- Hip Position at Impact
02 24 at 9:18 am #611227
I don’t doubt Alex can hit the ball 285, but he would not do it swinging like that. Just like a baseball player taking light batting practice would have less hip separation, Alex would have less hip separation with a light 7 iron. To hit a driver 285, hip separation would have to be higher. If you found a pictures/a clip of him hitting a driver 285, I think those pictures would tell a different story.
I’d love to see the video though. Also, I still have a long way to go in the program, so there is much left for me to see and learn.02 24 at 2:21 pm #612037
Nick – The only thing that I have on file that’s even close is a Tathata Movement Specialist swinging a 3-wood. The third photo in the sequence shows shoulders square and hips slightly open. Post impact the hips are more open but back foot is moving away from the ball. The back heel has not been pulled around from a massive firing of the hips. How far would you guess this 3-wood swing would hit the ball?02 24 at 2:47 pm #612182
Nick – Check out this post by the guy in the photo sequence above. Any thoughts about the “UNturned, square body” with respect to this photo?
Throughout his career @shark_gregnorman showed us how to support speed through impact at a world-class level. Intuitive to us in a game of tug of war, if we wanted to remain stable and in control we would, without question, squeeze to the center of our UNturned, square body.
A post shared by Vincent Johnson Golf (@vjohnsongolf) on02 26 at 10:16 am #617729
A couple of interesting photos there. I have a hard time seeing exactly where the hip rotation would be at impact from the side view, however (I encountered the same issue when analyzing baseball mechanics.) I really need to see it from a head on perspective to tell.
Not to try to give you a “moving target,” but current players are the easiest to analyze because you can find photos and slow motion video very easily, so as to not be deceived by one camera angle or photo.
Specific to your post, I can’t give a specific distance estimate that Alex hit that ball, but it does look like he is generating adequate power in those photos.
Nick02 26 at 12:44 pm #618376
Thank you for the great questions and comments here about the hip position at impact and what exactly is happening. The video below will discuss this in further detail and hopefully help answer these questions. Enjoy.02 27 at 8:46 pm #624016
Thank you for posting that video. I am just struggling with this aspect of the golf swing given the research I have seen in golf and other sports about hip positioning.
Alex said that Jack Nicklaus was “slightly open, maybe 10 degrees” at impact. Golftec’s SwingTru study found that Pros average 36 degrees open and a 30 handicap averages 19 degrees. They studied thousands of swings.
Using 3D motion capture software, Athletic Motion Golf came to the same conclusion, pros are significantly more open at impact than amateurs. While they just compared one pro to one amateur, they found the pros pelvis was rotated 42 degrees vs just 12 degrees for the amateur.02 27 at 8:59 pm #624059
And David, in regards to the tug of war photo, I think that the difference here is that in tug of war, you are applying constant pressure and need constant stability vs a golf swing which is an impact movement. If you were to try to pull the rope as hard as you could just once, would you stand facing the rope and pull? Or would you rotate your upper body as you pull? I think you’ll find very quickly that you will want to turn when pulling the rope just one time.02 27 at 9:13 pm #624120
Nick – I don’t think there are hardly any similarties between golf and tug of war. I posted it to note that Greg Norman didn’t have massively rotated hips. He commented “amen” to the post, which is found in the comments.
As for your stats above, are you suggesting causality with respect to minimal hip turn and distance? Statistics are tricky to use for drawing conclusions. Honestly, I’m not trying to be a tour player but I would like to have decent distance AND accuracy with consistency to boot. I don’t doubt that many/most tour players have massive hip rotation and spent a great deal of time managing it.02 28 at 6:02 pm #627063
Thanks for continued discussion here. I genuinely appreciate your desire to learn and your responses to my queries.
I’m not suggesting causality per se, but hip rotation is consistent across sports and consistent across studies of the golf swing. Tathata does not claim to have thought up a new system, but wants to teach the mechanics of the greatest golfers. If many/most tour players use this move, I want to learn to swing that way (and it was my impression that Tathata would be teaching me this swing). While I have no delusions that I’ll ever be able to play on Tour, I want my swing to resemble a Tour pros as much as possible; Bryan even preaches multiple times that this program will teach “world class mechanics.”
I have a few other thoughts, which have come together over the last few days, which I’ll try post sometime soon.02 28 at 7:19 pm #627442
Nick – No worries. Let me ask a different question. Are you suggesting that no great tour players today swing like this? If not, then would you accept that because one or more top PGA players (would top LPGA players count, too) hit the ball this way then it is a legetimate method?02 28 at 8:25 pm #627620
I have not seen any great players today swing like this, but I have not canvassed the entire universe of great players, so they may be out there (and I’d love to see them if you have an example).
As for it being a legitimate method; yes and no. Having at least one great use certain validates that those mechanics can be used to compete at the highest level. However, it would not necessarily convince me that those would be the best mechanics to learn. For example, the data suggests that Moe Norman was the most accurate ball striker of all time, but his swing was slightly unorthodox and not necessarily something I’d want to teach, just like you may not want to teach all baseball hitters to bat like Craig Counsell or Ron Gant or Tony Bautista for some examples.
Long story short, I’d love to see some examples of current players swinging this way; especially if you have some slow motion video of their swings.02 28 at 9:04 pm #627750
Nick – Other than the greatest players examples mentioned in the program, I do not have anything for you. Good luck with your journey to learn this great game!!!02 28 at 9:15 pm #627864
That is part of my struggle! The players mentioned do not have slow motion video and hip positioning is notoriously difficult to see with just photos. Also, so many of those players are from so long ago that I believe swing mechanics have changed to increase swing speed as the sweet spot of the woods has gotten larger and golf balls have gotten more resilient.
