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20 signs you’re a victim of style-based golf instruction

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How can one explain how major championship winners like David Duval, Sandy Lyle, Seve Ballesteros, Ian Baker-Finch and Mike Weir (to name a few) all completely lost their games and were driven off the PGA Tour? The list of talented players, like these major winners, who tried to improve their games by changing their style of swing and only got worse is an unnecessary and long list.

Though I never won a major championship, I contended twice when I was 22, losing a seven-stroke lead in the third round of the British Open at Royal Troon and getting to within a stroke of the lead on the back nine on Sunday at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. After those losses, like so many before and after me, I blamed my style of swing. I thought my swing wasn’t good enough. I went to work to change it. I took lessons from style-based teachers, who were concerned with various body and club positions during the swing. I never contended for a major championship again and ultimately left the PGA Tour like David and Ian for a broadcasting career.

When I think back on that pivotal decision I made when I was 23 to change my style of swing, it makes me wonder now, what if? What if I had stayed with my old swing? What if I had worked with a coach who could have revealed to me how I was improving through measurable results? What if I had worked with a coach who would have let me keep my style of swing, isolated the variables of impact and focused on helping me improve those? What if I could have measured those improvements? I now know my career and countless others would have been saved and been even more successful.

Having recently retired from the PGA Champions Tour, where I played more than 200 pro-am events in my five-year career, it was evident to me that the leading cause of 4 million golfers quitting golf every year in the United States is not the cost or the time, but rather the FRUSTRATION. Like me and the before-mentioned major championship winners, so many of these 4 million golfers believed that by simply changing their style of swing they would play radically better golf. The style-changing lessons they invested in proved to be unsuccessful and their games never got better. Feeling like there’s nowhere to turn, so many of them simply put their clubs for sale on eBay and quit the game.

What exactly is “style-based” teaching? It’s a connect-the-dots approach to building your swing to achieve a certain look. One needs to have a certain grip, an exact posture at address, the club in specific positions at several check points on the backswing, a certain top of the backswing position, etc., etc., etc.

The only time “style-based” teaching can help your game is if and when it improves certain key aspects of your impact… but sadly it rarely does. Golfers can improve so much faster and more efficiently when they are able to isolate all the key variables of impact, measure them and work backward to modify elements of the swing solely for the purpose of improving their impact. Additionally, the mental or emotional state of all golfers is upgraded dramatically as a result of being inspired by the realization that their swing style is just fine. They begin to see tangible improvements both in their ball flight as well as in the key measurements occurring at impact.

Technology has now reached such heights in golf that we can zero-in on several critical measurements, offering very helpful insights regarding key performance indicators. Good teachers today know how to use this technology, how to measure impact and how to work backward from there to improve a golfer’s game by improving their impact variables.

Take a look at this picture of Dustin Johnson, Jim Furyk and Shane Lowery at the top of their backswings. Everything is different, from the right knee bends, hip rotations, spine angles, left-arm positions, right-elbow positions, left-wrist positions, club-face rotations, swing planes (both angled and shaft plane), and even where their heads are pointing.

The golf instruction faction hasn’t yet made the transition, meaning style-based teaching is still king of the teaching world. But ask yourself — how can one explain the fact golfers like Jim Furyk, Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson and many of the great champions of yesterday such as Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Lee Trevino, Jack Nicklaus, Fuzzy Zoeller, Hubert Green, Jim Thorpe, Miller Barber and many more had styles of swings that differed greatly from one another and were quite unorthodox, yet all worked so well? The bottom line is that each of them created great impact conditions that were virtually all the same.

Here are the top 20 ways to know if you are currently a victim of style-based teaching:

  1. Your golf instructor asked you which PGA Tour player you think has the best swing. You may have even taken a golf lesson where the instructor placed your swing on a screen side-by-side your favorite player’s swing and revealed to you the style differences.
  2. Your golf instructor explains the many key check points of the swing and the proper position of the hands, body and club at each checkpoint. Some instructors even give these checkpoints numbers.
  3. Your golf instructor explains that proper posture at address is key to a bio-mechanically sound swing. A strong movement exists today of “style-based” instructors using the new buzzword “biomechanics” to suggest the perfect swing style.
  4. Your golf instructor explains one correct backswing plane. Many instructors lead their students to create the perfect backswing plane, but it’s interesting how many differing opinions exist about what is the perfect backswing plane. Some suggest the shaft points above the plane at the three-quarter backswing position, while others suggest that the shaft should point at or even inside the plane. How much the vertical plane should shift in the backswing is another point of discussion among style-based teachers.
  5. Your golf instructor suggests the best top of the backswing position of the arms, wrists, club shaft and/or face angle. Many instructors prioritize how the club should look at the top of the backswing, that is, the club face is square and the shaft is parallel to the ground and parallel to the target.
  6. Your golf instructor suggests the proper degrees that the hips should turn on the backswing. Or they talk about “The X Factor,” which advises golfers to limit their hip turn on their backswing.
  7. Your golf instructor suggests the Vardon Grip. Meanwhile, PGA Tour winners and major champions have use various grips: interlock, 10-finger and even reverse overlap.
  8. Your golf instructor suggests you “keep your head down.”
  9. Your golf instructor suggests you “keep your eye on the ball.”
  10. Your golf instructor suggests you “keep your left arm straight.”
  11. Your golf instructor suggests you “finish high.”
  12. Your golf instructor suggests your swing is “too fast.”
  13. Your golf instructor discusses your “face angle rotation” on your backswing.
  14. Your golf instructor wants you to swing the “Stack and Tilt” swing.
  15. Your golf instructor wants you to swing the “A Swing.”
  16. Your golf instructor wants you to swing the “Square-to-Square” swing.
  17. Your golf instructor wants you to swing the “Natural Golf” swing.
  18. Your golf instructor wants you to swing the “Gravity Golf” swing.
  19. Your golf instructor wants you to swing the “One-Plane or Two-Plane” swing.
  20. Your golf instructor never discusses how swing changes are going to affect your impact.

