Twomasters- swing thoughts of the past

On Bom’s request I will try and write down what I used to think of when I was swinging the club in my younger days.

I really feel that over time tuition took away much of instinctual attributes and the quest to be perfect as regarded in the eyes of coaching and swing planes and theories took away many positive pieces of my swing that helped me achieve a high standard just by my own instincts and feel early on.

I will add a few pics from time to time to show the differences and how these things altered my swing

Growing up I based my swing on my childhood idol, Greg Norman. watching him swing and actually being able to get up close and personal with Greg inside the ropes helped me achieve what my younger swing was based on.

  • A big wide takeaway. I watched Norman, and Nicklaus talked about it also, and noticed he had a wide extension away from the ball. I liked this feeling. It allowed me to create a big wide arc, going back creating and storing power that I would then get rid of later on as I approached impact

  • I really felt Norman planted his feet in the ground at address and basically dug himself into the ground and even lowered his center of gravity downwards before he took the club away on his backswing. I did this also. Steel spikes, incredibly now missing from the game, allowed this digging into the turf to happen much easier. They say the swing starts from the ground up, so this rooting to the ground really helped set up a base that allowed huge power to be produced later in the swing without losing balance. It also allowed me traction to hold against the forces I was creating with my ultra wide backswing

  • because I didn’t really break my wrists until I had started transition, i was really creating big angles in my swing. Now, these angles had to be gotten rid of somewhere. In my case the big wide take away loaded the angles and allowed my arms and hands to drop down whilst the clubhead stayed up and dropped behind me some. So by the time my hands were near impact, my clubhead was still way up near my shoulder, creating a huge lag in the swing and power stored up ready to be unleashed.

  • I know knew i had to pour on the power at impact, so I released my hands as hard as i could through the impact zone. The club head instinctively caught up because I waited so long to provide the force to my swing. there was never any chance I could hit too early with the backswing I was using.

  • Because I had such forceful ground forces in place by what i mentioned above, I now had the resistance in place against this power I was producing through the hitting area. The traction with the ground allowed me to fire my pivot hard along with my hands so I never just flicked at the ball with my hands. my hands were firing but the pivot was trying to outrace it.

  • I always got full extension to my finish (to PV5 as Lag calls it) because of the power and force i was providing to the club late in the swing and with my feet firmly gripping. In fact my right foot used to give out and slide just like Norman’s did although I didn’t really know it or try to do it. It was just a chain reaction that made it happen. from there I could drop or swivel or fold into whatever felt comfortable as a finishing pose and the swing was over

What thoughts do you have of that line of thinking Bom?.. obviously it is not for everyone, because one thing led to another and you have to be able to resist and work with and against all those forces that are occurring, but somehow I was able to do it so it worked well for me

i will add more as we move along.

That’s just great stuff. Cheers, man…
As far as my thoughts on it go, it’s a very athletic way to swing the club. I like the creation of the angles with the forward motion as it fits with with any sport. You mentioned waiting a long time to provide force to your swing, do you think you could go into that a bit more- was it a case of dropping down and then firing, or did the dropping and firing feel like one motion? Did you feel like you had a direct route to the ball from the top? The giant forearms don’t hurt with this kind of action, though if you were doing this kind of stuff from a young age, and hitting lots of balls, especially off hard ground, I’m sure it played a part in building their strength.
One of the difficulties mortals run into with this kind of action is that they get stuck on the line working up and down, and don’t incorporate the rotational aspect of the things- and interestingly is kind of where Jack got to, so maybe it’s not just mortals. Funnily enough, in my opinion it’s a better ‘Norman’ swing than Norman’s- but that’s splitting hairs. Your leg action back and through does a lot of work for you so even though it looks ‘armsy’, they weren’t working independently- did you feel your swing in your arms? Backswing/downswing? I posted your leg action a while ago because I love how they carried the action back and through, they’re always involved with what’s moving which is a great way to keep the arms in sync with the body especially in this kind of action. The arms and legs have a very close relationship while in motion(like walking) that has to be honoured and can be used to our benefit- so obviously when they got you to quieten them down you lost track of your arms and club while in motion.
Sounds like you really studied his swing to see the things you saw as a youngster- especially the feet, that’s not an obvious place to look but vital to this kind of swing.
The point you make about having no chance of hitting it early with that kind of backswing is related to the stuff I’m talking about lately. I just like that loading and stretching to create the angles because it’s powerful and instinctive. You don’t have to swing it huge like you did to apply the principles. Like any action, there will be a response. You could hit as hard as you did through impact because you needed to. I like that need. I much rather feel like I have go hard than having to back off or hold on. When you say you released your hands, do you have a sense of the way you did it, or was it just a case of going at it hard? Did you ever feel like that club ‘got past you’ or were you always leading it?
It’s a great insight and very informative. I’ve asked a few questions in there, but I could probably come up with a few more :slight_smile:
Cheers, man…

