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Hacker James

changing swing?

25 posts in this topic

First, I want to be perfectly clear that this is NOT intended to be a debate over any one type of swing over another. There has been too much discussion on that already and often controversial.

Recently, I was experimenting with SnT and picked it up fairly easily. Just as I am usually able to replicate just about any swing reasonably well. I can utilize an upright, flying elbow, or a flatter, elbows held close to the torso with about the same degree of accuracy. Heck, just for fun, I was even able to copy Trevino's figure eight (not that I should even have been trying).

Anyway, my question is simply this:  Would it be harmful to adopt the new (to me) swing in fear of loss of muscle memory of a swing I have been using for a long time if I used the new swing exclusively?   I have a fairly good swing already, but am always open to new ideas. The SnT seems to give me a bit more control and enables me to hit more fairways without a lot of distance loss. The last round, I used it the entire round and although I seemed to lose a little distance on drives, I gained some on iron play.  The distance loss in drives may have nothing to do with the swing change, as this happens from one round to another anyway. I also used different balls i.e. Taylor Made XD, vs Taylor Made TP3, vs Bridgestone 330RX.  The last round I used an older Titleist DT 100 on front and a Titleist DT 90 on the back with a little better result with the lower compression.

Simply put" Should I or shouldn't I?"   Realizing that is entirely subjective.

I had asked one of the instructors privately,  but he declined to respond.  I do not blame him as he may have misjudged my motives. That's not important anyway.

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My advice for you, to a single digit handicap, to a tour player, to anyone reading this that wants to improve, find the priority piece and focus on that.  That's the piece that will help you hit the ball better now and/or the piece that will clean more than one swing "fault".  For example, if a golfer's head moves down and towards the target on the backswing, they'll have to compensate and "fall back" on the downswing.  They won't have enough weight forward and probably be flipping at it.  So for that golfer, understanding how to stay centered, how it feels to them and actually doing it, will make it easier for them to have the weight forward at impact, easier to have an inline impact (lead arm and club shaft in one line).

To your question of " Should I or shouldn't I"?  To improve you're probably going to have to make changes.  What those changes are, I don't know but there is only so much you can improve by just beating balls.

Here's the system I utilize to help students prioritize their time when they practice.  There may be 5 Keys to "master" but that doesn't mean you work on all 5 at once.

http://thesandtrap.com/t/55426/introducing-five-simple-keys

http://purestrike5sk.com/

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I don't know why your hc is almost 21 --

I know why I am a bogey golfer at the moment. Two years ago, I began changing a 15 yr swing that was off more days than it was on. It was based on swinging the arms really fast and allowing the body to respond to the arms -- it's a swing that when I learned enough about it  -- I did not want.

I am finding a swing that allows me to make less compensations and is consistently better - an efficient swing. I am going with Mike's suggestion above.

You might be a 21 hc because you vary your swing style - my opinion is that you need to find your "base" swing. If you want to fool around with other swings for shits and giggles, do it later.

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Originally Posted by Mr. Desmond

I don't know why your hc is almost 21 --

I know why I am a bogey golfer at the moment. Two years ago, I began changing a 15 yr swing that was off more days than it was on. It was based on swinging the arms really fast and allowing the body to respond to the arms -- it's a swing that when I learned enough about it  -- I did not want.

I am finding a swing that allows me to make less compensations and is consistently better - an efficient swing. I am going with Mike's suggestion above.

You might be a 21 hc because you vary your swing style - my opinion is that you need to find your "base" swing. If you want to fool around with other swings for shits and giggles, do it later.

Good Point!  a lot has to do with my "re-emergence" back into the game. I believe I am probably in the process of finding what works "now" than what might have worked long ago.  I did not make any drastic changes for S&G;, and those things I alluded to were things that I may have tried in the past, I only mentioned it to point out that for whatever reason, I seem to be able to  adapt easier than some.  You are 100% correct though, I need to find that base and work on it.  Mike gave me some advice in a PM which I will take to heart. Thank You.

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Originally Posted by Hacker James

Recently, I was experimenting with SnT and picked it up fairly easily. Just as I am usually able to replicate just about any swing reasonably well.

What are your definitions of "replicate" and "reasonably well"?

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What are your definitions of "replicate" and "reasonably well"?

