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My Swing (Big Lex)


Big Lex
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I've been Playing Golf for: 33 years
My current handicap index or average score is: 10
My typical ball flight is: Draw
The shot I hate or the "miss" I'm trying to reduce/eliminate is: Pull hook, top, fat

The wedge video is shot from a less than ideal angle but it's good quality so I included it. 


Videos: 

 

Edited by Big Lex
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  • Big Lex changed the title to My Swing (Big Lex)
  • 10 months later...

 

 

Sorry for the embed error....so again, would fixing the steepening in the first part of the downswing improve my ball striking? The pro was not too concerned about it because the club eventually shallowed in the lower part of the downswing. But I don't know....

 

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1 hour ago, Big Lex said:

would fixing the steepening in the first part of the downswing improve my ball striking? The pro was not too concerned about it because the club eventually shallowed in the lower part of the downswing.

So the simple answer is, yes. But, and it's a big one, is it your priority piece? Or is it something you can kick down the road while you work on something else? We all have numerous flaws in our swings and limited ability to make multiple changes simultaneously. You didn't share any details of your lesson, any before/after swings, or any drills you have to work on, so I don't know if what you ended up working on was more important. It could simply be a case of, "this isn't great but it's fine for now, let's fix this other thing first."

1 hour ago, Big Lex said:

But I don't know....

Don't put the cart before the horse. Don't muddy the waters of your swing instruction. Insert other relevant idioms here 😜

But seriously, I don't know the quality of the lesson you received, but if you're going to question your instructor, how can you possibly commit to improving what he has shown you?

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1 hour ago, billchao said:

So the simple answer is, yes. But, and it's a big one, is it your priority piece? Or is it something you can kick down the road while you work on something else? We all have numerous flaws in our swings and limited ability to make multiple changes simultaneously. You didn't share any details of your lesson, any before/after swings, or any drills you have to work on, so I don't know if what you ended up working on was more important. It could simply be a case of, "this isn't great but it's fine for now, let's fix this other thing first."

Don't put the cart before the horse. Don't muddy the waters of your swing instruction. Insert other relevant idioms here 😜

But seriously, I don't know the quality of the lesson you received, but if you're going to question your instructor, how can you possibly commit to improving what he has shown you?

We did a couple of before-after swings. The thing the instructor changed was my set up. My before set up was a bit too vertical, without any spine tilt away from the ball. Also, from the top view, my shoulders were very open and my feet, knees, and hips very closed. We equalized this a bit. The result was a slight increase in club head speed, a shallower angle of attack and a bit better ball flight. He honestly didn't get into much detail or share much of the remaining data. I agree that there _must_ be a bunch of flaws in there, but to be honest he didn't point much of this out to me. 

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3 hours ago, Big Lex said:

The thing the instructor changed was my set up. My before set up was a bit too vertical, without any spine tilt away from the ball.

That's all you changed? Also, have you seen…

axis_tilt_irons_driver.jpg

3 hours ago, Big Lex said:

Also, from the top view, my shoulders were very open and my feet, knees, and hips very closed. We equalized this a bit.

That's all fine. But again, that's all you did in the lesson? That's all what I call "static" stuff.

3 hours ago, Big Lex said:

The result was a slight increase in club head speed, a shallower angle of attack and a bit better ball flight. He honestly didn't get into much detail or share much of the remaining data. I agree that there _must_ be a bunch of flaws in there, but to be honest he didn't point much of this out to me. 

Hmmm.

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Yeah, that's all he changed. He didn't really talk about anything dynamic. He said that I was doing alot of things right, but was doing them too far "in front of the ball," and hence lead to set up changes in spine angle, which he felt might improve things.

I asked him about my steepening at the start of the downswing, and he said that the fact that the clubhead eventually got under the backswing plane and was matched up nice to "the shoulder plane" meant to him that it was ok. I didn't think most pros would agree with that, but I don't know and didn't challenge him. 

He did look at my clubface at various points, at my "lag angle," and some other stuff. But no, he didn't look at or comment much on what I know is a huge trove of information on these swings. 

He said he thought I was borderline having too strong of a grip, causing a bit too shut of a clubface at the top, but again since it was ok at club horizontal position on the downswing, it was ok. 

I expected he would work on my transition. I'm not a pro, and I don't get cause and effect in golf swings. But I know it's pretty rare to see an expert player steepen their shaft for half of the downswing. And since I have an inside-out path that's generally over 5 degrees, I suspect maybe they are related, and should have been addressed. But again, he was the pro and I tried to listen and not waste my money by injecting my own ideas and not giving him time to analyze things and make his own suggestions. 

