The golf swing is an action reaction activity.

That’s why all of these scientific experiments, hard data numbers from launch monitors, stop action screenshots of all time and current greats, etc…are all fine and dandy, but they are used almost universally in opposition to the title of this post.

You can’t zero out positions in the downswing. They are the body’s reaction to what came before. So copying someone’s golf swing, position, or supposed power inducing move…Hell is empty and all the devils are here.

Copying Rory McIlory’s hip stall…LOL.

Sergio’s hands in the right hip pocket lag….really folks? He’s spent the better part of 5 years trying to tone that down…and hacks want to just yank that handle to that spot and expect results?

Hogan’s right elbow impact position. This is my favorite because I was told to do this. Several years ago my friend and I did an experiment. I got all my body parts in Hogan’s impact positions. And the right elbow where he did. I would have needed a set of golf clubs about 3″ over length to reach the ball. His wingspan was several inches longer than his height and mine is a few inches shorter. I also have a high waist.

Scoffing are you?

Et tu Brute?

Ask one Mac O’Grady about this issue and he may have some different insights, but he will 100% agree. He has very short arms and long legs.

Ever wonder why Ray Floyd had such a funky swing and used a nearly 40″ putter? Peter Jacobsen called him the T-Rex of golf.

I saw a video today that there is a torso stall that causes a whipping action of the arms…and if you actively do it, I want to play you for money.

The point is the ENTIRE downswing is your body reacting to what you did in the setup, backswing and transition. It is compensating to put the club on the ball, the best it can, after you screwed up so may things. Your body wants to hit the ball solid and straight, so if you don’t like your impact position, you don’t have enough lag or shaft lean, a Hogan right elbow or the club head speed you think you should have…those things are not actions.

They are reactions your body is making to just make contact with the ball.

You give your body good food and exercise, you get a fit looking body. You give it fast food and sloth, your body gives you obesity. If you are flabby and don’t eat right or exercise, you can’t just wake up one morning and say I want to look like Brad Pitt in Troy, just like you can’t hold lag.

You give your body a good setup, backswing and transition, you get sexy lag and compression that arouses your friends.

You make poor actions before the downswing starts, your body will give you bad reactions. Casting, flipping, early extension, no compression and weak slices with the driver…or else you’d miss the ball.

If you want to get better at golf you must embrace this concept…and play more golf.

One of my pet peeve examples.

It has been my observation that 75%+ (probably more like 90%+) of instructions teach lag as a primary pursuit without addressing the action(s) that are producing loss of lag as a reaction.

To me this is like turning up the radio louder when your brakes start to squeal.

I know, I know, frustration pulls out nonsensical hyperbole in me.

Ignorance is the curse of God, knowledge is the wings wherewith we fly to heaven.

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15 Comments

  1. Paul K

    Classy thoughts Monte.

    Reply
  2. Calvin

    Definitely the truest and most hilarious post on golf swings I have ever read.

    i Love it. :):):)

    Reply
  3. John

    Great post. I read them all, and this one is excellent. It’s not a lesson or a tip, it’s about an overall philosophy about how to improve. A house starts with a foundation and goes from there. The golf swing, as so eloquently stated by Monte is the same thing. Set up, posture, grip (foundation) lead to a better backswing which leads to a more effective downswing,everything’s in sequence, solid contact,lower scores, everybody’s happy.
    People (many teachers included) are nutso about Hogan, which is fine. Interesting guy, tremendous work ethic, “it’s in the dirt” all that stuff is great. He never had a swing coach, and he hit hundreds of thousands of balls to figure out what move for his body type could be the most effective. We could do that too, I suppose, very few have the time or money, or you could just listen to Monte and save all that. You’ll get better, with your swing, not a swing designed for a 5’6″ guy with arms like a gorilla’s.

    Just a…great post.

