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Hitting vs. Swinging in Golf (TGM)


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I've read all of this thread.  I am part way through Scott Gummer's book about Homer Kelly and have TGM on order due to arrive soon.

I have Clampett's book and the S&T; book, and they are both apparently followers of TGM.  When I try and follow this advice, the feeling I get is one of trying to power the swing with the core, get the body moving powerfully with spine tilt movement, and letting the club catch up.

On the other had, I have books (Tommy Armour, Hogan, some others, that talk about hitting either with the righ hand, or both hands).  When I try this feeling, I still rotate the body but I am very much feeling what my right arm is doing and trying to time the exact moment to whack the ball with the right arm / hand.

When I play with big beefy "gorilla" guys, they seem to swat the ball with the club with limited body rotation.  When I play with very flexible and talented juniors, they seem to get their speed with body rotation and have very little hand / arm strength.

I understand that the main point of this thread is to get some precision into the use of the terms hitter and swinger.  My question is;  if we don't attach the terms "hitter or swinger" are there, nonetheless, two basic ways to get club head speed, or not?  Is there a useful distinction to be made, even if "hitter" or "swinger" should not be used as labels?

Should amateur golfers figure out their body type and work primarily with one of these options for best effect? Or not?

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Taggsy, What is the point of your post? To help golfers, to brag about what you know (or better yet can recite from a book)? If you are trying to help golfers do you really think the post you m

So I have been searching for my swing and I think I found it. 123 triple barrel per the Golf Machine and 4123 when I master 123. I get more distance I'm more comfortable I have more confidence. I only played one round with it but even though I was rushing I did very well. However, Now I push everything right. any Ideas? Are there any on here with a Hitters "swing?" please share your experience.

Carl

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Might want to read up and speak with Ted Fort in Atlanta,Ga. He knows a lot about hitting from what I read on Lynn Blake. Seems hitting is poorly understood from what I have seen. Hell, been working on a hitting pattern with my instructor for 3 months and I don't fully understand it yet. Seems feel is perceived differently by many folks and while there are some technical variances in hitting versus swinging, feel is a big part of it. A slippery slope from what I am learning. My suggestion is to seek out an instructor that knows hitting well if you want to pursue that route. Again, seems very few people truly understand hitting.

-Dan

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This will be a tough post for me to write and for everyone to take the way I'm saying it in my own mind.

I like The Golfing Machine. I do. I'm friends with and working with the guy that basically put together Homer's notes to put out the most recent edition of TGM.

But it's old, and it hasn't been updated much at all since Homer Kelley died, and even the 7th edition is grounded in an understanding that's been surpassed.

There are no separate and distinct "hitting" and "swinging" patterns. In reality, everyone uses all "four barrels" in every full swing (and the vast majority of less-than-full swings).

My fear, when people say they're working with someone on a "hitting" pattern or a "swinging" pattern is that they're not getting the best, most recent instruction. They're getting information that hasn't been adjusted to account for the new science, the new understanding we have, etc. in the past, and many TGM golf instructors seem to be a bit dogmatic in their defense of TGM's "science," which is a little unfortunate.

The saving thing is that most of the TGM people I've known are still better than 90% of the instructors out there who don't know much of anything about anything. So really, you could do a lot worse than working on a "hitting" pattern, to be clear! TGM really makes instructors look at each component and its effect overall on the entire motion, so in that sense it's great.

So if I have to summarize what I'm trying to say in one sentence, it would be to simply be careful, because every time I hear that someone is learning a "hitting" pattern I cringe just a little because I think the person may not be getting the best instruction available, because again TGM people - while still better than the majority of instructors, tend to be a little behind the times and a little too dogmatic about TGM.

P.S. I won't speak for the TGM guy who helped edit/compile the 7th edition, but I think he's learned quite a bit even within the past few years. For example, impact conditions affect trajectory and shot shape, not the hinge action you employ (though the hinge action you employ will affect impact conditions!).

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Originally Posted by mchepp

Out of curiosity why did you decide that this was best for you?


I am a big guy,  I don't have alot of flexibily, my instinct is to move fast and when I swing and my body out races my hands. When I'm "swinging" I loose power and I don't gain that much acuracy. I can move the club alot faster and more precisely than I can swing. I feel more comfortable and more precise pushing than pulling. I like the shorter backswing. In general I find a vulgar imposition of force on the ball more apealing than a fluid one.

