What drives the golf swing?

All of these method based debates, pivot driven, hands, CP, CF, etc., etc., etc.

I don’t think it’s any more complicated than this.

The golf swing is a cohesive effort. Some people need to FEEL more body oriented, while other people need to feel more hands and arms. It all depends on what’s too active/passive in each individual. When I am on the lesson tee, I have to tell some people to speed the arms up, while others I have to tell to turn more freely.

Mahan and Johnson have both said they need to feel active arms to feel linked up. They are two of the most pivot driven swingers on tour.

You can’t force yourself into a swing pattern because someone said its the perfect one and a more efficient way do it.

If I tried to bend my right elbow at impact as much as Hogan, I’d break my spine. His wing span was 3-6″ longer than his height. Mine is 2″ shorter. It would be a major forced action.

What would barrel chested Craig (and son Kevin) Stadler shoot if they forced themselves into a draw swing pattern because…well, just because.

Could Jim Furyk have broken 80 had he decided a one plane swing was the way to go?

How many people would hit the ball over 180 yards with swings thoughts like…

“Move the upper body as far behind the all as possible.”

“Hang back.”

“Throw away the angle and get a bowed RIGHT wrist at impact.”

I won a world title with those three thoughts.




  1. woody

    It’s the words…always the words. They mean different things to different people. And, with humans, it’s always possible for someone to think about something exactly backwards and believe that it’s true. And, stranger yet, it might actually work–for them.

    Old-time pro Mike Austin had a fairly good understanding of it. He said, “The downswing is initiated by a coordinated action of the body, arms, hands, legs & feet.”

    He didn’t quite go far enough. Nerves that control skeletal muscles correspond with neuron groups along the primary motor cortex of the brain’s cerebral cortex. In skeletal muscle, contraction is stimulated by electrical impulses transmitted by the nerves. Commands are routed though the basal ganglia and are modified by input from the cerebellum before being relayed through the pyramidal tract to the spinal cord, and from there to the motor end plate at the muscles. Along the way, feedback, such as that of the extra-pyramidal system, contribute signals to influence muscle tone and response.

    This is why micromanaging head, hands, wrists, elbows, arms, shoulders, back, spine, navel, hips, knees, legs, feet, heels, toes, weight, planes and angles…won’t work. Any adjustment will affect everything else.

    If you pick something like “shoulders,” it’s not really your shoulders that are doing it. That’s just your real-time feedback, that your body is doing what you intend for it to do. There’s a difference between feedback (or a “feel”) and an actual mechanism. Er, I guess that’s what you wrote.

  2. coops

    Monte, I think you’d enjoy Gerry Hogan’s book ( Gerry, not THE BEN)… shame it’s only around second hand and pricey at that. His postscript sums it up nicely…
    “The golf swing is essentially a natural movement, one part of which, however, must be consciously controlled. So learn to control that one part rigidly, but surround it with the most natural sequence of movements you personally are capable of.” Perhaps I should have added: “And free your game from the shackles of symmetrics.” I haven’t any doubt that an obsession with symmetrics has caused golfers more problems than anything else in the game. ”

    Have you seen the thread(s) n golfwrx about forearm rotation… dear god… !

  3. blacksox

    Great post! Square peg….round hole? LOL

  4. rojoass

    Here’s some of the best advice you will ever get.
    See the shot. Make a decent set-up. Look at the back of the ball & hit it. Works with putts also.


  5. FredL

    I think people start thinking why they are slicing/hooking/skying etc. Then start going down that rabbit hole trying to figure out how to fix, then gets into theory then making things a lot more complicated than it needs to be.

  6. Steel

    I was awful at golf until I figured out a way to feel as if I am moving into the ball from behind like I did playing baseball. I was very very good at hitting a baseball. For me, that helped my timing and gave me more power. Stay behind it, move into the ball and let it go with the release of the “bat”, in this case golf club, and don’t let the top hand overtake the bottom hand too soon. Try hitting a baseball when your top hand has already overtaken the bottom hand before impact. No power whatsoever. Basically, this is similar to your three keys Monte and it WORKS.


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