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 Natural Swing or Un-Natural Swing

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Right_sided_coach
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PostSubject: Natural Swing or Un-Natural Swing   Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:37 am

There is a lot of talk about changing swings and believe me, it is a very difficult and time consuming process to undertake. What I hear a lot is things like “ I don't want to change my swing much, just correct it a little bit” or “can I keep my natural swing and just adapt to it”

I am sure there are some swings that do not need a lot of change to improve, but most that I come across are so far away from where they need to be, that a major over haul is needed to get the player to strike the ball the way they desire. If the natural swing was so great, then why would a student want a lesson in the first place?

I have posted a video of Peter Lonard before and after swing. Peter's profile from wiki is below

Peter Lawrence Lonard (born 17 July 1967) is an Australian professional golfer who plays mainly on the U.S. based PGA Tour. He credits fellow Australian Greg Norman as his inspiration.
Lonard was born at Epping, Sydney. He turned professional in 1989 and began his career on the PGA Tour of Australasia. He played on the European Tour in 1991 and 1992, where he had very moderate results. He was sidelined for nearly 18 months in 1993-94 after contracting Ross River Fever, a mosquito-carried virus which caused damage to his eyes. He worked as a club professional for three years before returning to tournament golf, topping the PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit in 1996/97. He returned to the European Tour in 1997 and has performed steadily with a best Order of Merit placing of 18th in 2002.
Lonard joined the United States based PGA Tour in 2002 and settled in well, winning over $1 million in his first season. He won the PGA Tour of Australasia's Order of Merit for a second time in 2003. His first win in the U.S. came at the 2005 MCI Heritage. He has featured in the top 50 of the Official World Golf Rankings. In 2009 he finished outside the top 150 of the money list and lost his PGA Tour card.

Lonard was a member of the International Team at the Presidents Cup in 2003 and 2005.

Professional wins (12)

PGA Tour wins (1)
2005 MCI Heritage

PGA Tour of Australasia wins (9)
1997 (1) Ericsson Masters
2000 (1) Ford South Australian Open
2001 (1) ANZ Tour Championship
2002 (2) Australian PGA Championship (tied with Jarrod Moseley), MasterCard Masters
2003 (1) Australian Open
2004 (2) Australian Open, Australian PGA Championship
2007 (1) Cadbury Schweppes Australian PGA Championship

Other wins (2)
2002 Hyundai Team Matches (with Rich Beem)
2004 New South Wales Open (Australia)

As you can see, prior to 1996 Peter was a struggling pro with a loose, but “natural” swing. After he changed his swing to an “un-natural” swing he then became a US PGA Tour winner, 9 times, Australian Tour winner and Presidents Cup player. Peter started with Gary Edwin and the RSS in 1996 and from there on his game and life changed for the better. His career prizemoney is in excess of A$20 million to date

I am sure if he had asked Gary for a small change to his swing and not a major overhaul, he would never have achieved what he has as a player. I am sure his initial few months of swing change would have been mixed with frustration, bad shots, bad rounds and questions as to what he was doing. I think this is a good example of how making the correct changes to your swing can get you to your golfing goals. His “natural” swing obviously was the problem and changing it to an “un-natural” swing would have felt strange, terrible and uncomfortable but without this difficult period, I do not see how he could have achieved what he has.

This is just my opinion and I would like to hear what others including pros think. How would a pro correct Peters old swing without “changing” much? How do pros fix swings without changing the obvious things like grip and set up? I wish there was an easy, comfortable way to get golfers to play better, if anyone has the answer please speak up. I personally do not think it is possible if you are looking for a long term path to improvement
I would like to hear anyones experiences with lessons and coaches.. Maybe a temporary, band aid fix for the once a year golfer is possible but will it only get the golfer so far? The players goals and time they have to practice is also a consideration, as is there physical ability

More of Peter Lonards story to come

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Right_sided_coach
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PostSubject: Re: Natural Swing or Un-Natural Swing   Sat Feb 20, 2010 12:15 am

More on Peter Lonard and his swing changes

Even players that have reached the pinnacle of the sport will still revert back to their old swing habits or their "natural" swing tendencies. From the video above, Peters natural swing was a very wide takeaway. Even after 5 years of training, these pictures below in 2001 show Peter had reverted back to his old habit.
The wide takeaway, shoulders turning the wrong way and club face closed.




