Widen the arc and low and slow

You are just begging to disconnect your swing when doing these things.

Loss of posture, narrow downswing, arm run off, early extension, arms getting too far inside, steep downswing, overly slow tempo, bad rhythm, over the top, under the plane, casting, flipping, gout, diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver and erectile dysfunction are all direct results of these two cliches.

1. The easiest and way to swing a golf club is to keep your width, constant arc or the distance of your hands to your chest remains fairly constant. Basically all the same thing.

2. In addition if the amount you bend at the waist/hip sockets remains constant through the back swing, down swing and through impact, that is also the easiest and most efficient.

3. It has already been proven that a slow back swing is terrible. It ruins your rhythm because you are bound to grab the club at the top. You don’t want a slow back swing or a pause at the top. What you want is to be patient in the transition and allow your body to unwind and change direction without snatching the club with the hands. Tour players have faster tempos than amateurs.

By definition, widening the arc ruins #1. Now go try and swing low
and slow without increasing the distance from your hands to your chest…or low and slow without pulling your head to the ball and increasing your bend at the hip sockets.

The answer is your can’t.

I realize what these cliches are trying to accomplish. Low and slow is to get people improve their rhythm and keep them from lifting the club off the ball.

It doesn’t work. It replaces one problem with another. It falls into the cliche category of “Do the opposite of bad.”

“Widen the arc” gained popularity when DL III (Davis Love III) came on tour with this huge arc and prodigious drives. He doesn’t widen the arc, he maintains his width. He just has long arms and a narrow chest and shoulders, so he creates a huge arc naturally.

If Craig Parry or Craig Stadler would have tried to widen the arc, they would have gotten the shanks.

Woody Austin has the lowest and slowest backswing I can think of in a Tour player and I bet his tempo is faster than every amateur that constantly says out loud, “I got quick.”




  1. Wally

    Personally I like Tommy Gainey’s swing. I looks like do do , however that crappy looking swing earned him a P.G.A. tour card go Tommy.

    Goog luck Monte

    • Calvin

      Gainey. Not a swing, more like a controlled spasm. It works for him now tho.
      I disagree with you only to the extent that I don’t like the action but I applaud his success.

  2. Lukey

    Widening the arc is a horror that has ruined me at times over the years. I think this one became popular when Jack Nicklaus used to talk about it and then re-iterated by Tiger in his instruction book. Just because if FELT like something that worked for them, it doesn’t mean it’s one us kids should try at home. I see people doing this, usually & inveitably slowing down their backswing to accomodate it and it’s one of the more amusing ones to watch. What is it you’re reaching for exactly?!!

    • Monte Scheinblum

      Reaching for another ball after widening the arc made you hit a snap hook or shank.

  3. Calvin

    Monte, looking at the cards for the qualifier nobody seemed to do well on the 3’s. Were they that hard?

    • Monte Scheinblum

      Not really. I had makable birdie putts inside 20 feet on 3 of them.

  4. woody

    Like other things in Hogan’s “Five Lessons,” wide arc was misunderstood, and now means something that it was never intended to mean. When Hogan said wide, he meant if you were looking from DTL behind him.

    When Hogan meant is that he didn’t want to let his arms hang straight down, but instead reached a bit for the ball. Hogan didn’t bend much from the waist, and said not to do it in Power Golf (1948). Instead, he settled into his legs at address, giving himself a more athletic base.

    Moe Norman reached for it too, but the effect looked overdone because he addressed the ball on the heel of the club. At age 72, he said he was wrong all his life, and he gained 30 yards (and was already a long hitter) by letting his arms hang a bit more (and narrowing his wide stance).


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