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My Swing (Kleriq)


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I've been Playing Golf for: 8 months (plus a few years as a preteen)
My current handicap index or average score is: 40.6
My typical ball flight is: high launch
The shot I hate or the "miss" I'm trying to reduce/eliminate is: push/slice or fat strike


Videos: 

Hi everyone, I took up golf during COVID for the first time as an adult. I’ve been working with an instructor, and have made significant progress. My most recent lesson was last Friday. Up to that point, my swing had gotten pretty consistent—correct posture and alignment; neutral grip; good weight transfer; and reasonably maintaining spine angle; but frequent reverse lateral shift and casting. With irons, I would typically push the ball anywhere from 5 to 30 yards right of target. Driver was a nearly consistent slice.

Last Friday, while trying to diagnose my push, my instructor tried changing several things:

  1. He noticed my torso was turned several degrees toward target at impact and my lead arm and club formed an angle. The diagnosis was that I was starting the downswing with my arms, which led to a steep downswing, casting, and an outside-in path. He suggested I try the swing though of “keeping my back toward the target for as long as possible”, but I have more success thinking of it as starting the transition by rotating my hips around my spine. I’m not sure this is having the shallowing effect he’s going for, and I seem to have lost the weight transfer and spine angle retention.
  2. Grip looked good at address but was actually too deep in the palm, leading to a collapse and opening of the club face during the backswing. Fix for this was to grip the club while holding it upright, rather than adjusting grip at address. I think this is working well for me, though I need to improve my consistency.
  3. Overswing and lead arm adduction. He doesn’t want me to try to force myself into a 3/4 swing, but I currently seem to take the lead arm too far across my body and swing the club too far past my head. Both of these contribute to the flaws mentioned in point 1, and I can’t seem to shake them without feeling like I’m only swinging halfway.
  4. My follow through was too upright. By forcing my to hit some hooks and draws I was able to feel the extremes of crossing over my forearms on the follow through, and now I do a better job adhering to the swing plane past impact.

I took this new swing to the range this weekend and rather than a consistent push I had much wider dispersion and more fat shots. I’d be happy to know if I’m interpreting my instructor’s lessons (in)correctly, especially in the hip turn I’ve adopted at transition. I have more videos I can upload to show off my misses.

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Take this all as trying to help.

7 hours ago, Kleriq said:

Last Friday, while trying to diagnose my push, my instructor tried changing several things:

  1. He noticed my torso was turned several degrees toward target at impact and my lead arm and club formed an angle. The diagnosis was that I was starting the downswing with my arms, which led to a steep downswing, casting, and an outside-in path. He suggested I try the swing though of “keeping my back toward the target for as long as possible”, but I have more success thinking of it as starting the transition by rotating my hips around my spine. I’m not sure this is having the shallowing effect he’s going for, and I seem to have lost the weight transfer and spine angle retention.
  2. Grip looked good at address but was actually too deep in the palm, leading to a collapse and opening of the club face during the backswing. Fix for this was to grip the club while holding it upright, rather than adjusting grip at address. I think this is working well for me, though I need to improve my consistency.
  3. Overswing and lead arm adduction. He doesn’t want me to try to force myself into a 3/4 swing, but I currently seem to take the lead arm too far across my body and swing the club too far past my head. Both of these contribute to the flaws mentioned in point 1, and I can’t seem to shake them without feeling like I’m only swinging halfway.
  4. My follow through was too upright. By forcing my to hit some hooks and draws I was able to feel the extremes of crossing over my forearms on the follow through, and now I do a better job adhering to the swing plane past impact.

If you were a 2 handicap, or a +2 handicap, I wouldn't give you four different things like that in a lesson. I give people, not counting static (setup) stuff, one thing to do, sometimes two.

  1. I'm not sure I follow #1. Your torso was open to the target and your lead arm and club formed an angle (from what view?), and he diagnosed that your swing started with too much arms, so he had you feel your back to the target longer, thus… removing or slowing any body rotation down? That doesn't make sense to me. And your takeaway was something about your hips?
  2. Okay. And static.
  3. There are better ways to teach someone to make a shorter swing. It generally deals with the rates at which they're doing something. I'd consider looking at the rate at which your right arm bends. It's likely too slow, so it has to fold a lot toward the end of your swing, and thus carries on too far.
  4. You were hitting pushes and slices, but your path was too upright and too in to out? This one also doesn't track for me.
7 hours ago, Kleriq said:

I took this new swing to the range this weekend…

This might be the single best piece of advice I can give you: no you didn't. It took Tiger Woods (a few times) over a year to make the changes he made to his golf swing, and he's a wee bit better than you or I. And his changes were significantly smaller. You did not take a "new swing" to the range.

You tried to do the four things above, I'm sure. You failed at likely almost all of them, and I guarantee you didn't make one swing that had all four things better. Why? Because it's virtually impossible.

Not because you're "bad" or something, but because you can't do it.

Good practice should be five words:

You likely didn't do any of those words, and partly because your instructor didn't really give you the two words that start you off: simple and specific.

7 hours ago, Kleriq said:

I took this new swing to the range this weekend and rather than a consistent push I had much wider dispersion and more fat shots. I’d be happy to know if I’m interpreting my instructor’s lessons (in)correctly, especially in the hip turn I’ve adopted at transition. I have more videos I can upload to show off my misses.

I'd find a new instructor. This one:

  • Gave you four things to work on.
  • Let you leave the lesson confused as to how to "interpret" what he said.
  • Sent you away without understanding how to practice these things.