Here is the drill that he does to keep this bad habit from coming back. It just shows that drills are extremely important to stay on top of your bad habits. They will always want to re-appear.



The pictures show how the drill has corrected the closed club face and narrowed the wide takeaway.
His shoulders are now turning in the correct direction




If you have been given drills by your coach, you should do them religiously.

Good golfing
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PostSubject: Re: Natural Swing or Un-Natural Swing   Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:21 pm

Continuing on with the Peter Lonard story and you may be wondering why Peter has lost his card on the PGA Tour and has fallen well down in the World Golf Rankings..

In 2006/07 Peter and Gary Edwin parted ways due to some personal issues and Peter then engaged David Leadbetter as his new coach. Initially Leadbetter did not make any changes to Peters swing and Peter won the 2007 Australian PGA Championship. Unfortunately since then, he has been on a down hill slide and fallen off the golfing map. Here are some pictures of his recent swing since changing to Leadbetter. I see a direct correlation between his swing change and his results. You be the judge!

Leadbetter swing on the left vs RSS on the right

He has changed his set up positions



His swing has become wide again



His shoulders are turning the wrong way again



He is now too far behind the ball at impact



He finishes well behind and does not go forward - hip and back injuries, a lot of hooks



Is it just coincidence that Peter is now recovering from hip and knee surgery which he just recently underwent !!!
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RegiT
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PostSubject: Re: Natural Swing or Un-Natural Swing   Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:24 pm

RSC, is it an accurate statement to say that RSS more on top of ball at impact than other swings, meaning better compression??
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pushslice
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PostSubject: Re: Natural Swing or Un-Natural Swing   Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:41 pm

What's ironic is that Lonard, had changed his swing drastically. Exactly the point you were trying to make in the first post, that people shouldn't be afraid to make drastic changes. It's unfortunate for Lonard if he's not as good as he used to. I'm guessing Leadbetter had the same situation as you would when a non-RSS golfer comes to you for fix i.e. wow this guy needs an overhaul! All wrong!

Lead has had major winners (Els, Price, Faldo and more recently Immelman), and many winners on tour under his tutelage (is Poulter still his student?). They've won and lost under him, many had left him for sure, but you cant deny his students had success. Some argues he's on a downhill, that his students just cant compete in the bomb and gouge era. Maybe.

but in my humble opinion, taking sweeping conclusions from one example is a bit too early. Until RSS produce multiple major winners, then the golfing masses wont go in droves to RSS schools. Best of luck for Pamps, Flint, Quincy, Coles or maybe Edgar Oh!

No opinion from the "LSS" pros on what's wrong with Lonard?
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jtek
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PostSubject: Re: Natural Swing or Un-Natural Swing   Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:56 pm

Right_sided_coach wrote:




The pictures show how the drill has corrected the closed club face and narrowed the wide takeaway.
His shoulders are now turning in the correct direction




If you have been given drills by your coach, you should do them religiously.

Good golfing

Hey!!! that's the drill my coach gave me... My coach is you lor!!! Smile

Think must get back to basic again.... this week's range is drill!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Natural Swing or Un-Natural Swing   Mon Feb 22, 2010 8:30 pm

pushslice wrote:
What's ironic is that Lonard, had changed his swing drastically. Exactly the point you were trying to make in the first post, that people shouldn't be afraid to make drastic changes. It's unfortunate for Lonard if he's not as good as he used to. I'm guessing Leadbetter had the same situation as you would when a non-RSS golfer comes to you for fix i.e. wow this guy needs an overhaul! All wrong!

Lead has had major winners (Els, Price, Faldo and more recently Immelman), and many winners on tour under his tutelage (is Poulter still his student?). They've won and lost under him, many had left him for sure, but you cant deny his students had success. Some argues he's on a downhill, that his students just cant compete in the bomb and gouge era. Maybe.

but in my humble opinion, taking sweeping conclusions from one example is a bit too early. Until RSS produce multiple major winners, then the golfing masses wont go in droves to RSS schools. Best of luck for Pamps, Flint, Quincy, Coles or maybe Edgar Oh!

No opinion from the "LSS" pros on what's wrong with Lonard?

