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A short history of toe dancers.

A phenomenon today that is far more common to see than in the past; coming up on your toes in the contact area.


Justin Thomas

Toe Dance-2 Acrylic on canvas-120 x 160cm

I doubt any teacher consciously teaches their pupil to "get up" on their toes in the forward swing. It is something that a pupil does in contact, and is part of the natural violence that occurs. For some, it is necessary to break through the mental resistance of the ball. It is not something we see in the process of iron shots, they are struck with a downward blow, impossible to do with both heels off the floor.

Of course, a driver is invariably hit off a tee and is best struck more on the upward swing. We also twist rather than make the forward transition that an iron shot demands.


The ladies are more likely to have this element in their swing. Focusing on squeezing every ounce of energy out of their body frames the heels rising as part of a process.



Lexi Thompson

Pen sketch-Lexi Thompson gives her all.

I don`t think anybody has got up more onto their toes than Lexi Thompson, and she is a fabulous example of spontaneity in a swing.


Joyce Wethered


Probably the first woman golfer to be filmed on her toes at impact. Interestingly in her book, she recommends a downward drive with the irons and an upward sweep with woods.


Click on the image to enlarge

Bobby Jones


One of the first males to be filmed with both feet rising upwards is Bobby Jones. It is said he was so disgusted when he saw his footwork on this film that he immediately went to work on eradicating it. Not something many can do with any improvement. Bobby was, as always, the special case.


BEFORE



AFTER





The thoughts of Bobby Jones on the golfswing are timeless and apply just as much today as they did when he shared them 100 years ago (The Photo is from a lithograph before I applied the colour layers).








Bernard Langer demonstrates the flatfooted twist

The footwork shown by Langer is more in line with a half to three-quarters wedge. Upper arms and body stay connected while the body just turns. Or as Irv Schloss would say " a flat-footed twist."

The driver, with arms creating more space thanks to his upright spine, will move his foot balance slightly towards the toes. The arm leverage is essential for distance (Bernard is not a toe dancer).

Langer in perfect posture 1990-woods still used at this time.

As always the set-up plays a significant role in the effect. The amount of knee bend will also move the balance more forward or back. Basically, a player will stand as tall as the club and his or her stature will allow while maintaining a slight downward `kink` at the wrist joints.

The driver, with arms creating more space thanks to his upright spine, will move his foot balance slightly towards the toes. The arm leverage is essential for distance (Bernard is not a toe dancer).

George Archer


George Archer at contact. 1969

George Archer took lessons from Irv Schloss, although they were taken after this high-speed film exposed his contact area. As the photograph shows Archer had his left heel off the ground. I know that Irv was not enamoured with this habit, and saw it as a flaw. What Irv actually said can be found in the forum under George Archer.


Taken in Florida in 1969 when George won the Masters championship.





Bubba Watson


Bubba may be the male equivalent of Lexi Thompson. No other male rides up on the ball and almost springs from his shoes more than Bubba.

Bubba dynamics-Acrylic on Canvas 120x160 cm Click on image to enlarge

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