Vertical Swingers on the PGA TOUR | Swing Surgeon - Don Trahan Peak Performance Golf Swing

Vertical Swingers on the PGA TOUR

Fri, 05/09/2014 - 12:00 -- Don Trahan

It's a big week for golf, as The PLAYERS Championship has come to be known as "the 5th major." Many of the top players in the world are at famed TPC Sawgrass in Florida trying to become the next PLAYERS champion.

I'll be watching this weekend to see which players find themselves in contention when it comes down to the back nine on Sunday. It's very interesting to see the growth of vertical swingers on both the PGA TOUR and the LPGA TOUR. I think Surgites are beginning to notice it as well because I've been getting a lot of messages asking if certain players are using elements of the PPGS.

Here is one of the messages I received regarding this issue:

Hi Don,

For a good while I have the impression that [Keegan Bradley] is playing the PPGS. Especially the backswing looks a lot like our swing. He is not playing a 3/4 swing but it looks excellent fom behind. His follow through looks still like a rotational swing. What are your thoughts on KB's swing?

Swing it Vertical,

Holger

Keegan does use a vertical swing, yet he swings quite a bit past 3/4 in his backswing. His forward swing and finish also look pretty rotational. But, it just goes to show that not only are more pros experimenting with vertical swings, but that the Surge Nation is taking notice!

It's our job to spread the word about the Peak Performance Golf Swing and why it's the most body-friendly swing being taught today. When I get emails and messages like this, it makes me happy because it means you are all understanding the benefits of this swing.

The thing to remember is that we want to be vertical on both sides, especially the forward swing to the T-finish because the ball goes where your forward swing goes. You don’t hit the ball with your backswing, so make sure your forward swing is just as vertical!

Good luck!

The Surge

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Comments

Robert Fleck's picture

Submitted by Robert Fleck on

Hey Surge and Surgites. Sorry I haven't been around for a while. Life continues to be crazy and overworked on my end, but today I happened to catch some Live@ from The Player's Championship while I was doing some computer work and Matt Kuchar was one of the players in the featured group. I was noticing the exact same thing about his alignment being right, but more significantly, he's actually set up and swinging to hit a pull. His toes are right but his shoulders are square and he swings around to pull the ball left of his toe alignment. I guess that's his method for trying to get a little more distance, since we've all experienced that pulls go farther. :)

Dragonhead's picture

Submitted by Dragonhead on

Hi Robert,
Good to see you breaking cover-you have been missed.
Watching the Players [last 3 rounds] and have been amazed at some of the pros and their alignment. How come we can see it even on short putts that it is off target and they can't?
Looking forward to the final round in the morning [Monday here in New Zealand] and may the best GOLFER win on the day ; - ) Looks like a two man shoot out at the moment, then it is not over until it is over.
Hope that your 'crazy life' settles down soon and allows you more time to relax.
DH and DL [my wife who has taken up the game : - ] in NZ

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

Seeing your comment Robert reminded me of a couple of songs, especially along with new comer Steve's comment. Yes. "something old, something new".
The other song is by Cat Stevens, in which he says "We're only dancing on this world for a short while". Nice to hear from Surgites that were here 5-6 years ago in the beginning when we had so many frequent characters on the blog all of various personalities. Everyone adds some insight and spice to the mix. Glad you're alive and kicking Robert. I think DJ is coming your way again at the Byron Nelson next week. Maybe you'll sneak away from the fray of work to drop by that tournament as you've done in the past. Do let us know.

As for this weeks tournament at Saw Grass, let's see if either Kaymer or Speith can hang in there. Looks like they'll need better than 71/72 to win. Sergio and Senden are lurking. Two protecting leads and two charging fearlessly. Lots of lakes and trees waiting to guard the course. Looks like a bit more wind and weather will challenge them too. Fun stuff.
Golf on!

rossdean27@gmail.com's picture

Submitted by rossdean27@gmail.com on

Hi Surge,
Isn't it likely that Kuchar and others that are aiming right are just set up to hit a draw? I'd be interested in your comment on this. Thanks for your daily videos.
Ross

Russty Kiwi's picture

Submitted by Russty Kiwi on

Contact customer support at the top right of this page.

beaglegolf's picture

Submitted by beaglegolf on

I'm new to Swing Surgeon, but loving it so far. The online community seems to have a lot of great, friendly people. I have noticed the same about Kuchar.

