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Changing Deep Habits


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I have come to realize that I am usually badly misinformed about how well I have internalized a motion. I haven't been as willing to let go of what little I could do whether willingly or unconsciously. I most certainly haven't beat it to death like I tell myself I have. I guess it's kind of a self-con. 

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Vishal S.

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7 hours ago, SEMI_Duffer said:

Name a swing flaw and my swing probably had it.

The late pro at at my home club was asked by a member where he was going so wrong. The reply 

“I’m not sure  Willie, but I think you’ve got a swing in your flaw “

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Stevie T

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Part of the difficulty for me is I’m somewhat of a perfectionist. (My wife would say drop the ‘somewhat’). I understand that while I’m working on stuff bad looking shots will happen and that I shouldn’t care. But I do have to hit at least one good shot at the end of the session or I won’t have the confidence I can do it on the course. I like practicing and improving at practice, but I also need to see it on the course. That hasn’t happened yet this year with my current priority piece.

My weakest club has always been my driver. I’ve been working on a piece changing my left wrist at impact for a couple of months now to help control the face and align the face with path better. Part of the drill has me hitting severe hooks to exaggerate the motion. This shows my hands are doing the right things. I can do this at the range and at slower speeds on video. But when I get to the course, I fear the hook and revert and get all tense. My swing gets short and makes the round less enjoyable. I haven’t figured out how to translate the change to the course yet.

I play with a lot of people who are content to be at the level they are and just play. They enjoy the game, never practice and are content to hit in the 90s or whatever. Bad shots bother them, but they don’t strive to improve.

I’m not one of those people. I always want to be better at anything I do. I can do a lot of things really well, but getting to the next level in golf has been a real challenge. I often question whether I’m doing the practice correctly when I can’t get it to work on the course. I know ‘Golf is Hard’, but so are other things that are come easy for me but are hard for others.

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Scott

Titleist, Edel, Scotty Cameron Putter, Snell - AimPoint - Evolvr - MirrorVision -MEVO+

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One bit of business that has always been a problem for me is snapping my wrists closed as I'm coming through the ball. That's how I was taught to hit a baseball and how to shoot a puck, but it isn't so good for hitting a golf ball.

Even after all this time, I have to make a real effort to keep my hands quiet. When I either get sloppy or get angry the monster hook follows in short order.

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50 minutes ago, boogielicious said:

I know ‘Golf is Hard’, but so are other things that are come easy for me but are hard for others.

Absolutely. Hell I learned to ride a unicycle pretty quickly when I was young. I think one of the difficult things with golf is nothing feels like it’s powerful to me. Meaning, the way I feel correct positions feels like the least efficient way to generate power.

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57 minutes ago, boogielicious said:

I’m not one of those people. I always want to be better at anything I do. I can do a lot of things really well, but getting to the next level in golf has been a real challenge. I often question whether I’m doing the practice correctly when I can’t get it to work on the course. I know ‘Golf is Hard’, but so are other things that are come easy for me but are hard for others.

I'm very much like that as well.   Not with everything, there are some things that I don't care enough about for that.   However, what I do care about I feel the need to try and excel at.   I try and pace it out, there are periods where I maintain and then there are periods where I work on something and try to improve.   I am taking about a month to work on something else and then am going to dive deep back into golf as well.   When I do, everything else will mainly be on the back burner.

—Adam

 

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Last Oct. Erik changed my grip from palm to fingers.  I did not feel comfortable with that until maybe June of this year.  Ok, no practice Nov to March so maybe not as bad but still took a good 3 months to not feel odd.  I am hitting better and probably time to identify the next thing to work on.

point is, I agree it takes time to make a change.

Stuart M.
 

