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Reasons for blocks?


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Blocks are killing me with my irons. I am making solid contact, but blocking way right. No fade or draw to it - just a straight block.

What are some reasons for this that I can try and work on at the range? Am I clearing my hips too fast?

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Originally Posted by Kieran123

Blocks are killing me with my irons. I am making solid contact, but blocking way right. No fade or draw to it - just a straight block.

What are some reasons for this that I can try and work on at the range? Am I clearing my hips too fast?


Typically, a block occurs when your upper body is ahead of the ball at impact. So actually, you may no be clearing your hips fast enough, but more likely you are not initiating the downsing with your lower body (i.e. hip bump).

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Originally Posted by Kieran123

Blocks are killing me with my irons. I am making solid contact, but blocking way right. No fade or draw to it - just a straight block.

What are some reasons for this that I can try and work on at the range? Am I clearing my hips too fast?



Regardless of the process used to get the ball to impact position, it's the 6 inches on either side of the ball that matter. I did the following a couple times last season during rainy rounds (courses in AB are really wet right now so this is a good time to check this out).  Place a tee in line with the ball and see how far the divot bottom is after the tee after impact. Play at least one 9-hole round with nothing else in mind other than driving the clubhead straight through the ball with the divot bottome 4-6 inches past the ball.

It seems like a cliche, but my ballstriking, which I thought was decent before that, has been stellar this year whenever I'm taking that nice divot just beyond the ball. Not a deep one necessarily, but a divot nonetheless. Keeping the head travelling relatively squarely through the ball was the focus, but all the pieces preceding impact seem more natural too. Win win.

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Originally Posted by sean_miller

Regardless of the process used to get the ball to impact position, it's the 6 inches on either side of the ball that matter. I did the following a couple times last season during rainy rounds (courses in AB are really wet right now so this is a good time to check this out).  Place a tee in line with the ball and see how far the divot bottom is after the tee after impact. Play at least one 9-hole round with nothing else in mind other than driving the clubhead straight through the ball with the divot bottome 4-6 inches past the ball.

It seems like a cliche, but my ballstriking, which I thought was decent before that, has been stellar this year whenever I'm taking that nice divot just beyond the ball. Not a deep one necessarily, but a divot nonetheless. Keeping the head travelling relatively squarely through the ball was the focus, but all the pieces preceding impact seem more natural too. Win win.

I will try this. Played Shawnee Slopes last night ( ugh ) and shot 86. Block after block after block

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Originally Posted by Elvisliveson

Typically, a block occurs when your upper body is ahead of the ball at impact. So actually, you may no be clearing your hips fast enough, but more likely you are not initiating the downsing with your lower body (i.e. hip bump).



Hmm that is interesting - can you explain the upper body part more please?

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Originally Posted by Kieran123

Hmm that is interesting - can you explain the upper body part more please?


If your upper body is ahead of the ball at impact, the clubface will be slightly open when it strikes the ball, thus causing the block. Your upper body is moving too quickly in comparison with your lower body, which should initiate the downsing. My guess is you are swinging down at the ball with your upper body rather than getting to the top of your backswing and then allowing the bump/turning of your front hip torwards the target to start the dowswing and pull your upper body automatically through the hitting area.

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As someone who blocks a lot of shots (seems to only happen with driver though, and a couple of the longer clubs once in a while) I feel your pain.  Tiger of course made the term "getting stuck" famous, so now of course everyone thinks they are getting stuck.  I don't know if that was the problem for me, but yeah, my body feels wide open- like I was facing the target but arms are way behind, just couldn't get them around in time.  Like you mention the strike was solid, but dead right they would go.  I tend to have a naturally long swing, so I've been working on only swinging my arms back as far as my shoulders turn, when the shoulders stop turning, that is the end of the backswing. It goes along with the feeling of "keeping your arms in front of your chest during the swing."  Just feels like a more controlled swing resulting in straighter shots (no loss of power by the way). Good luck.

