Vertical Ground Force and Double Peaks
Should you be trying to increase vertical ground force in your swing and if so, how should you do it? And what are double peaks in vertical ground force and are they potentially harmful to your spine?
Thank you guys so much for all the comments, they were super passionate. And that got me really excited because that means that you guys care about this stuff. As much as I do, this is my life. This has been my life for as long as I can remember, trying to figure out how to make you guys a better golfer. That's really all it does. All it's all about. For me, I wake up thinking about the stuff I go to bed thinking about the stuff I wake up in the middle of night, thinking about this stuff. It is truly my passion. This is the one thing in my life that I live for every single day. And it really comes down to what it's really all about when you get down to it is hitting those perfect shots, having those great rounds of golf, those great experiences.
And for me, that's the one thing in life that I look forward to no matter what's going on, if I can just get out to the range and hit a bucket of balls and just pure them all day, there's no place on earth. I'd rather be. And for me, finding the most optimal way to do that, that allows my body to do it, to not feel exhausted or beat up or sore or worse. Being injured is everything to me, but also want to produce power. I want to hit really good shots. I want to hit them a long ways. And so rotary swing has been my pursuit over the past 25 years of teaching and figuring out what's the best way to do that. And it's always been a moving target. I've tried my best to do everything I can to make every piece of information, the most accurate based on the tools that we have at the time.
But technology is evolving. We have things like force plates and really high quality launch monitors. Now that give us an inside look into the swing. So for me, I wanted to keep testing my ideas to see if there is a better way. And perhaps I've got it all right already, perhaps there are nuances, perhaps there are adjustments, perhaps nothing needs to change. Perhaps everything needs to be scrapped. Don't think that's the case. But as I started testing things, the one thing I really wanted to do was prove things. I hate theories. I hate variables. I just want the facts, the proof show me what you can prove because everything else is just nonsense. It's just hearsay. If you can't prove it to me, I don't care what you're saying. I need this data. I need this proof to get me to understand and buy into what exactly is happening.
And so this year with the virus, chaos going on, I just said, I'm going to invest a ton of money. I spent over $50,000 for you guys to sit in here and pound balls and injure myself and wear myself out so that I could prove everything that I've ever thought about in the golf swing. Things that I've heard other say, could I prove it right or wrong? Is there a right or wrong? And that's one of the biggest issues. And the swing is that there's kind of no right or wrong. Right. Well, I don't agree with that at all. And I think that more and more golfers are going to eventually come to the realization that certainly there are millions of ways to do it, but that funnel of having these really wide variances in golf swings is getting smaller and smaller. And the swing keeps getting more and more refined because of tools and understanding that we have today.
And this stuff will continue to evolve. Imagine if everybody stopped with Bobby Jones, if you grew up or you played golf during Bobby Jones era, that was the only way to swing a golf club. You didn't think about anything else. You didn't know anything else. You'd never seen anything else, but he was phenomenal. He was a wonderful ball, striker, a beautiful golf swing, very rotational, no coincidence there, but you wouldn't have tried to swing like Jack Nicholas and Bobby Jones there. Now part of it could be equipment based. Sure. That's really hard to say. But at the end of the day, there was a very commonality of the way golfers swung back in that day. And then Hogan came along and then that changed everything. And Nicholas came along that changed everything and Norman and tiger. And look at what we have today. For the first time in history, we have a huge number, a high percentage of true bonafide world-class athletes who are playing golf at the highest level.
I'm not saying that we're world-class athletes back in the day. Of course there were, but the numbers, the percentages of the Brooks kept because the, the Jon Rahm's, the Tony fie nows, the Dustin Johnsons, those guys didn't exist 50 years ago as a whole for playing golf. It's changing so much so fast. We have these big, strong, powerful people who could be doing all sorts of different things who are now hitting a ball with a stick for a living. And so are there things that we can learn from these guys that they're doing? Just like we learned from Jones and Nicholas and Hogan and so on. Are there things that they're doing or are they doing things that only they can do because of their physical size or strength or athleticism? And that doesn't worry me because I'm all about the averages, the norms I want to help the average guy play better golf.
And so it starts with understanding how what's the best pathway that can get anybody to play, scratch golf, to hit the ball wall and play scratch golf. So one of the biggest variables in the swing has always been the arms. The in general, the dead drill and rotary swing is all about moving the core and that stuff. That really is pretty simple and straightforward, very easy to measure, very easy to see. And in the best players today, we still see the same motions happening. Now, the way that they may be doing them can be adjustments. And that's what we saw on the right side push stuff that I'm going to talk about a little bit more, but before we go down that road, we have to take a step back and talk about the arm movement and the swing. At the end of the day, there's two basic extremes.
