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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Compton Effect

In quantum physics, the Compton Effect involves a high-energy photon colliding with a target. This causes an energy release that defies all the commonly-held beliefs about what should happen.

A better explanation of Erik Compton's golf career has yet to be found.

Although it's a week late, I wanted to take a quick look at Erik's swing simply because... well, Erik doesn't get to practice much. After two heart transplants, there's just not a lot of energy available to make clubs collide with range balls. That doesn't stop Erik -- at a mere 5'8" tall and 150 lbs, he crushes the ball an average of 290 yards while still hitting both the fairway and the green about two-thirds of the time. That's a swing worth looking at!

Ironically, Jim McLean has done a couple of videos breaking down Erik's swing over the years. I'm going to include both of them here, plus a recent video I found.

First, Erik's swing in 2001:



Jim downloaded these swings from 2003 just this past Sunday:



And here's a more recent video from another source, although I don't know the date it was shot:



Look, I only know one word to describe why Erik's swing works so well: simple. There are no fancy power moves, no peculiar swing tendencies, no bizarre positions -- this is just a simple, straightforward swing that takes the club back and then through.

You should note that he does use a one-piece takeaway. Although his right elbow bends a bit earlier than some players, it doesn't bend until his hands are above his waist. His hands stay in front of him throughout the swing, as McLean points out in the first video. You can't keep your hands in front of you unless you have a one-piece takeaway. If your elbow bends too early, you'll move the club behind you instead of "on plane."

And there's no hip slide forward on the downswing -- his hips just turn as he comes down. There's no slide and turn, and there's no holding back -- it's just a relaxed swing through to the finish.

If you don't get a lot of time to practice, Erik Compton should have your full attention. He doesn't do anything fancy, but he can hold his own with the big boys. Keep it simple, and you could make a quantum leap in your own game.

The basics of that other Compton Effect are explained on this page at About.com's Physics site.

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