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Adam Young

Which swing is better?

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I have posted two swings here. Which one is better in your opinion? What are your reasons for thinking that?

and

Adam

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I have posted two swings here. Which one is better in your opinion? What are your reasons for thinking that?

and

Adam

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The second swing is better. It is much more on plane. You come back outside in the top swing and the face of the club is pointing skyward. I would take either one myself!

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I would say the second one does look better and more on plane. Also looks like the first swing is a little long but does look like the first swing clears the hips more during the downswing than the second one. Personally I would say whatever swing works and is consistent is the swing to have!

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Honestly there both good swing, they both look like they get the ball started right of the target line, and can easily draw the ball, especially the top swing. I have no problem with the clubhead being way out of the hands, look at Ricky Fowler. He overswings a bit, but he gets the club back on plane in his transition to the downswing, and what i like is that at impact the clubshaft forms a straight line through his righ hand and up to his elbow.

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Bottom swing is much less chaotic. Looks like it would be far more consistent.

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Originally Posted by skillzwhogolfs

I would say the second one does look better and more on plane. Also looks like the first swing is a little long but does look like the first swing clears the hips more during the downswing than the second one. Personally I would say whatever swing works and is consistent is the swing to have!

I would say that the hips clearing more has been defined as a fault by most people who have taught me in the past. They said it was the reason my club would drop under plane and casue my path to be to the right leading me to hook and block occasionally. normally the fix for this is to slow down the hips and get the arms more in synch with the lower body, as in the second swing. You can see how my foot stays on the ground better in the second swing, a trait most good players look for to slow down the hip rotation

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Originally Posted by Adam Young

I would say that the hips clearing more has been defined as a fault by most people who have taught me in the past. They said it was the reason my club would drop under plane and casue my path to be to the right leading me to hook and block occasionally. normally the fix for this is to slow down the hips and get the arms more in synch with the lower body, as in the second swing. You can see how my foot stays on the ground better in the second swing, a trait most good players look for to slow down the hip rotation

So your are saying that your hips were to active in the first swing? I have been struggling with this lately in my own swing and not sure how much/not much to move my hips. some days when I play and feel like I don't move my hips much i play well but it does not feel like a natural golf swing. So how much hip movement would you say is too much or too less? good to know so I don't practice wrong.

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I would vote for the second swing because your clothes are nicer.

And for the reasons everyone else said too I guess.

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Originally Posted by skillzwhogolfs

So your are saying that your hips were to active in the first swing? I have been struggling with this lately in my own swing and not sure how much/not much to move my hips. some days when I play and feel like I don't move my hips much i play well but it does not feel like a natural golf swing. So how much hip movement would you say is too much or too less? good to know so I don't practice wrong.

exactly 33.86 degrees of rotation at impact is perfect. Anything less or more than this by a fraction and you are doomed never to be able to hit a ball anywhere near your target.

Originally Posted by jshots

I would vote for the second swing because your clothes are nicer.

That's exactly what my girlfriend said :)

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Originally Posted by Adam Young

exactly 33.86 degrees of rotation at impact is perfect. Anything less or more than this by a fraction and you are doomed never to be able to hit a ball anywhere near your target.

That's exactly what my girlfriend said :)

Is that a joke?

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Ok guys enough of the debate. I have sinister motives for this. Most of you will know that if you know me.

Actually the better swing is number 1 - the one that looks the funkiest. Why -  is the one that gives repeatedly and more consistently the best performance.

I spent 3 years trying to ingrain swing 2, the one that looks good. The arms are more in synch with the body, the takeaway is more online, the backswing arm and club plane are better, the resultant position at the top is better, the clubface is more neutral, the arms are more in front of the body on the way down, the hips clear a little slower (preferable as my fault was a hook/push) and also it is more tidy/neat/controlled at the top of the swing/no overswing. It has the same amount of lag/release as the other one from front on, and the same shaft lean at impact.

The problem with this swing is, although it looks better, even after 3 years of ingraining it and hitting hundreds of thousands of balls with it (it's my job), it never worked. In fact, the more pieces came together , at best I stagnated, at worst I went backwards and felt like I had no control of the golf ball. I believe that what I worked on was the right things at the time, and although anyone can produce an opinion that maybe a slicefixer release, or a stack and tilt swing, or a golfing machine model would have worked for sure, you are missing the point. Fact is, no one in their right mind would take swing 1 over swing 2, but I did and I will never look back.

