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  1. I recently asked @mvmac, who was familiar with what Dave and I taught, to give us a report card on what advanced players are learning from advanced coaches and how he felt we stood. Mike hasn't seen us teach much in the past four or five years, and we haven't put out a lot of videos (aside from these, of course) lately, either. So some of the things he thinks we teach date back five years or more. Before I get into the list… you're going to quickly see that most of the list is "for better players." I'll make a conscious decision a lot of the time to decide which of two slightly different directions to go. For example, some people here on TST were surprised by the "flow" talk we've had the past several months here on TST. I'll admit to getting people to "create space from the wall" by learning a very centered to even slightly forward-of-center hip pivot (heck, I still give this drill to students), but these are golfers > 6 handicappers (often > 10) who sway their hips back a lot. For them, going a little extreme to this side of things is a conscious choice by me to help their ballstriking. For better players, I talk about more "flow" stuff. I let the right hip look like it moves back an inch or so. The way I talk about a lot of things is a little different. I don't teach "one swing" but I do have one general system of what I think is right, but within that, I have preferences for different types of players. The player who is an 18 who wants to become a 10 and won't really spend a lot of time practicing gets something different than the motivated 6 handicapper trying to become scratch. That all said, the list, and my reactions to it. For Most Players… … I wouldn’t change much, little reverse K setup, err with a stronger grip, Bender/Geoff Jones style pivot with some feet flare, don’t be afraid to get speedy with the arms coming down. So, this is what I talked about up above. For most players — and for us sometimes that's 90% of the people we teach — the simple, very centered, slightly less dynamic pivot stuff he's saying is still pretty good. Again, not much time spent here, so let's move on to the finer details. My text will remain in black. For Better Players… … I don’t know if I would call these changes to what you do but how I would go about teaching better players. Changes in my view from several years ago. In no particular order: Foot Flare No more than 20 degrees of foot flare, even less on trail foot. I understand the reasoning for this, and I'll still add some foot flare to the trail foot for an older good player to help increase range of motion, but I think the gains here are so small that this starts to "matter" (still only a little) to scratch golfers or better. But, maybe there's something to learn here… Hips/Pelvis Pelvis more level or even slight LPT at 1 Avoid idea or image of hip slide I think I get a check mark here. I talk with even mid-level handicap players lately about "landing" on the front foot, which includes a little "flow" back toward the target with the upper body. Even higher handicappers, while I'm emphasizing "getting forward" (great players still get their weight AND pressure forward - the images in the "hip slide" topic aren't "wrong") the hips getting forward, I talk a lot about "sending energy" forward. Hands A1-A2 Little or no depth with the hands to 2 or even feeling forearm counter rotation in takeaway for players that bank the club inward. From DL, the "curve" of the "hula hoop" is basically negligible in the direction of "depth from A1-A2, so what appears to be "straight back. A2 depends on how quickly a player hinges the club, of course, but most good players have a pretty narrow range here. I probably allow a little more hand depth than Mike would like, but often I feel that's a matter of other things being a priority. I like to see the hands go slightly inward the first half of the backswing while the latter half becomes about more "ascent," but even then a lot of that "slightly" is after 1.75 or so. As a brief aside, I think my own swing is shaping up in this regard nicely. I'd get too shallow, too low, and my wrists would react poorly at the top given what I'd done to get there. I now feel like my hands go out away from me from A1-A2.5, but of course they don't actually. As for the counter-rotation, I'll have Mike clarify perhaps, as we've taught this to even poorer players. The feeling that the right hand stays "on top" a bit longer is very helpful in not swinging the clubhead well behind the player, and in keeping the face a bit "squarer" (or at least not flopping it open) longer. "Stretching" the Trail Side Stretching the trail side without elevating the rib cage I get what he's saying, and it's something I work on myself as well. I'll "stand up" a little too much during the backswing. The feel for me is from the top of the right thigh up across my pelvis and just above my belly button, but the rib cage as Mike says doesn't stretch up. S&T teaches you to feel the stretch further up, up the whole right side, and again for higher handicappers we'll let their hips turn (trail leg extends a good bit) and they'll feel the stretch all the way up, but for lower handicappers, we don't do that quite so much this way. Lead Side Unweighting Unweighting lead side early. That could lead to a trigger move or a slight pelvis bump or a little pressure “rock” to the trail side before the club/hands move back. But doesn’t has to. I teach this, and in looking at a few videos of some of Dave's better players, he does too. Mike's right that we didn't as much seven years ago, but the pressure data we were early at looking at led to small changes here. Trail Knee Extension Avoid a lot of trail knee extension from 1-3 Ha, addressed above, before I got to this point. We don't teach a lot of this here. Unlike George Gankas. 