I love it when someone tries to promote a “cliche”

and proves my point for me.

Here is a young man trying to promote “inside/out” as a cure for over the top. He is young, flexible, fluid and he makes that perfect finish that everyone loves to equate with a good golf swing.

Before I go in to all the faults in the swing he makes, I want to make an important point. When you are young, supple and practice a lot, you can get away with a laundry list of swing faults and play some decent golf. I could fill the entire net with golfers who were great in college, made some noise on the Tour in their 20’s and became awful and either had to make wholesale changes in their game, or became non-PGA Tour golfers.

Please let me be clear, I am not trying to be a jerk and say this kid stinks at golf and should quit the game because his swing is horrible. I am trying to stop golfers from giving and getting bad information. The info being promoted and info like it is heard on every range in America. Bad cliches and even proper information given out in a heinous manner. The fact this kid looks so aesthetic and probably hits it pretty good will lead people to listen to him…and they shouldn’t and here is why.

The player in this video can probably sit on the range and pipe drivers down the middle of the range all day long with this swing. However, I wouldn’t want him to have to hit a 30 yard wide fairway for my life and there are many reasons what he is doing should be avoided. His posture at address is way too up and down and he is reaching for the ball and rounding his shoulders. When he tries to turn it away with his shoulders, his posture won’t allow it and forces him to change his spine angle at least 4 times during the swing.

Because he is trying to illustrate an inside/out swing path, his arms go too far inside and roll the club face open. That forces him to lift his arms up to avoid being way too flat at the top. When you roll the face open and lift your arms to save it, that shuts the club at the top.

Then, in an effort to swing “out” he gets the club underneath the plane and the club face goes from shut at the top, to open just before impact. All of these shifting spine angles, excess arm movements and face angle changes don’t allow him to turn around his spine properly and his hands have a really high exit, instead of around his spine.

This looks really pretty with that high hand finish, but you can see how many excess movements are required here. This young man has some skill and obviously plays a lot of golf. His thin flexible body allows him to somehow get the face on the ball. If a 35-50 year old mid handicapper who plays twice a month tried this setup, posture and swing path, they literally couldn’t get the ball airborne.

In an effort to get my point about golf instruction, and especially golf cliches across, I often come off as a negative ass. Not my intent. What you sense is my frustration with all of the bad information out there…and even worse, good information being explained incorrectly. What you also sense is my bitterness that this issue affected my career in a negative way because I didn’t know how to sift through the muck to get to the diamond.

Now, on to the video. I could turn this kid into a player in a very short period of time…assuming he has an adequate short game.

1. I would tell him he has the perfect body to be a great golfer and all of the tools necessary.

2. He needs to bend over at the waist A LOT more, roll his shoulders back and let his arms and hands hang down relaxed. He might have to get a little closer to the ball, as he is reaching for it, but it’s hard to say that for sure until I saw how his posture adjustment changes things.

3. His first swing thought would be to stop rolling the club open and to the inside so much with his arms and hands. He needs a simple shoulder rotation away from the ball.

Subsequent to getting a hold of these issues, I would have him move on to making sure he kept his hands a constant distance from his chest. Improving his posture and simplifying his takeaway might solve this automatically.

Once that was done, he must learn to release the club properly and link that up with his turn.

Judging by his skill level, it would be a very short period of time to learn these things. A month or two. Then every lesson after that would be about monitoring these issues and making sure they didn’t revert.

To me, golf lessons are an ongoing process. I wish I had someone with my philosophy to work with. My philosophy is about making repairs one step at a time and continuing the process into a maintenance program. In other words, the first set of lessons are to clean up major issues preventing consistency, from then on it’s about making sure none of those issues return and/or no new issues arise.

That is why all of the best players feel the need to work with an instructor, the process never ends. You need a constant reminder of what you are doing well…and a constant watch that bad habits don’t creep back in. The reason why this process breaks down and people often give up…the process is made too complicated. I want to make it easier.

If the lesson/learning process is simplified, all golfers would continually get better, till they hit there personal peak and then they would maintain that level indefinitely.

Previous

Next

30 Comments

  1. Big Ben

    Seems to me the guy likes to hear himself talk. I didn’t think he’d ever stop rambling and actually hit the ball.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Exactly why I loved this video. He represents every know it all on every range in America who spouts off all of the mainstream terms and theories and doesn’t even understand them.

