Jump to content
RoverRick

Hitter or swinger, an open discussion.

Recommended Posts

Earlier this week, I came across the Lee Comeaux C Motion Golf Swing, thanks to a thread, posted by Big Bomber.  I am writing about my swing changes to this in another thread, called I ain't no Tiger Woods.

 

I have spent a good deal of time reading about this and other swing methods and am astonished to learn that there are two distinct different types of golfer.  Swingers and Hitters.

 

My point to this is for the past two years in an effort to lower my handicap, which I have, drastically, I have been employing lessons and techniques which not only have been causing me bodily harm, as I am covering in the other thread, it has not held up well when I leave the comforts of my own friends and course. 

 

I have simply been embarrassed to play to a 2 or better handicap at my own course, and go somewhere else and play like I just found those clubs that morning. I have been on the third hole on many courses playing with new people thinking, "2 Handicap my a$$.  You are not even playing to a 12 handicap."  It has been frustrating.  The more frustrated I become, the worse the effect is on my ball striking.  The simple fact of the matter is I am employing the wrong methods of the swing, and when my natural tendencies surface the counter act the good swing.

 

First the differences in a Swinger and a Hitter.

 

A swinger uses tempo and rhythm to strike the ball through passive hands.  They have a longer backswing and greater lag to hit the ball farther. 

 

A hitter uses very active hands.  They time a hitting of the ball with a body turn and generate power that way.

 

Most of the instruction I have seen and read say that "hitting" the ball is bad.  This is a timing thing and will lead to bad things.  Well, my natural tendency is to do this.  I can not tell you how many times I have set up to make a good swing, all the proper fundamentals, did a bit of a waggle to get nice and relaxed and made a good swing to the top, and choked the crap out of the club on the way down and absolutely killed what I was trying to do.  Or made an aggressive shoulder turn at the top and threw everything out of sync and hit the ball 40 yards left.  First tee jitters are a killer.  Then make moves that are detrimental to a swinger's swing and off to a bad start.  So now I have to make up for it and more pressure and more bad things.

 

WHY?  Why do I keep doing that?  Because my natural swing is to hold the club tightly, and whack the ball with the hands. 

 

Here is a link from Golfsmith's that compare the two.  What do you think?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is a golf swing..not a golf hit. The hitter has to rely on a huge pivot with the shaft extremely flat in transition. The pivot squares the face.. Not a lot of us have the body or timing to pivot that much

 

I choose the swing.. But a million ways to play the game..choose which makes you happy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to be a swinger, and now I am a hitter.  I find that being a hitter makes me much more consistent with a shorter backswing, and a more compact swing overall.  I have actually gained yardage transitioning to a hitter because I have been loading more on my back foot, so I get much more power behind the ball.  I am much more consistent, my misses are tighter, and there is not much variance in my swing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's something I've always harped on. Don't think about hitting the ball. Think about swinging the club head. The ball just gets in the way. If I think about hitting or mechanics, I have little chance of a good strike.

 

Your brain knows the best way to hit an object on the ground in front of you, over the top and steep. Which is great if you're trying to break a rock with a sledge hammer. Not good for a golf shot.

 

Mentally you can be thinking, swing the club on the path you want to produce the shot you want with the target in mind. Or you can be thinking of bashing the ball which makes the ball your target. Each gives your brain a completely different task to accomplish. Your brain will automatically give your body very different instructions on how to move to get the job done.

 

Aside from that though, when you throw injuries into the equation, everyone is different. That's where you just gotta find what works for you.

 

I know what let's me find the sweet spot over and over. I hardly even look at the ball. I don't think about it. I don't try to hit it. I just want to throw the weight of that club head through the spot the ball is sitting on, touching the ground on the other side, with an iron. When I learned to get rid of the "hit" is when I started striking the ball well. It took me awhile longer to get good results from a driver because I had a tendency to get ahead of the ball. You can get away with that with irons but not the driver. Reducing lateral movement with my upper body turned my driver into a club I'm confident with now. Now if I can only get to play. Life's been in the way big time lately.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your brain knows the best way to hit an object on the ground in front of you, over the top and steep. Which is great if you're trying to break a rock with a sledge hammer. Not good for a golf shot.

 

But with the proper setup over the top and steep is a powerful swing.  This is my natural shot.  I changed the set up, and the grip and getting consistent contact that hopefully will hold up under pressure. 