I hope I don’t destroy the level of the discussion by adding my own handicapped experiences here.

Greg Norman - well - there was something about how tall he was standing through impact that I could identify with. He was one of the few top players that did something I could relate to. For years I have applied close to zero torque on the shaft during transition. Geometrically I set the wrists early, but physically I’ve been a downstroke loader for years. I have always preferred to crank it late in the down stroke. To a degree where a too weak driver shaft would costs me at least 20 yards. And with my mediocre distances, 20 yards is a lot :blush: But anyway, there’s something with how GN moves through impact that always gave me the impression that he applied max thrust and min motion through impact. Driving the club through impact at the highest gear so to speak. I also liked his very strong finish, where his club eventually bounces off his back. No quitting there. And also a very impressive balance through the ball.

There’s a reason he is arguably the longest straightest greatest driver of the golf ball in history with a persimmon stick in his hand

Bom…going to drop in an old video of a few swings from 1989 (goes for about 90 secs)…tell us what you see here from what I have said in the opening post on the thread and then see if watching the videos answer some of your questions… (I know you had seen the Japan vid that you pulled the other stills from…not sure if you have seen these?)
These tend to show how late and then load my set was and you may be able to get an inclination as to hands drop or whatever happens thru impact

also a swing seq grab pic from 89


Man, I can’t believe I have to answer my own questions- I can do that by meself!
You have to look at your swing from two perspectives- your arm and your legs. I’m going say that you had to feel your backswing with your arms because you can’t get them up there still uncocked without having them lead in some conscious way. The upside of that wide and very late cocking is that it activates the legs/pivot and whole body in a big way, particularly when you’re strong and athletically inclined.
I’d say you were always leading the club back and through. You do what I see as switching sides with the club in motion. You lead going back by staying inside of it so it’s never behind you until transition where you switch sides and then you lead all the way down and then go as hard as you like.
From the top you’re loading down into your legs obviously, but it looks like it’s coming from above as if the arms are imposing the drop- it doesn’t look like your legs pulling the club down, they are leading the transition but your arms are still sort of leading the club if that makes sense. So I would have to say that it’s an arm drop, or at least it’s felt in them and the legs are receiving it. Though again, like the takeaway and backswing, it’s still very much connected and everything is loading down there at the same time, I’m talking feelings. Your right leg takes a big load particularly in frame 2 and 3 of that sequence you posted. I’d also say that because of your style of transition that you felt a direct route to the ball, and by that I mean it seemed simple from the top, you could see the ball and you’re going to hit it.
You get so far down so quickly that it’s hard to say how much of your hand action was conscious through the strike, or whether it was just a sense that you could go as hard as you liked. The real remarkable thing is how you go through the strike, it speaks to how strong you are that you didn’t pop up going through. The fact that you maintained rotation with that kind of speed is insane. Where your arms get to at that P5 spot is madness and again, the fact that your shoulders stayed their course shows that your legs were working like the duck under water. Your left arm and hand are very strong going through and all the way up.
Okay now you have to add your Two sense … I just never got bored with puns.

I am not that great at going really in depth at some things. Remember when I was younger and basically up until the age of 26 I had very little instruction. I NEVER watched my swing on video and had no real idea what it looked like. Even when I saw it on television, I never took any notice of my swing- because I had zero technical side to myself. I had no clue about club plane, float load, any of that stuff. All I knew of was about the grip and alignment and even then I wasn’t too into that because i understood through practice and playing you could actually have a strong grip or a neutral or weak grip and be able to aim straight or left or right … and you could still hit all the shots the same based on your feel and tempo. I based my swing on the best players I had seen up close and mimicked their good points as I saw them.