My adversaries suggest I am writing these articles for self-promotion. Those who know me know I write these articles because I want to help the game I love and that has given me so much. Style-based teaching is nebulous, arbitrary, subjective, opinion-based, un-factual, unfounded and unproven. Impact-Based teaching is fundamentally the opposite. It is precise, fact-based, measurable, objective and results driven. That is why I retired from the PGA Champions Tour and chose to pursue my passion of helping golfers and instructors understand that golf is not an enigma nor a mystery that style-based methods leave one to believe, but rather a game of impact that can be measured and improved.

Here’s to better impact!

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For students wanting to experience how improving their impact will improve their games, Bobby suggests coming to his next Signature Golf School, creating your own private school for your own group, and/or signing up for a private lesson. Simply go to: www.impactzonegolf.com or call 239-236-5536. For those instructors who want to learn "Impact-Based®" instruction, Bobby Clampett now has a fully developed Advanced Level One online training fully supported by the PGA and LPGA with continuing education credits. For those who complete, Bobby and Impact Zone Golf are developing a Certification Program and ultimately a masters Program. Impact Zone Golf is ready to build an army of good golf instructors and rid the epidemic of frustrated golfers victimized by "style-based" instruction methods. Bobby Clampett is a well-known PGA Tour Winner and Longtime CBS Golf Broadcaster, but perhaps he will be best known for his discovery of Impact-Based® Instruction. His two golf academies are in Naples, Florida: Indoor Performance Studio (1040 Collier Center Way, Unit 14, Naples, FL 34110) and at the Tiburon Golf Club at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort. Bobby is the first golf instructor in history to be a PGA Tour winner and earn PGA Master Professional in Teaching and Coaching. He and his team of Impact-Based® Academy Trained instructors offer year-round Golf Schools, Private Lessons, Women’s Programs, Annual and Seasonal Coaching Programs, Competitive Junior Training and much more. He now offers Instructor Training and Certification approved by the PGA and LPGA. Visit: https://impactzonegolf.com or call: 239-236-5536.

71 Comments

71 Comments

  1. ochowie

    Apr 23, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    If players can consistently achieve the optimal impact point regardless of the remainder of their swing they probably don’t need lessons from you.

  2. Kess

    Apr 16, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    I like the point of the article but not necessarily the article itself. I have never taken a lesson but I was struggling to break 90 and read Impact Zone and that changed my game to where I’m breaking 80 and rarely see the 90’s. My main take aways were knowing my lead wrist position at impact and bottoming my swing in front of the ball. I also read Hogan’s book and it was OK but didn’t help much. Read Nicklaus’s book and had to put it down because my swing was getting wrecked. Knock Clampett all you want but the truth is mileage may vary with any instruction so it’s just about finding what works for you.

    • Orin

      Apr 16, 2018 at 2:28 pm

      Thank you Bobby Clampett PR department for that enlightening bit of propaganda. By chance, is there any discount offered to Golf WRX members?

      • Bobby Clampett

        Apr 16, 2018 at 4:55 pm

        Yes, there is a discount for Golf WRX members as long as their name isn’t Orin.

  3. Dale Owens

    Apr 16, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    Hal Sutton calls it chasing perfect. It has ruined many a talented golfer.

    • Orin

      Apr 16, 2018 at 2:32 pm

      But if you are ranked 125th on the tour your game and your swing need first aid… or it’s back to the mini-tours.

      • Adkskibum

        Apr 16, 2018 at 5:44 pm

        Yeah, well then maybe you just aren’t good enough. You’re good, but maybe it isn’t your swing. It’s your head, your heart, your guts, your nerve. There are lots of golfers with “pretty” swings who are also rans. Can you get the ball in the hole in crunch time? That’s the measure

  4. Jack Nash

    Apr 16, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    I don’t worry about Clampett’s impact zone. I just worry about, “do I have enough cigars, and beers in the cooler”, then go out and have fun. Thinking too much out there causes brain cramps. If you can’t have a bit of fun out there try another game.

  5. joro

    Apr 16, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    A great Golf Instructor, AKA Butch Harmon, take what you have and makes it work. These “Gurus” are great because they had the opportunity to work with great players who made the Instructors “great”. not the other way around. How many times have players won a Major and then gone to a “Guru” not to be heard of again. As Si Ri Pak said after going to Leadbetter, “it took him a couple of Months to set me back 2 years”, she was smart enough to get out. As Haney once said about what he did with Tiger, “I would watch him hit a ball and say nice shot all day” These guys and many others like them teach what they know, not what the student needs, and that applies to a lot of PGA Teachers also.

    If you want a good lesson go to someone who teaches what you need, not just changing your swing to clone someone else.

