How to Feel a Real Golf Swing- A Comprehensive Review

By Bob Toski and Davis Love Jr.
It was a couple of years ago that I came to the realization that improvements in my swing should be viewed as if adding ingredients to a pie. If I discovered that I needed a little more sugar, I try to add the right amount, not dump the whole jar in.

We as golfers have a tendency to take the whole bottle of aspirin when it comes to swing changes. If, for example we were found to be wristy in the take away it won’t be long before we are locking our wrists like they are made of concrete.

If we were too bent over at address, we will stand taller to the point that we are almost vertical. It’s just what golfers do- if it works doing it this much, then let’s do even more of it. You set that one thing up as the savior of your swing, and then two weeks later, you are lost and confused again.



I have read and absorbed just about every instruction book you can still buy, and some that you can’t like “How to Perfect Your Golf Swing” by Jimmy Ballard. As you get older in the game you begin to see that everyone has something to teach that you can use in some way. But I do believe that by enlarge; teachers have forgotten HOW we learn in real life. They have substituted video and swing analysis software in the place of feel.

We don’t watch video of kids riding a bike to learn how to do it.

Also, I believe you should learn one thing, be able to feel it, and then move on to the next ingredient. You add the ingredients as you go.



How to Feel a Real Golf Swing is unlike any other book that I know of in that it takes key elements of a good swing and breaks them down into feel. You master that feel and then you “graduate” to the next one.



The book is organized as a workbook, complete with actual checklists to mark off each drill that you successfully complete.



Starting with chapter one, how the club should behave; the book is organized in sequence with the most important elements presented first. Many golfers are not aware of what the club should do in a good swing and most golfers probably can’t tell you if their clubface is open or closed at that top, or anywhere else in their swing for that matter. Everything that happens in your swing is contingent upon what the club and the face of the club are doing throughout the swing. They give you simple drills to FEEL that the shaft has to rotate in the first part of the back swing and that it has to rotate back through impact. They showcase the relationship between the back of the left hand and club face, teaching you to judge what your club face is doing based solely on your feeling the back of your left hand. That is invaluable information. You solve many problems when you have a square clubface.



The next chapter is the hands chapter, and they are quick to point out that it is the chapter that will probably provide the most dramatic improvement, Let me tell you that I bet you money that you will discover something that can be improved in one or both of the first two chapters of this book; and more importantly you will FEEL it.

Although learning the swing through the big muscles can work well for the pros, I still think that educating the hands, and letting the body respond, is the best way to teach the average player, and really, even the better club player.

Loves, Toski, et al… believe that the further you go from the hands on the body, the more you are reacting. In other words, the club needs to rotate, the hands need to grip lightly and swing the club, the arms will swing as a result, because the arms are swinging the shoulders will turn, as the shoulders turn the rest of the body is now pivoting. This as opposed to trying to learn the pivot and then letting your arms and hands respond.

People have debated the sequencing of a good swing for decades but let me suggest to you that if you can learn to feel things through your hands, you will be more in control of your swing from day to day. There are those who will disagree, but I am speaking to the majority of players, not the pro who plays and practices every day.

Notice that I did not say if you develop a hands-and-arms swing you will be more consistent from day to day. I said if you learn to feel through your hands.



In any activity that you can think of, say horseshoes, you swing your arms and your body responds to it. It is how we are wired. I believe that we have what I call a target finder and it starts with a secret awareness somewhere in the hands and emanates out to the body.

People will say no, no the body controls the hands. If I could deaden your hands some how, it would affect your pivot. If you grip the club too tightly, you will struggle to make a full and free turn.

Tightrope walkers use their arms as an integral part of their balance. All of these things are connected.

Teaching someone how the hands should feel on the club, and what the hands should feel like on a club that is moving on plane is short cut to better golf that will last a lifetime.

There are a few drills that show case how the left hand should behave, and one drill in particular, the Hitchhiker Drill, is worth the price of the book.

They also encourage you to hit balls in slow motion, citing DL III as an example of developing club head speed through learning to hit 100 yard drives with a full swing in slow motion.



The book then moves to the arms chapter, which showcases how the arms move and how relaxed arms are fast arms, with consistent radius.

The book hits the most important points, without bogging the reader down in unnecessary verbiage.

The next chapter is on the feet, which they point out is close second in importance to the hands chapter. They do a nice job of describing weight shift and how the feet should be planted.

Then there is the legs chapter, which is an area that most players can improve. There is one drill in particular, the Melhorn Drill, which teaches how grounded legs with traction feel. An Improper concept of how to let the hips turn in the swing is a plague for the weekend golfer and this one drill causes you to feel the leakage of power, tempo and leverage that you have let seep out of your swing from poor foot and leg work.

We don’t really turn our hips, we move our feet and legs and our torso and our hips respond. If you sit in a chair and try to turn just your hips, you will see what I mean at once.

It is so helpful to put the body parts in their proper place.



The book progresses on to the torso and head and eyes.



The last couple of chapters are very helpful in putting all of it together. There are tips on practice and the mental game that are wonderful.