      Reply
      • Carrera

        Note that Sergio recommends rounded shoulders at setup because he feels that is what they will be at impact.

        Reply
        • Monte Scheinblum

          Three things, IMO. 1. Sergio is a great player and ball striker. 2. His swing and swing thoughts would work for no one else…unless they were a 20 something, with that exact build and talent. 3. When he starts to get older and less flexible, that swing won’t work anymore.

          Reply
          • Carrera

            1. Strange to cite the fact that he is a great player and ball striker in an argument against one of his swing keys, isn’t it?

            2. Couldn’t you say that about almost every swing on tour? There aren’t too many Larry Mize moves on tour.

            3. Couldn’t you have said that about Tom Watson’s giant reverse C swing in the 80’s? Look at a Golf Digest with Watson on the cover from last month and they go frame by frame with his current swing vs his swing in his heyday…his big turn/high right elbow/big leg drive/head to the right/reverse C swing has aged well. Who’s to say that Sergio’s won’t either?

          • Monte Scheinblum

            It’s exactly what I said in a post several weeks ago. These are the most talented players in the world and they do golf as a job. Most of them have swing keys that match their bodies and skill level…which is why I posted not to copy what PGA Tour players do.

            Since I used the car analogy this week, do you want to copy NASCAR and INDY car racing techniques in your every day driving?

            Every player is different and it is my opinion that Sergio won’t have the same swing into his late 30’s and early 40’s.

            Lastly, your hips are cleared to target at impact, do you want to setup that way?

  2. steve lyons

    Does he have a super-strong, hammer-like left hand grip?

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      LOL, I didn’t even notice. Was so busy watching all of his angles change.

      Reply
      • Carrera

        Yeah, his grip looks like it is in the palms and not his fingers.

        Reply
        • Monte Scheinblum

          He is probably trying to hit it like Moe Norman…and failing. One blade of grass, one blade of grass…every time, every time.

          Reply
  3. peter mies

    I can certainly relate to your frustration…the number of years I have invested to learn the swing is huge….and to think of the number of books and videos and seminars I have attended…the money is alot…and I have had to try and sift through the things that work for me…since I pitched college ball I think I have some of the basic motions but because of all the “golf pros” I generally did not rely on what comes natural..

    To take this a step further, because of all the “golf teachers” who advocate such theoretical complexities, it actually led me to think that ‘simple’ had to be incorrect and promoted by someone who didn’t really understand the dynamics of the swing…a real shame and a waste of time….

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Your last paragraph sums it up and will be the basis for my post on Monday. Well done.

      Reply
  4. Nigel

    Nice analysis of what, on the face of things, looks decent but isn`t. You should try to get some of the assistant pros at the clubs around here to listen, as all they know are cliches and they all know for a fact they are right. As far as I can tell, that`s what is drummed into them by the PGA these days, and listening to these guys teach on their home club ranges upsets me immeasurably.

    If I had a dollar for every time I`ve said “I wish I had someone with my philosophy to work with”, I`d have enough $$$ to take lessons from Hank Haney……..;-)

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      LOL. Nigel, you owe me for a repair bill on my laptop. When I read your last sentence I was drinking water and spritzed it all over my screen.

      The more I study golf swings on youtube and during PGA events…and the more I write on this blog, the simpler my theory is becoming.

      My favorite is when I am on the range hitting 300+ yard drives in the air and I have 15 handicaps telling me what’s wrong with my swing.

      Reply
      • Nigel

        Sorry about that, I just couldn`t resist!

        I quite like this sequence for a simple turn away from the ball, then a simple turn back through the ball. Sure, it isn`t perfect as far as the gurus are concerned, but that`s your point.

        Reply
  5. Monte Scheinblum

    This response is for Nigel on Ogilvy’s move.

    It is my opinion that everyone can get better by making very small adjustments. Tiger is playing great golf, but I have made my issues with his swing quite clear….:-)

    If some college player had this swing, if some 12 handicap had this swing, or if Ogilvy asked my opinion I would tell them the exact same things.

    When your rhythm is quick on the way back, that is when you won’t play your best golf. I would like to see the arm swing cut down at the top of the back swing just a bit and I would like to see the release start just a hair sooner.