    • Orin

      Apr 16, 2018 at 2:30 pm

      But I love Tiger and I want his swing, his clothes, his clubs, his balls, his teeth, etc..

      • joro

        Apr 18, 2018 at 10:06 am

        That’s great but he would probably dump you in time for a Blond Waffle House waitress. : )

  6. GetRichOrTyTryon

    Apr 16, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    Age, athleticism, body type and coordination also being major contributing factors. Golf Tech can get you so left brain(or is it right) that it’s difficult to pull the trigger out on the course. If I can save anyone time and strokes don’t play golf swing on the course, play golf.

    • Orin

      Apr 16, 2018 at 2:34 pm

      Play play play play …. how about ‘perform’…. 😮

  7. Bob Jones

    Apr 16, 2018 at 11:58 am

    I have figured out how to make a golf swing work which takes into account my size, body shape, flexibility, and habitus. There are “flawed” movements in my swing that I do because that’s just what happens when I swing a golf club. I tried to take them out, and that made things worse, so I learned how to make them work FOR me. The result is that I hit the ball very straight and get reasonable distance for a guy in his late 60s. I don’t analyze any more. I just play.

    • Boyo

      Apr 16, 2018 at 12:58 pm

      You are Bob Jones. What would anyone expect?

  8. Dennis

    Apr 15, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    Great article! I see the collage players at the range all looking like clones of each other. There is evidence that today’s golf instruction is one cause of so many golf injuries.

  9. Steve Wozeniak

    Apr 15, 2018 at 11:25 am

    HILARIOUS coming from the MOST “style” based instructor in the game……my god……

    99 percent of people that come away from this guys “schools” are more confused then when they came in…….

    Hey nice try though Bob……

    • ogo

      Apr 15, 2018 at 7:24 pm

      Haven’t you figured it out yet?!! All the duffers just want to brag to their golfing buddies that they were at somebody’s golf school and the “feeel a lot better now about their golf swing” (if only they could think about everything they “learned”). 😀

    • Andrew Wood

      Apr 16, 2018 at 7:36 am

      I have taken lessons from a dozen of the top 50 instructors and the Impact zone golf school I took last month made more sense than any of them. In am striking the ball far better than I did a decade ago when I was off scratch and have the clearest undestanding ever of how to improve and get back there. When the student is ready then Master will appear!

    • farmer

      Apr 25, 2018 at 1:26 pm

      A TGM guy from the jump, who criticizes “numbered positions” in the swing? Considering good posture and a proper grip to be a bad thing? You have to have some fundamentals to achieve good impact. Good impact position is a result of good mechanics, however they may be defined.

  10. ogo

    Apr 15, 2018 at 10:22 am

    WOW!!!!! This article has topped the WRX website for 2 days!!! I bet the desperate gearheads are flocking to Clampett’s Impact-Based® Academy to find out how to make their WITB fancy clubs work on the golf course. 😛

  11. Tom Duckworth

    Apr 15, 2018 at 10:11 am

    He makes some good points but overall I don’t agree. Getting to a good position at impact is important and some people can have any kind of back swing and they make the corrections on the way down and have great impact. Having clean mechanics can make that easier. I do think some swing styles have hurt people the X Factor swing can be very hard on your back.
    Simple is better and safety and ease on the body should always be considered.
    I also very strongly disagree with SteveK I’m 62 and getting better week by week I still take lessons and still work on my game and I’m a pretty good golfer. I didn’t pick up a club until I was 25. I was also told at the time by a crusty old instructor that tall people can never be good at golf. That was right after he asked me if I could make the ball curve left and right and I did both on my first try.
    If you think you can’t get any better after a certain age you may as well hang up your clubs.

    • ogo

      Apr 15, 2018 at 10:30 am

      Congratulations, Tom… your inspiring story just confirms that commitment to golf will overcome inherent physical problems such as being too tall and too slim. Do you have an athletic background before taking up golf at age 25? Obviously you don’t carry a pot belly like most older rec golfers.

  12. Carlos Danger

    Apr 14, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    I must disagree. Golftec has fixed so many flaws I had in my swing (over the top, casting, balance) and my instructor encourages my own move, not a copy if a tour player. Sure, we look at things they all do, but not to copy exactly…
    Also, the 20 point list is garbage. Overall, just a poorly written article.

    • Devyn Ensign

      Apr 14, 2018 at 11:54 pm

      Absolutely agreed. That 20 point list is hilarious… clearly trying to discredit others methods. Just a terrible article

      • Kyle johnson

        Apr 21, 2018 at 1:33 am

        Devyn ensign, your comment should not be taken seriously considering you can’t even spell Devin correctly.

    • Caroline

      Apr 15, 2018 at 12:05 am

      So funny, Golftec gave you just what Mr. Clampett is talking about, everything they were fixing in your swing was what YOU needed to get proper impact…you had years of doing the wrong things built up trying to get to impact…..amazing now you know how? (Maybe) think about it had you started by working on impact you may have saved a lot of money because you would have known which faults you had were not getting you to impact correctly….

