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My Swing (Darkfrog)


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Why refrain from posting the updated grip and continuing to work on it until it is OBJECTIVELY good? I've noticed that people that grip the club poorly in the first place tend to not be the greatest at realizing when an "updated" grip is still bad or they just fiddle around at address until it is right back in the same poor position.

Also, golf swing and grip changes shouldn't necessarily be comfortable. By settling back into a grip that feels comfortable, I'd wager it's likely not very good.

Edited by Grizvok
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Okay, only took 7 weeks to go from this: To this: Mostly level, and nice and wide so I can setup with good balance. Now I feel like I can hit balls for practice without any menta

Would love to help out, and the angle is close, but it's more important that the angle we're missing is the face-on view. Sometimes, at the end of the day too, toe strikes are just a toe strike.

Oddly, no place in Ohio made that list.

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4 hours ago, Grizvok said:

Why refrain from posting the updated grip and continuing to work on it until it is OBJECTIVELY good?

I haven't felt a need to update anything since my post inquiring where on the spectrum of strong/weak my grip at the time was. I work regularly with an instructor who I trust and have a good rapport with, so I prioritize her feedback. When I have my next lesson, I will let her determine whether or not my grip needs further adjustment within the context of my swing.

4 hours ago, Grizvok said:

Also, golf swing and grip changes shouldn't necessarily be comfortable.

I haven't found making changes to be uncomfortable. Some of the first changes my instructor implemented when I started lessons felt more comfortable compared to what I was doing. Any change feels different at first, but when I'm working on a change in a lesson, once I've had enough reps with the change to find the golf ball (seems to be around 10 balls), my instructor analyzes the launch monitor data and DTL / face on video with me to highlight and reinforce what I'm doing. When I head home after a lesson, nothing I have been working on in the lesson feels uncomfortable, and it's just a matter of reviewing the lesson summary when she emails it to me, and practicing what she wants me to prioritize on.

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

You can post things as notes for your future self. People might still comment but you can also ignore them.

That's definitely what I'm trying to do. My instructor has been urging me for months and months to start filming my swings and keep a swing notebook/diary type of thing so I can come back to her with specific issues that I'm having. Problem is I suck at taking notes, so having this topic is actually very useful because I have enough downtime at work to capture my thoughts. Just need to start filming, but I'm practicing after sunset frequently.

 Also there are times when I love that I can tap into the knowledge base of TST for specific swing aspects.

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Using the Mevo has been pretty eye opening.

Generally, when I hit the ball, I am good at detecting gross contact issues. Fat and thin shots are obvious. Toe shots that miss the grooves I can feel and hear the difference. Shank, duh. But seeing variability in the ball speed / carry / spin / vertical launch angle for shots with comparable swing speed, and that feel good (no obvious miss on the club face) tells me my strike variability is causing inconsistency. Pretty sure this is normal for a 15 handicap, but the new data gives me something to discuss in my next lesson.

Swing speed has also been surprisingly variable. My 7-iron swings were between 88-96 mph, and driver swings ranged from 106-114. There didn't seem to be a pattern like speed decreasing over time as a result of fatigue. This tells me there's something going on here as well. In my excitement to use the Mevo, I probably have not been as diligent with my practice shot routine. When I'm in a lesson my instructor always reminds me to take at least one practice swing, align myself and address the ball deliberately, get posture/setup correct, etc., and generally swing speed is consistent +/- 1mph. So far with the Mevo it's been more of a rake and whack routine. I'll see if the data normalizes when I'm focusing a bit more. Again, maybe not surprising for a 15 handicap.

Either way, seems like I can provide my instructor with some additional information prior to each lesson, which I am excited about.

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Did an experiment hitting 20 balls with a 7-iron, stepping off the mat between each ball and putting in a full pre-shot routine before each swing. Swing speed numbers normalized quite a bit, which I'm happy about.

Kind of obvious that I shouldn't expect consistency by just raking and whacking balls, but it was good to reinforce the importance of being deliberate and focused.

Spin numbers seem a little low, hovering around 6000 rpm for 7-iron, but then again, I don't really have a baseline for spin since my last lesson and practice on a launch monitor was almost 3 months ago. I'm not too concerned about this, and I have a lesson on 6/8, so I'll see launch and clubhead data in a few days and have something to benchmark against practicing at home.

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20 hours ago, Darkfrog said:

Spin numbers seem a little low, hovering around 6000 rpm for 7-iron

You can get slightly lower spin numbers off a mat. I wouldn’t worry about it.

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3 hours ago, billchao said:

You can get slightly lower spin numbers off a mat. I wouldn’t worry about it.

Interesting, didn’t know that.