Swing number 1, the funky one, is a result of having enough, getting borderline quitting golf and then just putting the camera away for 3 years. All I did was work on getting the club path more neutral through imapact, and working on tinkering with the clubface through impact until I found control of the flight. I completely disregarded all swing and movement theory, and focussed on club and ball, and ball flight. I also spent a lot more time messing around with left handed shots, cack handed swings, hammer throw swings, hooking on purpose, slicing on purpose, hitting flop shots with 4 irons etc.

the result was a worse looking swing in terms of movement technique, and even on the trackman the stats were not significantly better. But I started hitting 80% greens and 85% fairways. Last year, I only played 5 rounds but averaged 2 under par (mid range putting sucks btw), with a few practice rounds of 6 under after 9 and 6 under after 12 holes (with a 3 putt). So even though it looks less consistent, less controlled, and theoretically worse, there is much more going on here.

I suppsoe the lessons I learned here are many - and I am trying to pass them on. The lesson is NOT that better technique equals worse performance, although this was the case for me. The lessons are

  • we put too much emphasis on technique. We believe that one day we will hit all these magic positions and every ball will fly towards the target. It doesnt happen. Tiger has been working on his swing for 8 hours a day for 30 years and still hasn't got it done. When he gets it done he realises its not perfect and goes searching for a new idea that maybe this time will be perfect. If only he had known, he would have stuck with the butch harmon swing and may have beaten nicklaus' major record now.
  • We don't put enough emphasis on the intangibles, the things you cant see or touch. Concepts, skills, co-ordination/motor control, clubhead awareness, natural movement sequences (what our body wants to do to produce a good shot versus what we tell it to do). the most important things I learned in this time was how to control the ball better through clubface and path control rather than forcing a perfect backswing, which didn't work.
  • Better backswings dont make better downswings all the time. And even if they did, better downswings dont always make better impacts. And even if they did, better impacts don't always make better ball flights, and if they did better ball flights dont always make better scores. And if they did, those scores may not always be as consistent as before.
  • The first swing - the less good one - is using the right side of my brain more. It is much more creative as i am thinking more in terms of ball flight. On a scale of 1-10, my thinking is generally in the lower side, 1 or 2. With the better looking swing, thinking is not only elevated to 8-9/10, but it is using the left side of my brain (analytical) and focus on moving specific body parts. We know a great from science now that best performers are more right brained and less high up on the thinking scale, especially when hitting the zone. Also, they tend to think of external thoughts, such as club/ball flight rather than internal (body parts). Thinking too much and/or about body parts hampers co-ordindation and consistency of movement in almost every skill endeavour.
  • Individuality is slowly being sucked out of the game. As we watch in the future, swings will generally get better and better in terms of technical looking. But those players may be there not because of how good their technique is, but in spite of it. To put this another way, would Jack nicklaus have won 18 majors if someone had changed his flying right elbow and turned him into a drawer of the ball rather than his stock fade. It seems like everyone sees the holy grail of golf to be that draw shot - what's wrong with trying to control your fade? Would Lee Trevino have been the player he was if someone had told him he needed to align straight? Would Duval have reached world number 1 and shot an unbelievable 59 if someone had told him he needed a neutral grip to play good golf? What about the shaft plane of Jiminez or raymond floyd - two of the most consistent players throughout history. If seve Had known about K-vest and trackman would he really have been better? What about arnold Palmer and his followthrough, (did I mention Jim furyk). What if someone had told Nancy lopes she needed to speed her swing up and be less across the line? What if someone had told Montgomery to stop swaying his hips like that, would he have been more consistent than 7 order of merits in a row? More importantly, what do these guys have that allow them to do these things and still play better golf than you? What can you learn from that, what can you practice?

I hope this thread sparks debate, I welcome the good and bad as there is much we can all learn from this stuff. My aim really is to chip away at the myth of technique as the be all end all. It is a supplement to improvement. But just like health supplements, take the wrong ones for your body chemistry, or take it in the wrong dosage and you can do some serious harm. Never take a supplement and you may be missing out one something too.

Can I swing like number 2 - in a heartbeat. will I want to? never, I actually enjoy the fact that my swing has a little character to it.

What do you guys think?

