Photos of Daniel Lambert and Buck Mayers Provided
When I was asked to do a feature article for Long Drive Golf Magazine, I was humbled and excited to contribute! The information and data you will read here is solely based on my personal experiences in 3D studies over the last eight years. What I have learned in my over 30 years of teaching is that nothing compares to the 3D studies because I had to learn more on the biomechanics of speed and power. In 2009, I was fortunate to capture 3D swings and data using the M.A.T.T. System on two-time World Long Drive Champion, Jamie Sadlowski for Golf Digest at our Motion Sports Institute. Participants in this project included Art Sellinger, owner of LDA, Dr. Troy Van Biezen, and the team from Golf Digest.
From my perspective on 3D capture for long drive, Jamie was and still is the model. His athleticism and instincts to the laws of motion are freakish. Our time together was much more than me simply reading the data, it was a dialogue of me learning and understanding of what he sensed or felt he was doing. For any student to have the ability to repeat or change movement patterns, the teacher must take into consideration the student’s uniqueness and personal needs.
I have had the opportunity to film many Long Drivers on 3D with swing speeds of 135+ mph and from the data I have learned unique differences and commonalities to speed and power. The first prerequisite is screening the athlete. The body moves through the pattern of least resistance. Injuries, pain, physical limitations, mobility, stability, strengths, and awareness all must be assessed before any faulty swing patterns can be corrected. Therefore, the screening and a basic understanding of biomechanical deficiencies are the first step; otherwise any changes are futile.
The second step in the evaluation is an assessment of the equipment the player is using. More often than not, I find that regardless of the speed created, if a player’s smash factor, spin, launch, solidity, face to path, and/or angle of attack is poor – the length, flex, loft, lie, swing weight, static weight, grip, or all of the above will sabotage the potential maximum distance you can move it. I often see a 150 mph swing losing out to a 142 mph participant due to poorly fitted equipment. And in my opinion, that is not acceptable.
The third step in the evaluation is to assess their personal ball flight. All too often, I see clients that have more natural speed hitting fades versus draws – and vice versa. This also will have tremendous negatives to how they hold it, aim it, place it, and sets up to the ball – basic fundamentals. Many preconceived ideas on distance have been debunked by 3D and radar data. Understand your way versus the way!
The fourth step in the evaluation is to understand sequencing and motion laws:
- The laws of inertia
- The law of force and acceleration
- What is angular motion?
- Do you know the difference in centrifugal force and centripetal force?
- How does mass, velocity, energy, and leverage interact to kinetic energy?
- Do you understand the lag, drag, pressure, and slack?
- Do you have a basic understanding of primary levers; trail wrist hinge, and trail forearm lever (Flexion/Extension)?
- Please describe torque it how it is used?
- Do you know how to train the most important muscles for speed?
- How do you use rotation and GRF (ground reaction forces)?
Any instruction based program to improve your speed and power must have a basic understanding of the above information. Imagine what would happen if you could get 2 to 3 miles an hour faster in fitness; 2 to 3 miles an hour faster in equipment; 2 to 3 miles an hour faster by finding your optimal best ball flight and set up; and 2 to 3 miles an hour faster in your kinematics. That would mean that you could gain between 8 to 12 mph.
Here’s my challenge to you – give it a try because we could see you at the Worlds this year!!
About the Author
Buck Mayers is the Director of Instruction at Escondido Golf & Lake Club in Horseshoe Bay, TX