The main point of my post is that he more I watch PGA and LPGS tournaments, the more I notice all these little deviations on the supposed "way to swing". It always crack me up when commentators and other instructors make comments like, I will use one when I see Inbee Park swing. They say, she does what she needs to do, but you wouldn't to copy it or dot it that way". We've heard similar on the PGA tour with Furyk. All I have to say after I hear these comments is, "why not, is it that you don't want to play well?" Inbee is # 1 and Furyk is still a top player. In all the reading I have done and listening to Don, isn't is much more important to swing the club the way it comes naturally, instead of worrying about where you are supposed to have the club very millisecond of the swing? They don't want to help people get better. They want to feed the "Swing One Way Only theory and also boost there own egos. When I swing the club (even though it has only been in the living room thus far) like Don teaches, it feels great and very natural.

Glad to be a new member of the Swing Surgeon site.

Steve

Hal's picture

Submitted by Hal on

Steve, welcome to the club of surgites. keep up the good work, watch the dailys, and to get really good buy The Surge's videos because the dailys do not get deep enough in to the subject. It is well worth it.
keep em vertical.
Hal

beaglegolf's picture

Submitted by beaglegolf on

Hi Hal, thanks for the welcome. Even though it's been a short time, I am loving the site, videos, blog, etc. I signed up for the 10 free videos and liked them very much. So I searched out more info. Found Swing Surgeon videos on You Tube and I was off. I have just purchased the Fundamental Series, and can't wait to start watching. If you can't tell, I'm very excited. I love talking about golf, so I think I am really going to like the blog also.

Thanks again,
Steve

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

Steve,
Welcome to our Surgite family. We look forward to your observations. Yes it is the differences in our swings that makes us individuals. You will certainly find all the strongest basics for a foundation of a more solid swing here with the PPGS. Thanks for joining us and good golf to you.
What neck of the woods do you live in? Do tell us a little about yourself as you have time.
Again, glad to have you along:)

beaglegolf's picture

Submitted by beaglegolf on

Thanks for the welcome Robert. I am new to the game of golf. I have watched for years, thinking that one day I would like to try and play. I just turned 55 and I am a beginner. Most of my friends tell me that I am crazy. There is no way I can learn and play well at my age. At first this bothered me. But another friend told me not to listen to them. His father started in his 50s and is still playing now in his 80s. So we'll see how it goes.

I live in Woodside, New York. My only experience at this point has been a couple of lessons I took in New York City (simulator). I also went to a driving range a couple of times. Honestly, most of my swings have been in the living room.

I found Don on You Tube, and started doing a little more research and found this site. I have to say I was truly intrigued. I signed up for the 10 free videos (10 major mistakes amateurs make). Some of Don's videos threw me for a loop (closer stance for short irons, shoulder width for driver, etc). Others are not too over the top (neutral grip, etc). But I have to say, I just watched #9 which refers to hitting down on the ball. This one really had my head spinning. I read golf magazines, watch golf shows, watch PGA & LPGA tournaments, and have spoken to golf instructors. Every single one of them has said, you have to hit down on the ball to compress it and get it airborne. So this video kind of perplexed me. I have ordered the PPGS Fundamentals video before finishing the 10 free videos. But after watching video #9, I was wondering if I made a mistake. I hope not. I will watch the Fundamental Series and hope that I enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed the Swing Surgeon site so far.

Thanks again Robert.

Steve

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

Steve,
I have been golfing for over 40 years and before finding the Swing Surgeon I was also used to all the common instruction that you referred to. Hitting down is just one of the many ideas that is commonly taught.
In the over all picture I will tell you that I went from rarely breaking 85 to rarely shooting more than 84 and often 80. I have beat the 80 barrier several times now and 36 for 9 one time * so far.
As Don says, he's on one side of the street and most (or all) other teachers are on the other.
This is the best and most body friendly swing which is great for us 50 year plussers!
Actually equally good fir kids.
Stick with it!

