Discovering Your Throwing Style / Swing Type ???
After finishing the Head and Spine study for Igides GPS and discovering the four different swing or throw types It was for me as a long time golf teacher an epiphany. I had finally found an easy way to help golfers including you I hope to understand that there are are four separate and distinct swing or throw types and you'd best pick only one 😉
Completing the Head /Spine Study and then finding how I could put any swing into one of four separate types/ throws really was like finding the Rosetta stone for golf ... I finally understood what the golf hieroglyphics meant 😉
Just like Martial arts where you could learn Karate , Kung Fu, Judo, or TaeKwondo there is probably only one throwing type that to you will feel natural doing and not spend 10 frustrating years to learn.
How do you know which type of throw YOU should learn?
By clearly understanding the four possible choices you have and then deciding which one are you more likely to be able to do given your age, flexibility, athleticism, and most importantly time to practice and swear 😉
To help you figure out which throwing type you are best suited to learn and become good at we can break the four possible options into two main categories. They are 1) Are You a Hitter or a Swinger? and 2) Do you turn Simply or Dynamically
Lets dive into the First Question - Are You a Hitter or A Swinger?
What do I mean by that? If you're a Hitter you create your power and motion as if you were hitting a nail with a hammer using primarily your upper body , your lower body moves as well but it plays a supporting role only. I would say in my teaching career and watching just a few golf throws that 90% of all golfers are Hitters. Before doing my Igides study I might have said that was a bad thing. Having done the study though I found even in the professional golf population that 67% of them are hitters including tour leader Jordan Spieth. Annika Sorenstam is a Hitter. If you check the links I've provided you'll find countless example of hitters ... many with Hall of Fame credentials.
So what do I mean by being a Swinger? If you're a swinger you literally turn off your upper body and arms and create a whipping action starting from the ground up driving off of your back foots instep first. I rarely see swingers on the lesson tee.
Its a BIG decision to become a Hitter or a Swinger and for me as a teacher it relates to back health. A hitter doesn't put nearly the stress on their back hitting a golf ball that a swinger does. Its really why Tiger Woods has switched from being a pure swinger to hitter in the last several years. Way less stress on the back. It also explains why golfers like Phil Michelson have had such a lasting career just winning again last week at the age of 47 because he is a hitter.
Henrik Stensen (Hitter)
Jason Day (Swinger)
So once you've decided whether or not your a swinger or a hitter you have to decide which way do you naturally turn?
How do you turn? Simply or Dynamically? What do I mean?
Mark O'Meara Simple Rotation
Daniel Berger Dynamic Rotation
Younger kids that I teach and some adults but only about 20% of all golfers turn Dynamically.
I often teach people that are mixed up between throwing types driving their knees in too soon while their shoulders don't match the throwing type ... shoulders are simple turn .. knees and leg action is dynamic turn - conflict
Same for misunderstanding motion for swinging driving off of back leg but not swinging motion just out of position.
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In my study of these swings I really learned a lot and I want to share these insights with you.
Of all the professional swings 67% are hitters and do not use their lower bodies to produce power ( the lower body supports the upper bodies creation of power but that's it) (these would be the golfers I've grouped as SH's and DH's) Only 33% of the golfers studied use their lower bodies for power ( these are the golfers I've grouped as SS's and DS's) So if you're a natural hitter showing up to a lesson to learn how to drive your lower body first you're in the wrong place!
Most golfers I meet are hitters and will only learn to be a swinger with lots of work. I've found the path to do just that and its quite enjoyable but its a lot of work and you'd better have a very healthy back 😉 Based on my study I was shocked to find 67% of the professional golfers as hitters considering I had always believed ( incorrectly - more of that " You don't know what you don't know stuff) so there's absolutely no reason for you to believe you won't be a great golfer just hitting instead of swinging.
Also because there are four separate styles of throwing lots of things you and I have heard over the years now make sense.
If you're a swinger whether that's a SS or a DS your grip pressure is closer to 2 out of 10 as your body is creating a whip with your arms and hands just lightly holding the club. If your a hitter SH or DH your grip pressure is naturally higher and more like a 6 out of 10. So again my telling you to lighten your grip pressure when you're a hitter and not a swinger would be wrong.
Simple Hitters and Simple Swingers naturally will have the ball position farther back than Dynamic Hitters and Swingers at set up. ( Less rotation and earlier impact point)
Largely because of the amount of rotation Simple Hitters and Swingers will have similar positions at impact even though it will feel vastly different getting there as one is firing their lower body (SS) and the Hitter is not ... and the same comparison can be made for Dynamic Hitters and Swingers ... their impact position is entirely different because of the additional rotation so their impact position is NOT the same as Simple Hitters and Swingers..
From my own experience and study I have also found that Dynamic Hitters and Dynamic Swingers are the most accurate golfers and if you look at the grouping in my study you'll see plenty of examples. BUT its not easy to change your flexibility ( perhaps over time) and you're probably already either a natural Simple Turner or Dynamic Turner.