Will find some fun stuff for the weekend, but another cargo short and t-shirt video on Monday. Like I said earlier this week, it will be very informative and will help many of you by changing the perception to some and just plain simplifying things for others. All in all, there will something for everyone to help you understand and improve your golf swings, with less thought.

Steve Stricker on Tuesday…and I am fond of this one.

I will just call this the greatest release in the history of golf…and that is why I think release is the key factor DURING the swing. Jack said you can never release it too soon and he is right. Why is it great? It is the perfect combination of being a constant release from the top in sync with the turn of the upper and lower body, while maintaining the angle for maximum power. In other words, the optimum combination of length and accuracy.

As you will see in all of these swings in this video and any swing by Jack, his posture is very curved at address and his head very low. That is why the club goes inside when he turned his shoulders. He then changed the path of his swing to more upright and that is why his right elbow flew (to get the club in that high position so he could release the pants off it and get it back in front of him). IMO, if he didn’t change his path and let his elbow fly with that posture, he would have been fighting the club being stuck behind him and we never would have heard of Jack Nicklaus.

All in one motion he went from across the line at the top, to shallowing the shaft and making a massive turn and release to the ball. Releasing the club from that high hand position is not easy, but that is how young Jack created so much speed.

If I was teaching young Jack I would say one thing and one thing only. “Young man, if you straighten that spine out just a bit at address, you think you hit it far and shoot low now????”

Jack’s greatness was in being able to transition from a violent release of the hands to bomb driver as far as anyone is his day, into a supple, slow, loose armed motion to hit a wedge on the next shot with virtually the same swing…and being consistent and successful with both.

The best analogy I can give to this is like a great pitcher fooling the hitters because his 95 MPH fastball is the exact same motion as his 80 MPH change up. A very unique skill set that I don’t see in any player today. Tiger is the only one that is close, but he is not consistent with his release. When he is, that is when he runs away from the field. I admire this skill in Jack because I lacked it. I was not a crooked driver, nor a bad wedge player, but it was a rare day that I was very straight with the driver and deadly with the wedge. My release was horrible and as you know, it is what I am working on as we speak.

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11 Comments

  1. MS Golfer

    I don’t know if the all-tools baseball pitcher is the best analogy because Jack had basically one pitch through his career. He had a high releasing fade swing (not the over-the-top fade/slice seen on the range, but a club coming from the inside with a clubface open to the path) and more or less used that for every club. I’d compare that to a great curveball pitcher who used it as his bread and butter and kept a fastball and changeup in his back pocket. I also think that you have added some achievement bias into this analysis because he seems to have too much movement built in to produce one single shot.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      I didn’t mean different ball flights. I meant he could slow his swing down to hit a soft wedge right after hitting a driver hard without changing his swing…just like a changeup

      Reply
  2. Matt

    The days when I am hitting my best are when the swing feels as fluid as Jacks.

    Reply
  3. Nigel

    The greatest player who ever played the game. Bar none. 18 wins in majors, 19 seconds and 9 thirds. Tiger might beat Jack`s wins, but not his Top 3 record. Watching Nicklaus and Watson go at it at Turnberry is my earliest memory of golf.

    Sorry, Monte, but here`s another one where we agree. Crap, I thought I was more contentious than this 🙂 The way he gets his hands way behind his head at the top brings up the elbow and creates even more width. No wonder he was long off the tee. The truly great thing was exactly as you say. He was a bomber off the tee and a finesse short iron/wedge player. Jack is also another great example of how playing golf and playing perfect golf swing are two entirely different, and often counterproductive, things. Of course, he could putt a little bit, too!

    Calling Nicklaus a one trick pony is a bit like saying that in 1969 all NASA could do was go to the moon.

    Reply
  4. Banner 12

    Monte,

    And you didn’t mention Jack’s mental game. Similar to Tiger in that pressure didn’t bother him a bit.

    I think you should do a post on the effects of a bad mental/attitude outlook has in golf.

    Reply
    • Nigel

      Perhaps you might want to talk about the role of mental coaches in golf, too. Everyone and his mother has a sports psychologist on the payroll these days, but are they a bunch of charlatans or saviours? I teach with someone who is a sports psychologist and golf coach, so I have experienced this sort of thing first hand…………………….

      Reply
  5. peter

    great analysis as usual….but how do you see the release?? are you slowing the swing footage? I try to watch just the release and I can’t really tell…if I only focus on ‘just after impact’ it is easier but from the top?? You are good Monte.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Sometimes I need to slow down certain parts, but I can mostly just see it by knowing it looks right. I know that may not make any send, but holding on and being underneath has a look to it and so does casting.

      Releasing it properly…I don’t know…looks more efficient?

      Reply
  6. peter

    I played today and was pulling quite abit….i guess my question pertains to the timing of the release….when I wanted to step it up abit I think my release was too quick….if I slowed down the release was more in sync with my body but lacked distance. Can you give me a few checkpoints… for example what is the position of the clubface at impact (is the back of the left wrist pointing down at impact). Thanks

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      There is really no such thing as an early release, IMO. There are bad releases and releases that aren’t in sync with the turn. A pull is not a release problem…a ball that draws too much is.

      A pull can be caused by many different things.

      Worrying about where the club is at impact and where the left wrist is pointing is a minute detail that you don’t fix…you find the bigger problem and fix that.

      I can only speculate what is causing the pulls. Could be a takeaway too far inside, slight over the top move and when you “slowed down” the release, that was a hold on that held the face open to cancel out the over the top.

      Reply

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