Cliches are killing everyone

it doesn’t matter if it’s an online student, a real life student, someone on Golfwrx who posts a video, or someone that sends me an email…

It is all the same story, they have a huge swing flaw that is preventing them from swinging freely and making good contact.

“That makes sense to me,” most of you are saying and I agree. Even PGA Tour players get locked into swing patterns that get in their way and prevent their best golf from happening.

Here is the issue. Every one of these people I try to assist is locked in a difficult swing pattern as direct result of implementing a cliche.

“I am trying to hold the angle and not cast.”-stuck underneath the plane, early extension, narrow arc, club open coming into impact, stalling lower body, late flip and shanks.

“I am trying to make a full turn.”-arm swing over running the shoulder turn and over rotated to the inside.

“I am trying to keep my head down.”-all arm swing, head dropping, double chicken wing.

“I am trying to swing inside out and hit a draw.”-back swing too far inside, over the top, or swinging too far from the inside and having a wide open club face coming into impact and a flip hook, early extension, stalled hips, vertical shoulder turn, etc.

…and on and on and combinations of cliches and on and on and on.

I have found that most people’s idea of what “inside/out” means is actually coming from extremely underneath the plane and flipping at impact.

I have found that people think making a full turn is taking the club to parallel with every club. What a stupid arbitrary place to call the end of an ideal backswing.

So between these cliches being misunderstood, mis-implemented or just plain being a pile of Bandini, I would say that all of them end up in disaster about 95% of the time…and that 5% is the random time where two negatives actually end in a positive.

In other words, they misunderstand a cliche and then implement it incorrectly and it ends up working.

Implementing a swing cliche is the equivalent of hearing a snippet on TV that drinking a glass of red whine occasionally is good for your heart and you do nothing but drink red whine as your entire diet. I don’t know too many of you that want to be a street wino.

Just like a balanced diet is what you can do to attempt to keep your body healthy, attempting to make an in sync swing is what you do to create lag, swing inside out, make a full turn, get maximum coil, etc., etc., etc.

Golf cliches are developing a world full of swing winos. You list me a cliche and I will tell you why it is wrong, how it is misinterpreted by most or how it is implemented incorrectly. I can also tell you how doing it correctly is a direct result of doing nothing more than attempting to link up your swing.

Bring it.

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29 Comments

  1. Calvin

    Interesting post.

    Cliche: The face of the club at top of swing must be on plane with your left arm.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      That is just a general guide that is dependent on grip and angle of the left wrist.

      Some people do better with a strong grip or a bowed left wrist and that will give the allusion of a shut left wrist at the top.

      Not too many people do well with a weak grip, but many people do really well with a cupped left wrist as it induces natural body rotation on the way down.

      I am one of those people, was told to not cup the left writs because it made the club open and I lost my natural rotation and started holding on.

      Reply
  2. rojoass

    A balanced diet for golf. There’s yer next book Monte. Instead of a recipe for the “swing”…….it could be a recipe for “how to play golf”……..leaving the swing (& “crack” involved) completely out of it……….
    One of these days somebody’s gonna do that………

    btw……….& I don’t usually do anything but list my blog site but anyone that has a fondness for a cute cart girl needs to see this…………

    http://rojoass.com/

    Reply
  3. woody

    Swing plane.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      A 2D general guideline that can be extremely misleading if the camera is not at a perfect angle.

      It is only useful to show when something is way off and not something to aspire to perfectly.

      It is a direct result of an in sync swing and not something to aspire to on purpose.

      Reply
      • woody

        Nice.

        Reply
      • Monte Scheinblum

        woody, I think you are well aware I have a pretty good idea what I am talking about. The group of people that know this is very small, but hopefully increasing.

        Reply
  4. kbp

    Level shoulder turn , straight spine

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Level shoulder turn is something I actually use to describe something that is too complicated and verbose to describe accurately.

      This is one that is actually very helpful if it is explained correctly, which it often isn’t.

      Straight spine is in the same category. Military posture spine might be a better term.

      Actually, I am finding that rolled back shoulders might be more important.

      Reply
      • kbp

        Yes, I know these are YOUR cliches. 🙂

        “to describe something that is too complicated and verbose to describe accurately” and “very helpful if it is explained correctly” applies to a lot of the other cliches. IMO, of course.

        Reply
      • Monte Scheinblum

        kbp.

        I agree with you 100%. The difference is straight spine (something I rarely have used) and level shoulder turn are things I explain carefully when I use them.