This book provides you with a plan, and gives you little goals to work towards as opposed to presenting a theory and asking you to find the details of the theory through the use of video and swing analysis software.



This book is the one book that has helped me not only snap out of a bad streak, but actually elevate my tournament swing to a new and more reliable place.



What great players do is learn by feel. If you ask some of the best players you know what they do for a given shot, they will probably describe the feeling that they have while performing that action.

The best teachers distill complex theory down to useful feels. This book connects all of the dots in a simple and easy to follow format, with checklists where you literally check off the box after you learn to master a drill.



I can’t emphasize enough how useful it is to know that you are working on one aspect of your swing at a time, and how great it feels to know that you will at some point get to work on that next thing in your swing. We should add ingredients as we go.

I have improved so much just from learning to feel a square clubface, and then the hands chapter, that I want to continue just working on these hands and club drills until it’s automatic. I am ok with not moving on because I know that I will soon get to the arms chapter, and then the feet and the legs, and I can already imagine how once I get there, and can concentrate on that one thing, how I will improve.

For example, I can already kind of sense that I let my weight escape onto the outside edge of my right foot in the backswing. I know that once I have the feels and motions mastered from the previous chapters that the Melhorn drill will clearly show me how much my footwork can improve, and I know I will get more solid and consistent because of it.

In any method that you try to learn, you must put the building blocks down in the right order, or you will always be criss-crossing around back and forth trying to plug up leaks.

You must understand what are the causers and what are the effectee’s if you will of the method you are learning.

The hands and arms set up everything in this Love/Toski swing, and if you master those feels, everything from that point is much easier because the hands and arms create the rest of your body action.

NOT ONLY, do you get to work on one thing at a time, using feel as your guide, but the sequence of starting with the club and hands will naturally help improve things like your leg action and your pivot. After working at the hands chapter for a week or two, my whole swing looks 50% better, and held up and a very heated match in a tournament.

I have more rhythm and the club is in better places after I discovered through feel that I had a bad habit of twisting my left hand in the early part of the backswing. My face was opening halfway back and therefore my right arm action sucked.

By learning to use the left thumb and back of my left hand as my guide I changed the physical look of my swing through using my sense of feel to allow the hand to be in the right place at the right time.

I have also learned to feel again, which when you get pivot oriented you tend to lose feel of the clubhead if you are not careful. Not every player does, but many do.

Having a square clubface throughout the swing solves so many problems, and the hands are what you connect to the club with.

With my face and shaft positions being what they were, I could have labored for months on the range, with video, and I never would have gotten to the root cause of the problem.

No one had to tell me, I found the problem through feel.

This book provides easy to feel and understand checkpoints that you can use as a reference. If you get a little off, you know it’s off because you can feel it up against that correct reference.

I am so excited about this book and I recommend it to anyone.
«1

Comments

  • stevestrikestevestrike Members Posts: 1,956
    Wow great review! I posted a comment with a similar sentiment in another thread about my personal experience with GolfTEC lessons in that I learned (by video) of what my swing should LOOK like, and nothing about what it should FEEL like. Consequently, I had a great looking swing that couldn't get it done out on the course. Your review is very timely, and does make me interested in the book.



    But please do share, what is the Hitchhiker drill??!?!?
  • BabydaddyBabydaddy Members Posts: 812
    Thanks Steve

    I am going to attach a scan of the HH drill from the book for you.
  • BabydaddyBabydaddy Members Posts: 812
    edited Nov 6, 2008 #4
    The Hitch Hiker drill seems corny until you actually spend time doing it. Focusing on my left thumb I start the thumb pointing down, then away, then up over the right shoulder, then back down to square at address then over the left shoulder.

    You really get a sense of a club face that is square to the plane without hand manipulation this way. In other words, if your hand is doing the right thing then the club is doing the right thing, and there is then less compensation needed to square the face through impact.

    It's truly mind-blowingly helpful.

    Not to mention rhythm. If your left arm behaves with the hand and club face square, your right arm will fold and allow the club to be set in a great place.

    The point is that all of these desirable things are set off by the little ol' left thumb

    Brilliant
  • rteach1rteach1 Members Posts: 439
    Babydaddy. Yours was one of the most generous posts I have ever seen. Thank you.



    rteach1
  • BabydaddyBabydaddy Members Posts: 812
    edited Nov 7, 2008 #6
    Thank you rteach

    I am very excited about it. I forgot to mention that you can use this book at your own pace like I am, and still play better in a tournament than you would have before working on the chapter that you are currently working in.

    This, as opposed to making wholesale,all-in changes which once embarked on will make you a stranger to good golf for a while.

    Not only has this book changed my approach to my own swing, but it has changed my approach in guiding other's learning.

    I am getting so much out of the club and hands chapters, that I know I can spend a few weeks with them exclusively, and still get better each time I perform a drill.

    This book is in my top 5 of all time instruction books. It may be number one purely in terms of building a swing.

    I am partial to Harvey Penick for learning and teaching the whole of golf, including the swing.

