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DaveST

Can't copy lag from practice swing into real swing

28 posts in this topic

So I have a very big mental block that I cannot seem to find a way to overcome. Video analysis and stills from my swings show that in my practice swings I have tremendous club lag but in my actual swing it all goes out the door. My shots are still great shots but I can see this is where I am losing a lot of potential power. What's worse is I know that I can do it but no matter what I can't repeat it on an actual shot. Even my greatest shots on tape show that I was far from hitting the angles of my practice swing. I understand it's mental but are there any drills I could do to eliminate this difference? Pictures attached. First practice swing pic, then actual swing, then practice, then actual etc....
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Since I'm a 23 HDCP, consider this as advice from your caddie rather than your pro. ;-)

You are doing what my pro has been trying to get me to quit doing: not having a full hip turn on the downswing, and ending up relying on the arms too much.

You'll have more lag if you let your hip rotation pull your arms and club through the impact zone.

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I am not looking for a swing fix beyond a way to repeat the practice swing and I don't even agree with that sorry. My hip turn looks the same to me in both the practice swing and actual swing and all I want right now is a repeat of my practice swing. My hips turn fully through post impact This has to do with the anxiety of addressing the ball and the tenseness that comes with that. I'm trying to learn how to swing through as if the ball isn't there...
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I would actually say the real swing looks closer to what you would want.  The practice swing looks like you would have to much forward shaft lean.

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I would rather deal with that issue separate from what is obviously a mental block though. I want to be swinging free. The actual swing I'm missing positions on the downswing and losing the lag too early. That's worse to me than having too much forward lean in the shaft.
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Since I'm a 23 HDCP, consider this as advice from your caddie rather than your pro.

You are doing what my pro has been trying to get me to quit doing: not having a full hip turn on the downswing, and ending up relying on the arms too much.

You'll have more lag if you let your hip rotation pull your arms and club through the impact zone.


I think he is on it here still. I don't think you would get much more power out of your practice swing either because your hips do not change. I went through some painful rounds because I was swinging to hard with my arms when I hit the ball. What helped me and TIFWIW, was to stop (perceive to) at the top of my back swing and allow my body to get started first, allowing my hips to turn. I was losing all my lag, yanking the club down and getting off my front foot. You still get plenty of power with the swing.

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I'm still learning the game myself, so you should probably ignore what I have to say, but I'll say it anyway!

Lag should be a natural result of a good swing, and not forced, a good back swing with a full wrist hinge, a down swing with no tension in the arms and grip, starting from the ground up and getting those hips moving, using the entire body, those things will give you great lag, I do think better players keep the wrists from releasing too soon, but it's probably more a result of the whipping action they create with their body rather than tightening the wrists and arm muscles to hold the club back.

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I feel like you guys are misunderstanding my goal here.

Creating lag is not the issue. My practice swing shows that I am able to create it easily without forcing it or being tense. That's the point. The problem I have is that I am not able to maintain this freedom and lag in my actual swing.

Also please stop trying to address the hip turn - again I am not asking how to get more power. I am asking how to repeat the easy free flowing practice swing I have ALREADY managed to make.

You are also misreading the still images. The video shows a full hip turn. Regardless, the hip turn is not affecting the practice swing or the lag and therefor not the solution I am seeking here.

Hip turn is full and complete.

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I think he is on it here still. I don't think you would get much more power out of your practice swing either because your hips do not change. I went through some painful rounds because I was swinging to hard with my arms when I hit the ball. What helped me and TIFWIW, was to stop (perceive to) at the top of my back swing and allow my body to get started first, allowing my hips to turn. I was losing all my lag, yanking the club down and getting off my front foot. You still get plenty of power with the swing.

That is one thing I am trying out to see if it helps because I did notice in the slow motion videos that my practice swing had that unconscious drop before initiating the downswing while my actual swing you can see the tenseness as my hands initiate pulling it down. That's not really a hip move though (I'm uploading to youtube a video now) that is more of an issue of my upper body being too tense and trying to force it

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I'm not sure you're listening to what people are telling you…

The above is a ridiculous amount of shaft lean and will do nothing good for your golf game.

This is the PROPER amount of shaft lean and the entire point of Key #3 (if you look up 5 Simple Keys®).

I would rather deal with that issue separate from what is obviously a mental block though. I want to be swinging free. The actual swing I'm missing positions on the downswing and losing the lag too early. That's worse to me than having too much forward lean in the shaft.