    • OG

      Apr 15, 2018 at 1:18 am

      You should have had an MRI in addition to the Golftec experience… just to cover all bases … 😀

    • OG

      Apr 15, 2018 at 1:19 am

      Golftec plus an MRI would have likely cured your many flaws … 😎

    • Jonathan

      Apr 17, 2018 at 9:22 am

      My experience with Golftec was totally different. Conceptually, it seemed to make sense. However, in practice the Golftec method is only as good as the instructors. Over several years i worked with at least 5 Golftec instructors, including two site managers. Only one of those was an actual PGA pro (he didn’t stay long with Golftec). These guys were all slaves to the numbers. When they got away from the numbers, their comments were often contradictory from lesson to lesson, between each other and to the sacred numbers.

      Look, I am not defending or supporting everything that is in the Clampett article. Find an actual teaching pro that will take the time to work with your swing characteristics, your body type, your athletic ability and them work with you to develop a repeating swing that fits you, not some ideal.

  13. Rich

    Apr 14, 2018 at 5:07 pm

    It’s just a way to hook a weak mind into a robotic method intending to make a “perfect”mechanical like swing which there is no such swing..Swing the stick,hit the ball ! What ever works, doesn’t have to be a picture “pretty”thing.
    Learn what control is and how to use it. Strong of mind,sound body, confidence, DO IT!!!

    • OG

      Apr 15, 2018 at 1:05 am

      The Clampett Robotic Method is founded by that great book “The Golfing Machine” by that equally great swing guru “Homer (Duh) Kelley”. If you haven’t attempted to read this yellow book, don’t, because it’s total rubbish.

      • Dave Tutelman

        Apr 16, 2018 at 7:12 am

        I have read Clampett’s book. I have read Kelley’s book. They have nothing whatsoever to do with each other.

  14. larry

    Apr 14, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    terrible article. proper impact happens due to a good swing you can’t try and force a good impact position.

    • Caroline

      Apr 15, 2018 at 12:07 am

      Good thing you never told Moe Norman that….

      • OG

        Apr 15, 2018 at 1:13 am

        Moe (r.i.p.) was an obsessive-compulsive ball beater.

  15. Todd Dugan

    Apr 14, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    We can have our cake and eat it too. Teachers should continue to enjoy the freedom to teach whatever they want. The measure of success is simple; Is the student striking the ball better, yes or no? Measuring impact conditions is the best way to tell. When you measure impact, you measure performance. Is the impact location closer to center? Are the path and face closer to what is required for the desired ball flight? Don’t tell a student they’re going to get worse before they get better. Teach a student to strike the ball better…NOW!

    • Orin

      Apr 16, 2018 at 2:39 pm

      Yup… because if you told your student the truth, like lose about 50+lbs. off your belly, you would starve as a teacher. So just give the duffers astrological hope and send them home to try to figure out what they learned in their HEAD…!!!!

  16. EismanGolfAcademy

    Apr 14, 2018 at 10:26 am

    Well I got a full schedule of “victims” today on the lesson tee, can’t wait to go out there and just say nothing to them but measure impact. So let’s not discuss your face in the takeaway or wrist conditions and hopefully that -12.6 path cleans up on its on. Let’s not discuss how the body moves and tilts and see if that vert plane angle of 66 degrees with a driver just miraculously fixes itself. Mr. Clampett with all due respect closing the door on open discussion of the swing and calling people victims is what’s wrong with golf instruction. Telling some brilliant minds of the game that their “style” is wrong… is saying that they are uneducated in their profession. Maybe it’s not right for some and maybe some instructors don’t communicate it well, but keeping things simple in a complex movement is robbing students of knowledge on how to improve. Best of luck for those believers. Will always appreciate your opinion but a better understanding and “proof” of why these styles are wrong would have been a better article.

    • OG

      Apr 15, 2018 at 1:16 am

      The game of golf and instruction is a shrinking market… unless somebody wants to know why their WITB set of PXGs just don’t perform as advertised … 😮

  17. Andrew Cooper

    Apr 14, 2018 at 9:48 am

    Knowing where you want to be at impact is important, but there also has to be some understanding of how to get there. In many ways what shows up at impact, good or bad, is the result of what’s gone before. Impact is just one split second moment within the whole motion, and the club will be travelling at +100mph. You can’t consciously place your club and body in a correct impact position. Also, fixating over impact can lead to hitting at the ball, rather than through and past the ball-a big difference between pros and ams.

  18. DJ Morris

    Apr 14, 2018 at 5:43 am

    Forget all these positions and what makes a golfer successful, it all comes down to 3 things that the best players in the world all have in common: 1) They take one side of the course out of play. 2) Their swings repeat 3) They have an undeniable belief in themselves.

    I roomed with Jim Furyk on the AJGA Tour and have known him since I was 15 and he was made fun of when he first came on tour, but the one thing Jim never stopped doing was believing in himself. Now he has the 4th most earnings ever in professional golf, so who is laughing now:

    Jim Furyk
    Earnings: $67,977,577
    Major championships: 2003 U.S. Open
    PGA Tour wins: 17
    Lowest score on the PGA Tour: 58

    BTW, he is a great guy and is as humble today as he was 35 years ago. I actually roomed with him the year he broke through with his game and won on the AJGA Tour.

    • SteveK

      Apr 14, 2018 at 12:34 pm

      … and 4) Their neuro-muscular system is hard-wired, from childhood, resulting in a generally repeating swing. If you start golf in your pre-teens, your brain is engrammed with golfswing circuitry. If you attempt to learn as a mature adult it’s unlikely you will succeed.

