Results from Recent Minimalist Golf Swing Research – Part II

Some Exciting Results from Recent Research on the Minimalist Golf Swing – the world’s only anatomically efficient golf swing

Part II

While Part I was data collected using motion capture and force plates, Part II is based on comparing a golfer’s existing swing’s muscle activation patterns with the Minimalist Golf Swing patterns after a single session in the laboratory.

The muscles chosen for Electromyography (EMG) studies were all trail side ones (right-side, as all participants were right-handed): external oblique (EO); pectoralis major (PM), biceps femoris (BF), gluteus maximus (GM) and latissimus dorsi (LD).

While the names do not matter, the role of the 3 main muscles are:

EO rotates the torso; PM and LD pull the upper arm towards the body during the downswing.

Table 1

Calculations were made as a percent change from the pre-intervention to the post-intervention swings. It can be seen from the table that muscle activation of the EO and PM muscles was much higher than the participants’ existing swing during ALL phases of the swing. LD was less during the backswing (it is designed to not have a big role at this time) but contracted much more forcefully during the downswing, especially the early downswing. Thus the MGS is able to increase muscle activation for a more forceful swing. However, feedback from all 12 participants was that the swing felt easier on the body and the follow-through happened effortlessly.




The stretching of the three main muscles during the backswing probably allows them to contract more forcefully without any extra effort on the part of the golfer. At the same time, the MGS’s ‘weight’ which remains slightly forward of center during the back- and down-swings plus the lead hip not being ‘stuck’ allows a much freer through-movement of the swing and ease of follow-through.

Kiran Kanwar

  •   Developer of The Minimalist Golf Swing System -100% scientific, simple and specific
  •   BS (physics, math); MS (sports science, nutrition); PhD (biomechanics – student)
  •   Class A Member: the LPGA, The PGA (GB&I), The NGA of India, The PGA of India

Jordan Spieth – An Anatomical Analysis of his Swing

Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth – current number one golfer in the world. Great golfer, great human being!

This is an anatomical analysis of his swing, showing how even he can get still better with an anatomical solution.

You would find little of significance to  complain about with regard to his swing, using traditional means of assessment. With good timing, little things like the lead wrist position at the top can be easily undone during the downswing.

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The concept is totally different when looked at from an anatomical perspective, however. At the top, his trail shoulder is internally rotated and his hips are not level – the trail one is higher. Each golfer’s brain will have him undo these positions in any random sequence which is easiest for his body – during the process the world of traditional golf terms ‘transition’.

Jordan’s particular ‘undo’ style is to first drop down his trail trunk till his hips and knees are practically level. From this point, given the flexion of his spine, hips and knees, the hip joints get compressed and cannot rotate as easily as when the golfer stands tall.

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He then rotates his trail leg – thigh, mainly – a pattern often seen in junior golfers, who then typically retain that move for life.

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This push-off can be dangerous for three reasons: 1) whenever the trail thigh is pushed forward rapidly, it naturally takes the trail shoulder forward with it too, sometimes resulting in an over-the-top impact and a slice or a fade. 2) The hips do not have a horizontal-plane pure rotation, so they do not generate as much power-speed as one would expect for an athlete of his stature. 3) The push-forward of the trail thigh is also probably his body’s unique way of undoing the top-of-backswing internal rotation of his trail shoulder. 

The chicken wing in the late follow-through is also an indication of top-of-backswing shoulder internal rotation.

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The partial solutions for Jordan Spieth:

  1. Reduce the inhibition of the serratus anterior, trapezius (especially mid-) and rhomboids so the shoulder blades (scapulae) sit snugly against his thoracic-wall, to slightly help reduce internal trail-shoulder rotation

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  1. Do not push-off with the trail leg, keep the foot grounded until momentum pulls it off.

The complete solution for Jordan Spieth:

1. Use the Minimalist Golf Swing! All joints positioned perfectly at the top for an effective downswing, because with Minimalist the ‘top’ is the top of the downswing, not of the backswing, from which a ‘transition’ is required and is the most common time during which inconsistencies occur.

The MOST important thing about the golf swing

The MOST important thing about the golf swing

Regardless of anything else, the golf club MUST approach the ball FROM THE INSIDE.

