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Sway Analysis - Pros Vs Ams

In this analysis video, we discuss the key features of the full swing sway pattern. If you struggle with consistency of iron play or producing enough power, this video will help you understand what may be happening.

Playlists: Stop Moving Off The Ball (Sway), Swing Analysis Videos

Tags: Sway, Analysis, Concept, Intermediate, Beginner

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In this analysis video, we're going to look at the sway pattern.

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Now the sway pattern is any amount of lateral movement of the pelvis away from the target.

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The tour average is about half an inch, which doesn't show up very well on video.

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It's barely anything.

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The easiest way to view the sway is from the face-on camera view.

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If you draw a line from the outside of the ankle to the outside of the hip, we're looking

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for any amount of movement to the outside of that line or away from the target.

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The two areas you can look at to see the effects of the sway are going to be this amount

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of space right here, or you can look at the trail foot if it's subtle.

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So if you were to look at the foot and we took this golfer through his backswing again,

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you would see that as he goes towards the top of the swing, that foot is going to roll

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onto the outside.

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That provides a very poor platform to then push off of during the transition in the

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down swing.

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Mechanically there's a small advantage for one power source, which we'll talk about later.

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But the pattern of the sway is typically inconsistent contact with the irons, and especially

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with the irons.

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You will tend to struggle with fat and thin contact, but there's no real advantage from

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a consistency or any particular shot that is helped by having the sway pattern.

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So it's typically one of the more frustrating patterns because it simply just builds

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There's a small handful of tour examples of swayers, but probably the most prominent would

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be BJC.

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So if we were to draw the line from the outside of his hip to the outside of his foot, we

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can take him up towards the top of the swing and you will see a clear shift into the

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backswing of the or a clear lateral movement of the pelvis into the backswing.

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But if you were to pay attention to his trail foot, you would see that he never really

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rolled to the outside of the foot.

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That's something that you'll typically only see with an amateur sway, where a pro sway

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will just have this lateral movement.

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Another example of a tour player who has the sway pattern is Camille of a Jigas.

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Now this camera moves, so that's not going to be a very good thing to use the line

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for, but just look at the amount of space in this chair compared to his white pants.

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As you'll see during the backswing, the amount of space is going to decrease slightly.

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He has a much more subtle sway than BJC, but he does have a sway.

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He will also note that he does not get onto the outside of the foot the way the amateur

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is due, that is purely a movement that is going to cause inconsistency and lack of drive

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from the lower body.

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So there's kind of two different versions of the sway, the tour sway and the amateur sway.

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Now it's important to note that these two examples, and I'm sure there are others, but

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these two examples, hit lots of golf balls in order to keep their consistency because of

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the inherent built-in inconsistency to the sway pattern.

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Typically if you're going to be very good with a sway, you need to hit balls almost every

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single day in order to keep your the subtleties to your timing, your rhythm, and knowing

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where the bottom of your swing is.

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Now let's take a power path and face perspective and look at what the sway does for the overall

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I'm a power perspective, this sway actually helps load the let.

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Now the let is a large muscle that connects the pelvis or to the upper arm.

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So it kind of spans half of your back and it's a very large muscle.

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When the pelvis shifts, laterally away from the target, it helps get the basically the

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top of the let in a more powerful position compared to the bottom of the let.

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So frequently with these amateurs, if I'm going to use my lat and my shoulder to pull

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my upper body or pull my arms down, whether that's a pull straight vertically or a pull

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with rotation, the sway actually helps load that lateral movement.

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You'll see in both of these cases of amateurs, there's a pretty clear movement of that

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left shoulder, rotating and slightly lunging during that transition movement.

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And the sway to finish the top of the back swing helps make that movement more powerful.

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With the tour sway pattern, you will see that even though there's a sway, VJ is still

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able to initiate the swing with the upper body or sorry with the lower body and the pelvis

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and you'll see that the left shoulder weights its turn before it pulls.

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This is largely due to what the amateurs sway does to the foot and getting on the outside

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of the foot pretty much weakens your ability to push with that trail rig like and

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to create hip or pelvis rotation.

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So it leaves you with pretty much an upper body dominated swing.

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That upper body dominated swing will tend to steep in the path of the club.

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In addition, the amateurs sway will tend to have a trouble getting a fair amount of pelvis

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side bend as they come back into this delivery position where the tour sway, you'll

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see that VJ is still able to maintain pretty good movement with the pelvis and he's able

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to get his lower body farther ahead of his upper body.

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He hasn't gone into his side bend quite yet and if we take him right about there, you

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can see a certain amount of side bend but it's probably easier if we look at zipper

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to short buttons.

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The sway will tend to support or tend to move more with this lunge pattern and you'll

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see his zipper to short buttons is a little bit more vertical.

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From a face perspective, the sway by itself does absolutely nothing for changing the face

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orientation to the path.

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The sway by itself does not have any necessarily common compensation but one common pattern

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is to have sway combined with early extension.

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So since the sway is going to create a steepening of the swing path because of where the upper

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body is going to go, typically that early extension will help balance that back out.

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Also because the lat gets loaded, it's very common for the arms to work a little bit

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more vertically in this sway pattern and so the body moving in towards the golf ball

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during the downswing which we will describe more in the early extension section is a common

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way to balance that back out.

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So even a golfer like VJ saying who has more of that tour sway and less of the steepening

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of the arms will still have a slight amount of the early extension to balance out or

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to compensate for some of his sway mechanics.

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