THIS is how you MUST take it away.
THIS is where you NEED to be at the top of your backswing
THIS is how you MUST grip it
A single ideal model has been perpetuated in the golf industry for so long that people take it as gospel without even questioning it. Anything veering from that model has been deemed a “fault” and thus requires a “compensation” to recover from it.
But what if that whole theory is wrong?
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NOT a Free-For-All
Now, before we get into the weeds, I’m not saying that “any swing goes”, or that there aren’t better/worse movements in the golf swing.
However, I am saying that there are a hell of a lot of tour players swinging very differently to the “model”.
✅Dustin uses a strong grip, lots of wrist flexion and very little forearm supination through impact.
✅Webb Simpson uses a strong grip, lots of wrist extension and a lot of forearm supination through impact
✅Bryson uses a weak grip, a flat wrist at the top and more supination through impact than most
✅Some players have left paths and hit fades
✅ some players have right paths and hit draws
✅some players hit both shapes, depending on what they want
✅Some players hit up on their driver, some down
Bottom line is, there are lots of ways to get the job done in this game. Again, this is not to say that “anything goes”, but that the opposite is also not true – “you should swing it exactly like THIS”.
What if that inside takeaway of Ray Floyd, Nancy Lopez or John Daly was not a fault, but just a “different” way of getting it done?
What if Matt Wolff’s insanely outside takeaway and subsequent shallowing move is not a bunch of compensations, but a way that veers from the model which can create a ton of power AND be repeated just as well as any other motion?
What if an open face (to path) is not a compensation for a left path, but just a different way of getting it done? Is a shot that fades onto a target really any worse than one that flew without any curvature to the same spot?
What if Furyk’s way of swinging was not a bag of compensations that look non-repeatable from the outside, but just a VERY unique way of getting that club onto the ball in a way that’ll explode your bank account?
X Affects Y
When you understand how a change to X part of the swing affects a change in Y variable at impact, your whole world opens up.
Now, rather than having to completely remodel your swing, you can just start to ADD pieces to it, as options, to achieve your desired ball flight.
Say you were to take out just 2 of Dustin Johnson’s non-model pieces.
A coach who teaches a model swing might opt to;
neutralize the grip
reduce lead wrist flexion (make the wrist flatter instead of bowed)
to make it look more like “the model” at the top.
But now, they would also have to add more forearm supination to get that face squared up. And this is hard to do with Dustin’s insane body rotation at impact, so they would also have to now reduce that if they wanted to make the “model parts” match up.
And now, with less body rotation, he would have to stay taller throughout the swing to make it functional.
You’d have to completely change how Dustin swings the club, and there would be no logical reason why the new set of movements would be any better than his old set. Not to mention the time it would take to ingrain all of these new pieces.
See the golf swing as a series of options. Sure, some options are better than others, but I see so many people actively harming their games by constraining themselves to the outdated concept of a single ideal model.
And when one model has been proven to be ineffective for a player, they simply grab the next book and find a new model.
My dog also chases his tail.
It takes a tiny bit more time, and an ounce more citric thinking to view it like this
✅what do you need to change at impact to improve your game?
✅what movements (options) relate to that?
✅is there an option that has a positive effect on two or more impact variables?
Using this approach, you can calibrate your desired outcome without having to spend your life working on a model swing (that you’ll never get, and doesn’t guarantee anything).
Using this approach, you can still maintain a lot of the essence of “you” in the swing (as Dustin Johnson does). You may look different to the model, or to another tour pro, but that’s ok. It’s about getting the job done, not swinging to some else’s made-up “ideal”.
Using this approach, you are not constrained to “one way” that, ironically, will require a hell of a lot more changes to achieve. Instead, you now have a series of flexible options available to you.
When you adhere to a model, you have to change multiple things with exact precision to get a desired outcome. When you understand “Match ups” (or whatever you want to call it), you can get to functionality much quicker and with fewer changes.
If all this post does is make you think a little bit more critically about “model” swings and their subsequent “faults” and “compensations”, it was worth writing.
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You are so correct. Love this approach to instruction.
Mbwa Kali Sana
Each golf swing being unique , It takes a fairly traîned eye to find thé weaker points to be cured. A good pro can hélp but it’s up to you to find thé corrections who work.BEN HOGAN Saïd « you havé to dig your swing out of thé Earth »
Spot on article, absolutely couldn’t agree more. While some positions obviously make it easier to achieve your desired outcome..the lowest score possible, the ball has no idea what you did to arrive at impact.
Very interesting. And that presumably also explains why people with so called perfect swings such as Adam Scott are not always at the top of the leaderboard because they still have minor discrepancies within the pink zone
Listen to Ben Hogan!
Michael M MCCOMB
You missed the point
Great article as always Adam!
Agree Adam, always wondered why Bruce Crampton and Tom Purtzer did not win every week, like David says above. Great insights as usual.
The only thing missing, I think, from the diagrams of DTL motion, is the fact that the arc of the clubhead CAN be straightened for a few inches either side of Impact, by the lateral movement of the lower body. An ARC is usually defined as rotation around a FIXED point and the body in the golf swing is, essentially, never fixed.
This is quite interesting and insightfull. I am new to Golf and I read online as much as I can and found many different things and I guess after reading this I might have read some lies too.
I appreciate the effort you put into creating this article.
I am starting my second year of golf at age 70 , I started with trying to copy the single plane swing and have made much progress in my first year but came up short of my 2020 goal of scoring consistently at 100 , I came close but was shooting 105 to 110 at the end of 2020 , it was an improvement from my general score of 120 TO 130. I know this doesn’t sound like that much improvement but it has given me some feeling of progress . I am hoping , with some hard work, to refine my swing with Adams help and his different way of looking at the golf swing and the mental aspects will bring a fuller understanding of striking the ball and bring a smile to my face !
Robert Michael McComb
Creating a better strike has made all the difference for me. After you achieve this you can improve anything else around that.
Each person’s physique is also different, arm length, palm size, shoulder width, legs, and turning radius. But, most important, mental strength. These combinations make up the swing characteristics, and whether the swing is repeatable. Swing is the result of choices the golfer made at the time of the execution. If the thought process is not consistent, the result varies. And the famous saying of repeating the same process and expecting different results is just crazy.