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Viewer Mail--Op Ed
#19

February 16, 2000

JL is a PGA professional on the East Coast. He recently ordered the Golden Swing Thing™. He is down in Florida this winter playing on some mini tours.

TS:

I stay with my best friend down here who is a 4 handicap and who has never really had a "breakthrough". It is mental and he has never broken par. After reading your article, "Mushin at the Masters", I passed it on to him and insisted that it might help him. He read it, went out and played the following day, scoring each shot in the round with only Mushin and Suki. Guess what? He shot one under and is bouncing off the walls. Thought you might like to here something positive.

Thanks

JL

TS:

Have really enjoyed some of your articles.

Question? I only started to read your thought and theories. One question I have is how does one learn or teach a swing without thoughts. Some instruction must preclude in order to achieve the true swing and a state of mushin.

JL

JL:

How does one learn to swing without thinking? I'm still working on that one myself! That is the million dollar question  ;~ }

I believe it was Jim McLean who said, "it's all about letting go." The thing that allows you to let go is different from what allows another to let go. I believe that it is deeply involved in the perception of art and beauty and the interconnectedness of all things. It's about moving to a place where everything is right. No question means no observer. No observer means total experience. Total experience means oneness with the moment.

You said, "Some instruction must preclude in order to achieve the true swing and a state of mushin." Yes! And that instruction should be this: before defining a pattern of motion, we must define motion PERIOD! The pre-existing condition of motion is that, for stability to be realized, it must be fully connected to the center of the body. And corollary to that, it must change directions within a sphere of
movement so as not to disturb the connected-ness....tic-toc, tic-toc.

TS

TS:

I received the device, and have spent a couple of hours playing with it. I'm a little confused with some of the exercises, but I can see how working and understanding our center can help with all swings. I've shared some of your articles with ______  _______ (golf magazine top 50 instructor, for whatever that's worth). I consider him an excellent instructor and he is very open minded. He's found your material to be very interesting. I will contact you with some questions about the exercises. Streaming video would be a huge plus. In the meantime possibly an inexpensively produced video with each stick may be an idea. Anyway, which exercise were you refering to in the "Clarifying the notion of walking" article when refering to the "counterfall theory"? This is of great interest since it deals with a problem I'm having. I know more questions will follow.

JL

NOTE: Although JL revealed the name of the instructor to me in the email, I refuse to publish it without asking permission.

JL:

The exercise is a simple demonstration of the "gear effect". Take the Swing Thing with open hands and begin the "Object Awareness Exercise." Keep the pendulum stable, and do the toe to toe thing. Then move into the turning on the "T" exercise, as described in the third group. (These exercises are described in the Product Web) If you track the tether ball as it moves in a stable back and forth motion, you will notice that the tether ball spins around the axis of the tether line in the same direction that you yourself are spinning. Of course, being connected by a leather string, the tether ball will lag somewhat. As you move back and forth, the winding and unwinding action of the tether will make it appear as though the ball is spinning in the opposite direction of your spin. The clubhead, having a "harder" connection, will not lag as dramatically. It will gear to the right on the backswing and then gear to the left on the downswing.

I use this demonstration to deflect the criticism of a naysayer. He was convinced that the swinger must consciously open and close the club face during the back swing and downswing respectively. Here is a link.

Thanks for reminding me about this. I had intended to post something about this in the product web. I guess I got distracted and forgot.

I guess my whole argument with the counterfall is that the severity of the counterfall is dependent on the velocity of the clubhead. A "pro speed" swing will require a greater counterfall than an "amateur" speed swing. And diving into the whole matter gets the mind all gunked up. It just eats up time. This will cause a disconnect from the True Center.

See the Gravity Golf review

Lee also leaves out an important factor regarding the power sources of the swing. Motion is itself a power source of the swing (Newtonian laws). Once motion commences, it reduces the responsibilities of the physical power sources. Once the phase space is entered, the properly phased motion is responsible for the stability of the next point of space-time.

How does the counterfall relate to the problem you are having? Can you be more specific about the problem you're having?

TS

TS:

Thanks for replying. I am presently working with ______ ____ (name withheld) and he uses a machine that tracks your center of gravity throughout the golf swing. When on the machine, during the transition stage, my center moves towards my toes. This causes me to move closer to the ball, I shorten and constrict my left arm to compensate, and a series of problems occur. Last night I read "Clarifying the notion of walking" and to sum it up in one word, "fantanstic". I really loved your statement that golf is played from the heels and hips, not the toes and knees. Great stuff! In addition the concept of everything below the waist moves away from the ball and everything above moves towards it, was probably one of the best lines I've read (and I read everything). I went out today and practiced then played. By using the above thoughts, and setting up more towards my heels, I actually felt my lower half rotating and moving away from the ball, while my arms whirled towards and through the ball. I felt my left arm extended through impact. This is a first for me (my handicap is about a plus 2), so I'm no beginner. I beleive I experienced my first "swing" and what swing feels like. Very exciting! Leads me to 2 questions. Can you suggest a step by step way for me to setup to the ball (preshot setup) to help me consistently find my center and stay off the balls of my feet? Also which exercise with the stick can be most beneficial to me for this problem. Thanks again for your help and keep up the great work.

JL

JL:

______ ____ sounds like a very interesting person--someone I would like to meet someday.

As far as specific setup instructions ... well, I'm not a technician. WALKING and WAGGLING are about as specific as I can get. And no two people do those two things exactly the same way. The difference between a Ray Floyd waggle and a Nick Price waggle is astronomical.

Without actually watching you swing, I can't really make any assessment. To do so would go against everything I believe in. If I were to guess, I would say that you are trapping your left hip sightly. Pull your left foot one inch more open and spot the ball a tad more to the right of the target line (in your mind's eye). I'm not talking about ball position, you know. (OK, now I'm going against my grain. I'll have to stop).

As far as exercises with the stick: You may find that slow motion exercises with a weighted club to be more beneficial in this particular situation. The Swing Thing works on the principal of lightness. If you can stabilize the pendulum with the Swing Thing, then it will take even less effort to stabilize a heavier object (clubhead). The Swing Thing works the Center outward and a heavy club (like the Momentus) works the periphery inward. My suggestion would be to work the stick (without the pendulum attached) into various rowing movements. Get the rings working in a concentric fashion. Find the Center!! Then swing a weighted club and try to keep the hands as dead as possible. Feel as though the Centre of the Center of the Center is moving the clubhead.

When you have this problem of your center moving toward the toes, what is the shot pattern....draw or fade?

Keep this in mind:

If it is fading, it means that you have begun the transition BEFORE the motion has comlpeted WANING (result: short and weak to the right). If it is drawing or pulling, it means that you have begun transition AFTER the motion has completed WANING (result: long and strong to the left). This applies to all swings, even putting.

TS

 

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