On either side, you can swing your arms very high. Colin, Montgomery Davis love Freddy couples, or you can swing your arms very low. And this is what we see more and more players do today. The John ROMs, the Tony females, they have much shallower, arms, shorter swings yet they're still pounding the ball and producing huge amounts of club head speed. Are they doing that just they're big and strong, or are they doing that? Because the arm elevation that you have in the swing is not as important as a requirement for speed. As some other movements in the swing may be such as the body or creating vertical ground force or rotational forces or lateral forces, what is it? What can we see now? What can we measure? And what can we prove so that we can keep refining this pathway? Because I hate the idea of rotary swing, allowing for variances in the arms.
Now some of you can be like, well, dude, of course you can swing either way. And I don't argue that. Of course you can. And I prove that this summer, I literally swung my arms really, really high, as high as I could get them and still played to a plus handicap. And then I lowered my arms really low, still played to a plus handicap. It didn't change anything from that perspective, but a lot of other things did change both in terms of ball flight. My divot patterns, my directional control, how my body felt, which was more important to me than any of those things. And that's what we're going to start to look at because at the end of the day, if you're lying left to your own devices and you don't have the time like I do to sit here and spend all day trying to figure out the world's problems about the golf swing, this is what you guys pay me to do.
This is what you hired me. I am here for, to serve no more purpose in life other than to wake up every single morning and say, how do I make you a better golfer? That's all I do. This is my whole life. It's my purpose in life. And now that I'm 44 years old, I've been doing this for 25 years. I don't see it changing. I'm going to keep working and trying to find new answers and trying to prove my ideas or other people's ideas or prove them wrong or whatever it may be that we keep refining the pathway to get more golfers, to be better because at the end of the day, bad golf sucks. It just does. I don't care who you are. Sure. It's better. And sitting in an office all day, maybe to some, but if I'm going to go out there and just slap it around and chase the ball, and it feels like crap and hitting it off the toe or thin or whatever, I'd rather not do it.
I want to go out and pure shots every day and actually golf my ball and play course management strategies and thinking about what the course architect was doing. And so many people have never even had the chance to experience that. But that's what golf really is. For most people, it's playing golf, swing mechanics, or just hit and hope. And God, I just hope I hit it solid. And you know, that should be a foregone conclusion. You need to be thinking about what do I need to do to give myself the best opportunity, the majority amount of time to make a birdie or par on this whole, but we're, we're not there yet for most players because the swing is just too complicated. There's too many different theories out there. And like I said, I hate theories. I don't even like my own theories. I want facts.
I want proof. And so when it came to me thinking about the arm movement, and, and again, you can play great golf either way. What I'm interested in is what's the fastest way, the simplest way, the most efficient way, the most powerful way, and the safest way to get you to swing well enough to play golf at par or better. Now, as I experimented this summer, I, I did, as I mentioned, I experimented with higher hands and there were certain benefits to that, but there are certain things that go along with high hands. One of those, the biggest one, the most simplest one is if my arms are really high and the ball is down on the ground, how do I get that club back down to the ball? Well, I have to shallow out the club. And so for those of you who aren't golf, swing geeks, like many of us, you know, at some point your arms have to get back down into a reasonable position, get back connected to your body rotation so that you can sync back up and not swing way over the top.
If you have your arms really high and you rotate really hard, you're ripping over the top. If you have your arms really high and you start pushing with this right arm, start trying to widen your arm. As some golf instructors are telling people to do, and you add any body rotation, you're coming over the top, you're taking a deep divot, et cetera. Now, by the same token, if you have really low hands, there are trade offs. It's there as well. If you look at somebody like Tony Phoenix, super short hands, a super, super short back swing, yet he's still swinging well over 120 miles an hour, but the variables in his arms or much less, but how is he producing so much speed and power? Is it what he's doing with his body? Is it what he's doing with his torso? What is it? And not just from video perspective, because this is one of those things where I really have a huge problem with a lot of people looking at things happening on video and saying, oh, well, he's clearly doing this.
Well, you don't really know for sure you can make educated guesses. But the only way to know for sure is to use a tool, to measure things and then replicate those movements yourself. That to me is proving it. If you can get your body to do exactly the same things as a tiger woods, then you can speak authoritatively and say, this is exactly what tiger woods is doing. These are the muscles that he's firing. This is the sequence. This is what he's feeling. This is what it's doing to produce results. And then we can measure it with these highly technical and complex devices like these 3d force plates. And then we're looking at thousands of a second milliseconds and actual forces that are being produced at the exact timing and sequence. And you can't fake this stuff. So when you start looking at what's really happening in these really consistent, powerful very great ball strikers that we have today.
