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I don't do this because in the past I've messed up my swing more than I've helped it by swinging without a ball. I hear what's said about keeping the muscles toned and looking in the mirror, but the swing is such a fickle mistress that I break something more often than not if I'm just swinging to be swinging. I don't remember which one, but IIR it was one of the big three, Nelson/Snead/Hogan, that said it doesn't do any good to practice junk. I can't tell anything about my swing until the ball is in the air so to me anything without a ball is junk. I can't even go by divots -- my duck hooks leave great looking divots. At the very least I want a practice ball on the ground. If it's raining or cold I'll open a garage door and hit practice balls out into the yard off a sisal door mat. Practice balls are cheap and I can easily get a 100 swings a day that way, and I can make corrections if I don't like the ball flight. My 2c.
I'm 70 and started back 2 years ago after a major health hit and long layoff. I agree with iceman777 you should try hybrids. If you haven't played for a while then hybrids showed up while you were gone. When you take your lessons, find a pro that will bring a fairway wood and a hybrid to the lesson and analyze your swing with all three options: iron, hybrid, wood. If a pro doesn't have them your local golf shop will loan you clubs to take to the lesson. Then go with what you do best with. That's what I did and I stayed with my irons because I didn't do as well with the hybrids and woods, but I did much better with the hybrids than the woods. I play with other 70-somethings so be forewarned that regardless of your equipment fate has slowed your stride and you have to deal with that. Most par 4s are automatically par 5s for me and there's not a club in existence that will change that. A round of bogey golf used to depress me, but now it's a good day. Good luck.
I can only relate my experience. I use the same setup for both. If you search “Faldo driver” on YouTube you’ll see Faldo does, too. It’s the same setup except the club head is further forward because the ball is. You won’t be striking down on the ball because of the forward position of the ball in your stance. The nadir of a correctly made iron swing is slightly in front of the ball -- that’s where your divot will be -- so at the point where the club head strikes the ball you’re “hitting down” on it, but the nadir of a driver swing is at or slightly behind the ball, so you’re “hitting up” on it.
It’s just my opinion, but I think when people say “hands forward” they’re missing the point. At the nadir of a correctly-made swing the club weight and the forces involved because of that weight dictate that there will be a straight line from the shoulder to the club head. That’s going to happen and you can’t change that. A lot of golfers, Faldo included, simply set up that way to begin with. Look at Faldo in the picture. His hands are forward, but that’s irrelevant -- it’s the straight line from the shoulder to the club head which will be re-created during the downswing that’s relevant. I call that a “lower case y” set up, because that’s what it looks like, as opposed to a “Capital Y” setup. I was taught 40 years ago that the “Capital Y” setup forces you -- consciously or unconsciously -- to make dozens of adjustments during the swing because you’re going have to go from a “Capital Y” at setup to a “lower case y” at the nadir, though that’s the way most people, including Tiger Woods, set up. A “lower case y” setup places the club-arm continuum in the position you want it in when the club head strikes the ball, and when you swing your job, which is to re-create the swing-arc, is made easier.
So I make a straight line at setup with my irons, and I make the same straight line setup with my driver, but because the ball is further forward in my stance the club-arm continuum is just a little further along the swing arc.
Clearly the grip is weak. The V of your right hand is pointing to your cheek. Try rotating your right hand so that the V points over our right shoulder. This will cause the club face to come around more closed at impact. I have some other thoughts but that may be enough.
None of them are perfect, so sometimes you have to put up with some crap to get substance. A doctor that can fix a hole in your heart might have a horrible bed-side manner, but you’ll put up with that to get the hole in your heart fixed. All the pros I’ve been to gave a sales pitch. They can’t survive on one-timers ‘cause there aren’t enough one-timers who’ll fork over dollars for lessons. And usually they’re working on a plan based on what they see you do. You might think they’re trying to hook you by feeding you a little at a time but I read once that there are 28 things you have to do right to hit a golf ball with a 7-iron and if a pro gave you 28 things to work on in one lesson you know very well how that would turn out. But there are limits and I understand that.
Thinking back, I’ve been to 3 kinds of pros.
One knew what needed to be done but couldn’t explain it so that I could understand it. So he grabbed a club and said “like this” and hit the ball. But if I could look at someone else and do what they do I’d just watch Tiger Woods and not have to pay a pro. It doesn’t matter if the miscommunication is his problem or mine, if we don’t connect so that he can communicate to me what I need to do so that I can do what he just did, I’m wasting my time so I don’t go back.
Another was condescending. I don’t put up with that. He goes home and tries to feed beets to his 2-year-old by saying “open the tunnel here comes the choo-choo” and he comes to my lesson and tries the same crap on me to get me to swing a club. Not me. I’m outta here. It sounds like you may have had some of that.
Best pro I ever went to was a driving range pro in Dallas. He had a rough tee-side manner but had me playing well enough to enjoy the game. I was 42 and he was about 80. I will never forget casting because it went like this:
I swung at the ball. I don’t remember if I hit it or not.
“You’re casting,” says he.
