That dreaded SHANK – is NOT MGS!

The Shank and MGS? They’re not related or even good friends!

Someone who has been very happy with MGS so far, sent an SOS email to say he was suddenly shanking the ball.

It is IMPOSSIBLE to be swinging MGS and making a fade, even, let alone a vicious slice or that dreaded shank.

So, what is a SHANK? It is a shot that results when the shank (just above the hosel) of the club connects with the ball, and this happens – always – because the right upper-body starts the downswing, out of sequence.

If a golfer has made the set-up twist of MGS, and then simply lifted the lead arm upwards (not ‘out’ and not ‘in’), then the arms drop and the hips rotate all at the appropriate time, so the right upper-body never comes into the picture.

If a golfer is trying to be MGS-like and has it almost down pat, the only thing which might make him/her shank the ball is if his lead arm goes ‘in’ instead of ‘up’ and takes, along with it, the entire body along in a rotatory movement.

Remember, MGS wants ‘no wrist, NO TWIST’ – the twist is over before the backswing begins.

Many are insecure lifting the lead arm straight up, because they fear that it will either be an all-arms move, or will move their lead arm outside the target line at the start of the backswing.

Well, as long as the right side remains lower than the left, the body IS harnessed at the appropriate time during the downswing, so MGS is prevented from being an all-arms move. As long as the trail shoulder remains twisted behind, the lead arm lifting vertically ‘up’ is always inside the target line, needing no further ‘inside’ movement. In other words, the MGS ‘up’ is always ‘in’ so avoid any more ‘in-ness’!

Chipping off uneven lies

How should the club approach the ball during a regular chip shot, in order to impart just enough height to to the ball for it to safely clear the green; land; and then run all the way to the hole? (in terms of the ball flight laws – especially path and angle of approach).

How, then, should the club be moving differently, if the ball is on an uphill lie (ie. the lead foot is higher than the trail foot)? Such a lie is common, as many greens are crowned and slope upwards. More importantly, how should the club NOT be moving?

Sometimes a lot of shots can be saved simply by knowing what the club should do and what is a definite no-no, when the ball’s lie makes one stand on uneven ground. Then one simply has to move the arms correctly in order to deliver the club appropriately to the ball.

Any suggestions?

When does a Swing Move change from OBJECTIVE to SUBJECTIVE?

When does a Swing Component stray from Objective to Subjective?

Objective, with respect to MGS, means that it works for every golfer, every time, which is fairly easy because the same movements are being recommended to all. Even then, some thoughts/feelings that individuals might have to get themselves into MGS positions might be those that work only for them.

Some ‘subjective’ examples. A long-driver student some years ago responded to my telling him to ‘make his left arm rise steeply up the chest till it hit some part of his face’ by saying, ‘oh, you mean I should kiss my bicep – now I get it’. So, as swing thoughts/feelings/concepts went, I thought it’d be a good one, and asked another student to try that as an idea for raising the left arm steeply up. She promptly puckered up and dropped her head down to reach her arm – but she was trying to ‘kiss the bicep’! So, that swing thought is a subjective one, one not worth passing on.

When people say ‘keep the head down’ (like Jack Nicklaus’ coach told him to) or say ‘let the head lift like Annika does’ they are both diametrically opposite concepts, which one is correct? From an MGS perspective, neither. As a result of the MGS twist, the head moves as well (sometimes if people are unable to remain in MGS posture during the backswing, I’ll have them tilt the trail ear very slightly towards the right shoulder, in addition). The head should simply stay where it’s at, until well past impact – well behind the ball, not over it.

Finally, lots of people ask what they should be doing during the downswing, “How can one have no downswing thought at all,” many will ask, and say that it works better for them if they push their hands or hips or legs or whatever. So, will reiterate once again, ‘do nothing’ is the only and best downswing thought to have and if at all a swing thought is mandatory, it would be ‘keep the head in it’s position of address’. That is the only one that works – for every single golfer.

Do you have any funny ‘kiss the bicep’ type thoughts that did not get the results you’d have liked? Or conversely a way-out, quite subjective thought that worked well for you? Do write in, would love to know.