And we have access to many of these guys, data as force, plate data, we can see truly what's happening and not just be guessing anymore, not just looking at cameras or even 3d motion capture. We can measure the forces. I look at the swing catalyst force plate as like an EKG for the golf swing. You can take somebody's pulse and say, well, you're, you're alive. And it seems pretty normal, but then you can take an EKG reading and be like, oh my gosh, you just had a heart attack. Like, well, you can't check that by reading somebody's pulse, looking at it just on video and making theories. And speculation is like taking somebody's pulse versus taking an EKG. This is an MRI for your golf swing. So when you think of it, that way you can start to understand things and measure things and test things and prove things to start to find that pathway to that simplest most efficient golf swing.
Now, again, there's lots of different ways that you're going to get it done tons of different ways. And as I said, the summer, I played both everything in between. Tried all sorts of different ideas and you can do all kinds of great things and still play great golf. But there were huge differences in terms of how my body felt. I had six different injuries this year from trying different things from X-Factor stretch. Should you resist your with your hips? Did you create this X factor? All of these things that we kind of accept as like, well, yeah, that's what you do in the golf swing, but the way that we do them and the way that we interpret them, that makes a massive, massive difference in terms of the results. You can have a backswing that looks perfect, but the downswing can be off. You can have a downswing that looks great, but we can see that there's no real speed being generated in there.
There's no force being generated. There's no club head speed. There's no ball speed. There's no ground force. And so that it's really what we need to be doing as an industry to help everyone, everybody play better. Golf is start really refining and proving ideas, not just talking about them because talk is cheap. It's worthless to me. So I, when I got this force plate, I wanted to start proving ideas and testing things. So what I want to do now is I want to talk about what you can actually see what the force plates, and now you're going to be like thinking to yourself. Well, I can't, I don't have access to these super expensive force plates. You don't need to, what we're going to show you is how you can look at these things to prove theories and ideas, to actually produce real world results and look at what the best players are doing in the world.
And then we can say authoritatively, yes. If you move your body this way, then this will produce XYZ results. One of the things that I wanted to really start to test and understand is vertical ground force. And that's one of the things that this force plate is so great at is the only one that can really measure this, these three axes of force in any real reliable manner. So vertical ground force, for those of you that don't know, it's just the force that your body, your feet are driving into the ground. And we can measure that in pounds or Newton, meters of force. Now, before I'm not going to make this too complex, or I want to make this really, really simple to understand, but simply understand that if you're pushing against the ground, that's giving you leverage. You have potential energy there that you can use to transfer into the club.
And of course, it's much more powerful to use your legs and your trunk and your cord reduce speed than just the little muscles in your arms and hands. But is there an optimal amount of vertical ground force? Is there an optimal timing for it? Is there a way that you should move your body that allows you to swing very efficiently? So you feel like you're not swinging very hard at all, but you, that show up in the vertical ground floors, do you see more vertical ground force with higher hands or lower hands? Now, why does this really matter? The longest hitters like Kyle Berkshire's of the world and all of these long drive guys create huge amounts of vertical to ground force, huge amounts, way, way, way above the PGA tour average. Now I'm not saying we're going to go out and join the long drive association, not looking for that at all.
What I'm looking for is the most efficient way, because it being efficient allows you to be more consistent. If you're swinging as hard as you can on every shot with your small muscles, your arms and hands, you're not going to be able to replicate the shots very easily because you're just got so much stuff going on your swing so hard. But if you felt like you were swinging really easy, but she produced a lot of power inadvertently without trying to produce it from the small muscles that would allow you to become more consistent because you're feeling like you're more under control, but when you're swinging out of control and out of your shoes, then we're just really inefficient and we're never going to be consistent doing that. So I wanted to see at first, if I had higher hands or a lower hands, would I create more vertical ground force?
Because again, the longest hitters on the planet, the best PGA tour ball strikers, the majority of them, the vast majority, you can see a direct correlation to vertical ground force and club head speed production. Now, that's pretty interesting. If we have something we can prove, right? It's not just, oh, well, if he has lots of lag, he swings really fast. Or if he turns his chest really hard, he swings really fast. Well there's guys who turn their chest really hard. They'll hit the ball anywhere. And there's guys who turn their chest really hard and hit the ball a long way. There's everything in between. But we can't really measure that this we can measure and say, if you produce a certain amount of vertical ground force doing this movement, then we can reliably predict that you're going to be able to produce a lot of club head speed, or can we, right.
