Traditional Golf Instruction – Misconceptions

Here are some of the many “Traditional Misconceptions” that are still being taught today:

1. Setup with your weight on the balls of your feet.
– This is out of balance and a weak non-athletic position. The body does not like to be out of balance and will try to “Right” itself during the swing. If you setup in balance, square to gravity (Athletically), you will be much more relaxed and consistent.

2. Waggle the club to relax.
– This is a non-productive, anxious movement getting the hands ready to be used for the takeaway and to hit at the ball. This undermines the large muscle concept that uses the shoulders for the takeaway and the hips and body to turn through to the finish. The ball is trapped at impact with the whole body, not hit at with the hands.

3. Shift your weight to the back foot.
– This is not what happens in a powerful takeaway and backswing. In a more efficient swing, the shoulders wind around the spine, while restricting the lower body for torque and potential. If you slide, or shift your weight back, you will never be consistent in returning back to the ball… For every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction. Slide on the takeaway, you will slide even more through impact. Lose this variable and you will improve IMMEDIATELY!

4. Play the ball in the middle of your stance.
– The radius of the swing is a line down your front arm in line with the shaft to the end of the club. The longest point of this radius, along the swing arc, is below your front shoulder down to the ground. Any farther back and the club goes right into the ground, or you have to lift up, or what most do, is flip their wrists at impact and cut the radius in half as to not hurt themselves. When you learn to turn through impact, you will naturally pick up the ball just inside the front foot for almost all shots (Driver different). What changes from club to club (Ben Hogan) is the back foot relationship to the inside the front foot ball position. In other words, as the clubs get shorter, the back foot comes in closer to the front foot (not the ball moving back). THE BALL IN THE MIDDLE FORCES YOU TO FLIP AND NOT TURN.

5. Setup with the shaft of the club 90 degrees to your spine.
– If you look at impact of the best golfers it is a straight line down the front arm, through the shaft to the ball. The shaft must be leading slightly. This angle is what creates a divot (Not hitting down on it) it happens naturally if you turn. So… if you setup this the shaft pointing at your spine (belly) this is weak and broken and will have to be fixed during the swing to get to the straight line at impact. Also, this broken setup of the wrists, is pre-flipped and will force you to flip again at impact thus, cutting the radius in half and the body stops rotating (not good). Answer… setup with the shaft in line with the front arm.

How to distribute your “Weight” at Setup in the Golf Swing

The weight at setup is CRITICAL.  The misconception of having the weight on the balls of your feet is a compensation to correct another problem.

The correct weight distribution is just like a quarter back or any other athlete… “ATHLETIC”.  What I mean by this is STRAIGHT DOWN as if you were guarding someone in basketball or a quarter back ready to have the ball hiked to him.  The legs are ready and balanced and you could move in any direction.
If you setup out of balance (balls of your feet) your body will try to “Right” itself during the swing and you will be moving all over trying to center yourself.
If you setup IN BALANCE you will not have to make this adjustment during the swing and will much more consistent with one less compensation to worry about.  Also, gravity will keep you centered and in place.

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Productive vs. Non-Productive

Most golfers have many non-productive (not needed or detrimental) movements.  Moves that found their way into the golfer’s routine and that they may not be aware of.  Some of these moves help but most hurt and should be actively eliminated or changed.  Here are some non-productive moves and their replacement productive move:


A waggle originating from wrists.    
   Replace with:  Shaft in line with front arm and use your front shoulder to push the club straight back with no wrists.  This gets the shoulders starting the takeaway and teaches the hands to be passive.  Feel your shoulders move your arms and club all the way to the top.

A practice swing that starts with your hip sliding and slinging your arms up to the top.  
   Replace with:  A delibrate takeaway from the front shoulder while you restrict with your lower body… or another way to restrict your lower body is to “Hold your Front Knee” while you push your arms and club back with the front shoulder.

Looking at the target while you are walking up to your ball. 
   Replace with:  Watch a spot about 2 feet in front of the ball as you approach and turn to setup to the ball. Avoid looking at the target at this point.  The reason is that most golfers misalign themselves as they are watching the target and turning to setup and almost always close their stance.  Check this out by putting a club on the ground on your toe line once you are setup.  This club line should be parallel to the target line NOT POINT AT THE TARGET.

Productive vs. Non-Productive

Most golfers have many non-productive (not needed or detrimental) movements.  Moves that found their way into the golfer’s routine and that they may not be aware of.  Some of these moves help but most hurt and should be actively eliminated or changed.  Here are some non-productive moves and their replacement productive move:


A waggle originating from wrists.    
   Replace with:  Shaft in line with front arm and use your front shoulder to push the club straight back with no wrists.  This gets the shoulders starting the takeaway and teaches the hands to be passive.  Feel your shoulders move your arms and club all the way to the top.

A practice swing that starts with your hip sliding and slinging your arms up to the top.  
   Replace with:  A delibrate takeaway from the front shoulder while you restrict with your lower body… or another way to restrict your lower body is to “Hold your Front Knee” while you push your arms and club back with the front shoulder.

Looking at the target while you are walking up to your ball. 
   Replace with:  Watch a spot about 2 feet in front of the ball as you approach and turn to setup to the ball. Avoid looking at the target at this point.  The reason is that most golfers misalign themselves as they are watching the target and turning to setup and almost always close their stance.  Check this out by putting a club on the ground on your toe line once you are setup.  This club line should be parallel to the target line NOT POINT AT THE TARGET.

MOVE LESS … GET GOOD!

So what is Move Less … Get Good! ?
Essentially … the less you move in the golf swing the better.  So, what does move?  Or, what moves are repeatable and what moves are inconsistent?

The more levers and movements (variables) you have during the swing, the less control you have over the result and the less consistent you will be.  In other words … the less you move, the more consistent you will become.

This blog is all about using the Large Muscle Groups to control the golf swing for a more powerful, consistent and repeatable golf swing.  You do this by “REMOVING” (not adding) movements that disrupt the swing.  The large muscles (mainly hips & shoulders) are VERY REPEATABLE and CONSISTENT. Once you learn to let them control the swing, you will be too!!

MOVE LESS … GET GOOD!

So what is Move Less … Get Good! ?
Essentially … the less you move in the golf swing the better.  So, what does move?  Or, what moves are repeatable and what moves are inconsistent?

The more levers and movements (variables) you have during the swing, the less control you have over the result and the less consistent you will be.  In other words … the less you move, the more consistent you will become.

This blog is all about using the Large Muscle Groups to control the golf swing for a more powerful, consistent and repeatable golf swing.  You do this by “REMOVING” (not adding) movements that disrupt the swing.  The large muscles (mainly hips & shoulders) are VERY REPEATABLE and CONSISTENT. Once you learn to let them control the swing, you will be too!!