The Kinetic Link is key for golfers looking to improve
I’ve always considered myself a golf nerd. One of the first books I picked up in the mid 90’s was The Golfing Machine. I couldn’t understand it (I was far from ready to try to read Homer Kelley) but I was of the mind that the swing itself COULD BE TREATED SCIENTIFICALLY. I truly believe golf is a combination of art and science, but rather than being obsessed with swing mechanics, these days I’m more interested in how we move the body to move the club, our series of motions that produce power, known as Kinetic Linking.
Kinetic linking as it relates to golf is essentially the manner and timing of body movements and torques that combine to create clubhead speed. Studying the kinetic link is among the best ways to truly isolate dysfunction during the golf swing.
ZenoLink, founded in Endicott, NY (home of IBM) by Chris Welch of welch-e technologies, does not provide just your typical video analysis of a golf swing. Rather, ZenoLink’s experts in functional movement are able to use video to model a golfer’s motion without the player having to get wired up. The models are used to assess exactly how each player performs his golf swing, risk of possible injury, and the possibilities for improved performance. The video should be done by those trained in how to use this powerful tool. There is no one in the S.F. Bay Area that I’m aware of who has the training YET but I will report back if and when that changes. I know Laird Small offers it at Pebble but somehow I don’t imagine Laird is going to be inviting me out to give it a test drive any time soon. UPDATE: Terry Rowles at the San Francisco Golf Performance Center offers the ZenoLink analysis in his downtown San Francisco studio on Montgomery Street, and he also uses KVest as well as the TPI3D/AMM system at his Olympic Club teaching facility.
Look for a ZenoLink partner trained in ZenoLink’s Progressive Skills Training program.
ZenoLink 3-D Motion Analysis makes waves at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open
ZenoLink popular at a PGA event
Sean Foley a huge fan of ZenoLink
Foley understands the importance of the kinetic link
There are other companies in the 3D and motion capture space but ZenoLink appears to be unique in that the model is built upon visual analysis of a swing collected by an expert and analyzed by a highly trained biomechanist, without the need for harnesses and wires. One of the locations where the ZenoLink Technology is available is Core Golf Academy in Orlando.
NOTE: After posting this article a few weeks ago I received quite an education from the likes of Greg Rose and Phil Cheetham from TPI3D/AMM, and I as it turned out I was using the wrong term to describe the manner in which the ZenoLink technology illustrates movement. The kinematic sequence (which is the term I originally used) is not the same as kinetic linking and I will be posting a follow up article about the AMM technology, which is sensor based. According to these experts, what ZenoLink relies on is referred to as kinetic linking.
Tiger Woods’ Old Swing vs 2010 Swing with Foley
Just as a side rant about Tiger’s swing progress as of late 2010, I read in GOLF magazine Brandel Chamblee saying that if Tiger returns to his Y2K swing with Butchy he will break Nicklaus’ record but if he does not go back to Butch he will definitely NOT break Jack’s record. That to me is just a bizarre comment to make and I completely disagree. Foley realizes (and apparantly Brandel does not) that the Tiger swing as a 25 year old is not a sustainable swing. Yes it was amazing, but sorry that swing ain’t coming back and a gumby like Tim Lincecum will not be able to throw exactly like he does at age 35 either. There were some criticisms of the new swing as only being good for trapping the ball and majors require you to hit it very high, and of course he tells a story of a 250 towering 4 iron over a skyscraper tree to a foot. Of course that was a 21 year old Woods utilizing a power move that eventually contributed to multiple crippling injuries. By studying biomechanics, I believe the combination can be achieved of an efficient swing delivering plenty of speed as well as being relatively gentle on the joint structures. And I think Tiger will be able to hit some pretty good golf shots in the coming years, even some high towering 4 irons to a foot.
Using motion technologies like what ZenoLink provides, the average golfer can begin to monitor improvements in the key skills that combine for an efficient swing. On the downswing, power should be generated in the lower body, and transmitted out to the arms via the core, which should store and release energy. The ability to evaluate what the core is doing during the swing and make improvements to the way energy is transferred from the lower body through the trunk and shoulders, out the arms and hands and to the handle of the club and on down to the clubhead, is in my mind the holy grail of golf instruction.