    In my opinion, seeing as Davis Love Jr. was one of Harvey's students, I feel I get some Harvey teaching passed down in this book.

    The last chapter is by Bob Rotella, and it's pretty hardcore mind stuff. One thing I did in my last tournament was visualize the night before. I really believe that this put me at ease, because it was as if I had already had success and was "in the middle of" a patch of solid play. I had not played a round in some time, and still won my matches.

    I had really lost all feel of my swing for the months leading up to re-engaging with this book. Perhaps the greatest gift of this book is helping you to regain your sense of feel and control over your swing. My swing is no mystery to me, as it has been in the past. I can sense everything that is going on and know pretty quickly, through feel, if something has changed or is getting better or worse.

    It's as if my own mind has become my permanent, but subtle training aid.

    I can't say enough good things about this book.

    People wrongly construe Toski as a teacher of a hands and arms swing. This is NOT true. He teaches that the whole body responds to the hands, arms and feet, just as with a baseball pitcher, or any other athlete. Toski still has one of the best swings of all time and can still drive the ball 250 yards at his ripe old age.

    After learning to feel my hands, my pivot has improved dramatically.

    This book is so profound, but yet so simple and utterly useful. I have two copies of it on hand at all times.



    Noelsy
  • tm22721tm22721 Members Posts: 440
    edited Nov 7, 2008 #7
    I think that most people start by using their hands to manipulate the clubhead until they realize that the clubhead moves too fast and cannot be controlled in real time.



    If the club is a pendulum and the pivot axis (spine) is made stable then the clubhead will be, too.
  • WarszawaWarszawa Only at GolfWRX! Members Posts: 897
    Babydaddy wrote on Nov 7 2008, 05:37 AM:
    Thanks Steve

    I am going to attach a scan of the HH drill from the book for you.


    I don't mean to unduly extend the realms of courtesy here, but would you mind scanning the 'Melhorn Drill' page? I found the HH drill exceedingly helpful. You've certainly piqued my interest with this book.
  • pggolf66pggolf66 Members Posts: 138
    tried to locate a copy today and came up empty - it's on order
  • SLB_GolferSLB_Golfer Members Posts: 254 ✭✭
    Anyone else have thoughts on this book?
  • golfjunkiegolfjunkie DC Members Posts: 242
    could you tell the publication date? is this the 7 common denominators book, the red cover? how about i pic of the front cover? they have a couple on ebay and amazon, just need to know correct edition and title.

    thanks
  • jonkarnjonkarn Members Posts: 115
    This HH drill is definitely a great way to feel how lag plays a role in the swing and what it should feel like to have the proper wrist **** and the club face rotating properly. I recently discovered this feeling after reading The Impact Zone by Bobby Clampett. Upon going to the range after reading the book, and concentrating on cocking the wrist fully and feeling the club grip weigh against my left thumb at the top, i hit the ball like never before, and with less effort. My problem as a beginner is not completing my backswing and wrist **** for fear of losing control. This causes me to make up for loss of swing speed by using arms and wrists to whip at the ball(casting). Effortless swings followed. However once I was on the course, all this went out the window. My first few swings resulted in slices or blocks to the right. I went back to my old swing after a few holes because I hate practicing new things on the course with the pressure of losing balls or ruining my round. My question is, based on this book and the HH drill, what is the "feeling" you are supposed to get when you have made the proper hip turn back to the ball? Obviously my new swing was blocking and slicing b/c I wasn't getting my body out of the way, or I wasn't closing the clubface all the way back so my left hand is flat again. On the range it was perfect, but I guess on the course anxiety took over and I got fast at the top again. What is the "feeling check" I should note to know I have gotten the clubhead back and the left hand flat again after it being open and against left thumb at the top? Is this something reviewed in the book? I thought I found the secret to golf that hour on the range, but couldn't duplicate it on the course and want to know why. I like this idea of "feel" checks so I know what the proper swing "feels" like
  • BabydaddyBabydaddy Members Posts: 812
    edited Nov 10, 2008 #13
    Jonkarn,

    Let me answer your post with a lengthy diatribe. But first, to those of you asking about the book itself I have attached a copy of the cover.

    I have found copies at Borders, Barnes and Nobles and Books a Million pretty much every time I have been there.

    You can also get the book at Amazon.

    Jonkarn, and anyone else for that matter, please understand that this book and the approach to teaching behind it are different than most of what you see, hear and read these days.

    There is no need to get super-technical with the golf swing, any more than with say the tennis swing. It is the face of something hitting an object. I can still go out and play pretty darn good tennis after not playing for a while, and the reason is that I can FEEL my swing deep down, and I don't think about it.

    Tennis in some ways is more difficult than golf and requires precision AND athleticism above and beyond golf at certain times, but to many, golf seems more difficult to learn. (in some ways it is)

    I think there are a number of reasons for this but three big reasons are:

    1) Tennis is largely reactionary except for the serve.

    2) The face of the tennis racket is easy to see and feel. It is easier to retain the feeling of square with the big face.

    3) There's almost no time to over think your stroke in a tennis rally.



