Understand the Golf Swing
advantages | history | >Q&A with Manuel | see the swing

Manuel answers questions about golf and the swing
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Question: Do you believe that everyone should be a swinger of the club? Or do you
think the more mechanical or position-oriented approach of hitting the golf ball is
actually the right approach for some golfers?

Answer: One cannot speak of leveraging and swinging in the same movement. The
forces used in a lever work in opposite directions while the forces generated in a
swinging motion all work in the same direction. Opposite forces cannot produce
velocity. While the backswing can be produced without a swinging motion, the
forward swing cannot. However, by using a swinging motion in the backswing, the
club remains in the correct plane and eliminates the need to re-route the club to
find the correct plane and plane direction of the forward swing.

Question: Do you think you miss out on teaching some golfers because they learn a
bit about your approach and think to themselves “Oh, golf can’t really be that easy.
That approach will never work for me.”?

Answer: I have never felt that has been the case, at least no student has expressed
such a feeling. I imagine that if a player does not take the time to understand what
my concept means they may feel that way. Everyone who has read my book and or
watched the DVD seems to feel that it will work for them, and the results that they
get prove it.  

Question: Regarding ball position…many people like to place the ball just inside their
left heel for longer shots, moving the ball back incrementally to near the center of
their stance for wedge shots. You disagree with this approach and like all full shots
played from the center of the stance. Why is that?

Answer: This has to do with balance and alignment. When the club is in the center
of the stance, it is very simple to have the body placed so that the shoulders are in
the same plane as the target line, which in my opinion is very important. It does not
matter whether we are discussing the driver or the wedge, balance at the address
position is very important. However, if I want to change the ball flight patterns, then
of course, I change the ball position. But if I wish to send all shots straight, I do not.

Question: Many better players talk a lot optimizing their launch angle on their
drives. They’re looking at ways of reducing backspin by switching balls, hitting up
slightly at impact, getting drivers with different centers of gravity (some of these
made up of a mix of titanium, tungsten, graphite and more). Some of these players
might think Ernest Jones’ swing principles worked fine back in the past. But times
and technology are changing, and new approaches just work better for today’s
game. How do you respond?

Answer: Materials used in manufacturing do not change the principles of motion. If
the top players of today were given the clubs I used when on the tour, they would
not need to change their swing.

Question: The Ernest Jones Swing Principles use the example of swinging the club as
if the clubhead were on a string, and so does your book. These days golfers can
purchase extremely flexible practice clubs that nearly replicate this "clubhead on a
string" example. Do you recommend golfers experiment with these teaching aids, or
are there any others that you recommend as part of learning your golf swing?

Answer: Yes, those clubs with flexible shafts are very good as training clubs. But a
heavy weight on a string swung in synch with a golf club is really the best. Anyone
can make one, and it is inexpensive.

Question: During many golf tournament broadcasts, you’ll hear the announcers
talking about the tournament favorites, and they’ll say “This course really favors the
long hitters. They’re the only ones with the chance to win this week.” Do you think
the emphasis on length and power hurts the amateur player?

Answer: Yes without question. Golfers do not seem to have a limit in their desire of
how far they wish to send the golf ball. They all feel they have unlimited capability
so they try to move the club faster than their speed potential which is disastrous.

Question: When you watch the greatest golf players in the world, either in person
or on TV, do you ever think “oh, that person is a swinger” or “that person uses
leverage to hit the ball”?

Answer: They are all swingers on the forward swing; some simply swing faster than
others. Although some may identify their movement (swing) in a different way.

Question: Since you teach such a simple approach to the golf swing, someone who
purchases your book or DVD may think that is all they need to learn to play great
golf. Do you think that is the right approach? Or do you think it is also important for
golfers to get live instruction to build upon what you offer in the book and/or DVD?

Answer: Learning to play golf is not the same as learning to swing the club. The two
are completely different endeavors. A golfer can have a very good swing and score in
the 90s, because he or she does not know how to play the game.

In order to learn the game, unless the golfer has a great deal of time to go to the
golf course and experiment and learn to overcome the many playing conditions
which can be present, it can take a long time. For this reason, live instruction is
quite important.

With regards to building the swing from the book and DVD, some individuals are
capable of doing it, but this requires proper interpretation of what is being read in
the book and seen in the DVD. For individuals who are unable to translate the words
they read into the proper action, live instruction will be needed.

Question: What do you love about teaching golf?

Answer: As with any type of instructor, it is the satisfaction of having your student
accomplish the task at hand and leave the lesson with a smile on his or her face
saying, “I did not think it was that easy to do, and it took such a short time to do it
right.”
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