        These other cliches I make fun of are not explained properly even by teaching pros, never mind your average 15 handicap spouting them on the range. Some are just plain wrong like “hold the lag” and “keep your head down.”

        Reply
  5. Brett

    Scratch finish.

    Reply
    • Brett

      … as in “You need to have a scratch finish.”

      Reply
      • Brett

        🙂

        Reply
      • Brett

        I saw a lot of scratch finishes yesterday. They were having a college (conference) tournament at my golf course. They all had scratch finishes, but I saw a LOT of bad shots. I guess they got style points, though.

        Reply
  6. Andrew

    keep your head down…. my buddies say this all the time after missing a shot. I at least know that is not always the cause of a bad shot, but the result of something else right ?

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      That is my favorite.

      I have been in golf 0ver 30 years and I have yet to see someone skull a chip or top a drive because they lifted their head.

      Putts, yes, you need to keep your head still and not look up, but that is a different motion.

      Tops and skulls are the result of things like hanging back on the right side and hitting up on it, dropping right shoulder to help the ball in the air…or the infamous pulling the hands in flinch double chicken wing.

      Funny enough, keeping your head down will make all of those things worse.

      I said some cliches are misunderstood or mis-implemented….this is one of the ones that is plain Bandini.

      I didn’t list all of the issues associated here, but “keeping you head down” will make all of them worse.

      The irony is at one point, both #1 players in the world (Duval and Sorenstam) both lifted their heads.

      Reply
  7. jd

    Width? Left arm straight? Guess that’s two. 🙂

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Width is an excellent one. People believe you want to “widen” the arc, when in actuality, that is awful. You can’t help but get narrow on the down swing when you do that. You also get disconnected and have the arms over run the shoulder turn, as well.

      You want to “maintain” the width of your arc.

      Left arm straight is often misunderstood to be left arm locked and that is terrible. Excess tension is created and shuts off the turn.

      A collapsed left arm is obviously bad, but a soft (slightly bent) left arm is preferable to a locked left arm.

      Reply
  8. Exilgolfer

    You must hit down on the ball.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Anther one that is a result of a improving the swing. Most people who try to hit down on the ball, end up grabbing the club with hands and arms and get steep….or they dive their head at the ball, trying to keep their head down…LOL.

      Better setup will often create this with no swing change at all.

      I know I have used this cliche in the past, but have learned to use it better…or not at all.

      Hitting up on driver is another good one. You don’t don that on purpose, it’s a result of setup.

      Reply
  9. Calvin

    Push or thrust off your right (trail) foot on downswing.

    Reply
    • Calvin

      Heh. I actually drag mine a little bit.

      Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      An excellent way to get the upper body in front of the ball and/or create massive early extension…LOL.

      Reply
      • woody

        Here’s an enigma for you. A lot of people seem to follow Nicklaus’ pattern of a ball position forward of center for most standard shots.

        A lot of people say that for right-handers there’s a leftward move in the downswing.

        If there’s no input transmitted through the right leg…how do all these people get their balance more to the left?

        But, of course there’s a way to do it wrong, the theoretical problem being timing…and what the move consists of.

        Reply
  10. jd

    The stuff about the cupped v. flat left wrist at the top would make for a good blog post or video, as you get many who insist that it must be flat at the top or you can’t square it at impact. An odd thing I notice is that when I hit with a strong grip or bowed left wrist, I’m more likely to hit a fade; conversely, a little cup has me rotate the face better through impact. Golf as a game of opposites, I guess.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      People who speak in absolutes about positions in the golf swing are missing the point. i am sure if you go back the 3 years I have been doing this I have spoke that way, but it was not by intent.

      The reason a strong grip and bowed left wrist creates a fade for you is it stimulates your hip turn. Like I said in the post today, a cupped left wrist promotes better rotation for me.

      A shut club will generally want to work open and an open club will want to work shut.

      You will find many players on Tour who have cupped and bowed left wrists, it’s just many are subtle. Not too many Dustin Johnson’s. Extremes are usually a bad idea in golf.

      Saying the left wrist has to be perfectly flat is almost as bad as saying a backswing should be to parallel.

      Your last comment says it all, golf is a game of opposites.

      Reply
  11. Jason

    How about wrist hinge? Actually try hinging your wrists with a flat left wrist vs a slightly cupped left wrist. Slightly cupped is natural and will allow for “natural lag” when turning everything in sync

    Reply

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