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Can't hit with a full swing

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I have been practicing at the range for weeks now and it may be time for a lesson or two.  I got most of my instruction from a friend that is a good golfer and you-tube.  If I hit, using an iron, with my backswing going no more than 3 o'clock, I can hit the ball really straight and far (usually 140 - 150 w/7 iron).  Once I bring the backswing any higher, I tend to hit the ball to the right and can lose as much as 40 yards.  I know it's tough to give advice without seeing my swing, or lack of it, but if I start at the 3 and bring my backswing up gradually, is that a good way to work on the swing?

 

I was told that my swing is much faster than my backswing and I should slow down and make everything nice and even.  Any suggestions are welcome.

post #2 of 19

Post a swing video.  The thread should be named "My swing (lhrocker)".  I don't have the link but there's a good thread you should be able to find easily on how to take and post a video properly.

 

As far as generic advice, I don't even understand what you're saying.  What does 3 o'clock mean.  Does that mean you take a backswing until your hands are even with your shoulder (so your arms are at 3 o'clock if you think of the clock as facing you, instead of facing away from you), with the club pointing up at the sky?

 

If that's what you mean, take a swing video for yourself at least.  I have to feel like my back swing is going back that far (or even shorter) to get the proper amount of backswing (club parallel to the ground).  If I feel like I'm taking a "full" and correct backswing, I'm WAY over swinging, with my back swing going all John Daly style.  It's possible that's true for you too.

post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanx for the quick reply.  By 3 o'clock, I mean the club is parallel to the ground, so anything parallel of closer to the ground, the ball hits straight and far.  As soon as I go above parallel, I guess I lose control.
 

post #4 of 19

I know exactly what you are talking about and actually feel like swinging this short has saved my game. I hit the ball much more powerfully and accurately with a shorter backswing. Going further back just lifted my up out of my inclination to the ball and I hit mostly weak fades. I try to think of guys like Nick Price or Tommy Armour 3rd when thinking about how I want to swing the club now. Embrace what works for you.

post #5 of 19

You are standing in a clock. 3:00 is to your left, 9:00 to your right, and 12:00 above your head.

 

I think you are meaning you take your hands back to 9:00, hopefully with the club shaft at 90* to your left arm. I call this the first "L". I got my wife, son, and daughter started out by learning to hit the ball "L to L", with the second L being hands pointing to 3:00 on the follow through.

 

As for you idea of taking shortened swings, absolutely it is better to achieve solid contact with a short swing first, and then build up the backswing length from there. Many years ago I played a full 2 years not taking the club past 10:00, and hit the ball great.

post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hey Dak - Yes, 9 o'clock if someone was facing me.  And your description is accurate.  I bring my hands up to where the club is parallel to the ground and 90* to my left arm, my hits are solid and straight.  I guess I will work to keep that consistent and then increase my backswing up slowly.  Thanx for all of the advise so far. 

post #7 of 19

You are saying that the club never gets "back" further than parallel to the ground and you can hit a 7-iron 140 from there? Not arms at 3:00 and club hinged from there, but actual club parallel to the ground, and then down to the ball.

 

You are either bringing the club back way farther than you feel (mentioned above and common with almost all of us), or you are wicked fast. I cannot imagine anyone generating enough club head speed to hit a 7-iron 140 yards from 3:00.

 

Watch yourself on video to see what is actually happening.

post #8 of 19

I bet "lhrocker" isn't exaggerating about getting the distances he's stating by taking the club back to just parallel. I read once (I read a bunch, so I don't recall where) that some 80 percent of your clubhead speed is generated with the releasing of the wrists. I've tried it before on the range, and it holds true. I'm a HS golf coach and I was trying to demonstrate to my better players -- those that could understand -- how important it is to lag the club by delaying the wrists releasing through impact. On average, I strike an 8 iron around 155, and sure enough, swinging from the parallel position, I could hit it around 130 yards (following a few attempts to get the feel). I was pretty amazed.

 

I played with a guy back in the '90s who took his hands back to just around his right-pocket height, then cocked his wrists rather extremely. His down- and through-swings weren't anything to watch, but he hit his irons considerably further than mine -- mostly because the delayed wrists de-lofted the club, turning a 7 into a 5. It was unusual, but it worked.