    I often think of the golf swing as a tennis swing, and can impart the feeling of rotation to square with the muscle pictures of hitting a tennis forehand.



    The point I am making is here is get the book and start from the beginning. The hands chapter is not going to be the end all be all. One drill certainly will not be the end all be all.

    That's the beauty of this book: it goes piece by piece, and you add things as you go.

    We tend to think that there is always one thing that if we find it everything else will magically fall into perfect place. Although there can be one thing, like the grip that if you get it right will solve four problems, you can't rely on searching for the one thing on the range and then trying to see if that one thing will create new and better shots on the course. Even if it works for one or two rounds, it will eventually fade away.

    I started playing when I was six, and have been really blessed to learn from some great players and teachers, and I have been in the game for thirty years. I have tried just about everything you can try. Trust me when I tell you this: The golf swing is about basic fundamentals. You learn the basics and then you learn to play golf.

    Don't concern yourself with lag, and wrist ****, and hip turn etc...

    Learn the same way you did to ride a bike, or throw a horse shoe. Those things (above) that you see in a good player's swing are a result, not a cause.

    Many of today's teachers have poisoned golf instruction with the video camera and swing analysis software. They will say- look at how this pro does such and such, and then say "you need to work on doing such and such".

    If the video teacher of the kind that I am speaking of here find a "flaw", they do so with a video of your swing side by side with the pro of their choice and they point out "see how so and so does this. You are doing this, but you need to be doing this like this pro does"

    We should all be asking our instructors: "WHY am I doing such and such?? If they say because reason A. Then ask well then why am I doing reason A? Ask why until you get to the root root root cause.

    The fact is that we all spend a lot of time talking about the swing itself when in fact a lot of what goes wrong happens before the person even swings the club. Also, face angle is as important, if not more important than the swing itself.

    If you have a poor grip and and/or a poor face position at address, you are largely wasting your time in practice.

    When you boil swing problems down, 99% of the time you will find the root cause at address.

    If not address, then in the person's concept of the swing.

    That's why you need to start by learning square club face. When I say square, I mean square throughout the swing. Plane and club face are interrelated. If the club is on plane the face is likely to be pretty close and also if the face is on plane it is likely that the club is.



    I shared the Penick drill of hitting 9 irons into the side of a golf bag with a person who needed help with their swing.

    They started hitting solid chips. I told them "you can build your whole game and full swing around this drill"

    They kept asking me "why does this work, what about this?"

    I told them, let us teachers sit in our dungeons with books and videos and worry about every detail of theory. If the feeling that you get doing this makes you hit good shots just keep doing it."

    I gave him the illustration of scientists and nutrition.

    I asked him "You eat different kinds of foods all of the time right? You know that you need food to live right?" He said "sure". I said, "you know that if your blood sugar gets low you can't do too much of anything, right?" Right he said.

    I said, now, let's say that your doctor came to you and said "you can't eat anything until you can explain to me every aspect of how that food is providing you energy and health. I mean I want you to tell me about ATP, and the Kreb's cycle and Vitamin K absorption,etc.."

    So now, "you can't eat until you can explain everything about how the food that you eat is digested and provides energy to you"

    I said "that would seem pretty ridiculous wouldn't it?" "I see what you mean", he said. "I can eat a healthy diet just by knowing what works for me and what doesn't" If I eat a bunch of candy bars, I know it makes me feel like crap"

    "Right" I said. "You don't need to know about the eight theoretical things that this act deals with to watch it work for you right here." I told him "I wasted 10 years of my life back there in the dungeon of swing theory, and it didn't help me play better one bit. AND in fact I actually got worse. IT IS THE FEELING OF SQUARE AND SOLID THAT YOU SHOULD CARRY WITH YOU, NOT THEORY.

    I continued "Those nutrients that you eat are going to work in your body whether or not you know how they do what they do or not." and it's the same with this drill, and it's the same with your swing. I told him "let me worry about all of the technical crap, you just enjoy the good shots, and learn to absorb that feeling of the hands being ahead at impact." "Carry that feeling of the hands ahead with you on the course".

    Now to your question about the hip turn. Try swinging your arms without a club, in unison like you are swinging a club. Like you are holding something with both hands and making a golf swing. You will see that your arm swing eventually translates into a pivot which includes the turning of the hips.

    Some people think of the pivot as more of a shoulder turn and some more of a hip turn, but the fact is that if you have a good free arm swing, you will make a real pivot with minimal effort. That's why I say GO GET the BOOK. I promise it will answer every question.

    Although, I am happy to help you if I can.

    I think what you are describing there is hey now I feel my hands better and I can see that there is a relationship between my hands and the turning of the body, especially my hips. If that is what you are saying, then I say you are right.

    Feelings are hard to put into words. You want the swing to be one big feeling or muscle picture. What this book does is help you piece by piece, add the feelings that will eventually lead to your one big mind picture and inner-feeling of the swing.

    Don't make the mistake of getting locked into one thing. Just feel what's right, and then absorb it, then move on.

