Finding your personal swing is how to get better

If it feels good hitting the ball, doesn’t hurt your body and you get good results…at the very least you are close to “your” swing…in spite of what is “correct.”

To be redundant, it’s about eliminating what is getting in your way, not trying to do what is correct.

Some of you are going to say, “I can’t look at it that way, how do I know…X…Y…Z?”

This brings me back to one point that seems to separate me from most teaching pros.

Most believe finding the problem is easy and the fixes are complex.

I find the opposite. Since everyone is different, finding the problem…the singular problem that needs to be addressed first…the one that creates a domino affect of improvement…is difficult. Once you find this creating the fix is easy.

That is where my teaching and blog articles come in. I propose issues, I propose them in different ways until one clicks for each individual and that starts the ball rolling, so to speak.

Many of you think improving your game is like being Sisyphus (LINK).

It seems like it will be for all eternity, but once you get that boulder to the peak and nudge it over…it’s all good from there.

Now if you are like me and have corrupted your swing with all sorts of mainstream cliches, then the process is a bit more arduous…but far from hopeless. It is still about doing what your body wants to do naturally and eliminate what prevents you from doing that.

I will continue to say two things.

1. You are not supposed to do everything I suggest here.

2. I firmly believe that if you read this blog, get involved with discussions and pick things that make SIMPLE sense to you and try them…you will get better.

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16 Comments

  1. Doug B

    You hit the nail on the head, Monte. I’m relearning the game after a long layoff due to a back problem and surgery a year ago. My previous knowledge of the game has helped, but my swing is very different from 15 years ago, when I last played a lot. I’m learning what my body likes and what it doesn’t. It doesn’t like purposely holding the lag, for example (my back thanks you for that insight). I’m constantly amazed at how a little adjustment can make a big difference. A problem I have is that I tend to “overcook” an adjustment (like, if a little more spine tilt is good, a lot will be really good…wrong). I’m pushing that rock up the hill an inch or two at the time, but I feel like I’m getting there.

    Reply
  2. s.

    I remember reading someone’s complaint on a golf blog. This guy said that he hated it when some guru drew straight lines on a golf video or photo.

    As I think back on it, I could have eliminated a lot of grief if I had run for cover whenever a guru began drawing straight lines (unless he was demonstrating alignment).

    Reply
  3. rojoass

    I’m friends with a guy that in spite of anything he did he still hit a great big cut. After years he was finally convinced to play it. He went (& still is) from a mid 90’s to 8 handicap. A solid 8. This fellow is in his 60’s. If he practiced a little chipping he could get it a couple lower.
    He quit fighting it.

    http://rojoass.com/

    Reply
  4. Wally

    This is a really great post. 220 down the middle is much better than 280 in the woods. Getting through a round using one ball is kind of like a trophy in itself

    Reply
  5. Mike from Canada

    Monte,

    I have a bit of a bone to pick with you… not relating to this article, but there is no way to email you on this site that I saw.

    You said Foley is making Tiger swing like Charlie Wi, who is Foley’s best student. Charlie Wi is a student of Andy and Mike Plummer (stack and tilt). Foley’s best students (other than Tiger) are Mahan and O’Hair, who are damn good players.

    I take issue with this because I am following some of Foley’s methods to try to get back to my natural swing and I was concerned that Charlie Wi was a Foley student and it turns out that he isn’t. I know you like to crap all over swing coaches but you have to get the facts straight before you take that dump.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Well, Andy said that Foley was working with Charlie at some point. That is where I got that info. I think it was something like Foley saw Charlie working on keeping the club facing the ball on the takeaway and that is what Foley seems to be working with Tiger on…and they didn’t feel that was part of their swing methodology.

      It’s nothing personal with Foley. I just don’t like what he is teaching Tiger. It seems like just because you like what Foley is doing for you, you are taking it personally and lashing out at me.

      You are right, O’Hare and Mahan are great players, but the fact remains, Foley is making Tiger’s swing look like Charlie Wi’s.

      Reply
      • Mike from Canada

        I’m not taking it personally, I’m just sticking up for the guy a little because it’s so early with Tiger and Foley’s other students (Mahan and O’Hair) are performing quite well.

        Maybe I’m sticking up for the guy because he’s Cdn. But, don’t get me wrong, if Foley messes Tiger up like Haney did, I will be on your band wagon. I’ll sit right up front with you.

        I just don’t think it is fair to critisize Foley when he’s only been working with Tiger for a few months. Tiger has a lot of really crappy Haney stuff to unlearn. My original point was just that, by saying Charlie Wi is FOley’s best student, it discredits the guy.

        Reply
  6. s.

    Nobody knows why a player has picked a particular swing-coach, but it’s a stretch to believe that an elite player presented himself before a swing-coach and said, “Teach me from the ground up.”

    Well, maybe Wie said that with Ledbetter.

    Maybe it has more to do with whether the swing guru has a nice practice facility near the player’s home. Does he tell funny jokes? Is he pleasant to talk to? Does he have other students that are fun to hang-out with?

    I’m just guessing, but it seems like the best coach might be one who knows that particular player’s swing, and can tell the player when he is straying from the routine that made him a good player.

    What the coach tells a particular pro player may not be the same system that he teaches to amateurs in “Golf Digest.” Hopefully.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      I’d say you described me. 😀

      The best practice facility in Orange County is 2 miles away, I am way funnier than all of the gurus, I am pleasant when I need/have to be (just ask my wife)and all of my students are fun to hang out with (or they won’t be my students).

      Reply
  7. Nick D.

    Monte,
    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, and haven’t seen anything about Moe Norman’s single plane swing. Can you tell me what you think of his swing?

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Obviously that is something that worked great for him, but I am not a proponent of copying the swing of someone else.

      Reply
  8. Andrew

    Hi Monte,

    Just discovered your wonderful blog and I wrote a comment today over at the GEA forum that your “Plane and release by feel” video is just the sort of teaching I love. I even compared you to my favourite teacher (Penick) for your simplicity and lack of a fixed formula.

    I so agree with your rock analogy – After a few years off I now have the opportunity to play almost daily but with no pro for 2000 miles (and a very slow interent connection, thus video watching is tricky). I am trying to get back to basics and find my own swing again – thanks for the help in that, especially convincing me to be natural and not to try some formula.

    Want a teaching holiday in Addis? Some great caddies to teach and free accomodation 🙂

    Andrew from Addis

    Reply
  9. Robert Hebert

    I took my first golf lesson 1n 1956, from Lionel Hebert. Back in the day, I could consistently break 80, but I have not done so in over thirty years. Several times I shot 78 without a GIR, taking only 24 putts. My swing looked almost exactly like Jimmy Bruen’s.

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_qRG1HRh4o&w=480&h=390%5D

    My dream is to shot 79 this summer. I am 64, and 15 years ago I survived a massive heart attack, and quintuple bypass surgery.

    Over the past couple of days, I went back in your archives and read every single blog. Now I am going to purchase your ebook!

    Best of luck with your dreams of the Tour.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Wow Robert, that’s quite a golf past…and reading the whole blog and my book? You will know more about me than my wife when you are done.

      Reply

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