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Joined: 15 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Wed 10:37, 19 Nov 2014 Back to top

I would like to introduce to you all Mr.Chuck Gardner and his great work in the field of golf swing researches so that golfers could have much less frustration on their quest to success. The impact of my site is not big, nevertheless, it always serve to great people and great ideas as much as it can.
Mr.Gardner wrote a great letter to me which can be read below:


I have just stumbled across your golf blog via a link in one of the YouTube videos you posted and I've only just started to explore it from the earlier postings forward but want to drop you a note because your approach resonates with me. I'm sure we must have similar temperaments because I have a similar analytical approach to golf and tackle ideas similarly by thinking and writing about them. Your efforts are even more impressive in that English apparently isn't your native language.

I started playing golf in 1983 at age 31 taking some lessons from a pro but for the most part just using what I knew about physics and biomechanics (from other sports and posing people as a professional photographer) plus my intuition. The Jack Nicklaus book "Golf My Way" was my guide book. I also learned much about short game techinque and strategy, such as when to use an 8i instead of a wedge for 30 yard approach shot, from a book called "Getting it Up and Down" by Tom Watson.

I could relate to Nicklaus's approach because he's also an intuitive-thinking type my hands are also exactly the same as his with short fingers.

Thanks to Jack's book I had understood how spin axis influences flight — something "new law" gurus don't emphasize — and immediately started attempting to see all shots with shape. But my swing mechanics were poor — I pronated and didn't have good connection of arms and body.

I recently read his book "My Golden Tips" which he wrote at age 62 and in it he discusses how intuition (and influence from Jack Grout) shaped his swing technique, which apparently was considered unconventional when he joined the pro ranks, at least compared to the Hogan baseline, because of his freely swinging back arm.

I'm of the temperament that I'll try to get very good at things which interest me, and failing that I'll move on to something else and by 1990 I'd reached that point in golf and parked the clubs — a set of Browning Premiere — until 2003 when shopping for a new home we found one with an artificial green in back and bought it. That was a catalyst for searching for cheap putters and wedges — and the occasional full set of old irons — at second hand stores, whacking plastic balls around the yard and reading and buying golf books.

I was able to retire in 2007 at which time I got a job as a Starter/Marshal at a golf course. The perk was unlimited free golf. I quit the job in 2011 and got a membership there. So since 2008 I've played about 200 days a year, spending a lot of my time trying all the different swing techniques I read about.

My intellectual approach to the mechanics is similar to yours but I come at them from a different direction. What motivated me to start trying to mentor others and write about technique was the experience of working as a Starter and spending 12-18 hours a week for three years looking at thousands of lousy golf swings and slices in to woods off the first tee, thinking "Why does everyone make the same basic mistakes?"

So I started to ask people with poor swing mechanics, "How do you think a golf swing works?" There answers explained most of their swing flaws. Most had 50-70% of the cause and effect incorrect. There biggest flaws were: grip, lack of connecting arms and shoulders as a unit, no clues how to move the lower body, and popping up immediately to track the ball.

I saw the challenge as being one of getting them from that clueless baseline to one that reflexively got the club on the correct extended outside the hands backswing path.

While I was thinking about that I was also spending 2 or so hours a day on the range with an old blade 7 iron like Hogan used, working my way page-by-page through Hogan's Five Lessons until I was able to duplicate his results. But I found his movement of the front hand dorsi-flexed at the top / palmar-flexed (which he incorrectly called supinated) at impact hard to coodinate consistently and painful if ball was hit fat.

You likely know this but I recently read a book by the guy who shagged Hogan's practice balls in the 60's, Jody Vasquez, in which he says Hogan explained the cupping at the top was simply to maintain balance by altering the position of the club head. Reading between the lines I suspect that was due to his limited ability open the hips in his backswing after the accident. The bowing in the opposite range of motion at impact was to square the club face and minimize his tendency to hook.

