My head is spinning

(I have ideas for a dozen or so new videos and will be filming them this week)

I know I am prone to rants, but it is just so frustrating to see so many things I know just aren’t correct.

Tiger’s swing-if that one drive he hit where the club went flying 20 yards down the fairway isn’t evidence he is stuck from a shoulder turn that is too vertical, then I don’t know what is.

A fade is bad. Must come inside out and hit draw. Mongo like candy-I am trying to rebuild the game of a two time PGA tour winner who let the culture convince him that he needed to hit a draw to get I the next level and win a major. I wonder what that change would do to a 10 handicap…or the 25 who saw on a Trackman he was 1* out to in and told he can’t hit a push draw from there?

Lag-at least I feel I am having a small success in my attempt to obliterate this meaningless concept. The funny part is the more I learn, the more I find out I was wrong about lag. It is even more meaningless and destructive to pursue than I had thought.

Positive angle of attack-this will replace lag as the most destructive pursuit in golf. If most golfers don’t do a very good job of getting off their right side, what is trying to hit up on the ball going to do?

Never mind that many of the longest hitters in golf (including myself in the 90’s) have negative AoA. It’s just like lag as an SAT question. Long hitters have lag and positive AoA, so creating lag and positive AoA makes you hit it far.


Those of you who answered true are going to community college and are going to hit drives 60 yards off line in both directions..

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24 Comments

  1. Damon

    I gave up on trying to artificially “lag” years ago when anytime I consciously tried to do so, I shanked the heck out of the ball.

    As for hitting up/positive angle of attack with the driver, I gave up on that pursuit when all I showed for it was high push pop-ups, or screaming pulls left.

    I know my current flat attack angle probably gives up a few yards, but at least I have solid contact and have an inkling where the ball will go!

    I’m a solid 8 handicap with minimal practice now, down from 14 handicap years ago when I played/practiced more often trying to lag/hit up on the ball.

    I guess the good news is that I found out I must hit the ball OK (even though on video it looks like I have an early release) because I took a Tour Striker Pro 5-iron and hit 8 out of 10 like a normal 5 iron.

    Great post.

    Reply
  2. Damon

    I will say I seem to fade/hit straight my short irons and hit straight/slightly draw the longer irons and even hybrids. Does this make sense?

    Reply
  3. HoldTheLag

    Hey, I graduated from Community College!

    Oh wait…

    Reply
  4. Kevin Kruse

    I will have to disagree with you about AOA. This not very difficult to change and adds a tremendous about of distance. I change my drive to a 7.5 degree and XXstiff shaft and moved the ball about 2-3 inches forward in my stance. This gained me about thirty yards on my drives from my old titleist 9.5 degree 905R. My spin went down probably 2000 RPMs. Now when I hit a nice controlled fade is goes about 290 and when I really let go I will be around 320. Getting a positive AOA is more about you overall technique and set up that it is about trying to consciously hit up on the ball. Neverless I wouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater on this one because I have personally see in it take about 2 strokes off my game.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Aha. You generate enough speed and pivot where it “might” be helpful.

      Reply
  5. Christian

    This post came just at the right time for me. I’ve gotten sort of obsessed with the draw of late after having some success squaring the clubface to the path. I gained a lot of distance with the square clubface and have had a few great rounds. Unfortunately it brings in the miss left which I haven’t had to deal with in 4 years which led to a few really bad rounds as well. So the obvious answer (to me at least 🙂 was to go full hog and hit all draws so I could aim down the right side. This brought out some old favorites – thinking about pressure on the right index finger (PP3 :-)), leading with the right elbow, swinging out, etc… Short story long, I think this post just snapped me out of it.

    Reply
  6. woody

    Tiger in trouble? I’m not a fan, but he finished T11 at the PGA, with a bunch of putts that either stopped on the lip or rimmed-out…in conditions that flat-out embarrassed a lot of people.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      I just saw on Sportscenter he is +15 on the weekend in majors this year. When has he ever done that in his career?

      You are judging Tiger by the same standard as everyone else.

      I am judging him by his standard and the standard he has set for himself. By that standard, he is in huge trouble.

      Before this year, when has he ever gotten near the lead Friday and backed up Saturday and Sunday?

      Reply
      • woody

        There aren’t many 36 year-old hockey players, baseball players, football players, who are at the top level of their sport.

        Here are TW’s stats this year, from before the PGA:

        Advanced Total Driving: 8th
        Putts Gained: 39th
        Short Game Play : 70th
        Birdie Zone (75-125): 115th
        Safe Zone (125-175): 15th
        Danger Zone 175-225): 5th

        Looks like his weakness is inside 125. If he could fix that, he’d be a monster again.

        Reply
        • Monte Scheinblum

          The fact that mid 30’s through history has been the prime years for most golfers not withstanding.

          Ever think what I am seeing is the issue from 125?

          Reply
      • woody

        Bu…but, you’re a long-driver…so you must have meant, um, driving.

