A Lesson with George Gankas

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A Lesson with George Gankas

Postby LesMurray » Wed Mar 23, 2016 10:32 pm

I took a lesson with George Gankas this week. The reason? He has been getting some good play on the interwebs and I was impressed with his instruction around the pivot. He is local to me and I had the opportunity to get a lesson to see what he is all about. I'm not jumping ship but just interested in seeing if with some hands-on guidance I could improve my pivot.

First, I will say he is very much in the modern style - teaches by "the numbers" off Trackman. I did find he was able to relate the numbers to what I was doing physically and how to correct any inconsistencies. Could he have done this just looking at ball strike? Possibly, though tougher since I was hitting off a mat instead of turf. He was also all about teaching distance and straight ball flight comparing my strikes to tour players. This does make some sense since he is teaching promising juniors who have aims for college and pro tours.

I found the biggest difference between him and what we are learning here is with the release - he wants a face orientation at P3 with a toe up or even better a slightly closed position. Then from that position, rotation through the shot without the club face changing orientation. Almost like a handle drag, but driven by the pivot.

Here is a piece of video from the lesson where we examine the video of my swing after he has me try his release method.



Now, I want this thread to evolve into a discussion of the ideal ABS swing and not any kind of negative critique of what John and Bradley are teaching. Given that, the first thing I noticed about what George was teaching is how easy it was for me to get left. Just as he was trying to emphasis about my swing and my tendency to leave it right, I feel it would be just as easy to develop a tendency to leave it left with his release. On the other hand, the video shows how I was able to get to a position of better compression using his release.

What does this tell me? First, I am scooping the ball too much right now. Maybe too much right wrist action instead of forearm rotation at impact. Second, to quote Lag from Mod 8, we have to "earn our way to the forward ball position". I take this as meaning, given my current strength with Mod 1, 2, and 3, the rotated plane line makes more sense right now than trying to hit more along my body line. Actually soon after this video he tells me my alignment is left of the target line and I would miss left.

Let's start the discussion here and I'll add more video and commentary over the next week as I get the time to process the video.
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Re: A Lesson with George Gankas

Postby Ded2Journey » Thu Mar 24, 2016 5:16 am

Les,

Apologies for the novel, but this fired me up. :D I applaud you for continuing to search and learn! Awesome stuff...

We are about to go down the road of active vs. passive release. You lose multiple accumulators if you have a strickly pivot driven swing. It may be easier day to day, but I think GG is really missing half of the bus. Of course this works great for Mike Bender and Zack Johnson...not to mention Kuchars action. However, I think this is bad teaching for someone trying to find "true" ball striking. Remember, it's a motion driven by pressures and physics. Without an active release you lose both power and accuracy because you're fighting physics, not working in unison with the universe.

Back to the release. Being active in your release is directly related to your ability to maintain pressures and build them throughout the entire swing. This is what actual gives you incredible pivot action and removes the rights and lefts (mostly)...ground pressures, body cohesion and hand attitudes. The actual golf swing happens after the release...IMHO. The swing GG is teaching leads to early acceleration and hip/knee/back injuries in my experience. Holding the club off tells your body to move hard and fast from the top...BAD!!!

I'm sure we'll get to Hogans left wrist turn down at P3, but realize that is directly related to the pressure he's built into his right side and his post impact intentions. As you mentioned, this feeling helps you get left. The only difference, Hogan actively releases at P3, but his intentions are so sound the the left wrist has no choice but to bow. Physics and Biomechanics force it...not a "hold off" move.

IN SHORT: Joints are meant to move, muscles are designed to fire--why would you fight that? Especially at 100mph+, do you hate your ligaments?

I had 3 back surgeries in 2011. I've been injury free (minus minor aches and pains of course) since 2012 (same time I started ABS)--something to think about I believe...
"People have always been telling me what I can't do. I guess I have wanted to show them. That's been one of my driving forces all my life." -Ben Hogan
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Re: A Lesson with George Gankas

Postby nfbandon » Thu Mar 24, 2016 6:33 am

Good stuff Les, and nice for GG to give a compliment to John. You have done great work. The biggest difference I see between the two is GG has you open up the left lower half immediately in transition. Since the body is more ahead and open you will not have that rotation available from p3 to p4 to help square up. This is why GG wants less forearm rotation going back and coming through. He teaches a bit of a closing of the face in transiton, and then a drive hold through impact. The risk with his method is a pull because opening up can send the path out. With his approach you must oppose the earlier rotation with a shallowing of the shaft. In ABS as you know the clubface is open into p3 and we have to use forearm rotation to square. As long as we are good with our pivot we take left out, but are prone to miss right.

I guess I have always done a sort of hybrid because I never got mod 2 with the leg pressures working directly toward each other, but rather the left working toward and behind and the right working toward and in front, i.e. 45 degree angles.
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Re: A Lesson with George Gankas

Postby LesMurray » Thu Mar 24, 2016 8:26 am

This image is my model for where I want to be at P3:

Image

This is one of my critiques of GG and others who use positions to describe their opinion. He wants me to be toe neutral or toe down at P3 saying that Hogan never rotated - yet in the photo above you clearly see at a frame or two prior to P3 his club face is not closed. I like that photo above because it shows the leverage he is creating just prior to smashing the ball.