 

All my golfing life I have heard, "The ball is not your target, it just gets in the way of the swing."  I would not be surprised if you quoted me from some other post I made where I even said it.  I am just about ready to call "Bullsh!t" on this.  In my set up the hole is my target.  I determine the line, trajectory, distance I need to carry the ball, the amount I want it to roll, the wind, etc....  all this information is used to determine the club I need.

 

I set my alignment based on this, and yes, it is best to visualize my shot, however, once I get set up, as a hitter, the target shifts to the ball.  I am not steering the ball. I am hitting the ball.  I want to hit the ball.  I have tried the swing through and let the ball get in the way.  And I totally understand where that comes from.  In no way am I advocating stopping the swing at the ball.  But my target is the opposite side of the ball. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haha! I agree with you for what works for you. And definitely, a pull is a powerful shot that tends to go further. If that is the best way for you or anyone to hit the same shot over and over, absolutely, set up for it and do it. It's all about doing what works for each of us and playing our game, not someone else's.

 

For me, trying to hit the ball is the kiss of death for a good shot. I don't even really focus my eyes on the ball. It's just a blur on the ground. But that's what works for me. I'm not trying to work around a messed up back and ankle either. That could easily change everything that does work for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Blade.. I'm OTT and steep.. If you want to back up your claims and play me,, let's see who is wrong or right.! Keep it natural is what I say. Natural will beat mechanics every day of the week . I play the areas biggest money games and play all the big county events.. The slight pull is the shot of the guys that shoot super low.

 

I choose natural

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After reading these other comments, I guess I don't really think about the ball that much either, so I might be kind of a combination of the two.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haha! Like I said.... Whatever works for you. I know what works best for me. I didn't say Rick was wrong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haha!  I didn't say Rick was wrong.

 

I was the one who said Rick was wrong.  Haha.  I was of the opinion that the keys to lowering handicap were keep the ball in play and have a great short game.  This is very true to a certain point.  But once you are consistently shooting in the 70's the only way to get better is more GIRs.  It was not until this point that I even cared about the full swing.  Then when I started on the full swing, I worked on a swinger's swing not a hitter's swing.

 

My whole point is that it is different set ups and swings based on the person.

 

I have watched Golf Channel On the Range.  It is so interesting when you have 4 so called experts who will show Bubba Watson and point out "the key to his power is the tremendous lag he sustains through impact."  and then the very next week they will have video of Gary Woodland and point out "the key to his power is how centered he is over the ball at impact."  WTF?  Which is it, lag or staying over the ball?

 

Both.  Bubba is a swinger and Gary is a hitter.  Bubba may focus on the target, and Gary on the ball, and they may not. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a great thread guys!  I really like Richard's take on traveling.  While I play a lot of rounds on my home course, I treat it more like practice and I feel comfortable there.  I know each part of each hole, and I know what to expect when I hit a particular type of shot given the daily conditions.  However, my wife and I travel all over the Pacific NW with occasional trips elsewhere so playing on course that we haven't seen before, or not for a long time, is quite common.  I love to play other courses and tend to focus really well (for the most part, lol), and sometimes shoot some of my best scores.  Maybe its because I focus so much on the course that I don't think about my swing.  

 

My wife, on the other hand, is very comfortable at home, but struggles on the road.  I think her focus is not on the course, but how her swing is going to hold up with course conditions that she doesn't know.  It seems that a drink sometimes helps, but then she is Irish!

 

I hope you work it out Rick.

 

Kenny B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding the thread, I have a few thoughts, and as always, these are my simple @ss thoughts, views and opinions ;)

 

Regarding having a "traveling" cap, or the ability to step on any tee other than one's own, and teing it up with golfers other than one's usual, routine group, or even taking it from a casual round to a competitive round, be it a tourney or be it big money, whatever that is to the individual, I see it as a mental issue versus a physical swing issue.

 

When we are comfortable, we relax, and subsequently, we allow our muscles to apply the desired swing. The key to any individual going from a golfer to a Player, is not just to have a swing that performs on the practice tee, home course or when one plays for sh!ts & giggles, however being able to FOCUS and visualize that swing in high stress situations, as mentioned above. And it's just not a matter of hitting thousands or tens of thousands of balls, or even millions, as witnessed by many a Tour Player ho has collapsed under the weight of a certain situation.

