What do tour players mean when they say 80%

Tour players always say they don’t hit their irons full, their “full shot” is only 80%.

The 80% is a misnomer. It’s more like 90%…or more. Actually, it’s 100% of a controlled swing.

I spent 6 weeks on the PGA Tour last year and have played with several of them. You are mistaking what they mean. There is a full shot where it is 100% of a linked up swing. That is the stock full yardages they use on a regular basis.

Then there is the swing where you disconnect it for extra distance. For me a full swing PW is 135, possibly 140. I can extend the armswing and pull the handle too hard and hit it 150-155.

The 135-140 is a full 100% swing. The 150-155 is something I only pull out when a speciality shot is needed.

Most high level Golfers have the same thing.

When I see a 10 handicap with 110 mph driver max hitting PW 140-145 yards, they are using that out of control, specialty shot action.

So again, there is no need for you to dial down as the so called 80% tour swing is not dialed down, it’s just not an over swing.




  1. woody

    So, with a linked-up swing, you’re not over-using your arms.

    With your specialty shot, you are. (pull the handle too hard, out of control)

    About the only situation I can imagine for that specialty shot would be gouging the ball out of a lie that offers resistance and would slow the club or turn the face–like shallow water or deep rough. Otherwise, why sacrifice control for distance that you could get by using a different club?

  2. blacksox

    Great point! 15 handicaps constantly overswing. They believe that distance is the key to hitting more greens in regulation,,,,,,,,,,therefore, more pars. What they fail to realize is that jacking up the distance on 8, 9, and PW will lead to a swing that is dominated by the upperhalf. That situation, wtihout question, will lead to erratic play off the tee and second shots on long par 4s and 5s.
    In order to save par, the most important thing is to hit the 3rd or 4th shot the correct distance. That comes from finding the natural SPEED of a swing that is 100% linked……or, an aggressive 3/4 swing. If that swing is passive or lazy…….more often that not……a DECEL will be the result. There is a massive difference between an aggressive 3/4 swing and an overswing. Learning how to accelerate each club the proper amount is the key fundamental to becoming a single digit.

  3. pcb_duffer

    Once again, Monte has said what the talking heads on TV (Johnny, Lanny, et al) ought to say. Certainly they know it too, and if Joe Fourteenhandicap hears it from them he’s more likely to believe it. No offense to Monte intended, but devotees of web sites like this one aren’t as likely to be hackers in need of a clue.

    Thanks again, Monte.

  4. Bob Saunders


    Do you have any videos demonstrating a fully linked up swing? Or are the sum total of your videos and blog lessons intended to get us there?


      • Bob

        Looking forward to it. Thanks!

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