who's that handsome guy in the picture? =p
can't be me.. haha..
Just to let the GR folks know the background story on me subscribing to the RSS. I will try to be as objective as possible without offending anyone.
I did not know much about the different swing schools and much golf theory.. all along, i read tonnes of magazines and watched lots of golf on television, trying to mimic the moves of some of my favourite pros such as Tiger, Ernie, Rory, Adam etc. I knew that each of their swings are unique and I probably wouldnt be able to copy every single move, but i thought that if i incorporate all the good things in their swing into mine, then i'd be fine. But i guess you guys can tell from the picture that i didn't really succeed in doing so. Actually my swing is not all that ugly.. its only when viewed in slow motion then it looks rather awful, especially that horrifying impact position of mine... haha.. but aniwae, i sought the occasional private lessons after taking my pc which was about 8 years ago but never really committed to a coach or to having someone to watch over my swing progress. I decided to save me some $ and depend on my own reading and practice to improve my scores. My scores did drop and i managed to break 90, playing in the high eighties with occassional fantastic 9-hole scores.
Then i laid off golf due to my fear of the sunlight and never really quite returned to form. Slightly more than a year ago, i was advised to seek help. Note: Prior to that, i had given up on going for golf lessons because of $ issues and i felt that everything they taught me could be learned through my own readings.. so based on recommendation, i invested pretty heavily in a coach, burning a deep hole in my pocket. Sadly, i didn't experience any breakthrough in my golf. From that day, i was bitten so badly, i didn't want to waste any more $ on going for any lessons, because it further strengthened my belief that everything can be learned online, books or from magazines etc.
My game started to take a turn for the better, as i practiced on my own.. just got back from a 54 hole game over 2 days and my scores were improving the more i played.. haha.. on the brink of breaking 90 once again.. but yet, i am interested in coming out of my shell and spending some $ in trying out the RSS. Why?
I had been stalking the RSC on GR for some time..and this time, i hope that through my own research and due diligence, i am making the right choice.
A brief review of the RSS from my research (which i may be wrong):
Before i begin this review of the RSS, I probably have seen more sites etc, but just that i’m lazy to search for them again for this review.. just wanna show you some of the reviews and things ppl say so that everyone can get the idea of the good and bads, and that you can discern for yourself.
the above link is a forum where they commented on the RSS. Some of them seem to subscribe to it and there have been a lot of comparisons with the TGM and S&T methods.. TGM = The Golfing Machine , S&T = stack and tilt. These are two swing methods founded by different ppl.
Some of the concepts of the RSS does overlap and concur with the other swing schools, just like in the following example (there are more actually)..
where other instructor’s teachings seem to mimic or converge with the principles of the RSS..However, in the RSS, the wide takeaway is not favoured as its a compact swing, meant to be more repeatable and generate increased consistency in one’s swing/play. Whereas in the other swing methods, they have wide takeaways which ppl believe to promote greater power generation.
So do RSS users hit shorter distances than other players? The RSS claims not. It believes that its power comes from the increased lag and solid impact that the setup and its swing principles promote. The other schools have wide takeaways, so their clubhead is said to travel through a wider distance and thus, generate more power upon perfect impact.
To further analyze this myth/fact, we think about Newton’s law of F=MA. Force is determined by mass, which no swing school can control/alter. Mass is determined by the clubhead, so that factor is out of the equation. Acceleration. So thats the point of contention. Does it mean that a wider takeaway would promote greater acceleration? Does a clubhead travelling through a longer distance have greater acceleration than a clubhead that travels through a short distance?
In addition to that, i believe the common “use your hip” to generate power is less evident in the RSS. But this is because in the RSS, everything is set up already, so there is no obvious movement (from the hip) to clear and thus look like its generating a great source of power. The RSS is said to be more armsy than shoulders/hips/big muscles in general..
