Jimmy Ballard - The Connected Golf Swing

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  • dodgerdodger Members Posts: 400 ✭✭
    He gets into a great position at the top of his backswing with both wrists under the club. Interesting that Cowen's students typically do not have that closed off face at the top. Westwood and Stenson both have the wrists under the club at the top, elbows down.
  • naval2006naval2006 Members Posts: 954 ✭✭
    This is one for Speedster.



    I've always found it a bit confusing the right hip move in the through swing. I guess it's me because in Jimmy's teaching nothing is grey or blurry. Coming from a traditional golf instruction I mostly use his connection idea and what comes naturally to me is this set up with the arms ready to swing and the bracing of the right leg on the backswing, all of it pretty unhindered. Can you explain further how the right hip fires? I've always been strong with my leg work but I don't know how to really feel the right hip firing through the swing? Great post indeed.
  • 97speedster97speedster Speedster Members Posts: 381 ✭✭
    I spent some time with Jimmy last Wednesday morning. He was on a story rampage about George Knudson, Rocco Mediate, Curtis Strange, Hal Sutton, Sam Snead and Ben Hogan.... Jimmy is always good for a few great stories.



    As far as my golf swing was concerned; he wanted me to keep working on getting my weight to finish on my left toe and he wanted me to feel like at impact I could squeeze a dime between my a** cheeks.
    WITB in 2018
    Driver: TaylorMade RBZ Tour Stage 2 (10.5 degrees)
    Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Blue Tour Spec 6X
    3 Wood: TaylorMade RBZ Tour Stage 2 (14.5 degrees)
    Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Blue Tour Spec 7X
    Hybrid: Srixon U85 (18 degrees)
    Shaft: KBS TGI 100 
    Irons: TaylorMade P-760 (4-PW)
    Shaft: KBS TGI 100  +1/2"
    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52.12, 58.12),
    Callaway Mack Daddy 2 64.8
    Shaft: KBS TGI 100  +1/2" in 52 & 58; True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S-400 in 64
    Putter:
    Tour Issue Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball Lined and Filled 34"
    Grip: Golf Pride Classic Putter Grip
    Golf Ball: TaylorMade TP5X
  • 97speedster97speedster Speedster Members Posts: 381 ✭✭
    edited Dec 2, 2018 #215
    naval2006 wrote:


    This is one for Speedster.



    I've always found it a bit confusing the right hip move in the through swing. I guess it's me because in Jimmy's teaching nothing is grey or blurry. Coming from a traditional golf instruction I mostly use his connection idea and what comes naturally to me is this set up with the arms ready to swing and the bracing of the right leg on the backswing, all of it pretty unhindered. Can you explain further how the right hip fires? I've always been strong with my leg work but I don't know how to really feel the right hip firing through the swing? Great post indeed.




    The best way to feel the correct right hip movement through impact is with a drill that Ben Hogan used to do a lot and one Jimmy loves.... See the video I made for you of what it looks like, you cannot do this drill correctly with the wrong right hip action (right handed golfers) or if you are too far underneath the ball at impact. All you do is putt the butt of the grip in the right hip and then square the club up into impact and the right hip works correctly each time.



    WITB in 2018
    Driver: TaylorMade RBZ Tour Stage 2 (10.5 degrees)
    Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Blue Tour Spec 6X
    3 Wood: TaylorMade RBZ Tour Stage 2 (14.5 degrees)
    Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Blue Tour Spec 7X
    Hybrid: Srixon U85 (18 degrees)
    Shaft: KBS TGI 100 
    Irons: TaylorMade P-760 (4-PW)
    Shaft: KBS TGI 100  +1/2"
    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52.12, 58.12),
    Callaway Mack Daddy 2 64.8
    Shaft: KBS TGI 100  +1/2" in 52 & 58; True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S-400 in 64
    Putter:
    Tour Issue Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball Lined and Filled 34"
    Grip: Golf Pride Classic Putter Grip
    Golf Ball: TaylorMade TP5X
  • jwfgolfprojwfgolfpro jwfgolfpro Members Posts: 1,324 ✭✭



    Here is a Bill Abrams video that might help.



    https://www.youtube....nqJmKhNe3I&t=2s




    Down those same lines, here are a few great videos of Rocco talking about the same thing:



    https://www.youtube....h?v=7Tsueak6NR0



    https://www.youtube....h?v=uahqdHJDqNk




    Is ROCCO still working with Ballard?

