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Farangster

Textbook vs Unorthodox Golf Swing

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Ive had some beginners instruction when i was a teenager, grip alightment posture etc..but im mostly self taught. And i do some funky things you would never see taught. But im better than most of the players who labor with a swing coach will ever become. So i do believe there is some kind of natural instinct to swing the club and play the game that elite players have that supersedes mechanics. TBH i dont know what it is. But if you saw me swing a club you wouldn't think im capable of shooting 3 or 4 under on a particular day. 

Im in the camp of that to truly maximize your golfing potential (scratch, 10 handicap, whatever) you have to get there mostly on your own. Maybe thats a psychological process instead of a physical one, I don't know.  Of course, you can take instruction and incorporate it into your method or philosophy,  but whatever you're doing has to be your own in order to truly get the most you can out your ability IMO. 

Edited by Groucho Valentine

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4 minutes ago, Groucho Valentine said:

Ive had some beginners instruction when i was a teenager, grip alightment posture etc..but im mostly self taught. And i do some funky things you would never see taught. But im better than most of the players who labor with a swing coach will ever become. So i do believe there is some kind of natural instinct to swing the club and play the game that elite players have that supersedes mechanics. TBH i dont know what it is. But if you saw me swing a club you wouldn't think im capable of shooting 3 or 4 under on a particular day. 

Im in the camp of that to truly maximize your golfing potential (scratch, 10 handicap, whatever) you have to get there mostly on your own. Maybe thats a psychological process instead of a physical one, I don't know.  Of course, you can take instruction and incorporate it into your method or philosophy,  but whatever you're doing has to be your own in order to truly get the most you can out your ability IMO. 

Congrads have not shot under par yet.  As I am mostly self taught too but, as I said before, I have been with a coach on a round once, he was really great and helped me improve my game but no drastic swing changes.

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13 minutes ago, Farangster said:

As I am mostly self taught too but, as I said before, I have been with a coach on a round once, he was really great and helped me improve my game but no drastic swing changes.

That's because the point of a playing lesson isn't to work on drastic swing changes...

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Bad instruction is more like self instruction. Will it make you better? Sure. But the question isn’t if, but how much. Good instruction puts you on a better path, less band aids. Bad instruction/being self taught can take you much longer to get to the same spot a good instructor could put you. 

More to original topic of type of swing.   Funky looking & good looking swings of pros have several commonalities. A home built swing is fine, but eventually it will need a bit of fine tuning to make things a bit more consistent. 

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1 hour ago, Groucho Valentine said:

Im in the camp of that to truly maximize your golfing potential (scratch, 10 handicap, whatever) you have to get there mostly on your own. Maybe thats a psychological process instead of a physical one, I don't know.  Of course, you can take instruction and incorporate it into your method or philosophy,  but whatever you're doing has to be your own in order to truly get the most you can out your ability IMO. 

I agree with you on that.  When you make it your own it builds confidence.

 

56 minutes ago, klineka said:

That's because the point of a playing lesson isn't to work on drastic swing changes...

Yes, it is was a lot of fun.  After the round, he recommended I work on quieting down my legs a bit but said my swing was pretty sound for my rotation limitations/ability

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I think when you look at 30-handicappers, you see tons of different self-taught "natural" swings.  Most of them work pretty poorly.  When you see a group of 20-handicappers, the variations decrease.  10 handicappers, even smaller variability.  Scratch players do lots and lots of things very similarly.  Yes, there are outliers like Furyk, but even he does a few things very similarly to every other successful tour pro.  There's a reason that those wild variations aren't present in better golfers, many of the variations simply don't work.  So yes, individuality is fine, but INSISTING on maintaining all of your individual quirks can severely limit your potential.  

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I think this is why the core of 5SK is so relevant. There are many variations of ‘good golf swings’ that it leaves the beginner or amateur wondering, ‘well..what aspect should I try to make sure I’m doing?’ And it’s the five keys that answer that. I still believe that one is more likely to achieve the five keys with a more conventional swing but it certainly isn’t limited to that. 

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1 hour ago, Farangster said:

I agree with you on that.  When you make it your own it builds confidence.

This isn't mutually exclusive with working with an instructor. My instructor gives me the pieces I need to work on, then I make them my own.

If you're saying learning on your own without an instructor builds confidence, I have to disagree a bit. It's only going to build confidence if it works. It will build frustration if it doesn't. Lots of people are self taught and never actually get good. There are more golfers who have never taken a lesson that suck than there are that are good.

16 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

So yes, individuality is fine, but INSISTING on maintaining all of your individual quirks can severely limit your potential. 

Right, everybody's swing has idiosyncrasies, even tour pros. They can get away with some things most of us amateurs can't simply because they practice and play so much that they time their compensations better.

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32 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

I think when you look at 30-handicappers, you see tons of different self-taught "natural" swings.  Most of them work pretty poorly.  When you see a group of 20-handicappers, the variations decrease.  10 handicappers, even smaller variability.  Scratch players do lots and lots of things very similarly.  Yes, there are outliers like Furyk, but even he does a few things very similarly to every other successful tour pro.  There's a reason that those wild variations aren't present in better golfers, many of the variations simply don't work.  So yes, individuality is fine, but INSISTING on maintaining all of your individual quirks can severely limit your potential.  

You have hit the proverbial nail squarely on the head.  Or the long drive in the sweet spot on the clubface.

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1 hour ago, Farangster said:

When you make it your own it builds confidence.

Sometimes this leads to a big setback, too, though.

For example someone is hitting the ball fat. They move the ball well back in their stance and gain confidence because they can hit the ball solidly for a time. They stick with it, they improve somewhat.

Yet perhaps that was a bad thing because they've gone down a bad road and are thus ingraining bad habits.

