondering if there are any other resources out there, possibly ones designed to teach instructors their craft, that could get me up to a 5 or 6.  The PGA has a $900 study manual for becoming a PGA pro, but it seems to spend a lot of time on business and how to teach. I'm looking for raw swing mechanics which more thoroughly teach ideal positioning and its effects etc. (I don't understand a lot of these nuances).  

I know this won't make me a better golfer necessarily, but that doesn't take away from my desire to learn it.  I want to be a stupid monkey with MY golf game, but the intellectual in me wants to understand the swing better than I currently do, out of curiosity.

 

Any recommendations?

 

 

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First off I would be very careful going down this road. There is a lot of information out there, some of it good, and every instructor has their own biases/preferences and it's important to understand that when viewing their material.

I would not buy/read the PGA book.

Have you gone through these threads?

 

15 hours ago, ajw426 said:

 I'm looking for raw swing mechanics which more thoroughly teach ideal positioning and its effects etc. (I don't understand a lot of these nuances).  

I think the more you learn about the swing the more you realize there aren't "ideal" positions. 

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19 minutes ago, mvmac said:

First off I would be very careful going down this road. There is a lot of information out there, some of it good, and every instructor has their own biases/preferences and it's important to understand that when viewing their material.

I would not buy/read the PGA book.

Have you gone through these threads?

 

I think the more you learn about the swing the more you realize there aren't "ideal" positions. 

Thanks!  Yeah, I've gone through that info multiple times over.  I always take info in golf with a grain of salt.  When I see similar ideas echoing from multiple different (reliable) sources, I then start to consider the weight it may or may not hold.  I'm pretty fluent in you guys' general themes and feeling, and I love the way that you both use sound analysis and video to support your thoughts.  I'm a medical guy, so evidence based reasoning is important to me.

 

I feel like most of the recommendations that you give people on here are repeating the same ideas, because their priority pieces are usually the common ones (be a stupid monkey, centered pivot, proper setup, etc), but I know that there are more intricate nuggets of info that you have, and I think I would enjoy learning those too!  

 

I am fearful (like you mentioned) to dive in to information which isn't sound.  That's why I am asking you, any other recommendations on how to learn more?  My only reasonable thought is to sift through  "my swing" threads and see what "I" would recommend, and compare/contrast to what "you" recommend.  

My suspicion is that what I'm looking for isn't out there, but I just can't help but ask!

 

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12 minutes ago, ajw426 said:

My only reasonable thought is to sift through  "my swing" threads and see what "I" would recommend, and compare/contrast to what "you" recommend.  

I think that would be a good place to start.

Are there other instructor advice/videos/blogs that you follow online? 

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Just now, mvmac said:

I think that would be a good place to start.

Are there other instructor advice/videos/blogs that you follow online? 

Nope, this is pretty much it.  

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19 minutes ago, ajw426 said:

Nope, this is pretty much it.  

Ok then, yeah just go through some swing threads, that would be the best way for now to learn more about how the information can be applied to real golf swings.

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This is an interesting thread to me. I'm just starting to get the hang of the very basics, but so much is still mystical regarding instruction and identifying priorities. 

I get steady head, weight forward, inline contact, as well as centered pivot and steep/shallow downswings. But frankly, I do not know which to prioritize- or which are the best drills for a given situation. 

And then things get to more complex things like speeds of rotation of arms, stalling hips, club face control, etc.

Not to mention the root causes of certain things at impact. I'm fascinated how that gets traced back to a priority. 

For me, I enjoy reading swing threads and not contributing my diagnosis unless it's some very junior golfer and I'm offering a simple thought as a thread bump.  Typically pointing to key#1 or 2, but with caveats that I'm no expert.

So I'm not looking to necessarily crack the code of instruction, but one day, I'd hope to figure out how to be more intelligent about all this. It's fascinating. 

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One could shadow well regarded instructors for a time, kind of like an apprenticeship. I would guess after awhile, the swing. becomes a tad less of a mystery but who has the wherewithal for that? 

There are more lessons - not a tip, an actual lesson with a student where you see diagnosis and solution - posted to YouTube, like Dana Dahlquist. 

Also looking at a lot of different swings of good players helps I think. 

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This is interesting. Yes, one can hunger for information, but the more information one receives, the more confused they can become! There are many modes of thought about the golf swing. You're a 6, so I figure you have some idea about what's going on, and know enough to discard the rubbish!

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35-40 years ago, when I was reading everything I could get my hands on, that was golf related, the first thing I learned was alot of the written info was not helpful. 

What I started looking for, and finding was repetitive info from various sources. I figured that if all these different books (sources) had something duplicated that was in other books, (sources) that was over all, pretty good info about playing decent golf.

I paid alot of attention on what the various causes of poor ball flights were. I figured, like in business, to be successful, you had to understand problems, to fix, or prevent them from happening in the first place. I treated my golf swing the same way. 