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Originally Posted by iacas

This will be a tough post for me to right and for everyone to take the way I'm saying it in my own mind.

I like The Golfing Machine. I do. I'm friends with and working with the guy that basically put together Homer's notes to put out the most recent edition of TGM.

But it's old, and it hasn't been updated much at all since Homer Kelley died, and even the 7th edition is grounded in an understanding that's been surpassed.

There are no separate and distinct "hitting" and "swinging" patterns. In reality, everyone uses all "four barrels" in every full swing (and the vast majority of less-than-full swings).

My fear, when people say they're working with someone on a "hitting" pattern or a "swinging" pattern is that they're not getting the best, most recent instruction. They're getting information that hasn't been adjusted to account for the new science, the new understanding we have, etc. in the past, and many TGM golf instructors seem to be a bit dogmatic in their defense of TGM's "science," which is a little unfortunate.

The saving thing is that most of the TGM people I've known are still better than 90% of the instructors out there who don't know much of anything about anything. So really, you could do a lot worse than working on a "hitting" pattern, to be clear! TGM really makes instructors look at each component and its effect overall on the entire motion, so in that sense it's great.

So if I have to summarize what I'm trying to say in one sentence, it would be to simply be careful, because every time I hear that someone is learning a "hitting" pattern I cringe just a little because I think the person may not be getting the best instruction available, because again TGM people - while still better than the majority of instructors, tend to be a little behind the times and a little too dogmatic about TGM.

P.S. I won't speak for the TGM guy who helped edit/compile the 7th edition, but I think he's learned quite a bit even within the past few years. For example, impact conditions affect trajectory and shot shape, not the hinge action you employ (though the hinge action you employ will affect impact conditions!).



I agree with you completely. alot has been said that golf is a game about feel, and I simply have not been able to replicate and learn the feel with the "left sided swing" that I have been taught. Starting the Down swing with PA 1, for me startsPA 4 in motion. I saw this after watching video of myself. I believe a "hitting" philosophy is better for me because my body mechanics seem to sequence better thrusting with the right arm. I get much more consistent contact and lost more power the problem I'm having is that I'm pushing right. Should I take the club inside more?

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Yes, I know, I'm posting to a very old thread.  Couldn't find anything current on this topic.

I can relate to the "hitting" feels vs the "swinging" feels. As a child, I played baseball before I played golf. As a right handed player, everything was done "actively" with the right arm and hand while the lower body and left arm and hand "felt" passively involved.  I could throw a curve ball before I first held a golf club in my hands (at the age of 11) and tried to hit something that was much smaller than a baseball and was on the ground.  So for most of my junior years as a golfer I "felt" like I was making a baseball swing at the ball. My right hand and arm were "active" in takeaway, backswing and downswing.  I had no concept or "feel" of using the left side and definitely never tried to "actively" pivot and clear my left hip while keeping my arms and hands passive and "along for the ride." I managed to shoot even par a couple of times (during tournament play) as a high school golfer and could break 80 at least once per week.

But I didn't "feel" like a good golfer because I was inconsistent. And I had no intellectual understanding of basic golf fundamentals and I  didn't understand why I hit duck hooks off the tee 30% of the time and overcooked a lot of my shots in general. I didn't know that I could weaken my grip or make other modifications to set up that could modify my ball flight in emergency situations like water hazards or O.B. to the left or right.  I had only one shot: a draw that more often than not turned into a big hook.  I had never tried to "swing" a golf club with the left arm "feel" during the backswing and then a transition and downswing "feel" like I was using an active lower body hip-clearing pivot (with passive feeling arms and hands) to shallow out the club and get the club on plane (in the slot) before impact.

Later in life, in my late 30's and early 40's, when I had more time to work on my game,  I experimented with "swinging" and more "active" left-sided feels. Keeping the right side passive felt weird and took a lot of practice (3 years) to ingrain, but eventually I could break 80 with this method as well and could hit a reliable fade or push fade when needed.  I finally had a shot I could hit off the tee on those dogleg rights and I could "cut the corner."  My left sided swing was very loopy. Very Jim Furyk, Ryan Moore.  Lots of people said "nice shot" during this phase of my golfing development but nobody ever said "nice swing."