    Thanks JWF
    Taylormade M3 10.5
    Taylormade M3 3-HL Fairway
    Taylormade M3 5 Fairway
    Taylormade M3 #4 GAPR
    P790 Irons 5-AW
    Milled Grind 54* and 60* Ceasarized
    Spider Limited Edition
    TP5 Ball
  • 97speedster97speedster Speedster Members Posts: 381 ✭✭
    edited Dec 2, 2018 #217
    jwfgolfpro wrote:


    Is ROCCO still working with Ballard?

    Thanks JWF




    Nope, they had a falling out... Rocco started working with Rick Smith, but he hasn't fared to well with his game since he left in 2016.
    WITB in 2018
    Driver: TaylorMade RBZ Tour Stage 2 (10.5 degrees)
    Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Blue Tour Spec 6X
    3 Wood: TaylorMade RBZ Tour Stage 2 (14.5 degrees)
    Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Blue Tour Spec 7X
    Hybrid: Srixon U85 (18 degrees)
    Shaft: KBS TGI 100 
    Irons: TaylorMade P-760 (4-PW)
    Shaft: KBS TGI 100  +1/2"
    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52.12, 58.12),
    Callaway Mack Daddy 2 64.8
    Shaft: KBS TGI 100  +1/2" in 52 & 58; True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S-400 in 64
    Putter:
    Tour Issue Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball Lined and Filled 34"
    Grip: Golf Pride Classic Putter Grip
    Golf Ball: TaylorMade TP5X
  • BrianMcGBrianMcG Members Posts: 2,239 ✭✭
    Great thread. Just found on YouTube those videos that were mentioned here of Ballard are back on. "The Fundemental Golf Swing"



    Walter: Tell me Bobby, why do you play this game?
    Bobby: I play because I love it.
    Walter: Well I play for the money. I have to win. That is why every time we face each other I will always beat you.
  • dodgerdodger Members Posts: 400 ✭✭
    We need another book from Jimmy. 40 year anniversary of his book is coming up in 2020. During those years a lot about golf instruction has evolved. Every instructor rated number one by tour pros, Leadbetter in the 90's, Harmon in the 2000's and now Cowen refer to movements pioneered in the 1970's by Ballard. A follow up is overdue.
  • jwfgolfprojwfgolfpro jwfgolfpro Members Posts: 1,324 ✭✭
    dodger wrote:


    We need another book from Jimmy. 40 year anniversary of his book is coming up in 2020. During those years a lot about golf instruction has evolved. Every instructor rated number one by tour pros, Leadbetter in the 90's, Harmon in the 2000's and now Cowen refer to movements pioneered in the 1970's by Ballard. A follow up is overdue.




    Jimmy told me once during a lesson "Why would I write another book when I got the first one right" LOL



    JWF
    Taylormade M3 10.5
    Taylormade M3 3-HL Fairway
    Taylormade M3 5 Fairway
    Taylormade M3 #4 GAPR
    P790 Irons 5-AW
    Milled Grind 54* and 60* Ceasarized
    Spider Limited Edition
    TP5 Ball
  • BrianMcGBrianMcG Members Posts: 2,239 ✭✭

    jwfgolfpro wrote:


    Is ROCCO still working with Ballard?

    Thanks JWF




    Nope, they had a falling out... Rocco started working with Rick Smith, but he hasn't fared to well with his game since he left in 2016.




    Jimmy told Rocco to quit wearing those stupid cargo shorts to lessons, didn't he?
    Walter: Tell me Bobby, why do you play this game?
    Bobby: I play because I love it.
    Walter: Well I play for the money. I have to win. That is why every time we face each other I will always beat you.
  • 97speedster97speedster Speedster Members Posts: 381 ✭✭
    BrianMcG wrote:




    Jimmy told Rocco to quit wearing those stupid cargo shorts to lessons, didn't he?




    I never heard that one.
    WITB in 2018
    Driver: TaylorMade RBZ Tour Stage 2 (10.5 degrees)
    Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Blue Tour Spec 6X
    3 Wood: TaylorMade RBZ Tour Stage 2 (14.5 degrees)
    Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Blue Tour Spec 7X
    Hybrid: Srixon U85 (18 degrees)
    Shaft: KBS TGI 100 
    Irons: TaylorMade P-760 (4-PW)
    Shaft: KBS TGI 100  +1/2"
    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52.12, 58.12),
    Callaway Mack Daddy 2 64.8
    Shaft: KBS TGI 100  +1/2" in 52 & 58; True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S-400 in 64
    Putter:
    Tour Issue Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball Lined and Filled 34"
    Grip: Golf Pride Classic Putter Grip
    Golf Ball: TaylorMade TP5X
  • 97speedster97speedster Speedster Members Posts: 381 ✭✭
    jwfgolfpro wrote:


    Jimmy told me once during a lesson "Why would I write another book when I got the first one right" LOL



    JWF




    He has said that same thing to me and I guarantee he will not write another book.... his first book has stood the test of time though.
    WITB in 2018
    Driver: TaylorMade RBZ Tour Stage 2 (10.5 degrees)
    Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Blue Tour Spec 6X
    3 Wood: TaylorMade RBZ Tour Stage 2 (14.5 degrees)
    Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Blue Tour Spec 7X
    Hybrid: Srixon U85 (18 degrees)
    Shaft: KBS TGI 100 
    Irons: TaylorMade P-760 (4-PW)
    Shaft: KBS TGI 100  +1/2"
    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52.12, 58.12),
    Callaway Mack Daddy 2 64.8
    Shaft: KBS TGI 100  +1/2" in 52 & 58; True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S-400 in 64
    Putter:
    Tour Issue Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball Lined and Filled 34"
    Grip: Golf Pride Classic Putter Grip
    Golf Ball: TaylorMade TP5X
  • dodgerdodger Members Posts: 400 ✭✭
    I have had the book since it was published, a hardcover I no longer have and a paperback that is at least 30 years old. When it came out, I was in high school and I read it with no guidance from anyone or any of the video help now available. My issue with the book is that one assumes connection involves a flat backswing due to the left arm connection. The use of Hogan and his swing changes is an example. It is pretty clear Jimmy does not advocate a backswing that goes too far around, he likes the wrists under the shaft at the top, which is a great position. In my mind, I would like to see the plane of the swing explained more in the book. Minor issue, but one that sidetracked me for years.
  • naval2006naval2006 Members Posts: 954 ✭✭
    Speedster,



    I’ve got your notes as a widget in my cell phone. I never get tired of revising them. Thanks
  • ggproggpro Members Posts: 543 ✭✭


    I spent some time with Jimmy last Wednesday morning. He was on a story rampage about George Knudson, Rocco Mediate, Curtis Strange, Hal Sutton, Sam Snead and Ben Hogan.... Jimmy is always good for a few great stories.



    As far as my golf swing was concerned; he wanted me to keep working on getting my weight to finish on my left toe and he wanted me to feel like at impact I could squeeze a dime between my a** cheeks.






    Ha! Had that lesson before many times lol!
  • ggproggpro Members Posts: 543 ✭✭
    dodger wrote:


    He gets into a great position at the top of his backswing with both wrists under the club. Interesting that Cowen's students typically do not have that closed off face at the top. Westwood and Stenson both have the wrists under the club at the top, elbows down.






    Elbows down....an all time Jimmy mantra!
  • naval2006naval2006 Members Posts: 954 ✭✭
    Yesterday I hit awful. Tonight I hit the practice tee with Tiburon’s notes and I soon spotted I was turning way too around instead of right shoulder up. I corrected that and hilt 30 balls real solid and easy. The more I revisit the notes the more I get the connected swing. It all makes sense, no wasted motion in the least.
  • 97speedster97speedster Speedster Members Posts: 381 ✭✭
    edited Dec 10, 2018 #229
    No matter how hard you work or how good you are, you are always going to have bad days here and there on the golf course. It's important that you keep your general concept of what you are trying to achieve the same.... you will never be any good if after each bad day on the golf course you keep trying a new method of how to swing the club, that is why I always keep my thoughts with in what Jimmy has taught me and I go back to what is in my notes.
    WITB in 2018
    Driver: TaylorMade RBZ Tour Stage 2 (10.5 degrees)
    Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Blue Tour Spec 6X
    3 Wood: TaylorMade RBZ Tour Stage 2 (14.5 degrees)
    Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Blue Tour Spec 7X
    Hybrid: Srixon U85 (18 degrees)
    Shaft: KBS TGI 100 
    Irons: TaylorMade P-760 (4-PW)
    Shaft: KBS TGI 100  +1/2"
    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52.12, 58.12),
    Callaway Mack Daddy 2 64.8
    Shaft: KBS TGI 100  +1/2" in 52 & 58; True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S-400 in 64
    Putter:
    Tour Issue Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball Lined and Filled 34"
    Grip: Golf Pride Classic Putter Grip
    Golf Ball: TaylorMade TP5X
  • jwfgolfprojwfgolfpro jwfgolfpro Members Posts: 1,324 ✭✭
    edited Dec 13, 2018 #230


    I posted something similar to this about 15 years ago under the name Tiburon on another golf message board. Over the last 15 years I have updated it as I went so I wanted to post my recent version. This is not a post to discuss whether Jimmy is right or not, I don't argue the golf swing because I know what works for me and only me. Enjoy!



