BERKSHIRE VALLEY #2.
Here's a flavor of what makes this particular hole SUCK !!!!!!!!
- From the WHITES, it plays anywhere from 215-230 yds. PGA long for guys that routinely play 6000 yards - it's just wrong in every way .. read on.
- Green is long from front to back but very narrow.
- Gnarly deep bunkers on each side of the green.
- Steep unaccessible hillside OB left, cliff OB right, OB fescue long.
- It runs parallel to the top of a mountainside - always have a stiff wind in your face.
I've played the hole probably 50-60 times & held the green maybe a half dozen times, probably less. A good shot almost always winds up in one of the bunkers. It's so tight, I know a split second after contact without even looking at the ball if I need to start reaching in my pocket for another ball - it's without question the most bastardly par 3 I've ever encountered.
That friends is nothing less than one shitty par 3 ... but I keep thinking one day the stars might align & if I ever birdie it, that ball is going on the wall !!!!!!!!!
So my recent evolvr lesson has to do with this position on the downswing. My right arm needs to be less across my body and more pointed straight at the camera. Secondly, although I wasn't completely clear on whether this is true, the line from my shaft to the ground needs to be pointed at or outside the ball rather than down between the ball and my feet.
Eric's advice on how to do this mostly was to swing more "outward" rather than "downward."
In the past I recognized something I believe to be related when studying differences between my swing and professional swings. Pretty much all pros have a sort of loop at the top of the transition where the clubhead appears to drop back behind them before they do much on the downswing. After this move the shaft is definitely pointing outside the ball and remains that way all the way down. I noticed I start the downswing with a kind of downward move with my head and shoulders. With this move my club at best starts down without changing direction much, and at worst loops in the opposite direction of the pros. At the time I tried to change this, pretty much to no avail. Now that I have it on good authority that it is a priority I think I'll try harder.
Unfortunately I have no idea how. I gave it a try at the range yesterday but swing "outward" to me is fairly synonymous with "try to shank it" or "try to slice it." Since it was the range where result don't matter I gave those swing thoughts a try anyway, and they worked perfectly... I shanked and sliced everyone one. Also, the videos showed that the position at A5 was, if anything, even worse than before so obviously that wasn't working.
Eric also said that further improving my wrist hinge will probably not tie into the above, but since that leaves some possibility that it will I decided to work on that. Here are two full swings where I swing back slower than usual so I can exaggerate the wrist hinge as much as I possibly can.
The first was a large push off the toe and the second was a dead straight great shot. Interestingly, the frame at the A5 position in both swings is almost identical. Here's one because I can't tell the difference:
It actually does appear my arm is pointing straight back a little better here, but the shaft is probably aiming even more downward than in the photo at the top of the post. I'm not really sure which is more important but I have to believe pointing that much down is bad so Eric was probably right about it not tying in to the wrist hinge. And I think those were pretty good hinges if I do say so myself!
Later, I messed around a bit in front of the mirror to see if I could get a feeling where I was doing the right thing and did find something. It seemed if I could start the downswing with more of a hip move, doing as little as possible with the shoulders, my arms and club got into a pretty decent position. Now Eric didn't mention anything remotely of that nature in the relevant video but it could just be a feel thing: I feel hip but I'm actually moving my arms and club in a more outward direction.
Anyway, for now that gives my something to try next time, but I suspect this piece will be a lot harder to improve than the wrist hinge since it's during such a dynamic part of the swing.