Having hit a dead end in my game recently and feeling pretty lost (never quite being able to feel like I'm swinging with my left side while keeping my right side passive)  I've returned to the "feels" of my junior golf days. I feel like I'm trying to hit (active use of right arm, wrist and hand) a baseball that's on the ground again.  Much flatter swing. No loop.  Less angular variation between backswing and downswing. I bend over a little more at address. The backswing feels flatter.  And on the downswing I don't just "feel" like I'm firing the lower body and allowing the arms and hands to get a free ride.  I "feel" like I'm "hitting" the ball with my right hand. Like I wish I had 3 right hands.  I focus on preventing my head from moving past the ball. I "feel" like my lower body is static.  Of course, it is anything but. "Swing left" or "hit left" is a dominant feel.

So far so good.  Not crazy about the more bent over posture but happy to be able to use a slightly stronger left hand grip than I was using with the more "left sided" feel swing.

I guess everybody's "swing feels" and "swing thoughts" are unique. Like fingerprints.

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I don't like the TGM definition of swinging vs hitting. It's more abstract and theory is not very easy make into practice Also too many diverging applications from teaching pros I think the distinction should be hitting versus striking. There is always a swing
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The real discussion here is about being ball focused or target focused. Ball focused players hit at the ball.

Target focused players swing to the target and the ball is collected in the process. Its called a golf swing, not a ball hit.

Ball focused players often try to make little adjustments in the club path on the way down with their hands. Usually results in fat or thin hits.

Target focused players control the swing with the big muscles and get more consistent contact.

If the brain knows exactly where the ball must go and visualizes it, the body (lots of big muscles) will make adjustments in the set up to take it there.

Can golf be played with some success while ball focused? Sure. With great consistency ? I don't believe so.

If the ball is in the same position in your stance and the swing is smooth and ground contact is just in front of the ball (iron shot) with at least 60% of your weight on your front foot at impact

there is a good chance that the ball will fly toward the target. Its repeatable. If you have a repeatable swing. Look closely at Steve Stricker's swing. Very little use of hands, no unnecessary motion, great balance, great results.

Enjoy the greatest game.

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If the ball is in the same position in your stance and the swing is smooth and ground contact is just in front of the ball (iron shot) with at least 60% of your weight on your front foot at impact

there is a good chance that the ball will fly toward the target. Its repeatable. If you have a repeatable swing.

Should be more forward than that ;-)

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Yes, I know, I'm posting to a very old thread.  Couldn't find anything current on this topic.  I can relate to the "hitting" feels vs the "swinging" feels. As a child, I played baseball before I played golf. As a right handed player, everything was done "actively" with the right arm and hand while the lower body and left arm and hand "felt" passively involved.  I could throw a curve ball before I first held a golf club in my hands (at the age of 11) and tried to hit something that was much smaller than a baseball and was on the ground.  So for most of my junior years as a golfer I "felt" like I was making a baseball swing at the ball. My right hand and arm were "active" in takeaway, backswing and downswing.  I had no concept or "feel" of using the left side and definitely never tried to "actively" pivot and clear my left hip while keeping my arms and hands passive and "along for the ride." I managed to shoot even par a couple of times (during tournament play) as a high school golfer and could break 80 at least once per week.  But I didn't "feel" like a good golfer because I was inconsistent. And I had no intellectual understanding of basic golf fundamentals and I  didn't understand why I hit duck hooks off the tee 30% of the time and overcooked a lot of my shots in general. I didn't know that I could weaken my grip or make other modifications to set up that could modify my ball flight in emergency situations like water hazards or O.B. to the left or right.  I had only one shot: a draw that more often than not turned into a big hook.  I had never tried to "swing" a golf club with the left arm "feel" during the backswing and then a transition and downswing "feel" like I was using an active lower body hip-clearing pivot (with passive feeling arms and hands) to shallow out the club and get the club on plane (in the slot) before impact.  Later in life, in my late 30's and early 40's, when I had more time to work on my game,  I experimented with "swinging" and more "active" left-sided feels. Keeping the right side passive felt weird and took a lot of practice (3 years) to ingrain, but eventually I could break 80 with this method as well and could hit a reliable fade or push fade when needed.  I finally had a shot I could hit off the tee on those dogleg rights and I could "cut the corner."  My left sided swing was very loopy. Very Jim Furyk, Ryan Moore.  Lots of people said "nice shot" during this phase of my golfing development but nobody ever said "nice swing."    Having hit a dead end in my game recently and feeling pretty lost (never quite being able to feel like I'm swinging with my left side while keeping my right side passive)  I've returned to the "feels" of my junior golf days. I feel like I'm trying to hit (active use of right arm, wrist and hand) a baseball that's on the ground again.  Much flatter swing. No loop.  Less angular variation between backswing and downswing. I bend over a little more at address. The backswing feels flatter.  And on the downswing I don't just "feel" like I'm firing the lower body and allowing the arms and hands to get a free ride.  I "feel" like I'm "hitting" the ball with my right hand. Like I wish I had 3 right hands.  I focus on preventing my head from moving past the ball. I "feel" like my lower body is static.  Of course, it is anything but. "Swing left" or "hit left" is a dominant feel.   So far so good.  Not crazy about the more bent over posture but happy to be able to use a slightly stronger left hand grip than I was using with the more "left sided" feel swing.  I guess everybody's "swing feels" and "swing thoughts" are unique. Like fingerprints.