That's really what I wanted to know. And I wanted to know, is it more efficient to do it one way or the other higher hands or lower hands? Because to me, the arms are the most complex part of the swing as well to anybody, right? If the body is really not moving that far throughout the whole back, I mean, this is the backswing and that's the whole downswing. There's not really a lot going on the arms and wrists can do all kinds of crazy stuff to make this club go all over the place. And that's the number one problem for amateur golf. To me having lower hands, less elevation, it's just way more efficient. You're just moving your arms less. You're moving the part. That's the most complex that's moving the fastest and you're moving at less. That to me is a win, right? There's a reason we don't that we put like this and not like this, right?
It's obvious, but in the golf swing, kind of all bets are off. And whatever you want to do with your arms is his game. Right? That to me is a little bit too loosey goosey for how I like to do things. I want to be a lot more structured and say, well, let's, let's just find the easiest way. How little can we move the arms and still produce enough speed for the average guy to hit it 300 yards? How little can we move our arms and still be very consistent and take good divots and not have to feel like we're swinging out of our shoes. And, and again, I think that you're seeing a lot of these more modern players moving to shallower hands. We've got Roy McIlroy tiger woods has shallot out his hands and goes back and forth. And you've got the Jon Rahm's and Tony Finos.
And a lot of these guys have much shallower hands. And Rory McIlroy is an average sized guy. And one of the longest hitters on the planet, right? For PGA tour guys at five nine, he he's pounding it. How is he doing that? Are there things that we can look at and his swing cause his swing looks nothing like Bobby Jones. There's nothing similar between the two, but what is he doing that allows him to hit the ball so far, seemingly so effortlessly, is he putting himself at risk? Is he creating lots of vertical ground force? What are the things that he's actually doing and what muscles is he using to produce that the only way to know for sure is to actually get your body to do that. So that's what I did this summer. I started taking the time to look at these different ways that these different players are swinging the club, even old school guys, you know, it wasn't just looking.
I used to be a huge, huge Ben Hogan fan. I loved his book, but I wanted to test all these different ideas on the force plates to see what's really happening. And the only way to do that is to get my body, to do those things. So that's partly why it's taking so long because I'm literally having to change my swing coming in here, measuring it, using the high-speed cameras and saying, okay, that's pretty close. I see that I'm doing these things that we see in all these great players. Now let's go out and play on the course and try it and see what really happens in the real world, come back in and measure it. And so on, that was the process of summer. As I kept working through this, I kept finding certain things that would cause me concern. And then things that would be really exciting, like, okay, well, if I do this, this dramatically simplifies my swing, but I didn't really lose any speed.
So that's a win-win wouldn't you want a simpler swing that produces the same amount of speed with less effort? Well, yeah, of course. To me, that's the whole point. So that's when I started looking at every single facet of everything that I've ever thought about the swing and everything I've ever heard from like, as I mentioned, the X factor and how much lateral movement you should have and how much elevation you should have and say, what does the force plate say? And, and what does my ball striking in my, my body say? And, and the results that I look for, because at the end of the day, I'm really looking for effortless shots. Many of you may not have ever hit those effortless shots, but you probably have hit a couple, at least that have made you think, oh my gosh, that's what it's supposed to feel like, but you haven't been able to replicate it, right?
You've been on a par five, that's got a huge fairway. You can't get there. And two, so you're just laying up with a seven iron and it doesn't matter if you hit the seven iron, 110 yards or 180 yards, you're still going to have pretty much the same approach shot into the green. So you just step up there and you just you're really loose and relaxed like, oh, this it's just kind of a wasted shot. It doesn't really matter. And you just make this really nice effortless swing and you scorch it. And you're like, oh my gosh, this is the best shot I've had all day. That's the fun stuff. That's the stuff that I live for. And I'm assuming since you you're here, that's the stuff that you live for too is how do I get that shot more often? How do I do more of those?
Cause that's, what's really fun about the golf swing is hitting those pure effortless shots. And that's what I'm after is how do I get you the simplest fastest way to do it and removing complexity from the swing and removing variables from the swing so that you're not out there just to dig it out of the dirt and figure it out on your own. That's my job. This is what I'm here to do is to test these different ideas and share them with you and show you the fastest way to get there and to prove it. I hate theories. I want to prove it to you that if you do it this way, this is the best way to get there. So let's take a look at what we can start to understand what the vertical ground forces and the forces we see the tour players. And then I'm going to start to share more videos about how I did things that created those similar movement patterns and streaks of the data traces that you see and then show you things I did that led to injury that showed very different data traces. So let's go to swing catalyst and take that.
