Why Jack Is And Always Was The Standard

I always say that although Jack Nicklaus didn’t have a “perfect” golf swing, it was closest to the optimal in his best form and you can’t go wrong emulating him.

Case in point – although I looked at all of the greatest swingers from Bobby Jones to Tom Watson, there is only one you have to compare your own swing to, and that’s Nicklaus.

So, while he didn’t have the perfect swing, it would have taken the fewest tweaks to make his the one.

Looking at my own swing as it evolves, if one assumes (a big ask) that I know what I’m talking about when it comes to swing principle along the mechanically-sound line, the closer I get to what I feel is optimal in the setup, the more I look like the Golden Bear himself at his best.

Looking face-on, I digitally altered Jack’s address from 1963, and my only critique was the over-wide stance, so that was the one thing I changed, to a more optimal stance width.

Everything else, I left alone, and look at how his adjusted stance compares to my face-on setup from yesterday, when I felt I wasn’t even swinging, such was the leverage I generated naturally just using my body:


The only real difference I can see is that Jack’s grip is weaker than mine – aside from his signature head turn as his swing trigger, but our heads are in virtually the same position if I turn my head to my right a few degrees.

Considering that I’ve built the MCS Classic Golf Swing setup comparing to others beside Jack, it’s no coincidence that the setup resembles Nicklaus’ at 23 when he was knocking Arnold Palmer off his pedestal – the key to the swing is in the setup.

I didn’t build it comparing my setup to Jack’s at every minute.  It just became more and more like his as I progressed in my research and evolution.

So it’s not so much that I change anything to be like him, other than my observation recently on his grip – it’s just that every time I made progress and then compared what I had been doing to JN, it was closer than before.

Now, let’s look at how, with my grip change from strong to strong-neutral (just a shade past point at my right ear as you see above) and fixing my left-dominant mindset, how my setup yesterday down the line looks ever more like Nicklaus’ when he demonstrated the setup in his “Golf My Way” book:


This is how I know that I’ve arrived at a proper, right-dominant swing action in accordance with the MCS Classic Swing model guidelines – you know, the same ones I presented in my videos, perfectly in line with how I’m setting up and swinging now?

I could have stopped here years ago and said, “That’s it, I’m done,” but there is something about the weaker grip that is telling me that it is optimal over the standard neutral grip.

That and the fact that, as well as I was leveraging the club yesterday, there was something in my setup or motion that I knew needed adjusting, and when I got home to look at the video and saw my grip was still strong-neutral, it became the leading candidate to take me from pretty good to optimal.

It’s in the results, for me – I’ve struck the ball more solidly on the face that I was yesterday, even with all of my swing flaws – but I’ve never felt what I felt yesterday with the ease of the swing when nearly everything is in place.

Ironically, I actually thought my grip yesterday was weak until the video told me different – it felt so weak because everything else was in place and I didn’t have a clue how to make it weaker than how it felt.**

The grip isn’t even a flaw, it’s a grip you’ll see some of the best players in the world using today – what it is, is it isn’t optimal, and I felt it in the times the grip influenced my action.

If one thing is off, it disrupts the entire chain to produce the compensations to account for it.

The bad news is that I didn’t have the optimal setup and swing action yesterday.  The good news is that I now feel I’m actually representing the model as I designed, built and explained it.

I’ll take some days now to really think about the significance of the weaker grip (back to the paragraph ** from above), but I have an idea from the analysis I’ve been doing since yesterday on how to accomplish that and the subtle changes in the setup that it will take.

Yes, it will have to be built from the bottom again – with the actual weaker grip, because all of the work I did in the last week and a half towards that simply took the form of fixing everything else!

Now, I have dismantle and rebuild the setup making sure that grip is a good deal weaker than yesterday’s.

I know that’s the key.  Let’s say I strongly suspect.

Back at it, more to come.

2 thoughts on “Why Jack Is And Always Was The Standard

  1. Mark

    Cool. Everything old is new again! You searched for your swing and found Jack’s. 😉
    I’ve been doing the same.

    Took up the game in 1980 and adopted Jack as my standard. Devoured Golf My Way. Among many things, I liked how he said he used his legs to generate power because they were his natural strength, whereas his upper body was his weakness. He never seemed to muscle the club with his arms. He hands and arms always looked so free as he swung. Athletic, but no tension. Every sport I ever played was same in this regard — the best times, the ones with the best results, were those that felt naturally athletic and effortless. I always wanted to bottle those moments.

    Anyway, fast forward about 15 years and I was picking up the game after ditching it for other sports as a kid. The new teaching was X-factor type stuff. Resist with the lower body, coil your shoulders… you know the rest. If it wasn’t that, it was super tight/rigid techniques designed for accuracy but lacked power. Boring.
    As I got older (and stiffer) I decided these modern ways were unfriendly to old bones, unfun, and for the birds.

    I’ve been renewed to find this blog and follow your journey. Great work. Keep it up!

    1. DJ Watts Post author

      Mark, I don’t know why this went to the site spam folder but I was doing my maintenance and just read it.

      Apologies for not seeing it sooner, great comment and thanks for the support!

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