This excerpt is from the section of the book entitled “Acquiring the MGS Golf Swing”. One of the most difficult concepts to get in the MGS swing is to truly allow the lead arm to function as the radius and controller of the swing while keeping the MGS set. In this drill I help the golfer feel and see this before proceeding with actual club work.
Acquiring The Isolated Lead Arm Feel
Perhaps one of the most difficult things to get with MGS, has to do with the movement of the lead arm. With MGS the lead arm is the radius of the swing and controls everything in the golf shot. So it is very important to make sure that we make a backswing and a downswing that does not hinder the lead arm from performing its function.
Because there is no turn in the MGS swing all we need to do to make the backswing is let the lead arm rise up along the wall of our chest. (some traditional golf instruction calls this “swinging along your body line”) However, because of old swing habits and different styles of swinging there is a tendency for the golfer to “add something” to the lead arm rise. There is also a tendency for the trail arm and shoulder to become overactive in making the backswing( like is taught in the first part of the Blueprint). So to counter this we will first learn how to let the lead arm swing up and down WITHOUT CHANGING THE RELATIONSHIP OF OUR TORSO AND TWIST THAT WE ACQUIRED WITH OUR SET UP. Let me say that again-we want to swing our lead arm such that the relationship-the tilt and twist of the torso-does not change.
Again, we will do this without a club and all we are going to do is take the MGS set up as described above, and then lift our lead arm up until it is about the 10 o’clock position. We are going to maintain contact of the lead arm to the chest and simply swing it up and swing it back down. Here is what the backswing looks like:
Notice that the position of the shoulders, head, torso, and hips remains relatively fixed. Don’t worry that my lead arm is bent – and it doesn’t matter if yours bends or not. Also notice how my lead arm shoulder is still way in front of my chin and that I am not twisting or rotating my forearm at all. I am just lifting it up and then I will be swinging it back down. Notice that my backswing has not caused my head to raise or a change in my feet and legs. Finally, and this is the most important point - see how my right shoulder is still below and behind even after I have swung my arm to the top.
All that’s left now is to make the downswing and you will see that as I start back down my right shoulder is still in the same place, a very happy place I might add as it is staying out of the swing! Here it is:
Notice how similar the look is in the downswing compared to the same spot in the backswing. Take particular note on how little the position of the head, legs, hips, and torso/shoulders have not changed. This is the true isolated lead arm swing that makes MGS different. Practice this lead arm isolation for a few hours/days until you can make the swing without changing the positioning of the head, shoulders, and torso tilt.
Do this slowly at first making sure you are meeting the objective of not allowing the right arm shoulder and side to become active and that you are not changing your MGS set by swinging your lead arm too much or too forcefully. Just lift it up and let it fall back down.
Once you are able to do this, the next progression is to add your trail hand to your lead hand at the top of the swing. In doing so you are preventing your trail hand and arm from interfering with the backswing/lifting of the lead arm. (This is in direct opposition to what is taught in the first part of the Blueprint where the trail arm performs a strong bicep curl and aids in completing the turn of the shoulders and the back swing.)
Practice adding in your trail hand at the top of the swing and swinging down for a few hours/days so that you begin to feel how the right hand is “just along for the ride”. After you’ve done this for a couple of hours you can then add in your right hand to the left at address and make the same swing. Just make sure that you do not pull or lift the lead arm with your right hand.
Once you have acquired a sense of, a picture of, and a feel for how the isolated lead arm works, you can begin making some slow-motion swings with a club in your hand. Because you are already using motor neural pathways that have been installed since our earliest days on earth ( how to swing our arms) – It’ll be a simple matter to feel the correct swing of the arms and the learning acquisition process will be very rapid.
So let’s get on with it and add a club to the swing acquisition process.