Okay. So first we have to look at vertical force in a really simple way. And then I want to immediately relate it to injuries because this is going to be a very important thing in the future. I believe as more and more instructors start using the swing catalyst force plates and starting to understand the forces that are going through the body. So I have two different golfers up here. I've got Lucas Glover on the left and Kevin not on the right, both hitting drivers. Now Kevin is not known for being a long hitter, of course, but he actually generates a high amount of vertical force. You can see that in this graph here, this black bar, the darkened bar is showing the range of PGA tour averages. Swing catalyst is measured over a hundred PGA tour players. And this is the range of averages and vertical force that they're generating.
You can see Kevin's riding the averages, but what I want to draw your attention to is the second peak in which is also in the average, we're going to look at in just a minute. Now I've got Lucas Glover Glover on the left. He generates a high amount of vertical force, but notice the secondary peak is much lower. Now let's just kind of walk through their swings really quickly. I'm not going to get into details here, but just play their swing back. And let's take a look and see what you see in terms of differences and really what I'm interested in. Let's look at the peak vertical forces so we can sync both of these guys to impact. So we have a good idea of where they're at and measure them at the exact same points in their swings. So at this point, Lucas is generating a high amount of vertical for ground force at about the average time about when the hands are pocket high and the club shaft is vertical, or excuse me, horizontal, or just a little bit above, you tend to see peak vertical forces. Now you can see about the same thing. Kevin's already coming off that peak and coming down the slope and starting to decrease that vertical force. And you'll note how much spine tilt he has at this point in time. But those of you who aren't really geeking out on swing stuff, let's take, we'll just kind of, this is not his spine. Obviously this is this
Belt buckle along the spine, actually be back over. Oops, not very good line there.
Sacrum would be roughly there and then maybe that's a spine angle. And then we can kind of try to do the same thing with Kevin sacrum here, but you can see there's an obvious difference in how much his head is leaning away from the target. Now watch as we come down into impact, you can see that Lucas is much, much more on top of the ball in relationship to his spine. Whereas Kevin is leaning much birther back. You can see a big difference in their release points. At this point, you can see that Lucas has his hands much further forward. He's controlling the spin loft a lot more. Should we talk about an upcoming video? Kevin's left wrist is breaking down a little bit. It doesn't have the same hand forward position as Lucas. Now, none of that stuff matters just yet. So now let's see what really matters. What I'm interested in from an injury prevention perspective is what we call these double spikes or double peaks. Now, Kevin is not nearly as big of a guy as Lucas yet he's generating 286 pounds of force.
Whereas Lucas is only generating 250, but in terms of peak forces, it's much lower than the peak forces that Lucas generated. Now just a really simple understanding if you're a, this has done a large part of this is due to how much mass you have, how much weight, how much force you can generate through the ground. Lucas being a bigger guy is physically has the potential to have generate more force. But obviously Kevin being a small guy, he still generating a lot of vertical force, but the big difference is the secondary peak. To me, the reason is as I'm going to bring up a few more examples in just a moment, Lucas has no known injuries that I could find any back injuries related to his golf swing. Kevin missed a lot of golf due to back injuries. And you'll notice that the secondary peak is very close to the primary peak in vertical force.
Now, why does this matter? This is forced. It's going back through your body. So at this point in the swing, if we focus in on Kevin, watch his left foot here, you'll see it pivot. And then boom, when it lands and strikes again is when we see that peak in the vertical force. Now, where is that vertical force going? Well, what's going through your body. It's going through your joints. It's going through your hips, your legs, and most importantly, your spine as it goes back through. So you'll see in Lucas's swing. If we go back through the same thing, you'll see that he has, I'm going to talk more about the lateral forces and just a bit, but he's a bit more rotational and you don't see that big uplift of his foot. You see more of a rolling and rotational movement of the pelvis.
And so you don't see as big of a secondary peak. Perhaps these are directly related, perhaps they're not, but Kevin has had back problems. You can see if you watch on the right, his face on view, how much he starts dropping his head back immediately, that puts a lot more weight on the trail foot. You'll see, in this case at this same point in the swing, Kevin has 94% of his pressure on his right foot. And Lucas has 42% of his pressure on his right foot as you unweight that left foot. It's now going to come back down to earth, how you land on that foot can possibly in my estimation, put you at risk for back injuries. Now let's take a look. I want you to I'll keep Kevin's force up here. His vertical force appear and let's pull up another golfer.
