Sunday, June 17, 2012

Release the Club

Golf Digest July 2012 page 36

I have yet to read a Sean Foley article that does not leave me suspicious that he is more the problem than the solution when it comes to Tiger Woods.  Take a look at this article and let's assume that he gives Tiger comparable instruction.

Let's begin by considering his instruction to "focus on unhinging your wrists during the downswing".  I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt that he is not proposing a "casting" action with the hands but he does leave it mysterious as to how the player is supposed to make this happen.  It has always been our position that this unhinging is a function of centrifugal force and is something that you "let happen" instead of "make happen".  Holding the lag prevents it from happening.

Foley then proceeds to explain that the wrists are unhinged "so your arms are nearly straight at impact".  How does a movement of the wrists straighten the arms?  Is he referring to the arm, the forearm, or both?  In the three photos in the article it appears that the arms are "straight in all of them".  By straight does he mean the elbows are fully unfolded?  If so how do the wrists cause this to happen?

But the fun doesn't stop here.  He then explains that the wrists should be square to your target at impact.  I'm assuming that he means the axis on which the wrist hinges should be square to the target line since the target is a point and you cannot draw a line perpendicular to a point. Now, look at the center photo and you will see the Nike swoosh on his golf glove.  The axis on which his wrist is flexed is not close to square to the target line.  Instead its probably 20 degrees of the target line.  (Yes, as the club proceeds to impact the shoulders will continue turning and that 20 degrees will decrease--but not to zero).

Lastly, Sean makes the remark that the left arm (I think he means forearm) "naturally rotates".  If the left arm rotates, it rotate the left hand.  If you rotate the left hand you also rotate the right hand.  If you rotate the hands you hook the shot.  Want to see what that looks like?  Look at the photo of Hunter Mahan on the adjoining page.   In the photos of Foley's swing, the forearm is not rotated in the third frame (despite the yellow arrow).  What happens is that the shoulders continue to turn and as they change their relationship to the target line so do the forearms, wrists, hands, and club.

Foley--problem or solution.  I'm suspicious.