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I'm working on fitness and full swing accuracy. I believe these two go hand in hand. My short game and putting are relatively solid and I'm losing all my strokes to penalties and counter-productive

My current project is perfecting a power fade with all of my clubs from driver to wedges. I must say that the amount of misinformation on this shot is mind-boggling (from professional teachers on down

Starting over from scratch! In 2007, I was 39 years old and at my best.  Handicap of 1, playing 3-4 times per week, practicing during lunch and after work 3 -4 times per week in addition to pla

3 things at the moment: - Number 1 is tempo - the faster I swing the worse it goes. Smooth tempo is number 1 priority to making solid contact with every club. - not taking it too far back so I don't overswing and keep the club under control. - speed over line when I putt.
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- Removing analysis from my swing technique and trusting what I've built

Brother have you slobbered a mouthful there (as my Dad used to say).

I stopped worrying about the details and process of my swing at the beginning of the summer.

Now I just try to keep my right arm loose and release thru the ball and I'm hittin' em longer and straighter than I ever thought possible.

I'm a crappy golfer and have spent the last 40 years playing out of the right ruff and can't tell you how much more fun it is to hit that 2nd shot from the fairway.

It's impossible for me to produce a good swing while thinking about the process.

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Working hard on tightening up the game inside 100 yards! It's amazing how many different "battles" there are in this category. Have been watching this video ( http://thesandtrap.com/forum/thread/39411/quickie-pitching-video ) tons and it's starting to pay off in contact consistency. Love the video and this website.

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Working on improving consistency with 5i and 3h+4h... I've got them from the tee, not far, but straight. Now I want them from the ground for par 5s and long par 4s. Think I need to slow down my swing, and will work on establishing cleaner contact using 3/4 swings.
Love this site - threads like these are a fun way to put words on your training routine, and the forum has great ideas for practicing and threads to give a morale boost to struggling newbies. Great stuff!
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Driver....still.

I played a round on Monday, first 12 holes hit only 2 fairways, last 6 I hit them all. As soon as I hit the fairway on 13, I had the feeling of how to hit it straight. I need to memorize that feeling.

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Accuracy, trying to hit my 7i - wedges close to the target (flag on the range or location on the green).  Working on increasing distance with irons and driver without losing control.  Putting and chipping from 20+ yards out.

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Alignment. Was having some driving issues - aiming - sorted it out, but need to trust it.

Distance - judging distance and swing tempo on 10-30 yard shots. My new glasses are playing havoc with my depth perception and my wedges feel too short (the shafts - just had them lengthened 1" - see how that plays out).

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Staying on plane with my irons (butt of the club pointing at the ball through the takeaway) alla the Golf Laser: Butch Harmon Golf Laser Trainer . Also finishing my driver swing down the target line trying to eliminate so many pull hooks. Playing really well right now though. In the single digit handicap area and ball striking is very very good. Need to hit more fairways though.

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Back to basics!  My game has been improving consistantly lately and all of a sudden, like I hadnt hit a ball EVER!  Got lazy I guess, and darn near threw in the towel. PGA...Posture, Grip, Alignment.

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Starting over from scratch!

In 2007, I was 39 years old and at my best.  Handicap of 1, playing 3-4 times per week, practicing during lunch and after work 3 -4 times per week in addition to play, and all was right with the world.  Then, in 2008 my job duties tripled, my wife got pregnant, and my golf game took a back seat to more important elements of my life.  My limited spare time was devoted to my antique cars and I played golf maybe 8 times per year for 2 and a half years.  The game got ugly, and I didn't enjoy it anymore which fueled my diminished desire.

Fast forward to January 2011.  I'm 42, decide I am going to get in better shape and play more golf.  I start on my treadmill every morning and my bowflex and I lose a good bit of weight quick.  Start playing golf and man, it was ugly.  I was starting all over again.  No ball striking, no distance, no familiar hook so alignment was terrible, no short game, no feel, bad plane.  But I was working at it and just picking one thing at a time to work on.  I was reading about golf again, studying elements of the physics, plane, tempo, striking.  I was learning all the things I learned over a 20+ year period all over again and seeing very slow progress, but some progress in certain things none the less.

Come March 2011.  I notice worsening right knee pain while walking on the treadmill.  I try to ignore it, ice it, advils, knee bands, etc. until one day it felt like a hot nail going through my knee and I couldn't even walk.  Went to my Doctor and he injected it.  Seemed to help...for a little while, and then BAM, worse than ever.  Walking with a cane, taking pain pills just to function.  Golf was again out.  Saw an Ortho surgeon and he said patella tendon issues, bone protrusions, bone fragments.  Had a scope and a full open knee surgery involving bones and tendons and he said it would be a full 12 month recovery.  No golf in 2011 he said.  I was crushed.  I had just gotten my passion back for the game.  He did say I could put weight on the leg as I could tolerate.