Dragonhead's picture

Submitted by Dragonhead on

Robert,
I second that! Players suspended for the moment boohoo! Can't wait for it to re-start ; - )
It is good for 70 year plussers too. If I hit down and take a divot instead of burning the rasher of bacon grass, my body soon lets me know! When completing the swing correctly I can swing all day without any repercussions during the round or later. My DL wife the rank beginner has a swing which defies belief, but she enjoys the game so much. One bit of heresy imparted to her after several worm burners, was for her to hit down just a wee bit. It looked to me like she was trying the beginners fatal mistake of trying to 'scoop' the ball. Her next shot was by comparison sublime : - ) She still hits up [when she remembers] and the hitting down in her case was a quick fix cure on the course only.
Golf occasionally here due to the wet weather which seems to be going on and on! Watching the Players using a couple of harder sponge rubber balls to strengthen my grip. It makes a big difference in my swing with a firmer [not strangling the club] grip. Have passed on the site to several players during the last couple of weeks and all seemed interested.
We are definitely on the correct side of the street with this swing-Nothing and I mean nothing will have us changing back to any other method, period.
Enjoy your balmy weather in Las Vegas and keep on hitting them longer and straighter. DH and DL in NZ
PS.
Noted in the news 1,000 Masseurs performing at the same time in Indonesia-guess who it reminded me of? hahaha! DH

beaglegolf's picture

Submitted by beaglegolf on

Thanks again Robert. It is really great to be able to share ideas, opinions, etc with others who love the game. Thanks for the support. Just swinging in the living room I can tell how body friendly it is. I will stick with it and avoid the negative comments from others. Also I will ignore the fact that it doesn't coincide with conventional teachings. Like I have told many others, look at Inbee Park and Jim Furyk. I wonder how many people told them that their swing is horrible and they should change it. Millions of dollars later, I am sure they laugh at the nay sayers.

Thanks again for the support. Really loving the site.

Steve

Dragonhead's picture

Submitted by Dragonhead on

Steve,
Jim Furyk is US$1,080,000 Million dollars richer after coming second to Martin Kaymer this very day : - ) Always liked Jim and Inbee Park is our favourite lady player.
Robert is a straight shooter and gives tons of good advice to fellow
Surgites. One of the benefits of being a PPGS swinger.
Stay well, stay Happy with the site.
PS
My mothers dog was a Beagle called Patrick,fond memories of him.
DH in NZ

beaglegolf's picture

Submitted by beaglegolf on

Thanks Dragonhead. I have been getting used to the site for about a week now and loving it. Between the great videos, the helpful staff, loads of information and the friendly members, it's been great. I posted my first yesterday morning and have many Welcome replies and helpful points about Don's swing.

Yes, my beagle (KC) was 16 when he passed in 2011. Great dogs.

Two weeks in a row, second place for Jim, and Inbee still number 1. If I didn't do a search on You Tube for Inbee Park's golf swing, may have never found the Swing Surgeon.

Thanks again Dragonhead

Steve

Brady's picture

Submitted by Brady on

Hello Steve,

I added a digital video that we use for promotions here a lot. It's called "Swing through the bag". It has Don swinging every club at full speed, stop-action, and slow motion. Might help you out starting with the swing.

Thanks for the support!!
Brady

beaglegolf's picture

Submitted by beaglegolf on

Hello Brady,

Thanks much. I will check this out and I am sure it will help. Much appreciated.

Just finished watching my 10th free video fem Don. I have purchased the PPGS Fundamental Swing Series. I am really hoping I like it. I have my eyes on the Driver and Alignment videos if I like the Fundamental Series.

Thanks again for all your support.

Steve

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

Steve,
We are all eager to be helpful and hope we don't overwhelm you with suggestions! Lol!
I have every video Don has made however I collected and studied them over a nearly 6 year period. So be patient with your absorbsion, study and practice. K.I.S.S. principal works well. Both the driver video and the alignment are helpful. The Ultimate Alignment is detailed and deep. In my humble opinion, (after the Fundamentals and the Manual both most important) the Junior Blueprint video is the absolute best buy of all hands down. You become privi to 6 hours of viewing Don in action personally teachinng several top junior golfers. Don't let the term 'juniors' throw you off. These kids are excellent students and golfers and ALL of Don's recommendations and counsel to each student can be applied to us older folks. Watching those lessons is like being able to sit in and listen and learn while not paying big bucks for the knowledge. That Junior series is a must if you want a shorter route to Dons mind and methods of the why and how.

