Cross pollination 'tween golf and baseball

Re: Cross pollination 'tween golf and baseball

Postby eagle » Sun Oct 03, 2010 2:26 am

hawg 1 said:

In baseball, there is no equivalent to golf's "opening the club face." None at all.

Probably the first thing a young hitter hears when a coach hands him / her a bat is "keep the trademark pointing at your face. That way you'll hit the ball with the strongest part of the bat."

You strive to keep this alignment; It's the first thing ya check when ya take your stance. And the last thing ya feel before ya pull the trigger on a swing.

The alignment doesn't change. At all. Ever.


imagine a baseball bat, lying flat on a table. Spin it round so the trademark is pointing straight up toward the sky. Then take a good solid grip, you really can't over do it.

Now cock your wrists up, so the bat is pointing straight up, like a mast, or a flag pole. At this point, the bat's trademark is staring ya right in the face.

Now rotate just your torso and shoulders, so your back is pointing more or less at the pitcher, you are looking at him over your lead shoulder, and your hands are more or less hidden from his view behind your trailing shoulder.

Most importantly, the bat's trademark is now pointing more or less at your trailing side ear.


This is just a question. If the batter is in the ready position, once the pitch is thrown, the he will stride towards the pitcher with his lead foot, and the bat will drop from vertical like a flagpole to horizontal like lying on the table. The right elbow comes in and down towards his naval a bit I think. Won't action cause the trademark(clubface) to "open" somewhat ?

Another aside, we have mentioned before that Sam Byrd, "Babe Ruth's legs", made a very successful transition from major league baseball to professional golf, and Bobby Jones said he had one of the best swings, and apparently Hogan spent time with him culling some swing thoughts. (see below) So it can be done.....but it apparently is not automatic.

This from Dec 20 . 2008 on GLFWXPosted 20 December 2008 - 04:19 AM
magnum184, on Dec 19 2008, 09:01 PM, said:
In the Nick Seitz interview, Hogan said he rotated the club like a baseball bat. The faster he rotated it the further the ball went. Or, something like that. Nevertheless, like a baseball bat was the reference he chose to use.

Sevam, would you elaborate on why Hogan chose the baseball bat as an analogy ?

BTW, I don't remember seeing you mention the baseball bat. What's the catch with the bat? And why would the ball go further if it was rotated faster?

Thanks.



Well this is the "tripping the shaft" part I get into in the last chapter.

If someone can show me how to move from a cupped position to a bowed position and vice versa without roating the shaft I will kiss their a**. You cannot execute a proper plane shift either with power without rotating the club to one degree or another at some point.

When you go from cup to bow at the bottom of the "free ride" the club has to rotate. It is the act of moving from a cupped position to a bowed position that for a brief moment precisely aligns the shaft, thumb wrist and forearm and then puts the right hand and arm in the proper position to push. This is what creates the "Boom!" when Hogan enters the hitting area. The faster you move from cup to bow the more speed moves into the clubhead because the hands and arms must move faster also to keep up with that rotation and the more "violent" for lack of a better word that moment of alignment is. Basically the faster you move from cup to bow at the bottom of the free ride the further the ball goes.


In a passive release the hands turn too. In Hogan's action, however, he was deliberate about that little move at the bottom of the free ride and he told us as much in his talks with Seitz and also when he gave the automobile steering wheel analogy to George Peper in about 1985 I think it was. In a passive release you will feel it happen or feel it try to happen. When Hogan felt it trying to happen he went hard with it and turned the handle agressively into alignment. That is why he was so frighteningly fast at the bottom. It is not a timed event. You feel it trying to happen and you go with it hard. Once you turn the handle with the left hand it is time for the 3 right hands. You have to have those 3 hands just to keep up.

This is the same move a baseball player has to make to drop the bat into position to hit a low outside pitch. In golf, however, all you hit are low outside pitches.