 

In my opinion, I think "lh" is developing a great method to hitting the ball more consistently. Like "dak" alluded to, it's far easier to add length/width to your backswing than it is to eliminate too much of one -- especially for those swingers exceeding parallel at the top.

post #9 of 19

Taking the club shaft only to parallel would mean that you don't have any wrist hinge.  I also want to see this video . . I don't doubt it's possible but I really think you must be taking it back further than you think/feel.  I know for myself I would need to hinge my wrists in order to be able to change direction into the downswing and that would make my club shaft go past 9:00.  My normal swing feels like my arms go to 9 o'clock and my club shaft never gets past 12 oclock . .but video shows this to be false.  I stop raising my arms at around 9:00 but they "float" to around 10:00 and the shaft gets to 1:00 or even a bit past.  In any case, the video should be enlightening.

post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmazingWhacker View Post

Taking the club shaft only to parallel would mean that you don't have any wrist hinge.  I also want to see this video . . I don't doubt it's possible but I really think you must be taking it back further than you think/feel.  I know for myself I would need to hinge my wrists in order to be able to change direction into the downswing and that would make my club shaft go past 9:00.  My normal swing feels like my arms go to 9 o'clock and my club shaft never gets past 12 oclock . .but video shows this to be false.  I stop raising my arms at around 9:00 but they "float" to around 10:00 and the shaft gets to 1:00 or even a bit past.  In any case, the video should be enlightening.

 

Actually, I just tried this out and I do have some wrist hinge when the shaft is just parralel.  I was only hitting into the net so I have no idea how far but the contact felt great - really solid.  I will have to try this out at the range soon . .I bet I hit my 7iron 125 this way (I hit it 155-160 full-on). 

post #11 of 19

With the exception of the Moe Norman-style swing (where the wrists remain in line with the arms at address and impact), the wrists are naturally hinged upward at address. As the club makes it back to parallel, they hinge a bit more. Harvey Penick, in one of his "little" books, stated that at parallel, the wrists have already hinged enough, and that the backswing can be completed with no additional hinging needed.

 

At address, the arms are naturally more together, with the elbows pointing down at each hip. But on the downswing, the left elbow is out, pointing more down the target line, and the right elbow is in by the side. Because of this, the hinging has to be lost just prior to impact. The left wrists should naturally bow to retain a bit of lag, keeping the club face square longer, and keeping the right hand from releasing too soon, but the wrists at and through impact are no longer hinged -- they're now in line with the arms. They have to be or they couldn't roll over -- well, they could, but the toe would be pointing up in the air.

 

That's why it appears at times the club head is resting on the heel, with the toe slightly up, at address -- it's the hinging at address causing that. However, through impact, the heel and toe (ideally) arrive in line to the ground together -- that can only be accomplished if the wrists are no longer hinged and are in line with the arms through impact. Pretty cool. I just learned this recently on one of Martin Hall's School of Golf shows.

 

Moe Norman purposely started his swing with no wrist hinge, since he simply wanted to start his hands in the same position they'd be through impact. Made since, and he sure made it work.

 

Nice thing about all of this is that with most all of the hinging occurring at address, you really don't have to think about hinging after that. Allowing that left wrist to stay bowed through impact though -- well, that takes some work. After 30 years of playing, I still don't have that one mastered. And since the bowed left wrist helps keep the right hand from rolling over too quickly, I guess that's yet another reason I fight the hooks.d2_doh.gif

post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 

I haven't had a chance to video myself yet, but upon looking at my swing yesterday, my club is more like 10 - 10:30 and not parallel to the ground.  Like everyone said, when not looking at my hands and clubs, the backswing feels lower than it actually is.

 

Thanx again for all of the great responses.

post #13 of 19

I had the exact same issue when I got back into golf last year. My "half swings" would still send my irons about 90% of my total distance and was way more consistent. Every time (or at least 90% of the time) I would swing full, I would shank, block, push, slice, you name it. It was VERY frustrating. I finally took a lesson and found out that I had the perfect form and correct release with my half swings. However, as soon as I went to a full swing, I did the typical swing of a bad weekend hacker - out-to-in path with the shovel motion.

 

My swing was completely different whenever I went from half to full and since I had the correct release with half swing, my distance was amazing and not much worse than when my full swing actually went straight since the scooping and no-release takes a lot of distance off. The instructor said I was forcing the path of the club and trying to aim and control every aspect of the swing.

To fix it, I just kept doing the half swings over and over again and gradually added longer backswing. If it didn’t feel right, I would take it back down a notch. It all eventually clicked one day at the range and I haven’t shanked a ball in a long time and I have no fear of my full swings. I had to lose a lot of my “control” in the swing to really gain control of the club. It's really nice having the distance back with full swings. I went from 110 yard 9 iron full swing with that incorrect scoop to 135 with correct release with a very slow and smooth swing.

 

And just out of curiosity, is it only on your irons and not woods/driver? That’s how it was with me since those other clubs don’t have the natural “shovel” appearance, I did the correct swing and release with those.

post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasMatt View Post

I had the exact same issue when I got back into golf last year. My "half swings" would still send my irons about 90% of my total distance and was way more consistent. Every time (or at least 90% of the time) I would swing full, I would shank, block, push, slice, you name it. It was VERY frustrating. I finally took a lesson and found out that I had the perfect form and correct release with my half swings. However, as soon as I went to a full swing, I did the typical swing of a bad weekend hacker - out-to-in path with the shovel motion.

