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My Swing (JonMA1) - Page 3

post #37 of 55
Thread Starter 

I have to get to the range and work out the problems I'm having with my driver and woods. The entire gamut of pushes, pulls, hooks, draws, straight down the middle (no curve) and the occasional fade and slice.

 

The pulls and hooks I believe are simply sequence issues - opening up my hips and shoulders too soon and maybe even moving my front foot. The pushes I believe are an alignment issue at setup. The "corrections"  I make in setup after a bad tee shot -  like very slightly opening or closing the club face seems to have too much impact on ball flight. That tells me my path is varying, so multiple issues going on.

 

This is actually one part of the game I'm starting to enjoy ("enjoy" may be too strong a word) - the challenge of diagnosing a problem and then trying to find a solution that will stick.

 

On a side note, I really need to take putting lessons. I've been putting (no pun) that off  for way too long now and the three putts are killing my scores.

post #38 of 55
Thread Starter 

I decided the round this past Sunday seemed as good a time as any for a change to my Driver and 3W swings.

 

Driver:

Instead of adjusting the face to compensate for the path (which I had been doing), I decided to start with the club face and my feet aligned to the target line and adjust my path as needed. At first the results were a predictable fade/slice but by making some slight adjustments to the swing path, the shots began to start straight and stay straight. I only hit one hook but it stayed inbounds. Every driver shot was either in the fairway or not too far in the rough. While my distances seemed a bit less, after a while I was able to swing faster with less fear of out-of-bounds results. Still a work in progress.

 

Fairway clubs:

3W off the deck (no tee shots but same changes as on my driver) - surprisingly straight flight.

5W off the tee and deck - nothing new, fairly straight flight.

 

Irons: I have to remember to keep my hands ahead at impact. I might be getting lazy on the weight forward without realizing it.

Short irons were terrible on Sunday but I think I have them back under control - pretty sure I was losing lag. Mid to long irons not bad but still not quite as good as they had been. 

 

I can hit everything as crisp as can be for a while and then temporarily lose it. I'm pretty sure the issues stem from a failure to achieve key #3. Whatever the cause, pure shots are not as automatic as the had been the previous few months.

post #39 of 55
Thread Starter 

Any constructive criticism is welcome as I could use some help.

 

I'm working on Key #2 (key #1 is not great obviously).

 

This is a slow swing (maybe 50 - 60%) while using a mirror. I've included the practice swings because I think they are closer to where I want to be regarding the hip slide. As you can see, as soon as I make a swing at the ball, the weight shifts back slightly and then my hips rotate prematurely - at least that's what I see. This will happen every time.

 

This is something I struggled with last winter before giving up on video. Even if the practice swings are incorrect, the fact that I cannot reproduce them when striking the ball is a problem. I've tried a couple of the drills (foam ball under lead foot and driveway marker next to my lead hip, for example) but nothing has clicked. The only thing that comes close is to take a few practice swings, completely clear my mind and strike the ball before I can think of anything. 

 

Ball contact is getting better again (even without getting my hips forward) but there's a long, long way to go as far as consistency.

 

Thanks in advance.

post #40 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonMA1 View Post

 

I'm working on Key #2 (key #1 is not great obviously).

 

 

but why?

 

I would strongly recommend you only concentrate on Key#1 until it is not a priority..

post #41 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abu3baid View Post
 

 

but why?

 

I would strongly recommend you only concentrate on Key#1 until it is not a priority..

 

I am at the point where I feel #1 is no longer a priority - that does't mean I think it's perfect. I can keep my head steady enough to where it doesn't effect contact on my normal swing. 

 

Work on key #2 is at a very basic stage, I'm looking into a mirror and concentrating on learning what that second key feels like. If or when I've made progress with the key#2 (to the point where I no longer have to use the mirror) then I'll put the two together.

 

Don't know that I can learn any other way except to work on one specific thing at a time - obviously that's challenging enough.

 

Thanks though.

post #42 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonMA1 View Post
 

 

I am at the point where I feel #1 is no longer a priority - that does't mean I think it's perfect. I can keep my head steady enough to where it doesn't effect contact on my normal swing. 

