Wednesday, June 10, 2009

TGM vs. SliceFixer

One of the PM's or E-Mails I tend to get is in regards to SliceFixer's (aka Geoff Jones) method of swinging the golf club and how that relates to The Golfing Machine. In a recent PM from a blog reader on the subject, he passed along that Slice was saying that TGM's 'hitting' pattern as 'slinging.'

For those who don't know the SliceFixer method the main concept is to get the golfer to release the hands 'low and left' which is something Ben Hogan did as Slice is a student of Hogan and his golf swing. Slice prescribes the '9-3 Drill' to help those interested in executing the method.

Of course there's much more to it than just 'swinging low and left', but that is the main gist of it.

I like Slice's work and he's a wealth of information, but I find it necessary to define some things here.

First off, as good of a teacher as Slice is, it's still a *method.* The Golfing Machine is a system (or it is at least supposed to be). A method is one particular way of swinging the golf club. So Slice's students...for the most part tend to grip the club a certain way, address the ball a certain way and have very similar components throughout the swing.

The Golfing Machine's system says that there are almost countless versions of swings that can hit the ball effectively on a consistent basis and that each swing consists of 24 parts and each part has anywhere from 3-15 variations and there's only 3 imperatives of the golf swing. So 'in spirit' The Golfing Machine tries to find the best style of swing for *you*, whereas SliceFixer's method tries to get the golfer to executing his preferred type of method. Of course, this does not always apply because there are some TGM Authorized Instructors who tend to feel comfortable only teaching one or two swings (in fact, I wouldn't feel too comfortable teaching 'swinging' to somebody and I used to have a 'swinging' pattern.)

This isn't to say that Slice's method is bad. Obviously, he has plenty of excellent students who can really stripe the ball and I probably wouldn't be eager to play a $20 Nassau against them anytime soon. And as far as 'methods' go, I would stack up Slice's with the rest of them mainly because it is focused around improving the pivot which to me is the lifeblood of the golf swing.

One of the goals of this blog is to help golfer's improve their games and the best way I've seen that is through The Golfing Machine. So while Slice's method is very, very good if not excellent...the fact is that because it is a method it may not work for everybody. However, if one can properly follow The Golfing Machine, I believe without a shadow of a doubt they will eventually find the golf swing that suits them best. The main problem is that so few follow The Golfing Machine correctly. In fact, I believe if Slice was able to follow The Golfing Machine correctly back when he made his 'journey' to find his swing, he would have likely have found the swing that he teaches today.

But again, you have to follow The Golfing Machine correctly and it shows here by Slice's statement that 'hitters' sling at the ball. My instructor Ted Fort is probably the model of the 'pure hitter' method, this certainly doesn't look like a slinger to me.

In fact, I think Slice has completely misunderstood the concept of 'hitting' in The Golfing Machine with 'swinging' which has much more of a 'slinger' look to it. The Swinger uses horizontal hinging which has the clubhead down the line with the toe pointing directly at the target. Homer Kelley described the horizontal hinging action as a 'full roll' type of release.

The 'hitter' uses Angled Hinging where the clubface is more at a 45 degree angle. Homer Kelley says the Angled Hinging action is a 'no roll' type of release. And guess who used Angled Hinging?

In reality, the hinge action and release action that Slice recommends has been around for quite some time. The hinge action is an 'Angled Hinge' by TGM terms and the 'swinging left' action is a 'CP Release' by Mac O'Grady's MORAD terminology.

As far as using the SliceFixer method, I think one had better work off the elbow plane on the downswing and have it come quite naturally. Brian Manzella talks a lot about 'swinging left' IF you have a lot of shaft lean in order to prevent you from hitting it to the right or having to hit a hook in order to get to the target. I tend to agree with this notion (although I'm still studying it so I can fully understand it), but the key is the shaft lean. I think too many of his posters get caught up on swinging to the left and not only do they not have enough shaft lean, but they tend to flip at impact and swinging left does them no good in that case.

I believe that the greats that had a ton of shaft lean usually operated off the elbow plane on the downswing and those golfers used the 'swinging left' technique (aka CP Release) and were able to hit great shot after great shot. Hogan and Snead used the CP Release. Both operated off the elbow plane on the downswing and both had a lot of shaft lean.

Somebody like Nicklaus who worked off the turned shoulder plane, couldn't get that massive amount of shaft lean and therefore didn't need to swing left.


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