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Thomas's Master Key and clubhead rotation...


Well-Known Member
Dec 21, 2008
I'm very new to the game of golf. I had averaged maybe one round per year for maybe a 10 year span, got clubs on xmas, and have already played 6 times since then. I'm a VERY high handicapper to say the least...I've shot a 130, 119, 118, 113, 121, and 121 in that order. I felt like I was making some progress until my first 121 day...and everything just went wrong. My mechanics were totally f'ed, nothing I did felt right, and I was getting frustrated as hell to say the least. And calling it a legit 121 is a stretch...on top of the fact that my friends and I don't follow the rules to a T (i.e. if we knock a drive OB or in the water, we drop from that spot as our 3rd, instead of teeing off again as the 3rd), I also was getting so frustrated toward the end that I hit a couple awful shots that I tapped about 6 inches and just didn't count in the interest of keeping my sanity.

Anyways, after that day I decided I needed to read up on something, anything to give me a good base of info since I've never really learned the swing in its entirety, but rather scattered tips from friends. After doing some research and seeing a plethora of favorable reviews, I bought Noel Thomas's eBook, "The Golf Swing and its Master Key Explained.". For those who aren't familiar with it, it advocates left shoulder control over your whole swing: pushing back with it, letting centrifugal force take over, and pulling with the left shoulder on the downswing. There's a lot more to it than that (it's about 60 pages long iirc), but that's the gist of it.

The one thing I'm a little iffy on, however, is that Thomas says to rotate your clubhead clockwise 90 degrees on the backswing by the time your hands are waist high, and then rotating it back (and a little more, so it's slightly closed at impact creating a slight draw) between the time your hands get back to waistlevel on the downswing and impact. It makes sense in theory, but it seems like it's a bit much for a beginner like myself to be messing with. I've read a lot of advice on golf forums that says that most shouldn't bother with this sort of practice due to the precise timing it takes to perform this action correctly in such a short amount of time, which leads me to believe I should take that part out of the equation and be focusing on the rest of the swing advice that he gives. Am I right?

And FWIW, I definitely did notice a positive difference the next time I went out, even though I shot another 121. I hit many more clean shots that felt good...biggest difference was that my chipping, which was the one thing that was working for me on the 1st 121 day, totally went to s*** the last time out. Still had a fair amount of duffs, but I wasn't expecting a miraculous transformation in just one round.


Well-Known Member
Jan 5, 2009
My advise is to schedule a lesson with your local pro and ask him to explain all of the questions while he can illustrate them. Its just to difficult to explain in writing. Those numbers are huge and you have allot of issues to address. A good teaching pro will be your best bet to resolving them. I had a friend who wanted to learn to play. I took him to the range. After getting him set up correctly with a correct grip, I had him swing. He could not take a back swing keeping his left arm straight and fold his right elbow to his side. I had him try to just take his hands back to 9 O'clock ( like you are turning to the side to shake someones hand) and swing through to 3 O'clock. This little half swing with smooth tempo should be the start for your learning. He practiced this little swing until he could do it well and then just started to make his swing a little longer a little at a time. After 6 trips to the range he was hitting the ball 10 times better than when I first saw him.

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