I've gotten some inquiries on swing models and apparently some golfers are very confused about them, so I'll try to explain them here.
I believe a swing model is typically a person (I assume it could be a robot or an animation, too) that has parts/positions/pieces/components/etc. that are what the instructor believes are ideal.
Technically, if one believes that all that matters is that the golfer utilizes an interlocking grip, then any golfer who utilizes an interlocking grip is the 'model.' Conversely, an instructor could have 50,000 parts of the swing that they find optimal and that golfer who utilizes all of those 50,000 parts is 'the model.'
Obviously, too few 'parts' in a model is not useful. Generally we want the model to be a great ballstriker because there would be no motive to develop those parts close to the model. Thus, if you only had the interlocking grip as the model, there's going to be plenty of golfers with an interlocking grip that cannot hit it out of their shadow.
And the issue with too many parts to the model is that it's probably impossible to actually find that model.
Is using a model 'bad?' Doesn't The Golfing Machine state that there is no 'one way?'
Models are not 'bad.' And just because an instructor has a 'model', does NOT necessarily mean that they are trying to get every student to swing exactly the same or have all of the same parts in their swing.
Obviously, that depends on the instructor. There are instructors who have a model and try to get all of their students to fit that model regardless of who they are. And there are also different reasons why some may want to replicate the model completely as well.
Swing models are often used by instructors as a comparison for their students. Like I stated, there are some instructors who teach all of their students to follow every part of the model's swing.
However, many instructors will take a student's swing, analyze what is causing them problems and compare the what they feel is causing those problems with what the model is doing. And then the 'goal' becomes to get the student to replicate *that specific part* that the model has.
Let's say a golfer is struggling with a hook. And let's say an instructor's model is Ben Hogan. If the instructor believes that the issue is the golfer is getting 'across the line' at the top of the swing, then he may prescribe some things to eliminate that across the line move and make the golfer look more like Hogan in that part of the swing.
That does not mean that the entire swing will look like Hogan, just the part that the instructor feels like is causing the golfer problems.
Now, many instructors will try to have their own swing replicate the entire model. That's because they would like to have the model for themselves and be able to demonstrate to their students in person.
The key is to understand why the instructor uses the model and how they use it instead of believing that a model is automatically bad or makes the instructor a 'method' teacher.