beaglegolf's picture

Submitted by beaglegolf on

Hi Robert. Thanks for the info. Don't worry about overwhelming me. It is a hard thing to explain. To be honest, it probably won't make a lot of sense. I used to watch golf once in a while, but if let's say it was a final round and I went out or turned a baseball, hockey, etc game on, I may not have even given it much thought to get the golf results. Or I probably could wait until tomorrow. One day I was watching a tournament (I think it was an LPGA) and I just said (decided) that I truly loved golf. I started watching everything from PGA and LPGA tournaments to all the shows on Golf Channel. I started reading golf magazines and books. I don't know how many books I have read. I started searching the internet. I subscribed to emails from CJ Goecks, Graves Academy (Moe Norman - Single Plane), Shawn Humphries, Bobby Wilson, oh God I could go on. I became pretty much obsessed with the game. Then I said, I wonder if I could learn at this late stage and decided to give it a try. maybe I won't be able to do it, but I am certainly gonna enjoy trying and learning. I came along Don's teachings by searching You Tube for Inbee Park's swing. I am fascinated by it's simplicity and the fact that it goes against all the supposed rules. Sorry for the rambling but I love talking sports, particularly golf. So don't worry about overwhelming me.

I have already ordered the Fundamental Series. Thank you for the suggestion. I really appreciate it. I was looking throughout the list of Don's videos (Surge's Shop) and thought that the Driver Series and Alignment video would be the logical next step. But I will definitely take a look at the Junior Blueprint as you suggested. I really didn't even notice it. I probably bypassed it when I saw Junior in the title. But after you explaining what the video is about, it actually sounds like something that would really be helpful and a great learning experience.

Thanks again Robert. I take a look at the video offerings with a little sharper eye next time. I really appreciate all the help and conversation. Seems like everyone is really nice on the site (blog). If you've been on other sites, that's not always the case.

Thanks again,
Steve

beaglegolf's picture

Submitted by beaglegolf on

Hi Brady, just want to say thanks for the Swing Through The bag video you added to my videos. Just finished watching it and it was great. Being I haven't been able to watch the Fundamental Series I purchased yet, this showed me the swing in slow motion. To be honest, after the free videos, I was still a little unsure as to the proper meaning of vertical swing. I was getting confused with the catchers mitt, up the tree, etc. I was thinking, how are you going to take the club back on the target line into the catchers mitt and then straight up from there. But after watching, I see that you basically take the club back on the target line for a couple of feet, but when you go up the tree, the club is basically above your toe line. Am I seeing this correctly?

I want to thank you again for this video. I really appreciate it. I was a little disappointed that after watching the free videos, I received an email with a special pricing for the Fundamental Series. But I already paid the $70 for the series before the free videos were over.

Thanks again,
Steve

Brady's picture

Submitted by Brady on

Steve,

You should have an email. I credited the 50% off discount to your orders! Enjoy!

-Brady

beaglegolf's picture

Submitted by beaglegolf on

I got the email. Much thanks Brady. I just replied to the email Kim sent to me.

Thanks again,
Steve

Dave Everitt's picture

Submitted by Dave Everitt on

I was going through the archives today and found a year old Surge video that is over 15 minutes long and packed with valuable teaching about the bump. This is a really great encapsulation of the hip and shoulder action in the Surge Swing.

https://www.swingsurgeon.com/daily-video-tips/swinging-both-arms-and-bump

As he states towards the end of the video, " The bump has to happen before there is any turning of the shoulders or we will be over the top every time."

For what it is worth I have a different take on how to activate the bump in a way that is easy for me. It's kind of a which comes first thing... the chicken or the egg. If you watch the video it is obvious that when Surge's belt buckle moves horizontally his right shoulder doesn't turn but does move down.

I find it to easy to overdo a lateral move of the hips before turning them. Being right side oriented, I find it a lot easier to have the shoulders square at impact, if my forward upswing trigger is a slight dropping of the right shoulder blade. This triggers a slight lateral bump and means that it is not necessary to think about doing two things with the hips i.e... laterally shifting them before turning them. I have a lot more feel in the right shoulder blade than the hips. Having a good sense of the place in space of my right shoulder while doing the bump helps me hit straight shots.

I'd like to know if Surge thinks that there is anything wrong with triggering the bump this way.

