Jake Thurm Explains the Value of “Getting Pressure into Your Lead Side”
Top golf instructor Jake Thurm is decidedly in the camp that there is no “one exact swing” that works for all golfers. A fundamental tenet of Thurm’s instruction is that no two players swing exactly alike. He works to understand the unique biomechanics of each student and uses key data to “assess and not guess.” Thurm then tailors his teaching to help his students discover their most natural and effective swing.
The Chicago-based Thurm frequently presents data that shows most golfers would benefit from getting their weight and pressure with the ground to their lead foot more quickly. With the V1 Golf Pressure Mat, Thurm and other instructors can show students exactly where they’re applying pressure to the ground and exactly when they’re doing it. He says giving students the combination of visual plus “feel” feedback expedites the learning process.
“After years of watching golfers and analyzing data on their swings, I would say 90 percent of golfers don’t get pressure into their lead side soon enough. If their instructors could get them on the V1 Pressure Mat, they could teach them to maintain a dynamic posture and get through the ball properly, finishing with most of their weight on the lead side. The trust between teacher and student goes up immensely when golfers start using the ground properly and hitting better shots,” Thurm says.
On wedge shots, Thurm says it’s evident that many golfers appear to fall back on their trail side (back foot) like they’re backing up. “Even on half- and three-quarter shots, they have too much pressure on their toes, and often, they’re still pushing into the ground on their trail side (back foot) at impact, when they already need to have most of their pressure on their lead foot. That’s going to cause you to lose control of the face at impact,” he adds.
With a pressure mat, an instructor can ask a student what they feel their feet and body doing throughout the swing, then show the student where and when they’re applying pressure and force to the ground. “I think students can be too influenced by data versus what they’re actually doing with their bodies. A lot of instructors will argue “feel is not real” but, in kinetics, what you’re feeling is what’s happening.”
The V1 Pressure Mat follows the philosophy that the instructor’s message is stronger if it’s measured and that measurement can be seen by the instructor and presented to the student in clear, digestible teaching points.
Thurm emphasizes that pressure, or force, is an important metric because it “proceeds motion.” The force the golfer applies creates the motions they make. Seeing the sequence of the pressure a student applies to the ground through their feet supplies a blueprint to what the body does during the swing.
“Coupled with the video we capture in V1, a student has their pressure feedback plus video and voice-over instruction to take home and make progress. With quality instruction, this combination of technologies can be very powerful and useful,” Thurm says.
Thurm is the Midwest Director for the USA Junior National Golf Team and Director of the Nike Junior Golf Camp at Fresh Meadow Golf Club in Hillside. He also operates golf schools at Ruffled Feathers Golf Club in Lemont and the Athletico Performance Center in Oak Brook. For more information, visit www.JakeThurm.com and https://v1sports.com/coaches-instructors/boditrak-pressure-mat/