The talk about the similarities between baseball motions and golf motions no doubt came from Hogan's lessons and talks with Sam Byrd. Hogan took some lessons from him in 1945 right after the 1945 PGA Championship when Byrd came second to Nelson. This would have been around the time that Bobby Jones called Byrd the finest ballstriker in the world. Hogan also talked often throughout the years with Byrd by phone. You should note also that Ted Williams and Ben Hogan met and would have discussed the similarities in technique between their respective sports.

Magnum, if people have been following the blog and videos they will begin to see that I touch on all of the relevant pieces of the puzzle.

If I had talked about baseball and such at the beginning of all of this before I had shown and proven other things to people I would have got laughed out of the forum. The truth is that Hogan has always told us exactly what he did but nobody has ever seemed willing to listen to the whole message.

"Say what you mean and mean what you say!" That was Ben Hogan.

Sevam1

Finally, do Rats even play baseball??? :lol:
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Re: Cross pollination 'tween golf and baseball

Postby eagle » Sun Oct 03, 2010 4:41 am

More thoughts:

I think the reason this is such a brainteaser is that the opening and closing of the clubface can be influenced by TWO things:

1 the elbow/inner right forearm (critical) . As the elbow seeks the naval on the journey down, the inner right forearm will face skyward.

2 the wrists( noncritical).

My thought is Graeme McDowell and Dustin Johnson have a shut clubface at the top due to the left wrist being curled under (not critical), but their inner right forearm faces the sky coming down, and the shaft is thus flattened on the journey downward....and this is critical.

The inner forearm can face skyward at the end of the free ride, but the clubface may be shut if the wrists are twisted counterclockwise ( left wrist curled under).
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Re: Cross pollination 'tween golf and baseball

Postby lagpressure » Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:57 am

How you initially grip the club is going to affect this also.

I remember playing with Corey Pavin and the first thing I noticed was how weak his grip was with both hands. I have never seen a top player with such a weak grip in both hands. We see a lot of weak left, strong right... and strong left, weak right, and of course a lot of strong left and right, but you we don't see a lot of double weak grips.

No surprise that Pavin also is about as open at the top as anyone I have ever seen. If he were double weak and shut at the top, this would put him virtually void of forearm rotation. But instead he fully rotated it open and cupped the wrist, and this gave him full range of motion to work his hands and forearms through the impact arena. He learned to curve and shape the ball better than anyone I have ever seen play the game hands down.

It's interesting with Pavin because he does this with a huge shoulder rotation, but very low rotational speed. This allowed him to really feel what the clubface was doing at all times with a maximum range of motion and the slower rotational speed then allowed him to use his hands more steering away from forward shaft lean which gave him a higher trajectory shot that had more time to shape itself in the air. Obviously a great way to play golf.

If you look a Pavin stills, you might think he would be a very long hitter, with this massive turn, and tons of leg action.. but in person watching him, you see all that but at very slow rpms.

I can only speculate here, but I suppose that when Corey experimented with rotating faster, the weak grip became an issue and wouldn't support an increasing clubhead speed to his liking.. and the idea of changing his grip I'm sure felt too extreme to go down that road. He would basically have to revamp the whole thing.. and why mess with success? I wouldn't.

To keep this on topic.. who might be the Pavin of baseball?
Rod Carew?

pavin.jpg
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Re: Cross pollination 'tween golf and baseball

Postby Range Rat » Sun Oct 03, 2010 3:44 pm

Hey Eagle.....Of course rats play baseball. Where do you think the phrase "digging for home" comes from!

Interesting topic going on. When I am motoring the ball to my liking, it sort of feels baseballish in a way. Holding shaft flex past impact in some ways is like a bunt...in which there is no wrist roll over. In baseball, or hitting a Titleist, the flattening of the bat or club is really an attempt to not have the shaft/bat follow the directional rotation of the body to soon...to give it space to get through from the inside. The shaft does follow to the left after impact but is due to the strong pull of the rotational action, which counters the feel of the shaft wanting to go away from us during firing. For me, it all boils down to how one uses and/or harnesses opposing forces present in either baseball or golf.

