The “Modern Golf Swing” Is A Bogus Concept – Proof

You don’t have to be very perceptive to realize that something is wrong with the so-called “Modern Golf Swing,” and if you are even a little perceptive, you’ll know something is really wrong with it.

You have pseudo-experts in the athletic field advancing a theory of producing power (by restricting the largest muscles in the hips and legs on the back swing and replacing that with a twisting of the lower back to produce the shoulder turn) that would cripple people in other sports (imagine trying that to throw a javelin or shot-put, or to swing a baseball or cricket bat).

You also have people claiming things that are simply untrue, such as that the Modern Golf Swing gives people more power than the Classic Golf Swing of old.

And that, my friends, if you don’t realize it, is so completely untrue that it is laughable – the reason people are driving the ball ever further distances is because of factors that have nothing to do with Modern vs Classic:

  • The drivers are orders of magnitude more forgiving than the old persimmon or even the first small-headed metal drivers,
  • The modern golf ball has no restrictions upon it, so even while they’ve reined in the ever-larger driver heads by introducing maximum head size and restrictions on “trampoline” bounce of the faces, the balls are being designed to fly further and to produce less spin than the old balata and surlyn balls,
  • Simple advancements in fitness and nutrition – the track and field records of today are a result of better tracks, better shoes, but also advanced science in the area of training and fitness, so you get more out of the same people than you would have gotten 50 years ago,
  • Agronomy – Byron Nelson was famously quoted as saying that the lawn mower is the greatest invention to aid golfers, and when you’re mowing fairways to the speed of the greens of 50 years ago, and making them hard and fast, you get the old 275 yard carry with 50 yards of run-out drives that end up at 325… you’ve likely watched some events on TV where they have “power chutes” in the fairway landing areas – hit that spot and watch the bounce careen and roll another 50-75 yards with the right conditions!

And when you take all of that out of the equation – there’s one fact that you can’t dismiss, and that you can only spin away if you are determined to not get it:

The longest and most powerful drivers in the sport of golf long-driving are swinging in the Classic Golf Swing style, with very few exceptions (and those exceptions prove the rule).

If you wonder why no one has conducted testing of “Classic vs Modern” in power production, you will be happy to know this testing goes on all year and you can see the results in the annual World Long Drive Championships!

Joe Miller – 2 Time World Long Drive Champion


If 9 out of 10 long drive competitors are swinging with full and free hip turns and “floating” or separating leading heels – there is no argument in this world you can make for the Modern Swing models producing more power than the Classic ones, unless you are being disingenuous.

But there’s a problem here as well – the minute you talk about the Classic Golf Swing producing more natural leverage and power than the Modern Swing, you’ll have the goal posts shifted when the modern proponents simply turn and say, “Well, even if that’s true, the Modern Golf Swing provides more stability, accuracy and consistency, so the trade-off is worth it…”

And that, friends, is either a bold-faced lie or the claim of someone who has no idea that they’re woefully wrong.

If I asked you which field of players at the top of their respective classes in driving accuracy were the highest, either a year in which most players were swinging the Classic Golf Swing style, or from last year – what would you think?

You’d think that, with the “more stable and consistent” Modern Golf Swing, and the added advantages of lower spin balls and the shoe-box sized, more forgiving on mis-hit titanium drivers would be more accurate than the tiny, persimmon-headed drivers and madly spinning balata balls, wouldn’t you?

Well, you’d be wrong, and there’s a reason you never hear about this from the Modern Golf Swing industry:

PGA 1980 Season – Driving Accuracy


PGA Tour 2016 Season – Driving Accuracy



You see that above?  It’s not even close.  How on earth do you account for all ten of the top ten drivers in 1980 hitting over 70% fairways and not even half in the 2016 season getting 70% accuracy?

You can come up with all sorts of rationales for this, but the claim is that:

  • Modern Golf Swing produces more power than the Classic and
  • It’s more accurate and consistent

And neither of these claims is true, as we’ve just discussed.