Dragonhead's picture

Submitted by Dragonhead on

Dave,
Thanks for the link to the 'Bump' video. Watched it and enjoyed it. My swing has improved and my last outing to the range a couple of days ago was much more pleasant as a result.
There are things that work for others and not for me and vice-versa. In your case the shoulder blade has more relevance during your bump. Good for you mate. To me as long as it is a constant in your swing, why not. My pre-shot swing routine swings are not exactly as Surge suggests, but they work for me and as long as they give me the results I am at present seeing they will continue.
The beauty of the Surge Nation is the wide variety of assistance from not just Surge and his team but the comments from Surgites themselves.
Good to see new members enjoying the site and good old Surgites popping back in from time to time with their views.
Keep on bumping your way and hit them long and straight, and thanks again for the reminder video.
DH in NZ

avguy's picture

Submitted by avguy on

Having studied numerous instruction given widely thru golf teachers of PGA certified in addition to the Surge himself, you can be assured that the PPGS swing has two elements that are found in EVERY solid method taught.

They are: 1. Weight transfer move from back to front foot at and thru impact.
2. Secondary Spine Tilt away from the target added, dynamically.

With PPGS, I know Don has said we are on the other side of the fence from conventional thinkings, but in more areas than not, we have a good no. of the elements you see in those swings.

The lateral hip bump has to be an instinctive move, folks. It is the key to giving you the two key elements listed above, key to all solid swings that amateurs fail in most. The bump also gives you one other advantage in this vertical swing of PPGS - it drops the club down into the slot plane you'll need to approach the ball from the inside out. Of course, right hand fights this from overdoing it!

Final note: I have come to accept the PPGS as a more "compact" version of the traditional bigger coil factor swings seen more often. We even get a coil of 70 degrees shoulder vs. 25 or so hips here. The Vertical factor indeed is what may trademark its "look". But that factor I believe was necessary for increasing the efficiency, and decreasing the risks of injury and stray shots.
Jim in mesa.

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

Jim,
Excellent observations. Though there are several things that separate the PPGS on the whole, no wrist set, 3/4's, wide knees, no purposed hitting down and more of an effort to finish at and not swinging left of the target along with a generally more vertical swing plane, the PPGS does have several fundamentals that you reference. One more I would add is the right arm position just before impact (under and close to the hip). Yes all good swings seem to have those key moves and positions regardless of how they get there. Surge has given me both the how and why. Love it.
Finishing with our weight shifted onto our front foot is definitely one of those keys. I must admit that I have been vastly influenced by Kenny Knox's advice to set up with and keep our weight on the front foot with the wedges.
This has helped me get the ball first contact that I have always wanted. Especially with the short irons where it is more about precision and not power and distance. I still normally pre-set heavy right with clubs from 9 iron to driver as the full swing and a clear move from back foot to front is important, right? (of course with our often strong desert winds I will have the weight set more evenly or even forward if hitting into the wind as Surge teaches too). In fact that is one of my only thoughts any more, "finish on the front side"- weight on the front foot and in balance facing the target. If I get there I know all else was likely done correctly.

Hey, BTW. my step son will be starting med school in Glendale in July. We were down last week finding him a suitable apartment. The Phoenix area is so vast, it is amazing that Glendale actually puts us close to an hour closer to Las Vegas than Mesa would for driving. Nice area and we will likely be down there once a month to visit. Maybe I'll get to tee it up with you some day. I think SGW lives down there too.

avguy's picture

Submitted by avguy on

Robert,
Just doing some unofficial "sales" for the PPGS to newbies or doubters, so no problem on tip exchanges as well from me to you, welcome back.

Yep, the finish is an excellent swing thought to ingrain. Other teachers all around the Golf Educators will endorse this. There's a couple of other ppgs folks down this way. The poster who is Amos, plays at San Marcos in Chandler as his home course, which is closed for renovations until November.

Being you are from Sin City, I bet no heat bothers you either. With my golf-friendly work schedule, I typically get out on Mon. or Tues, but can go Sundays as well - and I like late mornings or noon - nobody else around! Because of poor chipping today, I messed up a round. Kept coming up out of the shot too soon, blading/sculling most of those. Rusty.

You can reach me over at GolfWRX forums also as avguy, if you have a free account for postings, as they have a PM feature which is nice to chat with others on arranging games or selling & trading gear with. Check it out sometime.
Jim in mesa.