Ballstriking Improvements I Have Made

I wanted to create this thread to help clear up some things as well as discuss with others my findings and see if they have experienced the same thing. I’m 3 weeks into Module 3. I was not happy with the price increase, BUT I’m sticking with the program anyway and here’s why.

I came into the program with last year averaging just under 12 GIR a round. I kept an extensive list of statistics last year. While that would be good on the PGA Tour and I do play courses that are somewhat difficult (usually in the 140 slope range), I do feel that a PGA Tour player would probably average around 16 GIR on these courses because they are not nearly as hard as the PGA Tour level. I wanted to get more towards that number.

The big reason why I’m sticking with the program is because I’ve seen improvements in both my swing and my ballstriking. I think this is important to have both because if your ballstriking improves but your swing doesn’t improve, chances are you may just be timing things well and sooner or later you’ll be back to your old ballstriking ways. On the flip side, if you just improve your swing and not your ballstriking, then you are missing out on the main purpose here in the end. I’d rather improve my swing and still wait on my ballstriking than the other way around, figuring that the ballstriking will eventually get there as I get used to the new and improved swing. But, I’ve seen both improve and I feel fortunate with that.

I’m actually averaging still about 12 GIR a round. So, where’s the improvement in ballstriking?

1. My Misses Have A Much Tighter Dispersion.

I think this is important to note because it ties in with Lag’s prescription of flattening your irons. You just can’t miss shots left if your lies are 5-6* flat. I’ve missed ONE shot left in the 5 rounds I’ve played with the flatter lie angles and that was a shot to a flag cut left side of the green that had a small draw just left of the flag, but hit the slope and kicked away to the left.

I agree with Lag’s brilliant observation that missing greens left usually is more difficult to get up and down than missing shots right. Even if you don’t quite agree, I think it’s easy to understand the advantage of having your misses go generally one way vs. your misses going 2 ways.

But, it’s important to understand how to flatten out your downswing because if all you do is get your irons bent flat, then you may just wind up hitting shots off the toe.

This has also helped with my confidence quite a bit because it takes the guesswork out of where the ball will go. I think it pretty much says that you’re going to go at the target or to the right of the target to some degree. On one course I play there’s hazards hugging the left side of the green. It has made those holes much easier.

2. I see more good shots in a round.

It’s not a dramatic increase, but noticeable that I hit more shots that are rifled at the flagstick in a round.

3. I’m much better throughout my bag.

Before I was a lousy 3-wood player and pretty lousy with my 4-iron and inconsistent with my hybrid. Now I consistently hit those clubs great and can even hit my vintage 2-iron and 3-iron very well. In fact, I started practicing a lot with the 2-iron. Hit that and you can hit anything.

4. Getting that ‘sound’ more often.

Before I would probably get that different ‘sound’ you get when you catch it extremely flush about 1-2 times a round with my irons. Now it’s about 2-5 times a round.

I’m really curious if others have had some of the same or similar experiences I have had with the modules as I’m only in Module 1.


Good job so far ya getting the equipment right first helps alot i’m also tall 6’ 2" so flatter irons look strange at first sight but like Lag says hard to go OTT . When you hit a ball off the toe like you mention you know the pivot stalled and the hands tried to save the shot. Cant express how hard you have to work in Mod1.
You should see more good shots not only in the round but in practicing like you said more laser beam shots.
Practicing with old 1 or 2 iron blades is fun reminds me of hs days.
Getting the sound is exciting like you at same stage in Mod 1but alot of work ahead.

One thing I learned quickly was knee flex. I need to get it at address and make sure not to lose it at P3 being the height I am at. Lag has some pics of Knudson’s swing from that Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf video and I just keep that image in my head.


I’m a high handicapper and currently on module 2. I did about 700 reps of module 2 but had to stop for a few weeks for various reasons. I recently sold my cavity back irons and play solely with blades to the dismay of many of my playing partners…so what have I noticed?

