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My Swing (bplewis24) - Page 2

post #19 of 224
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomboys View Post




Please take this as a compliment, but are you related to Rickey Henderson?  You have a similar physique to his and a swing from a deep-crouched position similar to his.  And, for those that aren't up to speed on his backround, his first love was football, not baseball.
 

But, back to golf.  

 

I'm no expert, so take what I say with a big grain of salt.  IMO, with the proper instructor, you'll have no problem shooting better scores just after 2 to 4 lessons.

 

*snip*

 

 

First off, no relation to Ricky Henderson a1_smile.gif.  However, growing up in northern California in the 80s and 90s as an Oakland A's fan, he was my favorite baseball player and I used to always try and emulate his batting stance.  So maybe it's a bit of coincidence or maybe not.  In fact, I even wore #24 all throughout high school & college football in part because of Ricky.
 

Second, thank you for going into detail with your post.  I can relate to some of those things.  Last year I probably played 2-4 rounds per week from April to July, whether it be 9 or 18 holes.  This year, I'm always hesitant to go play or even go to the range because my mis-hits are so bad.  I played one 18-hole round with my brother a few weeks ago and shot 100+.  I didn't want to play again until I spent some time on the range after that.  But my range sessions haven't been good, so it feels like a waste of time.

 

Even this week, it's been great weather, and I'm itching to go to the course to practice or play, and eventually I talk myself out of it due to not wanting to get frustrated by my play.  So, needless to say I'm definitely going to get lessons, and I'm anxious to get started.  I will start by taking a half-hour lesson from this instructor and see if I like him, and if I do I'll commit to further lessons.  Being single and near 3 golf courses, I have plenty of time to practice until football season starts.  I coach high school football and we have spring ball next week, but then don't start up our summer practices until June.  

 

Thanks everybody for the input.

 

Brandon

post #20 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by bplewis24 View Post

Well, it's definitely not going to be easy

Went to the range and tried working on rotating my hips, sliding my weight forward and swinging from the inside. It will take more getting used to as I hit several complete shanks that slid off to the right about 50 yards away (5iron). But I did consistently take divots, which has been eluding me. Most of them were about even with the ball, though, and not in front. I'll keep working on it and see where it takes me, cause right now I have to consciously think about rotating my hips, which kind of has me taking my eye off the ball.

On the plus side, when I do it properly (as far as what I'm trying to accomplish), I hit a push-draw with my irons. Also, (hips rotate, weight shift forward, hands release inside) it seems to generate more power. I hit driver for the last 5-7 balls, and although most were slices, I hit a few straight that apparently went further than most drives I've hit before. One hit the back net on the 2nd bounce, which I've never done at this range before.

Can't wait to go back tomorrow.

Brandon


 

Brandon,

 

I'm curious how you've progressed.  My 2 cents here, whether they're still relevant or not.....  Casting is almost always the result of early rotation of the shoulders.  This is the case when your shoulders start opening up very quickly from the top of your swing.  The advice to focus on lateral motion to help your cast seems fairly sound to me.  This slight lateral motion of the lower body while the head stays back flattens out the downswing plane and keeps the shoulders wound up until later in the downswing.  You may have a problem just trying to shift from where you are because you really aren't enough into your right side.  If you take a look at Ben Hogan at the top of his backswing, you'll see that his nose is pretty much over his right knee.  Note that he didn't shift to the right to accomplish this..  that would be a slide and would require an equivalent slide on the downswing to compensate.  He simply tilted his shoulders to the right at address (right shoulder lower, spine leaning slightly right) and then turned around them.  So the address is preset, and the motion is purely rotational.  You seem to have the purely rotational part, but you're spine is too vertical to achieve a shallow swing plane without a significant move of the hips.  That's my perspective from the rotary swing style.  Also, not strictly a fundamental, but your left foot opens up in your finish nicely.  Why not preset it there at address so you don't have to torque your knee and let the foot slip to get there?

 

post #21 of 224

He started a thread recently inquiring about lessons.  Here's the link: http://thesandtrap.com/forum/thread/46195/r-o-i-on-just-a-couple-lessons 

post #22 of 224


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bplewis24 View Post

Okay, so a close follow of my recent posting history would show I was intent on purchasing a new 3 wood.  Over the weekend, after another horrible outing at the range while attempting to work on getting more hip shift and my hands more forward at impact, I've decided that I should take that money I was going to spend on a 3 wood and get some lessons instead.  I noticed that the Mizuno rep I was dealing with at the demo day is also the local pro at a course I frequent a lot.  I almost consider it my "home course."  He offers instruction packages of 30 minutes for $50, 60 minutes for $100, or a 4 part, 4 hour lesson for around $300.  

 

So, my question is, how beneficial have people found it to get only 2-4 lessons from an instructor?  Would a more advanced/better swing benefit more from such a short period of instruction, or would a poor swing/very high handicap benefit more?  I'm just wondering if it would be worth my time to get only 2-4 1 hour sessions.

 

Here is my swing from last year for reference.  As a person who has been a teacher/coach myself (football), I have always been good at accepting instruction, if that makes any difference.

 

Brandon


 

I've only ever had two lessons in my life, combined with a lot of self-study, personal video analysis, and just some thoughtful reflection swinging a golf club in my front yard.  It turns out, I had built in some pretty decent fundamentals on my own, but had overlooked some key things that felt a little unnatural but that I immediately recognized as correct and incorporated into my swing very quickly.  Both lessons left the good things in place and focused on getting me into better positions at address and at the top.  I have to say they were both eye openers with regards to the full swing.  I don't know how much longer that can continue, but I suspect a little more.  I'm taking another lesson on Friday to focus on developing a plan to improve my scoring average.  If you have a good understanding of the kinetic chain that drives the golf swing, what proper sequencing is, and a goal to generate and maintain a lot of lag going into impact, I would say for most people just a handful of lessons should be enough.  Regardless, it takes a lot of drill and repetition to hammer out a good ballstriker, so just a little bit of instruction combined with a lot of practice, patience, and hard work has always seemed best in my experience.  I must say, the first lesson lowered my handicap from 19.6 to around 9.5 almost immediately.  The only real fix I was given was to correct some S posture and work on some lower back exercises and hip flexor stretching.  That was like a magic panacea for me, since I was already trying to do the right things, but couldn't because of some misguided advice someone gave me years ago about sticking your butt out at address.  What was so great about that was that it was by far the biggest fault.  He just picked that apart and had me focus on it.  I'm sure when I go back, he'll pick smaller and smaller things to tweak.  I definitely recommend a handful of lessons.

post #23 of 224
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bunkerputt View Post

 

Brandon,

 

I'm curious how you've progressed.  



To be blunt, I've only gotten worse.

 

When I recorded this swing last year, it was one of my last rounds before the football season went into full-throttle and I had to focus on coaching more than golf.  I played a few rounds late in the year, but my handicap went from 11 to 15 as I didn't have much time to practice what I learned.  

 

When I started playing this season last month, I basically forgot everything I planned on working on last year.  My first round was in the 100s and I'm going to start with some lessons next week (I spoke with the instructor today at the range) before I play another round.  Mentally I'm just too frustrated to play right now.  I will update my progress as I get lessons over the next few weeks.

 

Brandon

post #24 of 224
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bunkerputt View Post


 


If you have a good understanding of the kinetic chain that drives the golf swing, what proper sequencing is, and a goal to generate and maintain a lot of lag going into impact, I would say for most people just a handful of lessons should be enough.  Regardless, it takes a lot of drill and repetition to hammer out a good ballstriker, so just a little bit of instruction combined with a lot of practice, patience, and hard work has always seemed best in my experience.  I must say, the first lesson lowered my handicap from 19.6 to around 9.5 almost immediately.  The only real fix I was given was to correct some S posture and work on some lower back exercises and hip flexor stretching.  That was like a magic panacea for me, since I was already trying to do the right things, but couldn't because of some misguided advice someone gave me years ago about sticking your butt out at address.  What was so great about that was that it was by far the biggest fault.  He just picked that apart and had me focus on it.  I'm sure when I go back, he'll pick smaller and smaller things to tweak.  I definitely recommend a handful of lessons.


I think my main problem is that I have absolutely no idea how to maintain lag going into impact.  When I try and work on it myself at the range, I make solid contact with the ball probably 30% of the time, and it's unbelievably frustrating.  

 

My plan as of this moment is to either get one half-hour lesson from this guy and then make a decision to purchase his 4-lesson package, get 1 more 1-hour lesson, or find a different instructor (if necessary).  Either that, or I may just purchase 2 full-hour lessons outright.  I have 4.5 weeks before summer football camp starts and I have to coach in the afternoons.  So I am thinking 1-2 lessons a week with range-time every weekday in between lessons to continue what I've learned.

 

My goal is to show significant improvement by the time Memorial day comes around.

 

Brandon 

 

post #25 of 224

A couple of lessons + specific practice time will help you improve. You need to schedule your week so that you practice later on lesson day, plus two out of the next three days if at all possible. You don't have to hit 200 balls at one of these practice sessions - methodically hitting 30-40 balls gives much more benefit.

 

Other things to consider:

  • Video analysis, plus a video summary of your lesson, really helps most people. The video summary ( a la Golf Galaxy) shows you the before and after, and identifies things to practice. You can pull it off your e-mail, and play it before you go to the range. Or, you could load it up to an iPod and play it at the range.
  • Some instructors give you swing drills you can do at home. Some don't even involve hitting balls. Since you're away from a golf course when you do them, you're not distracted by wanting to run over to the first tee and play. A lot of things come to mind when you're doing these drills, and you realize things about how to swing properly. 

 

One teaching pro told me he gives some people the same basic lesson twice a summer because they never practice after the first lesson.

 

post #26 of 224

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by bplewis24 View Post

He offers instruction packages of 30 minutes for $50, 60 minutes for $100, or a 4 part, 4 hour lesson for around $300.  

 

Not exactly a shrewd businessman.. no real incentive to pay him more money all at once. I would purchase lessons as needed if there is no discount for buying more all at once.

 

I bought 5 lessons for $200 ($50 a lesson otherwise) and after the first lesson made a huge breakthrough. The next two lessons were reinforcing the lessons learned, and the last two were correcting issues from a previous round. 

 

Something you should know before going to your lesson is what you want to get out of it.. specifically. (i.e. fix a slice/hook, more accuracy/distance, etc.) otherwise the instructor is just going to fix whatever flaws you have on that particular day. 30 minutes flies.. so squeeze every last drop out of your investment. I could have used this advice for my lessons to bring a bit more focus to what I wanted to get out of it.

 

Good luck and enjoy. =)

post #27 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by anotherday View Post

 

 

Not exactly a shrewd businessman.. no real incentive to pay him more money all at once. I would purchase lessons as needed if there is no discount for buying more all at once.

 

 

+1 I don't like pre-paying for something like lessons even if there's a reasonable discount until I'm certain I am benefitting from them.  My current instructor is $100 / hr, or 4 hours for $375.  I didn't want to be obligated to spend 3 more hours with the guy if I felt my first hour was a waste of time or go through the hassle to get a refund. 

 

 

post #28 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by bplewis24 View Post

 

I think my main problem is that I have absolutely no idea how to maintain lag going into impact.  When I try and work on it myself at the range, I make solid contact with the ball probably 30% of the time, and it's unbelievably frustrating.  

.....

My goal is to show significant improvement by the time Memorial day comes around.


WRT lag, you're not at all alone, so just keep studying and working at it and the breakthroughs will come.  I think the previous advice given about acquiring some lateral motion will help a great deal in this respect.

 

To plug instruction in general, before I took lessons and had some time to reflect on the whole process, I didn't really see that they were that critical.  I figured I was only going to improve regardless, and all I was buying was quicker improvement.  I have a little different view now after taking lessons.  As humans, we have this uncanny inability to really evaluate ourselves objectively.  Maybe we don't want to take an honest assessment because we're afraid of what we might find.  Somehow, that same thing applies to teaching ourselves the golf swing.  It's just really hard to see what we are doing until someone points it out.  Then it's really crystal clear.  I still look at videos of myself and find myself only focusing on what I like about my swing.  I tend to not ask myself things like, "Why is my elbow in that position exactly?" for example.  It's the same thing that happens to us when we look at ourselves in the mirror.  It's just hard too hard not to walk away and think you are one handsome SOB.

 

post #29 of 224

I have tried a few instructors over the years and before committing to a series of lessons, I would try a couple of instructors to see who best fits your game and learning style.  With that said, one 30 minute lesson can go a long way when it comes to addressing the basics - set-up, grip & alignment. 

 

For example, during my first lesson, my instructor was able to identify a couple of issues with my grip and alignment that made a world of difference.  After working on those at the range & on the course, I returned a month later to start a series of lessons, 6 for $200 which were spread over 10-12 weeks. 

 

As you begin to correct certain areas of your game, you will see other flaws that may have gone un-noticed.  I fixed my slice and realized my short game was horrible . . . then I could not find my putting speed etc.  As another member said - know what you want to work on, otherwise the instructor may be continuing the same thought progress as the previous student. Describe the problem and what you hope to achieve.  If you get nothing from the lesson, at least part of the blame lays on the student. 

 

Good luck.

 

 

post #30 of 224
Thread Starter 

Okay, haven't gotten any instruction yet (still looking at different instructors, but Golf Galaxy is out of the question until at least 2 weeks from now), but I have made some progress over the past couple of days.  

 

When I left the range on Wednesday, I was very discouraged and didn't plan on going back until I got a lesson booked.  But on the drive home, I had a thought that maybe one last practice technique might help.  I went back on Thursday and set up each iron shot (6-iron) with the ball sitting just inside my left heel.  At address I basically set up as if there were an imaginary ball in the middle of my stance, but on the follow through, I tried to hit the actual ball about 4-5 inches ahead.  The thinking was that if I could hit that ball (even if on the upswing), I would be hitting down on the ball in the middle of my stance.  I realize this may create some bad habits, but I needed something extreme to help me get the proper feeling of hitting down and through the ball, and so far this has been helping.

 

I did that Thursday and Friday and then transitioned to putting the ball back in the middle of my stance, and imagining a second ball 2-3 inches in front of that ball that I wanted to hit.  Friday I played a few holes and showed some progress.  It doesn't always work, but I'm starting to get a feel for my swing back.

 

Now, I played today, and while I'm not sure these practice habits are necessarily to credit for this, but for the first time in my life I recorded 3 straight birdies.  Okay, so I still shot +10 over 9 holes, but for about a 5 hole stretch, I was in some sort of a groove.  The first three holes I duffed two tee shots (going about 40 yards each) and had two three-putts for +5 through three holes.  Then I hit the next 5 greens in regulation and 3/3 fairways in regulation.  I holed a one-foot putt for birdie, and then back-to-back 15 foot putts.  Then, feeling pretty good about myself, I recorded a 10 on the par 4 finishing hole after putting two in the water :)

 

Anyway, the feeling is coming back and hopefully getting just a couple of lessons will really help me dial in and understand exactly what is happening and why on both good and bad shots.

 

Brandon

post #31 of 224
Thread Starter 

Alright, just got home from my first lesson.  It took every ounce of willpower to NOT immediately play a round of golf afterwards, but I digress...

 

I like the guy.  He seemed to give me good instruction and articulate his points well.  And he would use good analogies when necessary to get points across.  But of course the ultimate test is for me to show improvement, and I did.

 

I showed more immediate improvement with my Driver more so than with my irons.  It is so incredibly hard to not simply throw my hands and "flip" at the ball, but he gave me some good pointers on how to keep from "breaking my wrists down" and instead continue leading with my body and arms through the ball.  By the end of the lesson, even on my fat, chunky mis-hits, I was hitting it straight or drawing the ball slightly with a noticeably lower trajectory.  Before the lesson I consistently hit it high and right.  Still, it took about 30-40 swings before I actually showed progress with the irons.

 

With the driver, it took about 4 swings before I showed improvement.  The swing still doesn't feel 100% natural, but it feels more natural than the irons do right now.  And it consistently went pretty straight.  I believe him completely when he says that if I can hit the driver the way I did on the range today, I will shoot 75-80 every time out.  

 

I truly love hitting irons much more than a driver, though, and that is what I am more concerned with.  The feeling of compressing the ball with an iron and trapping it against the turf is awesome.  I will go practice more tomorrow and, to be honest, I'll probably play 9 holes.  Next week I'll go back for another lesson, and then I think I will pay for a swing analysis at Golf Galaxy so that I can get some video to take home and post here.

 

Brandon

 

 

post #32 of 224
Thread Starter 

Day 2 was tough.  I didn't have a lesson, but went back to the driving range to continue what I learned yesterday.  

 

I was hoping I would pick up where I left off with the same swing I left the range with on Monday, but it still took about 30 balls before I started to get the feeling of staying down on the ball again.  It didn't help that there was a golf pro at the range I went to that voluntarily decided to give me some pointers.  He saw me swinging, and I guess he had some new camera/swing analyzer software and he picked me of all people on the range to use it on.  Some of the stuff he mentioned was contradictory to what I learned Monday.

 

Anyway, I tried to be polite and listen but let him know I was working on some things another instructor had helped me with.  But he kept watching me, and I suddenly felt compelled to validate my earlier instructor by making good swings, which caused me to go back to my "flipping" motion.  It wasn't until he left that I settled down a bit.

 

That was with my irons.  With my driver, there was no change: I hit it great instantly.  I had an 82-ball bucket.  The first 72 swings were with my irons.  I hit 8 balls with my driver and all but two of them were dead straight, with the stray ones being pulled about 15-20 yards.  I finished up with my 6-iron.  out of 74 swings with my irons, maybe only 5-10 of them were good strikes.  This will take some time.

 

Brandon

post #33 of 224

Based on your previous video, we saw that you had a deep squat at address where you rose up on your downswing and a flip.  If I may ask, what did your instructor tell you to do? 

post #34 of 224
Thread Starter 

Well, I can't recall anything specific that isolated that issue, but in general he had me start with more of my weight forward and starting with a slow half-swing to help me get the feeling of having my weight forward on the downswing.  

 

Regarding the flip, he showed me video of my downswing and what I was doing with my hands, and tried to stress that I need to keep from breaking my wrists down and instead of throwing my hands at the ball, keep the wrists bent (flat?) and throw my "arms" at the ball, so to speak.  I can't recall anything else specific.  He said I was in a good position at the top of the swing.

 

It ended up clicking sufficiently well that I started hitting down on the ball and making some good contact, and eventually we moved on to the driver.  I go back for another session on Monday and I'll see if he has any specific drills for my iron shots.

 

As far as the deep squat goes, I can't say for sure if that is still the case.  Remember, that video is from last year, and I think I stand a bit more upright now.  I'm still only 5'7", so I'm sure it always looks like a deep squat regardless, but that video may be a bit dated in that regard.

 

Brandon

post #35 of 224
Thread Starter 

Can anybody suggest a player of similar build as me on tour for me to look at videos of?  Tim Clark is the same height, is he somebody I should look at?  Anybody a bit more athletic/flexible at around that same height?

 

Brandon

post #36 of 224
Thread Starter 

Quick update:

 

My ball-striking hasn't shown any tangible improvement yet, but I'm still getting slightly encouraged.  While I haven't put together the whole swing yet, I'm showing signs of compressing the ball in ways I never have before.  I'm encouraged by that even if I'm still making inconsistent contact (not always taking ball before turf with irons).

 

I should have some video to post over the weekend.  I'm scheduled for a half-hour at Golf Galaxy, and I'll try and post the analysis here if I can.

 

Brandon 

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