The thing they found "confidence" in that a good instructor would not let them do (he'd teach them to get their weight/pressure forward, or to sequence things better so they don't flip, etc.) actually sets them back the most.

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Any good swing is fundamentally sound.  That there are variations on the theme, so to speak, should not be surprising.  An athletic motion is going to have some variance from person to person but the commonalities are the important aspects...not the idiosyncrasies.  (Had to look that one up)  

It doesn't matter much how one gets there...if they arrive, in timely fashion, at the proper destination.

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I have a friend (met him on the range) who's name is Larry and he reminds you of Larry the Cable Guy.  He hits the ball with a forward lunge and tees his ball about 4 inches high for the driver.  Sometimes he wears hunting clothes to play golf.  He putts with a putter he made in his basement.  He has bad vision.  He's been put back together by various doctors; his swing suggests he should shoot around 95-100. He's humble.  All that aside, he shoots from 67 to 69 on a par 72 course.

Love the guy.  But I won't play him for money.

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22 minutes ago, Double Mocha Man said:

I have a friend (met him on the range) who's name is Larry and he reminds you of Larry the Cable Guy.  He hits the ball with a forward lunge and tees his ball about 4 inches high for the driver.  Sometimes he wears hunting clothes to play golf.  He putts with a putter he made in his basement.  He has bad vision.  He's been put back together by various doctors; his swing suggests he should shoot around 95-100. He's humble.  All that aside, he shoots from 67 to 69 on a par 72 course.

Love the guy.  But I won't play him for money.

That's awesome!  More than one way to skin a cat.  I got a buddy that's a scratch golfer, beautiful swing, he said the best advice he ever got was as a beginner on the range when someone told him to find his tempo or something like that.  I think he did put the time in to develop his swing.  I can drive the ball farther than most I play with but this guy leaves me in the dust, it's something to see.............I think there is many good golfers out there with homemade swings that aren't pro's but still very good.  That said, for those struggling, a good instructor might find a simple fix for something that an amateur golfer would never figure out on their own.

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Swing instruction can be compared to fixing a home..😋. It can range from a a minor paint job to rebuilding after running it over a bulldozer. Depends on YOUR 'house'. 

Good swing instructor is one who knows what your 'house' needs, combined with what you want and what you will spend in effort towards it.

My swing is very unorthodox and I was provided with one singular priority 3 years ago without any major 'rearrangement'. 

That has brought me a long way. Glad I did and learnt a whole lot along the way without cluttering up my head.

I understand the 'self taught' and the freedom and pride that goes along with it. But good instructors are so much more knowledgeable now and well versed in using technology in an optimized way. Not sure why it's such psychological thing for some but it's not like picking a college or a major or anything. 

I think it's a bit of disservice to yourself to not work with one. It's not that big a deal.

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I will only speak from my own experience.  I played a bit, after a few lessons in my late teens, and early twenties, I never got better than high nineties, but I really wasn't trying, it was just for fun.  Then many years "off".  Started playing again in my early forties, no lessons, just me.  Some range time, sometimes could hit the ball a little.  Did that for fifteen years or so.  Best score, 87, happened once, not because I hit the ball, just because I stayed out of trouble and made every putt under five feet.  More likely scores, 95-105.  Finally, about a year and a half ago, after a bit more than a year off for some medical issues, I decided to change something.  So I took some lessons.  Indoor.  I didn't necessarily agree with everything the pro said, but he knew more about it than I did.  I actually started to hit better.  Scoring improved too, not leaps and bounds, but more under 95, and a few under 90.  I've taken a couple more lessons with another pro, outside, and have an 85 and an 86 in the past couple months, and many more good shots.  There's no way that happens without the lessons.  The direction both pros gave me give me keys points to come back to when things start to go south, which they still do regularly.  I still need to practice more, to get consistency.  And I need to work on sand (but that's coming with the second pro).  And short game.  I think that with the help of instruction there is a round under 80 in me, and perhaps a handicap below 15 (23 now, still work to do, for sure).

The short summary is that sticking with my mostly self taught swing wasn't going to cut it.  Maybe if I practiced it ten hours a day, but I think  I would have just had well practiced crap.

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Right now I am happy with low 80's to the high 70's, I think I would need to put a lot more time than I have to put in to golf to get to scratch, coaching might be the only way for me to get to scratch or a lot more work on my own or a combo of both but I don't have that kind of time.  So I am sure I will never score as low as my buddy is with his homemade swing driving the ball crazy long with chipping that stops on a dime or Groucho Valentine here or Double Mocha Man's larry the cable guy teeing up 4" and scoring in the 60's with poor eyesight lol.......I don't have that talent but I am ok with where I'm at unless I get more free time on my hands then maybe I will change my mind.  It's pretty special to find an amatuer golfer with a homemade swing that is playing scratch or close to scratch golf, wish i was one of them but it will never happen for me.......surely it's uncommon

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6 minutes ago, Farangster said:

Right now I am happy with low 80's to the high 70's, I think I would need to put a lot more time than I have to put in to golf to get to scratch, coaching might be the only way for me to get to scratch or a lot more work on my own or a combo of both but I don't have that kind of time.  So I am sure I will never score as low as my buddy is with his homemade swing driving the ball crazy long with chipping that stops on a dime or Groucho Valentine here or Double Mocha Man's larry the cable guy teeing up 4" and scoring in the 60's with poor eyesight lol.......I don't have that talent but I am ok with where I'm at unless I get more free time on my hands then maybe I will change my mind.  It's pretty special to find an amatuer golfer with a homemade swing that is playing scratch or close to scratch golf, wish i was one of them but it will never happen for me.......surely it's uncommon

Free time is under-rated.

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