Hit or swing?


This topic contains 19 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Tathata Staff Tathata Staff 6 years, 11 months ago.

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  • Hit or swing?
  • #679007

    Dear Tathata team.
    As a former student of the golfing machine I was required to decide if I was a swinger or a hitter. I have just finished chapter four in the 60 day program and I feel like I have come to a similar fork in the road with my Tathata training.
    The difference in golfing machine mechanics was the automatic release of a swinger verse the hitting motion which seems very similar to a striking pose motion. I think we all come into this game with a hitting instinct but never learn to move the lower body correctly which dooms us to being a forever over the top swinger. This was my swing for sure.
    I have learned over the last 20 years to use swinging mechanics and have a swing now that is on plane. I think swingers use the physics that we have all felt when swinging a ball on a string between our thumb and index finger. It is possible to create great speed with very little effort. I admit putting those physics into a golf swing is very difficult and requires timing and rhythm.
    My challenge from abandoning this swing for Tathata mechanics is I am having a very difficult time moving the lower body back enough or in the correct manner to be on plane coming down. I feel too much over the top and like my old swing is coming back which concerns me. I am also having tremendous success using what I have learned with pressure and body movements from my Tathata training and applying it to my swinging motion, especially my takeaway and backswing. I think the body motions, especially the lower body support both swings.
    I realize some of the greatest players have used Tathata motions. I also see players like Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh who are swingers of the club. Vijay releases so fast his right hand can’t keep up and comes off the club a little.
    I am a little scared to change what is working so well now. I look forward to the short game chapter because I already use a body controlled swing in my short game and I know this will only improve. All that being said I could not be any happier with the program. It has improved my swing and understanding of how important pressure is. I also love the mental training exercises which I think are the most valuable information of the program.
    Scottsdale, AZ


    Hey Jim, I’m coming over from ABS and I know exactly from where you are coming. The pressures we develop through the hitting area (and beyond!) are so foreign to a swinging protocol. Packing the arms in on the body as we go through the strike really help stabilize the face and put a tremendous smack on the ball.

    Where I struggle is with the release – ABS emphasizes forearm range of motion to get the club behind us through transition and then unwinding that range into the ball – all with a body motion similar to Tathata. Here there is less of a layoff and none in transition as we utilize the pressure of the right arm pushing against the club to widen the swing arc. Thus, when we get down to the ball all we are doing is moving the club through with the surf of the legs and rotating the body. It’s taking me a while to get a handle on this new motion but I like the results when it works well. I think I’m getting almost a full club longer when it works right.


    Hi Jim,

    Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback about your experience with the training so far and also sharing a little of where you have been in regards to your golf swing and your background with the golfing machine, great. It’s incredible to hear you are able to find your own truths through the body movements and pressure portions of the training. You will find these two sections, along with the hands and arms movements have been building/enhancing your short game motion already. We look forward to you validating what you already know to be true through the rest of your training.

    Thank you for your comments and feedback regarding the mental training and how valuable you have found them to be. Thank you for being open to maybe learning something new and becoming a part of the Tathata family!


    My understanding is that “if” my body and arms are moving correctly There is no release to worry about. Am I of base on this?


    Norman, if I understand you correctly then I would say yes. The acceleration of the body and increase in pressure are locking in the club so that the toe does not get released. Once we loose that pressure and that acceleration that is when the club gets out in front of the hands.


    Thanks everyone for the responses. I agree there is really no release which makes club control accurate. I am all in with the short game but still on the fence with the full swing. If I was where I was 20 years ago with my swing I would be all in with my full swing. The reason I am holding back is, as I brought up in my first post I still believe there are two options hit or swing. To learn to swing you have to learn how not to hit which is very difficult. You have to develop feel for lag and drag with the club and upper body. It is completely opposite than a hit swing. It took me a very long time but I now have this awareness with my swing. Maybe Les can understand where I am coming from, because it is difficult to find but when you do you can create effortlessly powerful. In my analogy with the ball and string you can move it much faster with small wrist movements and use the physics of angular momentum. There is nothing I could add with my body to move it faster. I think with a swing there is a release like throwing a baseball or skipping a stone so there is angular momentum where a hit the arms are on the body like striking something with a sword. I am not saying that I don’t believe a hit or Tathata swing works. I know it does. Homer Kelly from the golfing machine advocates hitting over swinging because finding the feeling of lag and drag is so difficult. It has taken me years and thousands of swings to find it which makes it very difficult to abandon it. Still keeping an open mind and will finish the 60 day program. I might have to schedule a lesson with the Tathata staff before I decided which path to take.
    Scottsdale, AZ