In less than a week after surgery, I found myself on the practice putting green on my crutches and bulky leg brace.  Chipping and putting, just anything would do.  Then, I decided I would hit balls on the range with my weight all on my left leg.  It was awkward, but I was able to hit some balls with everything but my driver.  Less than 2 weeks after surgery, I'm on the course playing golf, big knee brace and laying my crutches on the ground while I hit.  It was ugly, pulling balls dead left, but my irons seemed to be crisp and long.  Go figure.

So I gradually play more and more golf, going to physical therapy a lot, using a cane, weene myself off the brace, and trying to figure it all out again as I get stronger.  I struggled with weight shift, staying behind the ball, plane, you name it.  But I was seeing some slow progress eventhough my scores were in the low 90s to upper 80s and creeping slowly lower.

Middle of June, I broke my left foot on the outside edge.  Couldn't walk.  No golf for 3 to 4 weeks and in an aircast boot.  I couldn't even do anything with golf as it hurt worse than the knee surgery.  After 4 weeks in the cast, it was slow going in regular shoes and still no golf.  Started back slowly and as I spent time on the range I noticed something.  I started setting up closed, behind the ball, slow tempo, left shoulder up, good plane position at the top, and the driver arrived.  I stopped sliding and started turning and Hitting draws,  It came and went, but I recognized what I needed to do.  Irons got crisp and somewhat more accurate with a mid-low trajectory.  Chipping got better, putting still iffy.  Inside of 8 feet I'm great, lag putts seem to come up way short.

Last week I played the River Course at Kingsmill, a former PGA venue and now a LPGA venue.  I only missed 1 fairway all day, shot a 76, and 3 putted 3 times due to slow greens and my bad lag putting.  Since have shot a 75 on my home course and a 79 on a little tight mountain course.  What is different than 2007?  I have noticed I have to hit 1 club more in my irons, my driver is 275 rather than the 290 - 320, and my 3 wood is 235 and not 250.  It could be rustiness, trusting the knee and foot, could be I'm now 43 and not as limber as before, I've gained some weight, or all of these things.  I don't try to swing out of my shoes anymore, maybe 85%, but I still find a way to score and hope that it just gets better as I re-discover my game.  As I used to hit wedges into long par 4s, now I'm hitting middle irons.  I'm not only trying to get my game back, but adjusting to the new idea of what it is now.  Maybe if I keep on, lose some weight, etc. I can get my distance back, but at 43 I must also face the reality that I may never again hit 300 yard drives.  New realities call for a re-tooled approach.  275 and only missing 1 fairway (by 5 yards and still got on the GIR) on a course I've never played before...I'll take it all day long and grin.

So, I'm working on all the fundamentals of set-up and swing plane, lag putting, course management, and staying in the round, in the shot, in the moment (the mental part).  During my 76 at Kingsmill, I lost focus on a few holes and didn't stick to my game plan...tried to hit a cut shot when I know I don't have one.  Center of the green would have been a fine shot.  Maybe it will all come together, even if for a brief moment here and there...if I can stay healthy.

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I've been working all year on being able to hit a consistent fade with my driver. All my other clubs I don't have any problems hitting a nice fade but my driver gives me trouble. I think mentally I give myself problems but I just started working with the pro at my club to work on a nice fade.

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I am working on balance, rythmn, alignment/setup, and my takeaway to the top position, all with the aim to improve my ball striking so that my iron swing produces a divot that starts on the target side of the ball. (Whew, quite a mouthful of swing improvements, eh!)  On the downswing, I am focusing on maintaining a smooth tempo, keep my hips and shoulders turning thru the impact zone and keeping my hands ahead of the clubhead, as my bad swing tendency is to stop body rotation and "throw/release" my arms at the ball, which results in really bad fat or thin shots.  I am trying to use the "right pocket pointing at the ball" image as a guide for how far my hips should have turned at impact position, and I am trying to delay my wrist release point until the end of the grip is pulled almost even with the ball (based on a Johnny Miller Golf Channel tip!) to encourage some forward shaft lean at impact.

