Friday, February 4, 2011

Origins of the Mongoose Golf Swing; More Power, Less Effort

I’ve been playing golf for more than 60 years.  I’m 76.  From about age 21 or 22 I realized that the conventional golf swing was ridiculous.  Too many moving parts.  Using it we slice, gouge, flail, spray balls all over the course, over-swing, reverse-pivot, occasionally even whiff the ball completely, and always worry every time we go out to play.  Everyone I know who has played the game, including all the tour players, tinker with it, modify it, try this try that, only to see it break down again and again (ask Tiger).
It didn’t help that I’m left handed (no worries, my tutorial teaches the "Goose" from both sides).  The equipment was lousy for lefties for decades (only after the lefty Bob Charles won the British Open in 1963 did golf club manufacturers give a hoot about making better clubs for lefties).  But even with what were then called “rental clubs,” I got down to a 6 handicap.  I was always a good putter, which saved many a round.
In my 50s I kept hitting it shorter and shorter.  Finally, one morning, in my early 60s, I woke up realizing that I had to start from scratch and think the golf swing all-the-way-through, start to finish, or quit.  What would I have to do to get rid of the backswing?  Like every golfer who has played the game knows, the backswing is the black living monster that eats golf swings for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Again, what would I have to do to get rid of it?  I mean how do you take it to ‘here,’ then get back to ‘there’ at the exact perfect time to strike the ball and then get to ‘there’ in the followthrough - consistently and in balance?  You don’t.  But you can once you learn the "Goose."
Next, what must I do to be able to really wield the golf club?  I watched the greats and noticed that they would be firm for several shots, then hit a couple of absolute clinkers.  What was going on with that?  I saw their hands come off the club, especially if they were swinging hard on a particular shot.  What would it take, I mean what would I have to do to not have that happen, regardless of how hard I swung a club?  
Breakthroughs that really work.  No bull, no lies, just results that lower your score and add all sorts of enjoyment to the game

I was quite by chance in a museum and passed a painting of a group of Samurai swordsmen.  Of all people, if you’re a warrior who fights to the death with a sword, you have to learn how to wield the thing in such a way that it doesn’t come loose from your grip.  Low and behold, I noticed that they separated their hands about two or three inches.  Some even more than that (watch the VIDEO and see the swordsmen’s grip).  
I learned that your hands can’t be touching each other.  That sends all sorts of conflicting messages to the brain.  If you overlap a finger or intertwine them in some way, the brain doesn’t really know what you want your hands to do.  But if you separate them from each other they seem to be able to cooperate with each other in a most amazing way.  I watched jugglers and other people who do complex things where their hands have to cooperate, even a person throwing a pot (in pottery making) has to do several things at the same time with both hands.

I was at a course one morning and a teaching pro was helping a guy with his swing.  Here’s a little slice (sorry) of that conversation.  “Move your hand over a little.  Move your right foot back a little.  Cock your wrists a little more on the takeaway.  Bend your knees a little more.  Straighten up your back a little.  Learn a little farther forward over the ball.  Lighten your grip a little.”  I almost threw up.  Unbelievable.
From nature a final element for the Mongoose Golf Swing that sends it over the top
One day I was watching a National Geographic show on television.  It was about the mongoose and how effective it is in fighting cobras.  I remember the narrator saying, the mongoose is agile, solitary, and strikes its opponent with a force far exceeding its size.’  Hmmm, I thought to myself.  That phrase haunted me for months.  “...with a force far exceeding its size.’”

The mongoose uses its back as a lever.  It simply muscles out and down to the ground.  Even using the ground to sink its teeth in the snake.  I saw a similar technique used by a world class javelin thrower.  He would run up to the line with his back arched back, and at a certain moment would thrust his upper body forward while letting go of the javelin.  We’ve all seen this and marveled at how much force they can get into a throw.
The end of the takeaway. . .a blessing for all golfers
I learned that all I had to do to get rid of the takeaway was to lift the club into position.  Now you can’t do this with the conventional swing, because it asks you to move from side to side.  But with my top down swing, it not only makes perfect sense, but its as natural as lifting a baseball bat up and into position.  No big deal, right?  Anyone who’s ever played baseball has done it.  Naturally.
By getting rid of the takeaway, you get rid of the need for so-called rhythm.  If you’re moving side to side, you need to get the rhythm right or you end up over-swinging or under-swinging or mishitting, or as I said earlier, the occasional embarrassing whiff.  In my video tutorial ($23 electronic download) I show an easy way to learn how to simply rotate your body around from one side to the other.  Rotate and lift the club.  Strike the ball and end up in a perfectly balanced position.  Shot after shot.
I’ve had people who after a single practice session say they never dreamed they’d be able to strike a golf ball like they did.  Older people were hitting their 3 metal fairway club farther than they’d hit ever their driver - on a good drive (I recommend getting rid of the driver.  It’s not a club for those who play once or twice a week).
Some of you may get to this spot in this post and say to yourself “it’s too late.”  Well, I disagree. I have a person who bought my video tutorial at the ripe old age of 86.  He has arthritis.  He’s got high this and high that.  His knees are bad.  I told him in an email he sounded like a walking ruin.  But he now steadily breaks 100 - at the age of 87.  He even carries his own bag.  I recommended that he carry just 6 clubs.  He thinks I’m the greatest thing since spaghetti (he’s Italian).  

As the late philosopher-psychologist Alan Watts once remarked, “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”  I know this, once you spend just a few minutes experimenting with the new grip, the body-levering principle, and the counter-balancing principle, you’ll begin to really strike the golf ball with a new sense of joy.  You’ll have new sounds and new distances to contemplate.  Thanks for your interest. 

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