    With respect to the feeling of hip turn, the hands when relaxed on the club allow you to be at full stretch through impact. If you have a good grip and good hand path, you will be free to fully release the club and your hips will do what the are supposed to. You should feel free to let the rotating shaft fully release through impact.

    The single best thing to do is get a Medicus (I have the original 5 iron, and it works great). You can use the dual hinge if you like.

    The Medicus puts a lot of things into an overall feel, which is what you want. I use the Medicus as an adjunct to this book and it's sizzling hot. Learn to swing that medicus without breaking it, while focusing on a spot. Then learn to hit balls with it. It will help crystalize many things.

    Good grip pressure and a full turn(which includes the hips) are interrelated.

    The swing is series of chain reactions and your bones are connected from the ground up.

    Noelsy
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • BabydaddyBabydaddy Members Posts: 812
    edited Nov 10, 2008 #14
    Also

    I have added this little excerpt from the arms chapter as I think it really does a nice job of conveying the spirit of the book.



    Someone asked about the Melhorn drill, which is a leg drill:

    The Melhorn drill: stand at your golf address. Place a club across your thighs above your knees and make "swings" while keeping the club flat across your thighs throughout. You have to shift your weight from instep to instep without getting leggy to do it.

    You should get into a rhythm with it. You will probably sense that you are leggy in a sloppy way compared to how your legs feel when you are able to keep the shaft laying flat against your thighs throughout your "swing". That is one thing about the pros: they don't let that energy from their swing leak out of their legs and feet.

    Good footwork is one of the main things that separate a great ball-striker from an ok one.

    This is one of the best drills ever.

    As I said in an earlier post, I know my foot and legwork need help; and I know that once I work on them I will hit the ball much more solidly and probably more consistently. BUT, I am not skipping ahead to that leg chapter even though I know that.

    I want to posess the proper club, hand and arm movements, because I know that if I do, I will already be much better than before.

    Even though the icing on a cake is very important, you don't add it before you bake the cake. You wait until the cake is ready for the icing to be applied.
  • BabydaddyBabydaddy Members Posts: 812
    As an update- the Melhorn Drill is cold rocking my planet. Besides a good hand and arm action the single most important thing to shore up is the foot work.

    If you have never hit balls barefoot you should try it. It's amazing how much the feet affect the golf swing.

    If you have a reasonable grip and concept of the swing and are inconsistent, try the melhorn and underreach drill.

    Another cool aspect of this book is that it's not just learning one thing. All of these things are interrelated and once you improve one it spills over into the next and then circles back again.

    For example, keeping the weight inside your trail foot on the backswing will drive the club up onto a good plane.

    I saw that the tendency that I have to twist my hands a little on the backswing at about nine oclock was greatly reduced by keeping my weight on the inside of my right foot. There is a direct relationship; it's like magic.

    That's what is so great about this book: you learn to feel how things are connected.

    I have weak ankles and it trickles back up into my swing and affects my hand action.

    They mention that most guys have weak ankles, and now I believe that is true. You have to train the feet to work correctly in a good golf swing. It's like learning good pitching technique in baseball.

    I think that in an effort to have the club "go somewhere" in the backswing, it's an easy way to cheat by letting the weight move around onto the outside and heel of the trail foot. If you keep the weight inside you have to make a real turn.

    This book is amazing.
  • jonkarnjonkarn Members Posts: 115
    Appreciate the insight. I know you are correct, but at this stage of my golf career(1st year 18 handicap), I am still trying to figure out what things are supposed to feel like by overanalyzing. I am a baseball and racket sport athlete, and I never have to think about my swings, or hitting the ball flush. I wish I could control the golf ball like I can a baseball or tennis ball. As I have been playing this first year I was able to break 100, then 90 with just being an athlete and practicing my short game. I was able to keep the club face flush with the ball(I hardly sliced or hooked), but would be fat or thin all the time. I know this is because I was never using a full backswing, or lag for that matter, and would tend to cast. By using a partial backswing I was able to use more of my athletic ability to guide the clubface and hit with good power. Now that I learned about lag, I feel that it is making it a bit harder for me to consistantly have that proper clubface position at impact because I am not used to having that much distance and turn for my swing to travel. I am slicing and blocking like I never have before. Although at the range, i guess because I am relaxed and not trying to hit the ball, the new feeling of lag helped me tremendously and I never had such an easy swing and perfect contact, even with clubs I could never hit well b4 like the 5i or 4i. I really didn't have to think of much besides letting my wrists relax and let the centrifugal force carry the swing around to impact. But on the course I lost control, probably due to rushing my swing at the top again with the pressure of trying to hit the ball. I will keep working at it, and it seems that this book will help me figure out some things as well. That and needing to relax on the course and stop trying to HIT the **** ball. Does this book have any tips for THAT? ha image/rolleyes.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':rolleyes:' />
  • tm22721tm22721 Members Posts: 440
    jonkarn wrote on Nov 10 2008, 09:41 PM:
    Appreciate the insight. I know you are correct, but at this stage of my golf career(1st year 18 handicap), I am still trying to figure out what things are supposed to feel like by overanalyzing. I am a baseball and racket sport athlete, and I never have to think about my swings, or hitting the ball flush. I wish I could control the golf ball like I can a baseball or tennis ball. As I have been playing this first year I was able to break 100, then 90 with just being an athlete and practicing my short game. I was able to keep the club face flush with the ball(I hardly sliced or hooked), but would be fat or thin all the time. I know this is because I was never using a full backswing, or lag for that matter, and would tend to cast. By using a partial backswing I was able to use more of my athletic ability to guide the clubface and hit with good power. Now that I learned about lag, I feel that it is making it a bit harder for me to consistantly have that proper clubface position at impact because I am not used to having that much distance and turn for my swing to travel. I am slicing and blocking like I never have before. Although at the range, i guess because I am relaxed and not trying to hit the ball, the new feeling of lag helped me tremendously and I never had such an easy swing and perfect contact, even with clubs I could never hit well b4 like the 5i or 4i. I really didn't have to think of much besides letting my wrists relax and let the centrifugal force carry the swing around to impact. But on the course I lost control, probably due to rushing my swing at the top again with the pressure of trying to hit the ball. I will keep working at it, and it seems that this book will help me figure out some things as well. That and needing to relax on the course and stop trying to HIT the **** ball. Does this book have any tips for THAT? ha image/rolleyes.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':rolleyes:' />


