Hitting and Mac O'Grady

Mac is a hitter, always has been… always will be…
Mac will tell you he is a hitter, I can see it, and can assure you
he is feeling it, and all the telltale signs are there even looking at

Forget any hinging action on the backswing. Mac could start his swing at the top of his backswing, and would not lose any distance. In other words, you could hand the club to Mac, or place it in his hands at the top of his backswing, and he would be fine starting from there.

Mac is wise to NOT attempt a big load from the transition of backswing to downswing. He knows he would have no chance of maintaining the flex on the shaft all the way down if he did. This isn’t something you can’t see in stop action photos, but if you see him in person, it’s really obvious what he is doing. He has the look that he could stop at the top of his backswing, go have lunch, come back and continue his swing without any issues.

This is drive loading at it’s finest hour.
He loads the lag (flex) on the shaft on the way down, and much further down that most would be comfortable with. He really starts loading the stress on the shaft as he approaches parallel #3 not at the transition at the top.

This (Mac) is classic radial acceleration.

Radial acceleration is like the teeth spinning on a saw blade. (hitting)

Longitudinal acceleration is the force applied like cracking a whip, or water shooting down through a garden hose. (swinging)

Completely different action and intent.

A swinger can utilize things like maximum swing radius, and a big loading of the shaft at the backswing transfer to create a massive
centripetal force to then be unleashed upon the ball via centrifugal force, a snapping action, it would feel like an “out to in… to out” (think outward backswing, inward loading at the transfer, outward unleashing to the ball) Swinging feels like a three step process when you are trying to MAX it out.

Mac passes up on all this stuff, and focuses on drive loading the shaft through an accelerating rotation of the body. He keeps his hands in close like a figure skater would as they go into a spin…
like a spinning top.

Now if you take Ben Hogan, he loaded like a swinger, lots of lag loading, then added more drive load on the way down. He did both…
but he was smart to shorten his backswing to make this possible.
Is this theoretically the best way to swing a club? YES!
Is this practical for most humans that walk the earth? NO

Hogan had the fastest hips and rotation of any human I have seen.
The only other golfer that I have seen similar is the Peter Senior of the late 1980’s.

I can assure you that Mac experimented with this in his early days,
and came to the conclusion that for him, it would be better to simplify the motion.

Mac in his prime, late 1980’s

It’s a wonderful thing to see a human so dedicated to perfecting such a complicated motion as
the golf swing…


Top Class module 1 and 3 action going on there…

Maybe, with your modules, you have invented a new nomenclature to describe the biomechanical motions of a golf swing!

Does he set his wrists immediately on his takeaway? It looks from those pictures as though he does, but I am no expert on his swing.

I would have to say since I’ve been doing this stuff with Lag, and it’s been several months now… I truly believe I have inadvertently adopted a very, very similar model to Mac O’Grady shown in this thread.

I wasn’t going to say this, because in reality I do NOT want to give the impression I have ANY where near the capability of Mac. Nope. In fact I’m very frustrated right now and grinding back to where I was.

The reason is say this is because every time I look at this bloody sequence, I can’t believe how similar my sequencing is, and several positions are the same. From the inside takeway, the wrist cock move at the takeaway. Heck my setup is VERY similar. My arms appear straight down (which I thought was bad). And I set my club VERY flat. Flatter than I actually hit it.

My very upper right arm feels connected to my ribcage, it doesn’t fly off very far, and helps keep my backswing at my shoulder plane (not above). Just like I see Mac doing. Conventional instructor’s told me my inside takeaway, and everything I just described above, was wrong. :neutral_face:

My follow through, and of course my results aren’t there yet. But the basic mechanics of my swing I thought looked so… ‘alien’ to me compared to my old swing. Then I sent Lag a video, and he actually first made comparisons to Mac. This is going to sound terrible, but I was thinking… yea? Mac who?

I don’t have any physical resemblance to Mac. And I had to research him a lot to learn about him, but ever since Lag posted this here, I’m continually shocked by the similarities I have to this guy now… If only I could hit the bloody ball right now.

