Grip, Stance and Posture

The Golfing Machine - Thursday, August 09, 2012

During my range practice sessions while I ponder Mr. Kelley’s work sometimes, I take the opportunity to listen to other golf professionals give instruction to their students. When I ask them the basis of their teaching the answer I inevitably receive is “Grip, Stance and Posture.” These concepts seem simple and straight forward and an instructor who knows them would be invaluable to his students. Although, these three concepts are the basis of their teaching, I wonder if they know the depth of information contained within each. Let’s briefly explore these three concepts and their relationship to golf:

Grip – According to the dictionary, grip is “the act of taking firmly and holding fast with the hand, teeth or instrument, etc. secure grasp, firm grip.” (Webster’s New Twentieth Century Dictionary, Unabridged).

This definition is opposite of the grip definition given by most golf professionals. They state that you should have a light grip, as if holding a bird in your hands. My question is what size is the bird? How firm would your grip be if the bird were an eagle? Most golfers when they grip the club firmly also tighten the muscles of the elbow and the shoulders and therefore the appearance is that their grip is too tight when the fact is they are using the wrong the muscles.

To explore the correct muscle activation, try this: Shake the hand of one of your same-sex friends and in so doing both of you increase your grip pressure until it is a firm 8 on a scale of 10. Now, while you both have the same grip pressure, and without changing it, relax the muscles of your elbows and shoulder. Now, while still maintaining the same grip pressure, move your arm back and forth rapidly like you were using a saw. Notice that your grip pressure did not change but you can move your arm quite easily back and forth. As long as your grip pressure remains firm and the same pressure throughout the golf stroke your arms will be able to move properly.

My next question is: How to align your hands to the grip on the club and to each other? If your golf professional cannot accurately explain how to align your hands to the club’s grip and to each other then it is time you found someone who can. If your professional states, “I want you to grip the club like me” this is the signal to find someone who knows and understands the relationship of the hands to the club and to each other.

Stance – The subject of stance is as rife with antiquated thoughts as the topic of grip and its tightness. The definition of stance, according to (Webster’s New Twentieth Century Dictionary, Unabridged), is a “manner of standing, posture, especially with reference to the position of the feet, an in certain sports.” The topic of stance is related to the position of the feet in golf. But the question is the position of the feet relative to what? To the base of the clubshaft plane? To the line of flight? To each other? Are they internally or externally rotated? The relationship of the feet to the line of flight, to the base of the plane as well as to each other is paramount to being able to make your pivot move correctly. If your golf professional cannot adequately explain how to align your feet and why, it is time to find an instructor with up-to-date information about the geometric and biomechanical relationships that are necessary to develop a proper pivot motion.

Posture – The (Webster’s New Twentieth Century Dictionary, Unabridged), tells us posture is defined as: “To place in a particular manner, to pose.” If your golf professionals states that you should have “an athletic posture” ask what does that mean. If he or she says you should look like a golfer he does not understand how to align the various joint structures of the body to achieve a Golfers Baseline Position (GBP) as defined in the “Biomechanical Integration Approach” by Dr. Matt Rosman, GSEE. Our sport of golf is different than all others. The joint relationship that creates our GBP must be understood so that each of us can place ourselves in the proper bodily alignment which will give us the most flexible pivot each of us can create. If your golf professional cannot explain why and how to align yourself properly then it is time to find someone who can.

We have begun to explore the three concepts upon which most golf professionals lean; and believe are the corner stones to their professional knowledge base. I gave you a brief look at these concepts combined with questions to pose to your instructors to make sure you get the most education from your instructional dollar.

The Golfing Machine Authorized Instructors have been trained to explain all the relationships of your grip, stance and posture plus any of the idiosyncrasies that you may have in your physical being that may require special alignments.

Advantages of TGM Lessons

The Golfing Machine - Saturday, July 28, 2012

I am asked regularly about the advantages of taking lessons from Golfing Machine Authorized Instructors. My response is simply that the Authorized Instructors of The Golfing Machine have the best training in assisting you with developing your stroke pattern. 

A stroke pattern is a compilation of movements, concepts and requirements which a student uses that creates their best shots. Mr. Kelley understood that today’s stroke pattern will be better than yesterday’s; meaning that your stroke pattern will evolve until you have acquired and refined your personal pattern.

Many golf instructors use Tour Players as models and the one thing that all Tour Players have in common is that they all have different stroke patterns, which is why it makes them so interesting to watch. For example two of the best ball strikers ever were Ben Hogan and Mo Norman. When you look at their motions you see immediately notice the difference between them. Mr. Hogan has his knees flexed at address Mr. Norman’s knees are much more straight. Mr. Hogan’s swing is more around his body compared to Mr. Norman’s more upright motion. How can these talented players look so different? The answer lies within each player, they worked on their stroke pattern for years perfecting it to their satisfaction and we are witnessing the fruits of that labor.

