Archive for August, 2011

Hitting irons well and woods poorly?

An under rated concept is people have an inherent nature to want to hit down on irons…and up on woods and driver.

When you hit up on purpose the shoulder turn becomes more vertical and it is easier to lose left side connection and get really stuck under the plane with an open club face. Fairway woods are harder to hit because driver is teed up and makes it easier.

So you can attack this from several different directions. The one that seems the easiest to your feel and brain.

You can visualize not hitting up on it so much, try and level out your shoulder turn, or work on keeping your left arm connected better coming into impact…or anything else that makes some sense to you along these lines.

Remember this important concept. Angle of attack is dictated by length of club (distance from ball) and ball position, not ever changing swings and swing thoughts for each club.

I am pretty excited…

…for me, you and the rest of the golfing public (someday soon I hope).

I have devised a swing system.

CALM DOWN!!!! I have not lost my mind, nor am I selling out.

I have been trying to figure out how to come up with a marketing catch phrase, a general principle for my swing ideas on releasing the club, without having a complicated, cookie cutter, position oriented, “swing crack” system.

It is a sequence of feels…and will take the “Plane and Release by Feel” video into a little more detail. It is a way the shoulders, hips, arms and hands and club can all rotate and work together…and an easy way to understand how to do it.

What I wanted is something that is pretty universal in helping people, that actually will create more distance and lower scores if done and does not rely on doing it perfectly in order to work.

In other words, something that will help even if you just make an effort to do it…and the longer and better you do it, the better you will get and the farther you will hit the ball.

The beauty of this “system” is it relies on a sequence of feels and they all feed on each other. Although I believe in working on one thing at a time and what happens first in the swing…first…if you improve any area or part of my system, it will improve what happens before and after.

I am going to make a video that I will post on youtube and here within the next few weeks. Not all great ideas catch on, but this video will help EVERY person who watches it. In addition, by the first of the year, I am going to build a new website. I am going to break down the swing sequence into small, easy to understand feels that will work individually, or as a group.

Basically, it is going to be a simple way to help you find your own individual golf swing that your body has the best chance of producing and reproducing.

It will also help you harness the power and consistency of getting the whole body involved instead of ridiculous isolating cliches like “hold the lag with the hands.” Any time a body part has to slow down or stop rotating to wait for another coming into impact, you lose speed and consistency.

I am going to call it…”The Connected Rolling Release” or if you really want me to be scratch and take myself too seriously…CR squared…LOL. All kidding aside, this is the REAL secret to hitting the ball farther.

The website is going to be dedicated to making golf easier and more fun. Weekly videos, daily articles, weekly chats, message boards, games, etc.

The Barclay’s

First off, I have always wanted to know who the marketing genius was that had one of the tour players say, “At the end of your career, people are going to ask how many FedEx Cups you have won.”


I can’t avoid the elephant in the room.

Tiger makes the President’s Club Team !?!?!?!?!?

This is great for the event, TV ratings and people who like to watch, root for and rip Tiger.

It is terrible for the American team. Even at the top of his game, Tiger is at best, a mediocre teammate…and he is not a “President’s Cup” level player right now.

People always want to beat Tiger really bad and now that the fear factor is gone, they are going to be even more motivated to crush him.

I feel bad for Fred Couples. I don’t know what his mindset was, but he couldn’t not pick Tiger. I am sure pressure was put on him buy the PGA Tour, sponsors, network execs, etc.

There will also most likely be pressure for Tiger to play every match as well.

What an interesting and great 18th hole at this course. Too bad it didn’t have a greater affect.

Dustin Johnson is a great talent. I got several emails saying what I would do with his swing if I was teaching him. The answer is nothing. I would have some videos of when he was winning and when he was playing bad, I would look for differences…that is it.

I would tell him to win as much as possible and as soon as his down slide as he got older started (and it will), then I would start to make some slow changes to even out his move.

The next question you will ask is, “Monte, you think Johnson will have a slide in his game when he gets older?”

I would say there is a 100% chance. His swing relies on a ridiculous amount of flexibility, contortion and strength. If he does yoga or some other strength and flexibility regimen, it will prolong it, but at some point, he will have no chance of playing well with that swing…especially with driver.

He probably gets 10-15* more hip turn than the average tour player and at some point, that won’t be able to happen anymore and his club face will come in so shut, the ball will go left of left, or he will compensate and hit it right of Hitler.

