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Do you need a "perfect" swing to be really good?


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Depends on your definition, but....no...you don't!
As some of you know, I've been delving into TGM quite a bit. Like many others I am searching for a swing I can rely on. I look at some pros and say, "I wish I could swing like that."

But while the search is certainly fun...and not at all a waste of time...the truth is, you can play exceptional without some picture perfect, by the book swing--even some of the "fundamentals" can be stretched.

Sometimes we can't see the forest for the trees, as they say. All you need is a swing that allows you to hit the ball consistently solid, produces a consistent ball flight, and decent distance. It doesn't matter what it looks like. In the Tee It Up With Tiger clinic, Tiger mentions that you should do whatever you need to do to hit the ball well. If it's a loop or a big slide off the ball and it helps you, then do it.

A friend of mine, really great guy, was at the range the other day. His grip is quite strong, his left arm bends a bit "too much" at the top, and the ball is WAY back in his stance...almost off the right toe. He's a pretty technical thinking guy, and does analyze his shots, but is certainly not focused on the textbook definition of how to make a "tour" swing. He hits the ball very, very solidly and plays a high draw (5-7 yards) on pretty much every shot. We were laughing as I stood behind him watching him hit "fades"...which for him means about a 3-4 yard draw. "Did that one pull?" "Nope, it started left and came around." "Oh, ok."

He started working on hitting a fade, but his setup doesn't really WANT to hit a fade. His fades were still turning left or were pretty severe pushes (which made perfect sense to me). He kinda asked, and I really didn't want to mess with him at all, but I told him to just weaken his grip a little and aim for the push fade. He said he'd never had success trying that before, but he gave it a shot anyway...he proceeded to hit about a half dozen shots that were almost dead straight maybe with a TOUCH of cut. Those shots also flew about 5 yards longer than normal...and he's not a short hitter anyway. Again we laughed.

As I watched him swing, I chuckled a little realizing that if he posted his swing here some people (including myself if I didn't see the contact and ball flight) would point out plenty of issues with it. Anyway, I hope he does well in the tournament he got invited to in the beginning of April. It's some little tournament in Augusta, GA. I heard the competition is pretty tough, but you get a cool jacket if you win. ;)
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i agree. a co-worker of mine has been playing for 20+ years. He is very heavy set and really bends over at set up. i think his irons are about 2-3* flat. Its really funny to watch him swing, but he is right on plane and hits a nice little draw w/ every shot. His putting stroke is even uglier, but again, its effective. They guy is a scratch golfer to boot.

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No. Look at ANY Champions Tour player and you'll see a hundred different swings. Abbreviated, helicopter swings, the Arnold Palmer... :)

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Rocco Mediate

 

Kenny Perry

 

Those are the only two guys I fathom that could fit the description.

 

why do you say kenny perry's swing is not perfect?

after watching these guys at the fbr one thing is plain they are FAR from perfect

 

 

I'm not singling those two players out for having not perfect swings. Going by his description of the guys swing and ball flight, those are the two names I came up with that are already invited into the masters this year. I take it you didn't read the entire OP.

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Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Chi Chi Rodriquez, Mo Norman, Jim Furyk and list goes on and on of great ball strikers without a perfect technical swing. The key thing is being in a good position at impact that will give good results that you can depend on. It doesn't matter what it looks like getting there, just get back to the impact zone in a good strong position to hit the ball square and release the club. Like one poster commented about what Tiger said, do what works for you. I think many players would score much better if they just played the swing their body wants to make, not the one they have to force to happen. Everyone is so mentally involved with all these technical moves they have to make that they can't swing at the ball. I see many players that are so mentally tied up with thoughts of what they have to do that their body is full of tension and they can't swing it freely.

 

I also see a trend that confuses me, especially the young guys. They want to hit 9 iron from 150 because they guys on TV can, 9.9 times out of 10 they come up short. If you have to hit a 6 iron from 150, hit it, who cares what club you hit, if the result is what you were looking for then it was the right club. People will ask me..."what club do you hit from 150 yards??"....my answer is "depends on the shot", could be a 5 iron or a 9 iron, just depends on the shot that is in front of me, many variables to consider. I played with two kids last week that go to one of the big golf colleges, they came up short 75% of the time on all of their approach shots, very confusing. When I say they came up short, I am not talking about short of the pin, I mean short of the green. Here is one example, Par 3, 187 to the pin, cold, rainy, course was soaked. I hit 4 iron and the one kid gets ready to hit and I ask, "what you are hitting?".....his reply, 7 iron....he couldn't have hit that green with a 7 iron if I put 50 balls in front of him. I convinced him to hit a 5 iron, he agrees, takes the shot, strikes the ball solid.....guess what.....still short by a club....it was a 4 iron for him. These guys go to golf college and neither of them could break 80 on their best day.

