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Sunday, July 24, 2016

A Lesson from George Knudson (Video)

Actually, I have two videos. I found these on YouTube, from an old teaching DVD by George Knudson called The Swing Motion. Since Knudson is one of Canada's legends and this is RBC Canadian Open week, I thought you all might like to hear some of Knudson's beliefs about the golf swing.

The first video is on this YouTube page, and the second video is on this YouTube page. (Just in case the videos don't show up in this post for some reason.) They're both very short.

Although Knudson was a Hogan fan and most teachers compare his swing to Ben Hogan's, I think Knudson's approach was much simpler than Hogan's. I actually think it's closer to Bobby Jones than Hogan. He approached the swing more like the old hickory shaft players, in that he focused on centrifugal force rather than power to create clubhead speed.

You've got to love this: He says he divides the swing motion into two general categories -- voluntary actions you have to learn, and involuntary actions which happen naturally. (That's something Jones talked about as well. I quoted him saying almost the same thing in this post.)

And here's something you don't often hear nowadays: If you watch the slo-mo part of the first video closely, you'll see that he lowers his head and shoulders slightly during his backswing, then stays down in that position until the ball is struck. It's easiest to see in the "down-the-line from the front" view against the black & white grid. (Most modern players lower themselves during the downswing.) This helped him hit the ball solidly, because he wasn't changing height and trying to create clubhead speed at the same time.

You can also see how flat his swing is; his lead arm is actually slightly below his trailing shoulder at the top of his backswing. This makes his swing appear very short, and makes it feel a bit like swinging a very light baseball bat. (He actually takes the club back more to the inside to start his backswing, rather than a one-piece takeaway. Then he moves upward slightly, above his backswing plane, when he changes direction at the top. Those are more reasons his swing reminds me of Jones.) It's a very rotary action, and he creates it by bracing his trailing leg during the backswing. You can see that clearly in the face-on view against the black & white grid.

And here are a couple more points that are keys in his swing:
  • There is no talk about keeping the head down. He says the head does nothing during the swing except rotate around with the body.
  • And he divides the swing into two simple motions, back and through. He rolls his ankles on the backswing and downswing (that's the bit about the ankles being pivot points). This is probably why he also lowers his upper body during the backswing.
There is absolutely no talk about driving the lower body. HE DOESN'T NEED TO! If you brace your trailing leg during your backswing the way Knudson does, there's no way to avoid a forward weight shift during your downswing.

All-in-all, it's a very simple approach to the golf swing.

For those of you who want to see it, here's the Amazon link to Knudson's book The Natural Golf Swing. The DVD is out of print, although you can find it through the used book channels.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Mike,
    Time to re-read my tattered copy of his book. {grin}
    It sure is a natural swing.