    I had to do a double take when I read this because it is an exact synopsis of my struggle since taking up this activity.



    Anybody else who plays tennis or baseball well but struggles with the counterintuitive nature of golf ?
  • mccteemcctee Tom McCarthy Members Posts: 65
    I was happy to see your review. You are right on the money in recommending this book to everyone.



    I recently spent some time with Bob Toski. As we sat for lunch he showed me a copy of this terrific book and I scanned through the whole thing. I was totally impressed with what they were trying to accomplish and how they went about doing so. Toski and Love did a just plain great job. As Mr. Toski would say, you should feel your way into the correct positions in the golf swing.



    Anyway, the other masterpiece from Toski is his work with Jim Flick. The title is 'How to Become a Complete Golfer'. Brandk new copies signed by Mr. Toski can be found on Amazon.



    Anyway, great post!



    Tom
  • BabydaddyBabydaddy Members Posts: 812
    Mcctee

    Thanks for your post on my thread about the Toski Love book.

    I am thinking seriously about treking down to Florida over the holidays for a lesson with Mr. Toski.

    My dad lives in Palm Beach.

    It is hard to believe that I can actually take a lesson from him.

    I would love to hear all about him. I love it when he appears on Making The Turn (XM Radio).

    I have scoured the net looking for video of Toski's swing, but I have come up empty.

    What's it like to get a lesson from him? I bet he has a lot of great stories.

    Didn't Frank Licklighter go to him before Q-School and then end up shooting 62 64 or something crazy like that?



    I would love to see a swing sequence or something of his!!



    Noelsy
  • BabydaddyBabydaddy Members Posts: 812
    Also wanted to add

    I have been cycling back to previous chapters as I go. It's like when you go to see a good speaker/presenter and they go through each point and then towards the end they re-summarize it.

    I have learned (and felt) even more about each of those chapters as I have gone back to them because I can now feel something else about how they relate to the chapters further on in the book.

    It's sort of like being a doctor for a while and then one day you use that trig that you were taught in real life and then you go back and read your trig book with a renewed appreciation because the individual problems taught you a new way to think and solve problems.

    Today I reviewed the club movement chapter and did the exercises and then proceeded to the hands chapter. While I was spot on in testing myself with the placement and movement of the hands I had let uneven grip pressure creep back in. So I did the drill where you swing and hit balls calling out your grip pressure before the swing and then after. It became easier to "trace over" the things that had graduated to through the filter of even grip pressure. It became clear, in a new way how grip pressure is sort of the glue that holds everything together.

    I recommend revisiting the chapters in this book this way. It's sort of like watching a great movie several times: you see and appreciate things that you didn't the time before.

    My progress went as follows: Chapter 1, Chapter 1 review and Chapter 2, Chapter 2, Chapter 2, then Chapter 3, then back to chapter 1 and then chapter 2 and now back to chapter 3. Then Chapter 4, back to 1, then 2, then 3 and now I am in chapter 4 again.

    The coolest new thing that I have discovered is how appropriate the Arthur Murray dance diagram analogy that they use in the introductory chapter is.

    Back in the day, you used to be able to order diagrams of different types of dances like the fox trot, or the tango, etc... You placed the diagrams on the floor and you could actually place your foot in each spot, which was marked with a number. You moved in sequence. Of course when you first start out, you are very clunky and unsure, but each time you pass back through from the start, you begin to be more sure of yourself, and you really could learn to dance with rhythm this way. You know that suredness causes you to be more rhythmic and flowing in your movement.