 

Here are some keys to success.....check your ego at the door of the pro shop, relax your body, swing with YOUR swing, have fun, your scores will improve. My swing is naturally good although it does have some technical flaws. I have figured out how to make it work and I am a very good ball striker and score very well. My club head speed is around 106-108, can work the ball and most important, I can kill most opponents from 100 yards in. Just do what works for you and have fun, remember, it is just a game.

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deadpool - I thought that your original post could be saying either one of two things, both of which are really important.

 

Is your main point (1) that you don't need to have a great looking, or orthodox swing to hit the ball great or (2) that trying to PERFECT your ballstriking maybe isn't necessary?

 

If you can be totally objective about your friend, would you say that his ballstriking is one of the strengths of his game (even if he goes about it in a perhaps unorthodox way); or do you think that he's got his swing to where his ballstriking is GOOD ENOUGH for him to be competitive, but that he really makes his score in other areas of the game?

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you don't need a perfect swing to be "really good", but what you do need are a good set of fundamentals and a swing that will repeat.......this will lead to consistent delivery of the club and consisitent impact dynamics ;)

 

How you get there can be VERY individual BUT the "key" is it MUST repeat.

 

Cheers Dan

 

I had the chance to play several rounds with a Senior Tour Player (who won multiple events) and ride in the cart (during a mini-tour event ) with a PGA Player (who finisished 2ns in an event last year).

 

They both had similar views as Dan. An both have VERY unique moves at the ball.

 

A few of the "quotes" I heard, that stood out...

 

1. It's not a game of HOW, it's a game of HOW MANY. Learn to SCORE first.

 

2. They play GOLF, not GOLF SWING. They saw a hundreds of guys with "pretty" swings...that were broke!

 

3. Do what works FOR YOU...as long as YOU CAN DO IT EVERYTIME.

 

It was a great "playing" lesson....It only cost me a few hundred with the Sr. Tour guy.....in lost bets!

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I think guys like Slice, Dan, Clampett, Homer Kelley have it right on. Impact, Solid Fundamentals and a motion you can repeat.

 

The other side of the coin... if you find a model that gets you excited enough to go practice, you will have a greater chance of repeatability. Not because the swing is "perfect," but because repeating a swing takes some time to develop a "feel." Develop the swing through proper mechanics, repeat the proper mechanics through feel... Something like that, feeling too lazy to look up the exact quote. :lol:

 

Interesting thread!

 

KC

I could be wrong
I've been wrong before
I'll be wrong again
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deadpool - I thought that your original post could be saying either one of two things, both of which are really important.

 

Is your main point (1) that you don't need to have a great looking, or orthodox swing to hit the ball great or (2) that trying to PERFECT your ballstriking maybe isn't necessary?

 

If you can be totally objective about your friend, would you say that his ballstriking is one of the strengths of his game (even if he goes about it in a perhaps unorthodox way); or do you think that he's got his swing to where his ballstriking is GOOD ENOUGH for him to be competitive, but that he really makes his score in other areas of the game?

 

Yes to #1. As to #2, not exactly. I'd say working to improve your ball striking is always a worthy pursuit, but you don't need to be 100% perfect about it. The key point is to always keep in mind that it's the result that really matters...not how you look doing it.

 

No big secret or anything, it's the current US Mid Am champ. He's a wonderful ball striker. He's known that way "'round these here pahrts." He hit maybe 100+ shots and his divot area was about the size of a large shoebox. He's not known as a great putter, but that's all just in his head. ;) I've only known him for a few months, but he's kind of a local legend. Wins pretty much all of the tournaments in the area.

 

Back when I was stationed in the Florida panhandle around 95' - 98', I played a few events on the Emerald Coast Scratch Tour. Just an amateur tour but it was very fun. There were a couple teenagers who'd won a couple events and always seemed to win the other events they were in. People on the Scratch Tour used to talk about how they had some funky swings but they could strike it really well. That was Boo Weekly and Bubba Watson.

 

you don't need a perfect swing to be "really good", but what you do need are a good set of fundamentals and a swing that will repeat.......this will lead to consistent delivery of the club and consisitent impact dynamics ;)

 

How you get there can be VERY individual BUT the "key" is it MUST repeat.

 

Cheers Dan

 

I had the chance to play several rounds with a Senior Tour Player (who won multiple events) and ride in the cart (during a mini-tour event ) with a PGA Player (who finisished 2ns in an event last year).

 

They both had similar views as Dan. An both have VERY unique moves at the ball.

 

A few of the "quotes" I heard, that stood out...

 

1. It's not a game of HOW, it's a game of HOW MANY. Learn to SCORE first.

 

2. They play GOLF, not GOLF SWING. They saw a hundreds of guys with "pretty" swings...that were broke!

 

3. Do what works FOR YOU...as long as YOU CAN DO IT EVERYTIME.

 

It was a great "playing" lesson....It only cost me a few hundred with the Sr. Tour guy.....in lost bets!

 

 

 

This is on target. As Dan says you do need to be able to repeat it...consistency is key. And you need to be able to repeat it under as much pressure as you're likely to face in your own game.

