Everyone is different

and everyone has a different feel of what they do, compared to what they are actually doing.

Those facts are why systems that promote one way of doing things are flawed.

I obviously cannot cover the feels and understanding of every golfer, but what I can do is use terms and feels that most will understand…and also acknowledge that I agree there are different perspectives that will work.

Straight spine and other oxymoronic terms have been discussed here. They don’t mean anything, but are accepted as terms to replace long drawn out explanations. Shoulder turn is another.

The point of this post is not to buy into any of these terms or feels. What we all as golfers need to do is find a guide (which I am trying to provide) to making things simpler to find the feels that will make us better.

I use the term, “turn the shoulders 90* to the spine.” A poster said that means nothing to him, but turning his back to the target and turning his chest to the target makes more sense. I say great if that gets him into a natural body movement.

What each of you personally has to understand is two things.

1. “Feel is not real.” What you feel you are doing…is almost NEVER what you are actually doing.

2. Because of #1, you have to find a feel that creates the NATURAL movement you want. It might be what I say, it might be something you come up with on your own, it might be your wife walking in the room while you are practicing your setup saying, “you look like one of those hoity toity Olympic gymnasts.”

What is really important is that you approach #2 while completely understanding #1.

In other words, trying to hit a tennis top spin forehand might create a proper release for you. Thinking of how it makes you feel watching the intro to Baywatch might might be the feel that makes you release it properly. That is why the “plane and release by feel” video is so good. If shows you what plane and release feel like, then you can interpret what that feel is and try and reproduce it.

The same can be said for the many other drills. Try to find the feel that ACTUALLY produces the natural movement you want.

The golf swing is a trial and error process for evryone, but I can tell you one thing. Using trial and error to find the feels that create the movements you want that work individually for you, works a lot better than trying to manufacture an entire swing of positions that are supposed to be correct for everyone.

The important point in all of this. Make sure what you are trying to do and what you are doing are the same thing.

Everyone has a cell phone camera ready to assist you. πŸ™‚

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23 Comments

  1. radioman

    Monte,

    Good… No … great post. Your guidance is realistic,
    true, and entertaining to boot.
    I sense a lot of satisfaction in your family life.

    Cheers

    Reply
  2. bobbyp

    Monte, thanks again for reminding us we’re all individuals. I got so lost in positions the past 2 years (starting with S/T) that I completely lost all feel. However, with your insightful posts and videos I have regained my “old” golf swing in 30 days.

    Reply
  3. T

    This is it!

    T

    Reply
    • Peter Balogh

      [quote] watching the intro to Baywatch might might be the feel that makes you release it properly. [/quote]
      What should that mean?

      Reply
      • Carrera

        Maybe you can figure it out based on this:

        Reply
  4. Sean

    Great post Monte

    Reply
  5. Kirk

    I agree wholeheartedly, Monte.

    On the range recently, I’ve been working on just three (basic things):

    1. Setting up with more shoulder tilt
    2. Starting the club back with my shoulder turn
    3. Feeling like I’m releasing the club from the top

    Concentrating on these things alone has me hitting the ball straighter than I ever have, eliminating (so far, knock on wood) my crazy hook. And what I’ve found in doing so is that I no longer care if my forearm is rolling open, if my foot is coming up, if my wrist hinge is early or late, or a host of other stuff that may or may not be extremely important in a good swing. I don’t care because I’m getting a good result through a feel, and the feel is coming through a few guidelines. When I can duplicate a feel, and get a good result, I think that’s all that really matters.

    There’s no denying that I need parameters for my swing, and that they may change a bit over time as some bad things creep into the swing. But the fact remains that I’m really just going with a parameter-based feel to my swing, and I am just no being concerned with hitting certain positions, or trying to look like so-and-so, or making sure that my #3 and #58 supinating flexors are maintaining their stored biphlaxic resonative biometricity below the f-axis plane. (Season’s over, and it’s cold here, but I’m really encouraged.)

    Thanks, Monte.

    Reply
  6. DChesler

    I really like the more holistic approach to the swing, rather than breaking it down into positions.

    When are you going to do another PGA Tour swing review? I thought Jonathan Byrd might be a good subject…..

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      I will do some more of those soon. Byrd is now on the list.

      Reply
  7. Sean

    Monte,would you put Robert Allenby and Davis Love on the list?

    Sean

    Reply
  8. seveonsunday

    This is really the best post on the blog… probably the best advice on the internet about the golf swing

    Reply
  9. Nick

    Monte – great post. I was just reading through the bulletin board and saw you talk about how video was only good for one thing, to confirm how you feel over what’s really happening. Can you do a post on this? I totally agree and think that until you develop a feel for your swing if you use video you will end up being much to stiff (for lack of a better term).

