A frequently asked question is: How did the Wright Balance measurement system evolve? The following timeline is of Dr. Wright’s early career and his research path to present day applications. This timeline covers his early days playing baseball to his research and rehabilitation medicine experiences, to his faculty position at the USC School of Medicine, to his Pain and Headache Centers to his career change to Golf and the following years of balance research to present day applications across multiple sports and health care.
- 1966: Dr. Wright moved West to play Winter League Baseball with the California Angels. While playing in the Angels Winter League he became an Assistant Coach at Long Beach State College.
- 1966 – 1969 Attended school at California State University at Long Beach finishing with degrees in Psychology and Physical Education (Biomechanics)
- 1967- 1971 Research Assistant at the Long Beach VA Hospital under Neurosurgeon Dr. Robert W Porter and Research Psychologist Henry Slucki in a Neurophysiology and Learning Lab in research using Rhesus Monkeys. He trained and assisted in Dr. Porter’s Animal Neurosurgery Lab and did research for Dr. Slucki studying the effects of Procaine Hydrochloride on the Operant Behavior of Monkeys. He also assited in research on Interoceptive Conditioning
- 1971 Research Lab was moved to the University of Southern California School of Medicine where Dr. Wright continued as the Research Assistant
- 1971 – 1974 attended Graduate School at the University of Southern California and continued to do research with Dr. Slucki at the University of Southern California School of Medicine
- 1974 Completed his first Ph.D. with specialization in Research and Learning with a focus on Pediatric Behavioral Medical Problems.
- 1974 Dr. Wright joined the faculty of the University of Southern California School of Medicine on a NIMH Training Grant with joint appointments to the Departments of Human Behavior and Rehabilitation Medicine where he developed mobility measurement systems for Physical Therapy to determine compliance with exercise programs and progress evaluations.
- 1974 – 1977 Clinical interventions in Pediatrics and the USC Burn Service; He lectured to Year 1 and 2 Medical Students and prepared Physiatrists for their National Boards. Dr. Wright published multiple research studies on Behavioral Medical clinical interventions in Pediatric treatment of Burns and GI and Musculoskeletal disorders.
- 1977 NIMH Grant expired and Dr Wright left the full time faculty and became a clinical faculty member of the USC School of Medicine. Upon leaving his full time position with USC, Dr. Wright joined a private medical group and opened the first inpatient / outpatient Chronic Pain and Headache Centers in Orange County California with Neurologists, Rheumatologists, Oncologists, Orthopedists, Anesthesiologists and Neurosurgeons
- 1978 Founder and first President of the Orange County Pain Society
- 1981 Completed his second Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and Licensed as a Clinical Psychologist in the State of California
- 1986 Dr Wright left his full time position as the managing Partner of The Pain Unit. He became a Consultant to the Pain & Headache centers and transitioned to Golf over the next 2 years. He began teaching golf part time in 1986.
- 1990 began research on Balance observing that the size on the grips of golf clubs altered the players address position opening and closing the hip line and altering heel to toe balance
- 1991 Dr. Wright was approached by See More Putter Company to see if he would encourage the use of their putter with his LPGA and PGA Tour Students due to alleged improved putter face aim. Dr. Wright’s initial observations of himself showed that his putter face aim was actually worse. This led to the question “Why?” and the beginning of 30 years of research
- 1992 Dr. Wright Published his first Golf Book in 1992 on the Mental Game: Mind Under Par while continuing to do research on Balance. Note: This book, in digital and audio form, is available to Wright Balance members on this site. Members also receive access to audio relaxation and concentration for sleep, pre-play and on course application. These same audios are used by professionals taking lessons from Dr. Wright.
- 1992 Dr. Wright became a Class A PGA Professional. He began to observe Rotation of Pelvis while measuring putter face aim and changes in aim and path based upon this pelvic rotation
- 1993 Dr. Wright developed measurement systems based upon these observations of Pelvic Rotation. The illustration below shows the first pelvic rotation assessment. The bracket on Dr. Wright’s hips here was made by a physical therapist. The plastic board he is standing on locks the feet in place in a square position. Notice the rotation of his hips to his left, an open hip line, a common observation in the majority of players
- 1994-95 the followup development of this pelvic rotation measurement shows an addition of a projection off the horizontal bar. The photo is of PGA Tour Player Pat Burke testing the new system.
- Below is what the measurement tool looked like to the subject as they looked down. The measurement tool is attached to Patrick’s shoulders in this illustration
- 1995 the next phase of development was a measurement of both pelvis and shoulder rotation with the use of a laser to determine amount of rotation as shown in this illustration.
- 1995 – 1996 Dr. Wright began to look at changes in club and putter face aim as a result of heel to toe balance. The photo illustrations below show PGA Tour Veteran, Dennis Paulson demonstrating changes in club face aim. Note the open and shut club face changes as Dennis changes his weight distribution from first his heels in the first illustration and then his toes in the second illustration.
- 1998 Dr. Wright’s Mind Under Par Golf School named a Top 25 Golf School in America
- 1998 Dr. Wright and Dr. Mellman (team physician for Lakers, Dodgers, Kings and Rams) worked together on a project involving the measurement of eye hand coordination and concentration on putting with an apparatus Dr. Mellman used with the Dodger hitters. The apparatus was being tested at Callaway Golf in Carlsbad, CA where Drs. Wright and Mellman met. Dr. Mellman began taking golf lessons from Dr.Wright. During a lesson, Dr. Wright was teaching a Hogan instruction position where the arms / elbows were on the chest wall. Dr. Mellman said, “Oh, that’s the reverse Carrying Angle”. Dr. Wright asked what the “Carrying Angle” was. That began a discussion on the Carrying / Power Angle. Subsequently, the Carrying / Power Angle became an integral part of the future biomechanics lab research protocol and Wright Balance teaching. This is a photo of Dr. Mellman demonstrating the Carrying Angle at the top of the range at Pelican Hill Golf Club where Dr. Wright was teaching at the time.
