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In this analysis video, we discuss the three major areas that golfers can create speed and power with. The lower body. The core. The upper body. We also discuss how tour golfers adjust their power sources for different clubs, how seniors and women may be predisposed to certain patterns, and how to recognize what major pattern you have.
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Tags: Not Enough Distance, Member Question, Concept, Intermediate, Beginner
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In this analysis video, we're going to take a look at power sources and how they affect the golf swing.
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If you remember from the concept video, we're going to essentially break the body down into three different segments.
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So we're going to look at the lower body, the core, and then the shoulders and the arms.
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These are the three major segments that can create speed, and we're going to see how they work during transition.
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So first we have two examples. We have Adam Scott and Roy McRoy.
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So we're going to go up to the top of the swing and look at their transition.
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Now, if you remember from the concept video, or if you've looked at a lot of kinematic sequence,
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you can see that the maximum acceleration for the lower body is going to typically happen right about there.
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Followed by the chest right about there, followed by the lead arm right about there.
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So what you'll see is that the majority of the speed creation is occurring in the early part of the downswing.
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And then the second half of the downswing, the release is going to be more continuing to build that power,
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but more effectively transferring that power as efficiently as you can to the clubhead.
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So if we take a look at Adam Scott from the top of the swing, you'll see his lower body begin the rotate first, followed by his chest,
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rotating kind of right in that area.
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And that brings his arms into the delivery position so that they're ready to fire.
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So he's primarily getting his speed through his, the big muscles and his hips and the big muscles and his trunk and shoulder blades.
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He's then using his arms down during the release to transfer that speed to the golf ball.
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Over here on the right, we're going to have a face on view of a very macro race, so we can see the same thing.
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You can see as the club is still going backwards, his lower body is starting to translate and rotate.
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And then you'll see his trunk starting to unwind kind of right in there.
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So he gets into that similar delivery position that Adam Scott was in with some minor style differences, but a similar way of getting there using the lower body in the trunk.
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There's 10 to be the biggest sources of power, but we'll get into some others as we go through other examples of how to create power.
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And one of the things that I stress is that the most consistent and the most powerful golfers tend to use their entire body.
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Now one of the ways that I like to look at power is doing this little kind of scrubbing the clip back and forth.
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Kind of like so, or almost like a little pump drill.
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And looking for where the majority of the movement is happening and then imagining if it was part of an exercise exercise, what muscles would they be using.
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So over here on the left we can see Graham McDowell and you can see that there's a lot of movement from his hips and legs.
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There's not a lot of movement from his trunk and there's actually a fair amount of movement in the trail elbow.
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If you were to, or I said, should say trail shoulder.
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If you were to look at this little window right here, you'll see that that right arm is kind of getting in position behind the shaft so that he'll have something that he can then push with.
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And so what you'll see is during this early part of the downswing, it's largely driven by the lower body, but with kind of a secondary accomplice of the shoulder.
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Now if we go over here and we look at Jason Day, we're going to pump through kind of that same window.
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Now what we'll see with Jason Day is you'll see a similar movement of the lower body because it's very hard to be a good driver of the golf ball,
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without having the lower body initiate the downswing.
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And he's doing it in a little bit of translation which we can't see from this view, but he's also doing it in rotation.
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Now what we can see with his is one of his big secondary movements is that upper body is starting to back up.
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So if I were to draw this box just to give us a line of where his head is, you'll see that as he starts down, he's going into a little bit more of a back extension.
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So if we were to look at this area right in here, you'll see that yes, the lower body is rotating, but his back is going into more of a reverse thrust or an extension movement.
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Compare that with Gramm Mac Dallow over here on the left, where his lower body is rotating and his trunk is actually flexing a little bit more down.
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So this is just going to lead towards different consistency patterns and path issues.
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Typically the more that we go into extension early, I'll lie Jason Day on the right, the more that the path is going to come from the inside, at least from the body's perspective.