🙂 At any rate, for a lower handicapper who lacks some range of motion (an older good player), we might let them get away with more trail knee extension, and to be clear the trail knee still extends measurably. Elbows Close Avoid squeezing the arms together at 1 or in the backswing. Hate this one myself. I've been saying for years that squeezing the elbows together during the backswing is almost the surest way to have them come apart during the downswing. Banking the Trail Foot Avoid trying to bank the trail foot, allow heel to come off the ground by 6 Check. I know why Mike added this - a lot of poor players, and a lot of juniors, will shoot their trail knee toward the ball early in the downswing and the heel will come off the ground VERY early. But I looked back at the lessons of my good players, and the notes, and I've not mentioned the trail foot banking in at least several years. And though admittedly I don't have many Justin Thomas type players… I do let people get away with some more of the "knee action" described above with the driver than with irons. Like JT himself. Stopping at A4 Avoid stopping or rehearsing 4. Pending more information, I don't know that I'll agree here, and I might humbly suggest that because what Mike has been working on, he's seeing this as limiting "flow" and the general athletic movement. On that I'd agree, but sometimes stopping at A4 is a good way to check on something that happened from 2-4 or something. Or if I have someone who is across the line and who dumps it under from there, and they're working on not only getting more "laid off" (feeling only) so the club can pitch out a little (paging @saevel25), it can be useful, IMO, to isolate just that piece starting from the proper spot, so you know it's the proper spot. Also, I will do a lot of "pump drill" type things when teaching something dynamic that's transition or early downswing-related. Fast Backswing Fast backswing via body is good. I might be missing something here, too, as we've talked about speeding up the backswing for awhile now. It's even in LSW, and was "old" when we put it in there. Maybe the bit I'm missing is "via body" but I don't feel that way. Two Random Bits Have concepts for the downswing/impact but train the backswing. Understand that a lot that is occurring with the club/limbs/wrist angles is being heavily influenced by the torso/pelvis motion. These are a bit more philosophical, so, I can't really comment concretely here. We work on a lot of backswings, and since the arms are attached to the shoulders, of course a lot of what they do is governed by how their being "flung." And Mike won't deny that sometimes the downswing is what needs the work. I'll make edits as needed, or comment in posts further down the stream, but I'd like to thank Mike for taking the time to comment. I think we/I graded out pretty well, and if nothing else, I think maybe I'll do more to share and talk about some more advanced player "stuff" in the coming weeks, months, years.
  2. I have taken some time to write this post. I am trying not to use my usual style and am trying to make it more general and readable and understandable. As many know George Gankas has risen from mediocrity to achieve sudden fame, booking his $500/hour lessons out to June - though probably not anymore with COVID-19 and California - because Matt Wolff rose to fame and because his Instagram account shows a bunch of already very good players hitting the ball hard. Now of course George has actually been teaching for 25 years and is probably almost the same guy he is now as he was five years ago when he was unknown by most but that is just how golf is. I am not jealous of George - He is not taking students from me. I do not dislike George either - Though his surfer boy 'EMBH' attitude does rub me the wrong way, he cares about good information and is passionate about making golfers better, so he is okay in my book from that POV. But I do have some very real issues with his swing philosophy and I will attempt to talk about them here. My list of complaints - and I will go into more detail later on - is: Does not tuck his shirt in. Wears socks with sandals. EMBH. Okay but now seriously. First bear in mind this is from having seen much of Instagram, hearing from things, videos and speaking engagements, podcast interviews, etc. I have not spent weeks watching him teach and some of this might be older or he might not do it as much as he says. A little like Stack-n-Tilt where something that has some value is WAAAY overdone to the point it can become an obstacle. A little goes a long way, and a lot is too much. None of what we are apparently calling 'flow' now with several manual movements in an effort to make it 'reactive' or something. Overdoes rounding of lumbar spine at setup. Trail knee extends too much too soon and hips over rotate on the backswing. You can see some guys with straight trail leg by P2. Hands get too deep too soon. Can cause two big problems (let me see if I can do this right): Hinders too much left bend. Notice some guys move the head down and forward on