    Reply
    • Gary

      John, I think that very few have the mental and physical intelligence of Ben Hogan. He was able to experiment and try things abandoning what did not work and adapting what did work. I know that in my case I tend to try what did not work over and over again… So, I think that very few of us could do what Hogan did! Otherwise I agree with what you said and enjoyed your comments.

      Reply
  4. Jake G

    “you get sexy lag and compression that arouses your friends” LMAO.

    Classic Scheinblum right here!
    Another great post btw. Can’t wait to see how someone is going to try and find fault, or disagree with something stated here

    Reply
  5. John D

    Long arms, long legs, short torso here. I get it. I’m in the South Bay, I want to hook up some lessons. Love reading your posts, watching your videos. It’s time to meet you in person.

    Reply
    • Jake G

      Make the effort John, it will be the best money you ever spent on your golf game. I have had several lessons with Monte now and he is the best instructor that I have been to hands down. He helped me more in the first couple lessons than all the previous years/lessons combined.

      Reply
  6. Luck box

    Amen.

    I read about Rory’s squat move on golfwrx and was wondering your thoughts on it but your comments above answered that fir me. Activating the legs makes sense but attempting to copy World #1 as a mid cap seems like trying to drive a Ferrari on the German Autobahn at age 3.

    Reply
  7. Greg

    Completely agree Monte.
    My buddy used to rag on Corey Pavin and do a pretty funny swing impersonation of him and squawk about his lack of distance. I always told him he’s on TV and won the U.S. Open so how bad could it be.

    Reply
  8. Don Lissen

    “The point is the ENTIRE downswing is your body reacting to what you did in the setup, backswing and transition.”

    –That’s really good. But, I’m going to say that the ‘transition’ is not really separate from the downswing. I don’t ever see a ‘hitch’ in the swing of any pro. One smooth move.

    “It is compensating to put the club on the ball.”

    –I like that too, but technically speaking you don’t need to be concerned with the club, only the ball. Think about baseball. Is there any thought about the bat…or only the ball? Polo? Jai lai? Same with hockey regarding the puck?

    Bobby Jones: “I believe most sincerely that the impulse to steer, born of anxiety, is accountable for almost every really bad shot. The sad fact is that no amount of steering can possibly do any good. And it may serve to magnify errors.”

    Reply
  9. Gary

    I can make a good backswing and even a smooth transition and then the demon takes over in the downswing and I will jerk the ball into the farmer’s field next to the golf course. This sort of thing does not seem to happen on the practice tee, just on the course… The trick seems to be to remain calm and to stay smooth all the way through the ball… Any advice on how to do that?

    Reply
  10. Michael C.

    “You give your body a good setup, backswing and transition, you get sexy lag and compression that arouses your friends.”

    It will give you the best chance to make a good swing if, at this point, your sequencing is also correct and you don’t consciously screw it up by forcing certain positions.

    “If you want to get better at golf you must embrace this concept…and play more golf.”

    Train it properly and trust it. Then, it will happen without thinking about it. Subconsciously, if you will.

    Excellent post, Monte. Curious about the timing. LOL. Things that make you go hmmm….

    Reply
  11. Kip

    Haha play golf? That’s cray cray… I just like looking at my swing in slow mo

    Reply
  12. James

    Great blog post Monte! We are all built differently and what works for one will not work for another. I was always taught setup well and remember it, visualize it, feel it, know it because that is what will lead to good shots.

    Reply
  13. mstair

    “In his book, ‘The Modern Fundamentals’, near the end of Ben’s chapter on The Second Part of The Swing, he begins to talk about the famous lag in his swing. I have seen stop-action photographs that show him with a 90˚ lag of the club-head with his hands at hip level! This is the origin of his accuracy and distance control. When the club-head catches up to the arm angle in the short distance of hand travel — from the outside of the right leg (leg away from target) to the outside of the left leg (leg towards target) — the result is a consistently square club-face, exponentially increasing in speed.”

    Excerpt From: Mike Stair. “Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons.” iBooks. https://itun.es/us/KfNyD.l

    Reply

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