* Ace Member *
- Oct 25, 2021
Does fully extending the knee lead to more injury chances? I never really paid any attention to golf, but I thought Tiger has had knee problems. Was it from extending the knee fully?
Knee hyperextension occurs when a large amount of stress is placed on one or more of the knee's four ligaments, causing the knee joint to extend beyond its normal range of motion.
Sidewinder cueing me into Tiger's issues made me study this a little too obsessively. Keep in mind that snaps and hyperextensions come in different degrees, and they can feel fine until the microinjuries pile up. I'm still curious if Barela and Gibson's form will eventually catch up with them due to their knee snaps/hyperextensions. We've heard Gibson complain about his back sometimes.
Had a couple more tidbits for you on backswing, "wide rail", and space. Focus on what Sidewinder is telling you to work on. I do think the context can be important for some headcases to understand, so I'll give it a shot. Just don't let it distract you from working on one thing at a time, which is the only way to really improve in the long run.
Notice when Wiggins modifies his swing for a ~230' uphill upshot (left) he shortens the backswing (torso isn't turning back as far) but his upper arm to chest angle is preserved relative to his full distance drive getting coiled all the way back (right). His movement down the tee isn't identical due to camera angle, but it is similar. This is consistent with the draws/distance lines example SW mentioned. The net effect is that the upshot appears more out-in-out (like a ">") on camera, but it is basically the same mechanics as his full rip in terms of the motion itself, just shortened/more compact. It's part of why he doesn't have to backswing very far to throw 230' uphill with a putter:
Mcbeth is sometimes brought up when people talk about "wide rail." But it's a similar/the same posture-modifying trick as Wiggins. When he spools up more distance he also allows the arm to trail behind his body as he moves past the disc. Notice his throwing shoulder and arm-to-chest angle is keeping good leverage on the disc throughout.
When I or SW talk about space to swing, I think we both are usually talking about that in the context of the rest of the posture. McBeth's an agile guy deep into very athletic posture, which my wireframe emphasizes above. In the image below, his posture and X-step are related to how he or Paige Pierce create more space in transition. The arrow from the disc to upper body is foreshadowing how much it will redirect out from their body into the release. Tattar and Robinson use a Side Shuffle Hop which you can clearly use effectively, but that form minimally (1) leaves less space to swing, which means less time to accumulate acceleration into the release, and (2) less good torque force against the ground since the shuffle hop doesn't get as significant a coil into the rear side and against the ground in the backswing. You haven't found your equivalent posture to PP or McBeth yet, which is making it harder for the other mechanics to gel. In fact, McBeth's limbs are so long you can see that he gets into that absurd depth into his athletic stance (if you still don't see it, look how far his butt is from his disc) because he can counterbalance his limbs way out from his body as he moves. Pierce is doing the "same" thing, just not with those astounding McBeth levers. I now also believe it really does take excellent athleticism to move like McBeth in that kind of depth in any case.
Finally, look at how all four pros on the right have a diagonal shift leaving the disc behind them. Their disc is "behind" them in the Lindahl-esque sense. None of them are rounding because they don't let the arm/shoulder collapse and they leverage the disc back out into the release. That's why Sidewinder's Inside Swing drill works, and you can learn to bring it into athletic posture off of the wall:
I don't think it's a coincidence that most of the top throwers have this relatively straight arm pulled taut behind them on distance drives (and often upshots), and can personally attest that it has always provided a basis for more easy distance for me regardless of whatever else is going on. FWIW, I found the pendulum/Wiggins-like straighter arm backswing easier to learn than learning all of other details at the same time, and definitely easier in standstills at first to reduce the degrees of freedom. My arm/shoulder also feels much better the day after working on drives. Spending time swinging and now throwing heavy levers has helped a lot with whole body posture and flow of momentum too. You need to feel momentum and objects interacting to help your body get certain types of feedback. It cannot all be solved in your head.