    A square cluface produces a nice looking swing
  • kokogirlkokogirl Members Posts: 386
    Thanks for the review. I just ordered it on Amazon!
  • xiaoxiongxiaoxiong Members Posts: 445
    Babydaddy wrote on Nov 10 2008, 04:57 PM:
    As an update- the Melhorn Drill is cold rocking my planet. Besides a good hand and arm action the single most important thing to shore up is the foot work.

    If you have never hit balls barefoot you should try it. It's amazing how much the feet affect the golf swing.

    If you have a reasonable grip and concept of the swing and are inconsistent, try the melhorn and underreach drill.

    Another cool aspect of this book is that it's not just learning one thing. All of these things are interrelated and once you improve one it spills over into the next and then circles back again.

    For example, keeping the weight inside your trail foot on the backswing will drive the club up onto a good plane.

    I saw that the tendency that I have to twist my hands a little on the backswing at about nine oclock was greatly reduced by keeping my weight on the inside of my right foot. There is a direct relationship; it's like magic.

    That's what is so great about this book: you learn to feel how things are connected.

    I have weak ankles and it trickles back up into my swing and affects my hand action.

    They mention that most guys have weak ankles, and now I believe that is true.
    You have to train the feet to work correctly in a good golf swing. It's like learning good pitching technique in baseball.

    I think that in an effort to have the club "go somewhere" in the backswing, it's an easy way to cheat by letting the weight move around onto the outside and heel of the trail foot. If you keep the weight inside you have to make a real turn.

    This book is amazing.




    I found this very interesting. For a long time, I noticed that I could not hold my finish without moving my left foot (re-planting or twisting a bit). The reason is just as you pointed out: weak ankle.



    Also I re-read an article on Padraig here

    http://www.golf.com/golf/gallery/article/0...78457-7,00.html



    here is what Padriag talking about:

    "I think of my downswing as a corkscrew — I turn my body to the left as fast as I can, but do so against a very firm left side. You get a lot of power this way. Grip the turf with the toes on your left foot. The more spikes you have in the ground through impact, the better."



    Now question become: how can I train my ankle be more strong and flexible? I am not getting younger anytime soon :-)



    Cheers,

    Jay
  • BabydaddyBabydaddy Members Posts: 812
    I found this very interesting. For a long time, I noticed that I could not hold my finish without moving my left foot (re-planting or twisting a bit). The reason is just as you pointed out: weak ankle.





    Jay- You are really onto something. One way to see that twisting is to hit shots out of a fairway bunker. It will look like you are trying to make snow angles with your left foot.



    Two exercises you can do. One to walk on the outsides of your feet

    Two is to do calf lifts, like in the gym, start out with feet straight, then point them in dramatically, then point the out dramatically, of course you are performing the calf lifts in each position.
  • xiaoxiongxiaoxiong Members Posts: 445
    Babydaddy wrote on Nov 12 2008, 02:47 PM:
    Jay- You are really onto something. One way to see that twisting is to hit shots out of a fairway bunker. It will look like you are trying to make snow angles with your left foot.



    Two exercises you can do. One to walk on the outsides of your feet

    Two is to do calf lifts, like in the gym, start out with feet straight, then point them in dramatically, then point the out dramatically, of course you are performing the calf lifts in each position.




    Very cool. I will definitely put the calf lifts into my regular gym workout regime besides all other fun stuff :-) The irony is I was a soccer player and tennis player, both demand strong and flexible ankles. Granted, I never intentionally train my ankle....



    Cheers,
  • jonkarnjonkarn Members Posts: 115
    Honestly I just don't see how strengthening your ankles by themselves will do much. There is no way to strengthen the actual ankles as there are only tendons that run through there and ligaments that connect the medial/lateral malleolus to the talus and other tarsal bones. You would really be strengthening the calf muscles above the ankle and the muscles of the foot below the ankle. Is anyone actively concentrating on contracting the muscles of the foot and calf during the last part of the follow through? I would think its a natural part of balancing yourself. If you play enough golf the muscles get stronger with all the practice you are doing without needing to do isolation exercises. UNless you just sit on the couch all day and just get off it to play a round here and there, then your problems go way beyond "weak ankles" anyway
  • xiaoxiongxiaoxiong Members Posts: 445
    edited Nov 12, 2008 #26
    jonkarn wrote on Nov 12 2008, 08:12 PM:
    Honestly I just don't see how strengthening your ankles by themselves will do much. There is no way to strengthen the actual ankles as there are only tendons that run through there and ligaments that connect the medial/lateral malleolus to the talus and other tarsal bones. You would really be strengthening the calf muscles above the ankle and the muscles of the foot below the ankle. Is anyone actively concentrating on contracting the muscles of the foot and calf during the last part of the follow through? I would think its a natural part of balancing yourself. If you play enough golf the muscles get stronger with all the practice you are doing without needing to do isolation exercises. UNless you just sit on the couch all day and just get off it to play a round here and there, then your problems go way beyond "weak ankles" anyway




    hmmm, interesting. well, by no means I am a couch potato. To the contrary, I am a very athletic person, workout regularly and smartly, still play soccer at age of 40 (I have very strong calf, thigh, hamstring muscle) and of course a lot of golf. Early this year, I took a test and found out that i have a body age of 30 image/clapping.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':clapping:' />