NOT merely enough to strike the ball at it’s center, but on it’s inside right quadrant (for a right-handed golfer).

club arriving from the inside

To enable this, there are very many compensatory moves you can use, while starting down from the top of the backswing. You could slide your body towards target. You could drop your trail shoulder backwards. You could arch your spine…. And the list goes on. Your brain will figure out a pattern, to allow you (once you’re a fairly regular golfer) to arrive at the ball ‘from the inside’ – most of the time.

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                                                                                                       ARCH SPINE

However, when you are aroused, nervous, in unfamiliar surroundings, the timing, that is the ‘sequencing of body parts’ of your swing might change, and you will not make all of the compensatory movements you need to, to get from the top of your backswing to impact, in the limited time span of your downswing.

The ONLY way to arrive at the ball from the inside without any manipulating/compensatory/re-routing movements is to position your body at the ‘top of the downswing’, rather than the ‘top of the backswing’.

What on earth does that mean? That means, every joint must be placed so it is positioned for its role in the downswing.

So, the TWO MOST IMPORTANT body parts to position correctly are the trail shoulder and hip joints. The trail shoulder MUST be in external rotation and the trail hip level with the lead one, not higher.

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THAT’S ALL. You can, through trial and error, find positions that allow these two joints to be placed correctly, OR use the Minimalist Golf Swing, which positions ALL joints at the TOP of the DOWNSWING. Why do more?

Tom Watson with his closest ’employees’

Tom Watson with his closest ’employees’ – copy-pasted from the 2013 PGA Seniors’ Championship-

[To be followed by a review of “Tom Watson Lessons of a Lifetime II – new advanced lessons – 69 of them!]

Watch out for a new section on this blog – ‘reviews’, and add your comments too…

Did you know Tom Watson might not be as kind as he should be to his workers and not even know it? Tom Watson? One of golf’s last remaining gentlemen? Impossible you say. Well read on to see what his MOST INTIMATE workers say about him… (pics from 2014 Regions’ Tradition Championship)

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The “workers'” complaints:

Worker L5 to C1 and C2: “Hey you two love-birds up there. Stop moving around so much. It hurts. Remember, even though I’m way down here I’m the biggest one of all of you. I’ll just stop behaving if you mess with me.”

C2 (the lower one of the two ‘lovebirds’): “Hey big bro L5. Don’t be mad at me. I’m as stuck as you are. What can I do if C1 moves left, then right, then down…..”

T1 to T12: “Quiet you complainers…”

L1, L2, L3 and L4: “All you Ts. Shut up. You have those big ribs to protect you, how can you feel our pain…. OUCH! UGH! CRASH. Tom just rammed down hard on us for stupid old ‘impact’. L5, man up down there and please push down hard on that lazy guy Mr Sacrum and on Ms. Femur- she has lots of room to move about any which way. Let her feel our pain too.”

Sly old Ms Right Femur: Hey guys, don’t think you can pull the wool (I mean cartilage) over my eyes (my acetabulum, that is). I’ll just push at grumpy old Mr Right Knee. He can handle it. Here I go….. down, down, down…

Mr Right Knee: “You folks up there are so mean. I’m old and have taken a beating from all of you all my life. Stop bothering me why can’t you bother those underused forearm dudes and that silly elbow, why me all the…….OOOH, UGH, CRUNCH, AAARGH. Hey my twin bro, Left. How’re you faring?

Mr. (gossipy) Left Knee: “I did tell you Tom fired my upstairs neighbor Left Hip and REPLACED him, didn’t I? Poor guy, he’d worked so hard and been so misused for so long and then WHAM, just like that, he’s replaced. I tell you, it’s the fault of my downstairs neighbor, that little flibbertigibbet, pass-the-buck Miss Left Ankle. She never pulls her weight. She won’t even stay grounded for Tom’s backswing – but here’s a secret – boy do we all push down on her together at the start of the downswing. But Bro, I’m more worried about you. Our union is better than yours. The secret plan is to push all responsibility onto you guys for the downswing – I think they’re calling it the COUP OF THE DOWNSWING-REVERSE-WEIGHT-SHIFT. So, be careful, I hurt for you.

