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Hacker James

Ballard on Length of Backswing

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A video by Clay Ballard showed up on my you tube depicting what he believes are 3 misconceptions. One misconception is that one should not necessarily strive to get parallel at the top of the swing. He wants a longer swing versus a shorter, compact one. He goes on to say, that for persons with limited flexibility, should not be hesitant in lifting left heel a little.

In practice sessions he tries to swing at 100% with longer swing, not worrying about where the ball goes, maintaining that you can achieve the proper tempo with a bit of practice and still get more length.

Lots of pro and con discussion on this in the past. I think the important thing is not to take things out of context but rather consider the validity of the "entire" premise of his video. I have tried and see a good 5 mph improvement as indicated on  SSR. Then again, such things often are temporary. Tips from any golf instructor can be misconstrued and incorrectly applied. 

 

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2 hours ago, billchao said:

@Hacker James it usually helps when starting a discussion about a video to embed the video for others to watch.

And to pick a good title.

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I don't have a past parallel back swing by a bunch. I also raise my left heel a little. My full swings are probably others 3/4, or 7/8 swings due to physical issues.

However my oldest Grandson is so far past parallel the shaft is very close to his left ear. He hits a ball as far as anyone I have ever seen. 300-320 is nothing for him. He keeps his left foot planted. 

My opinion is that what ever works for the golfer, as far as the back swing goes. 

As for Clat Ballard's You Tube instruction videos, some are good info, while others are not so good in my "old school, dinosaur" opinion. 

.

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11 minutes ago, Patch said:

I don't have a past parallel back swing by a bunch. I also raise my left heel a little. My full swings are probably others 3/4, or 7/8 swings due to physical issues.

However my oldest Grandson is so far past parallel the shaft is very close to his left ear. He hits a ball as far as anyone I have ever seen. 300-320 is nothing for him. He keeps his left foot planted. 

My opinion is that what ever works for the golfer, as far as the back swing goes. 

As for Clat Ballard's You Tube instruction videos, some are good info, while others are not so good in my "old school, dinosaur" opinion. 

.

same could be said of "most". I also noticed that Shawn Clement put one out nearly identical in content. It's almost as if several of the on-line instructors woke up one morning, took a vote, and decided on what they were going to discuss this week.  King Solomon had it right..."There is nothing new under the sun, for all is vanity".

Edited by Hacker James

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38 minutes ago, Patch said:

I don't have a past parallel back swing by a bunch. I also raise my left heel a little. My full swings are probably others 3/4, or 7/8 swings due to physical issues.

However my oldest Grandson is so far past parallel the shaft is very close to his left ear. He hits a ball as far as anyone I have ever seen. 300-320 is nothing for him. He keeps his left foot planted. 

My opinion is that what ever works for the golfer, as far as the back swing goes. 

As for Clat Ballard's You Tube instruction videos, some are good info, while others are not so good in my "old school, dinosaur" opinion. 

.

here is one of my older swings. I cannot say when, or in what context this may or may not have been posted, or perhaps somehow just showed up one day as a ghost of the past.

378532760_olderswing.jpg.6c56e6763f84c385473427679d679e3a.jpg

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The top is your top @Hacker James not mine or anyone else's.  Chasing someone else's ideal is a fool's errand.  If there is only one way to be great...the rest of us are going to have to settle for being okay.  

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First thing I would do is have him move the ball forward in his stance 😉

Screen Shot 2018-12-22 at 11.59.09 PM.png

I looks clearly like he is purposely swinging harder while he is not keeping his foot on the ground versus keeping his foot on the ground. I would suspect his full swing speed is closer to 115-117 with his heel on the ground. 

Not sure I am buying the video, but he makes a decent point that restricting the swing because of bad advice is not a good thing. 

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In a general sense I agree with what he's saying. With a driver, yes it's fine to go past parallel to give yourself the most time to create speed. With the driver you're trying to max things out so being as dynamic and ballistic as you can is good.

Couple important points because I can see the average guy watching this video and doing a few things wrong:

- The heel lift is a by-product of the unrestrictive pivot.
- Backswing length is a by-product of the unrestrictive pivot.
- Check points would be the left knee pointing behind the ball and the right hip inside the right heel at A4.

Long 1.jpgLong 2.jpgLong 3.jpg

The players that swing past parallel and lift the heel create a good amount of speed and momentum on the backswing that gets them to that position. They don't go "low and slow". Imagine you're trying to sling or throw the club head down the line on the backswing.

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First off, not once has my Evolvr instructor ever said I should swing more compact. The only time I’ve ever heard it recommended here is when the player sways back a lot because they are trying to reach way back causing a bunch of other issues.

In video swings he did, he never lost the rest of his form even when exaggerating the length of the backswing. His head was steady, his hip turn centered, his right elbow still was not getting trapped around his side. He still had all 5 keys.