Well..in relation to the F=MA equation i believe that there is a limit to how much acceleration that one can put into the swing. After a certain point, terminal velocity is hit, and no matter what distance your clubhead is travelling through, it has no added benefit to the distance that the ball can travel or the amount of force imparted to the ball. So what is the optimal acceleration that one can obtain, such that terminal velocity is hit right at the point where the ball has just flown off the face of the clubhead? So then would come the Trackman readings to show you how well you have been striking the ball. (this is where technology comes into play) You would probably have to monitor your own ball striking results with a launch monitor such as the Trackman, to see which swing is optimal for you.
As for the hips muscles etc, i believe that it is also within the teachings of the RSS just that its emphasis is getting set up to promote the right angles for maximum efficiency. Hips, feet, arms, shoulders, everything else comes into play, as long as one has set the correct angles into his swing.
For myself, i believe in the RSS because i feel that a more compact swing is more repeatable, lesser movements, lesser variations in the swing. I also feel that where distance is concerned, with a wide takeaway, i would probably introduce more errors/inconsistencies into my swing and would also not be able to achieve a state of increasing acceleration through a greater distance, so the RSS would suit me fine, where distance is concerned.
However, after reading about all the swing schools and their methodologies, I do have some doubt in it as well.. like some of the forum ppl had shared.. if RSS were so good, why is it not being used by the top pros, the pga tour players etc.. the only ppl who are well known users of the RSS are Rod Pampling and Paul Casey. Both of which are not in the top 10 rankings. So this may be something you may want to consider also.
I have no idea what swing school Luke Donald (world number 1) subscribes, but i do know that every person goes to a different instructor. There is no particular instructor/swing school that is used by everybody. Why isn’t Lee Westwood or Rory Mcilroy going to Luke’s instructor for lessons? Why aren’t the pros going to Sean Foley or Butch Harmon for lessons, given that they are the present and past coaches for Tiger Woods? Its because everyone has a particular instructor whom they’re comfortable working with and trust with their swing/performance etc.
RSS is said to induce injury (http://www.shottalk.com/forum/shot-talk/18857-gary-edwin-right-sided-golf-swing.html) and what not, but on the other hand, RSS ppl also say other swing schools’ methods are injury inducing as well. There have been success stories and there have been failure stories with the RSS.. just like the following example shared by a forum user:
“My old coach here in the UK is teaching the right sided swing by Gary Edwin an Australian coach. It is supposed to have 'few moving parts'. I did improve using that swing (from about a 22 to a 17) but got stuck there. I always felt very restricted in my swing. Last year after another long spell of the shanks (4 month) I decided to change my swing during a long holiday in South Africa to a more 'normal' one. I felt better with that swing straight away and I went down to 14 last summer. Now I've just started working with a coach who is inspired by tgm (I hope he isn't treating it as the bible though). Let's see where that is getting me. I've been watching a lot of Brian's videos and read quite a few blogs by 3jack on tgm. I think I've learned more about the golf swing in the last two weeks than in the 7 years I've been playing golf. Coming back to the right sided swing. It certainly works for some but you can't force it on people. I heard from a few people who left the RSS because their game was going downhill with it.”
It only brought him to a certain level and stopped there.. but for others, they swear by it, and there is even a single handicapper (cant seem to re-find that link) who totally rebuilt his swing to the RSS to bring him to the next level. (like what Tiger is doing by changing swing coaches from Butch to Hank to Sean, however we do not know if it were the right choices..
because the common adage is that if it works, then why change)
I admit that i am a big RSS fan through my constant readings about it and how it intersects with my own beliefs in the golf swing, but I hope that the above review would help everyone who is keen on looking for a coach, it may not necessarily be the RSS coach which you intend to go for, but whoever that person may be, i really hope that you would have made the right choice (and i really hope that i've made the right choice as well.. haha.. hor Paul?) =p
FYI: i have not formally started my tutelage under Paul, but I will be at the end of this month. For those who are keen on knowing if he's good, you can pm me and i'll let you know..so that if i say bad things, he will not know =p just kiddin. just kiddin.
Thanks for reading! if you've read the whole thing