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“You need a fantastic memory in this game to remember the great shots and a very short memory to forget the bad ones”.
– Mac O Grady

Tiger Woods recently announced he had hired Chris Como as his new swing consultant.

This comes off the back of him firing Sean Foley a few months ago. Why? who knows! But what I do know is Tiger is a student of the game in the true sense of the word. If there’s some new research going on, or some new information out there – Tiger wants to know it.

That’s why he teamed up with Sean Foley a few years ago. At a time when Mike Bennett and Andy Plummer were sharing their research with the world, one of their students had built a big enough brand to have the best player in the world hunt him down.

At the start of his DVD “The Next Generation” Sean Foley thanks Mike Bennett and Andy Plummer and others, for much of the information and knowledge that he has acquired.

A little history

Mike Bennett and Andy Plummer used to work closely with Mac O Grady. Mac O Grady was a PGA Tour player back in the 70’s and 80’s, winning twice, before eventually becoming a teacher and starting MORAD (Mac O Grady Research and Development). He holds golf schools out in Palm Springs where he lives and famously coached one of the best players of all time in the 90’s Seve Ballesteros.

Mac O Grady was a student of Homer Kelley’s ‘The Golfing Machine’ book, first published in 1969, with the last edition being published in 1981.

Another firm follower of ‘The Golfing Machine’ include Bobby Clampett who published his book ‘The Impact Zone’ in 2007. In this book Bobby Clampett talks extensively about the fact that he had the swing figured out – largely through his relationship with Ben Doyle, the first authorized instructor of ‘The Golfing Machine’. But when he started to listen to other well known instructors who told him that his ‘lines’ and ‘angles’ were not correct and had to re-make his swing all over again – he lost his swing and his game along with it.

Steve Elkington – two time major winner – also talks extensively about the many things he learned from Ben Doyle, who teaches in Monterrey, California. Some other notables Mr Doyle has coached over the years include – Paul Azinger, Curtis Strange, Tom Kite, Johnny Miller, Bernard Langer, Gary Player, Charles Howel lll and many more.

Another well known name in the world of golf is Top 100 Teacher – Brian Manzella. Brian studied under Ben Doyle back in the day and famously helped him to ‘stop flipping’ through impact.

I recently drove down to New Orleans to spend a few hours with Brian at his base – English Turn Country Club. I went to see him because..
1. I wanted to pick his brain a little..
2. I wanted him to give me the low down on my move.

I found him to be super knowledgeable. He’s been doing this way longer than me so everything that came out of his mouth I took as solid.

It was Notah Begay, Tigers long time friend that found him his new coach in Chris Como. He’s been doing some very exciting research along with Chris Como, other teachers and PHD grade bio mechanics experts on the golf swing.

He explained how during the backswing the pressure under the right foot should reach about 70%, and a stretching of the right side is necessary from the right foot all the way up to the right ear. Then on the follow through the weight should be forward with a stretching in the body from the left foot to the left ear.

This made a lot of sense to me as I spent this year proving to people that although we want the left leg to flex and the right leg to straighten a little during the backswing, and also use the front leg as an anchor in a counterbalancing action (something most amateurs don’t do)- the weight should still be predominantly under the back foot.

This I think is my only issue with the S&T system. It’s all based around keeping (stacking) the weight on the front leg – but doesn’t mention enough – the fact that the weight has to load under the right foot to push off that foot coming down.

I also think I understand why…

Once you start telling masses of people to load the weight under the right foot and then move it back over the left foot before impact – it causes many people to sway laterally to the right. This is no good if you want to hit the ground in the same place every time. The hips and the head will tend to sway laterally to the right, and loading into a left sided impact position within a couple of milliseconds becomes near impossible.

Ground Reaction Force

If Chris Como is going to continue to spend time around the most famous man in golf you’re going to hear a lot more about ground reaction forces. Como, who’s finishing up his masters in bio-Mechanics at TWU (Texas Womans University) is studying under Dr Young-hoo Kwon-Ph.D.

