Friday, 3 April 2020

The Controlled Draw Pattern in the Senior Swing. The Horizontal Guillotine Effect.

The Senior Swing Concept, as we have already know is being based on simplicity of movements that is so much required by seniors and body-handicapped golfers. There is no such a strong pivot present in the swing and less depth is prevailing. The whole motion is, therefore, more linear and shallow by default. Despite this we are capable to make the swing also automatic to a degree with help of some features described in detail in the Senior Swing series of articles including the YouTube educational video.
Unfortunately, a very negative consequence occurs -- namely, vanishing power and, thus, vanishing distance of hits which is very painful for less agile and older golfers.

Gardner Dickinson, one of the most famous Ben Hogan disciples, says in his great book titled 'Let'er Rip!': Never have I seen anyone control the ball as Hogan did during that period; it was beautiful to watch. A decent putter playing as he did from tee to green would have scored in the 50s almost every day [...]. One day he shot 61 and the longest putt he had for birdie, or eagle, was five feet. He could place his drives almost anywhere he chose [...]. The swing that produced Hogan's characteristic fade was developed when he was close to forty, and it continued into his mid-sixties. Slicing the ball as he did cost Ben a lot of yardage, and eventually he went back to drawing his shots. I asked him one day whether, if he had been able to control the draw, he would have played with a slice, and the answer was a firm "No".

The moral of the above story is very clear -- if only Hogan had been able to automate his pattern for draw the way he did it with the fade one -- he would have played draws as he would have gained some important extra distance for his shots. But he was not able to automate it the amount he wanted. Noone was able, let us be frank. Yet, when aging, Mr. Hogan decided to revert to draws as, which seems so symptomatic and sad in one, distance became more important for him than almost total automatism, repeatability and consistency of his fade swing. Honestly, I am 55 now and although I am not very short for my age and my imperfect body I noticed clearly my distances have shrunk considerably recently, especially after converting to my senior swing pattern.

The beautiful coincidence is that it is relatively very easy to control small push draws in the very pattern without any further timing-dependent modifications. We would even say that draws match the pattern better than fades (or at least almost straight delicate pushes). Moreover, we should not be afraid of hitting the ball fat (so typical with the desire to draw the ball) since obtaining a long flat spot even before the ball is not a mystery any more for us. As we know we need closed shoulders and increased spine tilt already at setup and then a limited pivot with depressed rear shoulder and then a linear trigger compression phase. We do not need to change anything after that, just to follow the trigger and swing on the outside-to-outside basis (please refer to the 'Bow Tie Concept' article).

The above diagramme shows from bird view the so-called Horizontal Guillotine Effect that is being required in simplification during the first part of the downswing from the top of the swing (left) up to entering the impact zone (right). The linear motion of the whole body (not only hips like in the Stack&Tilt pattern) is very easy, especially for RED golfers (this is another great feature as these golfers are in vast majority), and can happen without jeopardizing anything because of the increased axis tilt preset at address in the Senior Swing pattern that does not change during the motion. It is virtually impossible to enter the hitting area from the outside taking into account shifting this wedge-shaped body correctly and simultaneously knowing that we should not hit with anything below elbows since these body parts are for us the parts of the club system (please refer to the Automatic Shallowing via Sweetspot article). 

Now please look at this diagramme below:

If we enter the hitting area with such a wedge, so to speak, our lead side appears to be much "wider" than the rear one in the coronal plane which is great as it prevents from throwing the rear side to the outside. This "width" is also present because of our lead humerus sticking out in front of the torso (while the rear humerus stays rather behind the torso). We only cannot let the rear "thin" side to "widen" prematurely, as this leads to numerous problems with the execution of the swing. The best feeling that accompanies this idea is not only to try to hit with humera close to the body but also to "hit with the rear scapula". It is also very interesting for all rear side dominant players that, again, are in the vast majority. Powerful, yet still effortless, shots from the inside are the desirable results.

P.S. There are no pure examples of the Horizontal Guillotine Effect in tour swings of course, however, some great swings (especially of greats in their older days) show the linear motion of their shoulder girdle together with their head after transition; while looking at the below gifs simply imagine less rotation aiming at delivering closed shoulders line to the hitting area (without concentrating on head dips):