Why golfers don’t get better…

The need for immediate gratification and lack of understanding on how the golf swing and the body work.

A very nice fellow on GolfWrx put up a video and wanted to know how he can get from a 13 to a single digit. I said it was because he got his upper body got in front of the ball and gave him the rundown on what needed to happen.

He replied he new that was a problem, but every time he tries to do it, he can’t. He tried drills, people holding his head, etc. He asked me for a drill to do…and here is my response to him and all of you wanting to improve and make a swing change.


Chad, there is a simple answer and it is the same for all swing changes. It takes a LONG time to ingrain a new feel. Getting a little better setup will help, but you are looking at thousands of balls of making an effort to get the lower body forward and keep the upper body back.

Two weeks from now you won’t see the difference. A month from now when you made an effort for the upper body to stay back ON EVERY SWING, “Hey, I am not getting in front of it as much as I used to.”

Six months from now of making that effort on every swing, you will see what you want.

There are no drills or quick fixes in golf. You have to retrain bad feels and repetitive movements that are ingrained.

To put it another way. You have hit tens of thousands of golf balls in your life. You have probably gotten in front of every one of them. Do you think there is a drill that’s going to eliminate that in one small bucket?




  1. Dave Dunlop

    so true, if its take Tiger Woods arguably the most talented golfer ever years to change his swing constantly under the eye of his instructor, how on earth can a 10 hcapper expect to change in a week? “its a process”

  2. woody

    Nobody will go from hacker to scratch overnight. But you can make a significant change for the better overnight, by changing your understanding.

    “get the lower body forward and keep the upper body back”–I’d say that a root of this problem is thinking in terms of “forward and back.”

    I’m claiming that the swing is mostly body rotation. About the only lateral part I can think of is this, from Hogan’s “Power Golf”. “A little shove with my right foot as the club approaches the ball.”

    But, even then it’s providing torque to aid the unwinding.

    Here’s one from Martin Laird: “I hit my longest drives when I feel loose, relaxed and UNWINDING smoothly through impact without a lot of effort.” Taken from here:


    That’s totally consistent with how Hogan referred to the backswing, as a windup or coil.

    Then, all you’d have to figure out is why unwinding does not equal spinning.

  3. Wally

    Try this: go out to your favorite course and play with five wood, five iron, nine iron, and a putter, play easy and you will take five strokes off your game. Most of us tend to complicate this simple game too much

    • North

      Added 4 strokes to my game. Thanks a ton.

  4. Avery

    Monte, spot on in your comments. Unless you are an absolute beginner, it is more realistic to fix one (maybe) two things in your swing in a single season. But, if a good instructor points you to the most important elements to work on, you should start to see bright moments in the short term and lower hcp in the longterm.

    People chase the perfect swing so much that they want to have 12 perfect positions in the swing. When my ball striking is great, I could care less if i look perfect going it.

  5. Jason

    Hey Monte, I thought you’d like to hear this. I went to the range today to conduct my own experiment. I called it Holding the Lag vs Release from the Top. 10 shots each. Every time I tried to hold the lag, I sliced badly and the more inside-out Itried to swing, the worse it got. Strengthening the grip made no difference, adding tilt did nothing either, it was just shit.
    After 10 poor drives, I decided to hit 10 releasing from the top. I got this feeling by straightening my right arm (RH Swing) as soon as possible as I rotated. All I can say is every drive was straight and long. This straightening of my right arm gave me a sense of maximum extension through the ball. I had lag where it was important, at impact and it got me more on my left side without getting ahead of the ball. Even when off balance they still went straight. After 2 years it clicked LOL.


    • Dave

      Couldnt agree more but is there a link to the thread as I have this issue as would love to know a good drill, even if I have to do it repeatedly for a year+

  6. woody

    You should send your reader Bobs34 a commendation for smashing one of golf’s icons. Yesterday, he wrote: “…moving weight to the left is not nearly as big or dramatic as I use to think. It’s just a nudge…” ~ Bobs34

    He’s right, and here’s a picture of it:

    …contrary to some Hogan material that claims the move is so big that the hands get a “free ride down” to waist level.

  7. Adam Young

    Good post Monte, this reminds me of the old Marshmallow test – instant gratification and lack of success in later life. I do think it is very difficult to train people to think this way – all good players seem to understand this naturally, although some of t can be learned. I will write in my blog about this soon, as it is a very relevant topic to the clients I teach, all looking for that instant success that very rarely happens, or if it does it doesnt last long.

  8. chad


    This is chad, the 13 hc you were referring to. I wanted to thank you for the exact words of wisdom that you have posted on this blog. Since reading those words I have hit about 1000 balls at the range trying to keep my upper body behind the ball. I am still not able to keep 100% of my upper body behind the ball at impact but this aspect of my swing has improved and so has my ballstriking. Your reply made me realize that I didn’t have to get into the perfect position right away but instead work on getting in a better position each day. This has taken so much pressure off each swing and I can see improvement, a little bit each day. Thank you!

    PS I shot an 82 yesterday on a course with a rating of 73.9. Inching closer to single digits each day!


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