This blog is dedicated exclusively to the truth about Golf Swing Mechanics. And to Homer Kelley: the ‘mad genius’ who spent forty years researching the golf swing. The nature of content is intended to be technical, along the lines of Kelley’s book The Golfing Machine. Anyone who has gone down this technical rabbit hole of the golf swing is welcome!
In the last blog ‘The Takeaway’, I shared my workaround and interpretation of Homer Kelley’s Right Forearm Takeaway. An interesting variation is the Right Forearm Pickup – done by cocking the wrists immediately and picking up the club with the connected right forearm. The pickup motion is a fanning motion initiated at the connected right elbow. This quickly swivels the club; the club-head and club-handle exchange places. I can then feel the club travelling up (with its handle pointing down) till it reaches the top of the backswing. If the wrist cock is not done in this deliberate manner, then the wrists will cock gradually all the way to the top and the sense of “handle down” will not register.
The downswing is initiated when the left shoulder comes under the chin. The downswing can then be initiated as a pulling (drag loading = pull), hitting (drive loading = push) or throwing motion (drag loading + drive loading = pull + push) against a firm left side.
The early/immediate wrist cock is very useful to execute a snap release, where the hands are pulled down in a straight line to an aiming point on the delivery line as if there were no release at all. This retains maximum lag and has a very small release arc /release interval.
I have tried to make practical sense of Homer Kelley’s guideline to starting a Hands Controlled Pivot. He says that true Hands Controlled Pivot must start with the Right Forearm Takeaway. This is because it is the Right Forearm that paddles (actively or passively) into the ideal three dimensional impact – forward, downward and outward.
However, in practice, I have found that I have not been able to complete the shoulder turn if the backswing is initiated by the Right Forearm Takeaway and the right forearm is monitored. The solution, as I have discovered, is to initiate the backswing with the Right Forearm Takeaway but monitor the Left Arm as it rises up and above the chest to the level of the left shoulder socket.
I took up golf in 2011 immediately after I took a sabbatical from my corporate career. I asked myself the question: If I had all the time and money that I needed, what would I choose to do? It was thus that I decided to follow my heart and took up two passions – writing and golf. I began to study the art and science of writing and, likewise, the art and science of golf. I made steady progress in writing, but the same progress eluded me in golf. The golf lessons I took left me completely confused. I would address the ball with a squared-shoulder, squared-hip and squared-feet stance and be completely clueless as to what to do next. The coaches politely declined to get into details about the science of the golf swing. Golf is a simple matter, they said, why make it complicated? Either they did not know, or didn’t want to share. Either way, I found myself at a dead end. My hacking on the golf course was not acceptable – I had to do something about it. And it was thus that I went deep into the rabbit hole of golf swing mechanics.
For six years, I explored and experimented every which way I could. It was Homer Kelley’s ‘The Golfing Machine’ that gave me the initial direction. I discovered the secrets of golf one at a time, but the secret that enabled everything to fall in place was the my discovery of the precise and quantifiable nature of shoulder rotation enabled by lower body joints. My course of study was like pursuing B.Tech, M.Tech and PhD all at the same time. B.Tech was finding my own swing. M Tech was understanding in detail all the different types of swings. PhD was decoding the greatest swing of all time – the Secret of Ben Hogan’s Perfect and Automatic Swing. My study culminated with the release of the book ‘Crouching Tiger Hidden Hogan: The Sixth Lesson’ in October 2016.
I continue to be a passionate student of golf, and it will be my endeavor to share my past, present and future insights with you in these blog pages.