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Setup, Grip, and Making the Swing "Automatic"


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Any competent golf swing that has an unconventional grip, setup, or start of the swing, is such due to one or more workarounds.

What is a conventional grip, set-up, start of the swing? What golfers demonstrate these conventional pieces?

Conventional means it's based on or in accordance with what is generally done or believed. If these pieces are conventional that means you can go up and down the range at a PGA Tour event and see most players utilizing the same grip, stance and backswing.

By your posts I think you would agree Matt Kuchar and Jim Furyk both have unconventional swings yet they share the same commonalities of all great players. That is what we base and focus our teaching on.

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It's a lot more logical to me to consider that the pros, by and large, do not have many compensations.  Their expertise and consistency is what makes them pros.  If there was one right way to do somet

Any competent golf swing that has an unconventional grip, setup, or start of the swing, is such due to one or more workarounds.

It's a lot more logical to me to consider that the pros, by and large, do not have many compensations.  Their expertise and consistency is what makes them pros.  If there was one right way to do something, then it would stand to reason that the vast, vast majority of the best in the world at that particular task would have that in common.

Let me try and persuade you with some examples.

The high jump .  Sometime several decades ago, people just jumper over the bar until Dick Fosbury experimented and came up with his backwards flop.  Fast forward until today and you won't see a single high jumper doing it any other way.  Why?  Because it's a requirement to be the best in the world.  If you don't do it that way, no amount of compensations are going to allow you to overcome the advantage gained from that method.

More recently, the ski jump .  I remember in the 80's, they all used to keep their skis together and parallel while in the air, then somebody (no idea who, I don't follow these sports that closely :)) discovered that you can fly farther if you stick the tips of your skis out to the side, creating a big "v."  Again, how many world class ski jumpers are there out there that jump with their skis together?  If the Olympics are any indication, the answer is zero.  Why?  Because that is a convention that is a requirement to be the best in the world.

If you want to become the best hitter in the history of baseball, does it make more sense to arbitrarily pick one guy (who may or may not have the same build and style as you) or does it make more sense to look at all of the best hitters in the world and try to figure out what things they have in common?

Same goes for golf.  Ben Hogan was one of the best, but so was Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer and Walter Hagen and Harry Vardon and Sam Snead and Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els and Vijay Singh etc. etc. etc.  Why would you think that it makes sense to just point at Hogan and say his is the right way and all of those other guys that did things a little differently were wrong but compensated?  I could make THE EXACT SAME ARGUMENT for any of the other guys.  Here, I'll do it now.  Vijay Singhs setup and grip is the "right way" to do it.  All of those other guys are wrong, but they're so good at making compensations, that they get away with it.  Using the same logic that you've applied to this point, how could you refute that?  Other than just to say "nuh-uh?"

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There are likely tens of thousands of people throughout the world that call themselves golf professionals.  When you are serious about your game, you find the one that seems to suit your temperament the best.

Every golf professional has his own teaching philosophy.  If the professional is worth his salt, he has a core of fundamentals that he teaches.  If you don't like your professional's core of fundamentals or believe they are incorrect, you go shopping again.

My son's golf professional has worked with some of the best that ever played, and he is particularly good with juniors.  If we are going to get the most out of him, we have to buy in to what he says.  If he thinks the set-up, grip, posture, and swing start are the most important, then either we buy into that and go on with it, or we find another coach.

A big part of the decision comes from the success of the instruction.  We are fortunate that my son has enjoyed great success, though he is experiencing some "growing pains" (pun intended) as the course length right now is simply outstripping his physical capabilities.  No coach can make a 100 pound kid hit it past 200 yards.

The point of this thread was merely to give ONE golf professional's angle on the game of golf.  If it is detestable to you or inconceivable, by all means discard it.

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Any competent golf swing that has an unconventional grip, setup, or start of the swing, is such due to one or more workarounds.

Nah, sorry, I disagree.

You're choosing to define within a very narrow window Ben Hogan's swing (or whatever this Carl fellow believes was Ben Hogan's swing) as the single, only, lone "non-compensational, non-work-around" swing.

Ben Hogan had work-arounds and compensations in his swing. He built a swing that would never really draw the ball, because he HATED the hook.

Heck, Ben Hogan's swing wasn't even the same throughout his own career. There's the 5 Lessons Swing and the Power Golf Swing and a few other variations.

Each golfer that has anything but toe up at parallel, has learned to make compensatory actions in his swing to get back to square at impact.

At this point you're going to have to do better. Now, I realize you're supposedly not this Carl fellow yourself, but that isn't reasoning. That's just a statement with nothing to back it up.

I believe it is much easier to get back to the ball by going conventional. If you have an unorthodox grip, snatch the club away at the beginning, or purposely lock your wrists to keep them from rotating very naturally, you are having to make compensatory adjustments elsewhere. If you want to spend the rest of your golf life working on these compensations, good for you, and you might even make it on tour some day.

On the bright side, at least you won't be spending hours working on your grip, right? :-)

But the path to good golf is generally much easier with a solid grip, setup, and backswing.

I agree. But there is more than one version of a "solid grip, setup, and backswing." Perhaps there are infinite, with a fairly wide range of what's acceptable.

I don't agree that solid grips, setups, and backswings fit only within " a very tight window" unless, again, our definitions of "very tight" are very, very different.

You are trying to say that the whole of the golfing world should use one golf swing, yet everybody is unique person, with their own ability to feel what the club does in the swing.


I agree that it feels very "one way only."