Thanks for looking at it, @iacas

Here is a driver swing from the same session. It produced a good shot, face to path of -2.3, center face hit, and average club head speed for me. What I notice that looks wrong, in addition to the weird path the club head traces at the start down, is my right shoulder being way too high at impact, leading to a weird looking club exit and follow through position. I asked about this, and he said it was just because I'm 57 and not as flexible as a young tour player. While the latter is certainly true, I don't know why flexibility issues per se would create this look. I think I looked the same when I swung at age 40 in this regard. 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Big Lex said:

I asked him about my steepening at the start of the downswing, and he said that the fact that the clubhead eventually got under the backswing plane and was matched up nice to "the shoulder plane" meant to him that it was ok.

It means you're not swinging OTT and left, but it creates a variable in your golf swing that causes inconsistency. That's why I asked what you worked on because there might have been something else more important, but it sounds like you didn't work on much. If you ask me, I'd say that's definitely something you need to change. That and your hip sway in the backswing; you don't pivot correctly. But I'm not a golf instructor, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. 

7 hours ago, Big Lex said:

Here is a driver swing from the same session. It produced a good shot, face to path of -2.3, center face hit, and average club head speed for me.

Everyone can occasionally hit good shots with bad swings. The issue is the frequency and severity of your misses. Making a golf swing better is largely about reducing the latter, which also happens to produce more of the former.

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17 hours ago, Big Lex said:

He didn't really talk about anything dynamic.

I'd be disappointed if I were you. I almost always (assuming they need it) give my students one, sometimes two dynamic things. I might give someone 1, 2, 3, even 4 static things (to think about static things, it might be… 1) A bit stronger, 2) ball position a bit farther forward, 3) weight more over the balls of your feet, 4) handle a bit lower).

17 hours ago, Big Lex said:

I asked him about my steepening at the start of the downswing, and he said that the fact that the clubhead eventually got under the backswing plane and was matched up nice to "the shoulder plane" meant to him that it was ok. I didn't think most pros would agree with that, but I don't know and didn't challenge him.

I can't speak for most pros, but I don't agree with it.

I call it "waving the sweet spot around." If you're shallow, then steep, then shallow… how can you expect to be as consistent as you would like? It's like trying to hammer a nail by being too far to the left, too far to the right, and back too far to the left again all during your up and down motion of the hammer.

Wouldn't you rather be on plane as long as you can, at least the entire downswing or the last 7/8ths of it or something? The fact that you're too steep and then too shallow during the downswing (!!!!) isn't something I'd just say is "okay."

17 hours ago, Big Lex said:

He did look at my clubface at various points, at my "lag angle," and some other stuff. But no, he didn't look at or comment much on what I know is a huge trove of information on these swings.

GEARS doesn't just give you the answers. You still have to teach. And know what you're doing.

And maybe there's stuff you're leaving out (maybe because you're not even aware of it), but… it honestly doesn't feel like it.

17 hours ago, Big Lex said:

He said he thought I was borderline having too strong of a grip, causing a bit too shut of a clubface at the top, but again since it was ok at club horizontal position on the downswing, it was ok.

Yeah, but that can lead to some of that waving around. Tipping back (shallowing) under can "open" the face or at least hold it back a bit.

17 hours ago, Big Lex said:

But I know it's pretty rare to see an expert player steepen their shaft for half of the downswing. And since I have an inside-out path that's generally over 5 degrees, I suspect maybe they are related, and should have been addressed.

Yes.

17 hours ago, Big Lex said:

But again, he was the pro and I tried to listen and not waste my money by injecting my own ideas and not giving him time to analyze things and make his own suggestions. 

See number three:

17 hours ago, Big Lex said:

Here is a driver swing from the same session. It produced a good shot, face to path of -2.3, center face hit, and average club head speed for me. What I notice that looks wrong, in addition to the weird path the club head traces at the start down, is my right shoulder being way too high at impact, leading to a weird looking club exit and follow through position. I asked about this, and he said it was just because I'm 57 and not as flexible as a young tour player. While the latter is certainly true, I don't know why flexibility issues per se would create this look. I think I looked the same when I swung at age 40 in this regard.

It bugs me that the "down the line" web locker stuff is not a "down the line" view (it's out at the ball), but… look at your goat humping (Early Extension, pelvis moving toward the ball) during that swing?

