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The more effort I put into developing a correct swing, the worse the results get.

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I went to the driving range today and got a 70-ball bucket. I stretched, took some practice swings, and then put a single golf ball down on the grass. I took out a 7 iron, and got myself into the "correct" posture. I put the "correct" grip on the club, and tried keeping everything I had learned about a good golf swing in the back of my mind: twisting my hips on the backswing while refraining from swaying, keeping my left arm straight, bending my wrists, pushing my weight forward on the second half of the swing, turning my hands over, finishing with my chest to the target, etc. I hit the ball fat and created an embarrassingly large divot. The ball sent a powerful shock wave up the club and to my hands. I clearly didn't make good contact. The ball went about 70 yards out and 30 yards to the right. The ball's maximum height was about 25 feet.

I took another ball and tried something slightly different. Again and again, I failed to make good contact. Each time, the ball would send a painful shockwave to my hands to remind me just how bad of a swing I just took. This has happened to me so many times in the past few months that I already knew what was about to happen: I was pretty much going to waste an hour and a half of my time hitting the last 60 balls fat, only to destroy the grass and walk away with a lot of pain from all of the shockwaves that travel to my wrists after bad shots.

So... I decided to forget everything and hit the last 60 balls as fast as I could so I could get out of there and go home. I took out a 9 iron, and just swung the way a 6 year old who has never played golf would. I just hit it. I think somebody up there was mocking me, because the ball went at least 5 times as high and about 160 yards out, perfectly straight. I got even more frustrated.... I started lining up 5 balls at a time and just started hacking at them as hard as I could. I would start the shot still in motion from the previous shot, WAY off balance with a terrible grip, not worrying about my lower body at all, and not caring about anything. Believe it or not, about 95% of the shots went perfectly straight and 160 yards out... The balls were going so high and took so long to come down that at any given moment, there were at least 3 balls in the air. I made no divots, and I didn't even feel the golf ballsev coming off of the club head on any shots.. It felt like a hot knife cutting through butter. It felt exactly like an iron shot should.

So... What in the world should I do? It's REALLY frustrating knowing that I have the ability to hit a 9-iron 160 yards 20 times in a row, but not have ANY idea what is causing it... And even more frustrating is the fact that the more effort I put into developing a correct swing, the more I find that I can't hit the ball at all. I can't even tell you what my swings were like. I bet that my head swayed about a foot and that my left arm was bent about 40 degrees. Sure, it was a bad swing, but it was my body's natural bad swing. And for some reason, I hit the ball better than I have ever done in my entire life.

Has this ever happened to anybody before? Anybody have any idea what could have caused this? I'm very confused and even more frustrated...

PS: Sorry if there are any spelling mistakes. I'm frustrated and can't really get myself together to fix anything..

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Yes it has happened to me, I spent time analyzing what a correct swing was, coiling up, un-coiling in the correct order, etc with poor results. So I just started hitting balls and then focused on three things during the swing:

Keep my head in position centered over the ball
In to out swing path
Transfer weight forward

Results, I am consistent again with my 6I and up, my 3H, 4-5I are coming along. I have zip off the club. My driver is still a mess but huge leap forward.

Keep at it.

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First off, 160 yards with a 9-iron is impressive.

I would say that you are thinking too much. Trying to consciously apply specific mechanics. It happens to everyone in various situations. It essentially causes more tension.

The swings that you were hitting as far Tiger Woods...I would say you just basically swung free, on the subconscious side.

When a baseball pitcher throws a ball out of the strike zone, he doesnt start making adjustments. He doesn't say, "my elbow must have been too low" or "my wrist was broke to soon" etc etc...that would only make him never find the strike zone. He basically rares back and throws another pitch..relying on more of the subconscious.

Think long, think wrong. At some point you have to get the fundamentals down as best as you can.



relax and play like the kid you mention. They see a tight pin on an island green as fun, challenging..they love it..

the older we get, we tend to think about only consequences and see it as difficult...resulting in a poor shot that we visually saw.

sometimes you have to let go to gain control...

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I pick up the clubs again after 30 yr's of raising family---I have been at it for about 4 months---I am real close to where your are at---I played 9 today and shot a 49---people say how good my swing looks, but like yourself. I never know what swing is going to show up---I now understand my swing much more than I have ever before---My problem is being able to repeat the correct swing each time---I feel now that most of my problem is mental---I would appreciate any feedback, you are anyone else, might have that would help me---Thanks for the post

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when I actually go to the range to practice (I normally don't have time and I'd rather play), I don't think about any part of my swing until I have hit at least 20 balls. The first 5 are swinging without any regard to anything what so ever. The next five are with a little purpose, but I don't care what happens. The next ten are just about rhythm and balance and getting a feel for what my swing is doing that day.

OK, 20 balls in and I'm ready to go. Now I start to work on what I need to.

When I play and don't warm up on the range, I know it takes me at least 3 or 4 holes to warm us, so I take more club, swing easy and don't care if things don't go just right.

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There is a blend between good mechanics and actually executing a shot. Hogan said train your swing, then trust it. I practice mechanics to engrain them into muscle memory, that may not result in a good shot. However, if what your working on is correct, you should see positive results.

Keep working on it,

-Beane

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If you know the proper fundamentals and have practiced them enough, then maybe it's time to just "forget about them" and let muscle memory take over. I would focus on tempo and timing, i.e. making a smooth backswing, accelerating through the ball not to the ball, etc. If anything, it simplifies your thought process and keeps out all the tension thats making you hit the ball fat.

