Upper Core Characteristics
The Upper Core player's hip turn is the greatest of the three Core Regions. A signature of the Upper Core Swing at the top is in the position of the lead knee and Center of Mass (COM). When motion is paused at the top, the lead knee of the Upper Core player points at the back edge of or behind the ball. The COM is target side. Note how narrow the stance width is in the Upper Core Player compared to the Middle and Lower Core Player.
A characteristic of the Upper Core player is a very shallow Carrying or Power angle. The Upper Core player's Carrying / Power angle is somewhere in the range of 162 to 164 degrees. Recall that external shoulder rotation, unless there is a shoulder injury restriction, is the same as the carrying or power angle. The Carrying or Power Angle of 162 to 164 sets the trail elbow to seat behind the trail hip in the downswing producing the "on top" delivery.
NOTE: Even if there is a shoulder injury, the Carrying / Power angle can be produced using the grip size that matches their playing core region. If the Carrying Power angle is set, there is no need to be concerned about external shoulder rotation. Golfers will have greater internal shoulder rotation. External shoulder rotation plays very little part in the delivery to the ball. The angle to be concerned about is the Carrying / Power angle. We now understand that we can bioengineer that angle by the handle size used during the Wright Balance Express.
Please also keep in mind that the Carrying / Power angle shows up in numerous places from address, through the swing to impact. One of those address positions is the thigh angle.
Here is an Upper Core Swing Sequence of Patrick Reed from address to club release. These are characteristics of all Upper Core players. Note the club release in the bottom right photo of Patrick Reed before his hips clear. This release position pulls the player through impact as his hips clear well past impact.
Below are several more Upper Core Players shown at the top of their swing. Note the position of their lead knee and their Center of Mass (COM) on their target side at the top of their swing.
Below are images of the characteristics of the Upper Core Player.
These images show an Carrying or Power Angle of 161 or greater. I would encourage you to fine tune the size of the handle used for the Wright Balance® Express exercises to produce a Carrying or Power Angle of 162 to 164. Why? The Wright Balance Express Exercise produces a Carrying or Power Angle Consistent with the handle size that is set by Core Region. We are able to bioengineer this angle as long as the grip size matches the playing core region. This angle determines the trail arm delivery. Please also keep in mind that the player's thigh angle 90 degrees to the ground is also equal to the carrying / power angle.
Even if the player has no external shoulder rotation due to an injury or other structural issue, their thigh angle will still be the same as the Carrying / Power angle. Keep in mind that vertical use of the ground is a source of power for the Upper Core Player. A 162 to 164 carrying / power angle will provide them greater vertical ground force than 167 or 168. In some cases, too great an angle will move their posture to such a "tall" position at address that the length of their clubs no longer fit.
This bioengineering of the carrying / power angle should be a consideration of every Core Region when doing the Wright Balance® Express in the 3 Stance Widths of the playing Core Region.
Middle Core Characteristics
The Middle Core player's hip turn is moderate. A signature of the Middle Core Swing at the top is in the position of the lead knee and Center of Mass (COM). When motion is paused at the top, the lead knee of the Middle Core player points at the front edge or middle of the ball. The COM is centered over the pelvis. There is little to no movement to the trail side.
Note the stance width of the Middle Core Player compared to the Upper and Lower Core Player. The Middle Core Player has a wider Stance Width than the Upper Core Player. The Lower Core Player has the widest Stance Width.
The Middle Core swing is the swing most students wish to emulate without understanding which Core Region swing naturally fits their body or if the trail arm delivery matches that of the Middle Core player (154 - 158 degree Carrying / Power Angle)
Note Ernie Els' Center of Mass is over his pelvis and his lead knee points at the ball at the top of his swing. Again, that lead knee is a representation of the depth of the hip turn.
A characteristic of the Middle Core player is a carrying or power angle of 154 to 158. That equals a Carrying / Power angle which allows the trail elbow to seat on the trail hip in the downswing producing the "side on" delivery of the Middle Core player. Note that Ernie El's trail hand (right) at impact. The palm of his trail hand is parallel to and points down the target line. This is a classic "side on" delivery of every Middle Core Player.
Ernie Els' Swing Sequence
Note the similarities of hip turn, lead knee pointed at the ball and COM over the pelvis in the following photos of Middle Core Players at the top of their swing.
Lower CORE Characteristics
The Lower Core player's hip turn appears minimal due to theri wide stance width, always wider than the Middle or Upper Core players. A signature of the Lower Core Swing at the top is in the position of the lead knee and Center of Mass (COM). When motion is paused at the top, the lead knee of the Lower Core player points almost straight ahead in front of the ball. The COM is over the player's trail side.
Again, Lower Core Players have the widest Stance Widths of all of the Core Regions.
Lower Core Players are mostly found in women. Approximately 10 to 15 percent of men show their strength in the Lower Core. This statement is supported by the research done by Wright Balance Professional, Dr. Robert Giombetti. Dr. Giombetti's reseach on ground reaction force by Core Region showed that 60 plus percent of over 200 players were Upper Core, 12 percent were lower core and the remaining 20 to 25 percent were Middle Core.
However, it should be emphasized that this sampling was mostly males in the United States. I have trained in countries in Asia and Europe where the sampling of Core Region dominance was much difference. Please keep that in mind and don't conclude that most males are Upper Core or females Middle and Lower Core.
A characteristic of the Lower Core player is a very wide Carrying or Power Angle. The Lower Core player's Carrying / Power angle is the greatest (when the Lower Core Grip size is used to do the Wright Balance Express, it creates a Carrying / Power Angle of 144 to 148 degrees). That Carrying Power Angle allows the trail elbow to seat inside the trail hip in the downswing producing the under delivery of the Lower Core player.
This illustration of Dustin Johnson is followed by his swing sequence showing the various swing positions from address to the top of his swing and his under delivery and release down the line.
Dustin Johnson Lower Core Swing Sequence
The following are other Lower Core Players at the top of their swing illustrating the depth of their hip turn and the position of their lead knee.
These images summarize the characteristics of a Lower Core Player.