    The thing with swinging in the TGM paradigm is that it is very much a timing move. Left becomes very much in play as you are trying to time the closing of the club face through the strike. That being said the king of the swing is Moe Norman, who was perhaps the most accurate golfer of his day.

    I have been working on a hitting protocol for over 4 years now. I have pretty much taken left out of play except when I stall out in the hitting area. That is what I find attractive about Tathata is that it fits very nicely with the hitting protocol I had been working on and tightened up a lot of my motion. But it does take strength to control the club face through pressures.


    Thanks Les for your continued discussion. I have also studied Moe Norman. His master move as he said, “The vertical drop and the horizontal tug”. He also talked about feeling the club was falling behind him and having no effort which makes me think he is swinging and using angular momentum. When I started working on my swing years ago I was so far over the top I looked like a lumberjack chopping wood. I now have a swing plane with the club shaft sitting on my right forearm coming down and I own that movement. I worked so hard to get there it is why I am resisting the over the top strike move in the Tathata swing. I feel like my brain is saying, “you want me to do what”? I am however using the pressure from two three and four to the top with amazing results. I keep the feeling of four coming down but I allow the club to release and am also having amazing results. I am having a very difficult time with the Tathata strike movement coming down. My brain is fighting the over the top movement and can’t seem to move the lower body back enough or correct. I also loose my timing and rythem so it has a negative impact to my swing. This is why I started my post. I know the Tathata swing works but do I risk trying to change what seems to be working very well for me.


    James, I think that as I study how the greats swing they get over the top with their hands but with the club working behind them. The hands work out in front to give room and the club works behind to increase the range of motion. That is a great place to be because from there the hands want to work into the body and the club wants to align with the left arm into the strike. This can be done as a hitting motion and can be very powerful.

    To me Tathata does most of this, though slightly differently. My understanding is that we work the club behind us as we turn the corner in the backswing pushing away with the arms. You are right though that it is a different move. It seems like a cast as we increase width coming down into the strike. But the club is still coming from the inside until we get into the baseball throw position.

    I find myself getting too pressurized prior to the strike, then I have nowhere more to go and end up dumping into the ball – result fore left! So I work on moderate pressure before the strike and increasing from there.


    I am really glad I started this thread. I have enjoyed the discussion especially with Les. I just wanted to add some closing thoughts to it. I think golf is unique in you can play with two very different but very effective principles, hit or swing. For hitters you can learn with Tathata martial arts striking principles developed over thousands of years. Swingers can tap into angular momentum a very powerful force of acceleration. Angular momentum in balance with gravity holds the universe together. I think the most important lesson is you have to pick one and don’t try to mix the two. I think a good analogy to make that point would be pushing a kid on a swing. In this example you have to use a swingers motion. You have to be smooth in transition, allow gravity to start the kid down then assist but don’t overpower momentum and push at the bottom, equivalent to releasing the club. If you use a hitters motion you yank the kid off at the top grab the seat hard at the bottom and throw it up and over your shoulder. The hitters example would be if you had a sword and tried to move it like a kid on a swing to strike through something, this would be equally disastrous. I honestly think for the majority of people the hitters method would be best. We first come to golf with a hit instinct and a golf club looks more like a sword than a kids swing.


    Jim and les,

    I think your ongoing discussion has clarified something for me. I’ve been having a tough time with my driver. Slice, slice,fade straight,slice,slice fade, straight. Finally it dawned on me that I was still trying to come from the inside. Your discussion came to mind . I then remembered Bryan saying that you come over the top.I started trying to come over the top I actually started to hit it straight. I will admit that it is difficult to make myself intentionally come over the top.


