3 Additional Swing Characteristics Added to TPI’s Evaluation
Previously, TPI focused on the 12 most common swing characteristics.
I have written extensively about these 12 characteristics and here is a summary article Of the 12, Which Swing Characteristic is the Most Common?
The original 12 were, in reality, the 14 most common swing characteristics as TPI grouped Casting, Early Release, and Scooping as one characteristic.
Recently, TPI changed this grouping and also added three additional swing characteristics.
Below is a more detailed discussion of the changes.
What Are Swing Characteristics
Swing characteristics are mechanical inefficiencies that cause you to spray the golf ball all over the course as well as cost your golf swing the loss of power. They can also put you at greater risk for injury.
The cause of these characteristics can be technical issues in your golf swing or physical limitations such as limited mobility and lack of strength.
If you know or think you have any swing characteristics, you need to ask yourself if the problem is your body or is it a technical issue.
To find out, we can run you through some mobility screens to see how well your body moves.
Remember, always focus on your body before technical issues. Getting instruction for a swing characteristic where the cause is physical in nature won’t help the problem.
You need to fix mobility and stability problems first. If you can’t put your body into a position, no amount of swing instruction will make it so.
Changes in TPI’s Swing Characteristics
At the time of this writing, TPI changed its swing characteristics by eliminating the term Early Release and separating out Casting and Scooping.
I understand why TPI did this; In my opinion, the early release characteristic is synonymist for casting.
The separation of casting and scooping is also a good move since you can have the casting characteristic and not scoop the ball.
Also, you identify casting on the downswing. Scooping, while it does occur at the end of the downswing it most often is seen on the follow-through.
I’ve thought about these two swing characteristics quite a bit, and if you have seen my swing assessment reports, I always separated casting and scooping anyway.
I think removing early release is a good move and in hindsight, I should’ve discussed them separately on the website as I do in my swing assessment reports.
The 3 Additional Swing Characteristics
TPI added three additional swing characteristics to their web page that explains the characteristics.
The additions are:
- Flying Elbow
- Late Buckle
- Forward Lunge
The first, flying elbow, is an excellent addition. It can easily be seen in video images and can be diagnostic of back and shoulder limitations. From looking at a lot of amateur golf swings, my guess is this swing characteristic is common.
The cause of Flying Elbow is the lack of external shoulder rotation. External shoulder rotation is evaluated with the 90/90 test.
The other two additional swing characteristics are similar to the slide swing fault.
Late Buckle is identified by a collapse of the legs after impact. Similar to slide where the body moves ahead of the lead foot, the body also drops when the knees give out.
The causes can be a hip mobility issue with little to no rotation or the lack of core or leg strength.
What is unique about this swing characteristic is the evaluation of the physical causes. All other evaluations or screens test mobility, flexibility or use bodyweight tests. For Late Buckle, there is a new screen where you lift 1.5-times your body weight in a lunge position.
This makes sense as the cause can be the lack of leg strength.
Forward Lunge is an exaggerated upper body slide. Instead of moving forward a couple of inches, your upper body moves four or more inches toward the target, and ahead of your lower body.
This upper-body movement causes a steep downswing that decreases power output, gives you higher than wanted trajectory, and excessive backspin on the golf ball.
The physical causes are lack of hip mobility & rotation, glute & core weakness, ankle mobility limitation and possible lack of lower body strength.
The test to identify if Forward Lunge is a technical or physical issue is the pelvic rotation test.
Adoption of the Additional Swing Characteristics
I will adopt TPI’s additional swing characteristics as they all have merit and a swing analysis will identify the characteristics.
Identifying theses swing characteristics helps pinpoint physical limitations and provides baseline data to compare improvements once a golf conditioning program is completed.
The terminology is more precise and paints a better picture of swing issues.
Addition of the Swing Characteristics
Changes will be made to TMF to include the additional swing characteristics. Once the weather clears (at the time of this writing a foot or more of snow is on the ground) I will post new videos of the characteristics and web pages that will reflect and include the new terminology.
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