What happened to my swing…

(This may be a bit technical at times, but is absolutely spot on and a cautionary tale. I think those of you who are into ball flight laws, mechanics and such will find this very interesting. Those that don’t care about such things, you will still find some important tidbits that apply to you.)

I am piecing things together and it all started with watching my swing from the National Long Drive in 1993.

I saw the swing and remembered what I did and what I was thinking. I played the ball relatively far back in my stance, had a major forward press and made the lateral move…and I totally remember having a thought to stay behind the ball so I wouldn’t move in front of it.

My hips would clear and I would release the pants off my world class lag. Now that I understand the new ball flight laws, it makes perfect sense how I hit the ball well doing it that way and created a push draw that wouldn’t go left when I was doing it right.

In hindsight, whether it was a long drive contest or a touch wedge into a green, I would get in trouble and hit it bad when I would roll on the outside of my back foot on my lateral move…or get in a rut of not allowing the club to release…or both.

Here is how it all went wrong. Each step in the wrong direction was a result of trying to do what was “correct.”

I first got rid of the lateral move, because that’s what people told me to do…and I listened. Without a lateral move, the ball was too far back in my stance, plus that was “wrong” anyways, so I moved it forward.

Don’t even get me started on how bad the forward press felt after those changes.

Now that the ball was farther forward, I started missing shots in both directions and couldn’t hit a push draw any more. This also created a problem I have constantly fought for over 10 years. When the ball was back in my stance, my shoulders would always fall right down the line.

With the ball farther forward my shoulders always want to get open to my foot line and that is a death move for me.

I am now making that lateral move again, while being careful not to roll on the outside of my right foot. I am back to having the ball back in my stance and hitting a sweet push draw. The forward press just feels to awkward now, but I am back to having my hands in front of the ball to the point my left arm and the shaft create a straight line…or close to it.


All I need is time to get used to this feel again, as I have not experienced it for over a decade. I don’t trust it yet. The other thing I used to do was adjust ball position and face angle at address from day to day in order to get the desired ball flight.

God only knows why I stopped doing that.

Every day I trash more and more residue left over from my “doing it correctly” days. I still have some left and the more I get rid of, the better my swing feels and the better information I think I can deliver to all of you.

These changes are all helping me allow the club to release naturally. Distance and trajectory control are getting better, as is my ability to take something off a shot.

When I start trusting it, I might actually be decent again…because as one young reader can testify, I can actually putt.




  1. Wally

    Both Hogan and Snead played the dirver about two inches off their left heel, need I say more

  2. Doug B

    Monte – good luck with your back to the future quest to rediscover the magic. I’m sure you’ll find it. And thanks for taking us along for the ride. I’m looking forward to seeing some video when you’re ready to show us.

  3. S.

    This post identified Jim MacLean’s primary contribution to golf instruction: the phrase DEATH MOVE.

  4. Wally

    Monte I recommend you go into golf DETOX stay away from anything golf for ninety days. When you come back watch videos of your old swing for two weeks, then COPY your old swing.

    Good Luck

  5. Mike from Canada


    Your experience is similar to mine; although, I was never that great. I had gotten my cap down to a 9 and was playing well, but I wanted to get better so I started taking tips from golf magazines and (I almost hate to write this) Hank Haney; I think I just puked a little. I CANNOT swing on one plane. I’m not flexible and I’m pretty muscular, so it’s just not possible. Last year I started getting more vertical in my swing and I got down in the 70s again. As I said before, I am now following Sean Foley’s method, because he teaches a lateral move and more vertical swing, but I do take things he says with a grain of salt. If it doesn’t feel natural, I won’t do it.

    I think that is the main lesson for all of us. A small change in your swing should not be far off from how we naturally swing; don’t you think?

    Good luck with your swing!