    I would bet if the rhythm slowed down just a hair, the release would start sooner so that takes care of that.

    Until someone shoots 32 (realistically the lowest possible score on a par 72), everyone can improve by cleaning up minor issues in their swings. However, changing the dynamics of someones swing to fir a perfect position and movement dynamic is terrible. You need to find what issues are getting in the way of each individual and clean them up, not make wholesale changes…and when making wholesale changes with a terrible golfer or beginner, it is done slowly over time.

    Reply
    • Nigel

      100% agreed. I think his shoulders stop moving slightly too soon, hence the extra arm-swing to get to the top of the backswing. I also think he releases the club hard to make up for not starting the release a touch sooner, leading to a little over-rotation in the finish. I don`t care about the finish itself, but it does indicate some minor things going on earlier in the swing. You are right small adjustments can make a big difference. Having gone through the ground-up rebuild process over 4 or 5 years, I`m all for small adjustments!

      I still like the simplicity of the swing a lot.

      Reply
      • Monte Scheinblum

        Yes, I also like how simple it is. He has the perfect build for a golfer.

        I am starting to realize that position golf and holding the lag has taken over for releasing it properly.

        Jack Nickluas—-“You cannot release the club too early.”

        Reply
      • Carrera

        Ogilvy’s hips move toward the ball sometimes before impact instead of rotating properly…”hip thrusting” or “humping the goat”. He did that a few times at the Presidents Cup and has been his Achilles heel for a while. Shot goes high and right.

        Reply
  6. Ringer

    I can also understand your frustration. I know EXACTLY what you mean by comming of as an ass. You constantly hear this crap being spouted off with little or no understanding as to what any of it really means. I bet if I asked the kid “why should I be comming from the inside” I am sure i would hear even more cliche’s and no real thought of his own.

    It really is the difference between knowledge and wisdom.

    Reply
  7. torpet

    Monte,
    Please mention a well swinging older player you think could serve as a model for us (very) senior golfers.
    T

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Let me think about it and maybe I can find a nice youtube clip to use.

      Reply
  8. Carrera

    I drove a daily-driver Porsche in PCA track and autocross events, so the answer is a resounding YES to whether driving techniques on the track can be used on the road in everyday driving. Of course if one drives a Camry you should just stick to the middle of the lane and drive 55.

    You can’t pivot with open hips, but you can pivot with rounded shoulders, so I don’t think that is a good example.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      OK, fair enough on the bad analogies.

      Just like you can’t pivot with open hips, your shoulders don’t turn as well with rounded shoulders. Sergio buries the club really deep to the inside and releases really late. All of these things lead to his inconsistency,..along with his putter.

      Just like that swing works for Kenny Perry, Jim Furyk and Jeev Singh, you wouldn’t teach people to swing that way…setting up with rounded shoulders just because Sergio uses it as a key falls into that category.

      Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      To be more clear, you don’t find individual idiosyncrasies in each golfer’s swing and say that is what makes them great and copy that. That’s what people did with Hogan and it doesn’t work. You find what they all (or most) have in common and you copy that.

      Reply
      • Carrera

        This is an interesting back and forth. Sergio posits that allowing the shoulders to be more rounded at address is good because that is the position that they will be through the impact zone.

        What is your rebuttal to that…what is WRONG with having the shoulders in such a position? I haven’t seen you address this point specifically.

        For the record, I don’t do it Sergio’s way…this all started with my note re: Sergio’s recommendation.

        Reply
        • Monte Scheinblum

          I already made the rebuttal. The shoulders won’t turn as well if they are rounded. Try it.

          It was in my reply about agreeing my analogies might not have been very good.

          Besides, I won’t call this rounded shoulders. I would say they could be back slightly, but not nearly what you see in golfers with bad posture.

          What’s that saying…feel in not for real.

          Reply
  9. steve lyons

    Ever see a picture of the spine? Is it straight? Google “spine”.

    Military straight backs like Adam Scott and all the Leadbetter school graduates seem to have inconsistant performance.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Straight spine is a generally accepted term that means the same as it is standing up straight with good posture. It can be overdone, just like anything else. Maybe “neutral spine” might be a better term? You just don’t wanted to be curved too much or have your shoulders too rounded or the body won’t turn properly back and through.

      There is a wide range that would fall into the “straight spine” category.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Share This
X