Johnny Miller on Iron Play .... Johnny Knows!

Don’t know if any of you guys have seen this or not, but I thought it had some interesting info. in it.


Johnny Miller talks golf:

I could not agree more. There is so much to be learned from playing off sloping lies, and I feel a lot of the modern golf courses are trying to make the golf course like the driving range, and I find that completely boring. This is the main reason I don’t hit range balls… this way, every time I am hitting a ball, it really means something. I’d throw in that driving range mats are too forgiving and won’t give you the proper turf feedback that will be your golf course reality.

I have a set of these and I can attest, this is absolute truth. A soft feel that is fantastic. They are a great set and will play as well as any modern irons. I’d love to know why he sawed down the hosels! When you find a great set… keep them.

The audio feedback is so important, and very overlooked. It’s great from a players perspective to read this. And I would add that this is the main reason I still prefer persimmon. The sound, the feel of miss hits is identifiable, much more than the high pitch squeal of titanium, and of course the general aethetic beauty of a nice block of oil hardened wood.

Miller later in this article mentions how he would swing at about 75% of capacity with his irons… which really gives a nod to his intuition for feel of distances. Knowing the exact yardage is great information, but I would guess that he was feeling the shot more than just knowing the yardage to the inch.

Throwing an ABS filter over this… I could not agree more. The knee bend allows for proper transition, and also flattens the shaft into entry if done properly. Deeper knee bend through impact stabilizes lowpoint, aids in maintaining ground pressures in the right foot, and encourages the shoulders and torso to rotate more level for both power, acceleration and accuracy.
It’s something I have been working on in my own golf swing lately.

I really agree here also, but feel this is a bit of a vapor trail view of the product of proper dynamic motion. The right hand flips if you pivot stall… it has to really. If the pivot is accelerating post impact as Miller did (does) so well, the hand collapse simply can’t happen.

I really love reading stuff like this. I always keep an open mind to great players having special gifts, and this is a great insight into Miller’s, and it’s great that he shares this in this article.


This was my 7 iron from 7 years on tour. 3rd groove, slightly toward the heel.

I’ll add also, that a lower trajectory shot takes less energy on your part, and the ball does not have to fly as far in it’s arc, so you are actually taking the short cut to the hole compared to the guy trying to hit a wedge sky high from 150. It’s not that often that you have to fly a ball in super high to stop it over a tight pin placement. If you have to… you might want to re think that anyway and play a safer shot to the center of the green. You’re not going to birdie every hole, and sometimes these kind of pin placements are really just sucker pins. Play smart.

This is just some great stuff from Miller. Johnny Knows.

Very good article and commenting - you probably could read this one, take it to your heart and never read another article/tip… for iron play and be a very happy golfer for a long time to come. But i guess if they print this article in their magazine, on the next page they are trying to sell you the newest and hottest irons on the market, on another page the give you a tip how to hit your irons longer, and therefor giving contradicting information to their readers within one issue of their magazine. For people with knowledge, its not so hard to identifiy bad from good, but for most of the golfing population that kind of “golf writing” is just very destructive.

I think this explains why I don’t like to play with any covering over my ears (earmuffs, stocking caps, etc) in cold weather. I’d rather have cold ears than lose the audio aspect of impact.

Great article!

I told 1teebox this story yesterday…y’all may find it amusing.

 When I was a young man...say 9 or ten years old (this would have been in about 1980), my dad used to take me to the Texas Open every year. I used to have a heyday getting autographs from the pros....even have a nice collection of golf balls given to me by the likes of Bobby Clampett, Lanny Wadkins, Craig Stadler, and a bunch more. One year Johnny Miller, Ray Floyd and Jerry Pate came to the open ('80 I think?). Anyway, I ditched school early on a wednesday with my old man to catch a practice round at the Open, which just by chance all three of them were playing together. So, off of the 18th green they come, and I catch them for autographs. Ray and Jerry were really very cordial to the kids, joked with them and all. I walk over to Johnny, and ask 'Mr. Miller can I have your autograph?" I swear he looks down at me and says real arrogantly, "Do you think you deserve it?" I looked right back at him not knowing any better and said "Yes, I think I do". He just eyed me with a slight grin as if to say "touche' young man". People think he's an arrogant jerk, but he just has a really sharp sense of humor coupled with absolutely NO filter for what he says, which I love because it cuts right to the core of his BS. 

I mean who else has the stones to say on national television that Craig Perry’s swing would make Ben Hogan puke…Glad y’all emjoyed the article!


How would you categorize Johnny Miller in regards to swinging and hitting? If you read / watch his videos he seems to apply both in his swing. He even talks about the right index finger, how it helps him to get feedback and apply pressure yet he uses a typical swingers release.

There is an article in the Vault where he talks about club speed, and how it is important to move the whole club instead of just the club head speed. He says : “The really long straight hitters get the speed right in the middle of the shaft”.
He mentions you still could achieve a fair amount of club head speed with the top of the club bearly moving but this would get you into trouble accuracy wise.

Does anybody have examples for this statement (good vs bad) of current tour players or this a phenomenon that doesnt exist at this level?

This is classic hitter’s stuff… no dump and roll here… cutting it left, keeping the clubface square to his shoulder rotation post impact. Great stuff going on with this action.


I couldn’t agree more, Andy - and don’t understand why people give Miller such a hard time. I think it’s refreshing to hear a commentator with his experience give his views…candidly. No PC crap. Yeah, he may make some people spit out their sweet-tea while watching, but that’s a good thing IMHO. Just don’t wear a white polo when watching NBC! :wink:

What’s not to like? You have a winning/major champion golfer, student of the game, author, self-depreciating of his weeknesses, unabashadly confident in his strengths, and god-fearing family man. I’d much rather hear from Miller than some commentator that fawns all over the pros and doesn’t ask the tough questions. If you get praise from Miller you are probably doing something right.

Captain Chaos

Sorry guys, i dont get it, why would Ben Hogan puke over Perry´s swing?

Because Craig Perry coats his club faces with Ipecac Syrup to impart less side-spin! :wink:

I wasn’t focusing on that comment, kafka…just Johnny Miller’s style, knowledge and delivery.

Captain Chaos


That’s why :slight_smile: