09/28/2015

As a golf instructor for more than 20 years, I have witnessed a variety of changes in our overall understanding of the golf swing.  Many of the beliefs we once thought to be cornerstones of a fundamental golf swing just a few years ago, have proven to simply not be true. 

The most evident of this change and new understanding is in the basic ball flight laws which we now know, were taught incorrectly for years.

This is a great video explaining that by Joseph Mayo and Waite Mayo Golf:

So when considering the fact that golf instruction is changing, and that things golf instructors have been teaching were wrong, where do we go from here?

Enter Dr. Young-Hoo Kwon, a Professor of Kinesiology at Texas Women’s University in Denton, TX. 

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending Dr. Kwon’s Level 1 Golf Biomechanics Instructors Training Program in Long Island, NY.  The information presented was eye-opening and very educational.

dr kwon

The over-arching theme of Dr. Kwon’s quest and research can be summed up in the first major and recurring point he made within the first 5 minutes of the class:

“We need more evidence based practice.”

So, what does this statement mean?

Simply, in teaching the game of golf, we need more factual information that is based in true science– not someone’s personal opinion. 

Most golf instruction, until just recently, was based on what one instructor or player may (or may not) have thought they did during a particular move in their swing.  This would be the equivalent of the medical field never running a “trial study” before putting a drug on the market.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not comparing the importance of a life-saving drug to hitting a quality golf shot. However, we need to take a true look at the process in which we are making suggestions in the golf industry and ask ourselves if those suggestions are based on true measurable facts. 

If they are not, we as a golf instruction community are doing a great disservice to our students.

Every industry needs people who are willing to challenge the status quo. 

This is how growth, understanding and improvement are brought to the masses. 

There is no doubt that Dr. Kwon is certainly on the leading edge of this, but he is not alone. There are a handful of others out there who are looking at the science behind the golf swing and leading the pack to uncover the true, scientific answers to many of the golf swing mysteries. 

It is the work of these few people that will hopefully bring the golf instruction market what it has needed for years, “evidence based practice.”

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If you enjoy learning about golf biomechanics and the golf swing and some of the science behind the movement, along with Dr. Kwon, here are a few more people you should check out.

Here are a few good videos to improve your knowledge and the way you may look at the golf swing:

Angle of Attack:

Smash Factor:

Weight vs. Pressure

Hitting up on the ball increase distance

Why a strong grip causes a slice:

How you can fix your slice by understanding proper ball flight laws:

Thanks for reading and I’ll be able to present more information from Dr. Kwon in following articles.

Fairways and greens,

Todd Kolb