Best of luck to you as well!03 02 at 4:41 pm #634636
Thank you for the time and energy you are all putting into your training, we are grateful that you are part of Team Tathata.
To further clear up some of your questions about the hip position and role in the golf swing, here is a video from our founder Bryan Hepler:
Thank you.03 07 at 10:28 pm #653462
First of all, thank you Bryan for responding with your video. Very cool to see you take the time to do that!
Second, I’d like to share a little more about my background. Growing up, baseball was my favorite sport to play. My dream was to be a power hitter and although I went to camps, read instructional books, watched videos and of course practiced constantly, but I never developed any power.
Fortunately for my baseball dreams, I was able to find a coach who helped me develop some throwing prowess (using concepts similar to Tathata in that my coach broke the throwing motion down into smaller movements first). I was able to make my high school’s varsity team (no small feat at my high school).
The varsity coach taught hitting using techniques from Mike Epstein’s Rotational Hitting instruction, based on the work of Ted Williams. After my junior year (at this point it was too late for me to become a hitter, I was a pitcher only for serious competition) I won a competition at my local batting cage besting the #3 hitter at a JUCO. He was shocked to find out that my high school team never let me hit (not saying they should have, just that he that reaction).
Using Epstein’s methods, I was also able to hit multiple home runs albeit in completely meaningless men’s league games. The absolute jolt I got out those is one the absolute coolest feelings I’ll ever experience.
I walked on to a division II baseball team, but recognized that I needed to work smarter than my competition if I was going to get to play. I was up against much larger and older guys, many of whom were on scholarship. I was 6’3, but only about 145 pounds as a freshman.
I found Dick Mills instructional DVDs, followed his program and my fastball was able to reach 90 MPH while being the weakest player on my team, if not in the entire conference as far as weight room strength.
Common to both Mills and Epstein’s instruction is the whip or coil-like impact of having the hips turned with the upper body following to create torque, which provides the movement with power. So I’ve achieved some of what literally were my life’s goals using these methods. That’s why I was so surprised to see the hips parallel to the target at impact in the Tathata swing.
Third are my specific responses to Bryan’s video:
Semantics of Hips Turning vs Being Turned by Lower Body: Now, in the video Bryan posted, he talked about the semantics of the hips turning vs being turned by the lower body. I am not disagreeing on that point, so there is no contention there. My question is where are the hips at impact.
Number of Degrees of Rotation: I used degrees of rotation because the number is precise and concise; two of my favorite qualities of communication. I was not using it in an attempt to make the swing sound overly scientific. (By the way, the irony is not lost on me that I said I like concise communication in a very lengthy post).
Hip Rotation and Strength: As I alluded to above, from my baseball experience, greater hip rotation equated to greater torque, which resulted in better performance. I am still having a hard time wrapping my head around as to why no hip rotation equals strength, especially when I see it from so many golfers and had it work so well for me in baseball. I am open to the fact that there is always more to learn and I may be missing something, but this has not made sense to me yet.
Greatest Players Pictures: I searched for photos of the swing sequences of some of the greatest players and from what I was able to find, I saw all of them with significant hip rotation at impact, even Jack Nicklaus. Below are the links to what I was able to track down. Through my research into baseball mechanics, I found that looking at hip rotation can often be deceiving from the side, and a “down the line” view provides the best look, but really slow motion video is best. Sam Snead, Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus all had open hips at impact from swing sequence pictures I was able to track down. I was not able to find a picture of Tiger in 2000 because it was challenging for me to find a picture from that specific year, but I reposted a link to a picture of a young Tiger Woods with hips open at impact that was taken in 2001. I also threw in a photo of Greg Maddux at landing to show how his hips were turning towards home plate while his upper body was still facing third, ready to be whipped at a high speed towards home.
See picture 12 from link below:
See frame 17 from link below
Tiger Woods (picture on right is from 2001):
Impact picture only
I want to finish my comment by saying that there is much about the Tathata program that does make sense and that I have found very valuable. For example, the instruction on the backswing has already helped me tremendously. I have seen many physical therapists and read many books on stretching and mobility, but the runner’s lunge paired with the pigeon stretch has allowed my hips to feel better than they have felt in at least a decade (given this discussion, it is somewhat ironic that I have suffered from painfully tight hips for some time). Also, the idea behind working on these small movements and repeating them consistently is, in my mind, one of the absolute best ways to learn how to perform a complex athletic movement.
I say all this because I know disagreeing with someone online can come across as confrontational and that’s not my goal.
I look forward to hearing any further thoughts if there are any. I know this post was lengthy. If nothing else, though, expressing these thoughts in this manner has helped me with my understanding of the swing.
Nick03 13 at 8:27 am #672046
Thank you for sharing your background and history as an athlete. The deeper discussion on Day 14 regarding how the hips get moved by and along with the body is a great place to go back to and discover what you hear differently as you continue to build your body to move similar to the greats. Keep in mind at this place in your training we are referencing a stock 7 iron with stock shape and trajectory. Be open to learning how the body moves differently at different speeds and also to different shapes and trajectories. As you continue to build through the 60-Day Program and beyond you will see how the shot out in front will dictate the movement of the golf swing and how we move incredibly similar yet slightly different as we move to new outcomes out in front.
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