Fair point pushslice. Lead has got the results over the years. No denying that. I think every player you mention from his stable were all great players before he polished them up. I always wonder what someone like Faldo would have achieved under the RSS. That we will never know. I can not think of a player Lead has coached from scratch that has done any good however.
The other point to note is that Garys players have dominated the Australian Tour for the past 20 years and only recently has he started training other instructors to spread his word internationally. Time will tell but from what I am seeing with junior golf in Australia and Singapore, the future may have some major champions using the RSS.
The other point to consider is that there is more to golf than just the swing. To win major championships, requires great short game, touch, mental toughness, caddy, equipment some luck and many other factors.
I think from all the videos and pictures I have posted, it is hard to deny or argue that the RSS has its merits and all modern swings are heading in this direction.
Faldo is probably the poster boy for Leadbetter and I dont think it was his swing that won the majors for him. I think more so the mental toughness and his competitive attributes that were his strengths.
Maybe it is just that Leadbetter is the best of the Left sided coaches and the RSS was not known about back then.
Appreciate your thoughts
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PostSubject: Re: Natural Swing or Un-Natural Swing   Mon Feb 22, 2010 8:36 pm

Yes jtek. I give this drill to many of my students. It fixes alot of problems as it eliminates the hardest part of the swing which is the first 2 feet. Keep doing the drill and your swing will continue to improve

Regit, I would agree that your statement is accurate. You are looking more like this at impact now. I hear you shot 77 at Palm Resort recently....nice work mate
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shorthitter
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PostSubject: Re: Natural Swing or Un-Natural Swing   Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:21 pm

pushslice wrote:
No opinion from the "LSS" pros on what's wrong with Lonard?

I think in my opinion, and mine only I do not know enough (anything) about the RSS to comment. It may well be the best thing since sliced bread, but until someone hits the jackpot on a regular basis it remains to be seen... would I coach it??? Once again if it was proven better, hell yeah, after all the students results are what we all as coaches want.

However Paul makes one ineresting point as relates not only to Leadbetter...

"I think every player you mention from his stable were all great players before he polished them up."

They were all great before Leadbetter and none had heard of RSS... so something else does work...

Not knocking Paul at all, or his method, but there is more than one way to skin a cat.....
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PostSubject: Re: Natural Swing or Un-Natural Swing   Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:19 pm

Paul, maybe the best candidate for an RSS makeover would be Stuart Appleby or Badds? They're kinda lagging lately (due to change equipment or changing to Stack & Tilt?). If only they can switch over. Couple of wins on US tour would give RSS the publicity it needed to get more big names on board, or maybe start smaller, if RSS can dominate Asian Tour or One Asia.

as to my thoughts as a "consumer" of golf lessons, I think of RSS like an IKEA bed. I like them (i have two), good value and all, but their size is funky. Only IKEA bed sheets match them, so I have to buy IKEA sheets everytime.

If I switch over to RSS, then I'm stuck with RSS coaches when I needed a tune up. I like to travel, move countries often and I get lessons wherever I go/stay. So I chose to keep my conventional swing, it's kinda easier to maintain! Very Happy

all the best!
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PostSubject: Re: Natural Swing or Un-Natural Swing   Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:35 pm

shorthitter wrote:
pushslice wrote:
No opinion from the "LSS" pros on what's wrong with Lonard?

I think in my opinion, and mine only I do not know enough (anything) about the RSS to comment. It may well be the best thing since sliced bread, but until someone hits the jackpot on a regular basis it remains to be seen... would I coach it??? Once again if it was proven better, hell yeah, after all the students results are what we all as coaches want.

However Paul makes one ineresting point as relates not only to Leadbetter...

"I think every player you mention from his stable were all great players before he polished them up."

They were all great before Leadbetter and none had heard of RSS... so something else does work...

Not knocking Paul at all, or his method, but there is more than one way to skin a cat.....

I have to agree with Allen on this one. There is a reason why not everyone swings the club a particular way.There are many ways to swing the club and over time many have manipulated methods and techniques. I have gone through RSS and leadbetter. I wouldn't say they aren't good, it just didn't work for me. Another man's poison can be another man's medicine.
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PostSubject: Re: Natural Swing or Un-Natural Swing   Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:14 pm

Agree guys. I was taught by Gary and one thing he always says and I truly believe as well is that you can never say the LSS doesnt work. It obviously does. Justin and Alan are great coaches that are achieving great results with their students. There is definitely more than one way to skin a cat
I used to teach the LSS and swing that way as well. I tried many coaches and they all told me different things. I can also give a LSS lesson if thats what the student wants. I just find it more difficult personally to correct certain problems if the set up is not changed.
Once again, all our students do not swing the same, we just try to get them to set up the same way.
jhan I am sure with your time spent with the RSS and playing with Mark and Edgar, they do not swing the same. As I am sure Tim and yourself didn't when with the RSS. It is just a model that is used to make it as easy as possible to achieve proper impact. Correcting club face, shaft angles and impact is what we are all about. I have heard the Low Han boys played some unbelievable golf with the RSS and won a lot of junior tournaments. Possibly this background and some of the knowledge you gained is still in your swing and coaching today.

pushslice, one of the pluses of the RSS is that we have accredited instructors all over the world and what you hear from a coach in Singapore, you will also hear the same from a coach in any other country. It is a standardised teaching method which is what we believe it should be. I am sure if you had lessons at Star Academy for example, every pro working there would be using a different style, swing model etc..That to me is were the confusion can come in and by changing coaches or if your coach leaves or moves on, then what to do
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PostSubject: Re: Natural Swing or Un-Natural Swing   Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:48 pm

you have a point. Actually I did start learning golf at Star Golf two years ago, there it's really up to the pro style.

my favorite swing coach so far is Darma at Nirwana Bali, He's trained in Japan. One lesson with him, learned proper impact and then broke 100 for first time (at Nirwana..no cupcake). That was a year ago, I'm playing in the low 90s now (averaging 5 lost balls). Old habits are coming back, but what to do...no plans to go Bali yet. Hoping Jhan will fix my wayward drives.
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PostSubject: Re: Natural Swing or Un-Natural Swing   Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:57 pm

I am sure Justin will be able to help you out. Good luck
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PostSubject: Re: Natural Swing or Un-Natural Swing   Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:10 am

Paul, if he can't fix me. I'll take the red pill Stretcher
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PostSubject: Re: Natural Swing or Un-Natural Swing   Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:18 am

pushslice wrote:
Paul, if he can't fix me. I'll take the red pill Stretcher

Ha ha....you've seen the video..I love that vid. Unfortunately youtube took the sound/music away due to copyright etc

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PostSubject: Re: Natural Swing or Un-Natural Swing   Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:33 am

yes Paul i did learn quite a bit about the golf swing when i was at RSS. Especially during my younger years in the national team like Edgar and Marc now, I had no clue what was swing plane or angles were The head coach at that time Tom Fielding had my swing going in the right direction and it was a pity he left as I was progressing. Again every method can work in their unique way and I've picked up important knowledge from the coaches I've spoken to and worked with. It's good to see that you have you believe in your method but at the same time acknowledge that it's not the only way. But I have to agree I think Lonard has lost the plot a little here.
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PostSubject: Re: Natural Swing or Un-Natural Swing   Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:04 am

Right_sided_coach wrote:


pushslice, one of the pluses of the RSS is that we have accredited instructors all over the world and what you hear from a coach in Singapore, you will also hear the same from a coach in any other country. It is a standardised teaching method which is what we believe it should be.

Tats one thing good abt the academy, all teaches the same thing. it shows the integrity of the academy.
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PostSubject: Re: Natural Swing or Un-Natural Swing   Tue Feb 23, 2010 2:29 pm

weesern wrote:
Right_sided_coach wrote:


pushslice, one of the pluses of the RSS is that we have accredited instructors all over the world and what you hear from a coach in Singapore, you will also hear the same from a coach in any other country. It is a standardised teaching method which is what we believe it should be.

Tats one thing good abt the academy, all teaches the same thing. it shows the integrity of the academy.

Thanks weesern
Could you imagine the confusion for a group such as the Sports School. 18 students, 3 coaches all teaching something different.
I think of it like McDonalds, if you buy a Big Mac in Singapore, it will be exactly the same in US, Australia, wherever.
Same as our instructors. We all undergo the Gary Edwin Golf Accreditation Scheme and are required to attend regular training seminars to ensure the product is consistent from one instructor to the next.
Some of the guys that play in the US are looked after by Alex Murray who is a GE instructor. This is a big benefit to those that travel, especially the touring pros.
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PostSubject: Re: Natural Swing or Un-Natural Swing   Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:59 pm

This is another Leadbetter student who converted to RSS. He trained at Sentosa before they closed it down. Since the change, this golfer has won multiple junior and amateur events around the world. He is now based at our academy in Australia and has a bright future ahead.











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