    I started working with Jimmy Ballard in 1995, but in the mid 1980's I did spend time with one of his assistants. I also worked with Claude Harmon (Butch Harmon's father) in 1980-1982. Also also have worked with Butch and quite a bit with one of Butches assistants named Shawn Callahan who has taught under Butch since 1997. Believe it or not, but Butch actually compliments Ballard quite a bit if you ever talk to him about other golf teachers.



    Below are notes I took from many, many hours of lessons with Jimmy over the last 23 years. Recently I have been spending quite a bit of time with again again now that he left Ocean Reef Club and moved 20 minutes away from me. Below are my notes that I started back in 1995 to simplify my understanding of how I worked on swinging the club:



    SET-UP



    -Feet with the driver should be atleast shoulder width apart.

    -The right foot is turned in; the left foot is flared out 45*, but keep the hips square.

    -A straight back at address promotes a level, less around swing. Drill: put the club behind the ball, then look at your caddy in front of you while taking your stance, then lower the eyes to ball (gets rid of the hunched look)! Weight lifters position for posture.

    -My a** should feel under me like I holding something heavy. Sticking the butt out kills the legs.

    -In the grip, both hands oppose each other in a neutral position.

    -The ball is a few inches inside the left heel for full shots.

    -The chin should be up, and the chest high.

    -The shoulders should be level at address with the left arm connected (short left arm at address).

    -The left arm points down at a address, not at the target.

    -The right arm should be above my left at address, not tucked under.

    -Both knees are braced in at address.

    -At address, the arms form a triangle with the butt end pointed at the middle of the chest bone.

    -Measure to the ball at address by hovering the club just above the grass.



    BACKSWING



    -On the backswing there is a loading of the weight into the inside of right foot and leg. Get the right hip to the wall, instead of moving away from the wall.

    -Coil the left shoulder behind the ball. Turning the right foot in towards the target helps keeps the right leg braced.

    -The left arm should be bent and feel short the entire swing.

    -The thumbs both feel like they are under the shaft at the top of the swing.

    -The club works straight back (not around) with no forearm rotation. The triangle formed by the arms remains intact with the butt end still pointing at the chest bone.

    -No angles set or cocking of the wrists and the toe should be down at the top of the backswing.

    -The left hip and left shoulder all get behind an imaginary line drawn up from the ball.

    -Maintain a short left arm on the backswing (connection).

    -The right shoulder works up, not around.

    -The right wrist is flatter, not cupped. This helps keep the club in front of the body the entire swing.

    -The left heel comes up, and the left knee points behind the ball.

    -Keep the same amount of flex in my right knee from address to the top of the backswing.



    DOWNSWING



    -The right side stays high at the start of the downswing. Split grip practice swings to help get this feel.

    -The hips and shoulders work level through impact with the eyes releasing to the target (aka. Annika, who Jimmy thinks has the most sound swing in golf!)

    -If the head stays down and still through impact, there will be a hang back in your finish...REVERSE C!

    -The only cocking in the swing "feels" like it is done by the elbows, not the wrists.

    -Both elbows "feel" like they point down to the ground on the backswing, downswing, and when you finish.

    -The left thumb and elbow work like you're "thumbing a ride" through impact. Don't get separation between the arms, this leads to a blocked position.

    -The elbows should finsih close together with a full body release. For good measure this can be exaggerated when making practice swings.

    -Finish with the right shoulder where the left shoulder was. The weight should finish on the left toes, not the heel which leads to spinning out.

    -The finish mirrors the backswing.

    -The weight finishes on the left toes. When you go to your toe you’re not going to hook it, it will help you to swing down the line!

    -In the finish, the shoulders, eyes, and hips are all level and the player should finish at full height with the club in front of the body and no weight on the right foot.

    -Feel light in the right side at the finish.





    November 9, 2017



    -Turn my right foot in to help me load my right side back to the wall with no sway.

    -Stand more with my a** under me at address.

    -Feel like the right side stays high on the downswing. Make two split hand practice swings before each shot to get this feel.

    -Work on feeling like I am maintaining my levels, especially on the downswing.



    December 1, 2017



    -Feel like I am hitting a knock down.

    -Both elbows point down and spring the shaft while keeping the right side high.



    December 19, 2017



    -Don't let the left knee lock on the through swing, instead keep the flex in my left knee and finish with the weight on my left toe.

    -Work on holding my balance until the ball lands.

    -Practice with two alignment rods 6 feet in front and 2 feet apart and hit balls through them like they are a doorway. This drill gets the right side high and the upper body on top at impact and through the ball.