 

Work on key #2 is at a very basic stage, I'm looking into a mirror and concentrating on learning what that second key feels like. If or when I've made progress with the key#2 (to the point where I no longer have to use the mirror) then I'll put the two together.

 

Don't know that I can learn any other way except to work on one specific thing at a time - obviously that's challenging enough.

 

Thanks though.

 

Your video looks better than the last one you had, but if you could record an actual live swing, then I think better constructive feedback would be possible at that point..  It is hard to give advice on those practice swings.

post #43 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abu3baid View Post
 

 

Your video looks better than the last one you had, but if you could record an actual live swing, then I think better constructive feedback would be possible at that point..  It is hard to give advice on those practice swings.

 

I posted the practice swings specifically to show I can physically get my hips forward to start my downswing but that I have trouble doing so mentally when I go to strike an actual ball. I was hoping someone may have had a similar experience and if so, could give me advice on how they overcame it. Along with my description, I didn't think it would be that difficult to see that specific difference between the practice swings and the third swing (live swing?) nor in understanding where my mental difficulty lies.

 

If it's hard to give advice, is it perhaps because you've never experienced the issue I've described? 

 

I will never look like a pro nor do I have any desire to. But I'd like to improve from where I am presently - which is virtually no hip slide and/or an improper weight shift to start my downswing. While I'm sure my methods of improvement are quite flawed and my goals much lower than most, it's the best I can do with what I have to work with. I hope that makes sense.

 

Thanks.

post #44 of 55

Hey Jon, I would recommend making even slower swings. Really need to emphasize feeling like you slide the hips to first base. Feel like the pressure traces towards the toes of the left foot.

 

More of this

 

So the toes of your left foot don't come off the ground here.

 

post #45 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post
 

Hey Jon, I would recommend making even slower swings. Really need to emphasize feeling like you slide the hips to first base. Feel like the pressure traces towards the toes of the left foot.

 

More of this

 

So the toes of your left foot don't come off the ground here.

 


I'm impressed you caught the left toes coming up. 

 

I will do as you suggest, slow down and really try get the feelings you've described and those in the video. When you say "slide the hips to first base", should I take that as them sliding right of the target line (since they are rotated that way at the top of BS)? 

 

Don't know if you guys ever get tired of hearing this, but I am so very grateful for the help you offer.

post #46 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonMA1 View Post

 

I will do as you suggest, slow down and really try get the feelings you've described and those in the video. When you say "slide the hips to first base", should I take that as them sliding right of the target line (since they are rotated that way at the top of BS)? 

 

 

Yes, it's more of a visual or feeling because it looked like your first move was to "spin' the hips. In reality the hips slide and rotate, "linear along a circle".

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonMA1 View Post
 

 

 

Don't know if you guys ever get tired of hearing this, but I am so very grateful for the help you offer.

 

 

Nope ;-) You're welcome.

post #47 of 55
Thread Starter 

Only I could be optimistic about the round I shot yesterday (worst score in years), but most of the penalties came on shots that were errant left and right. Since I’m not really working on keys 4 and 5, I wasn’t that surprised given the changes I’m trying to pull off. 

 

For the most part, very solid irons shots - maybe six out of the 50 or 60 full swings that weren’t. Good contact and ball flight. By the 14th hole, started dialing in the driver, hitting nGIR's with the irons, and getting pars and bogeys. As soon as I got home, I went out to video the swing as it really felt as good as it did earlier in the year.

 

Anyway, I wanted to record my swing thoughts from tonights practice. 

 

I started working on getting the club and hands deeper at the top and keeping them deep while bringing my hands down and towards where my right thigh was, in an attempt to keep my hips from rotating too early. 

 

In addition:

 

1. ball position a bit further away (path really to the right of target)

 

2. dropping my hands lower on downswing (at A6 maybe?)

 

3. not just sliding my hips but really getting the weight forward and on my left toes instead of my left heel (noticeably more power when I do this). At or just after contact, my left heel is almost off the ground and am almost dragging the top of my right toe while keeping my head and shoulders back.

 

I’m hitting a lot of pushes (into the net) but I’m not too worried, that should be fixable with key #5 when it’s time. Got an occasional glimpse of power for the first time tonight once I started getting weight onto my left toes.