1. My Misses Have A Much Tighter Dispersion.

I absolutley agree with this. Whether I hit it thin or I pull the ball still goes toward the intended target, it’s just the distance that is affected. All of my misses are to the right of the green and generally no more than 3 - 5m from the green anyway, unfortunatley this brings chipping which is the eakest part of my game into play but I’d rather pull a shot and chip from 3m than slice once and have to play out of trees and over a green side bunker. My biggest issue over the last few rounds has been leaving my PW well short, I’m talking 10-20m short but this may have something to do with getting used to groing from a 47deg PW to a 50deg PW.

2. I see more good shots in a round.

For me it hasn’t been a dramatic increase either, but it has been noticeable and now look forward to ling 3 iron shots because I know I can nail that club.

3. I’m much better throughout my bag.

Unfortunatley this isn’t the case with me. I’m hooking my titanium driver and 3 wood or getting them straight but with no distance. I’m leaving my pitches well short and I can’t chip. However I’m absolutley in love with my 3-9 irons, I used to hate hitting anything less than a 5 iron but now I love those 3 iron shots and look forward to them.

4. Getting that ‘sound’ more often.

Absolutley! It’s addictive and I just love it. That sound is the reason I sold my modern cavity backs.

At this point I haven’t touched my equipment because I read somewhere that Lag believes you will not have a true swing until at least the end of module 3, so once I complete module 3 I’ll definitley be getting them bent flat. For now though I might get the swing weights checked and at least matched throughout the set as I have a funny feeling that my 7 iron swing weight is different to the others.

3jack, you’re on mod 3 already? :open_mouth:

Seems only last week you started module 1!

Oops. I’m on week 3 of Module 1.


OK Richie

I am a 20…you are a scratch

I admit it, you are better than I am (2 pts if u get that reference)

but how did you incorporate mod 1 into your swing so quickly?
My swing vids look NOTHING like my Mod 1 bag vids…


I’ve got the 4:30 line down pretty pat and the pitch elbow down pretty pat, but still a lot to work on as far as getting the M1 motion into my full swing.

I think TGM is greatly misunderstood, even by the most ardent supporters of TGM. If anything TGM taught me how to develop a stroke and components to that stroke and how to feel, learn feel from mechanics and be very in tune with that. Took me 20 years to properly feel. But once I started to get in tune with that I’ve been able to take it with me since. The issue now is just ‘getting there.’ I understand what the mechanics look like. I understand how to feel those mechanics. Just getting to those mechanics has been the issue lately. But with the modules I have that ‘map’ to get to the mechanics I’m looking for.

One thing that I got from the M1 video was when Lag talked about Moe’s setup with the clubhead about a foot behind the ball at address. I think Moe was just setting up his body at address to the 4:30 line. So what I do is in the backswing I just turn to the 4:30 line. Like Lag has said, a lot of the backswing is just connecting the dots. That’s how I connected my dots.

At the top of the swing with my body on the 4:30 line, all I do is drop my right elbow into the pitch elbow position. Once I get into P3 with the pitch elbow on the 4:30 line, I’m now in the position that I am when I do the M1 bag work.

My thoughs a week ago where basically ‘pitch then fire.’ Meaning, get into pitch elbow and then fire the hands. Recently I have been working on keeping BOTH the #4 PP and what I call the #5 PP (the upper right arm where it connects to the body at P3) connected, fire the hands and pivot. So now it’'s the thought of ‘pitch then pivot.’ I haven’t videod my swing in a week, so I’m interested to see what it looks like with that new thought.



Nice to see you’re already seeing those kind of improvements.

However, I think we need to be careful about setting certain expectations for other students who are on module 1. Lag is kind of trying to get people to hook the ball with mod 1, so the fact that you’re not missing anything left is interesting. It might confuse some students that are missing it left due to correct mod 1 drilling yet who are expecting the left side to already be “out of play”.


No doubt that lower handicappers are much more likely to not have a bad case of the lefts… because better players simply have better feel and hand awareness through impact, and will make any number of conscious or subconscious adjustments or corrections. Also if 3 Jack flattened his clubs right off the bat, and is doing module #1, then that could also very well be the countering effect.

But there is nothing but pure golden goodness going into module #3 hooking the ball… nothing could be a better set up for learning to properly release the club in a dynamic pivot driven way with module #3 hand protocols.