    • SteveK

      Apr 14, 2018 at 12:46 pm

      4) Their neuro-muscular system is hard-wired from childhood resulting in a repeating swing. Starting golf in your pre-teens, your brain is engrammed with golfswing circuitry. If you attempt to learn as a mature adult success is unlikely.

      • steve s

        Apr 16, 2018 at 12:09 pm

        “Their neuro-muscular system is hard-wired from childhood resulting in a repeating swing. Starting golf in your pre-teens, your brain is engrammed with golfswing circuitry. If you attempt to learn as a mature adult success is unlikely.”

        Nonsense. If you have any athletic ability at all you can learn to play the game. One of my playing partners is an ex-college tennis player. He started golf at 44. He now plays to a 12 handicap and occasionally breaks 80. He loves the game and practices often. A little athletic ability and desire is all you need.

  19. Way

    Apr 14, 2018 at 3:06 am

    It’s true that getting the impact correct is an important factor in hitting the ball well; but the fact is, there are ways to get to that delivery mechanism to work, as people are all different with different anatomies and such – and the styles of movement might actually be even more important to get the body to get to the impact using each unique delivery mechanism for the strike, and therefore you cannot just dismiss any of this list at all in any way, shape or form, because it might be that, just one of those is enough to make it work for that one particular person.
    So Mr Clampett, with all due respect, don’t be so dismissive. You have to have an open mind.

    • OG

      Apr 15, 2018 at 1:23 am

      The “delivery mechanism” starts at the feet and then progresses upwards to the shoulders which fling the arms, hands and club towards the ball. Of course starting at the clubhead is a lot simpler for feeble minded golfers in distress.

  20. Ray McNamee

    Apr 14, 2018 at 2:56 am

    The entire 20 points trashed Leadbetter and a few others. I took lessons 25 years ago from the #1 teacher in golf and was told to let the “ball get in the way” of the swing. It took a year to learn and it was over in 3-4 years. I lost 25 yards off the tee and at least a full club in the irons. My experience is that the best ideas are from Joe Dante and Ben Hogan. The hands must set/hinge in a consistent manner in order to be square at impact, the weight must shift to the right on the backswing with a full shoulder turn and begin to move forward before the backswing is complete. The club should return to the address plane as close as possible at impact and the right side should continue through to a finish. Sounds like any athletic movement. Take it back with the left, shift and crush it with the right. It’s only worked for about 500 years… so far. And it doesn’t matter what it looks like.

  21. SteveK

    Apr 14, 2018 at 12:42 am

    All forces and torques generated in the golfswing are ultimately felt between your feet and the ground via the shoe soles. Your swing mechanics style is dependent on your body physique. If you are weak and inconsistent at your feet your golfswing right into impact will suffer immeasurably…. believe it.

  22. Rod Clarke

    Apr 13, 2018 at 10:35 pm

    Last year at Arnold Palmer Inivitational, there was a ceremonial drive by all the players in deference to the King. Players all lined up and drove a ball on the driving range. The tv coverage showed the players, were of all sizes, had different swing speeds and swings but had one thing in common and that was their setup at ball impact. It was amazing to see the consistency at impact. Get a video of your swing at impact and match it against those of scratch golfers and you’ll have something worthwhile to work on.

    • Way

      Apr 14, 2018 at 3:25 am

      You’re being deluded by what’s called “geometrical-optical illusions” that they all appear to be the same of some form and our psychology wanting to make them all collectively the same, because you are stopping the image at only the moment of impact and disregarding the rest of the motion of swing:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geometrical-optical_illusions#Examples_of_geometrical-optical_Illusions
      Besides, if you take away the rest of the other aspects of the swing, then all you do see if the shaft with a clubhead at impact hitting a ball. That’s all golf is, a stick with a metal slab or block of some shape hitting a round ball and moving it forward. But the fact that the swings, the delivery mechanisms, are all different, are as profound as how every human’s personality is as different as his anatomy. That’s more important than realizing that the impacts are all the same, because the person has to figure out a way to get to that impact with force and speed

      • Dave Tutelman

        Apr 16, 2018 at 7:18 am

        Exactly, Way! And the drills in Clampett’s book are about impact, not about where you are at P4 or P6 or whether you “crossed the line” at transition. There are lots of ways to get there, and he recognizes that.

  23. Matt

    Apr 13, 2018 at 8:20 pm

    Says the guy selling golf instruction and books. The idea that impact can be isolated and worked on while ignoring the prior contributing motions is nonsense.

    • Way

      Apr 14, 2018 at 3:26 am

      Bingo

    • SteveK

      Apr 14, 2018 at 12:42 pm

      Bobby and all the PGA-certified teachers would go out of business if they told all the decrepit rec golfers seeking an instant cure for their many golfswing problems that their bodies are uncoordinated and intensive gym work is necessary.

  24. ogo

    Apr 13, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    Read: The LAWs of the Golf Swing: Body-Type Your Swing and Master Your Game by Jim Suttie, Mike Adams, and T.J. Tomasi

  25. ogo

    Apr 13, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    Bobby forgot to mention that his downfall began after reading Homer Kelley’s TGM (The Golfing Machine) and believing it! 😮

  26. David Aceto

    Apr 13, 2018 at 5:43 pm

    i have tried every swing type ledbetter ballard chuck hogan eddie merrins and i still struggle except when i do the feet together drill i really compress the ball and actually hit it the same yardages go figure

    • ogo

      Apr 13, 2018 at 6:06 pm

      Have you tried: “The LAWs of the Golf Swing: Body-Type Your Swing and Master Your Game
      Book by Jim Suttie, Mike Adams, and T.J. Tomasi” ?
      Google it.