I am a "SCRATCH GOLFER".  I hit ball, Ball hits Tree, I scratch my head. 😜

Driver: Ping G410 Plus 10.5* +1* / 3 Hybrid: Cleveland HIBORE XLS / 4,5 & 6 Hybrids: Mizuno JP FLI-HI / Irons/Wedges 7-8-9-P-G: Mizuno JPX800 HD / Sand Wedge: Mizuno JPX 800 / Lob Wedge: Cleveland CBX 60* / Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG 7S / Balls: Srixon Soft / Beer: Labatt Blue (or anything nice & cold) 

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18 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

Absolutely. Hell I learned to ride a unicycle pretty quickly when I was young. I think one of the difficult things with golf is nothing feels like it’s powerful to me. Meaning, the way I feel correct positions feels like the least efficient way to generate power.

bart simpson street GIF

Same for me, except the unicycle. When I’m making a change, it doesn’t feel like I can swing with power.

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Scott

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3 minutes ago, boogielicious said:

Part of the difficulty for me is I’m somewhat of a perfectionist. (My wife would say drop the ‘somewhat’). I understand that while I’m working on stuff bad looking shots will happen and that I shouldn’t care. But I do have to hit at least one good shot at the end of the session or I won’t have the confidence I can do it on the course. I like practicing and improving at practice, but I also need to see it on the course. That hasn’t happened yet this year with my current priority piece.

My weakest club has always been my driver. I’ve been working on a piece changing my left wrist at impact for a couple of months now to help control the face and align the face with path better. Part of the drill has me hitting severe hooks to exaggerate the motion. This shows my hands are doing the right things. I can do this at the range and at slower speeds on video. But when I get to the course, I fear the hook and revert and get all tense. My swing gets short and makes the round less enjoyable. I haven’t figured out how to translate the change to the course yet.

I play with a lot of people who are content to be at the level they are and just play. They enjoy the game, never practice and are content to hit in the 90s or whatever. Bad shots bother them, but they don’t strive to improve.

I’m not one of those people. I always want to be better at anything I do. I can do a lot of things really well, but getting to the next level in golf has been a real challenge. I often question whether I’m doing the practice correctly when I can’t get it to work on the course. I know ‘Golf is Hard’, but so are other things that are come easy for me but are hard for others.

You and I have "talked" about this many times on the forum. I've battled my own demons so I can relate. 

One more suggestion for you. Not sure if it's possible. Can you get to your course when nobody or at least very few people are playing? If so, this is an idea I have. Perhaps, use the course as a driving range. Depending on where out of bounds is it may require you to purchase a box of cheap golf balls. (Or maybe two). Here's my idea. Go to each teebox and hit balls until you get one correct. Start out by hitting a couple of severe hooks on each teebox. (Out of bounds maybe.) Then keep hitting at that box until you get it right. At least then you'll know you CAN do it on the course.  

I did something like that at my tournament course during a practice round. I fell behind a bit so I didn't get to play as many approach shots, but that practice really helped me hit better drives during the actual tournament. 

Hang in there, brother. We've all been there. ... Okay, many of us have been there. 

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10 minutes ago, ChetlovesMer said:

You and I have "talked" about this many times on the forum. I've battled my own demons so I can relate. 

One more suggestion for you. Not sure if it's possible. Can you get to your course when nobody or at least very few people are playing? If so, this is an idea I have. Perhaps, use the course as a driving range. Depending on where out of bounds is it may require you to purchase a box of cheap golf balls. (Or maybe two). Here's my idea. Go to each teebox and hit balls until you get one correct. Start out by hitting a couple of severe hooks on each teebox. (Out of bounds maybe.) Then keep hitting at that box until you get it right. At least then you'll know you CAN do it on the course.  

I did something like that at my tournament course during a practice round. I fell behind a bit so I didn't get to play as many approach shots, but that practice really helped me hit better drives during the actual tournament. 

Hang in there, brother. We've all been there. ... Okay, many of us have been there. 

I have played solo a few times this year and done this. There are course here in RI where if you go early, you can play solo.