Who's had back injuries. This is Justin Rose, and you'll see a similar trend let's sync them to impact. And so now, if we look at Justin Rose's swing, you'll see that he has also not quite to the same level of Kevin NAS, but another high vertical, second peak. And you'll watch his left foot. You'll see it spins out, but it doesn't have the big secondary strike where you know, Kevin is up on his toes and then has the heel strike of, goes from toda or ball of the foot to the heel and creates that big secondary peak. But both of these guys have similar looking peaks. Whereas Lucas had a very high primary peak. And then the second one was very, very low. One had back problems, one doesn't Justin Rose back problems. Let's take a look at another guy who has had back surgery as a result of his golf swing.
So Brian Gay now Brian's also a very short hitter, but generates a very high amount of vertical force will sync them to impact. And now again, you see a huge amount of vertical force, 378 pounds, but you'll see a matching secondary peak at 317 pounds of force going through his spine. When it's in a vulnerable position, you can look at his body at this point. Is that the best way for your body to absorb shock the best stacking of your joints, the best position for your body to be into observe absorb 400 pounds of force coming back through your left leg. Cause that's where it's coming through. Right? He's got 77% of his pressures on that side. And Brian has had back problems he's had back surgery are the secondary peaks issues that need to be seriously explored in the golf swing and are there ways to reduce them? Definitely. There are ways to reduce them. Are these direct you know, EKG indicators of future back injuries? I think they might be speaking with the guys at swing catalyst. They have a PhD biomechanics on staff, and I spoke to him about it.
Anecdotally, they have seen their instructors who are using
This, seeing their tour players who have these big secondary peaks complain of back injuries. But this is anecdotal, right? This is still in its infancy stage. But I think it's very, very important because I started experimenting with things in my swing that started leading to the same thing. So let's take a look at those. Okay. So let's take a look now at two different swings with two very different data traces, but similar results both hit the ball, great zero issue there. So I'll just kind of scroll through these really quickly and we'll start to kind of come back through and talk. So at the top, you'll notice an obvious difference on the right. I have a little bit higher hands. Obviously this is a little bit more flying, right, elbow kind of think maybe Freddy couples just without, as extreme of a flying right elbow, but you get kind of the same idea on the left, much shallower hands, my arms and the my hands and my shoulders are on a similar swing plane. Now let's watch what happens as I start down. The first thing you're going to notice is the right elbow. If you look at the swing on the right watch, how much my right elbow moves in toward the ball. So you're going to see that elbow move this way and this elbow is going to move this way. Let's take a look at that.
It's a pretty obvious difference there. And obviously at some point, the right elbow is going to come forward no matter what, but when you have higher hands, this is a throwing motion. And this is how the swing is classically been taught. Freddie does so many great ball strikers have this right elbow move in toward the ball as if you're trying to create a throwing motion. Now the swing on the left is not a throwing motion at all. Really. This is more of a bit of a push release, which I think that's a misnomer. I don't like that terminology, but I don't want to create any more confusion by creating more terms. So we'll just going to use that for now because that's a commonly understood term, but I'm not really sure how much pushing with that right arm is really going on. But we'll talk about that more as we go through this. So now the other thing I'm going to draw your attention to is the right hip note. How as I start down on the right, watch my right hip, go
Up and look at the left. Now on the
Left, I'm exaggerating the squat move pretty substantially, but I'll talk about that a little bit more later on, but the big thing is this right hip twist on the right is what I call this is when you're driving pretty hard, pretty aggressively with that right hip to start to rotate a rotation is a shallowing move this right elbow throwing and tucking back under is a shallowing move. And we need shallowing moves when we have high hands and there's lots of different ways to do it. You could look at Colin Montgomery, and he has a lot of lateral movement. Big lateral slide helps shallow out the swing, both are effective, but what prices are we paying? Are there issues in terms of what we're going to see in the data trace when you see the right hip going down and rotating versus the right hip going up and rotating?
Well, let's take a look. So now we can look at the vertical force on the right. You can see the clear double over here. So you'll see that I have a peak there and then it drops. And then when my spine is in this most vulnerable and uncomfortable position, luckily I'm just there for a split second in the follow-through just like everybody else we're in the release, but you can see I've got more than a couple hundred pounds of force going up through my body during that, that point in the swing. So now my body's vulnerable and I've got forest going up through there on the left at the same point in the swing. When I have maximum force going through my body here, I've got 200 pounds of force there and 170 here. So my vertical force has dropped dramatically on the swing, on the left versus the one on the right.