Same goes for golf.  Ben Hogan was one of the best, but so was Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer and Walter Hagen and Harry Vardon and Sam Snead and Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els and Vijay Singh etc. etc. etc.  Why would you think that it makes sense to just point at Hogan and say his is the right way and all of those other guys that did things a little differently were wrong but compensated?  I could make THE EXACT SAME ARGUMENT for any of the other guys.  Here, I'll do it now.  Vijay Singhs setup and grip is the "right way" to do it.  All of those other guys are wrong, but they're so good at making compensations, that they get away with it.  Using the same logic that you've applied to this point, how could you refute that?  Other than just to say "nuh-uh?"

This exactly.

There are likely tens of thousands of people throughout the world that call themselves golf professionals.  When you are serious about your game, you find the one that seems to suit your temperament the best.

Since the PGA itself has tens of thousands of members, I suspect you're right… There are likely hundreds of thousands, even.

Every golf professional has his own teaching philosophy.  If the professional is worth his salt, he has a core of fundamentals that he teaches.  If you don't like your professional's core of fundamentals or believe they are incorrect, you go shopping again.

What if you're just cheap, lazy, or really stupid? Those are also reasons you might go shopping again. :-)

My son's golf professional has worked with some of the best that ever played, and he is particularly good with juniors.  If we are going to get the most out of him, we have to buy in to what he says. If he thinks the set-up, grip, posture, and swing start are the most important, then either we buy into that and go on with it, or we find another coach.

I agree to an extent, and disagree as well.

What about getting a second opinion? What about asking "why?" What about doing some research and thinking for yourself?

It's cool that you buy in. Good for you. Good for him, too - students, when given the right information at the right time, excel when they buy in and "get it" and are committed.

But this is really neither here nor there in this conversation. Nobody's begrudging you any of this. We're simply raising questions about some of the rather shocking things you've said, or implied.

The point of this thread was merely to give ONE golf professional's angle on the game of golf.  If it is detestable to you or inconceivable, by all means discard it.

So you're not willing to actually discuss it? People raise valid points and you come back with this post? Feels a bit like the cheap and easy way out of a discussion.

You said in your first post that this should be a "fun thread" and that there was "more to come." The fun is in discussing things, growing, and learning. That isn't happening here, not anymore.

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Sorry man-But you sound like a troll. You came on here with your one-size-fits-all-We-Have-Spent-$1k-on-learning-the-grip-alone stuff and making outlandish claims and statements without backing it up or even wanting to talk about it-Or answer questions. Classic trolling.-And everyone bit. PS-Sorry, image bigger than I thought.-Found a better smaller one.
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Every golf professional has his own teaching philosophy.  If the professional is worth his salt, he has a core of fundamentals that he teaches.  If you don't like your professional's core of fundamentals or believe they are incorrect, you go shopping again.

My son's golf professional has worked with some of the best that ever played, and he is particularly good with juniors.  If we are going to get the most out of him, we have to buy in to what he says.

I basically agree with this part of your post.  If you don't trust what your teacher is telling you, then you're wasting your time.  That is why I've been so successful at improving over the last couple of years.  Well, it's half the reason.  The other half of the reason is that my teacher(s) know their stuff.  You need both.

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  • 6 months later...
First of all whenever you take a lesson with Carl or anyone else and you cite their previous players or resume if you will, don't forget to mention undoubtedly the two best ball strikers to ever play the game are Trevino and Ben hogan. Players who advocate and emulated the Lohren action. Now there are thousands of ways to swing a golf club and still be successful. BUT If you want to eliminate the left side of the golf course and become a better ball striker the Carl Lohren fundamentals are for you. If your a inside to out swinger with a strong right hand/side and hit sweeping hooks, this will help more than for others. As far as the grip, it's the only thing connected to the club so to the gentlemen who said your grip doesn't really matter.... :( Plz don't spread that poison. Your grip sets your shoulders, your shoulders set your hips and alignment which in turn develops your plane. It is FACT, if your right hand is palmy and underneath, your shoulders will close more, already putting you in a draw inside out position. This in turn blocks out a wide left shoulder torque swing and you will lose power and slowly become a handsy flipper. I could type a lot More but to the guy whose son is working with Carl, take it from a 26 year old who has had top coaches from Jim hardy to Gary gilcrest, If your son can have carls fundamentals become second nature he will Be successful. It's also important to know that most coaches are band aid teachers they will have you hitting the ball better right away, which can be good but actually can be bad. Everything is relative. If the new feeling you are being taught is far from where you are, you will get a lot worse before better this doesn't mean it's not a good path for success. Soooo many teachers don't care about anything but manipulating your Brain to seeing a better shot immediately and thinking you've solved it. Most of the time If you don't feel uncomfortable and akward learning something new than its incorrect.
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  • 2 weeks later...
The point of this thread was merely to give ONE golf professional's angle on the game of golf.  If it is detestable to you or inconceivable, by all means discard it.

You "gave" but chose not to discuss. I do not detest it and find it conceivable. However, from Erik's inquiries and several others.. I have discarded it. For those of us who really want to improve, we need clarifications and data to support the claims. I don't care if so someone has taught the most skilled golfers on the planet. They are now teaching "me". In some ways...how much credit can be given to a guy who taught naturally gifted and talented golfers? Kinda like Michael Jordan having a dunking coach. All the data and evidence backed by statistics I've read with 5SK.....I'd fly to take lessons with Erik than a free one with an "elite" resume because I believe the 5SK IS based on universal fundamentals that ALL golfers need to obtain to improve their game.

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