Interesting visual.....rats in stirrups! :lol: RR
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Re: Cross pollination 'tween golf and baseball

Postby BomGolf222 » Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:41 am

As ever, lots of thoughts, and I know I'm not going to get to all of them but I'll get to some of them. Cheers, Nick, I'm glad that some of the chat has helped- it certainly helps me to get thoughts out there to see them in the light of day. There are such fine lines between feelings, concepts, and reality, that it's important to see similar views put into different words or formation. Sometimes there's a danger of going down the road of semantic argument, but I really do believe in the value and importance of words and the pictures they create, which is probably why it takes so many of them to try to capture the ridiculously short periods of time it takes to actually move a golf club from shoulder to foot level, or wherever else. There's a madness to it all that I'm not unaware of :? But it's so much fun!

It doesen't feel open, as much as "Loaded"


This is a key element of what I'm talking about Hawg1, and this 'feeling' is different than it just 'being open', this might be close to the 'stretched' feeling I'm talking about. It's a question of pressure and where the pressure is applied. If there's no pressure then it's disconnected and it has to be reconnected. You don't want to pressure the shaft too much as it's dropped or placed or laid or shoved, etc. etc. however you feel it or describe it, onto the motor or rotation prior to active acceleration, but it has to get done one way or another. And if you do use rotation to accelerate the club, and constant acceleration as we all seem to be in agreement on, is the goal(though I've discussed some of my differing views on this before), then the reality is that you're essentially always running away from the club face. IF, and it's a big if, if your believable achievable goal is to maintain pressure on the shaft, then the face never closes to your rotation. My point isn't THAT you keep it open, it's HOW you keep it open. Nowhere do I recommend closing the face to the rotation prior to impact.

Lag, it would be a funny kind of irony if I thought you were being argumentative by disagreeing with me disagreeing with you- honest and open discussion of ideas is always good, and I'm always open to it. As I was saying to Hawg1, I'm not sure if or where you guys would read me recommending closing the face or having the face closed to the rotation prior to impact, it seems to me, like I said above, that the discussion is about how to maintain it's open nature late into the strike, not that you do.
In my view there are always questions, and ways to improve a theory, but you do have to hang your hat on something at some point and commit to it. I think that's how life works in it's phases.
I obviously don't know the modules, I've seen two of them that people have posted, and as you say, your commentary and assessment of them matter as the students do them, so that is what it is. I liked one of them, the one with the 430 line hand action, and I didn't like another one where someone was dropping an open club onto a bag from the top. That's obviously on blind viewing and I'm sure you have clarifications of intentions etc/, etc.
I don't know specifically what you mean by level or flat shoulder turn, but to me, specifics and words are important. Level to what? I understand flat shoulder turn, obviously, and how it relates to face angle, but if it's an honest and open discussion, and not a standard 101 version of the overall concept, then I'd have to know what you specifically mean by level shoulder turn. My further thoughts would be dependent upon clarification of that concept. It's not that I can't relate to some of the concepts necessarily, I'm just interested in the reality of what's happening vs. intentions.
And I'm cool if it's a trade secret and you don't want to discuss some things, I absolutely understand that aspect.
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Re: Cross pollination 'tween golf and baseball

Postby BomGolf222 » Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:35 am

Eagle wrote:
Won't action cause the trademark(clubface) to "open" somewhat ?