    Still I struggle with holding a beautiful finish without some movements of my left foot at the end. image/rolleyes.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':rolleyes:' />



    Cheers,
  • atlanta golferatlanta golfer Members Posts: 3,598
    I was amazed to find that this book was written in 1998 and is available via amazon for ten dollars and change. Just goes to show that good advice does not have to cost a lot and does not have to be written in the past one or two years.
  • jonkarnjonkarn Members Posts: 115
    I am sure your ankles are adequately strong. If 80 year old men and young children can have good swings then I would say weakness in the ankles may not be the culprit for a 40(err, 30) yr old athlete. May have more to do with improper weight shift and balance in the pivot, or even overswinging (out of your shoes as they say?)I bet John Daly doesn't work out his ankles either, and he's an out of shape slob who can crush the ball and has amazing touch.(Hooters incidents notwithstanding)
  • BabydaddyBabydaddy Members Posts: 812
    edited Nov 13, 2008 #29
    Jonkarn

    I understand what you are saying, but let me toss this at you.

    In everyday life most of us don't transfer nearly all of our weight between the insteps of our feet.

    In order to push off from the insteps, like a baseball pitcher, you have to have those specific muscles on the insides of the legs, including ankle muscles, in good enough shape to facilitate that specific type of movement. When I say shape, I really mean stamina not necessarily raw strength.

    If you look at many sports, the ankle is the victim a lot of the time. I shoot hoops everyday at the gym. When I get really active in doing lay-ups, or playing a game of one on one the first thing to fatigue are my ankles.

    It's very similar to your lateral shoulder muscles. If someone asks you to hold even a piece of paper with your arm extended out at shoulder height (meaning straight out) it won't be long before your shoulder muscle gets fatigued and you need to lower your arm.

    It's not so much about strength as it is specificity of use and stamina.

    If you move your ankles in a rehab sort of way, in other words Range of Motion type exercises, you will increase stamina in the muscles and ligaments that support movement without necessarily "bulking up" or adding very much strength.



    Rock on broheim

    Noelsy
  • xiaoxiongxiaoxiong Members Posts: 445
    jonkarn wrote on Nov 12 2008, 11:19 PM:
    I am sure your ankles are adequately strong. If 80 year old men and young children can have good swings then I would say weakness in the ankles may not be the culprit for a 40(err, 30) yr old athlete. May have more to do with improper weight shift and balance in the pivot, or even overswinging (out of your shoes as they say?)I bet John Daly doesn't work out his ankles either, and he's an out of shape slob who can crush the ball and has amazing touch.(Hooters incidents notwithstanding)




    Thanks for suggestion. I know my swing a bit (with help of SLICE). Being a 4 hdcp (and still going down) and constantly working on my pivot, I don't blame poor weight shift or oeverswing for the fault. BTW, I am not talking about I could not hold a beautiful finish itself, I am talking about the very very slight left foot movement (flare open a couple of degrees between impact and the finish).



    While John Daly may not work out his ankles, he starts play golf when he is a kid. So His ankle is golf tested. I would pay to see him dribbling some soccer balls image/clapping.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':clapping:' /> On the other hand, I only start play golf at a rip age of 36 when my best day on soccer is over, so my ankle may not be in best golf shape. image/rolleyes.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':rolleyes:' />


    Babydaddy wrote on Nov 13 2008, 11:39 AM:
    Jonkarn

    I understand what you are saying, but let me toss this at you.

    In everyday life most of us don't transfer nearly all of our weight between the insteps of our feet.

    In order to push off from the insteps, like a baseball pitcher, you have to have those specific muscles on the insides of the legs, including ankle muscles, in good enough shape to facilitate that specific type of movement. When I say shape, I really mean stamina not necessarily raw strength.

    If you look at many sports, the ankle is the victim a lot of the time. I shoot hoops everyday at the gym. When I get really active in doing lay-ups, or playing a game of one on one the first thing to fatigue are my ankles.

    It's very similar to your lateral shoulder muscles. If someone asks you to hold even a piece of paper with your arm extended out at shoulder height (meaning straight out) it won't be long before your shoulder muscle gets fatigued and you need to lower your arm.

    It's not so much about strength as it is specificity of use and stamina.

    If you move your ankles in a rehab sort of way, in other words Range of Motion type exercises, you will increase stamina in the muscles and ligaments that support movement without necessarily "bulking up" or adding very much strength.



    Rock on broheim

    Noelsy


    Noelsy, you are spot on. it is more about ankle's specificity of use and range of motion in golf. That is what I allude to.
  • ballshaggerballshagger Members Posts: 318
    Great recommendation for reading and drills.

    After getting into the book a little, its seems to me that Mr. Loves intentions are that just about everything we do in the swing, if done correctly, should support the hands.

    Its been a while since I've read any of Mr. Loves book. I like his straightforward language.

    I am using the book daily with the drills inside the house while the ground outside is frozen.

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Emoji
Image
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file