Swinging in a phone booth

No lateral moves and no slides. That is what we have been told…and it has ruined a lot of us…me included.

Again, I always have to be careful what I say because there will invariably be people who think I am promoting the opposite extreme. As an example, the hold the lag subject. I promote a natural release and criticize lag holding…then they come out of the woodwork saying I want people to cast.

Anyway, swinging in a phone booth, barrel or trash can (I saw someone on GolfWrx literally do this and told someone to do it)…is terrible. It makes your swing nonathletic and often, all upper body.

The longest hitter on the Euro PGA has a lateral move going back and every great player has a “hip slide” to start the downswing.

The point is not to initiate a lateral move on purpose, nor to slide on purpose.

Think of how silky smooth Fred Couples and Colin Montgeomerie look. That is because they allow themselves the freedom to let the weight go where it will.

The point is allow yourself the freedom to move…as long as you are in balance.




  1. woody

    Turning in a barrel is not a very helpful description. What it means is that sliding hips on the backswing isn’t recommended. Brady Riggs shows the difference here:

    • Monte Scheinblum

      I am not fond of Brady Riggs’ swing concepts…although this video is fine.

  2. Bob34

    Out of all the really good advice I’ve seen on this blog. This may be the best; “The point is allow yourself the freedom to move…as long as you are in balance.”

  3. Leclair

    Hi Monte,

    This was one of my questions. How do you determine that the hip slide on the downswing is too much? After you saw my swing, can you tell that this is too much or acceptable? IMO I think I slide too much!

    Thanks! Nice blog btw!

    • Monte Scheinblum

      As long as you don’t lose your balance…you cannot “slide” too much on the downswing.

      What you are doing is thrusting your hips toward the ball instead of toward the target and around.

  4. Leclair

    Yes, I knew it! That’s how I found this blog! 🙂
    I was looking for video drills on YouTube about “thrust hip”
    and found your video(same as in the lesson) and saw that you have a blog in the description.

    There’s a lot of good information here…but I only red until november 2009 which I would summarize by:
    – Work on balance
    – Tempo
    – Setup
    then swing changes…
    – You would like to coach Tiger
    – You don’t like to wait on the courses lol

  5. s.

    The basic point of today’s blog is great: don’t mentally lock yourself into a static position when you’re trying to make a dynamic move.

    Where it gets tough is that we can’t just reverse-engineer what we think we see happening. The camera angle is one factor. And, since feel-is-not-real, we can’t always trust how somebody else perceives it.

    Part of the movement we see in the pro videos is because of this:

    · Body will get out of its own way.
    · Body will keep its balance.
    · Body will protect itself from being hurt.

    Pros aren’t jamming the mechanism with micro-managing, as Monte mentioned. (Doing so might result in the unpleasant reversal of the three factors above.)

  6. Calvin D

    This probably relates: I picked up a basketball for the first time in about 35 years. Tried 10 shots from a set position and missed all badly. Then said to heck with it, dribble deke jump and fire. Swish swish swish swish. Gave it back to grandson.


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