Perfect Golf Swing Review: A Critical Review of the Golf Swing
January 2015: I have added a new review paper called "Critical Analysis of Theories/Opinions Regarding Optimal Spinal and Pelvic Motion in the Full Golf Swing" to the miscellaneous golf swing instructional topics section below.
Click on any of the hyperlinks to rapidly navigate to the relevant section of this golf swing review website.
The modern, total body golf swing
Miscellaneous golf swing instructional topics - listed in reverse chronological order
- critical analysis of theories/opinions regarding optimal spinal and pelvic motion in the full golf swing
- 2014 update: revisions and refinements in my thinking regarding golf swing mechanics/biomechanics
- critical review: brian manzella's release ideas
- hand release actions through the impact zone
- critical review: "next generation with sean foley" dvd
- power mechanics of swinging, hitting and swing-hitting
- ball flight laws
- critical review: mike austin's swing methodology
- book review: the stack and tilt swing - michael bennett and andy plummer
- book review: the slot swing - jim mclean
- understanding the club release phenomenon - the endless belt concept
- swing analysis - world long-drive champion, jamie sadlowski's swing
- left arm swinging, right arm swinging and hitting
- causes and cure of a slice
- how to move the arms, wrists and hands in the golf swing
- how to power the golf swing
- head movements in the full golf swing
- jim mclean's triple-x factor - a critical review
- how to hit the ball straight - the essential elements
- optimal weight shift in the full golf swing
- how to maximise wrist lag and avoid casting
- the backswing and downswing hip pivot movements: their critical role in the golf swing
- glossary of wrist movements and P system of classifying a golfer's swing positions
This website consists of three sections. The first section is a free online review of the modern, total body golf swing. The second section is called "miscellaneous golf swing instructional topics" and it has many review papers on different aspects of the golf swing, and it reflects my latest thinking on the golf swing, with a major emphasis on golf swing biomechanics and golf swing mechanics. The third section is the swing video lesson section and it includes video lessons on different aspects of the golf swing.
Introduction to the main section of my golf website
I first started this golf instructional website in February 2007. At that time, the only section that existed was the main section on the modern, total body golf swing. That section comprehensively covered the traditional/conventional golf swing in a variety of different chapters (eg, backswing, downswing, impact etc.). Originally, the contents of my chapters was based on traditional golf instructional teaching as promoted by golf instructors such as David Leadbetter, Jim McLean and the "Swing Like a Pro" authors (Ralph Mann and Fred Griffin), and also on books written by professional golfers such as Ben Hogan, Nick Faldo, Tiger Woods and Ernie Els. The modern, total body golf swing style is simply the arbitrary name that I have used to describe the traditional/conventional swing style used by the majority of professional golfers, and it also includes the "classic" swing subtype (used by golfers like Phil Mickelson and Sam Snead who allow their pelvis to rotate more freely in the backswing).
Two major changes occurred in the years 2008 - 2009. First of all, I read Homer Kelley's book called The Golfing Machine. Homer Kelley had an unique, and very complicated, method of describing the golf swing in terms of its mechanics, physics and geometry. I think that many of Homer Kelley's TGM-ideas make much more sense than the vague ideas expressed in traditional golf instruction books. I subsequently wrote two major review papers summarising many of Homer Kelley's key TGM concepts - i) How to Power the Golf Swing and ii) How to Move the Arms, Wrists and Hands in the Golf Swing. I also subsequently started to revise my original basic chapters, so that they would include a great deal of TGM instructional material. Originally, when I started this golf website, my basic chapters were targeted at an audience of beginner/developing golfers. However, my revised chapters became much more detailed/complicated as a result of the many revisions that were made in the two year time period (2008 - 2009), and I now think that they are primarily useful for serious golfers (and golf instructors) who are deeply analytical, and who want to independently self-modulate their own swings.
The second major change that occurred during that 2008 - 2009 time period is that I increasingly focused my attention on describing the biomechanics of the golf swing. As a retired physician with a MD degree, and also a BSc degree with majors in anatomy and physiology, I believe that I know much more about human anatomy, human physiology and human biomechanics than all the famous professional golf instructors. I have used this knowledge to write a few review papers that describe different aspects of the biomechanics of the golf swing, and these review papers are listed in the "miscellaneous topics" section.