And there's no double peak. You can see I'm actually getting down to basically my body mass here, body weight, what's that's neutral which is measured me at 166 pounds. So my body weight was the same and both of these instances, but you can see that the vertical force is not double peaking. I'm not seeing these big peaks and I'm actually getting more vertical ground force peak on the left 243 pounds versus a 216. Does that allow me to be more efficient, generate more power? It seems to be that way. So the big thing is there are little tiny differences and how we shallow out the swing, how we power the swing, how we get the club coming down that can lead to really different data traces, but they don't look radically different or even radically wrong on video and can produce great results. But doing this thousands and thousands of times over many, many years, we could start to see that this could lead to a lot of back issues or hip issues or arms or whatever it may be.
But generally I'm concerned mostly about the spine. So what we're looking at in terms of how we're producing power and how we see that reflected in the data traces is what I'm really looking for. Because as we start to, I understand these double peaks going forward. I think that you're going to see more and more people paying more close attention to it's just like when track man came out, like, oh, what am I going to do? Measuring ball flight with this thing. And now everybody has a track man or a GC quad at some point, you're going to see, oh gosh, my back's bothering my hips bothering. Well, let's see what the force plates are saying because we can see things. You can't see a double peak on the right. If you just look at the video. And I said, okay, tell me when I'm experiencing a lot of force through my body on the right.
You can't tell. And versus on the left, in fact, looking at it on the left, I would say is more vertical force. Just looking out on camera, look at my left leg, straightening up my body, rising up as I'm pushing into the ground and on the right, it just looks more rotational, right? My just kind of stay in level. Well, you can see on the left, there's a massive difference. Yeah. And what's going on with my hip. So here's my BeltLine at this point in the swing. Here's my belt line. On this point in this swing, you'll notice on the, the right. It just kind of stays constant and on the, I dropped down and then go up. So you would think just looking at our video, that that would lead to a double peak, that that would lead to a different vertical force that we're seeing in the body. And it's just simply not the case. There are things on video that we just can't see. We don't fully understand what's really happening, but we can measure it with force plates. And this is going to be the future of golf instruction, understanding how to prevent injury.
So we just looked at two swings of mine that produced very similar results while with the exact same club, but led to two very different experiences for me. The, the one that I showed you with the double peaks was one I was playing with for a while. The summer I was pounding the ball with high and really able to generate a lot of speed out a lot of time to accelerate my hands, accelerate the club. And honestly, it was quite fun. I was when I definitely hit my longest drives of the year and I was murdering the ball, but I was definitely feeling a lot of pain and a lot of different pains in my body that I'll go through as we start getting more in depth in this. So what I wanted to see is, you know, does the old, that motion of going to the top with high hands and then really firing tucking that right elbow, you know, again, I kind of use Freddy couples as an example in there.
And he used to really get his arm way out here. He still does. And then really fire that. And it leads to a bunch of other issues. He had a lot of lateral move and then he had a lot of hanging back and this right arm tends to do that. As you fire this arm, your upper body tends to hang back. As you're driving laterally creates a lot of compression in the spine and has had back problems since 94, 26 years of back problems from his golf swing. And I wonder if he had, I'd love to see his force plate data and see if we can see some of these things going on, because I definitely see a lot of wonky stuff going in his swing that I tinkered with that would create some issues in his body. But at the end of the day, this stuff is still in its infancy.
We don't know what these double peaks and matter, you know, what do they really mean? We were just looking at this stuff anecdotally on the surface. And I do know other instructors who are working with tour pros, using swing catalyst, who are working to remove these double peaks in their, their students swing. So there is some movement, but it's very underground. A lot of people don't know about this stuff, and I totally understand that, but at some point it's going to be as prevalent as a launch monitor. I promise you, there's just so much stuff that we can see here that we can't see with the naked eye or even high-speed film. So at the end of the day, what we're really trying to do is just find the safest way to do it the simplest way to do it the fastest way to get there.
And so what I wanted to really start doing with the high hands versus low hand stuff is say, well, obviously high hands is you add elevation. Sure. There's more potential for speed because you have more time to accelerate the hands. It's a bigger swing, but unless you're going on a long drive tour, you don't necessarily need a bigger swing. You can still generate tons of speed as Tony phenol and John rom. And these guys do with really short back swings and really short you know, low hands in relationship to their body and just removing that elevation removes a lot of complication to the swing. Not saying they have to, but I'm wanting to find the most efficient way to get you to the promised land, to get you to the shooting, you know, hitting the ball like I do hitting the ball, like the pros hitting the ball better than you ever have.
