Friday, January 25, 2008

"The "Shanks" in Hi-Speed Slow Motion

I've been bitten by the golf bug lately, probably has something to do with the fact that I gave up golf for two years when we lived in the city. So now we're out in the burbs, and am ready to start playing again.

When I worked at the club in PA, I was fortunate to have a head pro and friend, Will Reilly, get a hold of me and teach me everything I know about the game. When I arrived at Twining Valley, I had a "beyond" strong grip, and basically hit the golf ball like a baseball player, that hit the ball far, but it was because I de-lofted the club with a forward press and relied on a lot of hand-eye coordination.

As any serious golfer can attest to, going through a swing change to ultimately be a better player can test your love for the game. When Will taught me how the golf swing worked, I have to confess, I went through a period where I shanked the ball. For those who don't play golf, it's horrible. To folks who don't play golf, the shanks would be like loving to ride a bike, and then, all of a sudden, you get on the bike, pedal twice, and the bike tips over and you're on the ground. When you start shanking the ball, the ball basically goes sideways, to the point where you actually need to ask the people in your group to stand directly behind you when you swing so they get out of your "killbox" and don't get hit. It's horrible. The other option is to sell the clubs on eBay.

Point is, we spent a lot of time talking about what causes the shanks. CBS has this high speed camera that shoots 7,000 frames per second to show a golf professional's swing in super slo-mo. I've posted a video of Darren Clarke, who shanked a ball at a tournament when the CBS crew was shooting in slo-mo. You can see the ball hit the hosel, which ultimately answers the easy part of the question "what causes the shanks?" The harder part is that it's you, the golfer, and you have to ask the tough question, "what am I doing to cause me to shank the ball?" Golf is life in that sense.

I cannot thank Will, as well as Jim and Duan-o, enough, for teaching me the golf swing because they taught me everything I know about the game.

I've also posted Tiger's, Charles Howell, Ernie Els, and Sergio swings in slow-mo as well.

Darren Clarke's Shank



Tiger's Swing at Torrey Pines in 2006


Charles Howell's Swing -- Sneaky Long


The Big Easy's Swing, Ernie Els


Sergia Garcia's Ridiculous Lag

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

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