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That's a great post. I don't know that I'm in any way qualified to respond, especially in technical terms, but I'll say this: I remember getting down to ~3 and thinking, "I need to improve my technique so that I can shave off these last few strokes". I took about a dozen lessons from a very expensive, much-hyped teacher who has a couple of pros on tour and spent about a year and a half practicing my tail off....it was very unusual for me to not be at the golf course on any given day. Of course, I heard the, " You'll get worse before you get better" thing, and I was good with that, but after hitting more balls in that 18 months than in my prior golfing history, I wasn't scoring better, I was inconsistent, and I wasn't having as much fun. I'm sure a big part of it was my lack of talent or whatever, but I finally had enough and went back to just hitting balls and not looking at or analyzing my swing. Btw, my swing looked much "better" after all of that supervised practice. Man, it took awhile to get myself out of analytical mode, but as soon as I did, I saw real leaps in scoring and consistency. I had intermittent releases at scratch or slightly better, and I had way more fun. Looking at my swing today, it more resembles my old swing than my 'improved' swing, but I know this: My game is in me, and if I want the most out of it, I just have to put the time in it. I'm not suggesting in any way that instruction is bad or anything like that. For me, though, it's about consistency, and I seem to be able to achieve that better when I'm not analyzing things so much (or at all). Kinda weird, as I consider myself a very analytical person. That serves me well maneuvering around the course, but it's the kiss of death when I apply it to my swing.

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Originally Posted by Adam Young

Actually the better swing is number 1 - the one that looks the funkiest. Why -  is the one that gives repeatedly and more consistently the best performance.

The first question is: how much better is "better?"

Additionally, the backswing is relatively unimportant, and these swings are not all that different:

A5.jpg A6.jpg A7.jpg A8.jpg

You've effectively pulled off a parlor trick of misdirection. You distract the audience with everything from the "odd" backswing and even the shorts and t-shirt from the simple fact that the downswings are virtually identical.

Originally Posted by Adam Young

I spent 3 years trying to ingrain swing 2, the one that looks good. The arms are more in synch with the body, the takeaway is more online, the backswing arm and club plane are better, the resultant position at the top is better, the clubface is more neutral, the arms are more in front of the body on the way down, the hips clear a little slower (preferable as my fault was a hook/push) and also it is more tidy/neat/controlled at the top of the swing/no overswing. It has the same amount of lag/release as the other one from front on, and the same shaft lean at impact.

Almost all backswing stuff. Look at the images above - I'm sure you have - they're not that different.

Originally Posted by Adam Young

Fact is, no one in their right mind would take swing 1 over swing 2, but I did and I will never look back.

That's incorrect. I told you I'd have to know what the ball was doing, what the golfer was trying to accomplish, what their miss was, what ball flight they preferred to see, and so on. I don't care about the backswing unless it is negatively affecting the downswing. Given that you have virtually identical downswings, it's rubbish to say "no one in their right mind" would take one swing over the other. They're virtually identical from where I'm sitting.

"A pretty backswing" is not one of the 5 Simple Keys®.

Originally Posted by Adam Young

Swing number 1, the funky one, is a result of having enough, getting borderline quitting golf and then just putting the camera away for 3 years. All I did was work on getting the club path more neutral through imapact, and working on tinkering with the clubface through impact until I found control of the flight.

Again, given that both swings are virtually identical, it's not like the red shirt swing was way OUT of "neutral" through impact. The Trackman numbers would be virtually identical (edit: you say as much in your next paragraph) as the downswings are virtually identical.

Five rounds isn't an adequate sample size, by the way. You're asking people to take your word as truth for a LOT and it's based on what seems to be very little actual evidence. You don't have 200 rounds under your belt, 100 with each, on the same course or anything.

Originally Posted by Adam Young

The lesson is NOT that better technique equals worse performance, although this was the case for me.

You must define "better technique" differently than I do. I define "better technique" as "the motion that produces better results." You seem to define it as "the motion that looks better" and you include the backswing.

Originally Posted by Adam Young

we put too much emphasis on technique. We believe that one day we will hit all these magic positions and every ball will fly towards the target. It doesnt happen. Tiger has been working on his swing for 8 hours a day for 30 years and still hasn't got it done. When he gets it done he realises its not perfect and goes searching for a new idea that maybe this time will be perfect. If only he had known, he would have stuck with the butch harmon swing and may have beaten nicklaus' major record now.

Or he could have been forced to retire five or six years ago with a broken knee and a cane.

Tiger has continually sought to improve (perhaps even if it's just to keep his interest), but at the end of the day, the dude's got 14 freaking majors majors. How many does the next current player have again? Two less than he won just during the Hank Haney phase of his career! You've more successfully made the opposite of your point by citing Tiger Woods. I think he probably knows a bit more about what it takes to win at the level he's at than you or I. More succinctly: Tiger Woods has won 14 majors (in an era when his nearest competitor has 4) in part because he's put a lot of emphasis on his technique.