“What does that mean?” says me.
Make a swing like you’re trying to hit a baseball,” says he.
I swung at an imaginary baseball.
"Somewhere in that swing you experienced maximum inertia that tried to pull the club from your hands. Where was that?” says he.
I held the club out front somewhere.
“Exactly. When you cast the club, that maximum inertia point is somewhere behind you. By the time the club head gets to the ball the swing is over. You might as well put the damned club down and kick the damned ball. You’ll play better golf. Now swing again like you’re swinging at a baseball only this time swing down and make sure the golf ball gets in the way.”
I set up.
“And don’t move your feet,” says he.
“What?” says me.
“Do I stutter? You heard me. Don’t move your damned feet. You’re lifting your left heel. Don’t do that. And don’t move your damned head, either. This is golf, not baseball.” says he.
The session went like that and by the end he had explained damned feet and damned legs and damned hips and damned sway and all that and I was hitting my 5-iron 180 yards straight down range. That lesson had substance. I took 5 lessons from him. I wish he was here in Florida today.
So the question is, did the things your pro gave you to work on have substance enough that you are willing to put up with his mannerisms? If not, move on. Regardless of substance, if his tee-side manner was uncomfortable to you then you won’t take him seriously or you won’t look forward to the next lesson. That’s why I bail on condescension. Wherever you are there are other pros in your area, so find one. It’s your money and you worked hard for it so when you spend it get value in return.
You can see this in your swing sequence and you have a feel cue to help you resolve it. In frame 4 your left foot is perpendicular to the target as it should be. But instead of starting your left knee toward the target, frame 5 shows that early in the swing you pull your left knee straight back, putting your weight on your left heel. In frame 5 all of your weight is on your left heel which allows you to actually lift your left toe and rotate it towards the target. You can see that your toe is off the ground. If your weight was evenly distributed you wouldn't be able to do that. In frame 6 your left foot has rotated and is now pointed directly at the target. That's your cue. At the range, you can work on developing the feeling at setup that your weight is evenly distributed between your heel and your toe - actually the ball of your foot - and when you make your swing do whatever you have to do to keep it that way. If you keep your weight properly distributed, you won't be able to lift your left heel or toe during the swing and at the end of the swing your left foot will be where it was at setup.
I was considering trying S&T because of my back problems, but I always thought S&T was supposed to simplify the swing process. Now what I'm reading is that it has its own faults and nuances and I can trade one set of swing faults for another set and it's gonna take me years to learn S&T just like it took me years to learn the old one. I'm 69. I don't have years.
You're setting up with the ball too far forward in your stance. On your 9-iron the ball should be in the center or just to the right of center in your stance and you have it to the left of center. With the driver you set up with the ball even with the inside of the left foot and it should be a few inches further back. Your setup adds loft and causes a higher flight. Look at the pros on YouTube and note their ball placement at setup. Also, on your driver you are swaying to your right on the back swing. On your face-on driver video, place your cursor on your nose at the start of the swing and you'll see the sway. You'll also note that you do not sway back during the swing. Once you sway to the right you stay back there. So the club reaches the low point of the downswing further behind the ball causing you to hit the ball on the upswing, resulting on a higher flightpath. Do that cursor placement with virtually any pro on YouTube and you'll see how still they keep their head during the swing. Apparently you do not sway with your irons (you didn't on the video above) or you would hit the ground behind the ball or take a huge divot. You get away with it with the driver only because the ball is on a high tee. So, I would suggest (1) a ball placement further back in your stance and (2) keep your head still. Nice looking swing, by the way.
I looked at your video and I see a big, glaring "been there done that". See your left heel at the top of your swing? It's out of control. KEEP YOUR LEFT HEEL FIRMLY PLANTED ON THE GROUND THROUGHOUT THE SWING. Watch the Hogan video and watch him keep his left heel planted. Compare his to yours. Watch a TV golf tournament this weekend and watch every swing. You will not see a single professional golfer raise his heel at the top of the swing. Not one. If you raise your heel all kinds of things happen. FIRST, you sway to the right (in your front view video, put your cursor on your crotch and you'll see that at the top of the swing your heel is high off the ground and you have swayed your entire body to your right rather than coiling around your right leg). SECOND, you start your swing by planting your heel rather than bumping your hip and when you do that only the good lord knows where the club is going to go, but it's probably going to go outside-in. THIRD, look at your left foot at the completion of the swing. It's pointed at the target. Also look at your hips. Your hips have rotated so much they are pointing to the left of the target. That means that instead of uncoiling the swing toward the target, your whole body has rotated counter-clockwise beyond the target which will force a terrific pull or hook. That all started at the beginning of the downswing when you rotated your left foot 45 degrees to the left of your original setup position. I could go on, but that's enough. Keeping your heel firmly planted throughout the swing will resolve all three of these errors. Watch Hogan above. Watch the pros this weekend. Forget everything but that left heel. Compare every left heel you see with your left heel in your video. Then go the the driving range and hit an entire bucket of balls concentrating on nothing but keeping your left foot firmly planted on the ground.