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I've been using this Iain Highfields tip on range, people maybe look at me weird when I place the balls 2 meters behind the hitting area, but I look back at them weird when they rake. 😄

 

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Lesson today - walked out feeling good about the swing m, with some new stuff to work on.

First, practicing my main priority piece from my last lesson was a success. My instructor asked me to focus on keeping my left hip quieter in the backswing, and I can make my turn without excessive sway now, which was the goal.

Second priority piece I didn’t quite succeed at. At some point between my last lesson and this lesson I stopped making a full turn. Previously, this caused an over the top move and slices/pulls/heely contact/shanks. This time, I subconsciously added a shallowing move which was causing an excessive in-to-out path (5-8 degrees) leading to push draws/blocks/block fades/snap hooks.

First thing we worked on was the turn. I really got a good feel for a full turn, where I “feel” like I’m looking over my back down at the ball. I plan to spend 5-10 minutes randomly practicing this throughout the day with a wedge I keep in the house.

Second thing we worked on was in the downswing. The feel here, from a full turn, was steeper, and almost like trying to hit a pull. Of course the ball actually went nearly dead straight. A sub-piece for this is to focus on the left hip rotating and not sliding too far forward. Seeing the club head exit further to the left after contact felt unusual and it took a few balls to start trusting it.

Hit a bunch of 7-irons, path was 0-1.5 degrees in-to-out, club head speed around 92 mph, AoA was 1.5-2.5 degrees down, ball speed around 120 mph, carry 165-168 yards, spin around 7200 rpm, ball flight straight with a little fade or draw, but instructor isn’t worried about that since it wasn’t extreme, and she is confident that clubface control can be addressed in the future if it becomes an issue.

Moved on to 4-iron and hit a hole in one on the sim range, but unfortunately it was to the pin from 7-iron balls at 160 yards (thinned it a touch).

Finally hit some drivers. This will be the hardest club to trust this move with because it feels like I’m coming across the ball hard, which is reminiscent of my old OTT pull/wipe slice. But the results were really good so I’m committed to getting it down.

Feedback from the lesson was that judging by the swings I made, on course she would expect my scores to be in the mid 80s or better, and if I’m still struggling to get in this range, we need to figure out if I’m losing strokes elsewhere, or if the full swing stuff she observes in the lesson isn’t carrying over onto the course for some reason.

Homework:

1. Work on the full turn, trust it.

2. Downswing - feel is that swing is steeper and almost like trying to hit a pull, club head exiting left after contact.

2a. Left hip keeps rotating in the downswing, not stalling and sliding forward 

3. Film swing at least once weekly for progress updates/check-ins.

4. Bring some information from recent rounds to see what’s keeping me from reaching scoring goals. 

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(edited)

Struggling with sequencing the downswing leading to a lot of fat and thin shots. When it comes together, results are good but can’t find consistency right now.

Taking off full swing stuff to give my hands a break and I’ll do some putting/short game practice the next two days (Pure DTX texture really roughing up my fingers).

Going to be playing 2-3 rounds over the next 5 days, and don’t want to overthink things on course so swing thoughts will be:

1. Setup posture (not really a swing thought but it’s my thread)

2. Make a good backswing

No transition or downswing thoughts for now. 

Edited by Darkfrog
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Played 2.5 rounds over a long weekend (Juneteenth was a company holiday this year). Didn't play memorably, and had some good moments, but overall thought I would have scored better. Some notes from play to take to my next lesson.

1. Good: Making a full turn in the backswing has become practically habitual now. This has been a significant issue for me over the course of the last 8-12 months. Initially I would make a short backswing and then came over the top. More recently, I would make a short backswing and then compensate with a shallowing move to which came from too far inside. Aside from undesirable ball flight, the short backswing caused noticeable power loss. I'm getting longer and more consistent distances with all clubs now. I can reliably get 250-260 yards total distance with 3-wood now, which is nice to have, because 3-wood is often a recovery club after a poor drive.

2. Bad: Big right miss is back. I'm coming too far from the inside, with clubface square or open to path. Square to path clubface results in a big push. Usually these are playable except on tight holes where OB or penalty area comes into play. Open to path is usually a disaster, best case is I'm playing from an adjacent fairway if there is one. Addressing this was a priority piece from my last lesson, but the feel I had initially doesn't seem to be working, or I'm executing poorly, or both. Lesson scheduled to work on this.

3. Bad: Systemic thinned/topped shots. Last time this was occurring, feedback from instructor was that it was from too much hip sway in the backswing. I've worked hard to quiet my hips in the backswing, but as I've moved on to other priorities, this has gotten sloppy. If I stop for a moment and focus on this element, they usually go away, but it returns when my focus moves elsewhere. I think I need to make this a priority again, but we'll see after my next lesson.