This may not happen till he is 40 or even 50 because he is so athletic, so it may not be an issue, but it only takes one minor lower back injury to speed that process up 5-10 years.

It sounds like I am forecasting doom and gloom for him, but I am not, I think he is an amazing talent. The point of this post is more about the fact that what he does works for him now and screwing with it now is a bad idea and unnecessary.

A few words about the US Am finalists. It’s not hard to predict success for Patrick Cantlay. Already shown he can compete at PGA Tour level and a great golf swing that can repeat.

Kelly Kraft, on the other hands, I don’t think I can say the same. i don’t wish anything but success for him, but he needs a change in his swing.

Swings don’t win tournaments and there are as many swings as they are people on the PGA Tour. What there isn’t on the PGA Tour are many who come from way underneath and flip at impact to square the club…and that is what Kelly Kraft does. What he does know how to do is play golf and a few minor adjustments in his swing could lead to a great career as his ability to score is not in doubt.

The drill from the other day

Here is a video exhibiting the drill I described the other day. It shows how to do it properly and some of the possible mistakes.

How I give a golf lesson

I say this to help all of you find the right pro and also get some insight on how to ‘receive” a lesson.

I like to attack one problem at a time and attack the one that occurs first, as it will affect what happens later. Setup obviously takes first place in this category.

Then, when I start working with the first swing issue, I like to communicate a few different perspectives and some different ways to fix it until the student finds a “light bulb.”

Let’s take getting the club back too far inside immediately as an example. Common fault, often results in OTT and other bad issues.

Student A might understand the concept of a 90* shoulder turn controlling the backswing instead of the arms. Student B may think of getting the right shoulder higher on the takeaway, while student C might find the visual of a shaft outside the ball as a reference point the most pleasing…and so on.

I do not look for immediate results in shot making. I look for a change in body motion and how comfortable the student’s facial expression is…I move on quickly and sometimes I find a completely unrelated thought gets the job done.

It is not helpful to make a comment after every shot with a different thing that is going wrong. I feel either a positive comment about how things are moving in the right direction or the attempted change isn’t quite right yet.

You as a student need to ask questions and make sure you have an understanding of what you are being told. Ask for clarification or a different way of looking at it.

If the teacher won’t help you understand things a different way, you need to move on.

The object is to hit wedges close not far

I have written about this many times and recently, but I am doing it again because I see so many people taking back swings to parallel with wedges.

People will tell me, “That is how far I hit them when I make a smooth full swing.”

That is the operative word…”full”

I am sure some of you can hit PW 140, SW 115 and LW 100…but why would you want to?

When I take a full swing with PW, I can hit it 150 yards. That is not excessively hard, just a full back swing and 80% effort, yet I rarely hit PW from over 135 on the course.

The reason is I take a shorter back swing, so I am not hitting it so hard so it is easier to control spin and trajectory…and that is what you should all be doing.

If you are hitting a hybrid from 200 yards and 7 iron 160-165 and your PW from 135…you are hitting it too hard with too long of a swing.

…and in all likelihood, many of you have back swings that are too long period and hitting the ball all arms and hands.

The shorter your swing is, the more likely you are to link it up…with any club.

Didn’t watch much of the golf yesterday,

so I have a few thoughts on my practice yesterday.

I am making a full circle. I started by having no idea about the swing and just hit the damn ball. I got more and more knowledge and technical with my swing and got worse and worse.

I got worse using the knowledge and theories of others.

I have spent the last ten years coming up with my own ideas about my swing and the last three about the swing in general. Some of my ideas overlap, while others are from a slightly different perspective.

Every day, week and month I feel a little closer to being able to just swing and not have my body feel like a foul ball is coming (which I believe Tiger is going through right now).

It’s this simple, if you can get your club and hands to line up coming into impact, it’s a green light. If the club is even a little behind the hands…two way miss flip special.

I have been in situation two for longer than I care to remember and I am having more and more days in situation number one.

As soon as I can get the club and hands to line up without having to manipulate it there, I can start playing golf again and stop trying to swing the club…and that is the place I hope to get all of you.

In the coming weeks and months, I am going to have a lot of posts and videos addressing common issues in a different and I believe innovative way that is going to help a lot of you simplify things in a very non intrusive manner.

Like I have always said, I am trying to help all of you learn from my mistakes.