    Nick

    Reply
    • seveonsunday

      I kinda do this a lot when I practice. I use it like a mirror I can scrub through to see what I’m “actually” doing when I hit with a particular feeling in mind. What you feel and whats actually going on are 2 totally different things. I stray away from getting too technical with it, just generally see that I’m not totally screwing up.

      A question for you Monte, The particular “feeling” corresponding to the particular thing that is actually happening changes for me over a period of time. What do you think this is caused by? a change in somthing or just getting used to it? Is it common? So I might be trying use a “feeling” for a period of time then it kinda goes stale…

      Reply
      • Monte Scheinblum

        It is very common. It happens to everyone. I am sure there is someone who reads this blog that has a scientific reason why it happens.

        The funny part is when someone wants to make a change yet be comfortable. By definition if you make a change it will be strange feeling. If it feels good, you probably haven’t made a change.

        Stale is OK, if it is what you are truing to do.

        Reply
      • Bob34

        “If it feels good, you probably haven’t made a change.”

        I know you know this but just to state it differently sometimes changes are strange feeling but still feel good. As an example, after playing with gwlee last week and playing more poorly than I have in years, I decided to hit the range and work on something that has plagued me since day one; my hips don’t work right consistently. I’ve had some success focusing on moving other parts of my body so that my hips move OK and pretty much the same way, but it never sticks. No matter how much I move everything else exactly the same with my upper body, my hips won’t move consistently the same way. Anyway, I’ve started focusing on moving my hips the same way, That in itself was a weird feeling because my hips have never been my focus before. At first I didn’t like it not because it felt strage but I was straining my lower back. I was hitting the ball further and more conisistently but I’m not willing to have a bad back. But I eventually clicked on something really weird, as I turned my hips in the backswing, it feels like my right hip is facing away from the target at a 90 degree angle and my tailbone is directly facing the target, they’re not, they’re really about 40-45 degrees. Then from the top, I feel like my transition move is moving my right hip directly away from the target. Again. I’m not, my left butt cheek actually moves a little towards the target as my right hip fires what feels like away from the target and then around. This feels really really strange physically from anything else I’ve ever tried. It’s also counter intuitive in my thinking (my brain tells me that doing this will not let me get to my left side) but damn it works. I actually get to my left side fine & I can swing like that all day with no strain, A LOT more power & consistency. So, while it feels strange both mentally and physically, it also feels really good πŸ™‚

        For whatever all that was worth to anyone….

        -Bob

        Reply
      • Calvin D

        Thanks Bob. This may be the only thing I have not tried over the years. I’ve only done swings with my swingrite and haven’t actually hit a ball but it seems to create all the right action.
        Who would’a thunk it?

        Reply
  10. Michael

    Hey Monte,

    Do you mind putting Sean O’Hair, Rory McIlroy, and Anthony Kim on that list? The first two have really nice swings to look at so I’m curious how your eye sees them. The last one’s been struggling this year and I’m curious as to what he did to have the fits.

    Reply
  11. Doug B

    Really great post, Monte. This is a perfect summary of your philosophy. When I started to relearn the game last fall after my decade or so layoff I downloaded ebooks, scoured the internet, and was terribly inconsistent. I was applying one bandaid after another, and no improvement lasted for long. Fortunately, I found your website (and one other – Shawn Clements, who also advocates a natural and nontechnical approach). By synthesizing bits and pieces from both sites, I feel like I have been subtracting a lot of crap and I have found a pretty consistent action which works for me. I have two simple swing thoughts now instead of half a dozen, and I feel like I’ve gotten out of my own way It’s a hard game, but we don’t have to make it harder still by listening to every Golf Channel guru. By following your simple advice I shot a 39 for nine holes my second time out this year. Not a tough course (just my local 6,000 yard muni) but I was a happy camper, and it validated what I have been working on. Thanks again.

    Reply
  12. Calvin D

    Great post. Question: I can get a natural feel and play great for a round or two with a swing thought and suddenly it will go south and I can’t get it back. Why is that?

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      The less golf you play and the less you practice, the more often this happens. Good feel in golf is fleeting and you have to enjoy it while it lasts. πŸ˜€

      Reply
  13. Dion

    I think this is your best ever post; furthermore, I think it is one of the best pieces I have read on golf and I have read a load.

    I’m a 5-handicapper and I’ve found that I always seem to play my best golf when trying to copy the swings of pros, or top amateurs, whose rhythm and technique I adore. Baddeley, McIlroy, being prime examples. Last years’s R&A amateur champion, Jin Jeong from Koea, was another swing I tried to memorise and repeat while playing.

    Reply
  14. woody

    Overall, your post is an all-time classic. However, there is one small idea that I question.

    You say, “Make sure what you are trying to do and what you are doing are the same thing.”

    I don’t think that is necessary. For example, Jim Furyk doesn’t feel the loop in his swing. Check it out at about 1:22–

    Reply

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