        Reply
        • Monte Scheinblum

          The same swing fault will cause different issues with different clubs.

          Not to mess up semantics, but I was a top player before I could hit it far.

          Reply
  7. meateater

    Monte, I guess I don’t really understand your point about lag. You hit the ball with a ton of lag. All big hitters do. If someone is casting or losing lag by releasing too early, the only way they are going to generate more clubhead speed is to correct that. You seem to be saying they shouldn’t bother with it. Why not? I also have rouble with saying don’t “force” lag. Someone who has always thrown away their lag is going to have to feel like they are forcing to retain it. Isn’t that a good thing though? Any change will feel awkward. It’s easy for someone who was a great player as a kid to say don’t do anything that feels unnatural, because their natural was ingrained early. People who learn as adults don’t have that luxury.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Lag doesn’t create speed, speed creates lag.

      There is a reason why lag is lost and no drill for holding it or creating it is going to work…and it will make matters worse.

      If you (meaning any golfer) has too long of a backswing and you don’t create enough rotation speed, you will not be able to retain it properly.

      If the upper body gets in front of the ball in the downswing, the body will react to keep e club from getting too steep and throwing the lag away to shallow out the angle of attack is the way the body reacts.

      In both cases, forcing lag to happen is a disaster.

      So you don’t create lag by pulling the handle hard, or holding the wrist angle (physically impossible), you shorten your swing and keep the upper body back.

      Lag is not a pursuit, it’s a result. More is not better. The right amount you create with a good swing is better.

      Forcing lag without fixing one or both of those issues will eventually lead to the shanks.

      Reply
      • meateater

        Except it isn’t correct, at least not in many cases. Of course, if someone has a terrible swing and has to cast the club to compensate, holding lag will create problems for them. But there are plenty of othr people with serviceable swings who don’t have much lag when their hands get to their right leg. You can see them on any driving range. You can also see them on the range at any Tour venue. They will be the short hitters. There are other reasons to retain lag. Early release will inevitably cause flipping and the clubhead will precede the hands to the ball.

        Reply
  8. Calvin

    “Lag doesn’t create speed, speed creates lag.”

    Engrave in stone. Cast in bronze.

    Reply
    • meateater

      Oops, meant the above reply to be under Calvin’s post.

      Reply
  9. bobs34

    Just curious on Monte’s thoughts IRT to right elbow staying bent longer and maintaining lag? Between some tips I took from Monte’s Bump, dump, & turn drill, how the hips move along with Harvery Pennicks, Magic Move in the “Little Red Book”, I’ve been playing good golf for awhile now and maintaing more lag than ever without trying to… I call it, my ba-dump swing; As I move a little of my weight to my left foot, I use my right tricep to bring my right elbow down to my side. My arms have room to swing really fast but my right elbow stays bent longer in the downswing. Once the right elbow starts to release or unfold about 1/2 way down or so, I can actually feel the shaft torqueing at that point in the swing instead of at the top. I don’t have any tension in my hands or forearms and it feels like the club releases like crazy through the ball even though I still have a good bit of forward shaft lean at impact…
    I call it ba-dump because moving weight to the left is not nearly as big or dramatic as I use to think. It’s just a nudge and then a rip through the ball. The body then seems to turn itself…

    So in a way I do think lag can be taught but instead of trying to hold the wrists, going wide to narrow, or whatever, it’s more about figuring out a way to keep the elbow bent longer while still alowing a free body turn & arm swing… May be I’m off my rocker but it’s been working for me…

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Like lag, bent right arm is a function of setup and linking things up. A result, not pursuit…However, feeling that can be helpful.

      Reply
  10. Catskin

    Tiger Woods –

    #1 Scoring Average
    #1 Fed Ex Cup Points
    #1 Number of Wins
    #1 Money List

    He aint doing that bad, not sure why you are so frustrated. Every golf coach seems to think they can turn Tiger Woods into a faultless robot.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      If you had read my blog for more than one day you would know I am against faultless roboting the swing.

      I have two questions.

      1. Does Tiger base his whole success on his performance in majors?

      2. I this his worst performance in majors on the weekend of his whole career?

      Those stats you listed, while great, are irrelevant compared to those two questions.

      Reply
  11. HoldTheLag

    The problem is that Tiger thinks he can turn into a faultless robot and that will take care of his performance issues. He wasn’t one back then and he won’t be one ever, so best to focus on that something else he had back then.

    Reply
  12. ringerdaman

    One of my favorite sayings. (I came up with it.)

    Sustain the torque, not the lag.

    Reply
  13. Adam Young

    Good post Monte, this reminds me of the old Marshmallow test – instant gratification and lack of success in later life. I do think it is very difficult to train people to think this way – all good players seem to understand this naturally, although some of t can be learned. I will write in my blog about this soon, as it is a very relevant topic to the clients I teach, all looking for that instant success that very rarely happens, or if it does it doesnt last long.

    Reply

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