Mrs Right Elbow: “Right Knee. You’re just a complainer. I’m much smaller and far more sensitive than you’ll ever be, so mind your own busi…….. EEEEOWWWW.”





Make THIS your BEST-EVER Golf Year

In the new video with this title (in this blog, in the section ‘golf videos’) are some ‘helpful hints’ on what you might consider doing to make the New Year an exciting one for you – GOLF-wise.

Have posted several videos over the past few weeks which give a good picture of what you could do better, once you get a clearer idea of what needs doing, by watching all of the videos in the sequence described below (you could simply click on the links below; go to the ‘golf videos’ section of this blog where they pop up one after the other; or see them on youtube):


Over-the-Top GOLF SWING – Best Definition

Is YOUR golf swing a lot of BS?

How to hit your best shot – ALWAYS

Is YOUR GOLF SWING Over-the-Top?

Putting – A Pendulum-like Motion. Yes or No?



Club Positions vs Body Positions – The age-old debate

Club Positions vs Body Positions – The age-old debate

When assessing a golf swing, should one look at club positions or body positions? This is a battle that has been raging for as long as people have been swinging!

‘Swing the clubhead’, ‘swing on the shaft plane’, ‘don’t let the shaft be laid-off or across’, ‘make sure the clubface is square at the top’ are all club-positions thoughts a golfer might use.

‘Shift weight’, ‘rotate your spine’ ‘rotate your lead forearm’, ‘don’t have a flat shoulder plane’, ‘the spine should not early-extend on the downswing’ are some of the many body-position swing ideas that are commonly used.

Many teachers and players mix-and-match the two groups at will, usually based on subjective experience.

If one understands that all body movement takes place at the ‘joints’, and only a combination of body movements can position the club in space, one will never ever use club-position descriptions again. A ‘joint’, incidentally, is a place where 2 bones meet, and movement ONLY takes place at the joints. The important joints of the golf swing are the shoulder, elbow, forearm, wrist, hip, knee and ankle.

A case in point: a student recently said, “Whichever method I follow, yours or any other, I am always laid-off half-way to the top.”

Hellooo! The MGSS never uses such loose language as ‘laid off’. In anatomy it is called a medial rotation of the left (lead) arm, and is caused ONLY because the golfer had no MGS ‘twist’ at the start of the backswing, so had no room for the left arm to lift up (of its own volition, with no help from the golfer) inside (green lines second pic from left) the target line! The shaft lifts up ‘outside’ the target line, and so the lead/left arm must do something to bring the club back into what the brain senses is the approximately correct direction for a reasonable attempt at connecting with the ball!

Stack and Tilt and Sergio Garcia’s swing

Stack and Tilt and Sergio Garcia’s swing

The S&T folks named Sergio as someone who exemplifies what S&T is all about, (they show pictures of Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Johnny Miller in their backswings and all of them too have an S&T position halfway or so into their backswings). Even though those golfers did not know they had an S&T position, they all did.

So, Here are some screen shots from a youtube video. Any comments on Sergio’s positions? Let’s see what everyone seeing this has to say? From a swing-plane or joint-position or even color-of-his-apparel perspective!

Fading the Ball with the MGS

The Fade, MGSS Style.

The ‘fade’ shot requires a slightly out-to-in path, with slightly more body weight remaining on the back/trail leg, so that the net result is that the clubface opens through impact.

It is therefore not a normal MGSS shot. The basic MGSS shots (full-swing, pitch/bunker, chip and putt shot) will never allow the club to arrive at the ball from an outside path, which is created by a slight over-the-top downswing and thus produces less-than-ideal contact with the ball.

The adaptation to be made for the ‘fade’ should only be made after the set-up and backswing for a regular swing are easily repeated.

The only change to be made is that the golfer ‘twists’ less during the set-up. Or, as some do, twist as much as usual, then undo a bit of the twist.

A video has been attached with the same title, in the ‘golf videos’ section of this blog.

A draw is made by aiming the feet slightly right of target and shutting the clubface (as usual), and then using all the other features of the MGSS set-up and backswing. For those with a slightly forward ball-position (MGSS recommends center for all full-swing shots), that could be moved back a bit too, so as to be more centered.

This post especially for Mike Kenny.


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