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We're in that special hell of rules controversies with the implementation of the new Rules of Golf. There have been some growing pains with the new rules, and that has allowed the golf media to tee off on its favorite target, the USGA. Which, to be fair, can make itself an easy target: https://www.golfdigest.com/story/despite-harsh-words-from-some-tour-pros-usga-pleased-with-roll-out-of-new-rules-of-golf. That aside, I wanted to talk about the "controversy" about the knee-height drop that the Rules now require. Rickie Fowler got a one stroke penalty for dropping from shoulder height this past weekend. Cue the complaining from him: https://golfweek.com/2019/02/22/rickie-fowler-hit-with-one-shot-penalty-for-illegal-drop-at-wgc-mexico-championship/ I can forgive him - he just had a brain fart, probably didn't gain an advantage in this situation, it cost him money. I'm always annoyed when I get a penalty, personally, and it's absolutely never my fault, okay? But cue the pearl clutching from the media: https://www.golf.com/news/2019/02/25/backstopping-pro-tours-under-policed/ I'm here to tell you that this is wrong, and knee-height drops actually make a ton of sense. One of the best things the new Rules do is simplify dropping. Now, all you have to do when dropping is land the ball in the relief area (without touching you or your equipment before hitting the ground) and ensure the ball comes to rest in the relief area. If you don't do this, you have to redrop. Pretty simple. Yes, you have to figure out what your relief area is, but that's pretty simple, too. (For a fuller explanation of this, see Rule 14 and the definitions in the Rules of Golf.) The old rules were much more complex. Specifically, if your ball rolled to one of 9 areas after you dropped it, you had to redrop. For example, if your ball rolled more than 2 club lengths away from where your ball hit the ground, you had to redrop. You had to know all of these 9 areas to know if you needed to redrop or not. So, the new way is simpler, right? Instead of learning 9 different triggers for a redrop, you only have to learn 1. Great! Why am I talking about when you have to redrop? This is why we're dropping from knee height. Generally, under the new Rules, your ball cannot go as far after hitting the ground as it used to without triggering a redrop. Dropping from knee height reduces the chance that a redrop will be necessary. It also means that a ball has less of a chance of embedding in sand when you drop it. It makes a ton of sense, really. Now, you might say, that's all fine, but why not allow dropping a ball from anywhere above knee height? I think you could easily game the rules to be able to place the ball when you really want to by simply dropping from shoulder height instead of knee height. Think about dropping on a side slope, for example. You're much more likely to have to redrop and place if you drop the ball from a higher point. Sure, this is rare, but why take the chance? We're all on the same page, right? Knee-height drops make a lot of sense. (If you want to know more about the changes to dropping, this is an excellent article that talks about this in a bit more detail: https://rulesgeeks.com/2018/12/30-days-of-2019-rules-changes-day-16-procedure-for-dropping-a-ball-in-playing-it-from-a-relief-area/) Now to the point of all of this: golf media, please take 5 minutes to understand the rule before issuing a HAWT TAKE about the rule. The USGA has a one page sheet that explains the rule: http://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules-hub/rules-modernization/major-changes/new-procedure-for-dropping-a-ball.html. You don't come off very well when you fail to read that. I know it's fun and easy to just mindlessly bash the USGA, but they do get things right. This is one of them. (Oh and by the way, the Rules are actually really good, as a whole. Maybe I'll talk about that in another post later.)