It may be imperceptible the the eye, and it may not be your intention, but I think it has to. The thing is though, using a bat is like us trying to hit the ball with the shaft, it would be a different game. It's a different 'open', it's open on the flat plane, or bent back, and it's more akin to when we actively accelerate imo. There's a video where Hogan is showing his feeling for pushing on the back of the shaft through impact with his right hand, it's acting as a sort of moving fulcrum bending the shaft. I find it interesting that his description of that action with the right hand doesn't have any rotation in it.
I reckon there would be a lot more recognizable bat and arm rotation in hitters on a high pitch because it's a purer rotation higher up.
One of the reasons I think hitters struggle with golf, is they actively accelerate too soon, before the club is hooked up. Pitchers are often very good golfers in large part because they've learned the art of waiting, or holding rotation until it's needed. Hitters have to react very quickly so their motion is more immediately explosive- not great for golf. The other thing about a point you made, Eagle, good hitters tend lead towards the batter with the whole foot, or even the heel, and in a closed position with the lower body prior to acceleration, which is similar to a pitcher and a golfer, but it all happens a lot quicker.
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Re: Cross pollination 'tween golf and baseball

Postby BomGolf222 » Mon Oct 04, 2010 7:13 pm

I got a chance to play 9 holes tonight and brought out a few clubs with different lie angles. I keep thinking about this debate about open and dropping the club etc., and I wanted to see where the lie angle played it's part.
Dropping the club deep and purposely open works very well with the flattest club I own- an old 1 iron that's 4 flat and super stiff. As the clubs got progressively more upright, the loading could be done earlier and more as an inline sweet spot like a baseball bat. I didn't immediately think this would be the case since the sweet spot is further away from the shaft than on a super flat club, but I'm thinking that the plane or angle of attack needing to be steeper, made up for that, and then some. I imagined the extreme end of it which would be a 90 degree lie angle and a pendulum, or vertical up and down type plane, with basically no rotation, and this seems to add up- all of the lag or pressure would be on the back of the shaft as a constant- not really golf. Anyone got any thoughts?
So I'm thinking, Lag, is your thinking and overall theory dependent upon the pretty flat lie angle? Does one require the other? It would make sense to why I can't fully relate to the thinking since we've already established that me and super flat lies don't really compute...
Interesting discussion...
Cheers...
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Re: Cross pollination 'tween golf and baseball

Postby hawg1 » Thu Oct 07, 2010 6:15 pm

Lag,
Give the man a cigar, Corey Pavin is "fo sho" the Rod Carew of golf. Some might argue Wade Boggs, but for my money, it's Rod all the way.

This is just a question. If the batter is in the ready position, once the pitch is thrown, the he will stride towards the pitcher with his lead foot, and the bat will drop from vertical like a flagpole to horizontal like lying on the table. The right elbow comes in and down towards his naval a bit I think. Won't action cause the trademark(clubface) to "open" somewhat


Bom,

I've been wrestling with this for several days. We really have come into a Socratic debate, and that is WAY cool. Thank you.

Take a nine iron. (the following assumes a RH golfer / batter) Lay it on a table. take your golf grip, and have the head facing straight up (exaclty how you would address the ball, were it at belly button level). The club shaft looks like it's pointing straight outa your belt buckle.

Keep your arms, wrists, and forarms in the same position, and rotate your shoulders 90 degrees to the right. The club now looks like it's pointing outa your right hip, with the club face (and this is critical) now facing the same way as the logo on your shirt. If you were standing in front of a mirror, you would be able to see the groove pattern in the clubface.

Now put in max wrist cock, so the club shaft is straight up, like the flag pole. Again, the head doesn't change, you can still see the groves.

Now lift both arms straight up, so the shaft is more or less horizontal, over your head, and the club head (you guessed it) is unchanged; you can still see the grooves in the mirror.

You are now in a batter's ready position.

I can still hear Moose's gravel voice, instructing us on how to practice, when we at recess in school, or any other time we didn't have a bat: make a hitchhiker gesture with your left hand, grab the thumb with your right , line up the knuckles, and practice stroking at the ball.

Did that one for hours and hours in grade five and six. Hours. The back of my right hand is facing into the mirror.