Scott

Titleist, Edel, Scotty Cameron Putter, Snell - AimPoint - Evolvr - MirrorVision -MEVO+

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2 hours ago, boogielicious said:

I play with a lot of people who are content to be at the level they are and just play.

Yeah I can’t do that either. I’ll admit one ‘motivating’ instance was watching a friend of mine at my club hit my Titleist 620MB irons. He’s a lefty and is around a 2+ hcp. He used to play competitively but back injuries have plagued him. He’s my age (53) and obviously has a great swing but my goodness. The purity of his strikes were just phenomenal to watch. He easily hits each iron about 15-20yds further than me. So I’m watching him, my age, some restrictions and in less athletic shape than me but just smoking those blades that aren’t even close to his specs. So of course I’m thinking I’ve got to be able to do that. 
 

And no, I’ve got no business having 620MB irons. But they’re beautiful and I love hitting those occasional butter strikes with them.🙂

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9 hours ago, Vinsk said:

This is essentially what I meant. But I still maintain even with the golf swing there are those who do not find the essential mechanics difficult to learn, at least some of them.

Sure, but they do have to learn them was my point.

9 hours ago, Vinsk said:

For me, the grip isn’t natural at all. None of them except the 10 finger which I have zero feel for the club head.

Pick one, interlocked, overlapping, or ten-finger and make it natural through repeated use. It's the only way.

That was the one thing with which I, personally, never had a problem. I even use the interlocked grip when putting, it feels so right to me.

9 hours ago, Vinsk said:

The take away as taught traditionally feels completely opposite of what my body feels necessary for any power or top position. 

That may be in part due to what your eyes tell you good golfers are doing vs. what they're really doing.

Here's a quick video I took yesterday of one of my back-swing drill reps:

https://www.linxnet.com/misc/Videos/TMG/Back-Swing-20220816.mp4

During that entire motion I'm not "lifting" anything. From setup to the top of my back-swing it's all legs, hips, and torso.

Btw: Hear that "knock" sound at the end? That's my club head returning exactly to the "ball." What's interesting about that is, despite what it looks like, that wasn't where I was looking. Where I was looking was a tablet, mirrored from my phone, with which I was watching my motion, sitting about 1-1/2 feet in front of the "ball."  (The "ball" is simply a small, round sticky on the floor.) 

9 hours ago, Vinsk said:

I’ve achieved a top position that looks good as far as plane and face. Arm straight at shoulder level, good tilt, good trail arm bend, face matching back of my lead back hand and the club not crossing the plane. To get to this position I have to literally lift the club straight up from the ball like I’m tossing a bag over my shoulder.

That, as I'm sure you're aware, is all wrong.

9 hours ago, Vinsk said:

Once at the top, I’ve lost any feel or control of the club. I either have to feel I’m bringing the club straight down my trail side which causes me to slam the club head into the ground just past my trail foot, or I sling it way over the top and either shank it or duck pull skull it.

That's because you're doing it all with your arms, whereas all your arms should be doing is following your shoulders, which should be following your torso.  Whether you fire your torso, hips, or legs (feet) first is a matter of what works best for you, but there must be no arms in your swing at all. Arms lead to what you're experiencing.

9 hours ago, Vinsk said:

My right hip is very inflexible as well. Born that way having to wear leg braces for my first two years. I can’t sit cross legged like in a praying pose as my right leg cannot externally rotate to touch my lateral thigh to the ground.

The guys I'm training with claim to have work-arounds for that kind of thing.

I presume you've worked with physical therapists to try to improve your right hip function?

9 hours ago, Vinsk said:

Regardless, I know I’m capable of a better swing. I was a pretty good athlete in my youth and I’m still strong at least…lol. I’ve probably just never had the best instruction for me.

Perhaps contact the guys with whom I've been working and see what they say? It's working for me.  Or appears to be.  (Warning: Their program isn't for the faint-of-heart.  It requires more commitment than most amateur golfers are willing to invest--particularly since much of it doesn't even involve swinging a club, much less hitting balls.)

