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My Swing (Darkfrog)


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I've been Playing Golf for: 22 years
My current handicap index or average score is: 17.7 HCP, scoring high 80s/low 90s
My typical ball flight is: Variable. I have been taking lessons for about a year now, and my ball flight has changed over the course of the year, but the current description below is most accurate.

  • Irons/hybrid/fairway wood: Usually high ball flight with a slight draw or fade (not intentional shot shaping), sometimes slightly fat or thin, and occasional push out to the right. Lately the pushes have been with a draw mostly due to toe strikes.
  • Driver: Push out the the right with fade, or sometimes slice. I don't consistently make center face contact with the driver, but most strikes are middle to high on the face (top to bottom), and within about a half ball of the center of the face (left to right).

The shot I hate or the "miss" I'm trying to reduce/eliminate is: Right now, toe strikes. Frankly, toe strikes are much more playable than my previous heel strike pull slices and shanks that inspired me to start lessons. On a good day, my strikes range from center of the club face to about a half ball toward the toe. Okay days are half ball from the center of the face to the edge of the grooves. Bad days are from the edge of the grooves and out, which starts to get in the almost as unplayable as a shank territory for me. The toe strikes are remarkably consistent, as shown in the attached photo.

In my last lesson, my instructor pointed out during video evaluation that I do a slight shoulder hunch striking the ball which moves the club head away from the ball. She also told me to work on getting better hip rotation in my downswing which in theory should create more room for my arms to extend, and once I get comfortable with it, should help move strikes more toward the center of the face. I am looking for any tips or insights that can help with this.

As this is my first swing video, any tips on recording more useful footage are welcomed. I can't get a face on shot right now, but I am planning to move some stuff around in my yard so I can get a camera in front of the mat.


 

 

Good, bad, ugly toe strikes.jpg

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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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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. You can do some things to help you curb them - swing out a little more and let your arms come off your chest more in the follow-through, get a little closer (or sometimes farther, but you're not re-adjusting your balance) to the ball, etc.

The only thing I might change based on just seeing this one video is to round your back a bit more so you can be a bit more bent over, and your arms can hang down a little bit more. They're hanging outward a little bit more than we typically like to see, with your wrists uncocked a little more than typical at setup.

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On 11/3/2019 at 5:00 AM, iacas said:

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. You can do some things to help you curb them - swing out a little more and let your arms come off your chest more in the follow-through, get a little closer (or sometimes farther, but you're not re-adjusting your balance) to the ball, etc.

The only thing I might change based on just seeing this one video is to round your back a bit more so you can be a bit more bent over, and your arms can hang down a little bit more. They're hanging outward a little bit more than we typically like to see, with your wrists uncocked a little more than typical at setup.

Thanks! Working on getting the face on shots, hope to have this angle uploaded to YT soon. My yard is pretty narrow so I spent some time on the weekend moving some things around so I have some room for face on filming.

I'll work on rounding my back more and letting arms hang more vertical, and also letting my arms come off the chest in follow through.

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Face on 8-iron swing in this post. Been really working on getting my hips more involved in my move so I don't hang back as much.

Was poking around in the instructional content and saw the commonalities of a functional grip post and took a look as I have been getting some unusual hot spots/calluses on my lead hand which I never had before. Compared the photos in the post to my own grip in the mirror and noticed that a nail through my anatomical snuff box would definitely come out through the side of my grip toward the lead side (lead hand too weak?). So I fixed the grip, and instantly holding the club was more comfortable. And now toe strikes are much less frequent, and I have a good distribution of strikes around the center of the face.

Seems like I'm moving in the right direction.

 

IMG_5364.jpg

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14 minutes ago, iacas said:

Well, the first thing I'd fix is the grip. It appears to be SUPER palmy.

Thanks, I'll definitely work on this - it wasn't clear in my post but this swing was filmed before I read the commonalities of a functional grip thread. I'm hoping to get some more DTL and FO swings filmed this weekend and see if I've managed to make a meaningful change.

Taking a better grip had an immediate impact of making my hands feel more comfortable and natural in the swing, and also seems to help contact, although the sample size is too small to know if this was grip related. I need to work on ingraining a good grip into my setup.

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  • 2 months later...

Been awhile since I've been able to post a video. Yard has been muddy since the rainy season started. Also, usually the only time I have set up swing recording is after work, and I've been getting home when it's too dark lately (stupid winter) to get any decent video material.

I've had a couple lessons since posting my first swing videos and have my grip sorted out for the most part. Will post some photos for feedback when I get a moment.

Right now my biggest issue is clubface being slightly open at impact. I've done a lot of work on path so the outside-in path issues that I sometimes have are squelched. With my current in-out swing path, the open face is leading to...

  • straight pushes which usually end up playable
  • push fades that are sometimes playable and sometimes less playable, but usually not a disaster
  • huge push slice, which generally get me in big trouble barring a lucky bounce.

