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Ernest Jones

Why I gave up swinging to become a full time HITTER.

10 posts in this topic

After years of trying to swing the club I have now committed to hitting exclusively. I have always wanted to be a swinger, there is something about the concept that seems to be almost magical in its nature.  Swing the club with gravity and just let the ball get in the way.

Easy peasy right? Why would anyone have a different approach?

Well, in my case, the swing philosophy just doesn’t work. I can hit every bad shot in the book with this concept and the only thing consistent is the vast variety of possible outcomes!

I think, for me, the trouble lies in the fact that, when swinging, I don’t have a clearly defined intent in my mind, “ just swing the club, let ball get in the way” . Yuck, mushy intent with yucky mushy results.

So one day, when my frustration at hitting my third topped shot in a row, “just swing…” I said to myself, “to hell with this magical swinging crap, I’m going to focus exclusively on tearing a little piece of mother earth outta the ground just in front of this golf ball and to hell with form and balance and grace and all that other crap.” Well I proceeded to take a couple of practice half swings making sure to whack the ground good and solid just ahead of where my ball would be and the stepped up and repeated with a ball. My only focus and intent was to make god damn sure I ripped up some dirt and inch or two in front of the ball. CRACK!!! The ball took off in a way it never has before, it even spun back a little when it hit the green. When I got to my ball I could clearly see the rough scuff mark from where my descending blow had ripped into it. I thought to myself, “ good lord, that was a half-swing!”

Since that day, late towards the end of last season, every practice session’s focus is making that proper ball first, divot taking contact with a solid flat wrist. 90% of the swings I take are half or three quarter swings and I’m slowly working my way up to longer swings but NEVER at the price of losing that perfect chip like contact. In fact when this season starts up, I’ll play half swing golf all year if I have too, heck the better contact makes up for any lost distance anyway.

Now I realize that swinging versus hitting is largely conceptual but it makes a real difference to me. Now I have a clear intent on every swing, hit through that stupid ball and dig some dirt, everything else is window dressing and sauce. YMMV.

Here’s a little drill I’ve been doing in my basement this year. I take piece of 2x4 and put two pieces of painters tape on it, about 4 inches apart. The first piece represents ball location and the second piece is where I want my club to bottom out. I then work my way from short to longer swings making sure a strike that 2x4 right on that second piece of tape. I’m trying to train my brain to 1) strike through the ball and bottom out on the front side 2) not to fear hitting the ground, a subconscious fear that leads to breakdown of the flat left wrist and sometimes retraction of the arms (the opposite of straight arms). I use a camera once in a while to insure that my head is stable but luckily that seems to be at least one piece that I have no problem with.

Anywho…just my opening thoughts for 2013. Interested to hear comments from fellow trappers, both hackers and pros.

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RE: the 2x4 drill, the wife hates it because it sounds like a gunshot and there are little wood chips all over the place LOL.

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I like your line of thinking. I have become a mess trying to incorporate a "swing" that looked and acted correctly. I love the S&T; model and follow what the 5SK guys have to say but in that vain I may try to clear my head and go along with what seems to be working for you. Just need the snow to melt up here!

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If you're familiar with what the OP's namesake taught, this thread is pretty ironic.

And sorry, but you know I have to do this: there's no such thing as swinging and hitting. They're "feels" and that's really about it. (You said that yourself, that it's largely conceptual.) Every golfer that's ever existed has both pushed and pulled, swing and hit, and mixed components from each in successful, good golf strokes.

You probably are simply doing better at Key #3 and perhaps #2.

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Originally Posted by iacas

If you're familiar with what the OP's namesake taught, this thread is pretty ironic.

And sorry, but you know I have to do this: there's no such thing as swinging and hitting. They're "feels" and that's really about it. (You said that yourself, that it's largely conceptual.) Every golfer that's ever existed has both pushed and pulled, swing and hit, and mixed components from each in successful, good golf strokes.

You probably are simply doing better at Key #3 and perhaps #2.

Yes I realize it is conceptual more than anything else but it works better for me regardless, I find I have clearer intent (if that makes sense). And my screen name came from my swinging days LOL, maybe I should change it to Chuck Norris! I also find that by shifting my focus to a hit mentality I end up doing key 2 and 3 a lot better automatically, afterall, its pretty freaking hard to hit the ground after the ball with your weight on the back foot and your wrist bent forward....But time will tell. Hit the ground after the ball is 1 swing thought, wait forward and flat wrist is 2 swing thoughts. I plan on setting up a hitting net and some foam balls so I can monitor my clubface (based on start line) but I really don't know how to monitor swing path without having the space to see actual ballflight, any suggestions?

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Originally Posted by Bo the Golfer

I like your line of thinking. I have become a mess trying to incorporate a "swing" that looked and acted correctly. I love the S&T; model and follow what the 5SK guys have to say but in that vain I may try to clear my head and go along with what seems to be working for you. Just need the snow to melt up here!

Well to be clear, when I am doing things successfully I do exhibit the pieces of SnT and 5SK, I'm just not necessarily thinking about them. For that matter, I'm probably exhibiting the better traits of a swinger too, it's all a mindset thing as IACAS pointed out in his post above. This way of "seeing" things leads to better execution in my case. YMMV.

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Originally Posted by Ernest Jones

Hit the ground after the ball is 1 swing thought, wait forward and flat wrist is 2 swing thoughts.

To be clear (for others more than for you, I'm sure), 5SK are not "swing thoughts." They're things you should do to play better golf, and improving at the Keys improves your golf swing.

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Sorry, poor wording on my part.

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RE: the 2x4 drill, the wife hates it because it sounds like a gunshot and there are little wood chips all over the place LOL.

I hope you have your chiropractor on speed dial! ...all kinds of bones in your hand and wrist you could fracture. ..then the shock travels up your arm, shoulder, upper back, traps, lower back.. right on down to the ground. I like the idea though. Anything more... giving... that you could use?

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Originally Posted by Tax Man Golfeth

I hope you have your chiropractor on speed dial! ...all kinds of bones in your hand and wrist you could fracture. ..then the shock travels up your arm, shoulder, upper back, traps, lower back.. right on down to the ground.

I like the idea though. Anything more... giving... that you could use?

Keep in mind these are half swings so contact is way less violent than you think, just very loud! I'm looking round for a decent mat though because I want to hit foam balls indoors too.

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