I’ve been smart enough to follow what Lag has prescribed. I’ve bought some sets of old blades, bent them 5* flat. Believe me, I would hook standard lie angles more often than not. That’s why I stopped playing my Apex PC’s…they were running about 0-2* upright and I couldn’t help but hook them and miss them left (I got them bent to 5* flat yesterday). But at 6’4" tall and hitting 5* flat lie angles, very hard to hook the ball and very hard to miss left, unless I try. I can still hit some sizeable draws but they almost always start out right and then draw back, but rarely miss the target.

Like I’ve mentioned before, I’m a bit fortunate to have played at a high level, to have a lot of experience, to know quite a few things about the swing and to have finally understood how to feel in the golf swing. That certainly helps a ton.


I just realised I haven’t hooked a single ball in weeks, possibly around the module 3 drill started, not sure if it wasn’t before that. I fade/slice about 50% of shots, hit 20% dead straight and pull the rest. The pull usually ends up the worst, because it’s long and I’m already aiming right to counter my fade/slice. But hooks never.

Also, not only am I excited by the sound my club makes or the pure feel of those flush shots, most people I’ve played with (3 rounds trying to get my handicap since joining ABS) have talked about my ball striking or the sound my flush shots make at some point through the round. Nice feeling.

You had me too then! :smiley: I was thinking you only have to prepay for the next three modules by next month, not do them!

Strange for 3Jack to get his 3’s mixed up on the 3rd of the 3rd.

Presumptious of me to post about this since I’m not active with ABS but just had to share a couple thoughts from the outsider looking in perspective.


Took what I’ve gleaned so far out for a test drive this moring…wrapped the wrists and let 'er fly. I’m beginning to think that most of what I think I think I know is dissapating quickly. :laughing: It’s almost like layers of stuff falling off. Some observations:

  1. Started out throwing every conceivable motion at it from a non-ABS perspective. Trapped a few, but they were all predicated on timing and repetition.

  2. The test…turned to the 4:30 line on BSW, felt like I stayed in that kind of relationship until my pivot brought it through…but in order to do that from the top I felt some squatting. It’s almost like paying homage to the 4:30 line 'til you get to a point where it’s time to move. From the top, with feeling like I’m still in some kind of direct marriage to that 4:30 line, it felt like I was dropping down in an elevator for just a bit and the club was coming along with me.

What made it feel real nice was I wore my steel toe/heel work shoes for practice which really put me vertical into the ground with alot of weight down there.

The fourth picture on ABS’s home page is exactly where my shoulder line was during that drop and squat…it felt that they stayed in the 4:30 relationship for such a long time.


  1. Pretty damn good…less timing involved which is tremendous
  2. Good compression with Driver. 3 and 4 iron…little thin…not pivoting enough with them I guess.
  3. All other irons: no real problems when disciplined to the new movement.
  4. Had difficulties at times with shoulders rotating to soon…but that is from habit…don’t expect much problem correcting it now that I’m seeing things in this way.

All in all…a great morning :slight_smile:

[size=200]Why I believe swinging is superior over hitting - if you let it happen spontaneously[/size]

I am an ergonomist and have done research relevant to the swing movement coordination issue. Also I have been dealing with stress psychology. I will discuss the swing vs hitting issue against this background.

I am about to restart golf after a pause of several years. I am switching from unsuccessful hitting to swinging, and would be grateful for feedback. I am now learning the Moe Norman swing using vide instructions of Tim Graves.

Moe was a pure swinger as I understand from his description of his feel. I think the “swing philosophy” of Moe was profound, and similar to that of the successful great teachers Ernest Jones and Manuel de la Torre.

[size=150]The principle of pure swinging[/size]

What I very much like about this principle is that it, so as to say, “hands over” to the club to guide the swing motion in stead of consciously controlling it. This means that the physical laws of motion, the centripetal force and inertial force are doing the job in stead of conscious muscular guidance of the club. As Torre says the motion of the club should be primary and the movement of the body secondary, adapting to the motion.

This I think is a superior approach and a key factor behind Moes extraordinary success.