As higher handicap players, we have to be really careful watching videos like this because in trying to attain what he is recommending, we will lose our form and those 5 Simple Keys. 

I am not really sure if I lift my left heel. I had to go back and look at my videos. I lift it ever so slightly. But I wouldn’t just run and try it without making sure all my other checkpoints stay the same.

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IMHO it's not about flexibility as people think it to be. A longer backswing is only necessary if you can't lay the club enough before or at parallel. I have noticed good players with nice pitch right elbow at A6 almost never over swing/over lift their left heel. 

 

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I believe what Clay is doing here is that allowing a heel raise will allow you to coax a little more speed by giving you a little more swing distance within which to achieve it as @mvmac shows above. He also is talking about overspeed training in conjunction with it and how with a little effort you can do both, which is why I chose my original title before it was changed. Granted, this is not something that everybody should attempt in lieu of fixing a flaw owing to some other problems in their swing. Bottom line is if it helps get a little more speed - fine. If it detracts from your swing - don't.

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23 hours ago, Hacker James said:

A video by Clay Ballard showed up on my you tube depicting what he believes are 3 misconceptions. One misconception is that one should not necessarily strive to get parallel at the top of the swing. He wants a longer swing versus a shorter, compact one. He goes on to say, that for persons with limited flexibility, should not be hesitant in lifting left heel a little.

In practice sessions he tries to swing at 100% with longer swing, not worrying about where the ball goes, maintaining that you can achieve the proper tempo with a bit of practice and still get more length.

Lots of pro and con discussion on this in the past. I think the important thing is not to take things out of context but rather consider the validity of the "entire" premise of his video. I have tried and see a good 5 mph improvement as indicated on  SSR. Then again, such things often are temporary. Tips from any golf instructor can be misconstrued and incorrectly applied. 

 

 

44 minutes ago, Hacker James said:

I believe what Clay is doing here is that allowing a heel raise will allow you to coax a little more speed by giving you a little more swing distance within which to achieve it as @mvmac shows above. He also is talking about overspeed training in conjunction with it and how with a little effort you can do both, which is why I chose my original title before it was changed. Granted, this is not something that everybody should attempt in lieu of fixing a flaw owing to some other problems in their swing. Bottom line is if it helps get a little more speed - fine. If it detracts from your swing - don't.

I used to swing past parallel, but it wasn’t because I should have to get the most swing speed as much as having a breakdown in my body positions at the top of my swing. The reason it was past parallel was that my lead wrist was curled up, my lead arm was bent too much and my shoulders were “lifted” up.

Once I flattened my wrist and straightened my lead arm, my swing ended up being about 20 degrees short of parallel even with a full 90 degree shoulder turn.

With my shoulders unlifted up and “tight” with proper posture, it’s even a “shorter swing”. I’ve been working with a sports trainer, PT and orthopedic doctor to change my swing to eliminate “bad” anatomical positions that led to a pinched nerve in my neck. Now that that’s fixed, the shaft is possibly 22-25 degrees short of parallel? Which reminds me that I should probably update my swing thread with this new swing to make sure I’m still on track.

As far as picking up my lead foot at the top of the swing, I don’t think that will increase my swing speed? There’s nothing in my turn and would require me to do so? 

As @Piz put it, each of us has a different “ideal swing”, it would be difficult to emulate someone else, and the length of the swing will be different for everyone.

So, I think it’s okay to go past parallel at the top, but should be with a good body position.

 

Edited by Lihu

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In the video, he says that a steady head (5SK key #1) could be a problem by causing too short of a backswing. But then he doesn’t talk about the problems that can occur with loss of key #1.

I suspect he’s concerned about trying to keep the head absolutely unmoved (as opposed to steady— although he used this term too). But he doesn’t give any guidance as to how much is too much. 

3 hours ago, boogielicious said:

First off, not once has my Evolvr instructor ever said I should swing more compact.

Our swings are different, of course, but it was a point in several of my lessons (usually “shorter” — I don’t recall “compact” being the word, if there’s a difference). 

Edited by Missouri Swede

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47 minutes ago, Lihu said:

By the way @Hacker James, I originally misread the the topic as “Ballad of Length of Swing” half expecting a video with Banjo or Folk guitar music. 😂

haha...that would probably be apprapro as well

 

49 minutes ago, Lihu said:

By the way @Hacker James, I originally misread the the topic as “Ballad of Length of Swing” half expecting a video with Banjo or Folk guitar music. 😂

the original title was "speed training and length of the swing" or words to that effect (not that it makes any difference).

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FWIW, I tried this at the range today and really focused on keeping my hip turn centered while lifting my left heel more. It did feel like I had more speed,  it more testing will need to be done and I will half to film it. 

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