Could you learn from a machine? Sure you could, mankind has developed a number of simulators to teach people how to fly airplanes, drive a car or play a sport. Golf is a sport with a famous machine built to simulate the golf swing called Iron Byron.
Built some forty plus years ago to test shafts for a golf shaft manufacturer (True Temper), the designers studied and copied the swing of Bryon Nelson, a golfing great known for his smooth, repeatable swing. Iron Byron repeats a perfect swing time and time again; one that produces consistent power, accuracy and control. Wouldn’t you love to have a swing like that one?
We can learn a lot from a swing like that. Let’s look at three key points that could help your golf swing tremendously.
The Iron Byron Swing
Body Rotation – The machine has a motorized drive cylinder which provides the power for the swing. Attached to this cylinder is a metal arm equipped to hold a golf club. The arm has no power itself but is dependent on the drive cylinder.
Your swing should operate the same way. The arms and hands should be powerless and inactive until compelled to move during the swing. It’s the legs and hips that create the power in your swing like the motor in Iron Byron. They cause the torso to rotate. Improved clubhead speed comes from using the legs and hips to turn your torso faster.
Free Hinge – The machine has a completely uninhibited hinge that connects the part holding the club to the metal arm. The hinge moves freely and without restriction in response to movement of the arms and the weight of the clubhead. This hinge needs to move freely for the machine to work properly. If the hinge were to need oil or develop rust the movement would become restricted.
Muscle stiffness works in the same way to inhibit your swing. If the muscles in your hands and arms are not relaxed during the swing you will slow down the movement of the hinge. The harder you attempt to “hit” the ball the more this tension builds and the harder it becomes to square up the clubface at impact. Swing relaxed to generate more speed and accuracy.
Steady Forward Lean – The machine is mounted so that the drive cylinder is in a permanent forward lean or tilt. This is so that the arms will be able to reach the ball with the club. This angle never changes.
Your torso is the drive cylinder in your swing. When you lean forward from the hips during your set up you establish the spine angle. Just like with Iron Byron this angle once established can not change. It must remain constant during the swing. Any movement up or down will change the position of the clubhead to the ball. Move up and you’ll top the ball. Move down and you’ll hit fat, striking the ground behind the ball.
While the machine was designed to test golf shafts, there is much to learn from the design of this machine to help improve our swings and lower our handicaps.
If you want to have a better swing with power, distance and control then take a few pointers from ole Iron Byron. He has been hitting them like that every time for the past forty years; day in and day out. Could make a human golfer envious, don’t you know.