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Long drive competitor technique

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  • Long drive competitor technique

    I recently watched some of the long drive competition on TV, and was most impressed with the swing of one of the older long time competitors by the name of Bobby Wilson. He didn't have the brute power of a Jason Zuback, but he did have a fundamentally beautiful swing motion that generated near 150 mph clubhead speed. I recorded the high fps rate clip of his swing on dvd and replayed it back in step action several times. The playback gives an insight into some of the motion sequences and physical mechanics that's involved in generating some much clubhead speed at the necessary instant of ball impact. Ofcourse, understanding how they accomplish this feat is only a small part of the process - possessing the intrinsic talent and psyshophysiological compatibility for golf, and the work ethic to practice is the biggest part. There's not a bit of fat in Wison's swing, no wasted motion at all. He achieves a great coiled postion at the top of his backswing with a tremendous connected torque between his upper and lower body without the exaggerated overswinging. The downswing is a simple responsive action that transitions weight onto his leading foot. This move is subtle and hardly noticeable, but it allows for the one piece movement of the arms,club, and shoulder - Joe Dante's eternal triangle- to a waist high position. The cupped tray position of the right wrist is maintained from its position at the top as the bent right elbow drops to close to the right side. From this delivery position, Wilson's hip rotation squares the club face as the the wrists start their release (in the up-down plane only) while still maintaining his trailing wrist cup. Guys who can swing a club like Wilson probably never think much about all of this mumbo-jumbo that takes place during their swing. The're more concerned in finding the driver and shaft combo that can lower their spin rate and optimize their lauinch angle.
    Last edited by greghutton; 11-08-2009, 12:33 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Long dive competitor technique

    Would you post the slow motion video on Youtube?


    Thanks

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    • #3
      Re: Long dive competitor technique

      That is interesting.

      Many years ago, when Wilson was in his prime, they would say that he, of all the long drive competitors had the most sound swing, comparable to the "conventional" pro golf swing. As to why he did not try as a tour player, it could be other aspects, like personal or bad putting

      Ted

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      • #4
        Re: Long dive competitor technique

        As to why he did not try as a tour player, it could be other aspects, like personal or bad putting
        yeah, often people are so worried about their swing mechanics but little realising that it is only a small part of the game. Skill level, speed control, short game, mental control, course management, fitness and nutrition etc are all such a big part of the game. You often see great players who cant really hit the ball great but who understand how to get the ball in the hole much better than others.

        Guys who can swing a club like Wilson probably never think much about all of this mumbo-jumbo that takes place during their swing
        Too true. If you ask many good players what they do in their swing they have to make something up on the spot. Even if they can tell you what they do, they dont actually think about it when they hit the ball, it will probably be something they work on at the range, but when its crunch time they go on autopilot and focus more on a simple feeling or visual image or nothing at all (as close to nothing at all, think about when you drive your car, kind of this mindset).

        Unfortunately many amateurs in search of the perfect mechanics lose the plot and it becomes their only focus. Remember golf started with a guy hitting a stone in a field with a stick. We dont need all the mechanics and 'summation of energy through the kinematic chain' talk. Unfortunately too many pros like to talk this bull

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        • #5
          Re: Long dive competitor technique

          Originally posted by rogue View Post
          Unfortunately many amateurs in search of the perfect mechanics lose the plot and it becomes their only focus. Remember golf started with a guy hitting a stone in a field with a stick. We dont need all the mechanics and 'summation of energy through the kinematic chain' talk. Unfortunately too many pros like to talk this bull
          I feel pros have the ability to compartmentalize. They decide on a shot, they decide upon mechanics to be used, take several rehearsal swings until the mechanics have melted away to a feel they can take to the ball. They are very analytical about their game and use a combination of swing mechanics, and feel. I don't feel we amateurs can compartmentalize as well and do one or the other and not both.
          But, I agree, when it's time to stand over the ball, they're committed to a feel they've practice many times before, based upon sound swing mechanics for that particular shot.
          Last edited by dagosa; 11-07-2009, 07:24 PM.

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          • #6
            Re: Long dive competitor technique

            Originally posted by dagosa View Post
            I feel pros have the ability to compartmentalize. They decide on a shot, they decide upon mechanics to be used, take several rehearsal swings until the mechanics have melted away to a feel they can take to the ball. They are very analytical about their game and use a combination of swing mechanics, and feel. I don't feel we amateurs can compartmentalize as well and do one or the other and not both.
            But, I agree, when it's time to stand over the ball, they're committed to a feel they've practice many times before, based upon sound swing mechanics for that particular shot.
            Good points. I like to fix an image in my mind of the ball flight I want for a shot then make a few practice swings that give me the right feel. This is really the case when I need to manufacture a shot from a bad lie.

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            • #7
              Re: Long dive competitor technique

              Visualization is a good thing but one has to have the swing to go with it. One thing Hogan was doing by practicing so much was ingraining the swing he wanted, visualization is the easy part.
              Again, the swing is the thing but trying visualization before it is nonsense.