The goal is to have a totally flat, as in horizontal, plane between the ball and bat at impact. Granted, pitches come in higher or lower. But when you are hittin' it good, any ball incoming from about mid thigh to nipple level is met with the same swing; viewed from the side, you would swear the batter was swingin' on a table top. I only saw Wade Boggs play once, but it was like watchin a magic elevator, he would raise / lower his body with leg bend, so that the contact appeared dead flat.

Pitches coming in at your knees obviously require the plane to tilt, somewhat, but that's what tests your athleticism as a batter.

Now go back to our starting position. Rotate your shoulders / torso throught to the 90 degree part, but this this time, rotate your wrists so that the club head is facing the sky, versus facing the mirror. You will not be able to see the grooves, only the serial number stamped onto the hozel. You would be able to balance a pint on the open club face. It's a "pregnant or not pregnant" move.

And this is the BIG difference between golf an' baseball. I supose a hitter could make this move, and the concept of extra muscle contraction (from the forearms pronating / supinanting) would inpart extra energy into the equation. Heck, for all I know, missing out on this point was the reason I was forced off the bus when I was.

But it feels so totally alien, it rubs against all the feelings, all the coachin' I ever got. To be in the batters box, with your left hand rotated toward your face? As I put in a previous post, if I saw you standin' like that, I'd call for gofer balls down the middle, 'cause you would be wiffen 'em, big time.

And no, the plane of the trade mark doesn't really change; just grab the bat, and cock your wrists up and down, that's the way the tradmarks stays; it's your shoulder / torso rotation that changes the angle.

My own little quirk was to angle the bat towards the pitcher, and put a bit of a cup in the left wrist. But once the swing started, the goal was (can't say is, haven't swung a bat in anger in WAY to long) to get it onto a flat plane as directly as possible.

And the more I study this, the more I understand why coaches would go nuts when they found out we played golf: that pronation / suppination effect, so neccesary in golf, absolutley kills a baseball swing.

Again, this wouldn't really matter all that much, but yesterday was perhaps the best ball striking day I've ever had, ever. My swing thought was to have my club flat enough for that pint o' Guinness to rest on it at the back of the backswing. And to swing straight down the 4:30 line, come hell or high water.

Sure, I hit three or four dead right pushes. But for the most part, they produced that wonderfull "snick" that means solid contact to me.

Anyway, thanks for readin'

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Re: Cross pollination 'tween golf and baseball

Postby hawg1 » Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:16 pm

Eagle,
Thanks for posting that piece from Mike Maves.

It was his video (hittin' balls into Lake Ontario) that started my journey to ABS land.

I have great respect for the guy, both as a golfer and as a fellow Hoser. And since he could hand me my fanny in a basket on a golf course; I'd best be listenin' when he be talkin'.

But there are a couple of points worth disecting in his post.

Point the first:
If someone can show me how to move from a cupped position to a bowed position and vice versa without roating the shaft I will kiss their a**.


Well, I'll settle for a pint o' Steam Whistle. Or two Red Caps.

Lets see, I have a two iron in my left hand. I just cycled through ten reps of cup to bowed with my left wrist. There wasn't even a pico-degree of rotation in the shaft.

I'm absolutely sure that what I'm doin and what he had in mind are NOT/NOT the same thing. But think of the classic scene of Tom Sawyer hustlin' all his buddies into white-washing the fence for him; isn't that a case of Tom cycling from cupping to bowing, without any shaft rotation (in this case a paintbrush, not a golf club)?

It seems that what I think cupping / bowing is (assuming it's in relation to Mr. Hogan's "secret") and what Mr. Maves does are two different things. That would be cool detail to nail down, it at all possible.

Point the second:
This is the same move a baseball player has to make to drop the bat into position to hit a low outside pitch. In golf, however, all you hit are low outside pitches


Gotta agree with the second part. I think my first post here described the feeling of hitting a driver was exactly the same as hitting an outside slider. But I think Sevam1 and I might disagree with the arm / hand / wrist motion to get there; he posits a rotational feel, I posit much more linear feel, like swingin' an axe into a sappling, deliberatly tryin' to make a cut angled 30- 40 degrees past horizontal. PLEASE, NO ONE TRY THAT IN REAL LIFE, OK! it's a deadly stupid thing to try. Just don't do it, ok!