Today golf instruction is fractioned on how to best “hit” a golf ball. Does the club come from the inside or the outside? Is the clubface open, closed or square at Impact? Should I stand closer or farther away? Should I be more upright or flatter? The answer is to do what you like under the guidance of a Golfing Machine Authorized Instructor who can assist you in the evolution of your pattern. With 446 quadrillion variations in The Golfing Machine text which includes swinging from the outside in or the inside out and everything in between I am sure that inside Mr. Kelley’s book there is a pattern that will suit you, and let’s face it this is all about you, it your pattern, your swing, your game… you should love it!

Impact and TGM

The Golfing Machine - Saturday, July 21, 2012

Many of you have listened or read about the results derived from the time of Impact. Although, this short time frame between .2 to .4 of a millisecond is quite small the outcome is quite profound. This particular blog is to assist the reader/golfer in making sense of some of this information regarding other variables that effect post impact response.

According to the Rules of Golf the Player must take a backstroke, the reason this becomes important is to remind us that the Clubshaft, Clubhead and Clubface are in motion. Other, variables to remember are: Hand height, Wrist motion, arm motion, right wrist motion, knee motion, hip motion, shoulder elevation, spine column alignment, Clubshaft bend, clubface angle, clubface direction, Clubhead path.

When you have hit your best shot all of these above factors have a certain relationship and when you have hit your worse shot they also have a relationship. However, everyone wants to repeat the best shot relationships. If you were to only concentrate on what was occurring during the .2 to .4 of a millisecond between Impact and Separation improvement would be difficult because a lot of motion took place during the backstroke to setup the motion that would occur during the Downstroke which in fact crated the Impact alignments. Therefore, everything which came before Impact has a bearing on it and should be understood.

Thankfully, Mr. Kelley wrote The Golfing Machine for us to follow; He truly understood in Chapter 8 that the golf stroke included everything from taking a look at your upcoming shot and concluding with Finish. Each of the 12 Sections has equal importance if one Section is overlooked then the whole stroke is affected.

For more information on how to make your motion and to increase your golfing skills contact an Authorized Instructor of The Golfing Machine.

References in TGM

The Golfing Machine - Friday, July 13, 2012

When we learn a something new it must be taught so it makes sense. Not everyone has difficulty with the same concepts. For example some people immediately understand that a circle has 360 degrees, others however have difficulty understanding it. Another example using the circle is that it also has 6.28 radians. Some people grasp this concept immediately while others have great difficulty comprehending it. Our job as Authorized Instructors of The Golfing Machine is to introduce you to concepts, their operation and how to use them effectively.

The Golfing Machine introduces you to concepts which will make you a better golfer. Plane, Flat Left Wrist and Clubhead Lag are just a few. For example understanding why the Plane is important, how to use it and its benefits. The development of the Plane concept is to control the Clubshaft, although you cannot physically take a Plane onto the golf course you can take the image. As you practice being on Plane it is this image that you can take with you whenever you practice or play.

As you begin to understand the importance of being on plane you will see the value of how it controls your Clubshaft. As we all know attached to the Clubshaft is the Clubhead and where every the Clubshaft goes the Clubhead will follow; it has no choice. Therefore, when you begin to apply the concept of being on Plane to your golf motion by default you will also be controlling the direction of the Clubhead. This concept is exactly the same as the understanding how to use a hammer. The handle of the hammer has the head of the hammer attached to it. Therefore, where ever you take the handle the head of the hammer will surely follow. Now the question is how precisely can use the hammer to hit a nail? If you strike the nail off center then the nail bends and it’s no good. Similarly if you bring the shaft of the club toward the ball incorrectly the head will not hit the ball properly. However, with the attention of an Authorized Instructor of The Golfing Machine you can learn how to control the Clubshaft which in turn will give you better control of the Clubhead.

The Time/Duration of the Impact Interval

The Golfing Machine - Friday, July 06, 2012

I have been asked many times about my opinion of what occurs during the Impact Interval. This Interval begins as the Clubface touches the ball and lasts until the moment the ball leaves the clubface. 

There are many thoughts, pictures, videos which try to explain what is occurring during the .0004 of a second or 4/10 or a millisecond; scientists are even debating the duration of the Impact Interval and are questioning their findings. Therefore, for our discussion we will us the above numbers which are based on a driver being swung at about 100 miles per hour. 

In order for us to understand the Impact Interval we need to be grounded in time. By this I mean we must understand the time duration of the Impact Interval and compare it to something more tangible. You may have heard the metaphor “it happened in a blink of an eye”. Well scientists have timed the eye blink and the average time it takes a human to blink – open to close and back open again is one third of a second (1/3 of a sec) or 333 milliseconds (there are 1000 milliseconds in a second). 

We are looking for the duration of the Impact Interval in “real” time. So how many Impacts at .0004 are there in one eye blink? Therefore, 1/3 of a second is .333 divided by .0004 which represents Impact to Separation there are 832.5 Impacts in every eye blink, or 100 rounds of golf shooting 83 each round!