The Minimalist Golf Swing SYSTEM what it encompasses

The Minimalist Golf Swing SYSTEM – what it encompasses

The MGS SYSTEM (as presented at the World Scientific Congress of Golf 2012) is not merely a swing method or style or even a scientific yet unorthodox way to make a full-swing.

It is the world’s only 100% objective golf swing system* which results in an ‘ideal’ shot, time after time, with very little scope for error. The ‘ideal’ shot could be any one of:

– Full-swing (straight with maximum possible distance and ideal trajectory)

– A true-roll putt

– A very reliable chip shot

– A high, soft pitch

(Shots such as fades, draws, pitch-and-run, bunker shots, cut-shots, shots with extra backspin would all be derivatives of the 4 basic shots).

Incidentally, ‘ideal’ implies that the ball will always travel straight; the club will always arrive at the ball from the ‘inside’; and with each club’s loft appropriately presented. The only variables which would change would be the width of the swing’s arc for ball height, and the speed of the club for ball distance.

The objective three-step procedure is:

– How should the ball travel (high or low, minimum or maximum distance?)

– What club positions will make the ball travel as required? (swing arc narrow or wide, swing speed maximum or minimum?)

– What body positions at address and during the backswing will allow the club to be returned correctly to the ball, time after time?

The MGS SYSTEM works for any skill-level of golfer – man, woman or child – who would like better ball-striking with less scope for injury.

* The MGS SYSTEM is termed the world’s only 100% objective golf swing system because although most good golfers and golf instructors will use the first two steps, never before has enough research been conducted to develop the third step.

MGS and the Junior Golfer

MGS and the Junior Golfer

If you have a child/grandchild you’d like to casually introduce to golf without scaring them away for life, the ideal way to do it is introduce them to the Minimalist Golf Swing.

Why MGS? Even a 5 year old understands success and can tell that hitting worm-burners while the doting parents say ‘great shot’ and ‘fabulous swing’ is not golf!

MGS helps them get the ball into the air so easily, they’ll be golf-lovers for life. A good goal for very young beginner juniors is for the trajectory of their shots to be their own height (or more).

Here’s how you can simplify MGS for the junior golfer:

1. Simply start by having them place a hand on their trail-side waist for a few seconds. Tell them that that side is never to be higher than the lead side (left, for a right handed golfer), no matter what.

2. If they’re old enough to be able to read a watch/clock, tell them to swing 9 o’clock to 3 o’clock only. OR ‘sleeping-line’ to ‘sleeping-line’ (a term teachers use when teaching early writing patterns).

3. I draw a circle around their feet and call it the ‘magic circle’ and that the swing will only be good if they keep their feet in the magic circle forever! Translated to adult-speak, that means no lifting either foot off the ground.

4. Don’t fuss about set-up, grip and other such things, they need to see success NOW. Have them take a few practice swings, then go, don’t give them any more instruction, just let them do it! (see the picture and question below and send in your replies – hint: it’s NOT about set-up basics)

If they’re already golfers, getting them to MGS is a question of priority, one step at a time, so they see improvement at very session.

PS: Thought about adding still more useful information for junior golfers, but there is so much to say, where to begin (club selection, left-hand or right-hand etc. etc.)? So, it’s going to be a case of ‘ask and you shall receive’. There are so many visitors to this blog these days, but all they do is read and not interact.

So, do keep the posts coming, or email me with whatever name you’d like published and I can post your questions/comments!

The Pre-shot Routine

What is the pre-shot routine and why does it matter?

It is different things to different people, and can be used as both a physical check-list to make sure none of the important steps of the set-up are unintentionally omitted, and as a mental routine to get from the planning stage to the playing stage of the swing.

People have even researched the pre-shot routine, and much has been written about it. It is also said that each step of the routine should have a specific purpose and any extra idiosyncratic parts should be removed.

It is a very important part of the MGS (may be seen in the ‘MGS what it is’ section of this blog or in the ebook DIY (do-it-yourself) GOLF.

The MGS pre-shot routine ensures that the golfer’s distance from ball, height of hands, ball-position and width of stance never vary. Its more center-tending ball-position facilitates the ‘twist’ (which in turn facilitates an easier MGS backswing).

