I am speechless. The following quote was made by a very well known and respected instructor to another instructor and decent looking player about his swing. I actually know what he is saying, but…

My head hurts. Is this really helpful information? Am I just a no talent hack that has no clue about the swing?

…or is this a huge example of what is wrong with our great game?

I think my favorite part was the last line.

“Also note at p3 the right arm is too behind the right ribcage and the left arm loads too low under te shoulders. This makes for p5 to be too inside by about 10 degrees. Driver will be a issue of even more in. P6 to 8 is a touch too much early extention as a resault of te p5 position. You should be hitting the ball with sidetilt more with the liner transfers too. Outside of that good motion.”


Here is a link explaining what all the P’s mean…for those that were wondering.





  1. John

    I went crosseyed just reading it.

  2. woody

    That is what is wrong with golf instruction…and it’s why what you are doing is a step in the right direction.

    There is simply no such thing as P5,6, or 8. Things that look like “positions” in photos are not positions, and the cognitive part of the brain in not capable of micromanaging sequential positions in the brief instant that is allowed for a golf swing. Really, the only position is address, and that can be overdone as well.

    The body is NOT A MACHINE in the sense that we think of a machine. The assumption that “if you can get it to look right, it will be right” is going at it backwards. It’s not the positions, it’s how you get to them.

    But, 2-dimensional photos can be helpful, if not abused.

  3. Wally

    Monte, thanks for putting the spotlight on these peckerheads

  4. Christian

    OK. I’m going to go against the grain here… 🙂 As much as that block of text makes my head spin, I think all the p3 stuff is actually a good idea. One of the big things I see wrong with golf instruction is a lack of common, well-defined vocabulary. For example, check out Monte’s GolfWRX thread a while ago about what “release” means. I think the first 15 responses were all different.

    I agree that trying to hit positions doesn’t work well. But it helps with communication if an instructor can tell you unambigiously where you are out of position and how. Ideally they also give you some feels to work with to help you get into the right position, but knowing where you should be helps when looking at results in video.

  5. Der Exilgolfer

    I got it. Everything, that was easy. 😉 Please explain more.

  6. Westy

    Is there some sort of secret decoder ring that explains where each of these positions are located? I know Mom always used to say PB4 U-GO, other than that I’m lost.

  7. Calvin D

    Had to be Lynn Blake. Maybe some other TGM grunt.
    That’s a whole lot of P trouble. I guess it might
    have been McLain and his 8 step analysis.

  8. meateater

    Bubba, Dustin, Holmes, Fowler, Barnes, R. Moore, Gainey, just to name a few top Tour players whose swings fit into no known teaching system. Arnold Palmer, did he give a crap where his P’s were?

    The guy with the most amazing swing in the history of golf, Jamie Sadlowski, would cause one of these gurus to run off the range ripping his eyes out.

  9. Michael

    Those position numbers are just for reference points from TGM. P3 is just the same as saying when your arms are at 90 degrees from address. Teachers who use it are just trying to sound big and fancy, thus attempting to justify their price.

    Why they have to say your P4 is off when they could say you’re laid off/across the line, I have no idea. The latter is much clearer.

    • rojoass

      They have to say P4 because they are under the influence of SC.

  10. Calvin D

    Speaking of confusing things: Monte, have the new ball flight laws helped you or not? Could you maybe explain them in short concise sentences?

    • Monte Scheinblum

      Yes. They have helped me some.

      The ball starts where the club is pointed at impact. The ball curves according to the face angle in relation to the swing path at impact.

      • Calvin D

        So a true draw which starts right and draws back to center would be hit with an open clubface (relative to target) and a path that is in to out relative to the clubface at impact?

        Counter-intuitive since most hacks want to start the ball right with a closed clubface and draw it back.

      • Steve Bishop

        It also means there is far more path variation required than people think to cause a draw or fade.

        Slices and hooks are cause mostly by poor clubface. Draws and fades are cause by relatively good clubfaces but offline paths.

        The BIGGEST change that people need to understand is that lining up left to adjust for a slice, only causes you to slice it more. Conversely for a hook.

  11. Steve Bishop

    The P system has been around for quite some time.

    P1 – Setup
    P2 – Club is parallel with the ground going back
    P3 – Left arm is parallel with the ground going back
    P4 – Top of the backswing
    P5 – Left arm is parallel with the ground going forward
    P6 – Club is parallel with the ground going forward just before impact
    P7 – Impact
    P8 – Right arm is now parallel with the ground
    P9 – The finish.

    It’s not a perfect system, but it gives landmarks to help identify certain things that could cause someone to be off kilter.

    The REAL danger with this is not in complexity, but in camera angle. Parallax is a real b***h.

  12. Erik J. Barzeski

    It’s a short-hand way for people to communicate using agreed-upon vocabulary.

    It gets tedious to say “when the left arm is parallel to the ground” instead of “P3” (or P5). Heck, between teachers we often leave out the “P” and just say “I’m trying to add #2 from 4 to 5 while feeling more dorsiflexion.”

    Doesn’t mean we talk to students that way.


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