    -Widen my stance a little more and flare my left foot out about 45*, but don't let the flared foot open my hips too much. Pinch my knees in and grip the ground with my legs.



    March 14, 2018



    -Let the eyes release to the target faster on the downswing.




    I copied this from Bombsquad and added a few tidbits from my lessons with Jimmy and always go back to these fundamentals.

    In 2012 I posted this in a thread somewhere on here LOL



    Good stuff !!!



    JWF
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    Taylormade M3 10.5
    Taylormade M3 3-HL Fairway
    Taylormade M3 5 Fairway
    Taylormade M3 #4 GAPR
    P790 Irons 5-AW
    Milled Grind 54* and 60* Ceasarized
    Spider Limited Edition
    TP5 Ball
  • naval2006naval2006 Members Posts: 954 ✭✭
    I started to click everything together and I had two very good practice sessions after having fixed my right shoulder in the backswing. I widened my stance substancially and braced both legs, which has given me sufficient foundation for an athletic weightshift. I too got more level with my torso in the downswing, I think I found it more comfortable to do this thanks to the wide stance. I don't know if I can be accurate to describe it but it's as if the clubhead always touches the ground always on the same spot. And it is more noticeable when you do the split grip drill.



    Yesterday I played 9 holes and I hit the ball really solid, especially with the driver, I club I've been struggling with for the past year. I found all the fairways but one with a higher trajectory and some decent distance for my game. I had a miss right because I turned too flat (one of my classic flaws when I want to smash the ball). And my chipping has also improved even against my will.



    Like hundreds of amateurs I'd dropped Jimmy Ballard's swing for miracle swings and some snake oil, too but I came back to this old reliable way of swinging the club and it has been to my advantage this time. I don't even know if I'm going to become a way better player but I can feel the joy of hitting solid and of going at it with the driver without having to check and recheck on the angles and positions of a more rotary swing. And most important for a natural flipper of the ball, when done ok Jimmy Ballard's motion is ANTIFLIP guaranteed.



    There's a lot of work still ahead, but this thread has been encouraging, and especially Speedster's thoughts on not leaving Ballard's teachings when things go awry and there´s so many quick fixes at hand that finally lead to more chaos. For those who want to improve and are curious about it or whoever has been struggling to hit the ball solid for years I do recommend seeing a Ballard teacher if you have it handy or Jimmy Ballard himself If you can. Most likely you won't regret it.
  • 97speedster97speedster Speedster Members Posts: 381 ✭✭
    edited Dec 14, 2018 #232
    naval2006 wrote:


    I started to click everything together and I had two very good practice sessions after having fixed my right shoulder in the backswing. I widened my stance substancially and braced both legs, which has given me sufficient foundation for an athletic weightshift. I too got more level with my torso in the downswing, I think I found it more comfortable to do this thanks to the wide stance. I don't know if I can be accurate to describe it but it's as if the clubhead always touches the ground always on the same spot. And it is more noticeable when you do the split grip drill.



    Yesterday I played 9 holes and I hit the ball really solid, especially with the driver, I club I've been struggling with for the past year. I found all the fairways but one with a higher trajectory and some decent distance for my game. I had a miss right because I turned too flat (one of my classic flaws when I want to smash the ball). And my chipping has also improved even against my will.



    Like hundreds of amateurs I'd dropped Jimmy Ballard's swing for miracle swings and some snake oil, too but I came back to this old reliable way of swinging the club and it has been to my advantage this time. I don't even know if I'm going to become a way better player but I can feel the joy of hitting solid and of going at it with the driver without having to check and recheck on the angles and positions of a more rotary swing. And most important for a natural flipper of the ball, when done ok Jimmy Ballard's motion is ANTIFLIP guaranteed.



    There's a lot of work still ahead, but this thread has been encouraging, and especially Speedster's thoughts on not leaving Ballard's teachings when things go awry and there´s so many quick fixes at hand that finally lead to more chaos. For those who want to improve and are curious about it or whoever has been struggling to hit the ball solid for years I do recommend seeing a Ballard teacher if you have it handy or Jimmy Ballard himself If you can. Most likely you won't regret it.




