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Analysis - Champions Tour Driving

Good drivers of the golf ball find a way to shallow out the swing of the club. The most common way good drivers do it is with axis tilt (a combination of the Jackson 5 and Bracing). In order to shallow out the club, most golfers need to feel a bit more shaft rotation (motorcycle) than they are used to. 

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Tags: Poor Contact, Not Straight Enough, Not Enough Distance, Iron, Driver, Fairway Wood, Impact, Follow Through, Transition, Release, Member Question, Concept, Intermediate

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This analysis video is driving the ball on the champions tour.

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So we're going to take a look at some of the top ball strikers and how they kind of use the movements that I talk about here in the galsmart Academy system with an aging body.

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So we're just going to go through some of the guys who are in the top 10 in driving or total ball striking.

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And here we've got the top two.

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Now, I've got some good videos on using the Jackson 5 and the importance of side bend and shadowing out.

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In order to be a good driver to go off while you're going to have to shallow your out, you're swinging out some way.

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Because the driver has very little loft.

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In order to launch it high, you have to hit slightly up on it, especially if you're trying to maximize distance.

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And in order to do so, you either have to add a lot of loft with your wrist down at the bottom or do what most of these guys do and create a fair amount of access to it.

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And now, you won't see it as quite a dynamic movement as say some of the younger guys like Dustin Johnson or Justin Thomas.

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But you'll see that the geometry, you know, and the physics still holds up.

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So here we have the number one ball striker. He's number three in driving number one in green's evaluation. You got Tom Laman.

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And with the driver, you'll see right about here.

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His upper body is fairly vertical.

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And you'll see that he's still got a fair amount of lag.

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You know, this is a 3D image, so it's kind of angled a little bit away from us.

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But his posture here is fairly vertical.

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If he was to keep his body shifting towards the target and just extend his arms, we would finish with the upper body even more on top of it here.

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But what we're going to see is as he comes down through the ball, you'll see that that upper body tends to back up.

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Now, as you get older, most of these guys aren't quite there yet.

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But as you get older, you'll lose a fair amount of your spine lateral bend.

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Usually around the age 65, there's a kind of a tipping point where what happens to your discs affects the way that you side bend.

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But you'll see that he still creates that good kind of Jackson 5 alignment where he gets a fair amount of tilt away from the ball.

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And you can see that he's doing it more from his pelvis and less from his spine.

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So some of the younger guys may have a little bit more of kind of a side bend through the spine.

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He has some, you can see if we clear all these lines, you can see the kind of point key points of his ribcage are on an angle about like this.

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But the key points of his pelvis are on a pretty good angle as well, something like that.

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So allow him to get into this classic position here that we see for really good drivers of the golf ball, where the body is angled away from the target.

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Most golfers think that they need to finish forward in order to kind of swing imbalance.

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But balance is really a sign of what's going on with the whole system.

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So if the club is going to be pulling more horizontally because you swung on a more shallow path,

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then your body has to angle away from it in order to actually stay in balance.

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So now let's take a quick look at Bernhard Langer, the number two ball strike around the senior tour.

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Now I know from a pretty good source that Bernhard Langer is one of the hardest workers out there.

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He practices 10 to 11 hours a day.

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And that's part of why he's able to just dominate on the champion store because many of those guys, they work hard at it, but not 10 to 11 hours a day.

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So again, if we get him into that halfway point of the downswing, you can see that Walley's had some shift of his body.

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You know, he's had a little bit of that pressure shift into that front foot.

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He's not tilted a ton.

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If he kept his body moving, he would be very steep, but he's not going to.

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He's going to go into a good bracing position that upper body is going to fall away from the target as those arms extend more towards the target.

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And while we can see that there are some subtle differences, the, or not so subtle differences, some big differences in the legs and the feet and even the arms, you can see that the overall shape of angling the body away, whether it's through the hips or through the spine or using the knees or the ankles, angling the body away.

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While those arms extend is a classic position that you will need to be a very good elite level driver of the golf ball or in your case probably to reach your maximum.

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So we'll look at a handful more, but we're here we've got Kenny Perry and Colomont Gummery.

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Additionally, you know, finding good swings of guys on the champions tour while they're on the champions tour is harder than it might sound.

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And I wasn't able to find good video on Joe Durant who is actually one of my favorite ball strikers.

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So if anybody out there has some good Joe Durant video, please send me the link.

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Okay, so over on the left we've Kenny Perry. It's not a perfect camera angle. You can see he does set up with his stance a little close, but you can tell that that's well back.

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That's not a truly good face on, but we will see that really good tilt away from the ball.

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Harder to see from this point of view, I'd have to use a swing from when he was much younger to highlight that tilt, but again, as you get older, it's more important to do it through the pelvis or the knees and to get that lower body ahead while that upper body stays back.

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If you want to be in the lead driver of the golf ball or at least the best that you can.

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So this is Colomont Gummery's one of my favorites, just because he's got he was such a consistent driver of the golf ball for so long and has some, I don't want to say swing quirks, but he, he's found a good way to manage having steeper arms and we'll, we'll take a quick look at him from down the line because I think he's a good lesson for a lot of you.

