Here’s What I Worked On Today (Setup)

Process & journey discussion time for the die-hard MCS students!

I just finished looking at video from today’s setup adjustment and swings, and I must say I am pleased, although I think I can do even better next time.

As I’ve discussed before with you all, making changes can be a difficult process because even a tiny adjustment to a setup can feel so radically extreme that you never get to where you want to be, even though you feel as though you’ve gone there and beyond.

As with today, I will now share the leverage leak I was putting into my setup and what I did.


I showed a down the line setup from last week and I’ll put it side-by-side with a swing setup pic from today:

As you can see – and remember I’m left-handed swinging right – I was unconsciously doing something with my arms that made my right arm bend at the elbow and that made my left arm extend more than it should.

Looking at my setup last week, I finally said to myself, “Why on earth are you doing this?”

I mean, it’s pretty obvious to see if you’re looking at it, but I went back to my archive and I’ve been setting up this way for years.

The answer was simply that this position felt “comfortable” and “natural” to me, even though it goes expressly against the MCS setup procedure and the standard model, but I’d been doing it since before I completed the model, so it’s something I just hadn’t yet changed.

I’ve been swinging the SwingRite since I made the change to the setup last week, to get used to the feeling of a more proper setup arm position, and today was the first time hitting balls again:

Now, you can see much less of the left arm and the right arm is much straighter, resulting in the hands being more beneath the head (look at the orange and green lines in the side-by-side above and where they touch the head), and the arms hang more naturally close to vertical.

This has absolutely nothing to do with changing the MCS Golf Swing model but rather my applying it more properly than I have in the past.  I have spent so much time developing the model that my personal execution of it is still lagging behind what I myself should be doing.

I’ve been very clear in the videos how to build the setup and use the arms for measuring, and I simply hadn’t got around to noticing and fixing this particular flaw in my own setup until now.

I didn’t always do that – if you look at my ’98 swing down the line, a year after my first golf lesson, my arms were perfectly aligned, and I also had a very standard top position and pretty shallow down swing plane:

I’ll tell you all another thing as well – remember all that work I’ve been doing to keep my swing more compact and the club shaft at or less than parallel?

Well, because I got rid of that funky arm setup, I was making full swings today without a thought to the shaft angle or the length of my back swing, and sure enough, the shaft and swing length were exactly what I was getting last week.

And the pivot itself, with the right leg action?


Just to show that setup will affect mechanics, and if your setup is flawed or less than optimal, you will swing less than optimal and will likely need some compensating somewhere between the beginning of the takeaway and impact to get a good result.

I think I can adjust things further until the left arm is completely invisible behind the right arm from that angle, and that’s what I’ll be working on my next time out.

Back Pain or Back Injury Swinging a Golf Club?

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5 thoughts on “Here’s What I Worked On Today (Setup)

  1. lupz27

    “I’ve been very clear in the videos how to build the setup and use the arms for measuring, and I simply hadn’t got around to noticing and fixing this particular flaw in my own setup until now.“


    When I take the time to go through the whole setup, no oh that’s comfortable enough it’s just a completely different experience. Trying to stay patient, and focused to not change your setup routine for all 18 holes is probably just as hard as learning the swing itself.

    1. D Watts Post author

      Lupz, when I’m done adjusting my setup, you won’t believe I was able to hit balls and get the numbers I have gotten the way I have been setting up.

      Basically, it’s nothing more than a testament to the MCS model – even as flawed as I was in one area (and I’m going to explain all of this and the likely cause when I’m finished) because the model is so optimal, you will still hit the ball well or great even when not 100% adhering to it.

      Of course, I’ve never been happy with good or great or good enough – I want my swing the best possible one I can build, and the closer you get to the optimal MCS model, the better you will hit it.

  2. Adam Tarbaux

    Hello DJ as someone who came from being an mike Austin compound swinger to an mcs swinger all I can say wow on the speed I can achieve, the one problem is I cant find that low right heel on impact.

    1. D Watts Post author

      Way to go, Adam!

      The low heel thing, while optimal, is not a required element of having a good MCS swing, as you’ve obviously found out. It’s just optimal. I have spent more time on that aspect myself with the possible exception of shallowing out my swing plane.

      I am on the verge of coming up with a full and coherent guide on how and what with regards to this, of course supplementary to the full explanation of the MCS setup and swing that you’ve already digested.

      I will, when I am satisfied that I can explain it fully, share this with everyone. Just keep your eye on the site, although you will get it in the Final Edition of the MCS eBook 1st Edition.

      As a Mike Austin swinger before you transitioned to MCS, you will be fully prepared to implement this, I am sure! Thanks for sharing your progress, and I think you’ll have your answer pretty soon, if all goes according to plan!


  3. Adam Tarbaux

    Thanks dj, and it’s true that the low heel not required as already I’m out driving my dads Nike game improvement 7 iron with a Wilson staff bladed 8 iron made in 1968 with the original shaft, I’m in the same boat as you I want the most optimal mcs possible. Keep up the good work and I’ll keep my ear to the rail.

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