THE QATSPY GOLFER’S PAGE
By: Charles W. Boatright
Football scouts use several factors to evaluate an athlete’s performance for the NFL Draft at the Combine. But there’s one factor that stands out more than any other factor, the 40-yard dash. A 4.3 to 4.8 second 40 is considered an elite time for these players. Bo Jackson on the other hand turned-in a time of 4.12 for the 40-yard dash. The most significant component in the 40-yard dash is acceleration, rather than just speed. Even physical trainers work on improving an athlete’s acceleration using the core muscles or High Threshold muscles that are key in the first 10-yards in a 40-yard dash. The first 10-yards are how defensive linemen are evaluated to gauge how fast they can get off the line. An athlete who can run the first 10-yards in 1.5 seconds is capable of having a 4.3 x 40 time.
Acceleration is an important component to create force, based on physics of golf, where Force= Mass x Acceleration. This is what the long drivers are trying to create in their drives, acceleration instead of just speed. (Acceleration is the rate of change, while Speed is the rate of motion.) The golfer wants acceleration instead of just speed. Acceleration is produced from unhinging or un-cocking and unlocking of the wrists. This was something that Bobby Jones supported. Bobby Jones even noted during his videos how he cocked his wrists at the top of his swing. This is the reason why Jeff Flagg, the 2014 long drive champion posted a 365 yard, 20-inch drive, by understanding how cocking his wrists at the top is important in his backswing. At the top of his swing, Jeff moves the club shaft almost parallel to his spine. Acceleration component creates the SMASH FACTOR = Ball Speed/ Club head Speed. The smash factor for an amateur is about 1.20. Jeff Flagg and Bubba Watson have a smash factor of 1.52. Tiger Wood’s smash factor is 1.48. The MET-Factor stands for Mechanics, Ergonomics, and Technique. There are three Ergonomic elements consisting of Synch, Preset, and Yaw.
In The ESPY Golf Swing Coach, there are three focal points for the golfer to concentrate on: (1) Shoulders, (2) Dominate Elbow, and (3) The left wrist for the right-handed golfer to help preset the Thenars (Thenar and Hypothenar). The ESPY golf swing allows the golfer to use their shoulders and elbows to gain a significant mechanical advantage, similar to the sprockets on a ten-speed bicycle. The wristbands are used as a catapult, much the same way Jeff Flagg takes advantage of his wristbands, just below the wristbands on the boxing gloves. The catapult is a turbo-charged acceleration factor to create critical club head speed. Also, it is worth mentioning that Jeff Flagg played baseball at Mississippi State University. His background provides a direct correlation between the baseball-type swing and the golf swing, which is the basis of The ESPY Golf Swing Coach. The MET-Factor allows the golfer to take their baseball swing from the batter’s box to the tee box that Jeff proves very easily.
The right-handed golfer first Presets (CAM-OVER) at the wrist. It is important to point out the axis of this preset. The wrist is not where one would wear the wristwatch, this is the lower forearm. The wrists are comprised of eight small bones called carpals. The pivot point or TRIGGER AXIS of the Preset is a the carpal, called the Hamate, just over the head of the ring metacarpal as noted in the illustration below. This pivot or pronation of the left wrist naturally supinates to Synch or (CAM) the right wrist at the Lunate carpal called the LOCKET.
The Preset and Synch maneuvers, as noted in the above right illustration, allows the golfer to set two of the most powerful and dexterous muscles in the hand, the thenar and hypothenar. Just like NFL trainers use special techniques to increase the power and speed of their athletes at the Combine for the first 10 yards, The CAM-OVER and CAM techniques allows the golfer to dramatically take advantage of the two strongest muscles in the hand, or wrist, to synchronize and preset the elbows with the shoulders. A great way to think about the CAMMING-OVER and CAMMING maneuvers is let the flippers on a pinball machine represents the left thenar and right hypothenar. The right elbow and shoulders as gears on a ten-speed bicycle for the right-handed golfer.
The basic fundamentals in The ESPY Golf Swing Coach are based on presetting the wristbands and incorporating the mechanics of the small sprocket (elbow) turning the larger sprocket (shoulders) to create POWER during the takeaway swing. The downswing is where the acceleration and speed is created with the shoulders (large sprocket) turning the elbows (small sprocket). The approach in my book is also confirmed by Zach Allen, a PGA instructor at Debell Golf Course in Burbank, California, His article entitled Increase Your Smash Factor uses the same bicycle approach that I discovered in 2008. He uses a kid’s bicycle to illustrate how the sprockets work in the golf swing.
The sprocket mechanics that I discovered helped me to develop The ESPY Golf Swing Coach. I was able to independently confirm this during the 2011 World Series, when David Freese hit his game six, ninth inning home run. This golf swing technique allowed me to drop my handicap from 12 to 2, in nine-months.
Zach Allen noted in his article an excellent drill that will develop the proper muscle memory for presetting the wrists and elbows. For the right-handed golfer, take the left hand and grip the inside part of your right wristband, where the right thumb is pointing toward the right thumb, or where the left thumb is between the right thumb and the right Radial Styloid Process. Then, using the left TRIGGER AXIS rotate the right wrist, the right-handed golfer is able to preset wrists and elbows. This synchs the right elbow with the shoulders by locking the right elbow where the triceps muscles are next to or toward the right rib cage. This exercise is a perfect muscle memory builder for the golfer to use. This can be used even at your desk or workstation at work for ergonomic breaks.
Presetting the wrists and setting the right elbow completes 80 percent of the ESPY golf swing. This creates the Smash Factor that the golfer is trying to produce. Another significant point that Jeff Flagg made in his interview is to start the downswing by just dropping the arms to release the power from the shoulders and hips. Jeff commented that long distance hitters focus more on their upper body than their lower body to provide the majority of their power.
Once you learn WHY, you don’t forget HOW!
Until next time– Be Synched, Tee-to-Green, with The ESPY Golf Swing!