 

A lot of this feels exaggerated until I take video. I’m working slowly, trying to convince my brain that this is my natural swing. Man, I hope I'm on the right track and if so, I hope it sticks.

post #48 of 55
Thread Starter 

Was struck by a bolt of common sense today and painfully reminded why I have to continue to work on areas where I've shown improvement.

 

My iron play the two previous weeks had been encouraging. Didn't practice as much this week and it showed today. Failed miserably on keys 1 and 2 as iron shots were all over the place. Could feel I was off. Not just failure to get weight forward but tempo, timing, concentration...

 

Last week (9 holes) I hit every full iron shot cleanly - every one. All I had to think about was shifting weight to my left toes and keeping my head over the ball. After the first 2 holes I was hitting most greens or near greens from all distances (including a 170 yard 5 iron on my last approach shot of the day). Most were not GIR because of penalties off the tee.

 

Today, just the opposite. 10 of 14 fairways and not a single GIR. I just couldn't find the green. Par 3's and even layups were a struggle.

 

The upside was that I went out to work on something Erik suggested in another post and was extremely successful. I had been working on fading and drawing my driver and he suggested one or the other but not both. So I worked exclusively on my draw. Of the 10 holes I use the driver on, I hit 7 fairways all coming from push draws or straight down the middle ball flight.

post #49 of 55
Thread Starter 

 

I've been working on trying to maintain a centered pivot on my backswing. I think I've made progress on that. 

 

At the same time, I'm trying to concentrate on increasing weight on my left toes in transition and on the downswing. I think the two are interrelated or at least one helps sustain the other. I might be talking out of ass on that, but I feel like I've made a little progress on both.

 

Areas that need work:

 

1. My head is moving back a bit. I don't know if it's too much but I think it can and will get better.

 

2. I'm having trouble with getting a full shoulder turn and my hands higher at the top of my BS. It's less a matter of flexibility and more of a timing issue. I cannot get solid contact when I make a full turn. I'll continue to work on this because I think it will lead to a bit more power.

post #50 of 55

Vid's private.

post #51 of 55
Thread Starter 

Sorry. Hopefully it's fixed now.

post #52 of 55
Thread Starter 

Goals for 2015

 

1. Have more fun instead of focusing 100% on improvement.

2. Try to even out the strengths and weaknesses a bit.

3. Get to an acceptable level of competence with keys 1 through 3.

4. Increase or at least maintain the flexibility I currently have

 

How...

1. Attitude adjustment. Just accept that improvement will be slow and it won't come from having a crappy time on the course.

2. Become a bit more structured with practice. Adopt the 65/23/15 practice ratio unless a specific part of the game requires more attention.

3. http://thesandtrap.com/t/54840/simple-specific-slow-short-and-success-the-five-s-s-of-great-practice

4. Stretch

post #53 of 55
Thread Starter 

Just wanted to record my progress... 

 

Doing better with key#1 but still have a long way to go. Keeping a steady head while trying to get a full turn has become challenging (hell, making a full turn has become challenging). Also trying to keep from leaning forward on the followthrough.

 

I've attached some stills of last nights video. This shows what I think is a pretty good position at the top from a couple of practice swings (left and center). This is a lot easier when I keep my arms "longer" and more in sync with my torso on the take away. It seemed more repeatable last night and felt less awkward.

 

The third image shows the top of the swing when I'm actually hitting a ball. This looks very poor to my untrained eye and is consistent with previous videos. Of all the things that are wrong with this position, the most relevant is that my head moves too much when I try to turn more. I am getting improved contact and power with this swing (more coil maybe???), but I don't know how repeatable is will be come next season.

 

So my work seems clear. Once again, I have to forget my old habits and become familiar with a more proper position at the top and how I get to that position.

 

post #54 of 55

Good progress and I like the comparisons of the practice swing to the real swing.

 

What I often have students do in this kind of situation is "make a practice swing…" and then when it's good just all of a sudden hit the ball.

 

In other words, you're thinking "practice swing" as you get to the top, then the instant you get to the top, IF THE BACKSWING WAS GOOD, you go "HIT THE BALL!" and make a downswing.

 

It lets golfers make their good practice backswing without the thought that they're going to make a downswing, or the pressure to do it. If your backswing isn't good, you reset and try again, and ONLY hit when it's good.

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