And believe me, you don't "drop" the bat to get to an outside pitch, you go down and get it. Hence the reason an outside pitch so often generates contact that resembles nothing so much as a shank, socket, or, in more gentile terms, a hosel fade. But whatever ya call it, the ball starts off right, curves left to right, and bounces 90 degrees right from the target line when it hits the ground. It be spinnin', yo.

Point the third:
You should note also that Ted Williams and Ben Hogan met and would have discussed the similarities in technique between their respective sports.


That's a piece that continues to flumox me. For those of you who aren't up on your baseball lore, the Splendid Splinter and Mr. Hogan are approximately equal in the pantheon of their respective sports; no one has hit the baseball as well, before or since, than Ted Williams.

There is no doubt the two talked. And no doubt that Mr. Hogan's book people would have run any ideas he had across folks who knew baseball, maybe even Mr. Williams himself.

Maybe it's a case of the greats just get it, and can't understand why the rest of us don't. They lay it out in what, to them, is painstakingly clear detail.

Hey, I werk in the IT game, and that concept of greats not getting why mere mortals don't follow is kinda like an hourly occurance.

This thread, has, of course, caused me to look up buddies from the playin' days, and run this concept of forearm pronation/ supination by them. Who knows, they might even come back with a load of embarassing details.

But if all that helps me on my journey to shoot a par round, well, I'm livin' proof you CAN teach an old dog new tricks.

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Re: Cross pollination 'tween golf and baseball

Postby hawg1 » Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:38 pm

BomGolf wrote:
The other thing about a point you made, Eagle, good hitters tend lead towards the batter with the whole foot, or even the heel, and in a closed position with the lower body prior to acceleration


Failure to learn this REAL early in your baseball career will get yer butt fulla splinters quicker than just about anything.

One of the nasty realities of baseball is, that, well, pitchers will occaisionally try and hit you with the ball. And your leading elbow is right out there, hangin' in the wind, providing such a tempting target... .

So, mother nature being what she is, she tends to protect her flock with instinct. And your instinct is to step such that your foot goes WAY to the side, the dreaded "stepping into the bucket," which is an EPIC fail in baseball; you totally remove your ability to hit anything on the outside of the plate.

It makes sense, you get a better view of the ball, and you protect the parts that hurt most when hit... .

But you give up all hope of generating any power, and give the lower outside quadrant of the strike zone over to the pitcher; you couldn't get your bat in there, even if ya wanted to. The lever arm is too short.

So, when a young batter starts to step into the bucket (happens a lot about the time they first start seeing curve balls) a thoughtfull (?) coach will lay three or four bats on the ground, roughtly where he expects you to step, if you were to step into the bucket. And then commence with BP, gradually working the ball from outside to inside. And then a curve ball.

Stepping into the bucket here will be a train wreck. You will either learn to step into the pitch, or, well, find something to do besides hitting baseballs.

Kinda guessin' that particular, uhm, drill is frowned on these days. But it was how Moose cured me of steppin' into the bucket.

And it was that feelin' of steppin' into the pitch that made me jump for joy when I first discovered a wobble board training aid: a 10 x 24 inch slab of plywood, with a hockey stick or broom handle acting as a spine.

You stand on this thing, address the ball, it rocks to the back on the back swing, and when your weight transfers, it rocks forward.

I was sure, absolutely sure, this was gonna fix my slice, 'cause swingin' at the air balls felt so, well, like swingin' at a baseball.

You can stop laughin' now.

Anyway, all that to say, ya, steppin towards the pitcher is kinda like a pre-requisite to hittin' a baseball solidly.

Cheers,
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