  27. george

    Apr 13, 2018 at 4:44 pm

    “golfers are paying very dearly to learn useless check lists but they are not learning how to play the game of golf. Proof of the true fundamentals of motion will forever eliminate the check lists..
    …… There is a place and a need for check lists but not in golf! Hope this helps some.” Gerry Hogan Copyright © all rights reserved October 2009

    http://forums.iseekgolf.com/topic/31955-ask-gerry-hogan/page-3

    • george

      Apr 13, 2018 at 4:47 pm

      so no check lists, whether about positions or impact
      are of any value, without the understanding of the true fundamentals of motion.

  28. Henkedejk

    Apr 13, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    Interesting article. I practice without a coach and thus I tend to focus on impact and ballflight rather than angles, look and such.

    Can you suggest where ro read more on impact focused training, perhaps also find good drills.

    Thanks,

  29. Luke Demaree

    Apr 13, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    I couldn’t agree with this article more. used to do the adam scott/rory mcilroy finish and it looked fantastic! Too bad my shot would slice so far right i scrambled every hole. it wasn’t until i was told about impact that i started playing good golf shots. my swing (and my scores) will never be compared to a PGA pro but the shots i hit are significantly better now that they were when i cared about swing style.

  30. Jim Donegan

    Apr 13, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    I see points in the article that are relatable from lessons I received at Golftec. I always felt they tried too hard to teach me a singular correct way to swing, not using my natural swing at all. Wish I could afford attending his golf school!

  31. Sean Foster-Nolan

    Apr 13, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    I like the article. I always thought the swing was about impact…it doesn’t matter how you get there, as long as you do, as opposed obsessing over all that other “stuff”. I also think it was Arnold Palmer who said you don’t hit the ball with your back swing.

  32. Rob Pfeil

    Apr 13, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    I remember being taught that my club face at the top of the swing needed to be inline with the target and not shut (as I have always done). It single handedly ruined my golf game and led me to getting burnout when I was in high school.

    I have yet to see a swing on the PGA Tour that has the face square to the target. It has absolutely no bearing on what you do the rest of the swing. In fact, to get to that position, you have to completely change how your wrists are from the beginning of your swing and then get back to that point at impact. It’s wasted energy. Since then, I’ve tried to go to a few different teachers and each time they start off with one of the things in this list of 20 and I immediately check out and never go back.

    The source of this problem (in regards to the elite pro’s/amateur’s) is that everyone thinks they don’t hit it good enough. But watch a pro play 18 holes and tell me how many shots they hit perfect with the expectations you give yourself in a round? I see pro’s hit a wedge to 20 feet and move on like it’s nothing. I see guys at my course do the same and they are slamming clubs and pissed they didn’t hit it to 2 feet.

    The problem isn’t how people hit the ball, it’s what you do inside 100 yards, putting, and mental game.

  33. TigerMom

    Apr 13, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    The 20 point list is a little unfair. It depends on what the player is currently doing that is leading to a problematic swing. If you are correcting that issue, fine. It’s another thing to try to remold the swing into some preconceived package — this I disagree with.

  34. Michael

    Apr 13, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    I wish I’d been taught this 30 years ago. I’ve been wasting time working on finding the right body mechanics and tempo (when I found it I called it ‘mojo’ because it was unexplainable and fleeting) instead of focusing on impacting the middle of the clubface and the ground correctly. I’m hitting so much better now, finally, after spending some time with impact tape and watching divot patterns.

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Opinion & Analysis

A Letter from the Editor: Big changes are happening at GolfWRX

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For those of you who don’t know who I am, my name is Andrew Tursky. I recently went from the right-hand-man of former GolfWRX Editor-in-Chief Zak Kozuchowski, to running the show here at GolfWRX as the Editor-in-Chief myself. In my new role, I’m going to help GolfWRX fulfill its fullest potential as the best golf website in existence, and that means making a number of immediate changes, all of which I’ll highlight below.

First, a look back. Over a decade ago, GolfWRX started as a small community golf forum for golfers to discuss golf equipment, courses, instruction, rules, bargains, and everything else golf related. The forums continue to grow everyday, and they’re stronger than ever with over 250,000 members who are the most knowledgable and passionate golfers on the planet. They also helped us determine the Best Driver of 2018. Additionally, sometime around 2011, Kozuchowski took GolfWRX.com from simply a community golf forum to a golf media powerhouse by adding a front page section of the website, equipped with ultra-professional editorial. He built a team of Featured Writers — consisting of some of the biggest names in the golf industry — to help produce content that readers love and need. Since 2013, I’ve been helping Zak run the site by writing/producing original content myself, and working with the Featured Writer team. Currently averaging over 1.8 million unique readers per month, GolfWRX has been doing just fine. But I believe so strongly in the GolfWRX brand that I don’t want to settle for “just fine.” I believe we have more to offer, and I want every golfer in the world to garner entertainment or knowledge from our website.

As such, and building upon the foundation that is GolfWRX.com and the forums, I’ve been empowered by the “powers that be” at GolfWRX — you know, the guys who cut paychecks — to grow and shape the best golf website on the Internet.