[size=150]The vulnerability of intentional control - hitting

My research and experience as a specialist in occupational health who also uses a method for treating back problems has led me to the conclusion that the fine coordination of the body is a quite vulnerable process. It is vulnerable to nervousness and (often not obvious) muscular/connective tissue microdamage that both alter the feedback required for proper coordination. When the feedback is wrong the swing cannot be effectuated properly. You believe you swing as usually but in reality the outcome is different.

Therefore a swing that eliminates the “interference” of the body is superior, because only the laws of motion can ensure an exactly reproducible club path - completely automatically…

This is entirely in line with the following quote of Moe Norman:

Moe Norman - Golf Digest Interview

I think pure swinging without muscular interference is one of the key secrets behind Moe’s consistent precision, as well as of the great success of Manuel de la Torres teaching.


I suspect that those who have difficulties with pure swinging are unconsciously unable to deride themselves of some habits that interfere with the movement, throwing the swing off the ideal path, especially if the club is too light (I suppose the ideal heaviness depends on the body mass of the swinger). That is they are “pseudoswinging”

I understand Moe’s description that the swing gives a “feeling of freedom” - it is almost religious - you surrender to nature letting the natural laws do the job while you only provide a steady and easily reproducible platform for it (stance, fixed left leg, rotation only of the upper body etc).

It takes some confidence and inner security to “surrender”. A vast majority of people today are consciously or unconsciously anxious and insecure. This brings about a strong urge to control different aspects of life, including the swing movement. The secure and harmonious person can easily enjoy letting go of moment - to moment control and let the laws of nature take over.

So I think it is very likely that those who fail to apply the Jones-De la Torre - Moe principle of really pure, uninterferred swinging, are, in reality, pseudoswinging - that is, in reality, subconscious “switters”.

The key to develop successful and superior swinging, fully free from subconsious interference is consequently to develop inner security and harmony. This has been really difficult formerly, but there are effective soluions. But that is another topic that I will cover another time.

What do you think?

Welcome Dr Jaan,

Hitting vs Swinging has certainly had a lot of dicussion on this forum but its always interesting to have a new viewpoint. In the private student area students are learning Lags brand of hitting. Lags personal view on the the ideological and practical advantages and disadvantages of both I think is summarised nicely in this post:

Much more on that topic in the following thread called Thoughts on Hitting and Swinging and I would encourage you to post your thoughts for discussion there.

Cheers, Arnie

You’d be hard pressed to find a better curator of Moe Norman’s swing. Good luck, I’ve followed Todd and the Graves Golf Academy for a few year. Even went so far as participating in a few of their live webinars. Todd and his brother appear to be very nice and knowledgeable instructors. If Moe’s is the swing you want then you’re in good hands.

I can tell you with up most certainty that what they are teaching is not at the core of what made Moe work, and personally it is disappointing to see it.

If I someday do a swinging version of ABS, it will most certainly be built around what Moe taught me, and I will get it right.

Moe was still very pivot driven… it was not an arm swing as many want to believe…

Moe’s methodology is not an easy way out.

I’m surprised to hear that, Lag. Have you talked with the Graves or watched their instructional videos? (I’m not jumping on you, just asking… I can never tell how a sentence will come off on the internet).

As I understand it Todd spent years working one-on-one with Moe learning his swing. Moe was quoted as saying the the only person on the planet who knows his swing is Todd. With the limited instruction I’ve heard GGA they teache the fundamentals of the Moe Norman swing as Todd was taught by Moe.

Maybe they focus on positions of the swing more than impact and ground forces, but I’m really not sure as I haven’t been through their program.

Third time out today with Form 1. Still surprised by the results.

The first two times out it felt like I was pressurizing the R foot down from the top and then kind of rotating around it to travel on the 4:30 line, and then on thru.

Today, I abandoned the above and put in what perhaps is the “secret of the rug”- and I had to “pinch” myself :wink: as it is something I have not considered before but produced some great results.

Gotta get stiffer gear for my woods…started out using my current flex- which is like a firm-regular- but it wouldn’t hold up: too much dispersion. By the end of the session I was using a friends extra stiff and it wasn’t too far off :astonished:

As Buffalo Springfield said…"there’s something happening here…"RR