And more consistently than you're ever have without putting your body at risk. So far, I have found that shallowing out the hands and removing some of these shallowing moves in the swing tends to make it easier. I certainly, I made swings where I could reduce it, reduce the double peaks and, and feel okay, but it still made my swing still felt complicated. I'm trying to get my arms to do this while my body rotation is doing this. And ideally I'd like for my arms and my body to work in more of a similar plane, it just removes complication. And I think that you'll find this just far fewer things that you have to work on or learn to build a really, really great golf swing. Now what those things are going to be don't know yet. I'm still testing everything. I'm wanting to see exactly.
If I add a lot of right side push, I just showed that right hip twist. As I talked about, I think it's a devastating move in Jason day's swing. I think it's a really, really bad thing. I think having lateral movement was one of the most painful things I did in my swing, moving more towards a very rotational centered motion, tended to reduce stress on my spine. I saw the data on the data traces. So these are the things we're gonna be looking at how much right arm can you add in the swing? You know, Freddy couples had a lot of right arm and he threw the club and then he actually released it and he let his hand come off. It generates a lot of speed. It's fun swinging like that. That's a really cool way to swing the club into the ball. I had a lot of fun doing that this summer, but I also started feeling a lot of pain in my thoracic spine.
So all of these little things that I'm exploring don't have the answers for yet. This is what I'm looking for. I'm trying to find the truly simplest fastest pathway that has data to back it up. I have launched monitor data to show like my angle of attack is very shallow. I'm hitting it on the screws more consistently. My arms feel like they're doing less. Every time I've ever made a swing, that felt truly effortless. My arms felt like they took a nap and I'm sure you've probably felt the same way. If you're swinging your arms hard and fast, it rarely feels effortless. So how do we get enough body power to get the swing, to produce enough speed without really firing the arms hard? That's another thing that I'm exploring. So how much right arm thrusts do we need in there? Or do we need any do how much?
Right side push versus left side pool versus right side drive on the leg left side, et cetera, and testing all of those things. And it's taking time, but eight months in I've refined it down to a very simple pattern. So far that is leading me down a pathway to shallower hands. I think it will be simpler for everybody to learn. And it's more consistent rather than saying, well, yeah, you can have your arms up here. If you have them here, you gotta add some shallowing oh, you can have down here. Oh, you can have them way up here. It's just too many variables. And it's just too much for the person to try and dig out of the dirt to find the answers. Oh, well, if my arms are way up here, how much lateral move should I take a wider stance? That'll help me shallow.
Maybe I need more access, tilted address. And so on. I'm trying to reduce all that stuff. I'm trying to make it simpler. So one of the biggest things is going to be shallower hands, I believe. But again, this is still a journey. This is a process I'm just inviting you to come along with me to show you the process of, of how I come to the conclusions, how I came to the conclusions that I have for the last 25 years, how, why I wrote the books that I did, why the videos that I did because each one was based on information for the tools that I had at the time. But now we have new tools. We have new ways of exploring swing the swing, and we have new great athletes that are coming out. They're showing simpler ways of swinging the club. And at the end of the day, I believe that's the trend you're going to see on the PGA tour.
You're going to see far fewer outliers out there. Of course, there's, we've got Matt Wolf, but if you look at Matt Wolfe's data traces, we have his swing catalyst data. It's very, very consistent with what you see on so many of the tour pros and especially in the vertical ground force, but it's still exploratory. So we're still looking for answers and I'm not going to stop looking for answers until I find them until I find the ones that I believe have enough data to support that this is the optimal way to do it, the simplest fastest way to get you there. So I hope this video answers some questions. You know, rotary swing has always been about centered rotation, very minimal lateral movement. I've always allowed a little bit of head movement, but at the end of the day, you've rotated, you've shifted and you could add a little right arm throw if you wanted, or you could just let your body whip the arms through.
I want to be more specific on that because I believe there's different things that you're going to see in the data traces that again, are injury issues or just inefficiencies, right? When we look at the data and we see somebody who has a really high, vertical ground force, they tend to swing faster. They tend to hit the ball harder. They tend to do it more so with their legs, which is more efficient. So these are the things going to be sharing in the upcoming videos. So I hope this helps clarify some things for you guys. And I look forward to sharing more with you in the future
Must be Premium Member to Comment
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)