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Originally Posted by $2 Nassau

As someone who blocks a lot of shots (seems to only happen with driver though, and a couple of the longer clubs once in a while) I feel your pain.  Tiger of course made the term "getting stuck" famous, so now of course everyone thinks they are getting stuck.  I don't know if that was the problem for me, but yeah, my body feels wide open- like I was facing the target but arms are way behind, just couldn't get them around in time.  Like you mention the strike was solid, but dead right they would go.  I tend to have a naturally long swing, so I've been working on only swinging my arms back as far as my shoulders turn, when the shoulders stop turning, that is the end of the backswing. It goes along with the feeling of "keeping your arms in front of your chest during the swing."  Just feels like a more controlled swing resulting in straighter shots (no loss of power by the way). Good luck.


That's what it feels like. My arms feel like they are left behind, I am playing tomorrow, so I may go to the range tonight or before the round and see if I can get my timing a bit better. I think if I can cure this, rounds in the 70's should be on the cards.

And I am the same with you. My blocks are more pronounced with longer irons and driver

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Three things come to mind here for me.

1) excessive dorsiflexion at impact. This for you is unlikely since you're a 10 index. The fix for this one though is feeling palmar flexion or bowing of the lead wrist and never consciously rolling over or releasing the hands on the downswing.

2) early extension. Better players tend to struggle with this one, but not exclusively. The fix could be something as simple as feeling more rotary in the shoulders or focusing on maintaining your inclination to the ground on the downswing.

3) spinning out. This is the most likely scenario. The hips stop pushing forward, you get minimal to no axis tilt, there's minimal to no side-tilt, and the hips and shoulders spin out excessively.

The fix for both numbers two and three are pushing the hips more forward while maintaining your side tilt relative to the ground (commonly referred to as "staying down on it"). Film yourself to know which of these three possibilities are you. Google all three of these terms for more information both on this site and on other sites.

Sorry for the short post and not elaborating further.

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Originally Posted by Kieran123

That's what it feels like. My arms feel like they are left behind, I am playing tomorrow, so I may go to the range tonight or before the round and see if I can get my timing a bit better. I think if I can cure this, rounds in the 70's should be on the cards.

And I am the same with you. My blocks are more pronounced with longer irons and driver


Seems like the timing falls in place when you only swing back as far as your shoulders go.  For me, it felt like a very short swing, but it really wasn't, it was just about at parallel, maybe a little short of parallel- which is probably right about where you want it anyway.

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Originally Posted by sean_miller

LOL.

Always glad to amuse you, Sean

Originally Posted by Kieran123

That's what it feels like. My arms feel like they are left behind....


Just noticed this. This will sound pretty simple but maybe just try swinging your arms faster and keeping your elbows relatively close together throughout.

Other reasons for blocks:

ball position too far back, weight back, elbows and forearms too far apart, hand path, too much side-tilt on the downswing, and excessive knee flex (either knee) or lack there-of on the down/throughswing.


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This is something I have worked on with my pro. To cut a long story short the root of the problem was that I was not making a full shoulder turn, letting my arms get ahead of my body in the backswing. From this position I would return the club to the ball with the arms behind the body, clubface open... block. If I managed to get the clubface square (squarer?) with my hands I could get anything from a push draw to a big hook.

By making a full shoulder turn and feeling the arms out infront of the body I have sloved my blocking problem. My swing is now much more efficient and I agree with Nassau that my improved swing "feels" much shorter when infact it is just the same (parallel).

Hope this helps.

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When this happens to me I tend to be letting my backswing get WAY too long. My pro makes me hit shots like I'm only swinging from shoulder to shoulder (so feel like I'm swinging until the shaft feels like it is straight up in the air which in reality is  past shoulder). Since my swing was so long, my timing would be off every time, the 3/4 feel swing got my timing/rhythm back.

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As people have said it can be a number of different things and it could be any of the things mentioned. For me, If I hit a shot that goes somewhere other then where I wanted I look at where my belt buckle would be pointed and more often then not, my belt buckle is pointing right where I went. If it becomes an issue as in 2 or 3 shots have that happen I will put a shaft across my shoulders and just do a few quick rotations getting to make sure my belt buckle is pointing the proper way.

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I used to always hit blocks and for me the problem was not getting my weight onto my left side through impact.  I used to hang back on my right side a lot, which didnt allow me to clear my hits, so the ball would go dead right every time.

Now, as soon as I start the downswing, I try to get as much weight as I can onto my left leg.  That allows me to turn through the ball and not hit a huge block.

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