So what does that mean going forward? Well, that’s what I wanted to discuss.

Here at GolfWRX, we’ve always been great at telling stories through the written word and images, and we will continue to do so with our Featured Writers team and legion of golf writers who love and know the game of golf. But after taking over the editorial direction of the website, I also wanted to help give GolfWRX a voice and a face. There are so many amazing people in the world of golf, and I wanted to provide platforms for us to help them tell their stories… to provide our readers the chance to see how golf clubs are made, how courses are designed, why professionals play certain equipment, and so much more. I wanted to bring readers where they’ve never been and hear from the people they’ve never heard from. Here at GolfWRX, we have the opportunity to speak with amazing people and play golf at amazing courses, and it’s about time the GolfWRX readers got to enjoy those experiences with us.

Therefore, we’re implementing our own original video and radio initiatives.

On the video-end of the spectrum, GolfWRX has recently hired Johnny Wunder full-time to the GolfWRX Staff. He’s a Hollywood producer (check out his new film Josie, starring Sophie Turner from Game of Thrones, that was recently in select theaters across the country!) and is also the new Director of Original Content at GolfWRX. If you’ve enjoyed the Bob Parsons interview, Paige interview, PXG Gen2 Editor’s Journal, or how PXG irons get built, you have Mr. Wunder to thank. Also coming soon are experiences with Mike Taylor at Artisan Golf, David Edel, Bert Lamar of Iliac Golf, the Criquet Golf team in Austin, a short game series with Gabe Hjertstedt, a new fashion series and much more. We’re extremely excited to bring our own original content to the world, and help highlight the people in golf who we think deserve a platform. See the things you’ve never seen, go places you’ve never gone, and meet people you’ve never met; that’s what we want to do with our new GolfWRX original video content. We truly hope you enjoy it, and learn a lot from the content we produce.

We’ve also started three great podcasts — the “19th Hole with host Michael Williams,” “Two Guys Talkin’ Golf,” and “Gear Dive” — with plans to expand in the very near future. Check all of them out here on SoundCloud, or here on iTunes.

The 19th Hole is hosted by Michael Williams, who was the PGA Mediaperson of the Year in 2014 and is a longtime titan in both golf media and radio in general; he has produced and hosted shows on CBS Radio, Fox Sports Radio and Voice of America. Michael is a true professional, knowledgeable golfer, and knows how to conduct one heck of an interview. So far on the show, his guests have included Greg Norman, Bob Vokey, Rees Jones, Robert Trent Jones Jr., Scott Van Pelt, Byron Scott, Michael Breed, Louis Oosthuizen, Jim Nantz, Roger Cleveland, Mike Taylor, and many more.

Two Guys Talkin’ Golf (TG2), is hosted by equipment expert Brian Knudson and myself, a former Division I golfer and GolfWRX Editor. Together, we discuss all things golf, but mostly focus on golf equipment… and the occasional hot take. TG2 welcomes guests on the show as well, ranging from GolfWRX forum members to club builders to Tour professionals to caddies. If you’re hungry for more equipment knowledge and high-level golf conversation, TG2 is your type of podcast.

The third, and all-new podcast, is called “Gear Dive,” hosted by Johnny Wunder. What you can expect is a weekly podcast where Wunder interviews anyone who’s anyone “in the know” of golf equipment… and he’s going deep. To give you an idea, his first guest was legendary clubmaker Larry Bobka who made Tiger Woods’ old Titleist irons.

Also, as I discussed before, GolfWRX is great with telling stories via the written word. To make sure we continue to do so, we’ve hired Ben Alberstadt who’s been writing for GolfWRX for over 5 years now. He was previously a freelance journalist who worked with a variety of media and news outlets, and he now wears the GolfWRX hat full time. I cannot be more excited to have him aboard the ship because he’s a true, hard-working journalist and he’s great at telling a story in his own unique style. If you’ve read any of his stuff, you know what I mean.

And as for me, I promise to continue providing GolfWRX readers with the content they want and need to read/hear/see on a daily basis. It’s my duty to help our readers be the most knowledgable golfers and golf buyers, and be entertained while learning more about the sport we all love. I simply love GolfWRX and our readers/listeners/viewers, and I want you to have the best website of all time to visit every day… a website to be part of and proud of.

What do I ask from you GolfWRX readers? Your feedback! If we write a bad story, tell us why you think it’s bad. If we publish a video you like, tell us why in the comments or on social media. If you love the new podcast, tell us that you loved it and support by subscribing. (If you want all of our podcasts transcribed, we’re working on it!) We want to have the best website in the world, and we want to provide information to golfers in the way they want to consume it. We care deeply about your opinion. GolfWRX began as a forum community, and we will always be a community. Personally, I was a GolfWRX reader myself before ever writing for the site. So was Alberstadt and Williams and Knudson and Wunder. We love golf and we love GolfWRX. We want to see it thrive, and you, the readers, are a huge part of that success.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read this letter, and I hope you continue to be a GolfWRX reader and participant. And if you do, make sure to tell your golfing buddies how much you love the site… in real life or on social media. The more we grow, the better stories and podcasts and videos we can create. I love and appreciate the opportunity to be your GolfWRX Editor, and I won’t let you down!