Thoughts:

As much as I focus on pre-shot routine, it's still inconsistent on the course, especially after a bad shot. I think I check out mentally, and lose focus, which makes things get worse.

I stall rotation during the downswing sometimes. My gut tells me that this is a sequencing problem, and that when I get the sequence right, the rotation takes care of itself. But also I'm not great a self-diagnostics. Might try some Planemate drills to see if this helps.

Next lesson will include some time working on putting. I've been putting well by my standards, but I want to see if I would benefit from an Edel putter fitting.

New driver with heavy, X-stiff, low launch shaft has been great. Driving distance and dispersion are up since I put it in play (when the swing is good).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Lesson on 7/6 - did half putting, half full swing

Full swing:

  • Setup with hands higher
  • Takeaway too slow, transition too quick - work on speeding up takeaway, slow (feel is short pause) at top, fast downswing
  • Do drills to turn/clear left hip, finish more low/left as opposed to up. Start with shots with left arm stopping at parallel, and then move to full swings.

Putting:

  • Normal setup and posture - hitting puts where the face was aimed, but face was aligned significantly right of the actual target. Aim is much better with eyes nearly over ball. Work on adjusting to different posture.
  • Setup - align putter face to target first, then set feet.
  • Drill with alignment sticks to work on aim
  • For long putts, need to give my brain a target rather than arbitrary thought like "hit this one a little harder/softer".
  • Drill for distance control on lag putts.
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Taking Lessons/Practice to the Course:

I've really been struggling on the course lately with the full swing. Too many big pushes, or snap hooks on tee shots and approach shots. But when I'm in a lesson, or in the indoor practice bay with launch monitors, or practicing at home with net/mat, I can't replicate the misses consistently. In these non-course situations, contact is mostly decent, start line is good, and curve is acceptable (for my ability). I'm tempted to film a couple live in-round swings to send to my instructor, or possibly see about scheduling a playing lesson to have identify where I'm going off the rails. Obviously I'm doing something different on the course and my improvements in lessons/practice aren't making it into my game.

Full Swing:

  • Setup with hands higher has been no problem. Not sure how I got to the point where they were so low. I've added this to the list of things to check on when I film my swing.
  • Making a quicker backswing has also been no problem. I think I had been slowing down takeaway/backswing because I was practicing a lot of slo-mo backswings, and it just kind of migrated to full swing.
  • Avoiding hip stall has been the main full swing priority. Have been doing a lot of work on this with the planemate, and making a lot of 9-3 swings really focusing on hips not stopping. I think it is coming along well, but I haven't filmed a swing to compare yet. A side benefit of the 9-3 swings has been that I have mapped distances with Mevo for this swing from LW all the way down to 7-iron, and have had some on-course chances to make use of it.

Putting:

  • Improving setup (eyes about 0.5-1 balls inside line) has made a huge difference in aiming, and has improve accuracy. I feel like when I miss, it is either a bad read or a bad stroke.
  • Mechanically, I think my stroke is pretty good, but I get a little wobbly on shorter putts, so need to work on stability on these.
  • Giving myself a target has helped lag putting significantly on uphill/downhill putts. By target, I mean for example, on a downhill putt, choosing a spot 4 feet short of the hole as a measurement point, rather than just thinking "hit this one a little softer than normal".
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Hip rotation feel has become natural and I don't have to actively think about it anymore. Still try to feel it in rehearsals/practice swings. I've been making really good contact (for me) hitting into my net, so I finally got the balls to try some driver swings tonight.

Driver swing speed has increased from ~108 to ~112. Not sure if this is a result of better hip rotation/sequencing, superspeed workouts, or a combination of the two. I feel like I'm leaving some ball speed/distance on the table (sometimes peaking into 160s, but mostly 158-159 ish), so this is noted for my next lesson. My guess is that it's because I don't consistently hit off the center of the clubface.

Playing in a two round tournament this weekend, so I feel like my game (in practice at least) is in good shape. I'm hoping the way I am swinging in practice translates to the course finally. Full swing feels solid throughout the bag. Got my partial wedge distances figured out. New putting posture/alignment position seems to be working well. Plan to work on some chipping and pitching the next few days and get the feel for those shots. Wish I had planned better and booked some time on a launch monitor to establish shot zones.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Next lesson scheduled for August 12th.

Priority piece from the last lesson has been to get the hips turning/or not stall. Made some progress on this but still working on it. With my previous move, my hips and shoulders were almost parallel to target at impact. Current move hips and shoulders are more open at impact. Ball striking and impact consistency has significantly improved. The feel of the rotation really clicked when I was working on partial wedges - I incorporated two, slow 9-3 rehearsals with this feel into my pre-shot routine.

If I start losing the rotation and reverting to the old move, I hit a bunch of partial wedges as part of my daily practice and this seems to bring it back.

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