I have been reviewing how our release should work and I am finding that if I could get the club flatter and more behind me then the right vector gets minimized because I am rotating more around my center. I'm still a bit too upright in my swing plane, hence I need to scoop it a bit to get to the forward ball position.

Good discussion here. Let's keep it going.
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Re: A Lesson with George Gankas

Postby LesMurray » Thu Mar 24, 2016 8:31 am

nfbandon wrote:Good stuff Les, and nice for GG to give a compliment to John. You have done great work. The biggest difference I see between the two is GG has you open up the left lower half immediately in transition. Since the body is more ahead and open you will not have that rotation available from p3 to p4 to help square up. This is why GG wants less forearm rotation going back and coming through. He teaches a bit of a closing of the face in transiton, and then a drive hold through impact. The risk with his method is a pull because opening up can send the path out. With his approach you must oppose the earlier rotation with a shallowing of the shaft. In ABS as you know the clubface is open into p3 and we have to use forearm rotation to square. As long as we are good with our pivot we take left out, but are prone to miss right...


He did address that and I will get that discussion edited and posted. Basically, his response to getting left too early is to get a bit of right hip thrust, bringing my hips forward through the strike. To me this begins to feel a bit like a reverse C but I only played with this a little so far. He pointed this out on video with Hogan as the shoulder, hip, leg line at P5v is not a straight line but the hips are a little forward.
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Re: A Lesson with George Gankas

Postby nfbandon » Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:28 am

Look forward to it. In the Hogan pic above, he is much more rotated in the left hip than most of us are, and his left wrist is starting to bow. The bowing is happening from the force created by the rotation, the weight of the clubhead as it starts to move outward toward the ball and the earlier external rotation of the right shoulder which sends the shaft behind him. He definitely started squaring sooner than you would do if you drop, then rotate. Nothing right or wrong about either way, just different.
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Re: A Lesson with George Gankas

Postby lagpressure » Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:39 am

Remember, we have been working on you applying the "rotated plane line" so this of course should have the clubface more open at P3 (relative to the body "Trevino"). Trying to close up the face at P3 with a more "back" ball position is going to take the clubface out of sequence with the rotation.

As mentioned, a more forward ball position must be earned if you are still going to hit the 4:30 line. The way to get there properly in my opinion is to better facilitate weight transfer through the strike.

The torso rotation ideally should be combined with weight transfer facilitated by the leg and foot work through the strike.

The narrow stance guys try to take this out of the equation as much as possible. The wider stance guys embrace and take advantage of this if done properly. Hitting into a more flexed left knee through impact is a good start.

There is very little if any hand manipulation going on here at ABS. Quite the opposite. The clubface closure happens by a late and accelerating rotation of the torso... certainly not flicking the hands at the ball through the strike or trying to roll the wrists.

The closed clubface at P3 sounds logical... but in the golf swing, this closed position is not in sequence with the rotation of the shoulders and torso. It's quite out of balance and then other compensations are made such as upright gear and offset clubs, steep descent into the strike that opens up the left side of the golf course.

This is why we are not seeing the next great ball striker in the modern era in my opinion.

Getting back to your swing, I think improvement in weight transfer would be most helpful. I'm not sure what your missed right shots are looking like. Are they weak off centered strikes that just fall right? Work on hitting hard pushes from the back ball position that have heat on them. Then re adjust the alignment of your body. You should never be trying to close the clubface into the strike with your hands. An aggressive strike from the 4:30 line pushing the ball out to the right is a much more sophisticated move in the long run. Then you can move the ball more forward if you choose over time by increasing weight transfer and increasing the acceleration rate of the shoulders and torso post impact.
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Re: A Lesson with George Gankas

Postby LesMurray » Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:56 am

Thanks for posting, John.

Specifically to my misses, they are mostly good strikes just pushed right. With the longer irons it can vary from hard push to a weak fade depending on how much I can retain wrist cock.

Also, good information about the wrists - obviously more Mod 1 and 8 for me.

To go back to GG's teachings, he was definitely stressing for him that he likes the Dustin Johnson style of release, similar to how a hockey player would hit a slap shot. Then how the pivot moves through the strike would determine swing path. I could tell very early in the lesson that with that move, any movement forward of the ball would definitely bring left into play. For me that is the last thing I want - being a recovered hooker.
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Re: A Lesson with George Gankas

Postby nfbandon » Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:21 am

I don't see GG causing a hook, but a pull yes. Under either style there is a minimum of clubface closure through the strike. Both avoid an early weight shift, and use a thrust from the right through the strike. In truth you will find degrees of both in most pivot driven swings. Price used a lot of forearm rotation to square up, and had modest body movement to impact and a lot after. Faldo was similar but a bit more rotated. Hogan was much more rotated. I look forward to the next video Les.
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Re: A Lesson with George Gankas

Postby k2baloo » Thu Mar 24, 2016 1:32 pm

^Nfbandon,
I agree that it doesn't cause a hook, but that is only if you have good body rotation. I have a fairly closed face at P3 and have to feel I have a drive hold release.
On days when I am lazy with the pivot or can't support the move with my arms I can hit a smothered hook. I think the ABS approach is more "hook-proof" in that sense. Because if you get lazy with pivot rotation you probably just hit a wipey fade. Not 100% sure on that, but that has been my experience as a bit of a shut-faced player.
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