So I am having to dig deep here and try remember what I actually felt, because there was 16 years of coaching and over analyzing and computer screens and lines and stick figures that I ended up basing my swing on after all this. So I went from really knowing nothing about the swing or really caring about the look of my swing…to the… knowing too much about the swing (and unfortunately knowing too much about technique that wasn’t MY swing at all, it was theories plotted out by the gurus based on the Faldo type player and swing)…

I got listening to stuff I had no business of listening to. I wasn’t a quick set on the backswing and just rotate through with the upper body (big muscles) with no hand powpow or leg drive kind of guy…but I didn’t know it at the time as I didn’t know enough about my swing to be able to say ‘piss off’ this just doesn’t seem right. I was being told I was ‘on plane’ and looking good… my natural shot became a hold fade as i became frightened to death of hitting the ball hard… I lost yardage with my woods and a little with my irons…my pitching and chipping then deteriorated because the same sensations of the full swing where rearing their heads in the short game also. It was a disaster. Not that I still couldn’t play well, but I felt I was walking on egg shells every day.

On the PGA I had good results from time to time but I really only ever made 50% of my career cuts with this ‘better’ swing. I hardly never missed a cut with my younger swing and the beauty of it was I had the ability to tear a course apart and go as low as I could if I putted well. My low score went from a 63-64 to a 68 - 69 and my high score went from a 76 to a 74…so my bad score got better but my low score got worse…but you don’t win events shooting 69-74 every day unless it’s the US Open…you win them by pumping out a 63 and then 3 solid other rounds

Even now we have people still talking plane and how Furyk’s swing is ghastly, and how Tiger drops his ‘levels’…It’s funny now what I look for in a golf swing when i finally came to the conclusion that most teachers honestly don’t know because they didn’t play at a high level and put up a fight on a sunday afternoon in an event and see what actually ticks in a swing.
They all get too involved in up and down planes and flat wrists and parallel clubs at the top and from my experience it really means next to nothing. It’s a whole chain reaction. Even this Vegas guy who has done well the past 2 weeks as a rookie, all I heard was how great his plane was and his position at the top… they even did a slo mo and showed how much he raised his hands at impact compared to address and Kostis says that was good. Then you could see the club close and roll post impact…AHHH…it’s amazing how little these supposed good teachers really know at times. The guy has talent no doubt but that’s another story , but the world’s eyes have become askew about the golf swing by all the techno hi speed computer stuff and listening to teachers who never played golf at all but lucked out by having a great player in their stable who could basically play well with any thought you gave them even if it was right or wrong. So because of one player’s success these guys are hailed as gurus and some of them honestly wouldn’t know your aunt from your uncle. I have seen it first hand.

My whole life people would always question my wide takeaway and say I got too sloppy at the top and I couldn’t be consistent…you keep hearing that stuff and eventually you give in, which is what I did and then I got coached and it was a real battle day in and day out to feel the club and get some decent results. It would happen from time to time but I still never felt good about my swing because it may have ‘looked’ right but it certainly didn’t ‘feel’ right.
I give Furyk all the credit in the world for hardly changing the crux of his swing, because when you know what to actually look for and understand what really makes the swing tick he has it ALL in spades right there.

Anyway to answer one of your questions…Bom…I did concentrate on making the takeaway an extended arm motion, and nothing else,…if you watch my right hip in the first swing, watch how little it moves in the backswing…I blocked it out of motion. This in my opinion helped me get a big shoulder turn and rotation by limiting the hips on the way back. This is what I believed Norman did from my watching him. Even though The Shark did make mention in his book that he actually started his backswing by pushing his ‘right pocket back’…I just never saw that from my observations., so I went with what I saw him do, and that was to limit the hip turn on the backswing. I believed that action also set me up to initially drive forward with my hips in the downswing and also helped my feeling of ‘gripping the earth’ with my feet as hard as I could.