Hi, had an account but not used in a long time and e-mail wasn't in the system so made a new one. It's been an interesting week. I replicated the feeling of greatness an expression coined by Moe Norman and how to replicate Moe swing action. It allows the student to add 100 yards from tee and accuracy along the way. Numbers based on amatuer mid handicap 13-15 with a swing speed of 93 mph and 215y driving. Showed video I am making to student and he went from 220 yards to 300 yards with a 3w! Instruction works out of the box and is the biggest discovery in golf's history. I leave with a teaser trailer what is to come
This will be an odd post to write, and I'm going to ask for some leeway in how you interpret it to give me the benefit of the doubt. This is not a rant, I'm not upset, and this is not aimed at anyone in particular. I, more than anyone else, am aware of my flaws and limitations, and unaware of much of what other people do, and I recognize that. I also stand by the work I've done here on TST, with my students, and with the various other things I've done over the years - training a hundred or so instructors in 5SK, writing a book and making a Lowest Score Wins DVD, the work, time, and energy I've put into traveling to work with experts in biomechanics and other hard sciences, the money I've spent getting "toys" and conducting my own research with them, and so on. Give me a little benefit of the doubt that my mood in writing this is perhaps best described as "mildly disappointed but not at all surprised." That post struck me as appropriate. It's in a thread where @Phil McGleno was responding to @Marty2019 re: Paul Wilson, how much you use your arms and wrists (and how) in the golf swing, etc. While I remain almost 100% convinced that @Marty2019 is "wrong" with his own theory about how he doesn't use his arms as more than connecting his body to the club… (while simultaneously understanding that if that's what he feels he's doing it's a completely different thing altogether)… he's not really going to a chemist and arguing with a pet theory over a chemical reaction. This is true simply because there is no universally accepted truth in golf instruction like we have in basic chemistry. @Marty2019 could cite several other "chemists" that back his theory - "chemists" with years of experience, YouTube videos, DVDs perhaps, websites of their own, and thousands of students. Because there's no rigorous testing or scientific process to determine when someone is a "golf expert," golfers have to rely mostly on perception: does the person seem like they know what they're talking about? Unfortunately, too often, that test fails, simply because it's pretty easy to fall into the trap of something that sounds logical. A charismatic instructor can make you believe a lot of things are true or beneficial when they are not. Add in a dash of golfers who secretly hope to find "the secret" or "that one tip" that will put them over the top, and you have a recipe for disaster: a golfer who will spend time, money, and energy chasing the dream of finally being able to break 80, or par, or hit the ball 270 yards, or sink every putt they look at, or whatever… What can I do about it? Not a whole lot, except to keep trying to hold myself to a high standard, and to educate as many people about the standard to which they should hold their instructor to as well. Golf is not in the age of chemistry, it's still - unfortunately - more like the days of alchemy.
Our discussion in another thread about the consistency of all golfers' swings was very interesting, and enlightening I think for most of us. In the discussion, we agreed that if golf swings were essentially repeating and consistent for all golfers irrespective of skill level, but that results obviously varied significantly across skill levels, there must be some variability somewhere in the poor golf swings that isn't immediately recognizable on standard video. We used the terms "macro" and "micro" to illustrate this; we said all of our swings are consistent on the "macro" level, but that the worse you are at golf, the more inconsistent your swing is at the "micro" level. This got me thinking about whether anyone has studied this, and of course, someone has. And as you might imagine, the studies come from our friends in the UK, the home of golf....appropriately so, I think. This paper is a collaboration of scientists from Leeds University in England and University of Limerick in Ireland. It's not what you might expect from an article on the golf swing....it's highly technical and it isn't easy at first to see how it applies to how we play golf or how golf is taught, but I think it's very interesting reading. I put it here instead of the swing or instruction forums because it's really more a geek thing than a golf thing. But I think this kind of research will someday help us a great deal in showing us how to go about teaching and learning golf. The study looked at the variability from swing to swing for expert golfers (hcp </= 5), and correlated that variability with the variability of outcome of the flight of the ball. For this study, they used ball velocity as the outcome measure. The measure of variability was extremely high tech; a three dimentional motion analysis of multiple points on the body, including two on the head, and several on the upper torso and several more on the legs and feet. The study found that there was no correlation between the variability of the golfers' swings and the variability of their outcomes. In other words, even though each golfer's swing varied from swing to swing with regard to how each body part moved, the variability of these movements did not predict variability of the outcome. Stated yet another way....they weren't able to determine that consistency or lack of it among any specific body part predicts anything about the result of a shot. Read! Enjoy! Talk amongst yuh-selves. Tucker et al (2013) Is outcome variability related to movement variability in golf.pdf