I started playing golf about 6 years ago and I always had a casting type of swing and when I saw Steve Stricker a few years ago, I stopped hinging in the backswing and tried to swing more like him. This served me well for a few years and I would normally shoot low to mid 80's and could, at times, shot in the 70's.
My distance has always sucked though. I am 5' 10" 195lbs (muscular) and very flexible. People I play with always comment on what a beautiful shoulder turn I have and I sometimes hear them whispering, "I can't believe his ball doesn't go any further than it does". When I swing out of my shoes, my drive goes about 245-250 and a normal 80% swing yields about 225. My 9 iron barely gets 110yards and my 6 iron is my 150 club.
I have been ok with these weak distances because my short game and putting are pretty good. I have always fought coming over the top and, until recently, was winning the battle. I have started slicing again and hitting so fat that is was killing my left elbow.
My cure and a giant revelation.....
I went to the range and was determined to fight through this again and get to where I could muddle through with my Stricker swing so I bought a giant $20 bucket of balls and proceeded to hit balls but mainly I was hitting the mat (too wet to hit from turf area).
I started to get miffed and I told myself to calm down and try something different. 1.Crazydefinition: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. I relaxed my grip , took a slow and smooth backswing, while allowing my wrists to fully hinge, and tried to feel what it is that makes Tiger and Sergio's swing look the way it looks. I focused on staying loose and letting the club lay down at the beginning of the downswing and hold the wrist angle until the last moment and oh my god, the feeling of over the top was gone and the 7 iron I was hitting went 150 yards and I barely swung at the ball. It had a nice little push draw shape as well.
I kept working at it and noticed the fat shot and the toe shot was gone too. I was hitting pure shots 9-10 times. I took out the 9 iron (110 yards max normally) and was hitting it 125 without swinging hard and, since it was raining, I could see exactly where it was landing due to the puddles and they were grouping in about a 20 foot circle. I then stepped up the power to see how far I could take the 9 and was getting out at 140 and then I added a little forward press and got out to 155. This range's markers are pretty accurate as my yardages match what I shoot on the courses I play.
I played 27 holes yesterday and had a great time for the first time in months. The best thing was I didn't hit a single fat shot. I didn't shoot a good score as it was the first time with this swing and I don't yet know how to control the direction well.
My buddies were freaking out with my drives. There are 2 short par 4's that I have never gotten closer than 35-40 yards from. The first is a 302 par 4 and we had a slight wind in the face and I took about an 80% swing with the driver and the ball took off a bit right and looked good but with trees in the fairway, I couldn't see how far it went. I walk down the fairway and start looking for where my ball usually is and it is not there. My buddy says to keep walking and I find it sitting down in the thick fringe 20 feet directly right of the green!
The next short par4 is 318 yard and in the same direction as the other so still some wind in the face and again I hit a slight push that ends up about 8 yars right of green and about 10 yards from the green. A small chip and I'm 5 feet from the pin. I am loving this now. Of course, I get overly confident and spray my next two drives but I am still happy.
This is like a whole new game.
Finally hitting the distance I should is just a bonus, though. The main thing is I am now hitting the ball first with a forward shaft lean and making very clean contact.
Sorry for the long winded post but I had to tell someone else about my joy.
Edited by schigara - 3/8/11 at 12:25am