On a side note, I mentioned earlier I had to research Mac. And I hadn’t seen the swing sequence he has here, instead I saw ‘new’ video from 2008 of him on Youtube, and the only thing I noted different was his ball position with driver. On the video he puts it about off his left foot! Which I was doing back in January. For some reason this does NOT work for me at all anymore. And I moved it back to where Mac has driver in this swing sequence. It makes me think I should try moving it back up to my left foot since right now my driving is garbage. I wonder why he did it? Possibly to give himself more squaring up time with the modern driver length? I may experiment with this again.

From 1987:
" Mac’s procedure is very systematic. Once a biological insight is deemed relevant, Mac tests it by hitting shots right handed. If he is satisfied with the results, then he will test it by hitting left handed. If the insight is valid, it must work the same- right handed or left handed.
In this novel way of testing and training, mac’s right side is the performer and the teacher, while the left side is the guinea pig. But this ambidextrous training and testing has yielded an unexpected bonus- tremendous balance and power and rotational agility, both sides of the trunk muscles are equally and symmetrically conditioned. This is particularly important, since Mac’s aim in the golf swing IS TO ROTATE HIS TORSO ACTIVELY, like a spinning top or a gyroscope, while keeping the distance between his eyes and the ground unchanged"… Zaven Manjikian (Mac’s research associate)

Beautiful swing as a right hander and as a left hander. i remember watching him hit shots on the range in the mid-late 90’s . He even had at one point the odd numbered irons in right handed and the even numbered irons in left handed. Looked the same swing from either side of the ball- just as the photos show
Thought it would be fun to post

A while ago on LTLGM you give the most succinct account of the variations of Lag loading and also the confusion created by using the terms Drive Loading and Drag Loading of the shaft. But I think the confusion persists in the above qouted post. At ABS we vowed to be not enslaved by terminology. Wouldnt it be simpler to just use the terms DRIVING and DRAGGING in relation to the shaft.

May 1987 Golf Digest – Mac O’Grady interview

“The more I learned, the more I questioned Kelley and the more Kelley revised his work. In the meantime my game rallied and in 1982 I finally made it onto the tour.
I did fine for a while but in 1984 I began to struggle. I couldn’t control my distances, which is everything in golf. Finally in desperation I gave The Golfing Machine to my friend and assistant, Zaven Manjikian, and asked him to take the book apart. Zaven is a dentist by profession, but he is a scholar. By the end of 1984 I had won enough to keep my card- barely- then Zaven and I went to work on his findings. It took me a few months to adopt the changes, but once I did I was on my way.
In short we came to realize that while The Golfing Machine is valuable in some areas, it is tragically flawed in others. We kept what worked and refined the rest. Along the way we formed MORAD (Manjikian O’Grady research and Development) to continue the research along ‘the principles of neurobiological studies’.”

Not complaining- not pointing fingers- just showing the facts… I have the magazine right in front of me and copied it word for word
Seems to show there is always room for change- if Mac thought it was flawed and Lag thought it was flawed and even Clampett thought some parts were off the mark……

April 16, 1984 S.I. Mac O’ Grady interview

…With the next year (1979) came a turning point in O’Grady’s life. In January he heard of The Golfing Machine, something of a cult book by Homer Kelley. Kelley, an engineer’s aide in Seattle, had broken down the golf swing into 24 components and 144 variations. The writing is at once mystical and scientific. “The first time I tried to read the book,” says O’Grady, "I threw it down the stairs. I didn’t even know what a 90-degree angle was. Fumiko told me, ‘You must go see this man. Then it will be a guided struggle, not a blind struggle.’ "

At first, O’Grady spoke with Kelley by phone and gradually ran up thousands of dollars in long-distance charges. He also flew to Seattle and spent 2½ days with Kelley. O’Grady became the teacher’s pet, and his golf game improved…

…Another death hit O’Grady hard in 1983; Homer Kelley died in February, while working on the seventh edition of The Golfing Machine. “For 20 years I had been marooned on an island of ignorance,” says O’Grady. “That book got the clay out of my ears and lifted the veil from my eyes.” Before he died, Kelley had said that O’Grady understood his book as well as anyone.

What a starting poiint!

