Why Is There So Much Inconsistency In Golf – At All Levels In Golf? … Special Report By Kiran Kanwar.

Special Report By Kiran Kanwar – Why is there so much inconsistency in golf – at all levels?

To observe Michelle Wie on the driving range is to watch the most supreme female athlete in action. Many are blaming her coach David Leadbetter for her missing the cut at the Volunteers of America North Texas Shootout in particular, and for not living up to her great potential in general.

In point of fact, Leadbetter tries harder than most other golf instructors to “get it right” by having on his team, a biomechanist and a fitness expert, among others, who can advice him on the scientific appropriateness of whatever he teaches.

So, it is certainly not his fault that the world of sport – all sport – has never once considered that how the joints are placed during any sporting movement is the key to success – or failure.

The typical manner in which sports movement is analyzed is by studying the motion of the best players. This is not always ideal because the players might be having a bad week when analyzed. The most scientific way to assess any sports movement would be by reverse engineering the requirements of impact.

Michelle Wie swinging

What does that mean? In golf one would ask, what is the desired ball flight? Where should the club be to produce that ball flight? Which body positions facilitate the required club positions? How can the body be set-up, both at address and at the top of the backswing so that all the joints facilitate, rather than hamper one another in producing a smooth-flowing, interference-free swing?

From her top of backswing position, Wie kicks in her right leg. This serves to shift weight forward, and, more importantly to level her hips for easy rotation, and golfers are always told to make the hips move through quickly so the trunk can follow.

There are two main anatomical issues with this movement, which is something all golfers have. The first is what the hips do, and the second what the trail shoulder does.

As Wie can be seen doing, a typical golf swing starts with a kick of the trail leg so that the hips might rotate quickly. As the hips rotate to face target, the shoulders follow, but because the trail shoulder is positioned at the top and during early downswing, to some extent, in internal rotation, the early spinning-open of the hips serves only to protract the trail shoulder, pushing it out forwards and downwards (see picture). With the trail shoulder in such a position, the golfer can at best, connect the ball square or slightly on it’s outside right quadrant (right-handed golfer), so that post-impact, the club moves “in” and the ball “out” (in an across the ball movement) giving the golfer a fade at best.

The typical golf swing – any swing with trail side shoulder and hip higher than their lead side counterparts at the top of the backswing – requires very efficient movement to undo, and is probably a difficult movement for most golfers to make consistently in the 1/3 or 1/4 second that a golf downswing lasts.

The truly efficient golf swing must position all the body’s main joints based on their design constraints, and must reduce the amount of movements they make, because regardless of who the golfer is, of whatever talent level, the downswing lasts only a very small fraction of a second.

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

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