Small Changes, Big Results

The videos and screenshots below are before and after in one lesson. They were taken about 45 minutes apart. This golfer had a common problem. He thought he was over the top, but actually just had his shaft too vertical on the way down. A common misconception and it’s not semantics and I will talk about this more. He was told the common cliches by many…and I mean many.

Swing to right field, drop it in the slot, fire your hips and let arms be passive and drop….blah, blah blah.

His hands are on plane most of the downswing. Crazy you say? Then you are not looking at it properly, but don’t feel bad, most don’t

“Get closer and get your hands deeper at the top,” was what I said.

Huh? People call that shaft steep coming down and getting closer makes it steeper would be the common response…I’ll have more on that, as well.

I told him to do nothing different on the downswing. Just get closer, get hands deeper (I put his hands in the ball park where they should be and stepped aside) and just hit the ball.






  1. Ted Brady

    Monte, I may have had this kind of revelation on the range the other day. For whatever reason I decided to focus on nothing but to keep my hands (at address) a bit lower, and keep them there throughout the swing. It forced me to stay in angle, shallowed the shaft (from vertical) and at least for 6 and 7 irons felt solid as hell. If this is the same idea, is there a downside (i.e toe too up, or readjust lie angles of irons)?

    • john kowalczik

      Me too. Only hit balls for an hour. During setup i placed the butt end of the club almost touching my thigh before i took my stance. It seemed like i almost had the club on the heel. I was closer to the ball and it may have helped me get deeper going back. Some shots went 10-15 yds farther.

  2. Jason

    Looks like you changed his takeaway to better match how he uses his body on the downswing.

  3. Eric

    What would you give him on his grade for proper hip movement? A through F
    Why do so many amateurs not rotate there hips properly like the pros ?
    Nice before and after! Good work

    • Tim McCarthy

      Because the hips can’t rotate properly unless the upper body works properly.

  4. Jason

    What do you mean by getting the hands deeper?

    • Monte Scheinblum

      In a down the line video more away from the target line.

  5. marvin cantos

    I can relate to the small change, big result …:)

  6. Dan Stone

    Nice photos of me, but note the camera puts on 40 lbs ๐Ÿ™‚

    Since that short lesson in mid-December I’ve played 5 rounds with 4 of those rounds being on challenging courses I’ve never played before. When I’m able to successfully fight off my old habits of getting steep, using more body and less wrist action, I’ve done very well. Last week in Indian Wells I shot a 40 on the front side of the Celebrity course with pars on the first 5 holes including the #1 hcp.

    On the back nine a storm blew in big time (literally) and there seemed to be more challenging holes (water) and my difficulties bumped me up to a 47 for a 87 total, but only one hole the entire round had a score greater than 6 (an eight with a wind-aided ball into the drink and two shots in one nasty green side bunker).

    I shot an 88 on the Hapuna Prince course on the Big Island of Hawaii with at least four shots being lost on great tee shots where I didn’t know (couldn’t see) what I was getting myself into.

    But I also had two rounds over 100 in both Palm Desert a few days ago (Desert Willow), and locally on a difficult course called Callippe Preserve. I look forward to playing both of the courses again to atone for my sins.

    Here’s what I’m working on now as far as mental process and feel:

    1) “Super” Flat – don’t get steep, but instead (as Monte showed me by literally, physically pulling me in to the correct position) feel like I’m reaching behind me to touch something with the club head. In actuality, and perhaps Monte would differ, I’m trying to get the butt end of the club shaft to point point at or slightly inside the target line.

    2) “Super” Wrist Set (for me, having been used to a body swing for so long, I’m trying to get to a normal 90ยบ wrist set by telling myself to go “super wristy.” This has really helped me reduce the amount of body I was using in my swing and get my left arm “off my chest” as Monte would say.

    3) “Super” Short Backswing – feel my left arm not going above parallel to the ground (think of all shots like a punch shot). In reality this is probably getting me to 3/4 where I want to be. If I was smaller (thinner) and more flexible I could probably get to a position where my shaft was closer to parallel to the ground. But for now for me and 95% of right-handed amateurs I see, going past the point where the left arm is straight and the lower body is relatively still, causes one’s form to seriously breakdown and thus yields a decreasing return on investment/effort.

    Short story – tons of significant progress thanks to less than an hour with Monte. Amazing! I’ll be baaack.


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