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You could easily make adjustments with the arms, the change of the path, but if everything stayed the same, that simple extension is going to cause the path to be a little bit more shallow.
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Over here on the left, that simple flexing down would be a little bit of a steepening move, which unless he did something else would cause the path to be a little bit more steep and a little bit more left.
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You'll see that in Gramm's case he then uses a fair amount of side bend and translation to accompany that movement, which is great for driving the ball.
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And part of the reason why he is one of the more consistent driver is the golf ball.
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Over here on Jason Day side, you will see that he has a little bit less of that, but still gets into very good impact alignments and uses his arms in a little bit more vertical fashion than what Gramm McDow was doing.
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So we'll just simply adjust his ball flight and cause him to be a little bit more erratic off the tee.
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Now let's take a look at Jason Duffner. We'll start to do some comparisons more with different power sources reflected in different parts of the game.
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So on the left we have Jason with a driver, and you'll see that lower body during this little pump move has a fair amount of translation to wherever it is somewhere around 4 to 5 inches.
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You'll see that basically it's about if you imagine that a pelvis is roughly 12 inches wide, then typically it's going to be about a third to a half of the pelvis width that he's going to ship.
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So you can see that his lower body is initiating the downswing, but you can also see if you look at his trunk that in terms of what looks like it's moving a greater amount of movement or moving faster, you would tend to see that his shoulders and his left leg.
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So where I would be looking would be kind of in this zone right in here.
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And as he shifts onto his left side, you'll see that that tends the unwind almost faster than his lower body.
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If we come over here to the one on the right, we'll see even less drive from the lower body and you can see right through here right in this phase.
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You can see a fair amount of movement in the lead shoulder and arm. So if you look at how much is going on right in here.
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During this little phase, you'll see that the lead arm is getting pulled a little bit away from the upper body and the upper body is rotating fairly aggressively.
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Not so much that he's driving with his lower body. So when looking at this, I would see that he's using more of his core and his shoulders to create the hit, especially with the iron.
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And he's using a little bit more lower body, but as a whole, he tends to have more of a core or shoulder dominant pattern.
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Now let's take a look at Lee Westwood, because he did something that's a little bit different than the typical Tor Pro.
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So we're going to look at his power sources through the transition and you'll see that his lower body is going to initiate, but you can see that that lead arm is getting pulled off the upper body fairly quickly.
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So he's another kind of Jason Duffler, shoulder dominant player.
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But instead of having his dominant core movement be rotation, you'll see that he's doing more of a flex, or almost a crunch.
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It's exaggerated as he gets towards impact, but you can see him really starting the movement right about here.
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That's where he's doing more of a crunch with his core as opposed to a rotation, or a back extension in the Jason day case.
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So here we'll see the lower body pushing fairly aggressively, but it doesn't rotate a ton because he's turning that push into more of this crunch motion through the core.
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It's one of the reasons why the hips are kind of a bridge joint as they can either work to support the core or to support the lower body.
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But you'll clearly see that arm getting pulled right through here, so he's more of that lead shoulder kind of chop mechanic.
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And you can see him going into that fairly aggressive crunch, which gets his chest very close to the golf ball.
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This pattern would tend to be better with the short irons and have a little bit more trouble off the tee, but lead Westwood has been a pretty good ball striker for the last decade.
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So he shows that regardless of what the tendencies are, you can make virtually anything work.
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Now, well, most golfers will have a dominant power source, or a cluster of dominant power sources.
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What you'll see is that the best players in the world are able to adjust their power sources depending on the requirements for that particular shot.
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So here we have former, number one, Luke Donald, and over on the right we have a driver swing and over on the left he's hitting a wedge.
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And what you'll see is with his driver swing, his natural dominant power source is going to be very much a lower body jump or a vertical movement of a lower body.
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Combined with a side crunch, or right side bend from his upper body.
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So as we get him to delivery position kind of right in here, you can see that his left shoulder is already gotten high and he's had a ton of vertical thrust through his legs.
