The MORAD 86 Golf Swing (TGM Foundation)

Before we jump into the details let's just walk through the origins and the progression that lead to the MORAD 86 Golf Swing and what happened after. This might just be the biggest rabbit hole in golf and I'll do my best to keep to the point and not digress.

My name is Petter Tärbe and I have a history as a decent scratch player, a golf instructor for some years, but first and foremost I’m a huge golf development nerd that loves to pass on what I know.

Everything I write from a historic perspective is gathered from the excellent youtube channel of Kevin Ralbovsky, a former student of the system - check it out here. All the way down you also have a terminology list.

A Short Backstory of Mac O'Grady

The TGM Foundation

Basically, as I understand it, Mr O'Grady came from a background of not being taught Jack Nicklaus swing properly and playing so poorly that he couldn’t break 80 playing professional golf.

He went to see the late Homer Kelly (TGM founder) and was introduced to The Golfing Machine principles. Then he went on the most impressive run in golf teaching history. Not only did he start mastering everything in TGM - he could also identify "weak spots" of the book that hindered development.

The beginning of MORAD

Mr O'Grady developed his MORAD project (Mac O'Grady Research and Development) which I condense to describing as: an explanation of the golf swing from a close to scientific perspective with the aim of putting a stop to the garbage teachings that he had been exposed to himself.

On his 17th (!) try he got on the PGA tour and during the golden 1980s he not only won twice (with the tour’s possibly worst putting) but also taught upwards of 50 tour players whilst playing himself. Amazing.

In this era the legendary 86 swing was developed with the key requirement to keep it easy on the brain. Mr O'Grady could showcase the swing both as righty and lefty with similar results.

The Early 1990s Method

He had to move onto teaching more than playing himself for several reasons and here the system starts to move away from the “easy on the brain requirement”. It goes deeper into positional teaching and away from the more natural characteristics of the 86 swing. The CP and CF swings are from this era and the CP is actually still displayed on tour today.

The Later MORAD

Slowly over time Mr O Grady progressed to using more of the golfing machine fundamentals, which long story short, sacrifice power for control.

Stack & Tilt

From MORAD comes two students that later took a part of this teaching system and marketed it as their own Stack and Tilt method. A system that has very little to do with the genius of the 86 swing. Definitely not nicely done either. But then again, I just take this from one source.

Does the MORAD 86 golf swing Fit You?

Matching your golfing persona with the technique you want to pursue is key to your success. (read more about this in my change guide)

Personality wise I would say you need to be laid back to have the mental space to “think your golf swing” if you want to transition into this swing model. Once you are transitioned you don’t need any thoughts at all but to get there needs the mental availability as I mentioned.

From an athletic perspective you need very good overall muscle control. You need to be in the top tier of knowing your body. It’s not for everyone. I can myself perform it but the difficulty level is so high that I wouldn’t put myself in the gifted tier.

Homework Assignement before next step

Watch the excellent videos below. The videos will likely be taken down any time soon since Mr O'grady is very secretive about his work.

Part 1 - Kevin Explaining the Swing

Part 2 - Watch O'Grady swinging and explaining in poor audio

Technique explained in short terms (not O’Grady deep)

The 86 swing is a really centered motion working under the assumption that a geometrical model is the foundation for a golf swing. Mr O’Grady uses a positional chronological explanation of all he works with called P1->P10. P1 is address. P4 is top of backswing. P7 is impact and P9 is complete follow through.

The setup is very natural and in a so called C-posture (that you round your shoulders). This to make it easier to rotate on the inclined plane = the tilted plane that your body creates at adress.

The hands are low and the grip is very deliberate taken with a strong lead hand a neutral trail hand. This according to Homer Kelly's teachings.

The backswing was often done with nickles under the armpits to not loose connection with the body. It is, apart from the lesser club rotation, very similar to what hogan did but slightly more centered all the way due to the geometric origins of the swing. Mr O'Grady would have a slightly cupped lead wrist on the top in this swing model. This would help him to create lag.

The downswing is all about extending the right triceps and creating width with the right arm in the downswing. This is a move that is very hard to unless you have mind space available for it. It is a crucial part of the swing.

Also in the downswing you will add secondary axis tilt (you sidebend from your hips to the right) to create a less outside in strike.

The release, which mr O'Grady describes as a centrifugal force of the club, starts to happen around p6 (shaft parallell to the ground) and then this natural release of the club is stimulated by his post release rehinge of the club.

Basically this creates a follow through that have low hands that move to the left at the same time as the club is rehinged/recocked with the wrists more upwards. This creates a breaking mechanism and release on steroids. It is also kind to the body since the arms aren't moving away from the body like e.g. Jack Nicklaus.

Then you finish it off with the Mac O'Grady finish which just looks pure and effortless.

(obviously it can be explained way deeper than this with radius locks etc....)

Key Success Factors

To be able to have control of your trail arm in transition and to be able to have the head space to perform the post impact rehinge.

The 86 model of the swing isn't that hard IF you can master the above key factors.

It's a thing of beauty.

Variations and Impressions of the MORAD 86 golf swing

For the longer clubs you would add the secondary axis tilt earlier.

The stock shot would be a fade from an open stance but I'm certain you can just tweak ball positions and blade opening to create all kinds of shot shapes.

I performed this swing for 3 months and found it very hard to transition into due to head space issues with the trail arm. I have a very hard time doing it. Also, the very connected swing does have a certain straitjacket feeling to it. I do know that Mr O'Grady instructed with something he called brain mapping which basically meant that you do 1 swing in 30 seconds so that your brain can understand how to send signals. It didn't work for me but I know it has had great success with others.

All personal opinions aside, this IS one of the best swings of all time.

Wish to read more deeply researched articles?

Interested in the dynamics of how you actually go about and change your swing? Go into my How to change your golf swing guide here.

The Slingshot Golf Swing. What Dustin Johnson, Victor Hovland, Cameron Champ, Cameron Young etc are pursuing.

The Hogan Golf Swing. Ben Hogan's foundations portrayed by countless modern players like Tiger, Rory, Ludvig Åberg etc.

The Old School Swinger Golf Swing. This would be more Bobby Jones, Nicklaus or Scheffler.

Or by all means - just go to the main page for much more heavily researched golf information.


P1 = adress

P2 = shaft parallel with ground backswing

P3 = lead arm parallel with ground backswing

P4 = top backswing position

p5 = lead arm parallel downswing

p6 - shaft parallel downswing

p7 = impact

p8 = shaft parallel follow through

p9 = trail arm parallel follow through

p10 = finish

CP = The Centripital Force influenced swing from the 90s Era teaching. This force is the opposite to the more common centrifugal force. The swing is used to create a one dimensional fade stock shot swing like Alex Norén.

CF = The Centrifugal Force influenced swing that is more of a draw based pattern. I'm guessing this is what Stack and Tilt origin from (but just guessing).

Cupping & Bowing = Bowing is Dustin Johnson's left hand on top of the backswing. Cupping is the opposite. Hold your right arm straight out in front of you with your thumb pointing straight up. Hinge to the right = cupping (or extension). Hinge to the left = bowing (or flexion)

Centrifugal force release = the force that releases the club away from the body. This force is handled with mac's rehinge (see the videos please).

Breaking mechanism = For the club to fully release you need to create a deceleration of the hand path in relation to where they came from. In this pattern it happens to the left and through the rehinge.