Everyone is different to what it feels. For me I thinki swing first then hitting will take of itself. I don't separate hitting from swinging The only time I really consider hitting only without swing is chipping the ball. The swing is replaced by a stroking motion

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The real discussion here is about being ball focused or target focused. Ball focused players hit at the ball.

Target focused players swing to the target and the ball is collected in the process. Its called a golf swing, not a ball hit.

Ball focused players often try to make little adjustments in the club path on the way down with their hands. Usually results in fat or thin hits.

Target focused players control the swing with the big muscles and get more consistent contact.

If the brain knows exactly where the ball must go and visualizes it, the body (lots of big muscles) will make adjustments in the set up to take it there.

Can golf be played with some success while ball focused? Sure. With great consistency ? I don't believe so.

If the ball is in the same position in your stance and the swing is smooth and ground contact is just in front of the ball (iron shot) with at least 60% of your weight on your front foot at impact

there is a good chance that the ball will fly toward the target. Its repeatable. If you have a repeatable swing. Look closely at Steve Stricker's swing. Very little use of hands, no unnecessary motion, great balance, great results.

Enjoy the greatest game.

There could be some truth to this statement.  My uncle, who didn't learn the game as a child, and who never became an obsessive golfer, often tells me that he's looking at the ball at address. Focusing on the exact dimple or portion of the ball that he wants to strike. Maybe he got this tip from Nicklaus' Golf My Way or from another golfer.  He seems to think that hitting the ball is all about impact (which of course it is ultimately) and if he just strikes the clubface on the right part of the ball then he will hit a straight, solid shot.

For me it's more about making a good swing.  The ball doesn't exist.  I just make a swing. If I look at anything I look at the clubface.  Once I feel like I'm lined up to the target correctly, I'm not one of those players who constantly looks toward the target, constantly turning my neck and head toward the target.  I don't need to. I'm thinking about good shots that I've hit on this hole in the past. I'm trying to reproduce that shot that I have a very vivid picture of in my mind.  Also, while looking down at my clubface I usually have  1 or 2 swing thoughts:  Usually a backswing thought and a downswing thought.  I used to go to The Players Championship every year. What I got most from watching the pros was that they looked like they were just making a practice swing when they swung at the ball. Like the ball wasn't there, it was merely along the arc of their swing.  I only ever saw them swing hard when they were on the tee on a Par 5 or long Par 4.  I think this influenced me to ignore the ball. If I make a good swing the ball will be struck.

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I find the swinging vs hitting debate is like comparing oranges vs apples. They are not opposites The closest motion that is opposite to hitting is pushing And the closest motion opposite to striking is stroking. Swinging always exists
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Personally I always strive to feel "Neutral" in the sense that neither hand is necessarily in control of the swing.

If I ever felt like one hand or the other took over it slowed my swing down and I would become disconnected. For me the feeling of the hands working in unison connected to my bodies pivot has always produced the longest and most accurate shots!

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Note: This thread is 2309 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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