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next time, take that same 7 iron and try to hit it 100 yds. It will force you to not get quick from top and will encourage a smooth transition. Get a feel for the ball compressing and "letting" hands release freely. I find I get a nice smooth tempo going after about 10 balls. Then do whatever you do next and try to maintain that tempo throughout the day.

Oh and by the way, I'm a 9.2 hdcp and I'm very familiar with horrid range sessions that you described. It happens to everyone, multiple times. It is just the way the game is. Actually I don't hit the range all that often to just "work/wreck" on my swing. Instead I head to the putting green and pitching green. That is how I went from a 15 to a 9 in about a years time. I must have hit 5,000 30-50 yd half-swing pitch shots in the last 12 months. My short game is so money these days that I really don't even care what happens off the tee or from the fairway. As long as it isn't in a hazard or OB, I feel like I can make par.

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Wow!!! You guys can't figure out that the original poster was just making fun of golfers who overanalyze their swing.

He basically just saying Just grab the club and swing it and don't worry about how to do it.

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When you are tall enough to play basketball, you still need to perform when playing the game. If you can make contact with the ball, you are just tall enough to play.

Try to play 3 balls with same club for 3 different types of shot. That is control and perform different tasks, which is what's required when playing.

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next time, take that same 7 iron and try to hit it 100 yds. It will force you to not get quick from top and will encourage a smooth transition. Get a feel for the ball compressing and "letting" hands release freely. I find I get a nice smooth tempo going after about 10 balls. Then do whatever you do next and try to maintain that tempo throughout the day.

It's strange.. When I overanalyze my swing and try to use "good fundamentals", I actually have a much slower swing speed. When I was just hammering away at the ball, I was pretty swinging as hard as I could... That's part of the reason I'm so frustrated.. It just seems completely backwards!

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Like most, I wish I could swing like Ernie. Smooth, un-hurried, mildly hypnotic.

Unfortunately, I can't, so I have to go with what I've got.

Line up 100 golfers and there will probably be 100 different swings.

I'm all for trying to improve. In golf after all we have a measurable index of improvement, our handicaps.

I can't help but bring to mind something I read years ago though.

W.G. Grace was asked the secret to playing great cricket. His answer was a laconic "put bat to ball".

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There is something to be said for 'lagging and hitting' if your mechanics are less than perfect. Because enough centrifugal force (momentum) can overcome many defects. Like a collapsing right arm, bent left arm, not enough shoulder turn or bad plane. While improving lag, core rotation and weight transfer. But you need to know how to use ground forces to maintain a steady head position.

Throw the club down the line with enough force and a lot of things take care of themselves. Weight transfer, lag, straight left arm, shoulder turn. Automatic.

But hang on for dear life.

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It's strange.. When I overanalyze my swing and try to use "good fundamentals", I actually have a much slower swing speed. When I was just hammering away at the ball, I was pretty swinging as hard as I could... That's part of the reason I'm so frustrated.. It just seems completely backwards!

I know exactly what you are talking about. I was reading Hogan's Five Fundamental's. Somewhere there he talks about 'hitting the ball as hard as you can'. I tried it and I couldn't even make a decent contact at the ball. But when you try to swing more analytically - with all those a dozen or so check points in your thoughts, I couldn't swing with zip at all. I never felt right. I realized that 'forget about all the mechanics and swing like you are throwing the club down the line as long as you can' type of practice only works if you had a decent fundamentals. Until then, you are only building a bad muscle memory. It may work one day but you can never do it consistently. It also doesn't teach you anything when things go wrong since you never knew why it worked it to begin with.

The recent breakthrough for me was focusing on small swing- putting, chipping and pitching than full swing. Golf swing for me is a puzzle of many different pieces. It's hard get all the pieces right at once. Small swings are a lot simpler to learn yet has the same fundamentals- keeping the head still, turning with shoulders, feeling the weight of the club head, hand leading, wrist cock and natural release, and smooth rhythm. All these things are so much easier to get right when you don't have to worry about swing plane, top of the back swing position, hip turns, inside swing path, knee banding and weight shift etc. I think there is a reason why Tiger's book starts with putting then chipping, pitching and full swing lessons. These days when I go to the range I don't start practicing full swing until I know that I got right feel with my chipping and pitching. It's been helping me a lot this way. One other important reason why it helps is because it boosts my confidence tremendously-I know the feel of crisp contact at the impact. I just have to repeat it with the full swing.

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I went to the driving range today and got a 70-ball bucket. I stretched, took some practice swings, and then put a single golf ball down on the grass. I took out a 7 iron, and got myself into the "correct" posture. I put the "correct" grip on the club, and tried keeping everything I had learned about a good golf swing in the back of my mind: twisting my hips on the backswing while refraining from swaying, keeping my left arm straight, bending my wrists, pushing my weight forward on the second half of the swing, turning my hands over, finishing with my chest to the target, etc. I hit the ball fat and created an embarrassingly large divot. The ball sent a powerful shock wave up the club and to my hands. I clearly didn't make good contact. The ball went about 70 yards out and 30 yards to the right. The ball's maximum height was about 25 feet.

most people hit the ball best with what they call your "natural swing". it's the swing you feel comfortable with. i think your best solution would be to just stick with this swing, don't think too much, and make some small tweeks to improve on it. i don't believe there is one right way to swing the club. heck, look at jim furyk's swing. he is probably the most consistent ball striker out there and his swing is ugly but it works for him and he has swung that way his whole life. i tried all the "correct" fundamentals of the swing and they just don't work for me, so i went back to my "natural swing" and i hit the ball great. i just grip it and rip it. just use whatever gives you the best results.

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