    Keep up the good work and the longer you stick with ONLY what Ballard teaches, I guarantee the better you will get at ballstriking! It all ties together and you will be much better at fixing things mid round when your swing goes south.
    WITB in 2018
    Driver: TaylorMade RBZ Tour Stage 2 (10.5 degrees)
    Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Blue Tour Spec 6X
    3 Wood: TaylorMade RBZ Tour Stage 2 (14.5 degrees)
    Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Blue Tour Spec 7X
    Hybrid: Srixon U85 (18 degrees)
    Shaft: KBS TGI 100 
    Irons: TaylorMade P-760 (4-PW)
    Shaft: KBS TGI 100  +1/2"
    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52.12, 58.12),
    Callaway Mack Daddy 2 64.8
    Shaft: KBS TGI 100  +1/2" in 52 & 58; True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S-400 in 64
    Putter:
    Tour Issue Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball Lined and Filled 34"
    Grip: Golf Pride Classic Putter Grip
    Golf Ball: TaylorMade TP5X
  • blehnhardblehnhard Over The Hill & Almost Down The Other Side Members Posts: 490 ✭✭
    97S - I remember playing with both Leonard Thompson and Jim Colbert back in the mid 90's when I was playing on the then Senior PGA Tour. Both were "Ballardites". I used to have JB's book, but cannot seem to put my hands on it now.



    Bruce
  • BigEx44BigEx44 Members Posts: 268 ✭✭

    naval2006 wrote:


    I started to click everything together and I had two very good practice sessions after having fixed my right shoulder in the backswing. I widened my stance substancially and braced both legs, which has given me sufficient foundation for an athletic weightshift. I too got more level with my torso in the downswing, I think I found it more comfortable to do this thanks to the wide stance. I don't know if I can be accurate to describe it but it's as if the clubhead always touches the ground always on the same spot. And it is more noticeable when you do the split grip drill.



    Yesterday I played 9 holes and I hit the ball really solid, especially with the driver, I club I've been struggling with for the past year. I found all the fairways but one with a higher trajectory and some decent distance for my game. I had a miss right because I turned too flat (one of my classic flaws when I want to smash the ball). And my chipping has also improved even against my will.



    Like hundreds of amateurs I'd dropped Jimmy Ballard's swing for miracle swings and some snake oil, too but I came back to this old reliable way of swinging the club and it has been to my advantage this time. I don't even know if I'm going to become a way better player but I can feel the joy of hitting solid and of going at it with the driver without having to check and recheck on the angles and positions of a more rotary swing. And most important for a natural flipper of the ball, when done ok Jimmy Ballard's motion is ANTIFLIP guaranteed.



    There's a lot of work still ahead, but this thread has been encouraging, and especially Speedster's thoughts on not leaving Ballard's teachings when things go awry and there´s so many quick fixes at hand that finally lead to more chaos. For those who want to improve and are curious about it or whoever has been struggling to hit the ball solid for years I do recommend seeing a Ballard teacher if you have it handy or Jimmy Ballard himself If you can. Most likely you won't regret it.




    Keep up the good work and the longer you stick with ONLY what Ballard teaches, I guarantee the better you will get at ballstriking! It all ties together and you will be much better at fixing things mid round when your swing goes south.




    I would love to learn this swing. Where would someone start? Who could they go to get lessons or affirm they're on the right path?
  • 97speedster97speedster Speedster Members Posts: 381 ✭✭
    BigEx44 wrote:




    I would love to learn this swing. Where would someone start? Who could they go to get lessons or affirm they're on the right path?




    You could buy Jimmy's book, "How to Perfect Your Golf Swing" and start there then if you would like to go get a lesson with him in Florida, just PM me and I will tell you how to get in contact with him.
    WITB in 2018
    Driver: TaylorMade RBZ Tour Stage 2 (10.5 degrees)
    Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Blue Tour Spec 6X
    3 Wood: TaylorMade RBZ Tour Stage 2 (14.5 degrees)
    Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Blue Tour Spec 7X
    Hybrid: Srixon U85 (18 degrees)
    Shaft: KBS TGI 100 
    Irons: TaylorMade P-760 (4-PW)
    Shaft: KBS TGI 100  +1/2"
    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52.12, 58.12),
    Callaway Mack Daddy 2 64.8
    Shaft: KBS TGI 100  +1/2" in 52 & 58; True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S-400 in 64
    Putter:
    Tour Issue Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball Lined and Filled 34"
    Grip: Golf Pride Classic Putter Grip
    Golf Ball: TaylorMade TP5X
  • torbilltorbill Members Posts: 274 ✭✭
    Bigex44,



    I have been at the point you are at, wanting but not knowing. I am self-taught on this swing. It has not been easy, but it has paid off.



    I have the book. I have watched his videos endlessly on youtube - the old ones that are up now, from 1989 or so, are invaluable, as you are able to watch Ballard explain the fundamentals and the rationale. I have read the ideas offered here by people like 97speedster.



    It has taken a lot of time and focus to be do-it-yourselfer. But there is a payoff: I now feel as though I understand enough about the swing to self-diagnose, when the wheels fall off. Which they do.