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But here he is right at this position and we know he's going to try to get into about this position from here.

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Seems like it would be hard to do, but you'll see a fair amount of that upper body just kind of falling away as those arms extend on more of a horizontal path.

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And so he gets into that good side bent tilt through his hips, uses a bit of his knees to do it.

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Again, maybe not quite as much through the spine, but that does get a little bit harder to do as he had older.

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Great arm extension fully unhinged, but basically keeping all the same geometry constraints that I talk about when I look at the guys who are dominating the regular tour.

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And you know, the younger, more athletic guys, what you'll see on the champions tour is that they'll do it in a more kind of blended or smooth or rhythmic way, but they'll still get into those patterns.

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So here's Colin from the down the line and one of the reasons that I like his move so much is you'll see that he balances his steepest in jallos.

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He has some fairly vertical and fairly steep arm movements, but you'll see that he has this combination of really falling really doing a great jackson five almost looks like he does it more from the upper body falling, but if you look at it in transition, you can see those muscles in the right hip and the right thigh kind of initiating the movement.

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And then you just kind of carries it on more with his upper body.

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But from the down the line, you'll see that he also shallows it out by having a fair amount of early extension.

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Now most people who do that combination would tend to have some face control issues down to the bottom, but he still has a very.

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Good stable release where he's he's executing, you know, he's not really breaking down with his risk.

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He's got still a fair amount of that kind of shot put or move or that white movement, he he doesn't really good things with his release and gets into a really classic follow through position.

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So he wanted to do one kind of non classic example, so I've got Rocco Mediate.

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He's not one of the elite ball strikers, but you know, he's in the top 20 in terms of total driving and he's, you know, in the middle of the pack is for far as ball striking goes.

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And you'll see that that upper body does not really, you know, stay behind his lower body.

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He gets into a position that would look a lot more like a wedge shot where everything is much more stacked up on top of the front foot.

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This is actually what I find a lot of my amateur students trying to do when they say, don't I have to get my weight forward?

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You'll see that in order to get your weight forward, he's going to have to shallow it out somewhere.

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Because you can see from this position upper body is well on top of the lower body. He should have a pretty steep angle of attack and he very well.

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But you'll see that he gets the club down low to the ground.

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It'll just tend to have a little bit more of a U shape left of a flat bottom, but if his rhythm is on he'll be able to figure it out or do it relatively consistently.

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So then how is he able to have his upper body in the steep position and still get the club down there?

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It'll be revealed more from the down the line.

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Because the rules of physics and needing a shallower path for the driver are pretty absolute.

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I've never seen anyone who has a very, you know, who has a steep angle of attack and steep path who really excels with the driver.

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It just doesn't happen.

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So over here, we can see Racco at about this position here. So he's actually steep with his arms as he's steep with his body.

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So he's got to shallow it out some here, or some way.

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What we'll see is through here, he has what I would consider one of the more impressive, older deviation moves.

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You can see a fair amount of that unhinged because you know that he's not getting any of that shallonness from the body.

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His body stays on top, but the club is lower and closer to the ground without really getting out over the swing plane.

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In fact, if anything, he gets it under the swing plane.

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And you can see in this position how much bow, how much of the motorcycle move and how much of the unhinging he's done to complement that upper body lunge.

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And you'll see, so you'll see why I tend to teach both of those key shallowing movements, both giving you the options of either having more of the Jackson 5 and shallowing it in transition.

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Or if you're going to be steep, you can do it all with the arm shallowing in owner deviation.

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Or ideally, you would do it a little bit of each, a little bit of the Jackson 5, a little bit of the arm shallowing in transition, and then you keep it shallowing with the major arm shallowing movement down in the release, which would be either the Jackson 5 and the bracing or the unhinging of the wrist or the owner deviation.

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So you'll see through there, even with an iron, he does a great job of unhinging, gets into still has a fair amount of bow and unhinged there at impact.

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And that's one of the ways that you can make a more of a upper body lunge work, but it's not quite as good as what we were seeing with the classic drivers, the golf ball, the Bernhard longer, the Kenny Perry, Tom Lamin, Column Montgomery.

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Let's go on if you look at good drivers, the golf ball, they're going to tend to get into that classic follow-through position.

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If you see golfers, you have a little bit of an unusual move and not quite the classic follow-through position.

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Then you know that they are getting their shallowness somewhere, otherwise they would continue to struggle with the driver.

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Good news is just because you get older and lose a little bit of clubbed speed, your driving game doesn't have to completely suffer.

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It's still work on getting some of that shallowness. You'll do a lot of it more with the hips and maybe even the knees in order to help get the lower body ahead and get into that really strong bracing position and classic follow-through.

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You do that even if you have a number of swing-curks, like some of the knee buckle or some of the, you know, let's say a little bit of kind of some poor risk mechanics.

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You can usually get away with it if you've created an overall shallow shape for the driver.

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