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Hi all, 

I've been doing some reading on different swing theories, trying to understand the differences between some of them.  I wanted to post this thread for anyone who has done some in depth research on the different theories, their strengths and weaknesses. 

As I understand it, there are several time tested principles that most teachers will build their teaching upon, but after that, it's very individualized. 

Here at the Sand Trap, the golf swing is taught through the 5SK system, but I wanted to see if anyone had a list of "systems" that have been/are being taught.  

Although it is short, here is my list: 

- 5SK (Evans)

- The Hogan Swing (Hogan..)

- Stack N Tilt (Bennett, Plummer)

- One Plane (Hardy??)

- Two Plane (Hardy??)

- "Impact Zone" (Clampett)

- The Golfing Machine (more of a list of terminology..)

- The "A Swing" (Leadbetter)

Feel free to criticize, add, remove as you feel necessary!  I'm just trying to get an idea where the different teachings are coming from.

 

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26 minutes ago, TheDIYGolfer said:

Hi all, 

I've been doing some reading on different swing theories, trying to understand the differences between some of them.  I wanted to post this thread for anyone who has done some in depth research on the different theories, their strengths and weaknesses. 

As I understand it, there are several time tested principles that most teachers will build their teaching upon, but after that, it's very individualized. 

Here at the Sand Trap, the golf swing is taught through the 5SK system, but I wanted to see if anyone had a list of "systems" that have been/are being taught.  

Although it is short, here is my list: 

- 5SK (Evans)

- The Hogan Swing (Hogan..)

- Stack N Tilt (Bennett, Plummer)

- One Plane (Hardy??)

- Two Plane (Hardy??)

- "Impact Zone" (Clampett)

- The Golfing Machine (more of a list of terminology..)

- The "A Swing" (Leadbetter)

Feel free to criticize, add, remove as you feel necessary!  I'm just trying to get an idea where the different teachings are coming from.

 

5SK is not a swing theory. It is the common keys that all swing methods have. All the ones below 5SK on your list are 5SK swing methods when done correctly.

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As much as people speak of theories to separate people out into "factions", imho, a lot of it has to do with marketing and separation. There are some faults, maybe many, that no matter what theory, they're all going to fix it in similar ways, or the most optimal fix has more in common than what the opposing theories don't have in common, maybe I'm talking out of my butt, I'm no teacher. When you "buy into" a pro, you're buying more into his mind view, not the theory. 

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Maybe @TheDIYGolfer you can share what you are looking for? Just to do your own comparison to then decide what works best for you? Or you just want to say there are this many ways to hit a golf ball? I am intrigued by why you want to look for all these. 

I can think of a few more obscure ones than what is on your list. 

- Natural Golf (kinda twist on Moe Norman)

- Right Sided Swing (Edwin)

- Advanced Ball Striking (Erikson)

- Speedchain (Miyahira)

- MORAD (O'Grady)

If I remember more I can put them on here. I would say in the last 10 years I have forgotten more than I can remember.

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8 hours ago, mchepp said:

Maybe @TheDIYGolfer you can share what you are looking for? Just to do your own comparison to then decide what works best for you? Or you just want to say there are this many ways to hit a golf ball? I am intrigued by why you want to look for all these. 

I can think of a few more obscure ones than what is on your list. 

- Natural Golf (kinda twist on Moe Norman)

- Right Sided Swing (Edwin)

- Advanced Ball Striking (Erikson)

- Speedchain (Miyahira)

- MORAD (O'Grady)

If I remember more I can put them on here. I would say in the last 10 years I have forgotten more than I can remember.

For the longest time, I have just copied the moves of professional swings that produce results in the ball-striking category (yes I know, not very analytical).

I'm not necessarily interested in knowing all the swing theories, but what they all have in common.  The golf swing can be as simple (visual appearance) or as complex (swing theories) as you want to make it, and for the better part of my golfing days, I've taken that simpler route. 

Now, I'm trying to understand cause/effect more so I can be a better "troubleshooter" (knowing what movements/combination of movements causes different faulty positions in the swing), but I'm too skeptical to just jump into one theory and believe everything.

With any category of learning, I like to see every point of view before putting my trust in any of them.  It's not that I don't believe in the work of different swing "theorists."  I just wouldn't feel comfortable not knowing a good majority of the different schools of thought. 

Hope that answers your question!  I know it may seem a bit crazy but it's the truth:-( 

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10 hours ago, nevets88 said:

When you "buy into" a pro, you're buying more into his mind view, not the theory. 

That's a great way to put it.  Based on several responses here, I guess what I'm trying to do is distinguish between "theory" and "systems."   

For example, the 5SK is a "system" based on "theories?" 

But where does the theory even start?  Most of the list above just seem like "systems" developed by professional swing coaches as you had mentioned above.

 

 

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I don't know from Theory, Methodology, system, whatever.......What I do know is Martin Chuck has all I need, and the best delivery and explanation of any I have looked at in the past. There are many great instructors, and many are saying the same thing, but personality and ability to convey meanings take a skill far above knowledge.  Then again, there are some who prefer an instructor that uses a lot of "Techno-eze". Martin uses trackman data, but doesn't throw out a bunch of numbers without explaining in very simple terms what they mean to the individual and how they apply to his/her situation.  He is also very adept at tailoring his instruction to the abilities and comprehension of the students at any level. I am by no means a "shill" for Martin Chuck, but in the past several months I have put together a collection of 100's of "free" videos. I did pay for one series through Revolution Golf, but if one has the time to do a little research, most are already available on YOUTUBE  for free.  However, having a small collection together in one place is certainly worth the small price you pay ($27 in my case), but it contains a significant number of videos with links to many others.  There are a few other instructors that are excellent, but some seem to have some weird little "quirks".  You have to overlook that, and pick out which is relevant to you personally.