I had the same question, but didn't want to ask. Too many people think they know S and T from reading a magazine article or a book. It's a little more intricate :-) I prefer a center pivot swing along the lines of five simple keys, which is not as dogmatic

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Originally Posted by bplewis24

What are your definitions of "replicate" and "reasonably well"?

observation, reading a little, asking questions, and implement/reproduce  with adequate results. I could say "copy" but that would be too general.

It may or may not be "technically, exact" without a qualified instructors critique however.  I don't know the definition of what a "perfect" swing, or even "good" swing is, but if it works and achieves the desired result, then it is certainly not "wrong". I agree the 5 keys contain most of the elements common to what are considered swings of the best players, but that does not mean that they all do it the same way.  I disagree that you cannot receive a good "tip" from reading an article however. I read things in Golf Digest for example that strikes a chord with me and I often find that it is something I can use effectively. At the same time, a person can read an article and pick up something entirely different from it or misconstrue what is being offered. As for center pivot, we would agree on that.  SnT suggests a method to achieving that which may or may not be a viewpoint accepted by everyone. Again, I am not seeking endorsements, or even criticism on any one "particular" methodology. My original question was, if I changed to a different swing, would it have an adverse affect on one I am already using effectively?.  As one put it. If I am comfortable with what I have, then continue using it. If I want to improve, then perhaps some changes need to be worked on.  I would agree the 5 keys are each crucial to mastering and each affects the other.

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I never cared when people said they'd "try" a "swing" on the range. They might have been doing one thing differently, but they weren't "doing" the swing.

Additionally, I highly doubt that you could really change your swing that much. You're a 20+ handicap. I can do some little things here and there, and even break 80 if you give me a chance to practice a little bit first, but nobody's going to confuse my "Trevino" for Lee's version, and so on.

If you had your swings on video, despite feeling very different, my guess is they'd look far more alike than you think.

Originally Posted by Hacker James

My original question was, if I changed to a different swing, would it have an adverse affect on one I am already using effectively?.  As one put it. If I am comfortable with what I have, then continue using it.

It's rare to slide backwards if you go about attacking your highest priority item first. I've written about this before. Check the Swing Thoughts forum for a few threads on the improvement process and similar topics.

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With a 21 handicap, one could argue that you are not utilizing your current swing effectively.
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Originally Posted by 14ledo81

With a 21 handicap, one could argue that you are not utilizing your current swing effectively.

Yah, one "could" argue that. There is always room for improvement, hence the reason of the discussion. My current HC has been determined from recent rounds. As I mentioned several times before, I have not been playing consistently after being away from the game for several years.  I can have what "I" consider to be a not so bad swing, but other factors enter into the game, short game, putts, endurance, age, physical health. I would further agree that a video analysis might show my perception of what I am doing and/or used to do is not what is actually occurring, but since I have not had any video done, I was merely asking opinions of whether or not a change can be detrimental.    The HC is coming down albeit slowly, but with only a few rounds in the calculation it is a bit premature.    HC comparison doesn't always tell the whole story. One example would be that in reading some of the "Members Swings" posts, a member since 2011 has yet to break a nine hole score of 51 (unless that post was dated). Another reports that he is a "bogey" golfer, yet lists his HC as 15<  (again, unless I misunderstood) which indicates to me he is much better than a "bogey" golfer.  In any event, I wish to thank those who gave me their replies and tried to answer my query and gave me some positive feedback.  I respect everyone's viewpoint even though I may not completely agree with it.

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Depends on your goals. I knew guy who a few years ago did not have a good-looking swing - it was quick, a fade and inconsistent. I saw him last week at the range for the first time in 4 years, and he said he had tried to change his swing but decided against it. I asked him to show me what he had. The swing was not pretty, but it was not as quick, but it was consistent, And he struck the ball every time with a low to mid trajectory fade. He kept on saying how happy he was with it. I think he expected me to say something to change it. He is about 48 yrs old. I told him if anybody asked him to change anything, tell them to go away. He had found something reliable, long, and worked every time. Ultimately, your swing may not be pretty, but if it works and you score, that is what matters.
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Originally Posted by Hacker James

I was merely asking opinions of whether or not a change can be detrimental.

