How many of you would be better golfers…

…and longer hitters if you never heard the terms and theories of lag, coil, x-factor, draw goes farther than a fade, make a full turn, shaft lean, tempo, compression, etc.?

…and did nothing but work on setup and trying to link the arms to the body in the backswing and transition.

How many of you would be better short gamers if you never heard about trapping or hitting down on the ball, holding the right wrist angle, accelerating through impact, etc.?

…and just concerned yourself with moving the right arm as if you were tossing the ball to the hole with it.

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20 Comments

  1. John

    Hmm…let’s see. How about, all of us?

    I think that about covers it.

    Reply
    • Tony

      Some people have to touch the stove when its hot to learn a lesson. Now I have a burn scar. I wish there were more instructors like Monte to help me connect the dots a lot sooner.

      Reply
  2. Me

    Blame the golf instruction industry where buzz words with no logical meaning attract more people. Golfers are sheep, they follow so called experts blindly. It’s amazing to hear when an instructor is throwing physics terms around (I have a background in physics) and gets nervous when I ask additional questions on the subject (physics). I wholeheartedly agree with Monte, Keep it simple stupid!! Great job Monte

    Reply
  3. Jake G

    The more I think about all the faulty instruction that I paid for and received through the years, the more pissed off I get!
    Wasted a lot of time and money only to create more swing faults

    Reply
  4. David

    Monte – what is a good drill or two to link your arms in the backswing and transition?

    Reply
  5. Chris S

    Without the poor instruction, I wouldn’t have come to the new understanding of my swing. It’s frustrating but I’m better off for it.

    Reply
  6. Peter R.

    Lag Happens, Speed Happens, Plane Happens, Consistent Contact Happens

    You can’t make any of them happen by thinking about them or focussing on them. You must make it happen by setting up well and making the right moves, in sync and in balance. Any conscious thoughts during the process of swinging will bring on an error and compensation that cascades into disaster of varying proportions.

    Each golfer will eventually have to find a simple image or thought that doesn’t interfere excessively with good fundamentals and allows it all to happen efficiently.

    Reply
    • Don Lissen

      That’s very good…but there’s more to it. The simple image or thought does not have to be true. I read the following on a ski instruction forum, and I somewhat agree with it:

      “A lot of students need a convincing physical model to get the analytical part of their personality to shut up and let the body (golf). It is not that important that the model be accurate. However, convincing is very important.”

      This is why being a golf guru is very challenging. Their model works for them personally, but it might not reflect reality…or enough of reality to help students.

      Reply
      • Peter R.

        Great point Don. I’m a lifetime skilled skier and came to golf late in life, so my ski instincts are finely honed and override all else at times.

        Happily I found a coach who worked many of my problems back to ski movements and I could forget about golf and better execute weight transfer and movements. He himself doesn’t ski, but recognized that the fastest way to get me to execute was to find the link for me to a ski move I knew how to do.

        The challenge in becoming an excellent skier versus a perpetual intermediate is that you must allow yourself to fall down the hill and be weightless in every turn, so you need to believe that you will pass though that. If you freeze at that moment, you’ll fall 100%.

        Same with golf, if you fear hitting the ground hard, you will avoid that by adding a destructive correction every time or freeze and stop turning and 100% fail to hit the ball well. It’s a long process to train the mind that if the turn keeps happening and the hands keep moving the hit will be the ball not the ground.

        So connecting the idea of throwing a ball with the right hand is a great one, if it works. Otherwise instructors need to find what mental image moves the learning student to a better move without fear.

        Reply
        • Don Lissen

          Here’s a couple for “ME” above, who posted about about PHYSICS. This was from my same afternoon reading that same ski instruction forum:

          *Physics is only helpful for understanding (golf) to those who understand physics.

          *Physics is only useful if we abstract it on a suitable level. If we oversimplify, misuse it, or make it too complex, we risk having something that is not useful, or even misleading.

          (Aside to Peter R. — For me, skiing is all about linking S’s, something that the ski instruction magazines never mentioned.)

          Reply
          • Peter R.

            Don,
            Linking the S’s is what it’s all about. Want to learn it, hire an instructor who skis like you want to, and pay them to just let you follow them down anything. Your body will figure it out faster and become efficient and balanced once freed from the conscious decisions of where to go on the hill.

            Skiing is like golf, after a lot of time 2-5% will become experts, the rest can just have fun. The main difference is that modern skis (vs 60s-70s) make it much easier and faster to become a 70% good skier. Golf hasn’t found that magic club to allow that.

  7. Calvin

    I have the equivalent of a PhD in golf swing due to years of studying books and poring over countless CD’s and even a few lessons. In golf swing I am an expert. In golf right now, I can’t play well at all.

    Maybe I could get work teaching. 🙂

    Hey, it works for Haney.

