You are not alone (Monte’s Manifesto)

Everyone is looking for an authority on the golf swing that they can listen to and who will improve their swing and golf game.

Many people think they know nothing, some think they know everything and some are down right homicidal they spent hundreds or even thousands of dollars on books, DVD’s and golf lessons.

Some are just distraught and self flagellating that they did things that were supposed to be correct, but the information either ended up being wrong, or part of some dogmatic cookie cutter approach that didn’t work for them.

Well, you have now found what I am the authority on. I bought into all of it. Everything from hold the lag and the X-factor to the square to square putting stroke and everything in between. Lasering distances, stepping off pitches to see if they were 25 or 26 yards, 4 minute pre-shot routines and fixing my takeaway because it was an inch off at P3.

I am a reformed golf addict trying to perform a one man intervention on the golfing public…one golfer at a time it seems.

I am simplifying my approach every day, both for myself, my students and for what I write here. Some will say many of my articles are filled with technical descriptions and that is true, so how is that simple?

Well, many golfers metaphorically need to know how the body breaths so they can realize it happens automatically and they don’t even have to think about it…and so they don’t do something stupid to prevent it from happening.

Any of this sound familiar?

To use a cliche, we are on a journey, not a destination. How many times have you been to the course, your swing felt perfect and you striped it all day long and said, “I’ve got it.” Only to hit it terrible the next day.

Why did the #1 player in the world think he still needed to change his swing after winning 4 majors in a row? Look where he is now.

There is no perfect in this game, only small pockets of competence and instances of sheer joy and exhilaration and that’s what brings us back for another day of “fun.”

This is not bowling, despite what the guy who can’t get it airborne, with his 14 step swing checklist and scratch pre-shot routine playing in front of you (causing a 6 hour round) thinks. There is no 300 game.

Searching for perfection is just missing the point.

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15 Comments

  1. s.

    Today’s column is why you’re the authority we’re looking for. You’ve been there and done that…you’re our B.S. meter! And, if you call B.S. on us too, that’s what we want and need.

    You write, “I am a reformed golf addict trying to perform a one man intervention on the golfing public…one golfer at a time it seems.” Well, it’s working!

    The biggest obstacle in golf instruction is Feel Is Not Real. “Feel” tells us that the earth is stationary and does not rotate, or orbit the sun. “Feel” is wrong about that. It’s a good thing to realize that feel is often wrong…and can even be the direct opposite of what is happening.

    But, if “feel” is working, it just doesn’t matter. It’s not just an arm-swing or a shoulder-turn. Our bodies work as a whole–left with right, front with back, and top with bottom. Fortunately, we don’t have to consciously direct all of it…and shouldn’t try.

    Coordinated (pros & instructors) know how to move their bodies without thinking about it. They don’t even know what they’re doing. It comes so naturally that they take it for granted. And, sometimes if they try to analyze themselves, they wreck their own games…or a guru does it for them.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      “And, sometimes if they try to analyze themselves, they wreck their own games…or a guru does it for them.”

      Never has a better statement been made on what happened to me.

      Reply
  2. John Mack

    I couldn’t agree about your comments on the search for perfection in golf. I would have thought that Tiger would have learnt enough to get out of his capsule and join the real world. Just supposing he could become the perfect golfer. How boring would that be? We might as well have a fleet of Iron Byrons and wheel them around the golf course. What an interesting tournament that would be.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Honestly, Iron Byron’s hitting balls and Perfie’s hitting putts wouldn’t even shoot that low.

      A lot of golf is intangible, such as touch around the greens, working the ball into tough pins, knockdown shots and willing putts into the hole.

      Reply
  3. S.

    About your statement, “Just supposing he [Tiger] could become the perfect golfer. How boring would that be?”

    He was perfect…and it was boring. Didn’t he win a Major by 8 shots? Or, was it more? The miracle shots, the amazing putts…if you made a deal with the devil, you couldn’t be any better than that.

    Reply
  4. Mike from Canada

    Tiger shot 66 in Dubai overnight and is at the top of the leaderboard. Is he starting to come around? I think he is.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Mike, you might be right, but one round at a “fun” event does not cut it.

      Until Tiger wins a major, he is nowhere near “back.” This is not my standard, this is the standard he set for himself in both words and action.

      I said it two years ago when he won 6 times, yet tanked in some way in all 4 majors. he missed a cut at one, bogied the last two holes in one and lost the lead for the first time ever in one. It was a terrible year for Tiger.

      Reply
      • Mike from Canada

        I totally agree and, yes, I am being overly optomistic. I just want him to get back to where he was so bad! Golf is a lot more fun to watch when Tiger is playing well. Just think of the heated battles that could happen between Tiger and some of the young guns if Tiger can get his game back.

        If I step back and look at it realistically, Tiger is at least 1 year from getting back to his best because he needs a lot of time to work on his short game. I imagine we will see great rounds this year, but I’m not sure he can put 4 rounds together to win a major or a high profile tour stop.

        One can hope though.

        Reply
      • Monte Scheinblum

        Mike, not that we don’t agree on the other points, but we totally agree on one point. Golf is more interesting when Tiger plays well.

        Reply
  5. Wally

    Not for nuthin, but, I was told after my divorce in 1980 “NO MATTER HOW PAINFULL IT IS, DON’T WORK ANY OVERTIME UNTIL A YEAR AFTER THIS IS FINAL” I wonder what mr Woods lawyer told him…….

    Reply
  6. Doug B

    Monte – who among the better-known instructors do you feel have a pretty good grasp of what you would consider to be a helpful learning approach? I know you have had some complimentary things to say recently about your experience with the stack and tilt guys (although I know you are not a proponent of their weight shift, or lack thereof). I seem to find a lot of commonality between your approach and that of Shawn Clement, or am I mistaken about that?

    Reply
  7. s.

    Shawn Clement? Wow, he is unique! I’ve never seen a pro’s swing, or anyone else’s, that looks like Shawn’s. But, it appears to work for him.

    The only swing I’ve seen that looks like Shawn’s is the illustration on the cover of Percy Boomer’s book, “On Learning Golf” (1942)
    http://www.amazon.com/Learning-Golf-Valuable-Guide-Better/dp/0394410084

    The principles Shawn advocates don’t seem to be like Monte’s. His heaving the arms up and using his butt as a counter-weight put him in a class by himself.

    Reply
    • Doug B

      I think on his YouTube videos he exaggerates some of the dynamics in order to emphasize his point. The intro to his DVD series shows him hitting a drive on the course and his swing looks more conventional than it does on some of his lesson videos.

      Reply
  8. Wally

    montes ideas’ are simple, these other guys have too many moving parts which they are bound to break down over time

    Reply

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