Why Swing Change is Hard

You’ve tried swing change tips and youtube and they won't work for you? You have gone to a golf teacher and the proposed changes won't stick?

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. 

With that said, let’s walk through potential reasons why your changes haven’t worked:

  • Shallow Youtube Tips
  • Being Taught Observations
  • Making Technology the Centerpiece of the Show
  • Golfing Persona Mismatch
  • Taking Someone Else’s Medicine

Shallow Youtube Tips

Let’s be honest. Most content on youtube is pure click bait. They draw you, you try it out and finally you don’t improve. Sounds familiar? 

I don’t write this to disrespect coaching in general but most creators provide content that play on the insecurities of golfers, and that's not fair.

The whole point of golf improvement is that you actually need to LEARN about the underlying factors that make a great golf swing. Without this UNDERSTANDING you will not BELIEVE and become subconsciously MOTIVATED by the offered advice. That’s why “tips” rarely work and have a short lifespan.

Being Taught Observations

Even worse than click bait advice is positional advice. “Come to this position”. This is based on still image studies of recordings of swings but has nothing to do with the actual reason that took that particular player to the position. Never listen to this, since it basically doesn’t work.

The chronological position system of Mac O Grady = P1-P10 was a great tool that was used to describe a swing in time and space but it’s misused to ridiculous degrees.

You come to positions based on the driving forces in your swing but the position itself isn’t self motivated. Everything you do in the swing needs to be natural to you. Positional teaching is as far from that as possible and that is why you can do it infront of a mirror but never on the course.

Making Technology the Centerpiece of the Show

Today we have trackman, force plates and 3D tracking of the golf swing. 

A solid swing motion is something that is created completely in the moment without hesitation and with total focus on the present. All of these tools draw players further and further away from the moment and the ability to recall their training when playing golf.

In my opinion, trackman should only be used to verify changes. E.g. you are working on altering you path. Then trackman is great. That’s its role. Nothing more. Today people chase trackman numbers so far that they ruin their swings, e.g. hitting up on the ball in trackman is more important than having a proper follow through.

Force plates are an even bigger pitfall because the driving factors behind a golf swing will create pressure. Pressure doesn’t create the golf swing. Teachers often say that you swing from the ground up but that’s just a cool catch phrase that happened to become popular. It means absolutely nothing. Hence, force plates should (if used at all) only be used to monitor what the heck you are doing. I would go as far to say that they are another form of observational teaching.

3D tracking is the same story as Force plates. It teaches you an observation in 3D and even though there are great feedback tools (e.g. audio feedback) it still just allows you to know which positions are right and not how you actually get to these positions using the driving forces of your swing. Sure, I can definitely see the appeal of them if you are technical and solution oriented in your thinking, but wrongly used they will quite possibly take you further from achieving what you want.

Golfing Persona Mismatch

Sometimes you come across some great explanatory advice but you still can’t perform it. You can try over and over again but it won’t stick. Are you athletically impaired or might it just be a mismatch?

I walk through the persona matching in my guide - How to change your golf swing - in three layers:

  1. Is your personality matched? A nervous/quick swinger would fit better with style A and a tranquil person would fit better with Style B etc.
  2. How do you feel your golf swing? I feel everything in my hands and if I command my hands with intentions from my brain then my body moves. Some people are more body dominant. Which category do you place yourself in?
  3. When can you be mentally active in the swing? When can you have swing thoughts? For me, I can be there in the backswing and then in the follow through. Everything in between becomes a blur. The end goal from a mental perspective is to think as little as possible but if you can’t be mentally active in the parts of the swing that are key to the swing framework you are getting advice from, how can you then even train it?

Taking Someone Else’s Medicine

There are so many different techniques in golf but if you boil it down to something comprehensible I would say there are about 4-5 swing styles in golf. If you are in one framework (knowing or not knowing it) and you get advice from another framework you are setup for failure. Arnold Palmer did something completely different than Ben Hogan in the same fashion as Dustin Johnson swings very differently from Rory McIlroy. Find the medicine within your framework. All described in Snöleo Golf Academy.


As you see, there are plenty of pitfalls. I have changed my swing four times successfully and have failed three times as many. I have a clear structure on how I go about it. Read more in the “How to Change Your Golf Swing” guide here.

Let me just round it off by saying that it is VERY possible to change in golf and it’s one of the most rewarding tasks that exists. Good luck and inform yourself accordingly.

Play well!

Wish To Read More

Click here to get to the Snöleo Golf Academy overview page

Early Extension in Golf? A Non-Band-Aid Solution

Consistency in Golf? How to create perceived Control

How the Transition in Golf Works? Different Swings, Different Transitions

The Slingshot Golf Swing - The Modern Power Swing

The Hogan Golf Swing - Ben Hogan’s Foundation Explained

The Old School Swinger Golf Swing - Nicklaus then and Scheffler now

The MORAD 86 Golf Swing - Mac O’Grady’s Legendary Swing