'Phantom' Slow Motion Golf Swing: Incredible Human Movement Synergy

Fri, 10/28/2016

It's no wonder that the world of movement science is so heavily represented by research undertaken in golf. Hugely POWERFUL, yet GRACEFUL to the point of exhibiting fine CONTROL and massive SPEED. This does not occur overnight. Well done David Griffiths (swing model above). 


For the Coach

The swing is a hugely complex arrangement of movement synergies built around well documented constraints such as the TASK, EQUIPMENT, PHYSICAL CAPABILITIES/RESTRICTIONS. This all interplays with the player's swing 'schema'; learned habits, swing beliefs, intentions (Basically, what the player is trying to do with their swing right now but also through prior learning). In this case the golfer is 'self organising' around the launch requirements (impact alignment) of hitting a driver with the required sweeping motion.



In my experience, the most influential 'constraints' in a golfer's movement come down to what they have learnt and believe about the swing. This is where a skilled coach would intervene with well directed questions to peel back the layers and uncover HOW the movement has evolved. 


Biomechanics is an ever trendy field that offers huge potential in golf coaching through player education on correct anatomical funtion and the diagnoses of pertinent restrictions.

Like any disciplne, without a greater appreciation of movement science it can be overplayed. Practitioners need to note the humanistic angle. Too often swing patterns are related to body restrictions when the root cause lies elsewhere. Furthermore, removing a biomechanical restriction does NOT change the movement pattern on its own.


For the Golfer


The way David uses his levers (wrist & arm action) is a lesson to us all. By far the biggest accumulator of power in the swing is the motion of the club whipping through as we unload our wrists at impact. Take note of the structure of his arms as he goes from the 'L' shape in the downswing to the 'L' shape in the follow through. I know I am always harping on about these 'keys' and mainly, my students get the hang of the back swing but creating the L shape post impact is a much harder prospect and takes great control and diligent practice. If you have ever done my one foot exercise then you will have experienced the power (and balance) that is created through efficient use of our levers. 


As we go from one L shape to the other the club not only is accelerated greatly, the face rotates hard and squares up to the target line. 

It also follows that should one not develop this action then the club is squared (or not) through other means; swinging over the top, over active upper body and high right shoulder etc



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