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Practice with a camera or friend

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Hi, I thought I'd share my thoughts after playing for close to a year and half and finally seeing positive results from all the hard work. I practice and play with a friend who has a handicap of 6, which has really helped. The first time in played with him I was amazed at the speed and ball flight he could produce, and I've been trying to replicate it since. I thought I'd mention some of the things I've changed in my swing which I think have had he greatest effect on my game. From humble beginnings to the current day... I'm not suggesting that because the following worked for me that they will by any means work for everyone, and I'm certainly not a pro. 1. When I first started It took a while to realise that I was not hitting the ball before the ground. I started visualising the ball 1-2 inches forwards, and making sure that the divot appears after the ball. This made a big difference. 2. I found that when I reached the top of my backswing I was then going full throttle all the way back down. I find the ball a lot easier to control and strike well if I begin the downswing gently and turn on the power gradually and smoothly through the ball. 3. Another game changer for me was making sure that my left wrist is facing target at address and kept flat-ish. The two changes I've made recently however have had by far, the greatest effect in terms of accuracy ball flight and adding huge compression. I noticed that when the pros set up for an iron shot l, their arms hang straight down. I noticed that mine hung forwards quite a bit. I think even when you 'feel' like they're hanging vertically, you'll be surprised to see in the mirror they are usually not. I now set up with my arms closer to my body (which means tilting forward more or moving ball closer. Finally, I think that majority of beginners do not realise how much you can attack the ball from the inside. I'm talking here about 'feeling' like you are hitting the back of he ball on the corner closest to you. Whether this is actually what's happening i don't know, but that's how it feels. The more I approach the golf ball on an inside path, and follow through with the club swinging to the right of the target, the more powerful the shot. If i exaggerate this action, the ball then starts to draw, which is something I didn't think I would be able to do. I would encourage anyone who is about to put a lot if time into practicing at the range to get a camera / iPhone. I used to hit bucketloads if balls and did not get any better until I started recording myself and was shocked that my golf club was not travelling anywhere close to the path that I thought it was travelling along. I had a severe 'over the top' swing that I was totally unaware of and was losing all power and accuracy due to me slicing across the ball. I think (in my amateur and zero qualified opinion :-). That it's difficult to hit the ball on an inside - outside swing path if your hands are pushed out away from your body at address and the ball is too far away. I think it's very difficult to get an inside out swing path and a powerful descending blow, without having your arms close to your body and swinging the club behind and around your body, instead of 'up and over' the head and body. Anyway, I hope there's some sense in that. If anyone disagrees with any if the above I'd be happy to be corrected. I am still learning.

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Congratulations on your progress! Very impressive. I definitely think you're on the right track. Excellent observations - thanks for getting me to think about some key positions that I've drifted away from - no wonder my ball striking has been inconsistent. I really like how you were observant enough to notice the quality of ball striking of your friend and that your swing/results were so different....and then worked to make the improvements you did. Great suggestion on the camera/phone to take pictures of your swing and what you're working on. It's very true that most of us can't really see how our swing really looks - feel isn't real - and waste a lot of time ingraining bad habits. I continue to be amazed at the hideous swings I see by some golfers who play regularly and wonder why the never improve.

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