    I will say two things about this method that I think are of importance. First, if you are going to do it you need to commit to it, 100%. By this I mean that what Ballard teaches is, in certain respects, in conflict with other things that you have been taught and that you read about and see on TV. You simply have to ignore all conficting advice and believe in what Ballard teaches. And, you will find out that what he teaches is bulletproof - do it right and it works, period, if it isn’t working you aren’t doing it right.



    Second, details are important. If you are going to do this swing method you have to do all the key points. I watch the videos again and again and listen to every word and learn something new every time. Example: “the folding of the left arm at impact is what accelerates the club head”. This goes hand in hand with “connection of the left elbow”, “playing with a half a left arm”. Which in turn goes hand in hand with letting your spine/head shift forward in the downswing - if you hold your head back and hit into a reverse-c you are not only going to hurt your back eventually, your left elbow is likely not going to fold real well at impact. What I am trying to say is that it is a complete system, all of the parts are designed to fit together.



    You ask about affirmation. One way would be if you can find a Ballard instructor in your area. Another way - if you decide to do it the way that I did - would be to take yourself to a point where you think that you understand and are doing the key points, then take videos and send them to Ballard. His website says that he will give you feedback on your swing for $150. Think about that. For a hundred fifty bucks you get feedback directly from a person who has worked with more PGA champions that just about anybody!!
  • BigEx44BigEx44 Members Posts: 268 ✭✭
    torbill wrote:


    Bigex44,



    I have been at the point you are at, wanting but not knowing. I am self-taught on this swing. It has not been easy, but it has paid off.



    I have the book. I have watched his videos endlessly on youtube - the old ones that are up now, from 1989 or so, are invaluable, as you are able to watch Ballard explain the fundamentals and the rationale. I have read the ideas offered here by people like 97speedster.



    It has taken a lot of time and focus to be do-it-yourselfer. But there is a payoff: I now feel as though I understand enough about the swing to self-diagnose, when the wheels fall off. Which they do.



    I will say two things about this method that I think are of importance. First, if you are going to do it you need to commit to it, 100%. By this I mean that what Ballard teaches is, in certain respects, in conflict with other things that you have been taught and that you read about and see on TV. You simply have to ignore all conficting advice and believe in what Ballard teaches. And, you will find out that what he teaches is bulletproof - do it right and it works, period, if it isn’t working you aren’t doing it right.



    Second, details are important. If you are going to do this swing method you have to do all the key points. I watch the videos again and again and listen to every word and learn something new every time. Example: “the folding of the left arm at impact is what accelerates the club head”. This goes hand in hand with “connection of the left elbow”, “playing with a half a left arm”. Which in turn goes hand in hand with letting your spine/head shift forward in the downswing - if you hold your head back and hit into a reverse-c you are not only going to hurt your back eventually, your left elbow is likely not going to fold real well at impact. What I am trying to say is that it is a complete system, all of the parts are designed to fit together.



    You ask about affirmation. One way would be if you can find a Ballard instructor in your area. Another way - if you decide to do it the way that I did - would be to take yourself to a point where you think that you understand and are doing the key points, then take videos and send them to Ballard. His website says that he will give you feedback on your swing for $150. Think about that. For a hundred fifty bucks you get feedback directly from a person who has worked with more PGA champions that just about anybody!!




    In your opinion, what are the main things Ballard teaches which are in opposition to the rest of the golf world?
  • torbilltorbill Members Posts: 274 ✭✭
    I’m not sure what all they are teaching these days because I pay little attention. Let me answer in terms of what I learned before the Ballard method, and how the Ballard method is different.



    What I get from his swing philosophy is connection and weight shift. Connection promotes control and straight ball flight by synchronizing the lower and upper body and eliminating independent degrees of freedom of the shoulder and elbow joints - the small joints and arm muscles (except for the wrists, which he minimizes by wanting the grip to be in the upper part of the hand, not fingers) are inherently neutralized by his method of connection. Weight shift creates club head speed through a combination of lateral and some rotational motion. In contrast, what I was always taught before Ballard was a strong rotation around a relatively fixed spine and head. Clubhead speed comes primary from rotational motion, and I never figured out what principle in a rotary swing produced control and synchronization other than repetition/muscle memory.



    The way I think about it, the weight shift points of conflict include allowable amount of lateral shift, lack of rotation (not absense of, as there is rotation in Ballard’s swing), strong forward shift of head/spine on the downswing (not holding the head back). Connection points of conflict are not playing with a straight arm, not pulling on the butt of the club. There are no doubt others that don’t come to mind at the moment.