One thing I have learned as Lag opened my eyes up to Mac… I was ignorant of him, as well as most of this stuff (remember my youth was spent in hockey rinks! I had no idea about this stuff)… Mac might be considered a little off the wall, but I find all this stuff really fascinating. I have seen my own swing slowly start to show similarities to Mac’s without any effort to do so. I consider that a good thing.

I really appreciate the stuff you guys have posted on him, swing wise, thought wise, and the pictures. It’s actually a little hard to find anything on him. He kind of seems like he’s got that ‘crazy man in the woods’ thing going for him.

I was watching G-channel the other night. They did a top 10 ‘strangest/most interesting personalities’ in golf. Of course Moe was up there… many imitated his speech pattern, but Mac beat him! One guy said Mac would call him in the middle of the night and talk to him about his swing until he fell asleep. One guy from the media said Mac wanted to win (I think it was a Bob Hope tournament) and to make a point he was going to reject the money and jump in the pond off the 18th green… pretty weird stuff.

I would say he does set them rather early. I do this as well and am often accused of doing something wrong. I don’t get it… why do people have such an issue with this?

They shouldn’t

A lot of people would do well to swing golf club like Mac O’Grady.

Prot -

On Mac O’Grady… I remember him from the late 70’s/early 80’s when I was really getting into golf. I remember there was an article that I read about him that layed out all of these eccentric things that he did (living out of his car or camper, not sleeping, meditation, taking all kinds of vitamins, etc. stuff that was considered really crazy at that time) and how a lot of the tour players were starting to look him up for the “secret”. Just to show you how weird it was, I think the article may have been in Golf Digest, but for some reason I think I read it in Playboy!!! I really wasn’t sure what to make of it at the time - if it was the truth or some sort of urban legend stuff. Of course at this time I think he actually won a PGA tournament or two so had some credibility. I’ve now come to learn through this forum that he is considered one of the great ball strikers of all time. Amazing stuff.

The eccentricities probably hurt more than help. I posted elsewhere that he made Golf Channel’s Top 10 (strangest/interesting) Personalities in Golf. Or something to that effect.

The downside is this takes away from the ‘golf’ part. I still study his swing (thanks to Lag) and there are parts of his swing, I -wish- I could emulate. I don’t think many people ‘get’ what he does, so they mock it.

I saw Mac O’Grady on the range at the Memorial Tourney in Columbus sometime in the middle or late '80’s I believe. From our discussions with some caddies and marshalls I heard he had tried to qualify for the tour some 16 or 17 times before he made it! talk about perseverance!
Also, while on the range we observed him surrounded by several touring pros while demonstrating some fine points about the swing. They seemed to be totally absorbed into whatever Mac O’Grady was doing.

Anyone checked out the video of Denny Alberts that Nick posted over on the Small World area.

Went to his website too and it has MORAD/PGA on his banner, and he even gave an O’Grady parable. Also on his site he has 8 more sequential videos of his method.

His method seems like a mix of a bunch of different stuff…never seen anything quite like that before. What I can’t figure out is why he would post those videos and then attempt to arrange lessons for people. Why do the lessons, he just gave it out for free :laughing:

Lag, you know Mac…any truth to what Alberts inference is that some of this stuff might have come from Mac himself? or maybe someone else like D. Klaussen and others…RR

Range Rat- there are some of the same elements as Stack and Tilt in the Alberts swing so surely they have their Morad roots. The counterfall can be looked at as the stack–aligning centers of gravity, while the left arm pull and hips raising action looks like the tilt or tailbone release.

I haven’t talked to Mac since the late 80’s, but when he talked then about centers of gravity is was more about from a down the line view, not a caddy view. Mac liked to be able to draw a line through the feet, knees, hips, shoulders, and get the feeling of rotating around a tighter gravitational center that way, which I always liked. It was exactly what I was learning from my Tai Chi instructor at the time. To feel more of a cupped feeling in the abdominals with a more rounded lower back as a basic starting posture. I still really embrace that idea in my golf swing… still.


Lag, I read your post yesterday after Two brought the thread forward - 13 years later, yikes!

I kept thinking of a Tiger pic I’d put together back in the day that spoke to what you’re saying here, and I just found it.

It’s fascinating how he went from the posture you describe here, to the supposedly ‘athletic’ one with the arse sticking out, that ultimately ended his career imo.