The Wright Balance Research has subsequently demonstrated that the Carrying / Power Angle is the angle of Range of Motion and shows up in multiple locations through the body in all sports
- 1998 Dr. Wright joined Dr. Michael Mellman, Dr. Robert Watkins, Mr. Fred Claire and Dr. Frank Jobe in discussions on Balance Research at the Centinela Biomechanics Lab. Stance Width, Posture, Grip Size and Vision as related to Balance were discussed as the focus on the research Protocols. Theoretical Physicist, James M. Smith worked with Dr. Wright on setting up the protocols and data analysis.
- 1999 Began Pilot study on Balance and testing the protocols for research. The Carrying Angle was one of the measurements taken on all subjects
- The Protocols included multiple measurement systems: 40 light sensors were placed on precise anatomical landmarks on the body and light sensors on dowel poles to test the validity and reliability of use of bars in further research in the field.
- 1000 force sensors on a shoe insert were placed in each shoe. Note in the above photo the ankle wraps. These wraps secured the electronics in each shoe where insoles cut (below image) to each subjects shoe size were placed to measure changes in force (balance) with changes in set up and swing. The following illustration is what the insole system looked like before being trimmed to the subjects shoe size and placed in each shoe.
- 2003 – 2007 Began 4 year study on Balance in Dr. Frank Jobe’s Biomechanics Lab at Centinela Hospital, Los Angeles
2006 Drs Wright, Mellman and Watson published a paper on an exercise program that was part of the overall research protocol
- 2001 -2008 Dr. Wright was a Golf Coach for the University of Southern California Men’s and Women’s Golf Teams. During his tenure the teams combined to win 2 Division 1 NCAA Team Champships, 2 NCAA Individual Championships, Multiple Pac 10 and Regional Tournament Championships.
- 2004 Dr. Wright Changes name of his Golf Schools to Wright Balance
- 2004 Dr. Wright Named Top 100 Teacher in America and has been re-elected every year since through 2021
- 2008-2011 The Stance Width discovery led to a Mapping of the Core in 9 Regions. It was determined that each of these 9 Core Regions could be “recruited” by predictable Stance Widths based upon body measurments. A Fibonacci sequence evolved in the spread of Stance Widths. Fibonacci numbers were used to calculate the point of origin based upon body measurements. All of these data were folded into an algoritym. By simply inputting the body measurements, Stance Widths were provided for each of the Core Regions.
- 2008 Wright Balance Golf Schools named Number 1 Golf School in America
- 2010 Wright Balance Expands to All Sports and Activities related to BALANCE
- 2010 This Golf Magazine article shows Dr. Wright with MLB Dodger Allstar Reggie Smith showing the use of the Carrying / Power Angle in Golf and Baseball 10 years plus after Dr. Mellman brought that angle to the research arena
- 2012 After Dr. Wright Discovered 3 sub-regions of each of the main 3 (9 total regions) Core Regions, he determined that everyone has only one of those 9 Core Regions where their hips are square and they had maximum power. He also discovered that each Stance Width recruited a different Core Region from the Pelvic Floor to the Neck.
- 2016 Dr. Wright started training Professionals worldwide in the use of the Wright Balance Measurement system for balance. Wright Balance is now located in 15 countries including the US, China, South Korea, Slovenia, France, Germany, Spain, The United Kingdom, Mexico, Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru and Canada. The following is a photo of a Group of Korean Golf Professionals (KPGA) Dr. Wright trained in Seoul South Korea in 2018. He has trained over 200 Professionals in Asia
2017 Neurologist, Dr. Robert Giombetti, a Wright Balance Professional and owner of Neuroforce Golf used the Wright Balance Measurement system to assess how 75 Elite Players in different Core Regions (Lower, Middle and Upper) use the ground. This is a video of one of the study participants, LPGA Tour Player Laurie Rinker. Dr. Giombetti is narrating Laurie’s use of the ground in this video. Laurie is a Middle Core Player.
There were 65% UPPER CORE Players, 25.5% MIDDLE CORE Players & 9.5% LOWER CORE Players. The subject pool was made up of Tour Players, Club Pros, Top Ranked Juniors, Division 1 College Players & and Elite Amateurs. The Subject Pool consisted of 71 Males and 9 Females. Dr. Giombetti has continued this research and as of this writing has tested over 200 Elite Professionals with the same results when looking at use of the ground by Core Region.
2018 Dr. Wright began to note that the majority of the population has 1 shoulder lower than the other and 1 hip, generally the same side, higher than the other. Then he noted several other areas of impact due to these observations that restricted motion.
- 2017 to 2020 Dr. Wright researched isometric exercises that leveled the hips and shoulders. These exercises are done in the 9 Core Region Stance Widths.
If you click on this link you can view a short EBook on the research protocols from Dr. Frank Jobe’s biomechanics lab 2003 – 2007. This Ebook has embedded videos on the research as well. Click on this link to view: http://fliphtml5.com/azhq/ulzw
Link to research Paper based on Exercises tested in Dr. jobe’s biomechanics Lab: http://fliphtml5.com/azhq/ulzw