I was also reading books by Hank Johnson "Winning the Three Games of Golf" and Steve Bann "Simply Golf: Back To Basics" and incorporating their ideas into my swing. Johnson's book is filled with movement drills using non-golf props like brooms, table tennis paddles and balls which use the same movement and exaggerate the forces. Bann has a very clever method of set-up where hips are canted back at address, then rocked back to the same place at impact:

[Address Posture]http://youtu.be/JpT_454T3A0

[Arm Action in Swing]http://youtu.be/_JES-8I-VAk

Those two short videos capture the essense of the golf swing better than any I've seen. He's Austrailan and coaches Appleby, Choi and others on the Pro tour but isn't widely known. Johnson is a teaching pro at a course in Birmingham, Alabama and also a hidden gem.

Curious about how easy it would be to fix the lousy swings with the same drills I started offering tips to people I got paired with at random or played up to and had watched. I developed a drill where I had them extend the club and hold it, then I'd grab it and pull them off their feet. Then I'd move it to were it should have been and repeat like tug of war. In back, in front and from outside the ball.

The results were amazing. In the space of about 5 min. after pulling them on their asses 2-3 times but not saying a word their brains sorted out how to reflexively brace and keep the body in good "dynamic" balance. After sorting out any grip, connection and weight shift issues with other quick drills every single person I tried that drill with went from slicing every shot and reverse pivoting to well connected, inside-out path swing with a tendecy to a slight draw spin arc on their shots. Fixing the path also fixed most balance problems, except the tendency to steer with the hands in the finish.

Working with chronic slicers, and suffering the same problem I came to realize the cause is poor connection or balance issues letting the club head veer outside then SUBCONSCIOUSLY steering face back square to target because the conscious game plan was a straight at target shot. The result of course is outside of center ball contact and slice spin. As long as they are steering with the hands the more they open the stance trying to start the ball more to the left the more it curves right from the hand-steered at target face angle.

If they overcome the reflexive steering tendency the outside-in path creates a PULL not a slice because ball contact is square relative to path and spin axis on the ball is vertical.

I find one the better ways to cure the steering habit is set up to target 45° closed (an exaggeration) and just hit balls without any regard to target. Then once the swing is grooved without any subconscious hand action start turning the grip of the club closed incrementally in the hands, still totally commited to swinging the body mechanics to the imaginary path target on the right until the ball curves back to the target line.

Draws work better for this for the reason you explain in the first blog post, which BTW is the first time I'd seen the modified version of Hogan's set-up target, because it forces the back arm connected in the body relative to target than an open fade stance does.

Once the connected grooved feel of the draw is mastered then a fade can be hit from the open stance baseline without the reflexive squaring of face exactly at target that turns a pull-fade into a straight-slice subconsciously.

The net effect of this was discovering I could fix a poor swing in the space of 3-4 holes of playing with a complete stranger on the course simply by identifying and fixing connection and grip problems. That gets takeaway path correct, and providing the feet are angled as Hogan suggested, but in a slightly closed to target line stance, the rest of the swing happens correctly on it's own as if by magic. Those I have experimented with — total strangers — have come off the course amazed.

Based on that experimentation I proposed setting up a Golf Ambassador program where people like me, retired guys with a analytical understanding of the swing, could play with newbies and show them the same drills to improve the mechanics. Predictably the course manager and pro rejected the idea. The manager because people would rent fewer range balls and the pro because it would compete with selling 8 - 12 week lesson packages. Failing to get any support for the Golf Ambassador idea I started participating on Reddit in [link widoczny dla zalogowanych] to share ideas, and also set up my own subreddit [link widoczny dla zalogowanych] to post my musings.

In closing let me say it was great to find another recreational golfer with the same level of curiosity about this silly game. I look forward to reading your blog and plan to mention it in mine next time I post another article because I think the limited audience subscribed to my scriblings would also understand and benefit from your insights.

Chuck Gardner"

I personally do hope that Chuck will gain even bigger thankful audience.
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