I also bought some personal instruction, that was about 20% helpful. However, that 20% was worth a 100% helping me understand certain swing concepts. 

I also have an 80 page note book, that has various tid bits of info that is of some importance to me. I carry it in my bag. I think all serious golfers should keep a notebook on their own swing. I don't know about anyone else, but there is a lot stuff on the golf swing that I just can't remember. 

Now, I did all this for my own game, and not for others. I do share some stuff as needed when I think it might help others. 

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I think I understand what you're trying to do. If what you're looking for is out there, I haven't found it. But I sure do like the search. Even bad sources and wrong sources are valuable. When I find contradictory information, I try to find which one is correct. For me, not for anyone else. The process is fascinating. If you could find the resource you want, there would be a dozen people who would say it's not right. That's the way it goes.

I'm just soaking it all up. Every bit of information adds to my understanding. Heck, I still haven't found the starting point which everyone agrees on, even if they don't agree on it. Impact. I start from there and work backward.

Good luck.

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So, learning yourself is cool, but it is big time sink. Given the chance to do it over from about 2008, I would rather have spent the time I wasted learning everything I could on the golf swing, working on what a good instructor was telling me to do as my priority piece.

I am probably about a 6 on your scale. Nowhere near @iacas or @mvmac, but I know enough to be dangerous. It has helped me help my friends and people on the site here, but has done relatively little to make me a better golfer. I would rather have spent that time being a 2 in terms of knowledge and working with one smart instructor for 2 years and just tackling priority pieces. 

My $0.02 from a old guy who wasted too much time.

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5 hours ago, mchepp said:

I am probably about a 6 on your scale. Nowhere near @iacas or @mvmac, but I know enough to be dangerous. It has helped me help my friends and people on the site here, but has done relatively little to make me a better golfer. I would rather have spent that time being a 2 in terms of knowledge

Dustin Johnson is probably about a .5 on the scale :-P

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I heard someone say "work on the next worst mistake". That helped me stop driving myself crazy trying to think about all the pieces that make up a swing.

I can at least concentrate on one change at a time (when I decide to change something)

One thing I've learned, when someone asks for help (and that doesn't happen often) just suggest one thing to think about

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Reading and watching any golf stuff (whether it looks weird, gimmicky or reasonably sensible) is a bit of a hobby of mine. 

1. For learning more about biomechanics - Ed Tischler  has some good videos on you-tube . He has also published some books on how to perform various tests to determine your own unique biomechanical patterns.

Note: Ed doesn't promote any specific swing but basically says you can find a swing that you can own and fits you. 

2. If you want to learn a bit more about TGM (Physics and Geometry of the golf swing)  all free of charge then I'd go with Dr Jeffrey Mann (http://perfectgolfswingreview.net/index.html and his linked videos). Note that he has now amended some of his original beliefs in TGM and personalised them (so take your choice). Note that Iacus and other more experienced golf instructors may have  different opinions of Dr Mann . But whatever one thinks of his overall conclusions (right or wrong) , I think he does a pretty good job explaining some TGM fundamentals without having to spend £100's on Homer Kelley's book (and 100's of hours trying to decipher it).

Note : Homer Kelley said there were 450 quadrillion ways to perform a golf action.

Note : TGM stuff needs to be revised to take account of more recent technological analysis /data (I don't know what bits of TGM are still correct or outdated now).

3. Another free website where you can learn more about TGM is The Swing Engineer website http://www.theswingengineer.com/imperatives.html

4. An alternative approach is 'Shawn Clements'  videos where he uses 'feel analogies'  to try and demonstrate how you can get into the correct positions automatically (using G-forces, target focus techniques, external keys , Perpetual Motion Drills , etc ). 

Note: I think some of his mechanics and anatomical assumptions could be questionable but, imho,  the 'feel' stuff is good.

The best book I've ever bought that has fantastic illustrations and simple instructions (on how to perform a variety of different strokes) without delving into the detailed mechanics,micro muscle/body moves, physics, geometry , etc  was 'PLAY BETTER GOLF'  by Beverley Lewis (1990 Coombe Books Ltd). 

Good luck with your knowledge adventure.

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10 minutes ago, DownAndOut said:

1. For learning more about biomechanics - Ed Tischler  has some good videos on you-tube . He has also published some books on how to perform various tests to determine your own unique biomechanical patterns.

Note: Ed doesn't promote any specific swing but basically says you can find a swing that you can own and fits you. 

It's EA, not Ed.

10 minutes ago, DownAndOut said:

2. If you want to learn a bit more about TGM (Physics and Geometry of the golf swing)  all free of charge then I'd go with Dr Jeffrey Mann (http://perfectgolfswingreview.net/index.html and his linked videos).

Please don't. The guy's a kook, and there's virtually no point in learning TGM at this point.

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