You have to start from a reference point in order to ask whether a new direction will hurt or help (even then, the answers you get would likely vary or start with "it depends").  Direction is relative to the starting point.  And if your current swing, or reference point, isn't really replicated well with regularity, then nobody can really answer your question about which direction you should go.

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I have "changed" so many times now I lost count. I would listen to this instructor say that or that instructor say something else. Most of it was a waste of time. Chasing my tail so to speak.

After reading posts from many of the guys on here, over the course of the past few months I have decided that I need to really focus in. Make small changes. Not try to switch to a new system or swing. Small incremental changes. They are easier and provide more of a feeling of accomplishment.

I don't suggest changing swings. Pick on thing, change it. Change it so you don't need to think about changing it, then move on to the next piece. It may start at set up. Likely for a 21 handicap that is a great place to start. Then backswing because they are the easiest to change.

Improving your golf swing is going to be an odyssey, enjoy the ride.

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Originally Posted by Mr. Desmond

He kept on saying how happy he was with it. I think he expected me to say something to change it. He is about 48 yrs old.

I told him if anybody asked him to change anything, tell them to go away. He had found something reliable, long, and worked every time.

And yet if he's still a 12 or something, then he will need to "change" it somehow if he wants to score even lower. But you know that.

There's a connotation that "change" is "big" or even noticeable. Yes, if your swing is noticeably different, it has changed, but reducing the curve on your golf ball by 5 yards is also a change, or changing your grip slightly so you don't occasionally flare the ball right is a change, etc. Small things are "changes" too.

Michael talks about this more:

Originally Posted by mchepp

I have "changed" so many times now I lost count. I would listen to this instructor say that or that instructor say something else. Most of it was a waste of time. Chasing my tail so to speak.

After reading posts from many of the guys on here, over the course of the past few months I have decided that I need to really focus in. Make small changes. Not try to switch to a new system or swing. Small incremental changes. They are easier and provide more of a feeling of accomplishment.

I don't suggest changing swings. Pick on thing, change it. Change it so you don't need to think about changing it, then move on to the next piece. It may start at set up. Likely for a 21 handicap that is a great place to start. Then backswing because they are the easiest to change.

Improving your golf swing is going to be an odyssey, enjoy the ride.

The bold part is the oxymoron.

We're always asking people to change their swing. Duh. We're golf instructors. How can someone make the SAME swing and get better? We see the results - that's what that swing produces. I'm not talking about hitting 1000 balls to get better timing with your current swing (the ceiling for that sort of improvement is very low) - I'm talking about actually improving the results. Of course you have to "change" your "swing" - but you don't need to OVERHAUL your swing, or scrap it and start over.

You need to focus on your top priority piece. Work towards improving your worst Key. Lather, rinse, repeat.

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And yet if he's still a 12 or something, then he will need to "change" it somehow if he wants to score even lower. But you know that. There's a connotation that "change" is "big" or even noticeable. Yes, if your swing is noticeably different, it has changed, but reducing the curve on your golf ball by 5 yards is also a change, or changing your grip slightly so you don't occasionally flare the ball right is a change, etc. Small things are "changes" too. Michael talks about this more: The bold part is the oxymoron. We're always asking people to change their swing. Duh. We're golf instructors. How can someone make the SAME swing and get better? We see the results - that's what that swing produces. I'm not talking about hitting 1000 balls to get better timing with your current swing (the ceiling for that sort of improvement is very low) - I'm talking about actually improving the results. Of course you have to "change" your "swing" - but you don't need to OVERHAUL your swing, or scrap it and start over. You need to focus on your top priority piece. Work towards improving your worst Key. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I agree. My friend values reliability and Consistency over improvement or working the ball the other way, or varying trajectory He is limiting himself By choice. We see a lot of people who do That on the range. They beat balls. And you are correct, a Properly placed tip can help without a swing overhaul They see my multiple training aids and watch me drilling, and ask, does that work?

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Originally Posted by Mr. Desmond

They see my multiple training aids and watch me drilling, and ask, does that work?

If you're doing it right, the answer is yes.

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Originally Posted by iacas

You need to focus on your top priority piece. Work towards improving your worst Key. Lather, rinse, repeat.

+1

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Originally Posted by iacas

If you're doing it right, the answer is yes.

Well, of course. I've even got the CamCaddy going...

My station is set up with a squishy ball, vision track, and ball for between the elbows....

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