 

Yes, one of the pre-req's is to have a swing that is ingrained in our muscle memory so that we do not have to think about it on the course, and this is only done by repitition, the correct repitition, and whatever that magic number is, like our swings, is an individual thing.

 

Thanks for the post.  I am familiar with the book and if it were available on Kindle I would be halfway through it by now.  :D  

 

I would say that my issues of traveling is solely trying to apply a swinger's swing to a hitter's mentality.  You may find this hard to believe but I am not a passive person, in general terms.  There are a number of differences in swing vs hit that you correctly pointed out later in your post, but one of the killers of the swinger's swing is tension in the hands and forearms.  These are passive in a swinger's swing.  You can not crack a whip with a firm wrist.  A hitter on the other hand does not crack a whip, they swing an axe.  There ain't many limp-wristed lumberjacks.  :lol:   My problems at these events is not like I am shooting 100's.  I simply am not striking the ball like I want to.

 

I used to travel all over the US and drove most of the time.  I have played golf in 46 different states.  I will grant you that I was a much higher handicap when I did most of my traveling, and this is much more than a mental block. It was not until last April that this really developed.  (Of course it was March when I began the swing changes that I have fought with for the last year.)

 

Last Thursday, a buddy called me and we went to a course I had never been to before.  I got lost driving to the first tee.  :lol:   A guy on the range had to point us in the right direction.  But on the first tee during the practice swings, I felt the tension in the arms and tried the "correct swing" on the opening tee shot, with poor results.  At that point, I decided, " _____it, breakout the ugly swing."  The slightly over the top, hit with the hands swing that I fight.  It was my best round at an away course in over a year.  Except for one hole, where I was told the wrong information.  But I hit the ball great all day.

 

This was what prompted me that I need to study more swing theories.  So, my point is that no amount of repetition can turn a bull into a rooster, or a car into a horse, or I dare say, a hitter into a swinger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thinking about this, I think my answer is actually both.

 

I think the better golfers have both in the bag.  80% of the time, all you need is a swing, smooth, even, predictable. Unfortunately, too often the lie of the ball dictates something else.

 

Ball is sitting down in a divot, and turf interaction dictates a hitter swing, you have to control the club face through contact being just one of many examples.  

 

Honestly, this is the single reason I struggle with the idea of practicing on the range.  Out on the course, I may get 18 perfect lies, and they are all on tee boxes.  Every other shot I am dealing with what chance and skill ( or lack of ) has left me.  Each of those shots calls for subtle variations of a swing, and the subtle changes are the very soul of the game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

dru, I would agree with that, but as a hitter, I would go the other way.  My normal swing would be to swing slow and hit hard, but in short game, I tend to have one speed and constant acceleration and vary my club selection and backswing.

 

The same swing the I hit 40 yards with the lob wedge gives me 70 with a PW and 95 with an 8.  I am not afraid to use it with a 4 iron and get 140 yards depending on the circumstances.  To hit the ball 80 yards I have 3 different swings to get there depending on how I want the ball flight.  Four counting the bump and run.  I could use anything from a Lob Wedge to an 8 iron.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's something I've always harped on. Don't think about hitting the ball. Think about swinging the club head. The ball just gets in the way. If I think about hitting or mechanics, I have little chance of a good strike.

 

 

 

 

Mentally you can be thinking, swing the club on the path you want to produce the shot you want with the target in mind. Or you can be thinking of bashing the ball which makes the ball your target. Each gives your brain a completely different task to accomplish. Your brain will automatically give your body very different instructions on how to move to get the job done.

 

 

 

With a swinger's swing, "hitting the ball" is the kiss of death. With the hitter's swing it is not.  But you have to hit from a closed shoulder position.  Open shoulders will slice.

 

And as I am learning this weekend, you can not be thinking about the swing elements while playing a competitive round.  I wished I could just play for fun this weekend, but all my "friends" want their money back.  If I say, no bet because I am learning a new swing, then I will have to start buying my own lunch every week at the club.  Haha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's right, Rick.  No one gives a rip about learning a new swing.  Cry me a river! LOL.