Technique (my definition) is absolutely critical to improving at golf. We don't just think and the ball magically flies towards the target. We use technique to do it.

Technique (your definition) is relatively unimportant. I don't care what a swing looks like. Looks inform function, but not always. And again, your two swings look virtually identical, so it's not like you really changed all that much.

Furthermore, at the end of the day, you're one example (and not a great one given how similar the downswings are), and I have literally thousands of examples that show players with poorer technique (your definition) who played worse than the players with better technique (your definition).

Originally Posted by Adam Young

We don't put enough emphasis on the intangibles, the things you cant see or touch. Concepts, skills, co-ordination/motor control, clubhead awareness, natural movement sequences (what our body wants to do to produce a good shot versus what we tell it to do). the most important things I learned in this time was how to control the ball better through clubface and path control rather than forcing a perfect backswing, which didn't work.

Key #4: Diagonal Sweetspot Path. Key #5: Clubface control. Again, none of the keys are "perfect backswing."

I'm not trying to be a jerk here, but I am saying that I think you're making generalizations that don't apply nearly as widely as you think.

And I'll also admit that I consider myself and the people with whom I work on a regular basis to be among the better golf instructors out there. I've said before something like 90% of instructors out there flat out suck. So sometimes I forget about those 90% (it's frustrating when I think about them, so I try not to do so, and it helps that I don't encounter them all that often because they're not online, advancing their skill set or knowledge base), and maybe I'm wrong and you're talking about those people, and your generalizations are really fairly accurate. They don't apply to the people with whom I work fairly often, though, but we're a small minority.

To your point specifically, you can call them intangibles. Some might call them talent. I can make some completely different looking swings and still "find the golf ball" and hit it solidly. I've always been reasonably good at that (hell, look at my god-awful swings from four or five years ago and you'll see that's true - they're horrible, but I always hit the ball and hit it reasonably far, too).

Originally Posted by Adam Young

Better backswings dont make better downswings all the time. And even if they did, better downswings dont always make better impacts. And even if they did, better impacts don't always make better ball flights, and if they did better ball flights dont always make better scores. And if they did, those scores may not always be as consistent as before.

Again, your definition of "better impacts" seems to be different than mine. Better impacts always make for better ball flights in my mind because it's the only thing that makes the ball fly - the impact conditions. Improve those and the ball will fly "better." I don't know what you mean this time, but I assume you mean "looks better" again. And again, your impact positions aren't all that different above.

And better backswings don't always improve the downswing, but they do the majority of the time, simply because the golfer has to make fewer compensations just to get the clubhead on the golf ball. For every Jim Furyk who makes his backswing work, there are hundreds or more people who can improve their impact by improving their backswings.

Originally Posted by Adam Young

The first swing - the less good one - is using the right side of my brain more. It is much more creative as i am thinking more in terms of ball flight. On a scale of 1-10, my thinking is generally in the lower side, 1 or 2. With the better looking swing, thinking is not only elevated to 8-9/10, but it is using the left side of my brain (analytical) and focus on moving specific body parts.

I see this as another fault in your one-person experiment: who is to say that the red shirt swing would not have produced more consistent results had you ingrained it, learned to trust it, and hit it with a "1 or 2" on the "brain activity" scale using more of the right side of your brain?

From a science perspective, you've not done much to limit the variables to one. You have several variables going on, each of which (and the interplay between each of them) can have big effects. Your absolute BEST swing might be the red shirt one with a 1-2 right-brain activity, but we don't really know.

We tell people all the time that the practice range is the place to practice (rarely is practice a "full swing" of course), and you can get away with having more "brain activity" because you're paying attention to things you shouldn't pay one bit of attention to on the golf course. We tell people when they play, get a single swing thought and go play, but when they practice, do that right, too. Each requires a different approach.

And remember I'm not arguing this because I said red shirt is so much better. I'd take either one depending on the results of the shots, which you hid from us while pulling the misdirection parlor trick. :-)

Originally Posted by Adam Young

Individuality is slowly being sucked out of the game. As we watch in the future, swings will generally get better and better in terms of technical looking. But those players may be there not because of how good their technique is, but in spite of it.

Even in the days of Lee Trevino we had golfers who looked very similar. Today we have Jim Furyk. Rickie. Bubba. Etc. They're still just what they've always been: exceptions.