During some recent Planemate protocol work when looking in a mirror behind me, I noticed that I have a tendency to roll the club open in the takeaway. I'm wondering if this makes delivering the club square more difficult. I'm going to look for a couple feels for not rolling the face open, and see if this helps deliver the clubface square.

Will try to post some video this weekend, no rain in the forecast and I have a full day Saturday to get this done.

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1 hour ago, Darkfrog said:

During some recent Planemate protocol work when looking in a mirror behind me, I noticed that I have a tendency to roll the club open in the takeaway. I'm wondering if this makes delivering the club square more difficult. I'm going to look for a couple feels for not rolling the face open, and see if this helps deliver the clubface square.

Rolling the club face open in the takeaway is going to require some form of rolling it closed in the downswing. Try feeling like your right palm stays pointed towards the ball in the takeaway.

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36 minutes ago, billchao said:

Rolling the club face open in the takeaway is going to require some form of rolling it closed in the downswing. Try feeling like your right palm stays pointed towards the ball in the takeaway.

Thanks, I'll give this a try and see how it works.

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  • 3 months later...

Okay, only took 7 weeks to go from this:

AA0A1AAD-F50C-4466-A42E-4E87DEB21B53.thumb.jpeg.1832bf1b74833447d00e2557f0359f17.jpeg

To this:

55CAD9DE-F596-4D96-92B9-9E042BFEC0D1.thumb.jpeg.9047a6e0c7098f9165a5653e83543c8a.jpeg

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 mental hurdles as to whether my foot is going to roll on a weird bump of grass, or slip on a wet spot. It should only take another 3/4 weeks to build a small stand for my iPhone tripod (lost my alignment stick clip on thing).

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(edited)

Noticed a couple things today. Going to capture them here so I don’t lose the impact of the moment.

First, I recently swapped all my grips to midsize, because I was bored sheltering in place, and needed an outlet for golf withdrawal. Not sure why I changed something because I had made a big improvement in ball striking after my last lesson. Ever since I swapped grips out, swinging the club felt “off”, and I was starting to do a Sergio Garcia-esque regripping routine at address. Couldn’t figure out why I felt awkward over the ball. Some decent strikes, but a lot of bad strikes and more shanks than I’d care to admit. Randomly picked up an sand wedge lying in my donate/sell pile with an old Lamkin standard size grip and it just felt good. So I swapped back from midsize to standard (thankfully with Pure blow on tool) on my 7-iron and hit a bunch of 7-irons (std grip) and 6-irons (midsize). 7-iron felt great. No constant regripping at address, club felt natural in my hands. Suddenly My swing felt better too, contact improved, and not a single shank out of around 100 balls (prior was shanking often enough to the point of being scared of breaking a window). I knew grip size was mostly a comfort thing, but didn’t realize how big an impact It could have.

Also I have been really liking the slow speed swing mapping drill. I started to notice that during the super slow speed swing, my hands/wrists are often still cocked past where impact should occur, sort of forcing shaft lean, so the butt of the club sort of is pointing up and away from my lead shoulder instead of in-line impact. I can’t really describe why I was doing this, or if this happens during full speed swing, but I suddenly realized I probably couldn’t hit the ball well at all from that position. So I kind of instructed myself to let go, and at least for a couple swings before I called it a night, it felt pretty good.

Edited by Darkfrog
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Tried to get record some swings today but my old universal smartphone tripod is too shitty. Had to balance it on a patio chair to get it at the correct height, and it kept tipping over. So I ordered a cheap, full size tripod and a universal phone adapter to record some swing videos. Supposed to arrive by Friday. I think the old, smaller smartphone tripod will be fine for the Mevo when it finally arrives.

Some swing notes from a round and practice today:

1. Alternated putts today with claw and normal grip. Normal grip worked better. I changed to claw last season because I needed to make something happen putting and had good results, but maybe it was just like Tiger’s fling with the TaylorMade Ardmore putter. Planning a putting lesson/Edel fitting once golf my teaching facility opens for business again so we’ll see.

2. Been noticing the stretch I used to feel in my trail hamstring/glute during backswing has kind of faded away. I didn’t suddenly get more flexible, so something has changed. I tried a little more muscle engagement in my quads and calves during address, and suddenly the feeling is back. Not a hard flex, like doing a squat, but very gentle engagement/tension to add what feels like some athletic structure to my stance instead of what felt like completely passive legs. I noticed when I did this I could feel the balance point in my feet a little better. Tried some swings and some it had some positive effect on ball striking, and my swing felt more athletic.

3. Finally, I’m still struggling a bit with grip. Standard size grips are much more comfortable, but I feel like I may be weakening my grip too much. This is something I’ve been working on from my last 2 lessons, but since it’s been 2 months now I’m not sure what the original reference point was. I’ll post some photos for feedback to see if my hands are in good spots on the club. 