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Now over here with the wedge, what you'll see is that he doesn't use his lower body in quite the same vertical fashion.
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In fact, he uses it in more of a rotation.
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When we get the hands at the same point, you can see that his right shoulder is actually still higher than his left because he hasn't really used his core in a right side bend fashion.
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He's used it more in a rotational fashion.
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You'll also see that even the lower body is moving, it's not really driving the movement.
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As we continue down, you'll see that it's more his extension of his right arm combined with that rotation of his chest that is really his engine for this wedge shot.
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Where, over here on the right, you can clearly see that it's his lower body and his side bend from the core that is driving this movement.
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And then the arm is extended much later as a method of transferring the speed.
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So while it's important to recognize your dominant power source and what its strengths are, it's also important to be able to shift power sources if you want to reach your ultimate potential.
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And I'm sure some of you are wondering about special populations.
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So let's take a look at some golfers from the senior tour and then few golfers from the LPEA tour.
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You'll see that the tendency that we're looking for is to use your entire body.
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So here we have Bernhard Langer who's done very well on the senior tour.
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You'll see that it's that lower body driving combined with his core rotation and a little bit of side bend because he's hitting it off the tee.
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But it's primarily that lower body and core that's driving the initial part of his downswing.
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Over here on the right, we have Gary Holberg who's another great ball striker on the senior PGA tour.
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As we take him up to the top of the swing, you'll see that lower body and core, again controlling and driving the majority of the swing.
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Or at least the early part where he's creating speed and then his arms are going to transfer that speed much later down in the swing.
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And a couple more from the senior PGA tour.
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So here we have Tom Watson who's kind of the ageless one who's still able to compete on the regular tour, at least at the British opens.
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You'll see that even though he has a very vertical arm height, you'll see that he tends to get that early movement from his lower body followed by that rotation of his trunk and his core.
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So he has that early lateral movement and rotational movement from the pelvis and then rotation from the core and then he transfers that speed and energy through his arms and hands during the hit.
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Over here on the right, we have the unorthodox swing of Jim Thorpe.
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So we will see that lower body initiate the movement followed by kind of a crunch and big side bend from the upper body.
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So he tends to get a lot of his power from his hips and trunk.
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And I know that we're talking about power here, but it'd be hard to not mention the exaggeration of his motorcycle move during the downswing and through that.
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So shows that a lot of these pieces can be seen and applied even in the more unorthodox swings.
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And let's take a look at a few LPGA swings.
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Now one of the things that's worth noting is if we look at muscle fiber composition in general, ladies are going to have compared to the average male about 70% of the muscle fibers in their lower body and about 50% the number of muscle fibers in their upper body.
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So proportionally, their lower bodies are going to be stronger.
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As a result, you're going to see more lower body dominant swings, but as Susan Patterson demonstrates here, they're going to be blended with the core and the upper body.
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In fact, she has a little bit more upper body involvement as you can see that shoulder and lap pulling kind of right in here, then your average LPGA girl.
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Over here on the right, we have Lexi Thompson as one of the examples of someone who has a very lower body dominant swing.
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So you can see a ton of lower body rotation and a ton of that trunk side bend.
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Those two things create a lot of speed and then she uses a little bit of that vertical front thrust and whip as she transfers the energy into the golf ball.
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But just because of women tends to have an advantage in the lower body does not mean that they will fall per be and only use it.
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So over here on the right, we have an amateur relative beginner who's controlling more of the swing with the upper body rotation.
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You can see that lead shoulder rotating around in that trail arm kind of pushing against the club.
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While over here on the left, you would see a little bit more of the typically expected over use of the legs and the lower back as a way to create speed, which will tend to cause in her case too much of a shallow angle of attack.
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So here we have two older gentlemen who have more of an upper body dominant and more of a crunch dominant swing.
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So they would fall into the category of more of a lead westward except for the fact that they don't use their lower body quite as much as lead westward so it becomes very upper body dominant.