    Hey Norman, I am so glad to hear you were able get some clarity. Like I said in my last post you can’t mix hit and swing mechanics. A lot of the information out there is swingers mechanics, coming from the inside etc. The reality is most people will never find the feel and ability to supress the hit instinct to be a successful swinger. I wish I had this program 20 years ago. I worked so hard not to hit or come over the top my brain will not let me. I am 54 so hard to teach the old dog new tricks deal. I am lucky that I know how and where to release the club, like when to push in my kid on the swing analogy. I am still very excited with the program. There are things with using pressure that help a swingers swing. I am going through the short game routine and already use a body controlled swing for my short game. I just went through the flop shot and bunker routine. I went out today and practiced and was blown away how good it was working with flop and bunker shots. I also love the mental routines. I have read tons of books on the mental game but Bryans teaching is amazing and unlike anything I have ever seen. Best of luck with the program and your golf game.


    James, I’m glad to read your reply. I will admit that I wondered why you would start Tathata training when it sounded like you already struck the ball so well. You see I always told my golfing friends that I would take up golf when I was to old to play a sport. So at 61 my body and my wife said I was through doing what I had always done. At 63 a friend took me out to play golf. I’m now 70. Within a couple of months I was obsessed with the challenge. Trying to catch up , I’ve had many lessons from several pros. I continued to be very inconsistent. Then I stumbled onto Tathata Golf. I’m on Day 51 and it is helping me so much. My goal was to shoot consistently in the mid 80’s. Then I started reading your posts and thought maybe we will never be satisfied with our score. Maybe our striking will never be good enough. But I see you needed help with your short game and bunker play. Maybe I’m safe.?


    Norman, we are still coming from the inside with the club – it is the hands that come over the top. The more traditional way to do this is to get the layoff of the club happening (flattening the shaft) in transition then unleash at the bottom of the swing.

    Tathata is different in that the layoff is actually happening when we “turn the corner” on our way to the top of the backswing. The power is being created in Tathata with 1) getting width from pushing the hands and arms away, and 2) rotating with the body accelerating through the strike. This is different than I have heard most other instructors talk about. Before this I was getting my power through a body rotation combined with forearm rotation into the strike. The layoff in transition was used to increase forearm range making the club travel farther. I think Tathata method is somewhat simpler and easier to learn.

    Theory aside, I am starting to really enjoy golf. My mid-iron shots are starting to become really consistent with solid compression. My challenge right now is to dial in the distances with my wedge and putter as I work the short game techniques into my game.


    I am afraid you are quite a bit more Sophisticated and knowledgeable about the golf swing than I am. I think I am now doing just what you described. Before yesterday I was still trying to flatten the shaft to come inside the also keep my arms on my body and serf. This led to a slice. Now that I allow myself to have my hands come over the top but make room for my arms to be on my body I am hitting my driver really well. I was at the range today and hit so many drives straight, one after another, I put the driver away and stared working on something else.
    Glad you are enjoying your game. I’m finding I already have to go a club shorter on my irons even though I think I will get more distance as I grow confidence.


    After day 32 I’m becoming frustrated with 90% of my misses be pulls. I do like the authoritative smack of the hit, but have played for many years as as swinger. NOt sure I can continue down this path as I can’t seem to correct my over the top pulls. I am on the frustrating and uncomfortable fence post at the moment with this program.


    I completed the course about 2 months ago. I was still having trouble with my driver. I found a movement specialist. Even though I thought I was doing things right he pointed out many things to work on. The main thing was keeping my arms on my body. I had to video myself over and over to get it right. He also wanted me to work on the movement to impact and the baseball throw. I’m probably still not doing everything right but I’m not to concerned.My game is so much better than before I took the course. I would urge you to hang in and develop “your” swing.



    Thanks Norman, Trying to persevere. Guess I need a few ideas from the head shed.

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