I am not a professional golf instructor, who is dogmatically trying to promote a single particular golf swing ideology. I am primarily a keen student of the golf swing and I am trying to understand all the different ways that a golfer can execute a full golf swing. My review papers are based on my personal understanding of different swing style patterns, with a major focus on detailing their different sets of biomechanical/mechanical principles. I have written a number of review papers that describe TGM left arm swinging, TGM hitting, and my personal version of right arm swinging and non-TGM hitting (using a reactive pivot action). I have also written critical review papers that dissect alternative swing styles (eg. S&T swing style, Mike Austin swing style) or controversial swing concepts (eg. Jim McLean's X-factor concept and the endless belt concept). Although I have been greatly influenced by Homer Kelley's TGM concepts, I have increasingly come to believe that his TGM concepts are too arbitrary and too intellectually-limiting, and I increasingly believe that he doesn't discuss all the ways that a golfer can efficiently execute a full golf swing. Homer Kelley only described two major methods of executing a full golf swing - TGM left arm swinging and TGM hitting. During the second half of 2009, I became increasingly convinced that there is an alternative method of efficiently executing a full golf swing that combines swinging elements with hitting elements - the technique of swing-hitting - and it contradicts Homer Kelley's belief that one should not combine swing elements with hitting elements in the same swing. I have subsequently written a major review paper on the "Power Mechanics of Swinging, Hitting and Swing-hitting" which I first published on my golf website in January 2011. During the year of 2011, I acquired (and refined) a number of new insights regarding hand release actions through the impact zone and I also originated valuable new insights regarding the usefulness of playing golf with an intact LAFW, and those new insights are presented in a new review paper on "Hand Release Actions Through the Impact Zone" which I published in January 2012. Finally, I have significantly clarified my thinking on the role of the right arm in a swinger's action and the limited value of parametric acceleration in the late downswing, and those insights are presented in a new review paper called "Critical Review: Brian Manzella's Release Ideas" which I published on my golf website in February 2012.
Website visitors may note that there are a number of contradictions in my expressed opinions regarding golf swing mechanics/biomechanics when they read different review papers, and that phenomenon is due to the fact that there is a continuous/ongoing improvement in my understanding of golf swing mechanics/biomechanics with each passing year. I have not always revised my "old" opinions expressed in my older review papers, and a website visitor should therefore look at the dates of publication/revision of my review papers to determine which is more recent (and therefore more accurately reflective of my latest thinking regarding golf swing mechanics/biomechanics). The review papers listed in my "miscellaneous topics" section are listed in reverse chronological order - with my most recent review papers at the top of the list, and my oldest review papers at the bottom of the list.
Introduction to the swing video lesson section of my golf website
When I started this website in February 2007, I didn't even own a video camera, and I originally had no intention of producing swing video lessons. However, I have subsequently come to realise that swing videos are a powerful teaching tool because it allows a beginner golfer to see the "body moving in space". I therefore started to produce a few swing video lessons in late 2007 on important swing faults and concepts. My swing video lessons are produced in a single session and they do not include any further editing. They are therefore encumbered by inadvertent statement-errors and incomplete descriptions. This website also does not have the bandwidth to host my lengthy swing video lessons, and I therefore had to divide each swing video lesson into many segments (each segment lasting <10 minutes) so that I could freely post them on U-tube. Most of my swing video lessons are not listed in this video lesson section, because they primarily supplement the information in my review papers, and they are therefore listed in the relevant review papers.
Viewers of my swing video lessons must realise that I have many physical handicaps (particularly spinal inflexibility problems due to spinal surgery, and a number of shoulder joint inflexibility problems). I am therefore not able to execute a full golf swing in an uncompensated/correct manner. Viewers of my swing video lessons must therefore ignore the many swing flaws present in my visual execution of the golf swing, and viewers must concentrate their full attention on my verbal descriptions.
Addendum added November 2012: All my swing videos were produced many years ago, and they are significantly out-dated so they do not represent my present-day opinions. I am presently disinclined to undertake the project of remaking all my swing videoes, and interested website visitors need to read my review papers to understand my present-day opinions on golf swing mechanics/biomechanics.
