This video proves my point.

About the “swinging inside/out” culture that has developed in golf instruction today.

It does not cure OTT. In fact, it can make it worse by getting you too far inside on the backswing.

Here is a young man trying to promote “inside/out” as a cure for over the top. He is young, flexible, fluid and he makes that perfect finish that everyone loves to equate with a good golf swing.

Before I go in to all the faults in the swing he makes, I want to make an important point. When you are young, supple and practice a lot, you can get away with a laundry list of swing faults and play some decent golf. I could fill the entire net with golfers who were great in college, made some noise on the Tour in their 20’s and became awful and either had to make wholesale changes in their game, or became non-PGA Tour golfers.

Please let me be clear, I am not trying to be a jerk and say this kid stinks at golf and should quit the game because his swing is horrible. I am trying to stop golfers from giving and getting bad information. The info being promoted and info like it is heard on every range in America. Bad cliches and even proper information given out in a heinous manner. The fact this kid looks so aesthetic and probably hits it pretty good will lead people to listen to him…and they shouldn’t and here is why.

The player in this video can probably sit on the range and pipe drivers down the middle of the range all day long with this swing. However, I wouldn’t want him to have to hit a 30 yard wide fairway for my life and there are many reasons what he is doing should be avoided. His posture at address is way too up and down and he is reaching for the ball and rounding his shoulders. When he tries to turn it away with his shoulders, his posture won’t allow it and forces him to change his spine angle at least 4 times during the swing.

Because he is trying to illustrate an inside/out swing path, his arms go too far inside and roll the club face open. That forces him to lift his arms up to avoid being way too flat at the top. When you roll the face open and lift your arms to save it, that shuts the club at the top.

Then, in an effort to swing “out” he gets the club underneath the plane and the club face goes from shut at the top, to open just before impact. All of these shifting spine angles, excess arm movements and face angle changes don’t allow him to turn around his spine properly and his hands have a really high exit, instead of around his spine.

This looks really pretty with that high hand finish, but you can see how many excess movements are required here. This young man has some skill and obviously plays a lot of golf. His thin flexible body allows him to somehow get the face on the ball. If a 35-50 year old mid handicapper who plays twice a month tried this setup, posture and swing path, they literally couldn’t get the ball airborne.

In an effort to get my point about golf instruction, and especially golf cliches across, I often come off as a negative ass. Not my intent. What you sense is my frustration with all of the bad information out there…and even worse, good information being explained incorrectly. What you also sense is my bitterness that this issue affected my career in a negative way because I didn’t know how to sift through the muck to get to the diamond.

Now, on to the video. I could turn this kid into a player in a very short period of time…assuming he has an adequate short game.

1. I would tell him he has the perfect body to be a great golfer and all of the tools necessary.

2. He needs to bend over at the waist A LOT more, roll his shoulders back and let his arms and hands hang down relaxed. He might have to get a little closer to the ball, as he is reaching for it, but it’s hard to say that for sure until I saw how his posture adjustment changes things.

3. His first swing thought would be to stop rolling the club open and to the inside so much with his arms and hands. He needs a simple shoulder rotation away from the ball.

Subsequent to getting a hold of these issues, I would have him move on to making sure he kept his hands a constant distance from his chest. Improving his posture and simplifying his takeaway might solve this automatically.

Once that was done, he must learn to release the club properly and link that up with his turn.

Judging by his skill level, it would be a very short period of time to learn these things. A month or two. Then every lesson after that would be about monitoring these issues and making sure they didn’t revert.

To me, golf lessons are an ongoing process. I wish I had someone with my philosophy to work with. My philosophy is about making repairs one step at a time and continuing the process into a maintenance program. In other words, the first set of lessons are to clean up major issues preventing consistency, from then on it’s about making sure none of those issues return and/or no new issues arise.

That is why all of the best players feel the need to work with an instructor, the process never ends. You need a constant reminder of what you are doing well…and a constant watch that bad habits don’t creep back in. The reason why this process breaks down and people often give up…the process is made too complicated. I want to make it easier.

If the lesson/learning process is simplified, all golfers would continually get better, till they hit there personal peak and then they would maintain that level indefinitely.

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7 Comments

  1. S.

    The guy in the video swings OK, in my opinion. Where he goes wrong is with the words to describe what he is doing, and the props he uses that will confuse anyone’s brain. Whether he realizes it or not, he will ignore them. Someone following his advice will get hopelessly screwed up.

    Anyway, who could argue with your conclusion: “If the lesson/learning process is SIMPLIFIED, all golfers would continually get better, till they hit there personal peak and then they would maintain that level indefinitely.”

    And, I think that you have the downswing perfect: “release the club properly and link that up with his turn.”

    As far as the backswing, maybe you have developed a method that works well with real students, and success is the final gauge. However, is it possible that you have complicated the backswing too much?

    The problem with almost all golf instruction is that there is no backSWING. There is turning and steering, and manipulating–but NO SWING.

    I’m going to quote George Knudson: “The golf swing is based on centrifugal force. The trunk of the body is the center of the force. Control the center, you control the motion. … allow the momentum of the [rotating] mass (that is, the arms, hands and the golf club) to flow as it may during the swing.”

    It seems that Knudson’s analysis is especially relevant on the backswing (I like your downswing thought better). People get so fixated on their arms and the club that they don’t do it. Coordinated people like you do it automatically, the right way. Others don’t.

    Here are all the things that you mention in the backswing: shoulders, swing path, club face, position at the top, the plane, and the spine. Wouldn’t a SWING take care of just about everything automatically?

    This came to me the other day…maybe the best drill I ever saw was recommended by Big Break (Golf Channel) contestant Barefoot Dave. The drill is: throw golf clubs two-handed. Obviously, Dave had a large yard, and this would not be practical for 99% of golf students. However, it seems that they would get the feel of a proper windup, loading, and release without all of the planes, angles, club positions, and body parts. In other words, no paralysis, and no trying to use the wrong body parts.

    Reply
    • Husker

      “best drill I ever saw was recommended by Big Break (Golf Channel) contestant Barefoot Dave. The drill is: throw golf clubs two-handed.”

      I read about this drill in “Extraordinary Golf” by Fred Shoemaker published in 1997. That WAS a good drill, and the book is a good read.

      Reply
  2. Michael

    The only thing I heard in the video was the sound of the guy hitting next to him and his contact.

    :34 made me pay attention. Shame the rest weren’t that nice.

    Reply
  3. Wally

    Great post Monte, this guy is way too anal. I thank heaven that my brain is not capable of so many swing thoughts once I address the ball. KISS, Keep It Simple Stupid
    Wally

    Reply
  4. Steve Bishop

    Want to swing inside to inside, set up as far away from the ball as this kid and keep doing it until you start hitting the ball square.

    Few people realize how many faults are caused just from their setup alone, or how easy it is to fix faults by adjusting their setup.

    Reply
  5. Mike

    S. i think this guy in the vid is not the longest hitter in his area, he looks to me like someone who is having a decent amount of decellaration through the shot, acelleration hits it further, ok his swing looks nice, I agree.

    Reply
  6. Mike Pedersen Golf

    Monte,

    I think the guy has good intentions, but as you say, he is young and supple. Most of the golfers I work with have physical limitations keeping them from making a proper golf swing.

    Mike

    Reply

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