9 hours ago, Vinsk said:

I’ve been told some crazy stuff.

Perhaps one of the biggest banes of the amateur golfer: Internet advice and YouTube. You can't learn a good swing that way, IMO.

I refuse to watch swing videos, other than my own, what's in my training program or what my trainers send me. I refuse to even read about others' swing thoughts, theories, etc., etc. I don't need that stuff polluting my thoughts.

9 hours ago, Vinsk said:

Admittedly I’m not fond of video learning as it’s just too much time with filming and waiting for new input and needing someone to give me immediate feedback as I work.

 

The longest I've waited for feedback from my guys was a few hours, and that was from a video submitted late Sunday afternoon or early evening. (I presume they have lives, too :-))

 

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18 hours ago, billchao said:

You shouldn’t completely lose the ability to hit the ball while making a change. That’s still kind of weird to me.

I think the way to judge that, when you're making changes is like yeah, you hit a lot of bad shots, but a few shots sneak in here and there where you've actually changed the picture and made good contact and that shot is better than your best shot with the old swing.

34 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

Admittedly I’m not fond of video learning as it’s just too much time with filming and waiting for new input and needing someone to give me immediate feedback as I work.

You can do real time video lessons, Facetime. Also when practicing, you can text a video and pro can respond straight away, almost instantaneous quick lesson.

Steve

Kill slow play. Allow walking. Reduce ineffective golf instruction. Use environmentally friendly course maintenance.

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18 hours ago, billchao said:

You shouldn’t completely lose the ability to hit the ball while making a change. That’s still kind of weird to me.

It depends on how exaggerated and how slow you can swing. I outright almost swung over the ball once up in Erie, and the motion looked really good on camera. 

34 minutes ago, SEMI_Duffer said:

That's because you're doing it all with your arms, whereas all your arms should be doing is following your shoulders, which should be following your torso.  Whether you fire your torso, hips, or legs (feet) first is a matter of what works best for you, but there must be no arms in your swing at all. Arms lead to what you're experiencing.

The kinematic sequence does happen, it does not mean you should feel it happen. There are some golfers who, if they feel their hips slide forward, are screwed because the hips have outraced the torso and arms so much. They might feel like the hips do very little, and the arms need to come down. For me, my feels are all in my hands and arms in the downswing. I might feel a slight bit of squatting into my left side from A4 to A5, but it isn't something I actively feel. 

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1 hour ago, SEMI_Duffer said:

During that entire motion I'm not "lifting" anything. From setup to the top of my back-swing it's all legs, hips, and torso.

You mean you feel like you’re not lifting. Because, well you are. You can’t bring your hands from waist level to ear height just by moving your torso if you’re holding a weight.  Unless you moved like Jim Carey when he got hit with the tranq darts…lol. But even then…that wouldn’t have the club go back on a useable plane IMO.

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39 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

You mean you feel like you’re not lifting. Because, well you are.

Nope.  Watch:

https://www.linxnet.com/misc/Videos/TMG/Not_Lifting-20220817.mp4

My form, there, is less-than-ideal, but you get the point.

Yes: When I have a club in hand my trailing arm collapses inward and my lead arm develops a slight bend, but the motion you see above is essentially my back-swing.  No lifting occurs.

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1 minute ago, SEMI_Duffer said:

Nope. 

Your shoulders have absolutely lifted your arms. Your left upper arm is probably 40° from your spine at set up and 90° at the top.

This topic is not about your specific swing or what you’re working on but feel ain’t real.

P.S. Please just embed YouTube videos.

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2 hours ago, SEMI_Duffer said:

That, as I'm sure you're aware, is all wrong.

13 hours ago, Vinsk said:

It’s a feel. It isn’t wrong. If I arrive at a good position with that feel, so be it. I’m not saying I’m doing that, I’m saying that’s what I feel to get to that position.

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