  6. Bob34

    This not addressed to anyone in particular other than myself & can be somewhat humiliating but go back and look at your own past posts on the various forums, blogs, etc… that you’ve posted to in regards to how you swing a golf club. 99% of mine are based on some method I’d been taught and how I’m personally trying to correct a ‘flaw’. Come to realize that 99% of those flaws weren’t really flaws, just part of my golf swing and nothing I really needed to be concerned with to hit good golf shots… It’s not only humiliating it’s infuriating. I’m not saying I’dve ever made the tour like Monte but I damn sure wouldn’tve bounced back & forth between a 5 & 10 handicap for the last 5 years. I’d be much closer to scratch consistently. Also, I wouldn’tve spewed the propaganda of the so called experts to others which is humilating because it’s sooo stupid.

    • Monte Scheinblum

      I think I am the charter member of this club. I am sure if I go back on this blog I have written some BS that was part of the brainwashing and I no longer believe it now.

      That is part of the process I am going through and taking you all through.

      Maybe that is tomorrow’s post.

      • S.

        “I have written some BS that was part of the brainwashing and I no longer believe it now.”

        Boy, does that sound all too familiar. Maybe somebody should start Golfers Anonymous, and this statement should be the start of the meetings.

  7. Doug B

    Monte – If you’re not using your 2010 swing anymore, mind if I take it for a test drive? I like it better than my current model, and the extra 50 yards off the tee would be nice.

  8. rojoass

    Speaking of lateral moves. I have been hitting some Drivers this week using a little lateral move forward then a larger lateral move back . I don’t roll outside my knees or on the outside of my rear foot .
    It’s knocking the stuffin outta the ball. Kinda fun.


  9. Will

    I love the thought process behind this blog posting. In the last few years, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to find out what works well for me, forget the rest, and ignore any instruction that runs counter to it. I’m reading more and more things lately that support that line of thinking; this post is definitely one of them.

  10. Qtlaw

    I am going through the exact same thing; tearing away the layers of things I did that I thought were ” correct.”

    Thanks for the reminder.

  11. nick

    Hey Monte,

    Why not incorporate some secondary tilt into your swing (i.e. preset your hips a little forward) so that you don’t have to laterally move in the downswing and can instead just turn around your center of gravity (spine) during the swing.

    • Monte Scheinblum

      tried it for a while and it didn’t work. This is exactly my point from the last two days.

  12. hank

    my apologies.

    I feel for me, as if trying to continue rotating the hips closed at transition, is a forced move. Should it feel forced, or should I just naturally focus just on releasing the club from the top? Hope that makes sense.

    • Monte Scheinblum

      I don’t like forcing or restricting the hips to do anything. That is why the lateral move works for me as it allows the hips to turn freely both back and through.

      • hank


  13. GolfHappy

    Ha! Monte you’re making yourself sound like a right hacker!! LOL 🙂

    Here’s one to try for your ‘back to basics’….

    I’m a bit of a S&T guy and today I was having trouble holding onto the ‘flying wedge’ so i changed to a 10 finger grip (no overlap)… Holy Cow!! I was getting incredible strikes, felt I could really release the club to a full extension and the distance was up almost instantly by 10%!!!!! I hit it long already so I was amazed.

    In the ‘old days’ I remember trying a 10 finger grip but it just didn’t work with flat shoulders and weight on the right side. Hands forward and a good shoulder tilt and you can literally crush the ball… I’d recommend at least trying it,… and/or posting your thoughts.


    • Monte Scheinblum

      Considering I was borderline to becoming a PGA Tour player and relative to where I was in 2005…yes, I was a terrible hacker.

      • GolfHappy

        Ironically a lot of careers must have been wasted by those who were actually DOING what they were taught. I feel your pain 🙂

        I was taught to square the clubface and achieved that remarkably well… and then miseed both ways and hooked the ball a lot – wasted 10 years or more of my life on the practice ground.

        Those who were unable to square the clubface through poor co-ordination hit beautiful push-draws all day long whilst swearing on their lives they were squaring the face – who knew?!!

  14. Qtlaw

    I distinctly remember a pro telling me I was addressing the ball with an open face and that was it, all downhill then, manipulating the clubface instead of just swinging. UGH!


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