225 yard 6-iron…bad. Just swing easy…bad. There is a wide middle ground.

I think there needs to be a distinction here. The difference between people swinging too easy because they don’t know how to accelerate properly and people who pull the handle too hard…because they don’t accelerate properly. Category 1 end up there because they used to be in category 2 but people told them they swung too hard, got quick and had bad balance.

The “hold the lag” hysteria is a big contributor to this issue. This ALWAYS eventually ends up as “getting quick” and “swinging too hard.”

If the transition is a weight shift so the arms link up, then acceleration is a full body (including hands) process.

I can pull the handle, get my upper body in front of the ball and hit 215 yard 7-irons. They can also go 175 and 30 yards right. They can also be flips 30 yards left. They can also go 230…lol.

My normal 7-iron…180-185. My normal PW…135-140. Even at 45 years old I can dial up a 170 PW with no trajectory or distance control.

When I am out driving another golfer by 30 yards and he consistently hits less club than I do, guess what?

Guess why PGA tour players like Fred Couples and Ernie Els look so smooth and hit the ball so far? They are not “swinging easy.”

What really makes me laugh is when I show them what a synced up swing feels like, they take a perfect divot instead of knifing the ball worm head high, or digging a grave. The problem is, “yea that was solid, but it feels so powerless and I don’t hit it as far.”

That’s OK, 6 months from now they will be, “Just swinging easy,” and hitting 7-iron 150 and wipe slicing drives 230 and wonder what happened to their 190 yard 7-irons.

Here is the secret. You don’t hit the ball from the top of the swing. You wait. You wait till the body shifts, the arms drop and link up and the body unwinds in sequence. By the time this all happens, the shaft is around parallel to the ground and the club is few video frames from hitting the ball.

Then you can hit the snot out of it and you haven’t pulled the handle. This is also the advantage of a shorter backswing. It doesn’t require so much patience to wait for the club to get into the hitting zone. This is the cure for both ills. Swinging ease and pulling the handle.

Guys with longer swings, who hit it really far, have the athletic ability, strength and sequence down.

Guys who have really long swings who cast at impact do not.

Guys who pull the handle really hard and hit irons obnoxious distances are missing the sequence and get their asses handed to them when the guys who hit the ball 150 yards with 7, have the proper sequence, and add up the scores.

So this whole theory of a longer swing means more power and swinging smooth creates a more efficient swing, can be scooped up, put in a paper bag, lit on fire and thrown on the doorstep of an unruly neighbor.

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7 Comments

  1. woody

    I like “full body,” but “hands” not so much.

    There’s a physicist guy who has a guru website. (Yup, he’s the one who said to hold the lag—parroting notable instructors.) However, I think he got it right with this:

    “Hitting with the hands at impact produces no additional clubhead speed — none.”

    HOWEVER, he adds, “That might not prevent it from being effective instruction, though. Sometimes a swing key has no good explanation in physics, but encourages other good things to happen in the swing.”

    In summary, feel is not always real, for good golfers. Also, bad golf science can result from reliance on authority instead of evidence.

    Maybe the “hands” feel comes from the A.J.Bonar secret of golf. When the body is rotating, the arms are rotating. You can prove that by swinging a club one-handed in front of you. And, when the arms are rotating, the hands are rotating. As the club squares at impact, maybe it produces a handsy feel–which is probably coming from the shoulders (most mobile joint in your body) and forearms.

    Reply
  2. Mike Divot

    An olde Jack Nicklaus tip. Don’t start the downswing at full speed. Start slowly and speed it up. Feel like you’re starting down in first gear, then go through the gears until you’re in fourth gear at impact. (Or was it just after impact?)

    (You can tell how old this tip is by the idea of fourth gear being top gear.)

    I think a lot of golfers who have forgotten how to HIT THE DAMN THING could benefit from this tip.

    Reply
  3. rojoass

    If yer thinking about yer swing during yer swing yer on SWINGCRACK. Case closed.
    You would be better of thinking about yer swing SPEED or something else to do with the particular shot at hand.

    http://rojoass.com/

    Reply
    • meateater

      Hey Rojoass,

      I hit up your blog and it rocks. You Da Man.

      I’m a big fan of Kelvin M too.

      Reply
  4. Calvin

    Good rant.

    I have a swingrite that I like to tinker with. I can let my hips shift, drop my arms to club just above parallel. Stop completely. Then turn thru hard and make it click. I can get a click too by pulling the handle from the top but it clicks early, balance is iffy and sometimes no click. If I swing easy forget it.

    Reply
  5. Jason

    This is a great post Monte. Especially about waiting at the top of the swing. Monte could you do a video?
    If you wait for the lower body to turn, then gravity and cetrifugal force can do thier thing. I guess this enables us to eliminate excess movements whilst not impeding natural movements.

    Reply
  6. HoldTheLag

    Monte you’re just jealous of my GWRX platinum status 200yd 8iron.

    And I swear I stick the green every (40th) time with it.

    Actually when I need to hit something 225 yd I’m using my 3wood right now. There I admitted it.

    Reply

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