You're not losing the lag too early. Not even close.

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I'm not sure you're listening to what people are telling you…

The above is a ridiculous amount of shaft lean and will do nothing good for your golf game.

This is the PROPER amount of shaft lean and the entire point of Key #3 (if you look up 5 Simple Keys®).

You're not losing the lag too early. Not even close

So your way of helping is to ignore what I am seeking help with completely and just telling me my swing has the proper lag and I don't need help? Gee that's helpful!

Rather than everyone throwing their swing fixes at me I am looking for someone to reply that has experience in overcoming mental blocks and repeating the same swing as a practice swing in a real swing.

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Here is a slow motion video of a practice swing and actual swing.

Again. The issue is that the two swings are different. The actual swing loses it's angle way too early. There IS a middle ground between having too much club lean at impact (practice swing) and losing the angle too early (actual swing) and I can't get there until this block is broken.

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Taking the chance of getting scolded but..... What makes you think it's a mental block and not a fundamental in the swing? You are swing faster when hitting after all. I have a hard time analyzing swings because I am not a pro and all but it looks like something in your left arm is the culprit. Not sure what but it looks different on the full swing to me. Like it's crowding you In the full swing so your left shoulder is raising quicker and not rotating. Heck it might be your whole left side. Be a pal though and if you figure it out shoot me a PM with the answer because I lose my angle at my right pocket. That's from the video by the way not the stills. The video is much more useful.
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So your way of helping is to ignore what I am seeking help with completely and just telling me my swing has the proper lag and I don't need help? Gee that's helpful!

No, my way of helping you is to tell you that you're pursuing something that's harmful and wrong.

But… the pictures you posted before are not what we see in the video:

Based on THAT, I agree that you're losing the lag and the shaft's lining up too early (poor Key #3). Your practice swing is perfect (as opposed to WAY overdone in the photos posted earlier), and your actual swing is not the same as before.

Rather than everyone throwing their swing fixes at me I am looking for someone to reply that has experience in overcoming mental blocks and repeating the same swing as a practice swing in a real swing.

In my experience, it's not a "mental block." Based on your swing, it's not a mental block either, IMO:


You're overdoing certain things. You set up too far forward (the camera angle isn't perfect, but it's not too far off), you then GO farther forward, and the entire downswing is an attempt to not hit the ball knee high to a grasshopper.

IMO, you have a mechanical issue, not a mental one. Sure, you can swing at grass and make a divot, but you aren't worried about hitting a ball in the air with your practice swings.

Originally Posted by DaveST

Here is a slow motion video of a practice swing and actual swing.

Thanks for posting that. I'm not sure why you posted the pictures before. The one you didn't like is just about perfect.

Again. The issue is that the two swings are different. The actual swing loses it's angle way too early. There IS a middle ground between having too much club lean at impact (practice swing) and losing the angle too early (actual swing) and I can't get there until this block is broken.

Again, I will say I don't think it's mental, but mechanical. Head goes down and forward, then tries to recover the entire backswing.

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Taking the chance of getting scolded but.....

What makes you think it's a mental block and not a fundamental in the swing? You are swing faster when hitting after all. I have a hard time analyzing swings because I am not a pro and all but it looks like something in your left arm is the culprit. Not sure what but it looks different on the full swing to me. Like it's crowding you In the full swing so your left shoulder is raising quicker and not rotating. Heck it might be your whole left side. Be a pal though and if you figure it out shoot me a PM with the answer because I lose my angle at my right pocket.

That's from the video by the way not the stills. The video is much more useful.

Thanks for the reply. I think its a mental block only because no matter how many videos or swings I take I can't come close to repeating the angles in my actual swing. Even if I shanked, hit it thin or fat I just want to see that I can make the same swing. My goal of course is to just maintain the lag deeper into the swing like Sergio, NOT have extreme club lean like the stills but just holding off the release longer. I feel it is mental because I can feel my muscles tighten ever so slightly when addressing the ball which I'm sure leads to all those other issues. That tightness though that's what I want to get rid of. I actually can hear the club swinging much faster in the practice swing than the actual swing too because of maintaining the club lag longer.

So far the only workable solution I have found is to start low and slow practicing 1/5 swings to 1/4 swings gradually more and more maintaining the club lag until I am up to a full swing but it is slow going and I haven't made much progress yet.