              Originally posted by dagosa View Post
              I feel pros have the ability to compartmentalize. They decide on a shot, they decide upon mechanics to be used, take several rehearsal swings until the mechanics have melted away to a feel they can take to the ball. They are very analytical about their game and use a combination of swing mechanics, and feel. I don't feel we amateurs can compartmentalize as well and do one or the other and not both.
              But, I agree, when it's time to stand over the ball, they're committed to a feel they've practice many times before, based upon sound swing mechanics for that particular shot.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Long dive competitor technique

                quote from tiger (more a paraphrase)

                There are lots of shots that i dont even remember hitting the ball. I remember before the shot, choosing the right club, working out the wind, but when i walk towards the ball its like my mind shuts off, i only come back when the ball has landed.

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                • #9
                  Re: Long drive competitor technique

                  You see Tiger making practice swings and getting a feel for the shot in hand, just like many of the other top golfers.

                  This link shows the way to do it with a shorter shot:

                  http://www.golfdigest.com/instructio...flick_chipping
                  Last edited by BrianW; 11-09-2009, 10:05 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Long drive competitor technique

                    Originally posted by BrianW View Post
                    You see Tiger making practice swings and getting a feel for the shot in hand, just like many of the other top golfers.

                    This link shows the way to do it with a shorter shot:

                    http://www.golfdigest.com/instructio...flick_chipping
                    agreed.... although when the time comes for execution of the shot you do not need (and in fact several well conducted studies have thus proved) to be consciously aware of your actions. in fact to be aware of a motor programme will detract from your ability to reproduce it. Imagine trying to throw a dart thinking about what your hand is doing - or what angle you need to release at.

                    Sure a practice swing is good, that even helps unlock that motor programme (in theory) but you dont need a practice throw when playing a game of catch.

                    The above is not always applicable i am sure. Maybe there is a stage of learning (possibly cognitive/associative) where you are more benefited by thinking about a movement. But to truly unlock somehting you have learned, and to play YOUR BEST golf it needs to be subconscious. Even hackers are often imprived by getting rid of their conscious thoughts (the ones that specifically relate to a movement) - i have several drills that can train players to do this.

                    Im not getting rid of technical thoughts, im just saying there is a better way and we have all experienced a round where we have played amazing, where the ball has gone where we want without much mental effort at all.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Long drive competitor technique

                      Originally posted by rogue View Post
                      agreed.... although when the time comes for execution of the shot you do not need (and in fact several well conducted studies have thus proved) to be consciously aware of your actions. in fact to be aware of a motor programme will detract from your ability to reproduce it. Imagine trying to throw a dart thinking about what your hand is doing - or what angle you need to release at.

                      Sure a practice swing is good, that even helps unlock that motor programme (in theory) but you dont need a practice throw when playing a game of catch.

                      The above is not always applicable i am sure. Maybe there is a stage of learning (possibly cognitive/associative) where you are more benefited by thinking about a movement. But to truly unlock somehting you have learned, and to play YOUR BEST golf it needs to be subconscious. Even hackers are often imprived by getting rid of their conscious thoughts (the ones that specifically relate to a movement) - i have several drills that can train players to do this.

                      I'm not getting rid of technical thoughts, im just saying there is a better way and we have all experienced a round where we have played amazing, where the ball has gone where we want without much mental effort at all.
                      I think this discussion is getting a little confused. I have not suggested that you should be thinking of the mechanics when making a swing at the ball. I rather suggested that when manufacturing a shot it is good to visualise the ball flight then make a few practice swings that give the correct feel for the shot in hand. I personally find it a good practice to see an image of myself making a nice smooth swing just prior to stepping up to the ball.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Long drive competitor technique

                        Everyone has their own comfort zone. Everyone has visualization but not everyone has the right swing.
                        Whatever works, right.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Long drive competitor technique

                          Originally posted by keiko View Post
                          Everyone has their own comfort zone. Everyone has visualization but not everyone has the right swing.
                          Whatever works, right.
                          Right!......

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                          • #14
                            Re: Long drive competitor technique

                            Back to the topic, long drivers of the ball tend to have a slow transition which sets one up to produce lag. Lag cannot happen with a quick transition.
                            If more amateurs would slow down their swing tempo, they would gain yards and find themselves in the fairway more often.
                            One additional thing, keeping one's head still while pivoting around a stable spine/core, produces balance and effortless power.
                            This concept is so simple yet so many players search for all complexities thus missing the point.
                            I am a swing the handle proponent and one cannot do that with a fast swing.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Long drive competitor technique

                              Lag cannot happen with a quick transition.
                              You're right on the money Keiko!

                              From this delivery position, Wilson's hip rotation squares the club face as the the wrists start their release
                              So the hips don't turn until very late in the swing? ...Wil

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