takeaway. Limits mobility with the arms and torso. Arms do not have any room towards the top so arms have to lift and shift outward. IMO b/c of the last couple notes, Gankas has been advising to add in more manual spine extension to finish the backswing. So you have a manual move on top of a manual move to compensate for each other. This extension on the backswing also gets pressure too far forward too soon, players get a 'loaded left' look at P2.5 to P3. If the pressure and mass does not load right it can not 'fall' forward in transition. Body shift and rotation sequence is backwards: George likes upper/lower body to stay back P4 to P6, then open up big time early and then moves lower center forward from P6 to P7 as the hip thrusts forward and up. Elite players tend to do the opposite, upper body is 'closed' in relation to lower body in transition as body shifts forward in order to spike pressure at P5. Most players are mostly done going forward with the body by P5.5 because they are going more up and around. Wants dual external rotation of hips in downswing. Does not happen even though his early Instagram was littered with players practicing this in some sort of hyper-perverted Sam Snead Squat thing. From P3.75 to P4.25, trail hip in good players moves from more internal to less internal (which is movement in the external direction-Yes) but then goes internal to neutral from there. The front hip goes internal on downswing. You can even see some Tour pros plant the front heel more forward than where it was at setup. If it actually went external in the lead hip the golfer would just spin out and have nothing to plant and push against. If you went external there you could not properly engage the muscles up the left side. Trail elbow does not actually go external with many pros at all. Most pros the elbow slightly trails trails the rear hip on the downswing and pros tend to have some trail shoulder retraction early in the transition. By P4.5 pros will not have the forearm 'in front' or more vertical than the torso tilt. George says the arms shifting out shallows the shaft. While it can it can also make the shaft get steeper or do anything else too. You can overcome the pretty weak force that shifting the hands out shallows the shaft very easily. I see people shift the arms out and steepen EVERY damn day on my lesson tee. Plus with GEARS or 3D we know the butt of the club early transition tends to move more vertically down and then moves out. It follows the movement of the body/torso: it lowers 'closed' and then starts opening up. If you have to shift arms out and go ER, how is Rory one of the most shallow players and Noren one of the steepest? Dislike manually feeling more rotation on the downswing by rotating faster and more. I do not have a problem with this in general - Dustin Johnson has to do this, but he is also a freak in a good way. But do not teach it to everyone. Not all great players are super open at impact and those who are, mostly a result of what came before. Look at Matt Wolff, who does the opposite of many of these things (https://www.instagram.com/p/B73nK0iA2xz, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2keCNyqEhQ😞 Hands track straight back on takeaway to mid backswing. Do not gain super depth. Trail hip does not over-rotate. Gets his right hip high and internally rotates into the hip. Unweights the lead foot instead of staying centered or left. Dual internal rotation of the hips. Here are some stills. Hands don't get overly deep: No real external rotation or outward shifting hands here: Internal rotated hips, left heel planted forward of where it was at setup: Some of these photos are https://www.instagram.com/p/BbVfT7NgkH5 and https://www.instagram.com/p/B1peRirlSqM and https://www.instagram.com/p/Bz6xE86FzGs. They will not embed because his account is private right now. 1. A little like Stack-n-Tilt where something that has some value is WAAAY overdone to the point it can become an obstacle. A little goes a long way, and a lot is too much. I do not have to say too much more about this and I do not have pictures to show it, but an example might be the Sam Snead Squat thing. It is overdone. Other things he does are a good thing that is taken past where it is good and beyond. 2. None of what we are apparently calling 'flow' now with several manual movements in an effort to make it 'reactive' or something. Countless examples of this. Look at the Matt Wolfe video FO up above. Compare to say Rory or Justin Thomas videos. See the first set of three images below too. 3. Overdoes rounding of lumbar spine at setup. Look for the hips to be a bit too level and the butt tucked under a bit too much. Not saying you want to have a flat back here and some of the more recent videos and Instagram posts look better. 4. Trail knee extends too much too soon and hips over rotate on the backswing. You can see some guys with straight trail leg by P2. Can find a ton of those on his Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/p/B_nKvxGjRPymAtMS8EM0ZnRFPt9RRNIMtMPG-E0/ for example. 5. Hands get too deep too soon. Can cause two big problems (let me see if I can do this right): 6. IMO b/c of the last couple notes, Gankas has been advising to add in more manual spine extension to finish the backswing. So you have a manual move on top of a manual move to compensate for each other. https://www.instagram.com/p/B_jRb3QjHPm10S7SxFLnr3BHVfQ8FKlN38ElGw0/ 7. This extension on the backswing also gets pressure too far forward too soon, players get a 'loaded left' look at P2.5 to P3. If the pressure and mass does not load right it can not 'fall' forward in transition. Too many to post. You will see a lot of GG students staying very centered then falling back during the downswing and then finishing forward late. This is similar to 2 but I thought it deserved its own post. Might be the same thing though. 