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Medicus 2000 - update 1

Out of the box
My Medicus 2000 dual-hinged 5 iron came via FedEx a few days ago. The club is actually pretty well made and the hinges look like they will hold up under a lot of use for a few years. The grip is a fatter than what I have on my irons, but I'll probably get it regripped soon along with my clubs. The club is a little heavier than my 5 iron, but these the differences are not too noticeable and probably don't affect the utility of the club.

The instruction manual is bare-bones, but it does go through each step in the swing and then illustrates what movements will cause the club to break-down. There is a short description of how to tell if the hinges are too tight (or loose) as well as the tool to make the adjustments. The video also goes through each step of swing and illustrates what will cause the club to come unhinged. For each movement a training drill is described to help the golfer with that part of the swing. Davis Love III is in the video, and does a pretty good job. Unfortunately, the club featured in the video is the original Medicus single-hinged 5 iron because they haven't updated the video. It would have been nice if they would have produced a new one.

To the backyard

After watching the video and reading the instruction manual I headed for the backyard with the Medicus and my regular 5 iron. Of course, I was really excited to see if the club would "break" the first time I used it. Indeed, it did. It broke down right where I expected it to...during my backswing when the club is supposed to be parallel to the ground, in line with the target, and the toe pointing to the sky. I had rotated my wrists and was bringing the club behind my body. Indeed, I routinely fade the ball. Instant feedback. So, I started over and went through my swing at half speed - being careful to keep the clubhead on the proper plane - and the clubshaft did not break. I excitedly started a full-speed swing and...WHOOPS!...the club came unhinged almost immediately because I started my takeaway too fast and with my hands instead of my shoulders.

So far, I was impressed with the club. I practiced with it a little while longer and got to where I could make several full swings in a row without braking it. I alternated a few times between the Medicus and my regular 5 iron. I went back inside and made plans to go to the driving range the next evening.


I should take a second to note what my goals are with the Medicus club. On the course and on the range I hit the ball dead straight 40% of the time, fade it 50% of the time, and slice it 10% of the time. The slice has never been wicked, and the ball will still go nearly 200 yards and usually be playable. It isn't a "bannana" slice that goes 125 yards and then curves halfway across the county.

So, my first goal for this year is to hit the ball straight 50% of the time, DRAW it 40% of the time, and deal with a fade or moderate hook 10% of the time. This is really more of an issue with my woods, since I hit my irons straight 90% of the time and fade them 10%. By forcing me to keep the club in front of my body, the Medicus club should help me eliminate the fade, develop a draw, and increase my number of straight shots.

My second goal is to increase my clubhead speed. I went to a golf store last week and hit a few balls in their swing analyzer. Without warming up or stretching, I had an average clubhead speed of 92. I figure I am hitting nearly 100 after I am warm, but I would like to hit 105-107 by the end of the year. Although I am in good health, flexible, and built athletically, I don't hit my clubs nearly as far as I would like. A lot of this has to do with using too much of my arms, releasing the club too early, and not maximizing the momemtum created by uncoiling my torso. I already noticed on my first night with the Medicus that as long as I kept in proper sequence I could make my "uncoil" more aggressive without causing the club to "break". However, if I tried to go faster than my skill allows, I got out of sequence and the club would break. So, with practice, the Medicus should be able to help me to stay within the proper sequence as I progressively improve my clubhead speed.

To the range

Since I work from home most days I was able to take a few breaks and practice with the Medicus club in the backyard. When I was finished working I jumped in the car and headed to the range.

I swung the Medicus a few times to get warmed up. After warming up I alternated between each club and the Medicus. During the next 2.5 hours I watched in disbelief as the ball hooked, drew, faded, sliced, and occassionally went straight. It didn't matter if it was an iron or a wood. I had never hooked a ball like that in my life! I even whiffed the ball once, which I hadn't done in 2 years.

I tried to keep calm, realizing that I had made a major change to my swing. Indeed, all of the little things I had developed to compensate for my previous swing failure were now causing me all sorts of problems. Plus, the new movement was creating entirely new faults.

Interestingly, after a half bucket of this nonsense, I discovered that I was actually hitting the straightest with the Medicus club. (However, it feels a bit "dead" on impact and doesn't go as far as my regular 5 iron.) This led me to believe that part of my problem was over-compensating with my regular clubs. I also realized that I was thinking waaaay too much about the steps in my swing. Normally, I focus on the swing as a single motion. However, the video and instruction manual for the club got me thinking about the individual steps of the golf swing. Clearly, this defeats the whole purpose of the club, which is to let you swing the club and it will let you know if you do anything really wrong.

So, with about a dozen balls left, I swung the Medicus a few times to get the feel of the proper swing path. Then, I just hit the rest of the balls focusing on the mantra I normally say in my head as I swing: "slowwwww" "coil" "swing!") Five out of the last twelve balls went perfectly straight, and two of those were the longest drives I'd hit this year. Three faded slightly, three drew, and one hooked.


Although I did get a bit frustrated today, I really do think this club is going to help me increase my clubhead speed, hit the ball straighter more often, and ho[efully develop a draw instead of a fade.

What I accomplished today was unlearning my previous backswing. Indeed, by the end of the bucket of balls I recreated my old backswing and it already felt wrong. Unfortunately, the new backswing is a long ways from feeling comfortable. Time should take care of that.

However, I plan to practice with it differently in the future. I will swing it at home, swing it on the driving range to warm up, hit a few balls with it, and then put it back in my bag. For the rest of my time on the range I will hit my regular clubs without thinking too much and trust that that Medicus will groove the swing path over time.
Maybe if I start slicing or hooking the ball and I am unable to work it out I will swing the Medicus a few times to regain the proper "feel" but then I will put it away again.

A final note is that a beginner should spend some time studying the mechanics of the swing before reling on the Medicus to groove a swing. It seems that the Medicus relies on your swing already being somewhere in the ballpark of correct for it to provide useful feedback.

More updates to come...


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