That's what's helping you "shallow" the club.

9 hours ago, billchao said:

It means you're not swinging OTT and left, but it creates a variable in your golf swing that causes inconsistency. That's why I asked what you worked on because there might have been something else more important, but it sounds like you didn't work on much. If you ask me, I'd say that's definitely something you need to change. That and your hip sway in the backswing; you don't pivot correctly.

Almost full agreement here. And possibly "full" I just am not 100% certain Bill and I are using the same vocabulary, etc. And I'm not a never/always kinda guy.

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On 5/21/2022 at 5:53 PM, iacas said:

I'd be disappointed if I were you.

I was.

On 5/21/2022 at 5:53 PM, iacas said:

I call it "waving the sweet spot around." If you're shallow, then steep, then shallow… how can you expect to be as consistent as you would like? It's like trying to hammer a nail by being too far to the left, too far to the right, and back too far to the left again all during your up and down motion of the hammer.

Wouldn't you rather be on plane as long as you can, at least the entire downswing or the last 7/8ths of it or something? The fact that you're too steep and then too shallow during the downswing (!!!!) isn't something I'd just say is "okay."

That's a good term...and it makes sense, and yes, I'd rather be on plane the whole way. I don't think I've _ever_ been on plane the whole way. My golf swing has always felt to me like I am wrestling with an anaconda during the downswing. 

On 5/21/2022 at 5:53 PM, iacas said:

It bugs me that the "down the line" web locker stuff is not a "down the line" view (it's out at the ball), but… look at your goat humping (Early Extension, pelvis moving toward the ball) during that swing?

That's what's helping you "shallow" the club.

I noticed my "goat humping" when I looked at video of my swing a few months ago that I took at a local simulator place. Every effort to try to correct it seemingly made it worse or had no effect; so I left it alone, hoping a pro would notice it and help me with it. It isn't quite as big or noticeable on an iron swing.

Last night I tried making right arm only swings to see if the downswing shaft plane was any different, and it wasn't; but I was able to keep the head in place and not extend early with a right arm only swing. About the only length swing I can make where the club stays on plane all the way is where I swing to club parallel to the ground. Once I start a-goin up, bad things happen )

Regarding engaging him and asking more questions, I will definitely try that next time. 

And thank you VERY much for offering your suggestions and observations. 

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5 hours ago, Big Lex said:

Regarding engaging him and asking more questions, I will definitely try that next time. 

I'd give him one more chance, but that's about it.

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  • 3 weeks later...
(edited)

I had a lesson today with Matt Wilson at Baltusrol (I decided not to go back to the GEARS guy for several reasons). The lesson was excellent. Matt identified a faulty pivot, which he felt was leading to the downswing issue of too steep at the start and then too shallow at the end. He thought faulty spine movement and a mistake in transition was positioning my body such that I needed to a) throw my arms and hands toward the ball late in the downswing, and also early-extend, in part to shallow the club and get it to the ball, but also as a reaction to bad spine movement going back. 
We worked a couple of static and a couple of dynamic adjustments. We set up with a bit more knee flex, weight a bit less on my heels, and hips a bit more toward the target (laterally speaking, not rotated toward it). Dynamics-wise, we rehearsed a turn where I thought of my shirt buttons turning horizontally, rather then them pointing more toward the sky as I turned back. On the downswing, first we tried a pool noodle to keep me from dropping the club too much, but that wasn’t working great regarding the transition. What did seem to work was to _feel_ as if at the top I moved the butt of the club straight out in front of me not lowering it at all, the butt feeling it was at the same level as at the top, and the shaft parallel to the ground, then to feel like I swung the handle down to my left pocket. Another way of saying it was that I had to get the handle moving out toward the ball earlier in the downswing. 
I was really happy to see the club shallow after doing this, be more on plane, and for that little hitch in my transition go away. Oh and for my pivot to look better and my club exit point to look better. Oh and for the early extension to basically go away. 
Here is video. Left side is the after. Kindly ignore my blabbering 

 

 

I’ve got to practice this. A lot. I wasn’t finding the ball well, as is not surprising. And it felt weird, because it’s probably the first time in 33 years that I’ve been somewhat on plane in my downswing. Looking forward to working more w Matt. 

Edited by Big Lex
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Still early extending, but a bit later in the after swings, and as we worked on it more, subsequent videos showed it occurring even less. 

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