Now, factor in that today’s golfers are coming down with back, neck, shoulder and knee injuries in their teens and 20’s (one of Wax Nation’s citizens recently recounted to me that now that his son is swinging MCS, he has no neck or back issues but the entire rest of his college team is ailing and spends bus trips with hot and cold packs on various body parts), and the truly horrific toll of the Modern Golf Swing madness has yet to be realized.

You have the man who was destined to become the greatest PGA Tour golfer of all time, and who was likely going to break Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors sometime in his mid-30’s (not to mention that he was likely going to win over 100 PGA Tour events before he was done), who can now not even play golf on any level in his early 40’s due to having undergone several left knee surgeries and four (count them) four back surgeries, the last of which was the “Hail Mary” spinal fusion, which is isn’t good at all, if you didn’t know that.


This, when Jack Nicklaus was winning a major at 46 and when Sam Snead was winning Tour events into his 50’s, both of whom were “power swingers” and not easy-going plunkers (in case someone wants to argue that they weren’t swinging hard enough to injure themselves, because Nicklaus and Snead were both the most powerful drivers of their separate eras and routinely drove the ball 300+ yards with persimon and balata), and when most of the world’s top players (in their 20’s and 30’s) have already missed significant parts of seasons with injuries.

So, it’s not more powerful, it’s not more accurate, and it’s tearing young bodies apart.

You have the greatest ever champion Nicklaus condemning the Modern swing, as far back as 40 years ago, and you have the greatest ever women’s golfer (and rated top-10 of all golfers period), Mickey Wright, also condemning it, and yet on the main stage, you get crickets.

Except…

The only person you will hear or see on television sounding the alarm is Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee, who is also incidentally the most prominent swing analyst you’ll hear talking about the swing on TV.

Chamblee is also, by the way, a former PGA Tour winner himself and has detailed his own years of research into the golf swing with his book “Anatomy of Greatness,” which I heartily recommend to anyone considering taking up golf and trying to decide whether to swing in the Modern or Classic style:


If you want some clear and no-apologies assessment of the Modern Golf Swing, I wrote last year about Chamblee’s interview in which he flat-out calls the modern swing claims a lie:

Which directly contradicts the assertion that resisting the back swing with planted feet and restricted hip turn creates power, in fact Brandel calls this “the big lie,” and points out that the greatest players (Tiger Woods excepted) didn’t listen to that lie.  

And how’s Tiger doing with that back?

“So blindingly obvious,” he says, that restricted hip turns don’t create more power.

He comes up with stuff that I’ve mentioned.

Like how 47 of the 50 best swingers floated their heels.

He talks about how Hogan floated his heel, how he never swung with a planted heel…

At the end of the day, I can only tell people what I’ve learned in my own 12 years of empirical swing research and how many different people who were on the verge of quitting golf altogether have found new life with taking up my MCS Golf Swing model, which is an optimal Classic Golf Swing action, because the modern swing was tearing up their backs.

Or the many people who were struggling with consistency or power production and are now driving the ball longer than they were at half their age… you’ve read the comments and testimonials on this site and the other blogs I’ve managed over the years.

The results are in, and they do not show the Modern Golf Swing to be anything other than a fiction of the industry, using principles of motion and swinging that you will never see anywhere else in sports, because they are, simply and without bias (I go with the facts, regardless of my opinion, and I actually began my swing research swinging in the modern style!)BOGUS.

This is true now, and will be true years from now when the Modern Golf Swing has faded from magazines and television, and when the now-young generations of modern swingers are hobbling to therapy and recovering from their latest back surgery in their middle to later years.

A wholly preventable (and therefore even more tragic) disaster…


Back Pain or Back Injury Swinging a Golf Club?

Lacking Power, Speed, Distance and or Consistency? 

Need A Swing That Is More Easily Maintained?