Physics and geometry are the same for everyone, so within some pretty wide ranges, there's still plenty of room for individuality, but where there can't be any individuality is on the stuff that matters. You can't play PGA Tour level golf with a shaft leaning backwards with your mid-irons or several other factors which are simply too tedious to list. You can obviously swing like Phil or Tiger, or 150+ other people, and be fine, but all of them apply whatever "technique" (your definition) to apply a surprisingly narrow range of "technique" (my definition) when it matters: impact and the time and space immediately prior to and after those 400 microseconds.

But again, maybe you're talking to the 90%, in which case I might agree with you a lot more.

Originally Posted by Adam Young

To put this another way, would Jack nicklaus have won 18 majors if someone had changed his flying right elbow and turned him into a drawer of the ball rather than his stock fade.

For all we know he might have won 37. Or 0. Or 2. Or 19.

Originally Posted by Adam Young

It seems like everyone sees the holy grail of golf to be that draw shot - what's wrong with trying to control your fade?

Most amateurs like the draw because they view it as a "pro type" shot. They can hit hooks. They can hit slices. They can occasionally even hit a little fade. They struggle to hit a little draw consistently. It's virtually the exact opposite shot to the slice they typically play.

Originally Posted by Adam Young

Would Lee Trevino have been the player he was if someone had told him he needed to align straight? Would Duval have reached world number 1 and shot an unbelievable 59 if someone had told him he needed a neutral grip to play good golf?

Okay, now I definitely know you're not talking to me . You're talking to the 90%.

Originally Posted by Adam Young

What about the shaft plane of Jiminez or raymond floyd - two of the most consistent players throughout history. If seve Had known about K-vest and trackman would he really have been better? What about arnold Palmer and his followthrough, (did I mention Jim furyk). What if someone had told Nancy lopes she needed to speed her swing up and be less across the line? What if someone had told Montgomery to stop swaying his hips like that, would he have been more consistent than 7 order of merits in a row? More importantly, what do these guys have that allow them to do these things and still play better golf than you? What can you learn from that, what can you practice?

The problem with those examples is this:

  • Jimenez might have actually won a lot more and taken three majors.
  • Floyd might have been more consistently good.
  • Seve might not have needed to be so magical to win if he had been able to keep the ball within the same zip code off the tee.
  • A follow-through doesn't have a whole lot to do with anything, but okay, Arnie might have won more after, his brief run at the top came to an end.
  • Furyk might have not collapsed at Olympic.
  • Nancy might have just recently retired and we might never have heard of Annika Sorenstam (someone who worked on her technique quite a bit, as Yani Tseng does today).
  • Montie might have, I don't know, WON AN EVENT IN THE UNITED STATES or six majors.

These types of questions undermine your point. They're the wrong kind of parlor trick. They misdirect off your point. Please don't make them. They hurt you more than they help you, and even at best they simply fail to help you as they're just off-topic and pointless.

Originally Posted by Adam Young

I hope this thread sparks debate, I welcome the good and bad as there is much we can all learn from this stuff. My aim really is to chip away at the myth of technique as the be all end all. It is a supplement to improvement. But just like health supplements, take the wrong ones for your body chemistry, or take it in the wrong dosage and you can do some serious harm. Never take a supplement and you may be missing out one something too.

I think that's too general to actually mean anything.

Technique is the only means we have of hitting the golf ball. "Technique" need not look the same, and by necessity (different body types, different habits, different desired ball flights, different mentalities, etc.) everyone's technique will vary, but it will vary within the bounds of what physics and geometry allow.


We agree a lot more than you might think. Like I said above, I often don't really consider the 90% of instructors at which your post might truly be aimed, because frankly life is better the less I consider them, but your experiment (of one) is not great for several reasons, and you don't help your case one bit by citing Tiger, Arnie, Jack, Nancy, etc.

And you're likely not going to get quite the reaction you had hoped for when you tried to dupe people into feeling dumb by choosing the wrong swing. You and I both know you gave them limited information - one view, one swing, no insight into what your mental thought processes were, what the ball did (and how consistently it did it), and countless other things that would inform someone's decision. People chose the swing that looked better - that had the better "technique" using your definition of "looks," and I can't blame them for that. The majority of the time, people will play better golf with the red shirt backswing than the t-shirt one. One example (you) in which there were umpteen other things (1-2 versus 9 on the "brain activity" chart, etc.) going on that the audience couldn't possibly know doesn't prove much.