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1 hour ago, TheDIYGolfer said:

That's a great way to put it.  Based on several responses here, I guess what I'm trying to do is distinguish between "theory" and "systems."   

For example, the 5SK is a "system" based on "theories?" 

But where does the theory even start?  Most of the list above just seem like "systems" developed by professional swing coaches as you had mentioned above.

I would say the 5SK is fact. It is the 5 things that the best golfers do that make them have successful golf swings. 

 

 

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I've noticed that simply focusing on the 5 swing keys and interpreting/integrating them on my own has been far more effective than adopting a swing theory. I feel as a natural athlete, I am able to identify my space in time and manipulate my body mechanics to fine-tune my swing.

Keeping it simple, to me, is the 6th swing key.

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9 hours ago, TheDIYGolfer said:

That's a great way to put it.  Based on several responses here, I guess what I'm trying to do is distinguish between "theory" and "systems."   

For example, the 5SK is a "system" based on "theories?" 

But where does the theory even start?  Most of the list above just seem like "systems" developed by professional swing coaches as you had mentioned above.

A theory starts from a hypothesis, a guess.  Laws and principles are then borne out through rigorous testing and confirmation.  Maybe too much weight is given to the phrase, "swing theory".

If I wanted to try and understand cause and effect, I'd try and learn firsthand from the above and as many experts as possible. It's an expensive proposition, probably easier finding a good teacher and learning a subset of cause and effect for your own game. There's learning cause and effect for your own swing, as you go along, which sounds more manageable than cause and effect, for everything.

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2 hours ago, nevets88 said:

A theory starts from a hypothesis, a guess.  Laws and principles are then borne out through rigorous testing and confirmation.  Maybe too much weight is given to the phrase, "swing theory".

If I wanted to try and understand cause and effect, I'd try and learn firsthand from the above and as many experts as possible. It's an expensive proposition, probably easier finding a good teacher and learning a subset of cause and effect for your own game. There's learning cause and effect for your own swing, as you go along, which sounds more manageable than cause and effect, for everything.

If you wanted to really get into theory, you would start with Homer Kelley's The Golfing Machine. Most swing methods adopt the tenants of this work. They just use it differently.

Most methods also seem to try and compensate for issues and apply it to every golfer. But we all don't have the same weaknesses. S&T addresses the weakness of not getting your weight forward consistently at impact by presetting the weight, etc. The other methods have similar changes.

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I suppose if I had a swing theory, it would most likely be from Earnest Jones, and Manuel de la Torre's swing teachings. They were the first swing teachings that I read about that I could understand. 

Just stay in balance, and swing the club head from a good position at the top of the back swing. That's the basics of what I learned from their books, and is what I still go by after all these years I have been golfing.

I also think that a lot of the different swing theories, have at least one, or  more similarities with each other. 

I am also not one to believe in the word "secret" when someone  uses it in their new swing theory. 

I would think Moe Norman's swing is probably the farest from the norm of all different swing teachings available to the golfer. His swing has merit according to the PGA since they offered their membership a letter saying as much many years ago. I have a set of clubs with the proper lie angle for his palm grip swing that I fool around with every once in a while for fun. It's intriguing to say the least.

 

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If I had a swing theory, well, more of a swing guideline, it's trust what you see on camera (assuming good angles of course) in conjunction w/what you felt. Your instincts are more reliable than you think. Be critical of whomever gives you advice or whatever you read, no matter how many accolades accumulated.

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Your goal is to make solid contact with the ball, and have the ball go to target. That's golf. Some methods will be more efficient than others for you. It's not one size fits all. If it was you'd only see one swing. No matter what you end up doing, it takes a lot of practice to become consistent. As others have stated, you'll see a ton of different swings on the pro tours, but all of them have a few things in common with each other, and that's what Erik and others put together with 5SK. So how you do the 5SK is up to you, but if you want to be consistent, somehow, you'll end up doing them. 

 

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9 hours ago, nevets88 said:

If I wanted to try and understand cause and effect, I'd try and learn firsthand from the above and as many experts as possible.

3 hours ago, nevets88 said:

If I had a swing theory, well, more of a swing guideline, it's trust what you see on camera (assuming good angles of course) in conjunction w/what you felt. Your instincts are more reliable than you think. Be critical of whomever gives you advice or whatever you read, no matter how many accolades accumulated.

Like I said in the first part of this post, I'm definitely a fan of this method!  I guess the tough part for me has been matching what I see to what I feel, because as we all are aware, these two things are different for the majority of golfers.  That's why I'm trying to understand as many "principles," "theories," "systems," (whatever you classify them) as possible so maybe I can have a better ability to match what I see to what I feel.

I've got a swing coach who has a really good understanding of the golf swing (mainly through Hogan's teachings, but some from Mac O Grady as well), but despite this, I still have this urge to doubt and learn on my own.

I guess I'm just stubborn in that way. 

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7 hours ago, Patch said:

I would think Moe Norman's swing is probably the farest from the norm of all different swing teachings available to the golfer. His swing has merit according to the PGA since they offered their membership a letter saying as much many years ago. I have a set of clubs with the proper lie angle for his palm grip swing that I fool around with every once in a while for fun. It's intriguing to say the least.

Some visual similarities in the high 'plane' at address and impact with Norman & DeChambeau.

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