Personal golfing background
I only started to play golf when I retired in 2002. I couldn't break 100 for the first few years, despite a fair number of lessons from different golf instructors. I decided to independently study the golf swing in great depth in 2005, and I read numerous golf instructional books in 2005 and 2006. My knowledge of golf swing biomechanics/mechanics increased exponentially during the years 2007-2011. I have subsequently used that knowledge to self-improve my own golf swing. I am now playing to a 6-handicap and I frequently break 80 - despite my lack of athletic skills and physical inflexibility problems. My best-ever score for 18-holes is 70.
Goal of my golf website
My free (non-commercial) golf website is devoted to golfers, who are also deeply-analytical, and who also believe that they can self-improve their golf swing through an independent study of golf swing biomechanics/mechanics. I have received many appreciative e-mail messages from website visitors, and these e-mail messages have confirmed my "belief" that a motivated golfer can radically improve his golf swing and ball-striking ability - by acquiring a much better understanding of golf swing biomechanics/mechanics. These e-mail messages have also made me feel that the thousands-of-hours that I have spent working on this golf website has been a worthwhile, albeit labor-intensive, endeavour.
Revised introduction: November 2012.
Website design, text size, spelling, photos and copyright issues
I have deliberately chosen a very simple website design, so that this review will have a scholarly, book-like appearance. I have therefore decided to mimic the design, and functionality, of my medical education website's clinical problem-solving EM guidemaps
I frequently use hyperlinks in this review, and the hyperlinks will enable readers to rapidly navigate to a relevant section, or subsection, of the review. A reader merely has to click his "back button" to go back to the original spot in the review.
Although my website's design is simple, I have used my Photoshop skills to produce high quality composite photographic images, that should enhance a reader's ability to appreciate certain golf swing instructional points.
The text size is user-controllable and a website visitor merely has to use his browser's text-size control function to make the text size smaller, or larger.
A website visitor can even change the text's font style using his browser's font control function.
I have arbitrarily used both the "english-style" and "american-style" spelling of words, and I am very inconsistent in my spelling pattern from day-to-day.
Most of the photos come from books or magazines, while a smaller number come from screen captures of single-frame images from swing videos. I scanned the images from books/magazines using a high quality scanner, and I then imported the scanned images into my Photoshop program, where I significantly enhanced the photographic quality of the images to maximise their visual quality on a computer monitor screen. I also frequently blended two-or-more images into a single composite image using Photoshop. I also had to decide on a final image size, so that it would comfortably fit on the average end-user's monitor screen. Knowing that end-users have different computer monitor screen resolutions, I chose a final image size that would make the final image "not-too-small" on high resolution monitor screens (1600x1200), and "not-too-large" on low resolution monitor screens (1024x768). The size of the final graphic images cannot, unfortunately, be altered by the end-user to suit his personal taste. The visual quality of the photographic images is highly dependent on the resolution capability of an end-user's computer monitor screen, and good quality images will only be realised if the end-user has a high resolution computer monitor screen.
I believe that it is ethically acceptable for me to reproduce images from a book under standard copyright "fair use" doctrines, considering that this golf swing review webiste is a scholarly review website. My website is totally non-commercial and totally non-exploitative, and I have consistently acknowledged the source of all book-derived images in this review. Even though I have enhanced, or manipulated, some of the images, I fully acknowledge that the reproduced images belong to the original book authors/publishers, and not to me. I am confident that book authors, and book publishers, will not believe that I have unethically exploited their work, and I anticipate that this review may actually increase sales of their books. I will also consider honoring the wishes of any book author, or book publisher, who adamantly requests that I remove their images from my review, and I will then seek alternative images to make the same educational point.
I previously recommended a number of golf instructional books for beginner golfers. I have now decided to no longer recommend books for beginner golfers, because I now believe that they are far too simplistic and I think that they do not provide enough detail regarding golf swing mechanics/biomechanics.
I now sincerely believe that a deeply-analytical golfer will obtain the maximum golf instructional benefit by reading ALL of the chapters and review papers posted in this golf website, because they contain a plenitude of detail on golf swing biomechanics/mechanics. The amount of golf instructional material on my website would fill >1,000-1,500 letter-sized pages if printed, and I know of no other golf instructional resource that will provide a golfer with so much useful golf instructional material.
I have provided many links to external websites and U-tube swing videos in my review papers. I do not have the time to constantly check that those external websites are still functioning/operating. If an external link doesn't work, it is probably due to the fact that those websites have been shut down by their owners, or because the U-tube videos have been removed because they transgressed the copyright laws.
Salt Lake City, USA.
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org