8. Body shift and rotation sequence is backwards: George likes upper/lower body to stay back P4 to P6, then open up big time early and then moves lower center forward from P6 to P7 as the hip thrusts forward and up. Elite players tend to do the opposite, upper body is 'closed' in relation to lower body in transition as body shifts forward in order to spike pressure at P5. Most players are mostly done going forward with the body by P5.5 because they are going more up and around. Also similar to 2 and 7. Just more detail. You can condense these a bit if you want, but really, 8 is a bit different too because it is not about pressure but about the rotation and the translation and when those are 'primary' in the golf swing. 9. Wants dual external rotation of hips in downswing. Does not happen even though his early Instagram was littered with players practicing this in some sort of hyper-perverted Sam Snead Squat thing. From P3.75 to P4.25, trail hip in good players moves from more internal to less internal (which is movement in the external direction-Yes) but then goes internal to neutral from there. The front hip goes internal on downswing. You can even see some Tour pros plant the front heel more forward than where it was at setup. If it actually went external in the lead hip the golfer would just spin out and have nothing to plant and push against. If you went external there you could not properly engage the muscles up the left side. So many buckets between the knees especially in early Instagram posts. 10. Trail elbow does not actually go external with many pros at all. Most pros the elbow slightly trails trails the rear hip on the downswing and pros tend to have some trail shoulder retraction early in the transition. By P4.5 pros will not have the forearm 'in front' or more vertical than the torso tilt. 11. George says the arms shifting out shallows the shaft. While it can it can also make the shaft get steeper or do anything else too. You can overcome the pretty weak force that shifting the hands out shallows the shaft very easily. I see people shift the arms out and steepen EVERY damn day on my lesson tee. Plus with GEARS or 3D we know the butt of the club early transition tends to move more vertically down and then moves out. It follows the movement of the body/torso: it lowers 'closed' and then starts opening up. If you have to shift arms out and go ER, how is Rory one of the most shallow players and Noren one of the steepest? Note the handle actually goes behind him more and close to vertical then and yet Matt shallows the club. 12. Dislike manually feeling more rotation on the downswing by rotating faster and more. I do not have a problem with this in general - Dustin Johnson has to do this, but he is also a freak in a good way. But do not teach it to everyone. Not all great players are super open at impact and those who are, mostly a result of what came before. Look at other player videos on YouTube. Good things about George: Setup: armpits over the top of the knee over the balls of the feet. Does not set up like old Adam Scott with straight back. Generally better to be neutral or internal with trail elbow on backswing than external. Eat the ball cue in transition. Thank you to certain people behind the scenes in a PM for encouraging me to post this. And to take the time to make it good.
  3. i searched and didn't find anything useful. e.g. https://thesandtrap.com/search/?&q=justin thomas trail foot&search_and_or=and&sortby=relevancy you're being ridiculous. many golfers seem to push off of the right side but you refuse to acknowledge this. here's jason day's description: jack mentions pushing off the right side: and there are many other people online, pros and ams alike, who discuss getting off of the trail side by pushing with the trail foot. it's a thing people do. you may not like it or teach it but how can you disagree that it happens? because "feel ain't reel?" you're acting ignorantly.
  4. There are probably better ways you can create more speed. You're looking at an intricate piece that by itself doesn't have anything to do with creating speed. The foot lift thing is a result of other things occurring. In other words do the things they are doing to allows this to occur. What it illustrates, especially with more guys hitting up on the driver, is that they aren't "loaded" into their lead left/foot at impact. The vertical ground force being applied is shooting up and back towards their trail side real fast, again we're talking about driver. Justin Thomas keeps the foot down with an iron. I disagree that Rory and Rickie have their lead foot come off the ground at impact.
  5. Those pics actually are of me - taken in my dreams. Lol That's Justin Thomas, and I wasn't advocating anyone trying to copy his positions, just that his foot is off the ground and he gets it done. Perhaps I shouldn't have asserted it is unimportant to work on the trail foot - the golf swing is tricky, and heck if I know the ins and outs. It might very well help the OP to do so, as well as me.
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