Create room

That is the secret to the golf swing and golf instruction.

I am a little peeved right now. I spent 10 years trying to “perfect” my swing. All I did was put myself into a getting into a pin hole trying to hit every position, restricted natural movements and gave myself no margin for error.

The last 2 months training for the Remax, I did one thing. Do whatever I could to make room for me to swing hard.

Guess what? My “golf” swing got better. The day after I was knocked out, I played in the pro-am. It was a format called a Schamble. Everyone drives, you take the best drive and play your own ball in from there.

We used my drive on 17 holes. The only one we didn’t use my drive on was a par 5 that I drove through the middle of the fairway into a creek. I layed up with 8 iron and hit LW to 4 feet and made birdie that hole…and shot 63. The greens were awful and I missed some 8-15 footers. It was the easiest 63 I have ever shot and it was on a course that was visually uncomfortable and a course I would often have problems on.

So all of those people that told me I needed to give up long drive, tone my swing down and get things lined up better…well, let’s not blame them. I was ignorant and listened.

I know I come off as an arrogant know it all, but I think I fall under the cliche of the more you know, the more you realize how little you actually know.

Unlike many swing aficionados and gurus that think they have the swing down…I feel I learn something new every time I practice and every time I give a lesson. That is not hyperbole either. I quite literally learn something new every day.

What I learned last week was my philosophy that creating space is more important than positions…is even more important than I had previously realized.

Which brings me to my issue with a one plane and/or very flat swing. I have no problem with the theory on paper, but Matt Kucher notwithstanding, it is too hard for most golfers to get their left arm that low without getting it too much across their chest, too inside and getting steep and/or stuck on the way down. There is too little margin for error.

I know you can’t mix one plane and two plane motions, blah, blah blah, but it is my opinion that it is easier for most golfers to work on a two plane swing and some may stumble into a perfect one plane swing…whereas working to perfect a one plane swing ends up in something they can’t manage.

For all of those who don’t care about that mumbo jumbo…just give your self more room.

…and you don’t do that by standing farther away. Proper tilt at impact, proper in sync rotation and keeping your arms in front of you.

I will be discussing this more in the coming weeks and months.

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14 Comments

  1. Tom McNamara

    That all sounds familiar! Lol. I Can’t wait to get back and work on things with clubs instead of standing in front of the mirror in the hotel, swing with no club and make sure I can get width, tilt and room without having to do it consciously.
    Thanks again for the lessons and I will certantly find you again if I get back in this area!

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      That’s great Tom. I am sure you will do well with your own weapons. Have a safe trip back to the island.

      Reply
  2. Eric

    Funny you posted this today Monte! Ive been playing 3 years and have always carried the driver about 230 . Today that all changed and i hit a few drives 310 Yards with roll and about 280 carry! !
    No joke here man serious picked up 45-50 yards carry ! The only thing i did different Today was raise my head at setup and not look straight down at the ball.. The swing is 100 times easier to execute now. I just turn my shoulders and i feel ZERO tension and tightness .. I don’t even feel like i turn my chest and stomach on the backswing.

    Just a relaxed shoulder turn and then from the top i fire my whole body . I will get some video of my new swing tomorrow but for now here is my sloppy over effort 230 yard carry swing lol.. They should look like night and day on video .. Will post follow up tomorrow bud

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pn2JEWR2jKs

    Reply
  3. Dave Dunlop

    great post monte

    Reply
  4. Dave

    I have to get some lessons with you Monte, that is exactly the conclusion I have come to after 4 years of trying to perfect a one plane swing – I think what you say is genius, genius in its simplicity but for me completely spot on.

    Reply
  5. woody

    This is one of your all-time best columns…if not the best.

    The only tiny bit I’d question is “I know you can’t mix one plane and two plane motions, blah, blah blah”–and that’s even somewhat true. However, it might not deserve all of the analysis it gets because the backswing sequence can probably be done in different ways if you start young enough…Nancy Lopez, Ray Floyd, Furyk, etc.

    Trying to micromanage “plane” is a restriction. People would be a whole lot better off just getting their legs/buns to work well. More than anything, that gives you room and creates the swing. Plane is a full-employment program for gurus.

    If pros were really trying to coordinate their hips & shoulders, you’d sometimes see them off-balance. They never are.

    Reply
  6. Dan

    This is great…I’ve always felt stuck and forced to use my hands to save the shot. This is gold!

    Reply
  7. North

    Room to hit and sequence.

    Kick in the right hip to early and you block right, don’t agressively rotate your hips (clear the left hip out of the way) once the right elbow is in front of the right hip and the left side blocking puts you in a pivot stall and you pull or pull hook.

    Is sequence the key to space to hit, or is it just one key (then what are the other keys?).

    The one thing I do know is a flat one plane swing is a timing nightmare: I can pull it off sometimes, but when it goes bad it is a two way miss. Of course, that’s just me.

    Reply
  8. Robert Johansson

    Golf field is a mess.
    As long you havent defined the motion and using a external reference its going to be guesswork.
    Its more esoteric, mystical I guess to look for a secret or perfect ideal than to actually check the facts and create baseline and reference for the action that actually works not by theory but by result.

    Reply
    • woody

      See LINK, this is the best golf lesson ever given. It was just after Hogan beat Snead, on Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf TV show.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QL_6M_xZvq0&feature=related (1:14) B. Hogan

      The problem is that gurus divide the motion into Upper and Lower body. There is no such distinction in a swing like Hogan’s. It’s all connected. Your legs are connected to your Upper body through the front of your torso and your back.

      You can put a computer cursor on any video of a Ben Hogan swing. The Upper body moves when the Lower body moves, no delay–even in Hogan’s demo, where he checks his swing.

      If someone swings the club like it’s an extension of the left arm, all bets are off. But, pros don’t swing that way.

      Reply
      • Robert Johansson

        Not a good lesson. Dont matter how you explain it due to Hogan didnt do what he said he did on that video. His talk and what he actually did when he swings at the end dont match. He didnt understand the swing enough to explain it, do it yea but explain? As I stated previously, golf field is a mess.

        Reply
      • woody

        Hogan explained it better than a lot of people think. It might be natural to say, “Oh, so he said he started with the lower body. So, the upper body move must come later.”

        That’s not what Hogan did (or said). By using his lower body to move his swing center, his arms & club were able to whip through.

        Notice this sequence. Looks like he has used his lower body with the intent to move his swing center. It’s moving to the ball in front of his arms, hands, and club (hence lag).

        http://perfectgolfswingreview.net/HoganFollowthrough.jpg

        Looks like by frame #1 he was giving a push his his right foot (leg & bun), just like he said he did in “Power Golf” (1948).

        The centrifugal force created by all this allowed his arms to whip through in frames 2,3,4,5,6. There never was an upper body move. (At least, that’s what I think today.)

        Problem: If someone doesn’t stretch the right thing on the backswing and load his legs like Hogan did, then Hogan’s downswing won’t work. It would be like Bobby Jones said: “Pulling with a slack rope.”

        Reply
  9. Robert Evans

    Monte, I just wanted to say thank you. You have really helped my game a lot. Especially your videos on hip turn, early extension, and how the shoulders work in the downswing. Of course your other videos have helped me as well. You just explain things so well. You really are a good communicator. I love your blog. I am sincerely grateful for all the effort you put into your blog and videos. Please keep it up!

    Reply

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