If You Answered “Yes” To Any Of The Above Questions, The Answer Is In The Formula For The Golf Swing:

“E = MCS” The Swing Video

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12 thoughts on “The “Modern Golf Swing” Is A Bogus Concept – Proof

  1. targettom

    One your best and most complete blogs ever. In case the casual reader wonders why you keep pounding this drum – especially the younger reader (who probably thinks they are indestructible as we all did when we were younger), back pain is life changing. And if you keep twisting the low back you can end up with PERMANENT damage.

    So its a very serious topic. When it comes to the golf swing the not-so-funny truth is the modern swing is a weaker swing and much more dangerous. Only a complete fool will buy into this modern swing b.s.

    Reply
    1. D Watts Post author

      Much appreciated Tom! However this, I would disagree with slightly:

      Only a complete fool will buy into this modern swing b.s.

      Many people have spent their entire golfing lives being taught the Modern Golf Swing principles, and I don’t even fault the teaching pros for having fallen for it. If it’s all you’ve ever been shown, then it makes sense.

      I save my… shall we say…“impatience” for those who should know better (rehab specialists and kinesiology/biomechanics “experts”), and of course, if you’ve been made aware of the ills and perils of the Modern Golf Swing and continue to insist on teaching or swinging this way, then the “complete fool” term may apply.

      I had a school teacher once tell our class when I was younger, “There is no shame in catching head lice – the shame is in keeping them.”

      In that regard, I agree with the term, “There is no crime in being ignorant – the crime is in remaining in that state…”

      PS – I can’t of course omit stating my personal belief here that many in the golf instruction industry know that the MGS is harmful and not in the same league as the Classic model – but that they also know that it’s a far more lucrative type of golf swing to teach because of the convoluted and compensatory swing mechanics that keep people coming back for more and more lessons.

      And if you think I’m being paranoid…the PGA of America as much as admitted it years ago…

      Reply
  2. targettom

    I am harsh on this because anyone who swings MGS and starts feeling pain, is a fool for not doing more investigation, which will quickly show the cause of the back pain. That’s what I did, is that so hard?

    And some guy named Chamblee has been very vocal about this right? Only a fool would believe the hype when their own experience and the breakdown of others proves the MGS model is, as you say, bogus. Of course I am not one of those tolerant types

    Reply
    1. D Watts Post author

      Good point all, Tom – the problem of course is that the average person taking up golf goes to their local instructor trusting that they will learn a proper golf swing. And if that instructor is teaching the Modern Golf Swing principles… they are dead in the water before they even get started.

      I’m hoping this will change, but it’s hard to make any headway when the actual industry built around the playing of golf doesn’t want people learning a fundamentally-sound and easy to maintain golf swing.

      There, is the issue…

      Reply
  3. targettom

    Sure. But there is this new thing called “the internet” and something called “Google” and if one is too lazy to use these brand new tools then they are hopeless anyway

    Reply
    1. D Watts Post author

      That’s what I did, Tom. When I began my research in 2005, Youtube had only been founded months earlier, and I believe it wasn’t until 2006 that I even heard of it.

      So, I began in ’05 using online golf magazine and other writings on the golf swing along with my Moe Norman video, the Bobby Jones shows I recorded from Golf Channel, and the like (the old Pete Kessler & Jim McLean GC shows on the swing). It was primitive!

      Reply
    1. Mike Divot

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but I still see:
      * planted heel
      * minimal hip turn
      * head dive
      * spine way bent at impact

      Reply
      1. D Watts Post author

        Correct, MD, although I would disagree on the last point – looks pretty good at impact in the lower back area, but there’s no power there:

        I hope he doesn’t swing any faster than that slo-mo clip, nor any harder than that half-swing.

        Problem is, those are easy swings – nowhere near as hard and full as what you’d be doing in actual competition.

        I do not think TW has any chance of returning to competition with a planted-heel swing. Not now, not ever.

        So…

        Not convinced…

        Reply

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