This is a good look at the Sharks swing in the 80’s


Two, I was interested by B’s interpretation that you probably went straight at the ball…is this the feeling you had?..or was it more of a drop the club into a deep laid off slot and then rotate hard into the ball with forearms and pivot?
Was it almost like the effort only started late and low down once the club had dropped way behind you or did you feel like you went at it from the top?
Did it feel more like a rotational sweep of the club on a clockface or was it more like an active thrust in a straight line?
Enjoying reading this thread so far, some real gold in them thar hills!

If you watch the very first video of my swing you should be able to see what occurs is right along those thoughts aiguille

Like I said I honestly don’t think I had any thought after I made my backswing…but you will see my hands drop straight down coming after the ball like Bom suggests…and the club lays off on the downswing, flattening it’s plane and staying skyward (lag) as you suggest…so can we call it a hybrid?..even though I hate hybrids!!

Thanks Two…

For me, I actually think that even your golf swing slowed down frame by fame does not tell the whole story, the intention…and thats why its such a hard game to master because the eye can’t see what one needs to do…

It may sound crazy but it almost feels like I am trying to get as deep and laid off as I can and then that I am rotating the shaft parallel to the ground into the back of the ball…almost like the second hand sweeping 180 degrees on a clockface, yet I am sure it would not look like that on video.

I guess that the question I wanted you to focus on is whether you felt like the backswing was really an attempt to establish a parallelogram that literally drops three feet while retaining shoulder turn and wrist cock/layoff…then, and only then pouring on the power, rather than going hard at it from the top.

I do believe that’s why I ended up with that big wide takeaway…It set me up to either feel OR do what you suggest you are trying to feel

And like you stated it doesn’t necessarily look like that, but it can feel like that is the intention… my wide move away with minimal bottom half activation going back, loaded my springs up to coil and increase the forces and pressures later in the swing

Using a spring or wind up tension toy as an example

the winding up and coiling around a stable lower base…(backswing)…

the coil moving one way (back) but also starting to uncoil in the other direction(forward)…(transition)…

the unwinding and release of all the wind up and tensions… (downswing and impact and thruswing)…

the eventual slowing down of the coil after max pressure exerted…(the finish)…


doesn’t that pic remind a few people of another thread?

I reckon that early set was the big thing in getting you off track for a few reasons. On a very simple level it took away the instinctive reactive nature of your swing. When you’re loading and hitting in the one motion of the downswing, it’s just an easier thing to do mentally. The resistance that you were feeling in the legs in the backswing was challenged by that late setting of the club, because to get the club back that far without wrist break, you have to move your body. So even though you were limiting the hip turn you were still coiling with the big muscles as you say. Add an early wrist set to that feeling of resistance in the lower half and there’s no longer any coiling because the club gets back behind you before your done doing your thing(the big falacy of the Leadbetter era) And the fact that the coil was such a strong image for how you moved, and such a simple one, the loss of the physical and mental benefits of it removed the aggression.
It’s not surprising that you only thought about your backswing because it set you up to just go- very similar to throwing a ball. With the power in your legs and what they wanted to do to hit the ball, ie’. create and release the angle, setting the club or getting it behind you early killed their role. Your description of being afraid to go at it makes perfect sense, as does those right shots that you started hitting when you did try to hit it hard.
Like you say, that style of swing isn’t for everyone, but it is for you. Again, your hand and forearm strength allowed it in a lot of ways is did your flat rotation through impact.
I can’t believe you were doing that stuff for 16 years, not to mention the fact that you were winning too.
To go back to talking about the good stuff, did you have a dominant arm or hand? A question I’m really interested in is where did you feel like you were trying to send the club during maximum acceleration or did that cross your mind? And was it the clubhead itself or did you have a sense of that?
Thanks for digging in to remember those feelings.

interesting you bring up a dominant hand…

I am very much right handed at everything…writing, throwing…etc…I can’t even put a tee in the ground left handed like many righties tend to do… but when I have one of those stupid bottles in the pantry that I can’t open guess which hand I use to open it with?

The left…so my left hand maybe stronger?..I have a feeling what you will say but what’s your thoughts on that as far as the golf swing goes?