Many golfers incorporate the twist perfectly, but then, somehow, lose much of it just before starting the backswing. It is important to ‘stay in the twist’ at the time of the start of the backswing. It could be either looking at the target after twisting, making some waggle or just getting comfortable that gets a person un-tiwsted before takeaway.

If you have any photographs of how you look JUST BEFORE START OF BACKSWING, please send them so we can post them here for the benefit of all visitors to this blog. If you have any ‘extra’ bits to your pre-shot routine that what MGS suggests, tell us what they are and why you incorporate those extra ‘bits’.

Recommended Reading

Please splurge on a copy of the May 2012 issue of Golf Digest Magazine. Why? See the section on ‘birdies and bogeys’!

The Chip Shot – a la MGS

The Chip Shot – a la MGS!

What exactly is the chip shot? It has variously been defined as:

A lofted shot in which the ball travels further along the ground than it does in the air. OR

A short, low-trajectory shot played to the green or from trouble back into play – the shot of choice when a putt is not possible as a result of an unpredictable surface immediately in front of the ball. OR

A low trajectory shot played to the apron, or green, or around the green, in which the roll is longer than the carry.

Bottom line: the ball must get a bit of loft – just enough to clear any ‘trouble’ and then run on the ground just like a putt does. It should therefore be made with a CLUB which gives it the minimal loft required and a STROKE which keeps it running after it lands.

If the ball has some amount of ‘check’ after it lands (created by imparting extra spin on the ball), instead of just roll, the shot becomes unreliable and unrepeatable, as the amount of backspin the ball gets can vary. So, as usual, the idea is to keep it MINIMALIST and make as simple (and putt-like) a stroke as possible. The shot is described in the ebook DIY (do-it-yourself) GOLF in detail, but here is validation for why it should be kept simple.

Ever since the dog-wagging-tail theory, people “rotate their bodies towards target and finish tall”.

They often hinge the wrists in the backswing too. Wrist-hinge is a small sin – not ideal, not MINIMALIST, but not unforgivable, if the golfer is somehow able to have straight wrists during the follow-through.

However, the stand-up-and-turn finish is absolutely absurd.

Why? The clubhead is (hopefully) approaching the ball from the inside (yellow line) so that it can square up in time for impact. Now you suddenly start to move the arms and hands ‘inside’ the target line and stand up in preparation for ‘finish’ too. Can you guarantee that you do all this after and not before impact? Time after time? Whenever split-second timing is required in golf, things become less consistent. So many joints to be moved, so many muscles to be triggered into action by so many nerves, all in perfect sequence! What’s wrong with straight back and straight through chip shot (with efficient joint-placements the MGS way).

PS: no doubts, I hope, on MGS being ‘la’ and not ‘le’.

Test Your Understanding of MGS

A great response from Bill. Have replied with useful TO DO thoughts in order to get into the positions suggested by Bill.

And a picture from the new MGS-er himself:

Test Your Understanding of MGS

Calling all MGS Practitioners. Test YOUR understanding of MGS, and, at the same time, help a rookie MGS-er ‘get-it’.

Tell this golfer what he should do with his 1. Set-up 2. Backswing to be swinging MGS. Post comments here.

Also, the easiest, most pain-free way to ‘get’ MGS is to have it personalized for you – check the ‘learn MGS in a day’ section of this blog, and visit St Louis this summer to become fully immersed – painlessly – in MGS.

OR even become MGS certified, so you can teach as well as swing MGS (for both full-swing and short-game) – see the section on ‘get MGS certified’.

The Minimalist Golf Swing SYSTEM

The Minimalist Golf Swing SYSTEM

For those MGS followers who believe MGS is all about the full-swing, it is NOT. The Minimalist Golf Swing System basically assesses the body position which will deliver the club to the ball at impact, according to the type of shot the golfer wishes to make, (ie. straight-far-high or soft-high or soft-low or quick-roll depending or whatever is desired) and then recommend swing/top-of-backswing positions which make correct club delivery easy and effortless.

A new section ‘mgs short game’ will discuss many short-game concepts and answer any short-game questions.


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