And that's the problem with this type of thing. There are going to be exceptions. You might be one of them (or, you might not be, again given how the experiment wasn't a single variable experiment, and how similar the downswings are). Generalities hold true because they're generally true.

Originally Posted by LovinItAll

Of course, I heard the, " You'll get worse before you get better" thing, and I was good with that,

I've written about that in the past. Virtually none of the people we teach "get worse before they get better." The ones who tend to exhibit this are the people who have a pair of really funky compensations that match, and they have to work on both at the same time in order to improve. When they do one better but not the other one, they can get some funky shots. But most everyone gets better. Even if they do something only 10% better, that makes their golf swing as a whole maybe 1% better.

Originally Posted by LovinItAll

Man, it took awhile to get myself out of analytical mode, but as soon as I did, I saw real leaps in scoring and consistency.

In other words:

  • You spent a lot of time to improve your golf swing.
  • You played poorly while constantly being analytical about your golf swing.
  • You took your improved golf swing, stopped being analytical about it, and played much better golf.

Cuz the way I read that, it's not the "improved golf swing" that was holding you back, if you get my meaning.

PLAYING GOLF and IMPROVING YOUR GOLF SWING are two very different tasks.

Eventually, you've regressed back to your "natural" swing - the one which kept you at the lowest at a ~3 (and now you're a 6.4).

Quote:

Originally Posted by LovinItAll

I'm not suggesting in any way that instruction is bad or anything like that. For me, though, it's about consistency, and I seem to be able to achieve that better when I'm not analyzing things so much (or at all). Kinda weird, as I consider myself a very analytical person. That serves me well maneuvering around the course, but it's the kiss of death when I apply it to my swing.

Nick Faldo.

I shouldn't have to say more than that, but I will.

He's considered one of the most analytical guys out there. Yet he understood my last bold thing more than anyone. He understands that the practice tee is the place to be analytical. You're graded on the practice tee by how much you learn and improve, not by a score. I'm content to hit shanks and top the ball (I don't very often, just saying...) on the practice range if I'm getting something out of it. Faldo understood too that the golf course was the test, and the practice tee was the prep, and it required a VASTLY different approach.

This thread seems to make the simple mistake of saying "technique is bad" by assuming that even the super-technical people (whoever they are - some are players, some are instructors) necessarily think the same way on the golf course as they do on the practice range. It conflates a nicer looking (back)swing that had 47 swing thoughts with an uglier (back)swing that had zero (after hiding that information from the polled audience).

P.S. Uhhhh, yeah. Wall of Text Mode disengaged.

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Hmm interesting, in the first swing though your downswing does get on a really nice plane. I can say that I think what you are saying here has some amount of value. I know for a fact that when I am on the range thinking too much I sometimes hit pretty bad shots, but when I get into this certain mind set, one which I can hardly explain, I rarely hit a bad shot. Normally I try to think of a few things to trigger a good swing, right now it's keeping my head in the exact same spot laterally and focusing on using my left hand to bring the golf club back to the ball. Sometimes when I get in a groove I forget about all of that, it often happens when I start trying to hit shaped shots... and I hit the ball absolutely wonderfully.

My dad used to be a golf pro, and ever since he read Harvey Penick's Little Red Book when I was a child he started telling me to just swing the club rather than focusing a ton on mechanics. As a result I never got very good until this past year, when I started really thinking about my mechanics, video taping, and fixing. So I honestly have no idea what to think here.

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I've decided to boil my post down. This doesn't include everything I said, but it speaks the majority of it: The goals and thus the approach to practicing and improving your "technique" are entirely different than the goals and thus the approach to playing golf .

Jim Furyk works really hard on his technique, as did/do Tiger, Vijay, Annika, Seve, Jack, Arnie, Lee, etc.

I practice better now, but practice and play a whole lot less than I did when I was a 2, and am a much better golfer now.

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ever since he read Harvey Penick's Little Red Book when I was a child he started telling me to just swing the club rather than focusing a ton on mechanics. As a result I never got very good until this past year, when I started really thinking about my mechanics, video taping, and fixing. So I honestly have no idea what to think here.

Maybe because not thinking about mechanics at all works great when you already have very good mechanics -- or at the very least, good enough mechanics for a person to say to themselves, "ok, let's just play golf now," and then going out and shooting a score they are happy with. For some, that number is 82. For others it's 77 or 74 or something. And for a very few, it's lower.

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