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You'll tend to see that people who stand up in their backswing are going to be loading this kind of chop movement.
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So you'll see that he's doing more of a lead arm pull and an upper body crunch to create the speed.
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And then he has to stand up and flip this hand's late to in order to get that speed that he's created somewhere around the golf ball.
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We can see a similar pattern here so if we go into backswing you can see a stand up followed by that chop movement.
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And even though he gets the club on a decent path because of the chop movement being his dominant power source.
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He's not going to be able to have the angle of the attack to have the amount of side bend and the bottom of the swing out in front of the golf ball.
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He tends to struggle with thin and top shots as he's demonstrating here.
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Now while power sources are very primal and tied to pressure and they're extremely important.
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I want you to use a little example to show you that they're not everything.
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So over here on the right we have a golfer who's using primarily a power source movement of back extension and side bend.
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So you can see that that back extension and side bend is going to cause a path that's going very into out and he hits some pretty big hooks.
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Now if we wanted to change his path we would actually have to change some of his power sources because his power sources are creating a very shallow path.
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And his club is following along because he's doing a pretty good job with his arms and hands to work with it.
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And over here on the left we have a golfer who's using more of a stand up move and lower body rotation.
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So if we just knew those two pieces we would say this person's probably going to have a very into out path.
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But you'll see that because of how he's using his arms to control the path of the club he actually has a very out to impact.
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So in the person on the left changing his power sources would not necessarily be required.
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We would have to work on how he's controlling the path with the movement and the arms that we teach in transition.
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Over here on the right if we wanted to improve his path.
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The best long term results would be changing the power sources because when he gets under pressure.
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His dominant power sources are going to make his path worse where over here on the left his dominant power sources are actually going to help with his path as he figures out what to do with the arms.
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Now here we have a couple examples of how power sources can cause major inconsistencies.
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And one of the most common is if we look at the center of your thorax under 3D this is going to move a relatively small amount.
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Half inch in the back swing maybe two inches to its furthest point during the downswing and then it actually comes back a little bit through the release.
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So it doesn't move a whole lot.
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You'll see in both these cases the dominant on the right is going to move his thorax of good amount from the top of the swing.
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So his power source is causing major inconsistencies and changes in his path because he's using the power source.
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Basically an upper body lunge almost like he's holding on to a cable and then just falling away from it as he's pulling.
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Sir Charles over here on the left you'll see he's using a very exaggeration of that chop move or crunch move.
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And you'll see that he's using a little bit of trail arm external rotation which also steepens the shaft.
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So his two power sources get the shaft extremely vertical in an un-basically unplayable path and then he has to do this major adjustment during the release.
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So there are times when the power source is causing the consistency problem.
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There are times when the power source is not controlling the consistency problem.
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And the thing to look at is using the steep and shallow flow chart are your power sources related to your path issues.
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If they are then that's something that you'll have to work on from a power perspective.
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If they're not then it's more something that you'll have to work on from a control of the path perspective.
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And lastly let's strengthen this idea that different power sources work well for different shots.
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So over here we're going to take a look at a couple different chip shots.
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So we have urnials on the left and looked down on the right.
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And basically what you'll see is the majority of this strike is controlled by rotating his upper body and straightening his trail arm.
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So you can see that upper body rotation and that trail arm straight straight, straightening,
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tends to move a lot more than his lower body.
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For these short game shots such as the finesse wedge and the distance wedge you'll see that the lower body is more of a balance and support for the upper body to be the power source around.
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One of the biggest issues that I see with people who struggle around the greens is typically using that lower body or the hips as a power source.
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Instead of just letting the upper body rotate where the arms control the shot, the way that looped Donald and Ernie Ellsard described bird demonstrating here.
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So if you're having issues with getting your path or your face under control,
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always take a look at the first half of the downswing and you can get a good idea as to how your power sources may be making the situation easier or harder for your specific issue.