 

That's why I was saying I was going to give this a short audition - I've got tournaments to play!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With a swinger's swing, "hitting the ball" is the kiss of death. With the hitter's swing it is not. But you have to hit from a closed shoulder position. Open shoulders will slice.

 

And as I am learning this weekend, you can not be thinking about the swing elements while playing a competitive round. I wished I could just play for fun this weekend, but all my "friends" want their money back. If I say, no bet because I am learning a new swing, then I will have to start buying my own lunch every week at the club. Haha

I think that's it. I was looking at it from what the mental focus between hit and swing does to me. I never tried to change my swing to being a "hitter". I never even considered doing that actually.

 

You said it came together with your driver but not as much with irons. That surprised me. If you're steep with irons, it's not a big deal. It is with a driver. You must be fairly shallow with it.

 

BB said he was OTT and steep but can't hit his driver well like that. Of course not. BUT, when I watched the videos of Lee, he wasn't steep at all. In fact he had the longest shallow divots I've ever seen. They had to be a foot long. But they just shaved the grass. He wasn't gouging out the turf. That was impressive. I never saw a video of Lee hitting a driver. But he's doing something that shallows him at the bottom of the arc. He probably does fine with it. I think it's how he "stands the shaft up" as he puts it.

 

I don't know. I don't want to think about it too much or I'll be all screwed up with swing/hit thoughts. It's a great thread though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a great thread! I've often wondered what I am.... a swinger or a hitter. I've come to the conclusion that I am somewhat both.

 

I have shortened by back swing quite a bit over the past few years. But, I also tend to try and keep my swing smooth and fluid while being more centered over the ball. I guess I really have no idea what I am...lol.

 

R.P.... I agree with you 100% about the mental thing. I competed in martial arts tournaments for 15 years. After you've done something for a long enough period of time, your body and brain knows instinctively how to do it..... IF you let it happen! Unfortunately, I have not figured out how to "flip the switch" on the golf course with any consistency. You'd think competing in the ring where you get hit would be harder than hitting a little white ball that doesn't move but, that isn't the case!...lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By definition, I'm a swinger. My hand action is minimal. But I agree with rick on the point of getting your line, then shifting your target to the ball. After that, I just hit the ball, knowing that it will go along my target line.

 

Not to get too far off topic, but a lot of people don't realize is that being a 2 does not mean you will shoot 74 every time you play. It only means you are CAPABLE of shooting 74. Slope and course rating make a big difference too. I'm a 4, but I usually hit 77-81. It's those days I shoot 75 that bring the index down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First, hello Gents, I hope all are well :)

 

Regarding the thread, I have a few thoughts, and as always, these are my simple @ss thoughts, views and opinions ;)

 

Regarding having a "traveling" cap, or the ability to step on any tee other than one's own, and teing it up with golfers other than one's usual, routine group, or even taking it from a casual round to a competitive round, be it a tourney or be it big money, whatever that is to the individual, I see it as a mental issue versus a physical swing issue.

 

When we are comfortable, we relax, and subsequently, we allow our muscles to apply the desired swing. This can also be seen in many golfer's practice swing versus their very next swing with the ball in place. The key to any individual going from a golfer to a Player, is not just to have a swing that performs on the practice tee, home course or when one plays for sh!ts & giggles, however being able to FOCUS and visualize that swing in high stress situations, as mentioned above. And it's just not a matter of hitting thousands or tens of thousands of balls, or even millions, as witnessed by many a Tour Player who has collapsed under the weight of a certain situation.

 

Yes, one of the pre-req's is to have a swing that is ingrained in our muscle memory so that we do not have to think about it on the course, and this is only done by repitition, the correct repitition, and whatever that magic number is, like our swings, is an individual thing.

 

However, when we step on a tee, untill the time comes that one can focus out all of the "noise," and this can be literally, the sounds on the course around us, or more to my point, the internal "noise" in our minds that allows uncertainty to slowly, yet devestatingly creep from our subconscious to conscious to the actual swing and less desirable outcome that usually follows. So when I stand on a tee with a guy who is a supposed low cap and he more or less blows up, and I understand that we all have "those kinda days," and that's not what I'm speaking of. I'm speaking of an individual who is no more a scratch or plus than my Mother is, all I see is someone who may or may not have the physical swing/game, because it's obviously hard to tell by his performance, though I see someone who has not, as another teacher who I would use when my teacher went south to visit family once a year, and he called it the "bridge." And I see this player as having not crossed over the "bridge."

