Findings from Dr. Kwon’s Golf Biomechanics Instructor Training Program Level 1

*Dr. Young-Hoo Kwon is a professor at the Texas Women's University. He is hailed by many, including Chris Como, as the foremost expert in the field of bio-mechanics. The dynamic team of Dr. Kwon and Chris Como (coach to Tiger Woods) was picked by as the Biggest Innovators in Golf.
I recently took a part in the Dr. Kwon’s training program in Bangkok, Thailand (Mar. 8 & 9th, 2015). I would like to thank Dr. Kwon and everyone involved for such insightful and enlightening couple of days. With such vast amount of new findings presented during the seminal, it is amazing to think that it’s only a tip of the iceberg in his research. I am sure we are all in agreement that it will take a good part of our professional lives to digest and absorb Dr. Kwon’s findings.
In the following section, I have compiled a list of my understandings from the Level 1 Program. I tried to deconstruct them into a common language that relates only to the practical implication/application and I have left out the scientific lingos, which I had a hard time following. I would love to have someone take a look and guide me as to whether I’m on the right track. Please feel free to add any materials that I have missed out (and I’m sure there are a lot of them).
1. Golf Biomechanics
  • The research focuses on contribution and analysis of bio-mechanics in the golfer’s body and swing motion
What Does This Mean?
  • The research of Dr. Kwon focuses on the relationship between the inner mechanics of golfer’s body and swing motion
  • Other models of bio-mechanics, as presented by T*I and others organizations, put too much emphasis on the relationship between anatomy and the swing motion which, in effect, works only to improve muscular compensation to hide mechanical fault.
  1. Countermovement
  • To counter-act the Stretching-Shortening Cycle.
  • Focuses on the importance of backswing to engage muscles to pre-stretch prior to the start of the downswing and eliminate Electromechanical delay (EDM).
What Does This Mean?
  • Movements in the backswing needs to serve as an important mechanism to “load” up the correct muscles that can fire immediately at the start of the downswing, without wasted time caused by the effect of Electromechanical delay (slight lag time between eccentric and concentric contraction of a muscle). This will maximize the energy (muscle force and contraction velocity) to be translated into achieving maximum velocity quicker and earlier in the downswing.
  • Early cocking limits pre-stretching.
  • It refutes the notion of the backswing sequence starting first with the club (K-V**t).
  1. Ground Reaction Force
  • Mass of body and club remains constant throughout the swing and External Ground Force (foot/ground interaction) is the only controllable variable that can intentionally be changed in the realm of maximizing the force output.
What Does This Mean?
  • Foot/Ground interaction and the position of the Center of Mass (COM) are the most important elements in maximizing the force exertion and creating efficient force expenditure.
  • Movement of pelvis and its effect on the position of Center of Mass is highlighted, as oppose to focusing on singular position/movements of shoulder, head, trunk, weight distribution (vertical position), or etc.
  • In general, trail foot works to generate horizontal force, and lead foot works to generate vertical force.
  • It refutes the notion of relying data solely on the measurement of vertical weight distribution (most force plates in the market). Horizontal force from foot movements has to be calculated to examine the efficiency of the force output.
  • It refutes the notion of maintaining weight on the leading side (S**** & ***t).
  • It refutes the notion of X-Factor. Focusing on the upper-body rotation, without taking in consideration for the foot/ground interaction, only suppresses the Ground Reaction Force. Negative correlation was found between X-Factor (traditional understanding and also the X-Factor stretch) and the output (speed/distance/force).
  • It refutes the commonly held teaching philosophy that feet should be firmly planted.
  1. Functional Swing Plane
  • Tracking the trajectory (Motion Plane) of the clubhead from the Mid-Downswing (MD) to Mid-Followthrough (MF) as it rotates around the Instantaneous Rotation Center.
What Does This Mean?
  • It refutes any other notion of a swing plane, including Ben Hogan’s shoulder plane, Hank Haney’s shaft plane, and Jim Hardy’s shoulder/arm (one or two plane swing) lines, as there are too much variation of movements on the outside phases of swing events (as in, any swing events happening outside of MD to MF phase).
  • It refutes the traditional use of the Double or Triple-Pendulum Model in simulation studies as they simplifies the swing too much. Swing events should be looked at in relation to player’s Instantaneous Rotation Center, which is not stationary throughout the swing.
  • In Functional Double-Pendulum model, Mid-Trunk can be used as the hub to relate the position of Functional Swing Plane.
  1. Early Acceleration
  • In order to maximize the vector quantities (force, pressure, velocity, and etc.) of the clubhead at Impact (BI phase), the vector in the “tangential” direction should be accelerated to the max in the early part of the downswing (EDA phase) and then, 100 percent of the vector needs to be directed in the “normal” direction at Impact.
What Does This Mean?
  • Direction of the energy (needs a better word??) on the downswing has to be directed down towards the ground and at the point of impact, the energy (??) must be directed toward the body. This is done through deceleration of the body prior to impact position.
  • It refutes the commonly held teaching philosophy to “swing through the impact.”
  • It refutes the idea of multi-peak kinematic sequence model where the speed of different anatomic parts are peaking at different points on the downswing.
  • It confirms the single peak kinematic sequence where the speed of anatomic parts peak at the same time then, decelerates prior to the Impact position.

By Lee J.H. Lee,
PGA of Canada Class A
Emirates PGA
Titleist Performance Institute Level 2
Lee is the Executive Director of the Links Times and the creator of Hush Golf. He coaches golfers of all skill levels from the Track Meydan Academy by Troon in Dubai, UAE and at the Cedar Hill Golf Course in Victoria, BC, Canada. Follow Lee on Twitter @leejhl@UAEgolf and @linkstimes. Also on Facebook at “Dubai Golf Chat with Lee


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