It Has Always Been About Position

It’s pure and simple, that the actual “secret” to a proper golf swing has always been in the address position, or the “Fundamentals Trifecta,” as I have called the Stance, Ball Position and Grip for years.

It’s the true formula, and while there have been many golfers in history who might have played brilliant golf with iffy stances, you’ve seen what I have laid out in recent years ago the historically best players and swingers have had strikingly similar stances.

For example:

Sam Snead, Ben Hogan & Jack Nicklaus


Three of the most prolific winners of the Classic Golf Swing age, you see above in the down the line stance, and there are far more similarities than differences.

Then you look at the stance from the face-on view, comparing a young and powerful Jack Nicklaus to the MCS stance:


Even the greatest Modern Golf Swing player ever (because the MGS theory is dying and will eventually go away, so the best ever modern player now will likely remain the greatest ever modern golf swing for all time), one Tiger Woods, had a very similar stance, looking face-on, to what I call the optimal stance:



Tiger’s problems began when his planted-heel back swing and leading knee-snap through impact (related, because when you restrict the hips on the way back, you break the “leverage chain” that a free hip provides, and there you have to manufacture leverage and power, as TW said he was doing with the knee-snap) eventually caused enough damage to that knee, that he could no longer swing from that setup.

If anyone has tried it (and hopefully not for too long) will know that swinging back to TW’s top position above places a lot of stress on the leading knee and hip when you keep that leading foot nailed down, and what happens is you lose stability and strength in that leading knee over time, as is very likely the case with TW (my opinion, but everything in his career points to that explanation).

What followed for TW was an ever left-biasing in his stance and back swing, until, he was far enough left that his back went, but that’s what happens when you try to swing for power and twist the lower back while standing over the ball like this:


So, you discover eventually when studying motion that the position from which you make the motion is as important as, if not more than, the actual motion you make from the position.

With a great address fundamentals, you really can’t do much wrong with the simple “floating pivot” action of Ben Hogan, with the hips and legs:


The funny thing is, we all know now what the optimal impact position is, whether you’re playing tournament golf or competing in long drive:



And what most people don’t realize is that anything other than the simplest swing action contains compensations/manipulations, either a few or a whole lot, simply because you can’t get the optimal impact from an un-optimal starting position without doing so.

So, for several years, my swing research consisted on looking for the optimal mechanics, but it was only when I turned a laser focus to the address stance that I figured out the simplest swing action there is.

Many people have tried the “work back from impact” way of figuring out the stance and mechanics, but for the most part, it’s been a dismal failure because this method gained popularity in the modern swing era, and nothing you do with your impact or stance theory is going to work properly when you’re swinging with restricted hips and a twisting lower back.

You may get away with it for a while, and even play world-class golf and win majors, if you possess the requisite talent and work ethic, but the majority of golfers, even pros, won’t reach that level.

So, what would happen if you tried the “work back from impact” method, keeping in mind that the optimal swing action is with a free hip turn in the back swing pivot?

You’d end up where I’ve arrived after 12 years of swing research.

And in the upcoming “E = MCS” video, I will lay out for everyone who wishes to know, how to set up your “Fundamentals Trifecta” in order to make the simple pivot and then swing down into and through that optimal impact position.

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4 thoughts on “It Has Always Been About Position

  1. Laser

    “work back from impact” way of figuring out the stance and mechanics

    –They never used enough tools. What kind of analysis only utilizes views from the most convenient places to put the camera? And, the bio-mechanics people are a fraud–all mechanics, and no bio. Although the body obeys the laws of physics, the motions are accomplished differently than with a mechanical machine. Example: Iron Byron has a planted left heel.

    1. D Watts Post author

      And, the bio-mechanics people are a fraud–all mechanics, and no bio. Although the body obeys the laws of physics, the motions are accomplished differently than with a mechanical machine. Example: Iron Byron has a planted left heel.

      I’ve been saying this for some time, Laser – nearly word for word, but I’d say it this way myself, not to disagree with you, but for my actual opinion:

      Everything Laser said, and with the additional comments that

      1) Because the swing analysis of today all begins with the faulty premise that the swing is performed with a planted heel and therefore various degrees of restricted-hip/torso-twisting, all modern swing models are fundamentally incorrect and unsound from a biomechanical point of view, therefore:

      2) Anyone who has received or who will receive any college/university diploma/degree in Biomechanics or Kinesiology and who teaches or advances the Modern Golf Swing theory has or will possess a bogus education, because the first rule of either field must be that the motions be mechanically sound.

      Because, to put it bluntly, Modern Golf Swing “science” is nothing more than a study on how best to swing incorrectly.

  2. Jess LEUNG

    Hi, DJ. It may not be in-topic with this post, but I would like to ask for your opinion on the venue of the upcoming 2017 US Open, Erin Hills? Do you think this course is a good course for US Open?

    1. D Watts Post author

      Hi Jess!

      I have heard that the rough will be heavy and juicy, and so that course should suit me just fine.

      A traditional U.S. Open course has (and if it doesn’t, should have) hard, fast fairways and greens and lush, thick rough to penalize errant drives – one of the silliest things I can recall was Jordan Spieth winning the ’15 U.S. Open on a links-type setup at Chamber Bay.

      Short, crooked hitters who can’t find the fairways shouldn’t be winning a U.S. Open, and if they do, it should be due to the fact that everyone else was missing the fairways as well and they just have that good a short game.

      Spieth has a phenomenal short game but missing fairways by 20-30 yards as he does, he should be nowhere in position to win a U.S. Open with that type of ball-striking. The Masters, sure, but not the 2nd major in the year.

      So, if the course bears out the way I’ve heard it might play, I’ll be fine with it!

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