It’s about sequence not zeroing out positions and cliches.

I have been ranting on this blog for almost 6 years about the catch phrase mentality of golf instruction.

At the end of this one is a great sequence of stills.

It really comes down to getting your sequence in the transition down. A better setup and backswing make that easier, but all sorts of funky setups and backswings work.

I have campaigned against “hold the lag” and lead with the lower body, while having passive arms/hands.

Well, I have decided to start the new year off with the epitome of what I am talking about…and this is not the exception, this is the rule.

I can’t tell you how many hip restrictors for X-favor and coil, lag holders, low and slowers, arc wideners…(I take another breath)…people that hit down on it, swing to right field, make a full turn, low and left leveraged CP release…and on and on.

For those that don’t know what a CP release is, don’t ask, for those that think they do, there are a very few people that know what it means and can do it…and those people say the CP stands for “can’t play,” describing those who try to zero out that position, look pretty on film and can’t break an egg.

…and all of those things lead to the swing faults we see in experienced golfers of all skill levels. Out of sync swings that have no consistency and bodies in pain after a small bucket. You can do a search on this blog and see all of the issues each one of these ridiculous cliches cause.

It seems I have cut and pasted this rant many times over the years, but the same thing happens at every first lesson I have. People complain of inconsistent contact and body pain. Then they tell me the 1-4 cliches they implement, I spend X amount of time explaining why it’s incorrect, then I watch them look at the video of them doing the opposite and laughing. I have a group of guys that come out from Palm Springs that laugh at each other at how great they look when they stop doing what they’ve been trying to do for decades and just link their arms up…and their bodies hurt less.

Had a guy come to me for the first time right before Christmas. He was a lag holder and lower body leader. He was a 5 handicap whose last two rounds before coming to see me were in the 90’s.

Here is a glossary for those that don’t undertand position shorthand.

P5-downswing, left arm parallel to the ground.
P6-downswing, shaft parallel to the ground.
P7-impact
P8-shaft parallel to the ground after impact

That just makes it easier than typing it all out.

Of course we all know from stop action video that the lower body starts first on the downswing and at P5 and P6 we want a small angle between the left arm and shaft (for righties)…aka Lag.

However, when we force these actions that happen as a result of a good transition, often everything goes off the rails. You get what I am now calling a P6 upper body and P8 lower body. In other words, the hips and lower body are in the position they are supposed to be after impact and the arms and upper body in the position they are supposed to be before impact.

…and since the arms are so far behind, there is a loss of lag.

In the stills below, I told this golfer to not move his lower body consciously at all and throw the right wrist angle away from the top. The second part of my “No turn, Cast Drill” video (It’s on YouTube if you haven’t seen it).

He looked at me like I was insane. I asked him to humor me. When he bombed a driver with a small draw he looked at me funny, I laughed and said, “Come take a look.”

His facial expression would have been less incredulous if I proved to him we were in the Matrix.

Notice how in each screenshot, the arm position on left and right frame are identical; but look how out of position the club and lower body are in the before pictures on the left.

Chekhov saw a long winter being bleak and bereft of hope, but saw that people don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.

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12 Comments

  1. James

    That’s what I picked up from your video Monte some time ago. I focus on not letting the lower body move as much. When I do that, more power and straighter shots.

    Reply
  2. Jake G

    Great stuff Monte. As you are well aware, I am very familiar with being out of sync. Still experimenting with new feels to try and get that right arm in front of the right hip in the downswing. It always amazes me how opposite the feels are from what is really happening.

    Reply
  3. Rob E.

    Awesome blog post Monte!! You did the same for me who had the same issues as the above student.

    Reply
  4. Bob34

    Monte,

    Have you ever read “The Ernest Jones Method” by Daryn Hammond originally published in 1921? Maybe wrongfully, I don’t know, but I took what you said about your feelings of the swing back in the 90’s a couple of years ago and started playing good golf immediately with those same feelings. I’ve since refined it a little more because of the above book. I’m not throwing my right wrist angle away. I’m throwing my right index finger all the way through the shot right from the top. There is a feeling of throwing the right wrist away but it is a result of triggering the right index finger which works best with an overlapping grip. As long as everything else responds freely to that singular effort, golf is easy. Just thought I’d say thanks again this year for leading down the right path a couple of years ago.

    Regards,
    Bob

    Reply
    • Don Lissen

      This makes a lot of sense. For a right-hander, what part of the body is “smarter” than the right index finger?

      Some pretty good pros have talked about throwing, and just try to imaging throwing if you didn’t have a right index finger.

      It’s not that it actually does much, but maybe it has a hot-line to the brain.

      Reply
      • Bob34

        “It’s not that it actually does much, but maybe it has a hot-line to the brain”

        My thoughts exactly.

        For Jaybee, I’m no golf coach but what happens for me when I don’t throw my index finger ALL THE WAY THROUGH the shot when hitting less than a normal (Call it a 100% swing) is that sometimes my hips don’t rotate enough and I’ll hook the shot. If I amp it up (more than a 100%) and throw too fast, my hips sometimes rotate too fast, I get a little stuck and I push the shot. It’s all about allowing the body to respond freely to the effort of the index finger and not holding anything back (trying to retain spine angle, lag, etc…)after you’ve triggered that finger from the top.

        Reply
  5. jaybee

    What move would you recommend to a golfer who has the opposite synching problem to this guy- a too quiet lower body leading to maximum square hips at impact?

    Reply
  6. Calvin

    I’m really hard headed and kind of slow but if I keep listening you might get through to me. πŸ™‚

    That sequencing post has my frontal lobes all aflutter.

    Reply
  7. Jb

    feel and real are not the same
    feel and real are not the same
    feel and real are not the same

    (Leadbetter?)
    I had the same reaction Monte describes when a (knowledgeable) instructor was filming me. 1st swing he said, “go ahead and swing normal, making your normal turn. ” next swing filmed: “now hit this shot with NO shoulder turn”
    When he showed me the difference, I was dumbfounded… The ” no turn” swing had PLENTY!!!!
    Great blogs, Monte
    And great comments everybody!

    Reply
  8. Tom

    Monte

    Do you think that a good player with excessive and early lower body action would ever get to the stage , through working on not turning hips as fast, where the lower body became too dormant? Or is the leg action an innate response to support the turning of the upper body?

    Reply
    • Calvin

      Just get all bent over and up on your toes. πŸ™‚

      Reply

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