Sorry to those offering help that I am short with but the big issue to me is WHY the swings different not which one in your mind is better.

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No, my way of helping you is to tell you that you're pursuing something that's harmful and wrong.

But… the pictures you posted before are not what we see in the video:

Based on THAT, I agree that you're losing the lag and the shaft's lining up too early (poor Key #3). Your practice swing is perfect (as opposed to WAY overdone in the photos posted earlier), and your actual swing is not the same as before.

In my experience, it's not a "mental block." Based on your swing, it's not a mental block either, IMO:

You're overdoing certain things. You set up too far forward (the camera angle isn't perfect, but it's not too far off), you then GO farther forward, and the entire downswing is an attempt to not hit the ball knee high to a grasshopper.

IMO, you have a mechanical issue, not a mental one. Sure, you can swing at grass and make a divot, but you aren't worried about hitting a ball in the air with your practice swings.

Thanks for posting that. I'm not sure why you posted the pictures before. The one you didn't like is just about perfect.

Again, I will say I don't think it's mental, but mechanical. Head goes down and forward, then tries to recover the entire backswing.

Thank you I find this a lot more helpful. I posted the pictures I could that were the most recent because I didn't have a youtube account and it took until now to get it started and the video uploaded.

The reason it still feels mental to me is exactly because of what you said though, I'm not worrying about trying to get the ball in the air on the practice swing. To me that sounds like the definition of a mental block. I see the issues you point out but at the same time I see the those same movements in both the practice swing and actual swing. I'm aware my head drops on the downswing but it hits the same spot it started in at impact as I stand up. Not to say I shouldn't work on that but since it is evident in both swings it doesn't seem like the fix to me.

This gives me things to work on but I do the same things in both swings. His left arm looks more relaxed though. I am certainly going to work on stopping from tilting over my left side though and get more centered and work on my head movements thank you

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The reason it still feels mental to me is exactly because of what you said though, I'm not worrying about trying to get the ball in the air on the practice swing. To me that sounds like the definition of a mental block.

I disagree. The purpose of a golf swing is to hit the ball solidly, in the air, with curve, blah blah blah.

A functional golf swing does not generally hit a 6-iron 30 feet in the air (or whatever club you have there). I see the issue as mechanical, not mental. Your swing is forcing you to make a compensation (flipping, reaching inline prematurely, whatever you wanna call it).

You cannot just make the "practice swing" with a ball in the way and play good golf. It won't work very well. It'll hit the ball too low.

I see the issues you point out but at the same time I see the those same movements in both the practice swing and actual swing.

And again, in the practice swing, there's no ball that's going to go head-high with a 7-iron. So you don't need to compensate.

I'm aware my head drops on the downswing but it hits the same spot it started in at impact as I stand up. Not to say I shouldn't work on that but since it is evident in both swings it doesn't seem like the fix to me.

I think that it is. It's not a golf swing that will launch the ball in the air, thus, when an actual ball is on the ground, you must make a compensation to get some height on the shot.

In other words: your practice swing has flaws too.

I only bolded that because it's a different way of saying that "it's mechanical." You're treating your practice swing as a gold standard, but it's just the same swing without a compensation. It too needs work and can/should be improved.

Also, I'll assume "downswing" was a typo, as it drops down and forward in the backswing.

This gives me things to work on but I do the same things in both swings. His left arm looks more relaxed though. I am certainly going to work on stopping from tilting over my left side though and get more centered and work on my head movements thank you

You need to feel like you stay in your forward flexion more and that your left shoulder translates back toward your right foot a little bit (or some variation of that). It's kind of an "anti-S&T;" motion, but… we find that a lot of S&T; students eventually start overdoing pieces.

Paging @JetFan1983 and others…

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haha yes definitely a typo - I meant backswing not downswing

It's less that I am treating my practice swing as the gold standard and more that I just seek the relaxed feel I have during it which allows for a faster club head and maintained club lag. Right or wrong I feel more tense over the ball and it affects my swing. I understand there are differences in mechanics between the two swings and neither are perfect but what I want to overcome is the anxiety and tenseness when addressing the ball. A tense muscle is a slow muscle after all.. and far less flexible

That said I am working on the points addressed immediately but I don't agree with your reasoning to cast away the difference from the practice swing. However I will be working on this first and see where it leads so thank you

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