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Worst enemy in my swing: my right thumb

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,

 

After countless amount of hours of practice with a strong hook, my instructor showed me that using a "pistol grip", AKA not using your right thumb or index finger, almost completely took that away.

 

That works as an example, but I can't go around consistently swinging the club with only eight fingers.  However, I can't seem to swing the club without pressure from my right thumb.  I always end up closing the club face and having a fairly significant hook, and more importantly, I'm not getting solid contact.

 

I seemed to find resolution by wrapping my thumb completely on top of my index finger.  Thus, even if I grip it tight, it does not effect the angle of the club head.  I'm just not sure if this is an appropriate adjustment.

 

I found that this adjustment also is an enormous indicator of getting solid contact.  With the club face closed, ths ball feels like a rock and it's just not good contact.  With my thumb wrapped over my index finger, the large majority of my swings are excellent contact where I can't feel the ball.

 

Additionally, I get much higher loft.  I use a machine to record metrics, and on my PW, when the ball feels like a rock but I hit it straight, I get metrics that look like this:

 

swing speed: mid/upper 60's

launch angle: 18-20

backspin: 6000 rpm

shot description: pull hook

distance: 95-105

 

When I hit it on the sweet spot it feels excellent and get metrics more like:

 

swing speed: low/mid 70's

launch angle: 25-30

backspin: 7000+ rpm

shot description: very slight draw or fade

distance: 110-115

 

Anyway, I was hoping for feedback on whether I should be looking to change my swing from this heavily overlapped grip and if any of you have experienced this issue as well.

 

Cheers

post #2 of 5
Were you putting your thumb along the right side of the shaft for leverage and pushing with it? I used to do that on my longer clubs and driver and I fought a nasty duck hook, which still appears from time to time, especially when I get tired. I try to keep it at 11 o'clock as they say to do, but sometimes my grip just doesn't feel "right".

Also, I have very large hands. I hooked every club in my bag until I put on jumbo grips. Something to consider.
post #3 of 5

Any change to your swing should feel reasonably uncomfortable.  You just have to work with it and eventually the instruction will feel more natural as you go on.

 

Maybe try more separation between your right index finger and middle finger?

 

On a side note, where do you usually play and where are you getting lessons?  The Golftec on Halsted has some great coaches.

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Shanks View Post

Any change to your swing should feel reasonably uncomfortable.  You just have to work with it and eventually the instruction will feel more natural as you go on.

 

Maybe try more separation between your right index finger and middle finger?

 

On a side note, where do you usually play and where are you getting lessons?  The Golftec on Halsted has some great coaches.

I'm out in suburbia nowadays and practice at the new PGA Superstore.  Really great facility with a good staff, and can't beat their practice prices.

 

There is a Golftec across the street that I looked at, which looked nice, but the prices do not compare.  It was really quite astounding how much different they are.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Please indulge my update as I'd love any feedback from you guys that have had similar experience. 

Over the last few days of practice, I can feel my swing improve, at least on the indoor practice range.  On the shorter clubs, the ball travels very high and straight, which I was very happy with.  (Attack Wedge: 33 degree vertical launch, ~73 swing speed and about 100 yards of carry)  My 7i was carrying 150-155 with a bit of roll, although it was a little lower with somewhat of a hook.  I'm still working on fixing my right thumb issues, but it's been getting better.  Overall, I see a lot of improvement. 

Yesterday at the range, it was another day as usual.  I started out with my attack wedge with light, easy swings that popped up well.  I was hitting the 9i well, a little hook but was hitting the practice green (125 yards) pretty much every time. 

Then very suddenly, something snapped. 

I shanked a ball hard right.  Then another.  Then I topped a couple.  Then shanked a dozen more.  This continued for the better part of an hour, of non-stop swinging.  My swing felt the same, but it was clearly not.  I tried chipping, which I always do when I'm shanking the ball, but this didn't work.  I tried changing a hundred different things, but got the same result every time. 

I hit a couple good ones that popped high and straight, but never gained back any consistency.  If I hit 200 balls, maybe 15 of them were good.  I couldn't feel any difference in my swing between the good ones and bad. 

I left so angry that I was very close to hitting something with my club as hard as I could.  Luckily, I restrained myself.  I went home and had a couple beers. 

Later, I picked up my wedge and practiced some swings at home with a whiffle ball, and my shots seemed fine.

 

I went back to the practice facility today and had probably the best session I ever had.  My shots were going high and straight, even the longer clubs that I normally don't hit well.  According to the machine, I put it in the hole from 150 yards out with a 7 iron, even.

The shanks come on occasion to me, but this was by far the worst episode--usually I'm able to correct the issue after awhile, but this time I couldn't.  It was truly a humbling experience at a time where I really thought I had made some strides forward with my game. 

Any thoughts, suggestions, or constructive feedback are very welcomed...

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