My driving range drill is to start off with lining up 4 balls on tee's, so the line of balls are perpendicular to my general target/stance line.  The tee's are set very low, so I have what would be a perfect lie, versus the crappy lies offered by my local range's grass.  I use another tee to show where the "target side' edge of balls are, so I have a reference point for where my divots should start.  I generally start off with 1/2 or 3/4 shots using a wedge or 8 iron, and move up from there, depending on well this drill is or isn't working that day

So... how is this working so far you ask...??

Let's just say this is a work in progress, but I am hopefully optimistic based on an improved divot pattern at the range, and I've managed to pull off a really good full swing (for me) for at least 2-3 shots on the course this season, when the ball contact felt more "pure" and solid that I have ever felt before, and the divot actually started after the ball's position!! Yippie..!!  Of course, I can still hit some gopher hole sized pelts, but hopefully I can improve steadily and save our local greenskeepers some $$ on future course maintenance.

An unexpected side benefit to this drill has been much better ball contact and control over my wedges!

This has been a strange year for me, as I have been unemployed, so I have only 4 range sessions, 2-18 hole rounds and 1-9 hole round under my belt to conserve $$.  My lone 9 hole round was with my golf league buddies last Monday, and I shot a 39, which is fantastic for me.  Alas, it wasn't a result of good ball striking with my irons (all were slight pushes to the right), but effective wedge play and a hot hot hot $3 putter recently bequeathed to me by an uncle!  The 1 vicious snap hook drive to the left was still playable, but resulted in an ugly double bogey after I dumped my 7 wood fantasy hero approach shot into the swamp, er pond, fronting the green.  Arrrrgh!!  Redemption came on the last green, when my latest putter acquisition helped sink an 18 foot uphiller for Birdie!

As an interesting aside, last Friday I took advantage of a FREE initial swing evaluation and lesson at Golf Tec offered thru the Johnny Walker Website > http://www.johnniewalker.com/en-us/golf/ > a very interesting and valuable experience IMHO.  Once I acheive full employment status again, I think I will start off with a lesson package to see how well it works over time.  The initial swing evaluation gave me some good feedback, and some additional drills to work on to help my swing, and I'll post an update in another week or so on the drills' effectiveness.  Sadly, the swing video only confirmed my deepest suspicions.... my swing in no way resembles that of a touring pro..!!  But hey, by the end of the lesson, my hip and shoulder rotation thru the impact zone had already improved (at least on the swing evaluator), so we'll see if I can use these drills to improve my ball striking in general on the course.  Hope springs eternal, so Good Luck to everyone in improving this year!

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Man, its a constant battle. . .isn't it??!!

Right now I'm concentrating on the following:

1.  With my drives  -  staying "under the ball" and making sure I get my hips through.  If I don't I know its going right!

2.  Putting tempo

3.  Trying to learn to be confident enough to "work the ball"  I'm actually getting that I can draw or fade the ball at least sometimes. . .when I need to!

Just love the game!!

Mike

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  • 2 weeks later...

The other day I was looking at some swing sequence photos of Ben Hogan -- don't know the date of the photos, probably early 1950s, possibly pre-1949, definitely pre Five Fundamentals -- when I noticed something.  In this sequence Hogan's hands were at about 10:30 at the top of the swing, even though his club went beyond parallel to the ground.   He did this by holding a very sharp cock to the wrists, which continued well into the downswing.

I've had trouble achieving a "late hit" holding the wrist cock until shortly before impact.  Could this be because I hold my hands too high and do not cock my wrists enough?

So that's what I am working on now, a swing change, increased flexibility in the wrists (which I practice holding a club at my desk) and not trying to reach for the sky with my arms on the backswing.  Along with continuing the backswing movement even as my legs and hips go into the downswing.    If I am lucky, this will make my full swing more consistent since my left arm will be straighter at the top and I won't be straining my arms as much.    And produce a faster swing through the ball with a true late hit.

Note: In Five Fundamentals, Hogan is pictured as having his hands up higher at the top.  I don't know if that was an intended evolution of his swing or an unintended consequence.    I'm still trying to figure out that cupped wrist thing Jody Vasquez reported in his book. :)   I do think that extreme wrist cock is related to what Hogan said about the elbows pointing forward at address.

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Currently i'm working on:

1. BUNKER SHOTS !!! I totally don't get it, they are "destroying" my games

2. Mid play - improve accuracy, try to get more clean strikes

3. Mental play - i mean getting on with any kind of pressure - it always was my worst side :/

4. Putting - longer shots and the shortest one

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Originally Posted by pawulinho17

1. BUNKER SHOTS !!! I totally don't get it, they are "destroying" my games


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