Post-Release Analysis – Brandel Chamblee’s “Anatomy”

chamblee book coverOK, now that people have had their first glance at Brandel Chamblee’s excellent work “The Anatomy of Greatness,” we can continue to examine it.

I didn’t do so before, because no one would have known what I was talking about, since I got to read it weeks in advance of the release (thanks, Brian Lewis from Classics of Golf!).

There were two points in the book which I would say “differ” from the current MCS swing model and theory.  Think about that – two points. And very minor ones, as I’ll explain.

First, a great comment from Tony, who emailed me early this morning to tell me he’d read the book.  He had this to say:

Is there anything in there that you would disagree with. If not it could have been written by you!

Agreed, Tony!

I have already said that this is the book I would have written on the golf swing, had I the resources, but Brandel has beaten me to it, and I don’t have to bother now…lol…

DKondo was on the ball, because he found the two points I was going to talk about post-release – the open stance in one part, and the shifting of weight on the pivot.


I differ with these two minor points, and let’s take a look:

No. 1 – Open Stance – First off, many many pro players open their stance on either short iron and wedge shots, or with all clubs, so they can hit a fade and not miss left, which every pro finds unacceptable.

In this regard, having never played pro golf, I don’t have this mindset, but I know that Jerry “Big Toilet” Crowell himself was playing around with this variation a few weeks ago with his driver.

So, just because this minor part differs from my personal philosophy, I would say I disagree personally but if someone wanted to swing like the classic greats, many did swing with a slightly open stance.

So, Brandel is showing what the greats did, and I removed that part from my modeling because I feel even the greats had little quirks that, once removed, make a swing even better.



Jack Nicklaus had a flying right elbow because (in my opinion) he didn’t angle his stance the way Ben Hogan did, which made Nicklaus’ swing much more upright – was Nicklaus a bad swinger?

Of course not – he’s the Greatest Of All Time – but I prefer Ben Hogan’s angled stance as I view it to be superior to a square stance.

It’s not “right vs wrong,” but rather but one way may be better than the other.

No. 2 – Shifting On The Pivot – On the issue of shifting weight, I had several videos on the MCS model which featured a shift in the pivot – it was still mechanically-correct, and I used that move even though I had originally had what one would call a “floating pivot.”

When I studied Ben Hogan’s pivot however in the Wax Golf “Ben Hogan Project, I discovered that not only did Hogan “float” his pivot, meaning the pivot occurs without any lateral motion to either side, but that it was the way I preferred to pivot as well, for head stability and consistency and optimal repeatability.

So, Sam Snead had some lateral action. So did many other swingers. And Ben Hogan’s pivot was a “floating pivot,” which I find superior, but you’re not going to hear me say that Snead or others were wrong.  Just that Hogan’s “floating” method was better.


So, take Brandel Chamblee’s book as an X-Ray of the Classic Golf Swing, showing exactly what the greats did.

And since no two swings are alike, you will find a good deal of variance between all of the greats, variances that were either minor flaws or simple idiosyncrasies, like Hogan’s flat-plane – remove those variances and distill the absolute best principles within the Classic Golf Swing model…

… and you are left with the MCS Golf Swing model.

Basically put, you can not go wrong basing your swing on the principles in “The Anatomy of Greatness.”

Link to Order

chamblee book cover


What minor differences exist between all of his points on the greats and my current swing model do not bother me.  I do not condemn swing models just because they differ slightly from mine – I condemn mechanically-unsound positions and moves in a swing, most of which are sourced from the Modern Golf Swing industry.

It is perfectly OK to swing in that slightly varied way, provided you’re swinging in a mechanically-sound manner, but my model has always been the search for the simplest and most basic distillation of mechanical and athletic principles.

Chamblee’s book and findings are a casket of the finest classic wine – and the MCS swing model is the best vintage I could create using that wine myself.

His work and his book, in my view, bear out what I’ve been doing on my site over the years, and in return, I can vouch for the findings in his book.

The fact that our separate works looking at largely the same swingers of the Classic era hew so closely one to the other, is proof of the soundness of the principles of the Classic Golf Swing.

And we both condemn the Modern Golf Swing as voodoo and snake oil.

So… now you all know why I was so excited upon having read the book!

And I hope you’ve got your copy, because there will surely be more about the book.

Too much good stuff to not delve deeper and deeper.


Wanna learn the MCS methodology and swing like the greats did in the classic era?

You can start with the “Secrets of the MCS”video shorts series or jump right in to the whole thing with the “Kinesiology of the MCS Golf Swing” video.

wax shirts2


9 thoughts on “Post-Release Analysis – Brandel Chamblee’s “Anatomy”

  1. Ed

    First reviewer on Amazon DJ
    Great book. Agreed with everything you said.
    I have to re-read his opinion on the right knee and
    right leg action in the pivot.
    What do you think about this strong grip preference?
    This could be a game-changer

    1. D Watts Post author

      My philosophy is to have a neutral grip, Ed.

      Now, there is no real way to determine someone else’ neutral vs strong or weak, other than how it looks.

      Bear in mind the origin of the strong grip was likely to eliminate or reduce slicing, and for distance as a draw travels further than a fade, all else being the same…

      If the grip is an issue, it will become apparent. Slightly strong or weak – personal preference for shaping?

      Other than my preference for neutral for the reasons I’ve stated, I don’t see disaster …again, Chamblee is showing merely what the greats did.

  2. Ken Joersz

    I have to give DJ kudos for his analysis of the book and taking the high road on any differences between DJ’s and Brandel’s models. The book, Swing like a Pro, was used along with other books in Brandel’s research.

    Swing like a Pro is a fine book and I recommend that you pick it up to see where Brandel is coming from. Any preferences between models are subjective as DJ points out. The big picture is that we keep on making progress in debunking the Modern Swing. Kudos to both DJ and Brandel.

    1. bigtoilet

      Interesting note there by Ken. Brandel used Swing Like A Pro in his research (BC coulda just used WAXGOLF in his research also). Looking forward to my copy of BC’s book.

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