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Okay - as I wait for my tripod to arrive, I thought I’d do a grip check as this is something my instructor has been working on with me for several lessons now.

For context, when I first got back into golf, I watched a lot of “turn your slice into a draw videos”, and as a result developed a very strong grip. Particularly with the trail (right) hand, where I almost had my palm on the underside of the grip.

Now I am working on weakening my grip, but sometimes I feel that I may be going too far, but I also have grip strength creep if I’m not paying attention. I suppose I’m wondering if my current grip is in the realm of what would be considered a normal range, and if it is strong, weak, or neutral.

Photos below:

CD1E3E32-C08D-4365-BB05-57D988305CAB.thumb.jpeg.9d6b97540cf5f1e2f4f9b3311e6632aa.jpeg

0402F278-3424-48F3-8EE0-8AE5CB4B47B7.thumb.jpeg.50c26b7eae72fc23748787d6efbd8a36.jpeg

65188E4E-C344-4FBC-9BDF-57AC1FD70B51.thumb.jpeg.71df7fdd07990b653abd6795d662dbd1.jpeg

F8A736DB-4437-461F-97FE-5B21A0FE34F0.thumb.jpeg.57bc519ceedaa8ea568cd306444b052e.jpeg

Any alternate angles that would be helpful?

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7 hours ago, billchao said:

Right hand is fairly neutral, left hand is slightly on the weaker side.

 

6 hours ago, iacas said:

A bit more than "slightly" yeah.

Thanks for the feedback - I think I'll experiment with strengthening the left hand some, and maybe the right a touch too. My instructor's goal was not for me to have a weak grip, but to weaken from where I was originally as it was causing problems. I don't remember the exact technical explanation, but something about having to hold my wrists for too long to keep the face closing too much.

I'll need to get a target line on my mat and net to see which way the ball is launching relative to where I'm aiming.

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Played 18 yesterday, and used a slightly stronger grip than pictured. Holding the club felt comfortable at address, and I felt like I could release the club without hitting a violent hook, so I think I've settled into a happy place grip wise, so I'll stick with this for the time being.

Putted with a normal grip instead of claw grip all round, and I think I'm done with the claw. Waiting for instruction facilities to open up again so I can get my putting lesson and fitting to get some better analysis though. But subjectively, the old grip feels better and seems to be getting good results.

I used some feels from an older lesson with my driver all round, and it worked really well. Writing them here so I don't forget.

Before each driver swing, I did a couple slow rehearsal swings focusing on the feels before addressing the ball. The first feel is difficult to describe but in my head it's like trying to throw the clubhead back/behind the trail shoulder, and releasing wrist cock early. My instructor had me do this many months ago, and for whatever reason, it eliminated heel strikes, and even though at first it felt like I was letting the wrist cock go way too early, that wasn't the case. This feel works for me on irons too, although I focus on it more with driver.

The second feel was one of extreme hanging back on the trail leg. For me, this combats my urge to lunge at the ball with driver, and doesn't really result in a body position as extreme as it feels. This one is a little harder for me, but it really works well when I execute it well.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Bad day all around today, nothing clicking, not just golf. Shitty practice session, but did find a feel toward the end that I might keep around.

Feeling was a minute tightening of the left wrist at the top to start transition. It felt to me like a less intense palmar flexion move than I usually do. My previous feel for this was more like revving a throttle, but that seems too exaggerated now and doesn’t work. But a slight tightening/flexing move kind of like trying to get a watch face to move free from a long sleeve shirt or something.

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The line between good and bad shots is very narrow, as are the results: good shots are rewarded, bad shots punished, often proportionately. There are options, and the wind plays a good role. The fairways are wide, but the optimal sides and angles are small. And yes, angles matter, because Sand Valley (and Mammoth Dunes), being on sand, will allow you to bounce and/or roll the ball onto greens and around the course. Tee shots will bound a bit, and roll out. Approaches can be played to release, if you like, though the greens will generally hold a well-struck high shot. Options abound… as does punishment for poor execution.
    • Ah, yes, great.  Haven't got to #19 and interpretations in my studies!  Thank you!! Hypothetically, if a player had this situation, and took an unplayable, and then dropped it in the wrong place (i.e. the fairway).  That's DQ yes? I guess it'd have to be, a serious breach, nothing else makes sense. I see it in 14.7b(1).  
    • Day 115 (7/30/21) - 9-hole league tonight. I hit really good drives, but didn't follow-up very well. Generally speaking, my short game was mediocre. Between my tennis elbow acting up and a bad scrape and bruise on my left wrist which I managed to do cleaning the garage today, I've decided to take the week off to heal, so my next entry will be starting over at 1 after league next Friday night.
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