 

Hit em between the tree line,

Andrew Tursky

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Opinion & Analysis

Fantasy Preview: 2018 Zurich Classic of New Orleans

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Just as in 2017, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans will once again provide a change in format for the players this week. Players will team up once more at TPC Louisiana for a combination of Best Ball (Rounds 1 and 3) and Alternate Shot (Rounds 2 and 4). Unfortunately, the change in format means that there is no DraftKings this week.

The course is long at over 7,400 yards, but it’s also very generous off the tee. TPC Louisiana offers the opportunity to go low, and players took advantage last year despite the inclement weather conditions. It took a Monday playoff to separate them, but eventually Cameron Smith and Jonas Blixt pipped Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown by making birdie on the fourth playoff hole to take the title after both teams had posted 27-under par in regulation.

Selected Tournament Odds (via Bet365)

  • Justin Rose/Henrik Stenson 7/1
  • Patrick Reed/Patrick Cantlay 12/1
  • Justin Thomas/Bud Cauley 14/1
  • Bubba Watson/Matt Kuchar 14/1
  • Jordan Spieth/Ryan Palmer 14/1
  • Jon Rahm/Wesley Bryan 16/1
  • Rafa Cabrera Bello/Sergio Garcia 22/1

For the first time, Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar (14/1) will team up for this event. Last year, Watson played alongside J.B Holmes. The two performed well, finishing in a tie for fifth place. TPC Louisiana has been a course that has suited Watson’s game over the years, his prodigious length being a significant factor. Along with his T-5 in 2017, Watson has a victory and three other top-20 finishes at the course when the event was an individual stroke-play tournament.

While Watson can be feast or famine at times, Kuchar is Mr. Consistent. He hasn’t missed a cut in over a year, and he has been a top-10 machine over the past few years on the PGA Tour. Despite this, Kuchar hasn’t been able to convert many of his top-10 finishes into wins, but playing alongside Watson this week — who has already notched two victories in 2018 — may help his cause. Over their last 24 rounds, Watson ranks third for Strokes Gained-Off the Tee and eighth in Strokes Gained Total. Over the same period, Kuchar has been predictably consistent, ranking in the top third in the field in every major Strokes Gained category. It’s an intriguing partnership, with Watson’s explosiveness combined with Kuchar’s consistency, and it’s a cocktail that should prove to be a formidable force at TPC Louisiana.

Two men with the hot hand coming into this event are fellow Americans, Jimmy Walker and Sean O’Hair (25/1). Last week at the Valero Texas Open both men excelled, posting the highest finishes of their year thus far. Walker finished solo 4th, while O’Hair grabbed a T-2. It’s the pairs first time playing TPC Louisiana together, but Walker has some good course form to lean on. Back in 2012 and 2013, he posted back-to-back top-20 finishes, which shows that TPC Louisiana is a course that fits his game. Accuracy off the tee has never been Walker’s strength, but the generous fairways may be one of the reasons that he has performed well at this course.

O’Hair has been in good form as of late. The Texan has three top-15 finishes in his last six events, and last week he recorded his highest Strokes Gained Total at an event in years. Walker also seems to have turned a corner with his game. Along with his excellent performance last week, he managed a top-20 finish at the Masters, and his Strokes Gained-Total at the Valero was his highest since his 2016 PGA Championship victory. With both men coming off their best performances in a long time, they should be confident. The duo looks to be a decent value to mount a challenge this week.

Last year’s runners-up Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown (40/1) are hard to ignore at their price this week. Brown has struggled mightily for form in 2018, missing six cuts out of 11 events played so far this year, but the prospect of playing alongside Kisner may be the boost that Brown’s 2018 is needing.

Kisner’s form has been strong as of late. He backed up his runner-up finish at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play with a T-28 at Augusta before grabbing a T-7 at the RBC Heritage. At Harbour Town, Kisner’s iron play was especially sharp, with his Strokes Gained-Approaching the Greens total being the highest since the Memorial last year. Despite Brown’s slump, in a highly tricky format to predict, the pair showed enough chemistry last year and an ability to excel in the format, which is enough for me to consider their price a little undervalued this week.

Recommended Plays

  • Bubba Watson/Matt Kuchar 14/1
  • Jimmy Walker/Sean O’Hair 25/1
  • Kevin Kisner/Scott Brown 40/1
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Podcasts

Gear Dive: Legendary club builder Larry Bobka speaks on Tiger’s old Titleist irons

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Legendary club builder Larry Bobka joins us in the first episode of our new podcast called “Gear Dive,” hosted by Johnny Wunder, GolfWRX’s Director of Original Content. Gear Dive is a deep look into the world of golf equipment, and Wunder will be interviewing the craftsman, the reps and the players behind the tools that make up the bags of the best golfers in the world.

Bobka, our first guest, is a former Tour rep and club builder involved in some of the most important clubs of the past 25 years. From his days at Wilson Golf working with legends such as Payne Stewart, Hale Irwin and Bernhard Langer, he transitioned into the Golden Age of Titleist/Acushnet building clubs for Tiger Woods, Davis Love, David Duval and Brad Faxon. He currently runs Argolf where he builds and fits handmade putters for Tour players and amateurs alike. He’s one of the Godfather’s of modern golf equipment.

Skip to 45:30 for the discussion about Tiger’s Titleist irons.

Check out our podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes!

What do you think of the new podcast? Leave your feedback in the comments below!

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