Don Trahan - Peak Performance Golf Swing
The Swing Surgeon

I followed Don Trahan's golf swing methods for a few years, buying a few of his videos and watching his daily and weekly YouTube videos online. I was attracted to Trahan's teaching because he maintained, like others, that the PGA orthodox golf swing advice will lead to injuries, especially among older golfers. He developed his "body-friendly" swing after suffering some issues himself and through his study of body mechanics and consultations with orthodpedic surgeons and kinesiologists he developed his unique swing methodology - featuring a short, 3/4 length, vertical, limited turn backswing. He subsequently participated in and published a biomechanical study which showed that compared to a full parallel golf swing, his short and more vertical swing does not lose clubhead speed. In addition, he maintains that his swing is a much easier on the body and can be more easily implemented by golfers who have lost some flexibility and agility.

As a senior golfer who suffers with arthritis, with back and other body issues, I was drawn to Trahan's methods.

On his Peak Performance website, Don lists some of the key ways his golf swing methods are different from orthodox teaching:

Trahan's methods shares some ideas with those of Brian Spark's Positive Impact Golf teachings: less emphasis on full rotation of the body in the backswing, no focus on hitting down on the ball, a more vertical swing, and no emphasis on a one piece takeaway. Both golfing instructors tout their methods as being body-friendly and particularly appropriate for senior golfers.

But in other respects Trahan is quite opposite of Sparks. Trahan's nickname is The Swing Surgeon because he goes into great detail on the mechanics of his non-traditional swing. That emphasis on details is likely another reason why I became a student of his methods. I am by nature an analytical person and Trahan provides me those details and the physiological rationale behind them. In contrast Brian Sparks' emphasis is more on the pyschological aspects of the golf game. He believes too much analysis and over-thinking can be a major impediment to a natural golf swing.

The folowing video will introduce you to the basic Peak Performance Swing and as well show you how Trahan is devilish on the details!

wide knees
Note wide knees - over ankles

If you are having trouble making a full turn in your backswing or generally not satisfied with being able to employ conventional golf swing wisdom, you might take a look at the Peak Performance Golf Swing. You can sign up for access to some of his free videos on his website (see link below). He also has a full manual and companion CDs that you can buy. Another option is to just go to YouTube and search for "Peak Performance Golf Swing" or "Swing Surgeon Golf" and there will be lots of videos there on numerous aspects of the PPG swing.

In general I found the Swing Surgeon 3/4 limited turn vertical golf swing was for me quite body-friendly. Until I had knee replacement operations on both my knees. A component of the Peak Performance Swing is what Trahan describes as "wide knees" both in setup and maintained through the backswing and part-way through downswing. My artificial knees do not flex sideways and I found maintaining the wide knees swing was causing pain in my knees so for me the method was no longer body-friendly.

I am currently trying to learn the Positive Impact Golf Swing developed by Brian Sparks. The PIG swing has no particular prescription for how your knees should work, whatever is your natural movement in turning and swinging the golf club is right for you.

Peak Performance Golf Swing Links:

Other Senior & Body-Friendly Golf Swing Reviews & Video Links

--Ross Reinhold

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