Look at how much your hips have moved while your club (and hands) has continued to swing back here:

01.jpg

Now look at this, for example:

02.jpg

Significantly less hip movement (he started at A4 with less, of course), and his hands have dropped 8".

In trying to "move your hips first" you're trapping the overly-run-on right elbow even farther behind you.


We're happy to help you here. I have three quick recommendations for you:

  1. Post good slow-mo of a 7I from face on and down the line, from the proper camera angles.
  2. Do the drills in this topic.
  3. Await feedback here from others.

If you want professional online instruction, look at Evolvr.com. If you want to thank people after a time for helping you in this topic, consider becoming a Supporter for a year. Or, do what most people do (which is great), just post in your Member Swing topic (this one) as well as elsewhere on the site, so you can start to get to know people here, and they'll be more likely to help you out in this topic.

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Hi Erik, I do appreciate your help. I agree that my instructor has a tendency to overwhelm me with incomplete explanations, so I am reaching out to other professionals to see if one can provide me more actionable advice.

I went to the range over my lunch break and took a few new videos. I tried to completely forget the alterations I’d made. I think I was fairly successful. Here are my best DTL and face-on swings:

 

 

Apologies for the lighting and framing; this is the best I could do face-on.

On rewatching these videos, the things I notice are the lifting of my lead heel and taking the club slightly past parallel on the backswing. Though to be fair, I notice them because my instructor has pointed them out in the past.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I followed your advice, @iacas, and took a lesson with a different instructor. He pointed out how much steeper my downswing was than my backswing, and how much lateral motion I exhibited. He attributed this to an overextended back that twisted, rather than turned, through the swing.

This all made sense to me, but I am skeptical of his proposed solution: to keep my body weight over my legs by standing closer to the ball, arching my thoracic spine (instead of maintaining a flat spine as I had been previously taught), and having what feels like an extremely flat swing plane. I did nothing but top and hook the ball when I tried to follow his instruction.

He did send me home with two annotated videos summarizing our lesson, which was an excellent touch I think all instructors should adopt. I’ve attached two stills from these movies comparing my current swing (left) and my attempt to implement the lesson (right) at P4.

I went back to the range this morning with the intent of working on this new technique, but upon reviewing the video I am still swinging my old swing with a few small modifications inspired by the lesson—my swing plane is slightly flatter, and I’m standing closer to the ball with a natural spine curve. Unfortunately I’m still coming OTT and sending the ball 20 yards left or right of my target. Here’s a video of one of my best swings, in which the steep attack is still evident: 

 

SwingP4.png

SwingP4 DTL.png

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That's… very close to the ball. Like Tiger level close, Finau level close.

In the bottom photo, I like the swing on the left more. Is that the "former" swing?

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Yes, that’s my “former” swing. I felt way too close to the ball with the new swing, and was coming drastically out-to-in.

(For what it’s worth, my previous instructor built my “former” swing on a template of Rahm and JT.)

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10 minutes ago, Kleriq said:

(For what it’s worth, my previous instructor built my “former” swing on a template of Rahm and JT.)

Really? Those two are fairly different.

How are you vetting the instructor(s) you're choosing?

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The instructor who initially built my swing works at the only indoor range in my city, so I started seeing him by default. I kept seeing him because of his analytical approach, the convenience of his schedule and proximity, and his reasonable rates.

When I was looking at new instructors, my choice was based on his instructional philosophy (which is more, but not entirely, feel-based than the previous instructor) and reviews on Yelp. I must say that even if his technique is not fit for me, I did feel like I left with a much more of concrete lesson thanks to his teaching style.

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13 hours ago, Kleriq said:

I followed your advice, @iacas, and took a lesson with a different instructor. He pointed out how much steeper my downswing was than my backswing, and how much lateral motion I exhibited. He attributed this to an overextended back that twisted, rather than turned, through the swing.

This all made sense to me, but I am skeptical of his proposed solution: to keep my body weight over my legs by standing closer to the ball, arching my thoracic spine (instead of maintaining a flat spine as I had been previously taught), and having what feels like an extremely flat swing plane. I did nothing but top and hook the ball when I tried to follow his instruction.

He did send me home with two annotated videos summarizing our lesson, which was an excellent touch I think all instructors should adopt. I’ve attached two stills from these movies comparing my current swing (left) and my attempt to implement the lesson (right) at P4.

I went back to the range this morning with the intent of working on this new technique, but upon reviewing the video I am still swinging my old swing with a few small modifications inspired by the lesson—my swing plane is slightly flatter, and I’m standing closer to the ball with a natural spine curve. Unfortunately I’m still coming OTT and sending the ball 20 yards left or right of my target. Here’s a video of one of my best swings, in which the steep attack is still evident: 

 

SwingP4.png

SwingP4 DTL.png

 
A lots of instructors now promote a backswing with plenty of depth like your new swing and I thought that would your instructor wanted you to do. But with the ball position that close I don’t get it, maybe temporarily and move further in the future.

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On 2/26/2021 at 8:16 PM, Kleriq said:

The instructor who initially built my swing works at the only indoor range in my city, so I started seeing him by default. I kept seeing him because of his analytical approach, the convenience of his schedule and proximity, and his reasonable rates.

When I was looking at new instructors, my choice was based on his instructional philosophy (which is more, but not entirely, feel-based than the previous instructor) and reviews on Yelp. I must say that even if his technique is not fit for me, I did feel like I left with a much more of concrete lesson thanks to his teaching style.

I'm not going to hard sell you, but you should check out evolvr.com.

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