    Reply
  8. pcb_duffer

    For me, the poisonous idea was ‘lift your left (leading) heel off the ground’. Okay, I was fool enough to try to obey the instructor, despite all the orthopedic problems that leg has had. But why couldn’t that darn fool look at the results and say ‘You know, maybe that’s not going to work for you.’ When I finally decided to just make a swing that kept me semi stable and that I could repeat, I went from an 18 to an 8 in about four months. And that was the last time I ever listened to an Expert with his Newest & Greatest Idea.

    Reply
  9. JB

    I had so much frigging trap/steep/dig in my short game, I could’ve done part time work with my wedge at a sod farm!! (But this is what we were taught!)
    Monte’s thoughts, and in particular his short game video, really made things easier!

    Reply
  10. Joe Weaver

    Brother, I might actually be a better golfer if I never took a lesson and never discovered YouTube videos.

    I was a 7 handicap who has devolved to a 12 now that has 200 different swing thoughts going through his mind during every round. I know great deal about the golf swing. None of which does me a single bit of good when I’m actually playing golf.

    I used to play 2-3 times a week. Now it’s rare that I play once a week because I’m so damn confused.

    Reply
  11. Michael C.

    Golf Instructors tell us to move the ball forward and that opens the shoulders at address.

    They say ‘tension is bad’ and yet have us restrict our hip turn, keep the lead arm straight, hold the lag, hold the release, keep your head still, etc…Ugh!!

    I believe a proper setup is square and comfortable. Monte has video on how to set up and there are definitely correct and incorrect ways to setup but nothing is forced or uncomfortable.

    After set up, most golfers I see turn their shoulders wrong. They’re level instead of 90* to the spine on the backswing.

    Good set up and good shoulder turn.

    I play my best golf when I hit the ball like I don’t really care where it goes and, if my set up and shoulder turn is good, the hit is solid and the ball usually ends up somewhere playable.

    …my 2 cents

    Reply
  12. yt

    I feel like every time I want to have a rational discussion about a golf swing, someone has to punch me in the face with a copy of Homer Kelley’s The Golfing Machine book and educate me about P positions.

    Reply
  13. jaybee

    I have most recently made another effort to improve my strong grip, forward press, slighly ax the line with a cupped left wrist at the top, steep in TS but single digit hcp golf swing.
    For that, I had in person lessons with two reputable instructors who can play, including a video FO and DTL.
    I then sent those videos to three reputable instructors who can play in the US- not to Monte, I have done that before and might or might not do it again.

    The point is: I got 5 very different suggestions!
    The top rated instructor simply suggested: float load.
    The impact guys suggested: flare the front foot and hold the lag.
    Those were quite obviously the worst ones- neither worth salt nor money.

    One pro suggested: don’t change your GASP but in the BS loop it more to the outside and add forearm and shoulder rotation while in the DS turn the hips more aggressively and then fire the arms.
    Didn’t sound and look bad on video but also didn’t improve the ball flight at all and:
    The other pro suggested: never ever weaken your grip, just add a bit more width in the BS, stop the hips in the DS and fire the arms against the firm left side- and I actually started to hit the ball much better- but could a) not maintain it and b) see no improvement on video.

    The last pro did the most thorough, really exemplary, video analysis and provided some excellent feedback, which helped me a lot to understand the golf swing better- even after having read what feels like about 500 books on it before…- but not hit the ball better- yet.
    Amongst other things he advocated were to change my GASP, especially to weaken(see above…never) the grip, add width in the BS and a different release- notably, most of it stands in contrast to the other, immediate ball strike improving, suggestions of the prior pro.

    I harbour no bad feelings against any of them, other than maybe the float loader, but I simply wonder how adult golfers shall ever improve if such different advise is the standard in golf instruction.

    I have also just come back from an EPGA tournament and taped some swings of 2nd and 3rd tier pros there.
    IMO, the most noticable common denominator and as such main difference compared to us amateurs swings really is the much more open hips with simultaneously still higher arms and hands in TS.
    Why is sofar no one able or willing to teach us that and the then following necessary and appropriate moves?!

    Reply
  14. Calvin

    Just watched your short game video. Buy in completely and expect it to make a big difference for me. Totally different from what I was taught and perfectly logical. Since I am always at least close to greens in regulation you will probably cause me to be a happier flogger. Especially eager to try the sand approach because I am toast in sand (I’ve been using the “V” swing and the more V I try the worse I get).

    Thanks Monte. How can I save it to desktop?

    Reply
  15. James

    Monte, seems you learned your baseball lessons well from your Dad and I mean that as a compliment. People get so hung up in golf over doing this and that when it is just simple keeping everything together and delivering it together just like a good hitter does. With chips and pitches, my thought has always been what you describe and I tell my friends this and that is think of how hard I would need to toss a ball to get it to the hole. I don’t pick a landing spot or anything. I just look at the target, get a feel in mind for the “ball toss”, and there it goes. I get many more up and downs this way.

    Setup is paramount. Get set up correctly to do all these things and you will have much more success than worrying about all the positions in a swing.

    I also have a thought about existing in the time domain of the ball but that is a different discussion.

    Reply

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