 

Basically the "bridge" from being a golfer to being a "Player." Having the mental game to match their physical game. And until they cross that "bridge," they will never, ever consistently have the game where it makes no difference where they plant ther tee, nor whom is on the tee with them, nor the stakes at hand. It is having the confidence to forget totally about your swing, and just focus and visualize the next swing, shot and outcome and TRUSTING your muscles/body to simply replicate that vision. This takes years, and thousands of hours of "practice" to apply this skill at will, just as it takes the same to apply a successful swing in the same manner, at will.

 

Now regarding a "swinger" versus a "hitter." Again, these are my thoughts and they are based, again, off of my second(fill-in, lol) teacher because he considered Homer Kelley's book, "The Golfing Machine," to not only be the seminal golf instruction text, but second only to the Bible in importance to mankind, LMAO. He read, reread, and quoted ad nauseum Kelley's words and writings, you know, the "rope handle(swinger)" versus the "ax handle(hitter)," "snap" release(swingers) versus "sweep" release(hitters), and "pulling" the club(swingers) versus "pushing" the club(hitters), lol. See, it's mind numbing if interpreted correctly and in the manner in which Mr. Kelly was speaking/writing, and all that I just did was drop a few key differentiating drivers in Kelley's theory, lol. And this teacher(Pete) was not a quack. His name was Pete Snead, he was a two time head Pro at our club(Don't even ask, LMAO), older Bro and the only teacher Sam ever had, and a better human being than he was teacher, and he was a hell of a teacher, along with being best friends with my teacher and as an irrelevant aside, the only Pro my Father's ever listened to and not questioned. If you're wondering why I didn't use him as my primary teacher, it's because, like Kelley, he went "deep" and technical, which my Father loves amd claims that he needs to hit a golf ball, though my simple @ss needs simplicity, lol. So anyway, all of this "swinger" versus "hitter" can be traced back to Mr. Kelley, it's only been reworded, restructured to be regurgitated by some current day teacher(s).

 

First, I think often, and I'm not speaking of anyone or any posts in this thread, only what I hear when the average Am speaks of "hitter" and then substitute the word "hit" for the moment of impact, and in a negative connotation, as in "hitting' the ball" or "hitting' at the ball."

 

THAT usage, as used in the last paragraph/sentence, is indeed negative. However, "hitting" the ball, or "hitting at" the ball has absolutely nothing to with being a hitter "versus" a "swinger."

 

Zero-

 

Zilch-

 

Nada-

 

Describing a "swinger" and a "hitter" is describing a swing type, much like a single plane swing versus a two plane or the more recently introduced, "hybrid," describes a swing type. And just as neither a single plane or a two plane or hybrid is better than the other in theory, neither is a "swinger" or a "hitter" negative, only possibly the individual applying these swing types, or more appropriately, misapplying them to one's particular swing.

 

I'm not going to get into the nuances of the two types of swings, because one, I'm not qualified to, and secondly, while I did read "The Golfing Machine," just so I could say that I read it, I could no more intelligently discuss the theories within than I could apply them consciously. We all fall into one of the two, or I stand corrected, because just as the single and two plane theory have morphed into the "hybrid" swing, and please, I don't state this sarcastically as I'm not familiar enough to cast an opinion on it's validity, but so has a school of thought come out recently(last few years) that there is also a sort of "hybrid," of the swinger/hitter theory, though again, I'm not informed enough to comment, so we would at least fall into one of the two and possibly the third swing type.

 

The one thing that I would say, and this is not directed at Rick or anyone in this tread, however I would STRONGLY urge those reading, whether you be a high, mid, low or plus golfer, to find a teacher, and work with them to develop the most natural swing for YOU.

 

None of these swing theories are good or bad, right or wrong, negative or positive, they are only often applied so. And just as physicians do not self diagnose and attempt to effect the cure on themselves and an attorney very, very rarely represents him/herself and the vast majority of Tour Players do not self-diagnose their swings, if at all possible, neither should we :)

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Nice thread Rick

 

My Best to You all for a great season :)

 

Fairways & Greens My Friends,

 

My Best,

Richard

Funny, I shoot about 5-10 strokes lower in my tournaments, probably because I am concentrating more.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...