    There are endless differences in points of emphasis. Ballard wants no backward spine tilt or forward pressing of hands or any other angles in the setup, he wants an upright stance with the butt tucked under, he wants the left elbow connected to the body and pointed at the ground, he places no emphasis on swing planes, he wants no manipulation of the arms/wrists/hands, and on and on. All of these things are fundamental to the Ballard method. None of them are necessarily in confict with other methods (they might be, though), but other methods may not consider them to be fundamental. For example, Ballard wants the left arm on the body at the elbow and he wants the left arm to fold on the follow through. This is fundamental. This may not be in conflict with another way of swinging, but the other way may not teach it or consider it to be important. So, differences in emphasis, not necessarily points of conflict.



    Ballard seems to have thought through every detail of the method. I am told exactly what to do with every aspect of the golf swing. And the method is mechanically sound - do it right and it *will* work. I am retired engineer. I undertand forces and motions rather well. Ballard might be the only teacher I have ever encountered where I haven’t at some point gone “WTF, that particular point of instruction makes absolutely no sense on the basis of forces and motions”; I am 100% confident that if I do this right the ball will go far and right down the middle. I never had such confidence based on sound mechanical principles with any other method that I studied or tried.
  • dj*dj* Members Posts: 71 ✭✭
    edited Dec 17, 2018 #239
    In one Ballard video he claims Hogan, within Five Lessons, describes the left arm feeling through the ball as "thumbing a ride", while in another video Ballard claims Hogan said, again in Five Lessons, to "hold a handkerchief under the left arm pit all the way through." I no longer have the book, are Ballard's comments accurate?
  • dodgerdodger Members Posts: 400 ✭✭
    There is an illustration in 5 lessons of Hogan swinging with a handkerchief under the left arm. I do not have the book handy, so I cannot give you a page citation. On the thumbing a ride quote, I do not specifically recall Hogan describing that in 5 lessons. However, there are illustrations in 5 lessons where the description of the left hand movement could be accurately depicted as "hitching a ride". The point is the left arm folds after impact, pulling a straight left arm leads to a block or snap hook if the hands roll. In the days of persimmon woods, when center impact was vital, Ballard was the guy tour pros went to because he let you be athletic. No one ever hits or throws right handed by pulling a straight left arm, which is one of his predominant theories.
  • naval2006naval2006 Members Posts: 954 ✭✭
    edited Dec 17, 2018 #241
    In the past month I've been polishing my Ballardesque swing and coming from decades of turning shoulders, lagging, holding head, straight left wrist, etc. it's been the best I've been hitting all year and I even consider I'm just coming back to the Ballard swing after several years of chasing the dodgy "10 extra yards".



    In fact I got fed up with all the synch micromotions, the perfect still head and all the things I've always been struggling with in like 35 years of golf.



    For the past weeks I started working on a solid Ballard set-up, wide stance and strong enough to brace my right leg in the backswing. So I'd like to comment on what you find hard when you come from a rotary swing with lots of cogs and wheels to maintain.



    First for me it was very very difficult to just load my right leg and move my right shoulder up during the backswing. To the point that last Sat. in a tournament my old motion simply sneaked in out of instinct mid-round. I played 8 holes wonderfully and then I couldn't hit a shot for the rest of the round. I simply went back to my classic flat shoulder turning and hunched stance to be able to use my hands to hit the ball. I saved the day with solid sidegreen game (using JB swing) and the fact that I missed a lot of shots but they were always playable. This is one of JB swing's best assets, the ball is most of the times still in play.



    There's another aspect I find critical to achieve a good outcome: you have to follow JB's set up fully plus you need to feel comfortable in your stance to just load your braced right leg, swing back and go at the ball naturally and without any hindrance with your right side to finish with all your weight on your left foot. There's a lot of footwork to focus on but it's very simple footwork, almost instinctive.



    I believe that Jimmy Ballard's swing is sound from a to z because of its simplicity and a ball that gets off real solid with hardly no side effect, most likely if the ball goes right or left you're missing something which you can revise quickly and come back to hitting well. I think this simplicity makes this swing unattractive at first until you discover how solid and straight you hit.



    And there's another important caveat: it's not easy to find an instructor teaching this so if you are going to be your own teacher you need to have a decent knowledge of the golf swing to be able to understand JB mechanics. Plus you won't find loads of data on the web or youtube.



    Now most important for lots of amateurs, there's no way you can flip through the ball with this motion executed properly. It'd be great if the seasoned Ballard students can explain this, but I can tell you that you have to cross out the word FLIP on your list of swing flaws. This is all from a natural born flipper LOL.



    Thanks for the contribution from the seasoned Ballardites to this thread.
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