One only needs to take a quick look at one of the social media channels to see a plethora of swing instructions.

And for the most part, the techniques presented all revolve around set positions. Or achieving these positions.

The golf industry now has a standard set of positions that they refer to, for example

Position #1: Address
Position #2: Club parallel to ground on backswing
Position #4: Top of backswing
Position #5: Transition
Position #7: Impact
Position #10: Finish

Teachers everywhere like to talk about these ideas ad nauseam. The methodology seems to be,

Get in the “right” position and you’ll be a better golfer. Here’s the problem with all this positional thinking:

It’s just a hard way to learn a golf swing. For starters, these positions are all 2D representations of a fairly complex 3D motion. It’s all a bit like trying to fit square pegs into round holes.

The perceived ideal positions are also static, while the golf swing is a fast moving and dynamic motion. If you want to make things really difficult, then try and make a flowing motion while trying to achieve said positions. Many will just lose the plot (and they do).

The best players these positions are built around, don’t try and get the club into these positions (especially when they are playing golf). I can guarantee, that the absolute last thing those super-stars who are trying to win The Masters today are thinking about, are P1, P2 or P bloody 7!

No way!

There are always exceptions to the rule. And these exceptions sort of prove that the positional model can’t (or doesn’t) work for everyone. While every good player will get the club somewhere in the ballpark of ideal positioning, there is so much variation that’s there’s just NO precise ideal.

Note: Even the golf swing instructors can’t agree on what’s right and wrong. It’s all a bit of a mess really and no wonder many struggle with this line of coaching.

I should add here that the precise positions for golfers will vary depending on the shot they are hitting. The lie, the club, the weather and the situation will all dictate what happens. Plus, there’s just going to be minor variations with each swing. Variations, I might add, that are beyond our perception – especially in the moment.

Plus, things also depend on the precise camera angle. I’ve seen all sorts of peeps make claims on swings they are comparing, but the swing are from different camera positions. Arghhh!!!

We really don’t learn any other skill the same way. Golf just gets too technical and to me, it’s a lazy way to teach someone…

… video their golf swing, then pop it up on the screen, then compare the student’s swing with the teacher’s perception of what is correct. Usually this means drawing lines and circles on the screen and saying things like,

You’re off plane
You’re out of position here
You need to get the club pointing here

Like I said, lazy way to help someone.

Ultimately, this positional teaching should be a guide only. A very rough guide for a golfer who is a long way off the mark. But the golf swing, or golf for that matter, will never be (or should never be) a set of preconceived positions.

The motion must flow. The golf swing is part of a bigger picture which MUST allow for individualism and instincts to take over.

And like mentioned earlier, when you’re under the pump, you really don’t want to be thinking about a static position. You are way better off to play the game. Or as I like to say, “swing for the fences”. In other words, focus on the shot at hand at the exclusion of all else.

I suppose, the million dollar question now might be,

Is there an easier way to learn an enhanced golf swing?

I passionately believe you will all do better if you forget about set positions and let the club/swing dance.

This will take a level of trust and courage. But it’s this courage (and a fair injection of resilience) that you need to rely on when you’re out playing golf. Courage and conviction in your own learning system is a far better skill to own if you ask me.

Golf IS NOT about positions. It’s about playing the game. Learning to hit the ball to a predetermined target in way that suits you.

And funny enough, I have found time and time again that if you forget about all the usual rubbish, you tend to achieve the perceived ideology anyway. It’s all a bit weird but highlights the imperfection that is our learning system. When it comes to human learning, things really can be counter-intuitive.

If you’d like to explore this Anti-Positioning golf training further, then you might be interesting in this:

A few years ago I created perhaps the most important videos I’ve ever done. I went one-on-one with my “best” Automatic Golfer where I shared with him my somewhat controversial golf swing ideas. He loved the training and there wasn’t ONE piece of positional instruction on offer. He still talks about it and I’m sure he got plenty from our week long session.

It’s all about blending the complexities of the golf swing in a way that can work with your natural learning system.

It’s definitely not going to work for all the technocrats out there (because no matter what anyone says, they think that positional training is the only way). But it’s ideal for those who are looking a way to break free from all the traditional thinking.

It’s called Golf Swing Domination.