I don’t necessarily think of ABS as “as swing” or a look… but more a series of intentions. If you look at the golf swing… then break it down into parts, you can then consider intentions… What would be the best intention for any given movement?
If we look at the backswing… well, there are a few things you must actually do. You must turn the shoulders, you must cock the wrists, and you must rotate the forearms. You also must allow room for the arms to come down toward impact. Therefore, this offers us options, and some intentions are going to be better than others. The path to make this happen can vary… in, out, up, around and so forth. The best intention for the backswing is the one that repeats for you the easiest, and helps you turn, cock and rotate the forearms. There are a lot of “if this, then that” in the golf swing. This is the biggest problem I see in golf instruction. A good instructor needs to understand the “if this then that” stuff, and be able to weed out the nonsense from the necessary.
If we look at crossing over vs laid off at the top… which is the better intention? ideally I would say laid off… however, this would only be the case if the player has the strength and ability to rotate the forearms back to square onto the back of the ball. Where you are at the top is strictly dependent upon your ability to fire the hands into impact via forearm rotation and the uncocking of the wrists working in unison. Good strikers need only to be reminded, while beginners need to learn
Now if a player has weak forearms… then crossing over would be better for them in the meantime, and could work just fine also for the long haul… but they are going to have to get the shaft back on the 4:30 line… so this is either a natural flow back down, or it is a struggle for others that leads to steep, OTT or over acceleration.
The main reason I am so adamant about a student or player learning a strong forearm rotation is that this allows the player to use either method with good results. Then if they want to simplify the backswing into a very tight compact action… that should be very repeatable, then the player has this option. This is exactly the reason good players can strike the ball with all kinds of different backswings. Trick shot artists often show this capability during their range shows.
If we look at another intention… say stance width… well… if the player is good, and has a strong swing… then wider is the better intention. It provides better balance and structure, and is also historically supported by great strikers like Hogan, Trevino, Knudson, Moe and many others. But if a player has a weak swing… then it’s not as important. The wider stance is not going to make the player swing better if the player is weak. But as the swing improves, then wider would become more desireable and a better intention to work toward.