The problem with golf instruction today.

Almost all theories and methods that are prevalent today have one thing in common.

They make sense because they are the opposite of bad or they have been proven to be “correct” with a computer.

Lag, coil, inside/out (to right field as in yesterday’s post), swinging like Iron Byron, putting like Perfie, widening the arc, etc.

All of these things have another thing in common. Implementing them is a disaster.

Making one facet of the swing the focus…copying what another person (or robot) does… doing the opposite of something bad…doing what the math tells you…all do one thing.

They isolate the swing into parts.

Now I realize any improvement in the swing involves working on something and that isolates the swing into parts, but I like to make a distinction.

If you start from the beginning of the swing (butterfly effect-link) things will progress more toward finding your own personal swing, instead of the swing someone else has…or what some scientist who has never played golf invented…or even worse, trying to do the opposite of bad.

“Finding the problem is hard, fixing it is easy.” That seems to be the mantra of golf instruction these days.

I think figuring out what the problem is is quite simple, while finding the simple swing thought/feel that produces long term results is quite difficult as everyone’s feel, body and thought processes are so different.

That is why I hate swing systems so bad. How in the world do you tailor a swing to people of different body types, skill levels and brain functions.

Everyone has their own personal swing that will work for them (Furyk, Fowler, Trevino, Nicklaus, etc.), the object is to find that by eliminate the things preventing it from happening.

You start with the setup, move on to the first part of the takeaway and so on.

A rhetorical question. How am I at 6’2″ and 200+ pounds going to build a consistent move by copying the swing of Bantum Ben? The answer is I couldn’t and I wish someone would have told me this in my teens and I wouldn’t have spent the last 25 years trying to find the fairway consistently and hit wedges close with a narrow plane and stuck underneath.

OK, maybe it wasn’t rhetorical after all. I opened the door for me to make yet another rant. 😀

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10 Comments

  1. banchiline

    I know a “swing system guru” (self anointed) & he very well may be the single biggest liar I have ever met.

    ” Fabulous Claims Swing System” lol…………

    Reply
  2. S.

    You write, “All of these things have another thing in common. Implementing them is a disaster.”

    So, you must wonder, “Does what I write help people golf a WHOLE LOT BETTER, and enjoy golf a whole lot more:”?

    For me, YES. The Monte theory that I like has maybe 6 parts (three mechanical, three conceptual):

    1) Release from the top
    2) Everything turns together (which for me means, don’t think of the swing as upper body, lower body)
    3) Core exercises could be beneficial
    4) Everyone’s swing doesn’t have to look the same
    5) everyone’s feel, body and thought processes are different.
    6) people’s physical condition, flexibility & suppleness (as well as build) define their capability

    “Release from the top” might be a sticking point for some–but it’s no different than what another guru teaches, “drop and turn.” For me, it’s not activating my hands at the top of the backswing, but letting them respond to other forces.

    You don’t hear about Aaron Oberholzer anymore, but when he was around, he did a Golf Channel Playing Lesson, and he said, “Your hands are just there to hang on to the club.” And, it’s not very different from what Zuback says, “Leave your hands at the top.”

    To me, all these are saying pretty much the same thing.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      YOU HAVE GOT THE IDEA PERFECTLY.

      That is how to use the information I give out. Pick out what makes sense to you.

      I am posting this next week as a guide for how to get better at golf.

      Reply
      • Michael

        Include scrambling and course management on there please!

        Reply
  3. Wally

    “THE UNLIMATE JUDGE OF YOUR SWING IS THE FLIGHT OF THE BALL” A quote of the Late Great Ben Hogan

    Reply
  4. Wally

    bad spelling ulimate

    Reply
  5. Steve Bishop

    It’s funny because as men we tend to organize and compartmentalize things that are complex to help us make it easier to understand. Doing this to your golf swing can easily become more harmful than good.

    Don’t do anything unless it makes you hit the ball better. Systems and categories are for the TEACHERS, not the student. But if you’re trying to go it alone without a teacher, you’re going to have to know some stuff. Just be careful when trying to implement it and be 100% SURE that it’s accurate information you’re trying to implement… not just some anecdotal tale someone posted from a range session.

    (“I gained 30 mph on my swing speed with the _____ drill.”)

    Reply
  6. retired guy

    I estimate that more money has been utterly wasted on golf instruction than any single activity. At least women wear those shoes occasionally. Most golf instruction not only does not improve your game but it frustrates you as well.

    I recently had the pleasure of hitting balls at a high end course next to the PGA pro giving a lesson to a hacker. Nothing the pro said was “wrong”, but after an hour of detailed instruction about planes, release, weight shift, etc the guy still literally could not get the ball 30 yards in the air. The pro left and the poor guy was there picking the club straight up and trying to somehow get it in the air. Anyway, it left me feeling very superior, so i guess there was some benefit after all.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      RG, you are so right about that lesson. I see it every day.

      Reply

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