2016 PGA Merchandise Show – Special Round Up Of The Big Ideas By Kiran Kanwar.

2016 PGA Show – A Round-Up of Some of the Big Ideas Disseminated

A special report by Kiran Kanwar.

Leadbetter’s A Swing

David Leadbetter has put together a team of experts to assess and promote his “A swing”. One of the panel of experts is J. J. Rivet, the head biomechanist of the European Tour Performance Institute.

According to Rivet, the new swing requires 30% less energy and shifts “weight” (centre of mass) 15% less too. At the same time, there is 10% more shoulder rotation in the backswing and 25% more hip-shoulder separation from address to impact.

So how should a golfer perform this new swing? The changes are in the set-up, the body motion and the way the club moves. The original Leadbetter ideas of an “athletic” posture and keeping the upper arms close to the body endure. The new ideas are having the club-head way outside the arms during takeaway, as the core rotates the body into desired position. The arms continue from takeaway with a wrist cock, and basically never move independently of the body. The downswing requires a “Figure 8” movement of the hips to bring the club back to the ball. To know precisely “how to”, buy the simple-to-read, well-illustrated book!

David Leadbetter

David Leadbetter

The biomechanical aspects of this motion are solid. Less back swing weight shift and less use of energy are always a good idea, making the motion easier for those with less body strength and speed too. One biomechanics principle which has not been considered is the law of levers, as the upper arms remain close to the chest and do not move away to create maximally wide levers.

Anatomically, the big concerns are that now, instead of a big weight shift, the golfer must make a sophisticated figure eight move during the 1/3rd second a down swing lasts. At the same time, this movement puts the trail shoulder into a lot of internal rotation, so that the quick figure eight is essential for an inside approach to the ball. One final concern is that the greater shoulder-hip separation, especially during the downswing, will create lower-back issues.

Overall there is no doubt that Leadbetter’s A Swing will help many golfers who have too much excess, unnecessary motion in their back swings.

Sports Medicine for the PGA Tour

Did you know that the PGA Tour not only has a fitness trailer at every event but also a sports medicine one? An extremely enlightening educational presentation by Dr Tom LaFountain, head chiropractor for the PGA Tour, revealed what the trailer has to offer; what the most commonly seen areas of poor mobility are; and what is being done for wounded golfers.

The torque on the spine at great velocity and during separation of shoulders and hips results in 70% of all Champions’ Tour players going to the sports medicine trailer with lower back complaints. Of course not all 70% do indeed have actual “lower back” issues, as 35% of them could be hamstring, hips or even shoulder issues. As one joint loses its desired motion capabilities (stability or mobility) the next one in the chain gets called upon to make compensatory moves.

The trailer is equipped to run a golfer through a medical exam and history-taking; followed by a functional movement assessment; a study of the golfer’s movement patterns and sequencing; as well as a nutritional and psychological profile.

The four most important movements tested for are hip extension (leg moving backwards); hip abduction (leg moving sideways); torso flexion (golfer bending forwards at hips) and shoulder abduction (arm moving sideways).

The nutrition profile that these chiropractors, therapists and other sports medicine staff use is a very thorough and detailed one. It includes blood, urine and saliva testing, as well as a DNA and metabolic profiles. All this information would enable a dietician to make up a very detailed plan so that a golfer never runs out of energy or focus.

The sports medicine trailer has so much to offer, every golfer should be playing his best all the time.

The only concern here is that although these experts surely see the weaknesses in the modern golf swing, it is outside the scope of their practice to explain which parts need to, and must, change.

Basically, the concept of winding up the shoulders against stable hips is a dangerous, false, and unnecessary one. It is much easier on the spine and surrounding body parts for the entire torso to rotate as a single piece, with no lead-side side bend during the back swing.

Kiran Kanwar

  Developer of The Minimalist Golf Swing System -100% scientific, simple and specific

  BS (physics, math); MS (sports science, nutrition); PhD (biomechanics – student)

  Class A Member: the LPGA, The PGA (GB&I), The NGA of India, The PGA of India

Comments are closed.