That is interesting. This may seem very abstract, but when you have a jar that you can’t open, do you instinctively go to your left hand, or is it a case of you deciding and having the thought, ‘i’m now going to use my left hand’. That’s obviously the most ridiculous question you’ve ever been asked, but I’m intrigued by that kind of stuff and I think it’s related.
As far as having a strong left arm and hand in the swing goes, I think it’s very helpful. I mentioned in one of the other posts how strong yours is going through the strike and all the way through. There’s one picture of you when you were young post impact(brown shirt?) that wouldn’t be possible with that left arm strength. It’s also the thing that you hang your backswing on- it’s like the spoke that Lag talks about. It allows your right arm to be soft in a lot of ways going back so it can then act as a power source. If you are right arm dominant attempting your kind of backswing, then the right shoulder will tend to go up, and your rotation suggests that your left arm was the structure. Again, that setting that they got you doing probably got you using your right side in the backswing because from my experience, that tends to be the hand I use when ‘setting’ the club because the early right elbow fold was such a big part of that era. Not sure if that’s along the lines of what you were thinking.

Just about any jar I go straight to the left hand-- from experience?

It reminds me of the Moe Norman talk about his left side of his body being ripped and muscular compared to his right.

Your answer explains what I thought…
I was going to say that the left hand strength was the guide…right hand provided the force and whack but the left was strong enough to fight that and not cause un-necessary club face twisting or rolling and the pivot also had to be in place to again outrun the things that were happening with my hands and arms.

I felt both hands contributing to the takeaway- maybe a bit more right hand/arm than left to contribute to the wide set…or that was the feeling becase I didn’t want that right wrist to break down until the natural weight of transition did it for me… I would think later on my right dominated more because they got me to fold my right wrist/arm/hand quicker…but in an entirely different manner than before because now my right wrist was hinging quick instead of extending and staying solid.

The first time I ever spoke to Lag about my swing and I sent him a few videos of what had changed from year to year he said exactly the same thing- that the takeaway and the early set had eroded my feel for the club… he said that wide takeaway was my swing DNA and once it was taken away I got lost in wondering or feeling what had to happen next

This is absolutely correct.

If you learn to properly rotate the torso, then this type of loading can work just fine. I also grew up with this style of loading coming out of Doyle TGM camp.
What Doyle missed was the relationship of the pressure of the load at transition and the pressure of the release through impact. The later must be greater if you are going to strike a golf ball properly.

The late load is great as long as you can handle it… and Bradley could handle it. You can see it in the foot pressures. Even if the release is a bit CF, it is still dominated by great post impact pivot rotation… that’s why it works. There is a little more timing involved that way, and typically CF releasers need to grind more golf balls, but if you are playing everyday… it’s not a big deal. TGM promotes a pivot stall putting too much emphasis on the hands and their alignments.
The fact is that these alignments that TGM is so enamored with MUST BE created by aggressive dynamics.

The hitter’s release is easy to learn for a good player because it is just putting more structure and feel into the arms and hands and shoulder sockets also… which simply is more identifiable on a daily basis, and that is especially beneficial if you are playing only part time. I can keep my game in reasonable competitive form with zero ball beating. Once your technique is sound, you just need to play to work on just that… playing.

Exact same for me—i cannot do much left handed, but that’s where the jar goes 100% of the time…but is it stronger ?, or are we using opposing forces against an even stronger right hand?


How did you figure this out? Was it on your mind at the time or did you figure it out after the fact? The feet/hands power relationship is something that I figured out outside of golf and then brought it back in. Did you learn that through golf? Just curious.

It’s funny, I was thinking about this this afternoon, Bent, and I think it indicates which hand has the stronger fingers. Grabbing the lid requires more focused pressure which would have to be applied with finger/thumb strength. Grabbing the jar part doesn’t require as much strength/focused strength sinse you can use your palm and spread the hand over a wider area. That’s my sense of it anyway. Interestingly, the wrists also work in different ways so that may also be relevant. The left would work more in a chopping sort of way, and the right would work as more of a flipper or wave action, which is not completely dissimilar to the golf swing.