 

My swing was completely different whenever I went from half to full and since I had the correct release with half swing, my distance was amazing and not much worse than when my full swing actually went straight since the scooping and no-release takes a lot of distance off. The instructor said I was forcing the path of the club and trying to aim and control every aspect of the swing.

To fix it, I just kept doing the half swings over and over again and gradually added longer backswing. If it didn’t feel right, I would take it back down a notch. It all eventually clicked one day at the range and I haven’t shanked a ball in a long time and I have no fear of my full swings. I had to lose a lot of my “control” in the swing to really gain control of the club. It's really nice having the distance back with full swings. I went from 110 yard 9 iron full swing with that incorrect scoop to 135 with correct release with a very slow and smooth swing.

 

And just out of curiosity, is it only on your irons and not woods/driver? That’s how it was with me since those other clubs don’t have the natural “shovel” appearance, I did the correct swing and release with those.

 

This was exactly my experience about 15 yrs ago, when I played the half swing - punch for 2 years.  And I also used it for my woods/driver, as it kept me 'compact' and limited my swaying, backfooting, flipping, etc.  I still revert to the half swing as a remedie today when my game goes awry. I believe even Tiger did this at the beginning of his most recent re-tooling.

post #15 of 19

The terminology you're using is still confusing me, as you keep saying club parallel to the ground, but as you've agreed with some others describing it, I'll assume you mean you hit worse when you try to go past P3/A3 (http://thesandtrap.com/t/53724/the-ps-positions-or-as-alignments-in-the-golf-swing).  @Rustyredcab, I wouldn't be too surprised if he can hit a 7i 140 from that position.  My 7i flies ~170, and if I stop at P3 but still go after it fairly aggressively from there I can easily still hit it 140.

 

To the OP, as others have stated it's not necessarily a bad practice to spend some time figuring out what the middle of the swing and impact feel like when you hit the ball well however you can.  If you can get solid distance relative to how short your backswing is and can hit good, straight shots from there, maybe stick with that for the time being?  Maybe dial in that half/three-quarter swing and start taking a video camera to the range and try to figure out what's changing and not allowing you to hit good shots with that extra 15-20% of power you can get from a full back swing. I'm no instructor and I don't know if good pros would recommend this practice, but it doesn't seem a terrible idea to me.  

 

Of course, you could also just find a good pro, tell him this story to explain where you're at, and demonstrate the P3 swing and the full back swing swing and let him help you fix things.  Or at least post a good video here.  Tons of great players and pros here will take the time to analyze your swing and give you some tips.

post #16 of 19

I'm just fine with a full swing with my driver and hybrids but have been working on dialing down my swing for my longer irons.  Practicing with a purpose has helped me to get the ball on line but at the expense of distance.  Most of my practice lately has been on my irons and I'll gradually increase my swing until I get it right.

post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by lhrocker View Post

I have been practicing at the range for weeks now and it may be time for a lesson or two.  I got most of my instruction from a friend that is a good golfer and you-tube.  If I hit, using an iron, with my backswing going no more than 3 o'clock, I can hit the ball really straight and far (usually 140 - 150 w/7 iron).  Once I bring the backswing any higher, I tend to hit the ball to the right and can lose as much as 40 yards.  I know it's tough to give advice without seeing my swing, or lack of it, but if I start at the 3 and bring my backswing up gradually, is that a good way to work on the swing?

I was told that my swing is much faster than my backswing and I should slow down and make everything nice and even.  Any suggestions are welcome.

Only a swing video will show for sure, but if you're losing 40 yards with 7i when you take a 'full swing', you may be releasing the club very early, something you don't have time to do with your 'half swing'. If you hit 7i 150 consistently with your 3 o'clock swing, use it on the course.
post #18 of 19

As far as the distance from a 7 iron going 140, i can believe it. I'm disabled and with my 7 hybrid I'll get 125 90% of the time and it's always straight now that I'm doing the 9 to 3 swing and just letting the club do the job. I feel the same way, go past 9 on my backswing and I lose something, don't know what.

I took a lesson 3 weeks ago and this is where the 9 to 3 swing started. It's been crappy weather here in Dallas, but this week I plan to go and take my second lesson.

I went from spraying it all over the place (have not been playing but half of the last two years) to hitting my clubs what I feel is ten yards short of what I want out of them and straight.

Don't know what I'm doing wrong when I go past the 9 o'clock back swing position but everything falls apart.

I don't feel I'll ever shoot like you guys do being disabled and old, but if I can continue with this half swing throughout my game I may end up shooting the best I can.

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