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Look at the greats. Jack Nicklaus had what the "experts" called a flying right elbow. Lee Trevino had terrible alignment. Gary Player started walking through his finish. Don't even get me started about Raymond Floyd's swing plane on the back stroke. :lol:

 

How did it work out for these guys? They repeated the same faults EVERY time, and knew exactly what compensations were needed to play great golf.

 

KC

I could be wrong
I've been wrong before
I'll be wrong again
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You don't need a textbook swing, there are as many swings as there are players.

 

BUT, all great golfers have a key position in common just before impact and through the ball.

 

I won't describe it because we all know what we should look like at impact, but if you photographed them at that moment they look very similar.

 

Repetition is good, but I can repeat my B- swing all day so it's not the sole ingredient.

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To success in such a technically difficult game as golf is both mechanics of the motion as well as not measurable things such as timing, luck, mental and physical disposition of the day, etc. must be taken into account.

I believe just that the better (read: biomechanically sounder) the mechanics part is in a motion the less important is the impact of the not measurable things no matter what day it is. And it has nothing to do with aesthetic look but with efficiency of the motion. Some patterns are mechanically better, some are worse - this is evident, period. But it does not exclude the situation that a golfer with biomechanically worse pattern cannot win because - the history of golf is full of such examples.

 

Cheers

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You are ALL correct and it IS to with what happens in the impact zone and how the club reacts in the impact zone.......NOW with that being said an action with as few a moving parts as is physically possible and a swing that allows ALL of the moving parts to move as "one" in an automatic swing action where they simply react from the movements of the body will stand up on a day to day basis.

 

The thing I simply "love" about the rotational/autmatic/simple golfswing is that it requires NO timing.....the swing when grooved, does not require any timing, it does not require the perfect preparation, you to be in good shape, to have bnot gone out the night before, to not had a row with the wife etc etc etc.....it simply requires you to have a good solid set of fundametals and simply pivit back and through correctly with the hands/arms.club reacting ;)

 

Cheers Dan

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Here is my swing, my friends call it UBE "Ugly but Effective" I play to a +1 and can't putt a lick. I have had the opportunity to play with several Nationwide tour and Hooters tour players all say they would love to have my ball stiking ability. And I cordially say I'll trade it for you putting!!!

 

http://s298.photobucket.com/albums/mm245/b...nt=RickGolf.flv

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You are ALL correct and it IS to with what happens in the impact zone and how the club reacts in the impact zone.......NOW with that being said an action with as few a moving parts as is physically possible and a swing that allows ALL of the moving parts to move as "one" in an automatic swing action where they simply react from the movements of the body will stand up on a day to day basis.

 

The thing I simply "love" about the rotational/autmatic/simple golfswing is that it requires NO timing.....the swing when grooved, does not require any timing, it does not require the perfect preparation, you to be in good shape, to have bnot gone out the night before, to not had a row with the wife etc etc etc.....it simply requires you to have a good solid set of fundametals and simply pivit back and through correctly with the hands/arms.club reacting ;)

 

Cheers Dan

 

HALL OF FAME post right there!

 

Thanks Dan,

Kevin

I could be wrong
I've been wrong before
I'll be wrong again
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You are ALL correct and it IS to with what happens in the impact zone and how the club reacts in the impact zone.......NOW with that being said an action with as few a moving parts as is physically possible and a swing that allows ALL of the moving parts to move as "one" in an automatic swing action where they simply react from the movements of the body will stand up on a day to day basis.

 

The thing I simply "love" about the rotational/autmatic/simple golfswing is that it requires NO timing.....the swing when grooved, does not require any timing, it does not require the perfect preparation, you to be in good shape, to have bnot gone out the night before, to not had a row with the wife etc etc etc.....it simply requires you to have a good solid set of fundametals and simply pivit back and through correctly with the hands/arms.club reacting ;)

 

Cheers Dan

 

HALL OF FAME post right there!

 

Thanks Dan,

Kevin

 

Thankyou for the generous words Kevin,

 

If the swing has too many moving parts then it will require the sun,moon and stars to all be lined up, have had the perfect evening/morning and journey to the course for you to play well.....this kind of formula CANNOT stand up on a shot to shot basis let alone a hole to hole, roun d to round week to week basis........this is the reason when you see some tour players on they are in position to win the event, but when they are off they miss a bunch of cuts with little to no idea with what direction they are going to miss the shot in ;)

 

Cheers Dan

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Here is my swing, my friends call it UBE "Ugly but Effective" I play to a +1 and can't putt a lick. I have had the opportunity to play with several Nationwide tour and Hooters tour players all say they would love to have my ball stiking ability. And I cordially say I'll trade it for you putting!!!

 

http://s298.photobucket.com/albums/mm245/b...nt=RickGolf.flv

 

longbutter - are you never tempted to put your swing up on youtube and get some free advice on how to break 80?

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