Dr kwon claims that “much of what is taught in the golf swing is plain wrong”. So his idea of the golf swing and in particular what people are calling the “Kwon-Como pivot” is basically a rebuttle to some of the Stack and Tilt information.

From what I’ve learned so far – and it’s still early – some of there study is based around ground reaction forces. Which is basically the force the body puts into the ground.

What I particularly like about this information is how it’s making us pay attention to our feet. The feet need to feel as though they are rooted to the ground and they “pull” energy up and out of the ground. If you watch many of the PGA Tour Pros, including world No 1 Rory Mcilroy – you’ll see just how he uses his feet to operate his strong pivot (body).

Dr Kwon has some kind of lab set up in Denton Tx. Below is a video of Grant Waite strapped up in his lab. Notice the tiny white dots stuck on his body to detect motion and the pressure plates under his feet.

But of course, is this new Kwon-Como research really new?

I wrote an article a while ago about ‘Foot Pressure in The Golf Swing and the Difference Between Feel and Real’ the guys at Medicus Golf (who include Chuck Evans – who trained under Ben Doyle, first authorized instructor of ‘The Golfing machine’) made a great video about what really happens under the feet during the swing.

NOTE – Tiger Woods said that Grant Waite has one of the best swings in the game. Listen to the commentary in this video. Dave Wedsyk clearly states that Grant Waite Feels like he keeps his weight forward, but actually increases his weight under his back during his backswing.

The low down

We have two legs so we should be using them both.

The historic problem when teaching people the golf swing has been explaining the transfer of weight. Most amateurs simply don’t get enough weight forward at impact. This I think (even though I’ve never spent any time around Mike Bennett, Andy Plummer, Mac O Grady besides from reading and studying their excellent stuff) is where the left sided (stacked) setup originates from. The idea is to keep the weight forward and swing the hands inward – to attack the ball from the inside every time – and produce a consistent low point past the ball – job done!

My issue with this new Kwon-Como pivot is that masses of people are going to start loading excessively into their right side again and not get the majority of their weight back onto their left side at impact. So the info they put out has to be spot on – and to their credit, what I’ve researched so far is good stuff. The idea of pushing down under the right foot and stretching the right side of the body up to the right ear is a great way of explaining extending and tilting the spine during the backswing. Something Mike Bennett and Andy Plummer explain extensively in their teaching.

I believe S&T is designed to make the masses play the game better. The Kwon-Como pivot is simply a rebuttle stating the truth about what actually happens in a good golf swing.

A Simple Solution

We all love it when a politician comes on TV and admits to being wrong. We also respect them for it, and kind of trust them more going forward.

All Mike and Andy (S&T) need to do it get some of their top guys (Charlie Wi, Troy Matteson, Brad Faxon) on some pressure plates and present their findings. Just mention the difference between feel and real, and they are out of the dark. Mention that all their PGA Tour player feel like they have their weight a little forward at the start and during the backswing, but because of the right leg straightening and the pressure this causes under the right foot – in reality there’s a little more pressure under the right foot.

There’s also the question of power! and with so much emphasis on the front leg in S&T most think it affects the amount of power one can produce. But this is certainly not the case with Troy Matteson who averages over 300 yds.

In defense of Mike Bennett and Andy Plummer (S&T) I think their book and fundamentals they teach are spot on! And if you’ve read their book “The Stack and Tilt Swing” you’ll be blown away with the amount of data and hard evidence shown of tour pros producing the same moves they teach.

I also speak from experience – I’ve always experimented on myself and the info from books such at S&T and TGM have proved their weight in gold. I only wish I could find more information from Mac o Grady. Perhaps a nice introductory email and trip out to Palm Springs is called for.

Do I believe we should be counterbalancing (flexing/sitting) into the front leg during the backswing? YES

Does this mean there’s more weight under the left foot during the backswing? NO

Should the right leg straighten during the backswing? YES

I’m going to spend some more time with BM (he’s very likeable) and hopefully get in front of Dr Kwon soon. So thank you for being a reader, subscriber and member and as always, I’ll pass along the info when I get it.

Feel free to leave a comment below..