Nick Watney announced today that he is going to sit out rest of 2016 season because of lingering back problems. At the age of 35 he is another victim of the “Modern Swing.”
The so called modern golf swing advocates teach keeping the left heel planted on the back swing which creates a shorter back swing and more torque on the upper body and back in particular. The advocates say it is more consistent and more powerful. As it turns out the major result seems to be premature back problems.
More and more knowledgeable instructors are moving away from it and back toward the more classical method of lifting the left heel naturally and letting the knee flex in.
There was a recent blog about this that was quoting Bobby Jones on how the golf swing had evolved:
“The first difference I note is in the length of the backswing and perhaps in the speed of it as well. In my day and before, the virtues of a long, leisurely swing had come to be fairly well accepted. Writers and players alike extolled the value of rhythm.
I still think the long, leisurely swing is best for the average player. I think he should always try to make certain that he gets the club back far enough and that his change of direction at the top of the swing should take place in a leisurely manner, because nothing can so upset his timing and execution as hurry at either of these points.”
“I let everyone judge for themselves, but I will point out that we don’t know how long Bobby could have played at an elite level because of a chronic disease of the spinal cord. Sam Snead won golf tournaments in five decades. We all know how long Tom Watson Has been playing at an elite level and his back swing is slightly longer than Jack’s. Nicklaus was still winning majors in his forties but has had hip replacement as a result of an accident in 1963”
We all know how well this worked out for Tiger!
If you use the modern golf swing or especially if you have children using it you might want to rethink that. If you don’t believe me then pick up a copy of Brandel Chamblee’s new book “The Anatomy of Greatness.”