Congratulations Bryson – I’m Concerned

Bryson Dechambeau won his first professional golf tournament yesterday at the John Deere Classic. Known for his eccentric personality and unique swing, some have compared him to Moe. I’m excited to see a Single Plane swing having success. It validates much of my work over the years. Bryson has demonstrated that there is an Alternative way to play golf – at the highest level. I am grateful to see him shake up at the golf “swing” industry – and turn it on its head. I believe it is good for golf.  


I am also concerned.  

Yesterday in the press conference after the tournament, Bryson was asked by one of the reporters what he felt that motivated him to persevere and what were his long term objectives with his scientific approach to playing the game.  Bryson’s response was inspiring.

He said that ultimately he wants to make the game easier for amateurs to help the game.

I was excited to hear a professional talk about the match and what it needs. If anyone can do it, Bryson has the best chance. What he was saying in the press conference was honorable and admirable. But was it realistic? I don’t know.

Here’s why I’m concerned.

I have played many tournaments but never won a PGA Tournament so I can’t attest to Bryson’s expertise in that regard just as Bryson, has ever taught scores of amateurs. Don’t get me wrong. I am on “Team” Bryson and ready for the challenge of helping as many golfers we can. Keep in mind that I have been teaching amateurs for over 25 years – and have some expertise in this area.

(If I was sitting in a room with Bryson, here is the conversation I would have with him regarding helping amateur golfers)

Bryson here is the greatest challenge we face going forward:

Amateurs don’t like to practice.

I know what you’re thinking. Making the game easier by having single length clubs and swinging on a Single Plane will make the game easier for everyone. I agree with you completely, but no matter what clubs you give them, or how they swing, Amateurs don’t like to practice.

No matter what you teach or what clubs they use, golfers MUST practice. What I mean by practice is not run to the range and hit balls. Bryson, look how you practice.  You practice with a purpose. You are accountable. You study and build your movement. You analyze your swing in detail. You are a student of the game.

These are the second problem.

When amateurs do practice, they practice incorrectly.

Bryson, you practice with the purpose of perfecting the movement of your golf swing. Amateurs practice with the purpose to hit balls better. There is a huge difference in these two objectives.

I know your twenty-five years now.  I’ve taught thousands of people the Single Plane swing.  I’ve fit thousands of sets of clubs to the Single Plane.  Have I made the game easier?  Sure.   Have golfers had more joy and fun? They tell me they are.  Nothing makes me happier than to have one of my students have more joy and fun with the game.

However, finding a student who practices correctly is rare. Nothing frustrates me more than to see students practice without the purpose of movement and just start whacking balls without a plan.

I see it every day in my golf schools. I present the most relevant golf instruction data and information to them. I show them a perfect Single Plane model. I show them exactly what they should do and how to do it starting with the simple basics of grip and setup and then swing positions. We go through each piece, and I teach them how to learn new movements.

Then we go to the range and hell breaks loose.

They completely ignore their purpose and like mad men start whacking balls. (I didn’t say women here because women are more restrained and purposeful. Guys, women listen better than you).

At our Schools – of course, we control it. We feel the students back in. The Graves Golf coaching team gets them back on track. We slow them down and get them practicing correctly. We stop them and make them focus and use video to study their movement.


At the end of the school when the students leave, we feel like we are letting our kids go off to college. What will happen when they are on their own? What will they do? Are they going to be okay? Will they listen to our advice or go back to their old ball-whacking habits?

Bryson, we are on the right track. The Single Plane is an easier way. It’s a start, but the challenge is still in front of us. We must SHOW Amateurs how to practice and BUILD golf swings.  

You Show them and I will teach them.  




5 comments on “Congratulations Bryson – I’m Concerned”
  1. Greg McDowell says:

    Todd who teaches Bryson the SPS? And Tim always says the same length clubs don’t work. Has this changed? Thanks


    1. Todd Graves says:

      I believe Mike Schy Teaches Bryson. Regarding Single Length clubs – We have seem them work best for higher swing speeds and less effectively for slower swing speeds. Take for example someone who swings slowly. They don’t produce enough speed with a long iron to get the ball airborne. A longer shaft helps them produce more speed. Remember, Bryson is not hitting SAME LENGH CLUBS – only his irons. His woods are longer for speed.


  2. harryinaz says:

    Todd, as one of those (hopefully former) ball whackers I find that the basic problem, at least for us 100+ strokes per round “golfers,” is – overcoming 50 years or more of muscle memory…BAD SWING muscle memory. I can slow down and make a swing with no ball that feels and looks pretty good, using the Single Plane grip, address, backswing and “buckle, sit, slide…” But when I put a golf ball down in front of me, my eyes see it, transmit the message “See Ball, HIT BALL!” and the muscle memory says “Forget the hips and legs; stand up, hit ball from the top with arms and top hand. ”
    I suspect that this happens to a lot of other older golfers like me, who have spent a lot of time on driving ranges without really knowing what we were doing.
    Keep up with the great online instruction. I think I learn something from each lesson.
    Harry Weisberger, Rimrock, Arizona


  3. Andre Grobler says:

    Extremely well put. I understand exactly where you are coming from and I too suffer the same affliction: – See ball and brain goes into neutral and all the old habits rush back! Maybe Hypnosis will work?


  4. Ian Nonhebel says:

    I am 70 have had health problems have come back to golf after 6 years. Have read Todd’s book watched training video’s – the best was his Canadian presentation. Have difficulty keeping left arm straight / watch myself on ipad . problem was that I did not understand the mechanics that would suit my body. I started looking at older Moe in video’s provided by Todd – have now worked out / what will suit me and left arm is much straighter. The turn that Todd demonstrates on his Canadian video was my starting point. He winds the club up with his right arm v abruptly lots of torque – copying old Moe helps as am less flexible / started to do well with shorter clubs easier to keep arm straight Look at club position at top / match mine with Moe Same with Todd as is same mechanics. Play a 34 nine hole did a 40 the other day when putting worked / bad at short ones think they are easy don’t treat them seriously enough.
    Do practice on the course as is not busy at lunchtime when I play / drop balls replay mistakes / think where I went wrong / lack of course management in a lot of instances or using wrong club when windy, Have been studying Moe’s short game / have a similar sand wedge to his Sandy Andy / v good video of him
    Have tried Bryson method as demonstrated in this video prefer Moe


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