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My Swing (Jetfan1983)


JetFan1983
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Happy Thanksgiving and WOOHOO!!!!!!

 I’m so glad to see this. And they swing wasn’t bad. At all.

 This all made me so happy right now!

I can’t imagine how you must feel.

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Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instructor Development, 5 Simple Keys®/Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins • Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 • "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 • Penn-State Behrend Head Coach • • • • • • • • • • :aimpoint: :edel: :true_linkswear:

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2 hours ago, boogielicious said:

Happy Thanksgiving Constantine! Glad you are progressing and thanks for the update.

Thanks! Slowly but surely 😄

1 hour ago, iacas said:

Happy Thanksgiving and WOOHOO!!!!!!

 I’m so glad to see this. And they swing wasn’t bad. At all.

 This all made me so happy right now!

I can’t imagine how you must feel.

I feel really good! But also cautious since it's been a rough few years with all this stuff. I'm forcing myself to stay present and positive. I don't want to get too ahead of myself or too negative about these things. I'm very happy I've made it to this point. 

I'll probably head back to the range on Friday for another go at it, forcing myself to leave after 45 minutes max. Hopefully I remember how to practice properly so I can change things more efficiently 🙂

With golf, my only goal right now is to be able to practice regularly and pain free. If I can accomplish that, then everything else will eventually follow. It seems like I'm actually almost there, which is hard for me to believe. A few more months of rehab and I might actually be able to practice three times a week, which would be an amazing accomplishment for me.

 

Thanks for a great welcome back, and Happy Thanksgiving to you too! And congrats on yet another teacher award 😃 Very much deserved! 

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Constantine

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finally got back out to the range since the last time (officially post-surgical range session #2). Sixteen days between them. I wasn't happy with how some things were feeling so I refocused my energy on rehab. Long way to go still, but things keep "progressing nicely" to quote Tiger 😄

So, in the days leading up to yesterday's session, I decided to focus heavily on mirror work so I had some feels nailed down and ready to go once I was ready to actually hit some balls. I wasn't going to waste any time since I was limiting the session to an hour only. I don't have the privilege of "finding it in the dirt" if you know what I mean.

After about a couple days of doing the mirror work, I decided to just try to copy Tiger Woods to see what it feels like to match his positions. I did this just for fun, but also because I thought it could be useful to my own learning. Before you say, "omg bruh stop copying any pro," I totally hear you, but I actually think with the right knowledge base, this can be smart to do sometimes, especially if it's done in the spirit of learning and understanding. Plus I was kind of frustrated with how my swing was looking in the mirror. It definitely didn't seem right, so I wanted to try to feel what Tiger does to see if I could uncover some more information about myself.

Obviously there's a lot different between what I do and what Tiger does lol, but the major pieces I noticed were the following:

1) His backswing shoulder pitch is steeper than me

2) He regains flexion in his trail knee and torso a ton in the early downswing (aka his head lowering/squatting)

I understood both these pieces were not peculiar idiosyncrasies of his swing but rather universal pieces I can acceptably adopt, especially if I was deficient in those areas and I thought they were causing me sequential problems.

On my second to last ball, I was able to get the DTL view to look like this, which I'm very excited by:

Here's a slowed down version I put on Instagram:

When you consider this is what DTL looked like during my last range session, this is a very positive difference:

That was the last swing I filmed from range session #1. My time was up (45 minutes) and I had to walk away and ponder that awful DTL view for the next two plus weeks lol. Psyched about the feels I'm using to change that picture though!

 

Anyway, here are some face ons. This is the first swing of yesterday (PW). Feels here to start the session were:

1) Steep Shoulder Pitch on backswing

2) Head lowers (regain flexion) in early downswing

3) Slide and rotate hips on downswing

4) Palmar flex lead wrist to lay down shaft in transition (but I was willing to ditch this feel if I couldn't juggle all four)

Not a bad start honestly:

Here's a seven iron a couple balls later:

 

Anyway, after I kept working (I filmed every single ball I hit yesterday), I gradually realized that regaining flexion in my trail knee was a lot more important to the sequence than I thought. For some strange reason, doing that combined with rotating/sliding/extending the hips as well as dipping the torso slightly was shallowing the club without much effort. I guess the geometry of that makes sense, but it was still surprising how addressing the trail knee's role in the early downswing affected my swing plane, at least, so far. Who knows if that will keep working, especially as I ramp up the speed.

 

Anyway, here's the last swing of the day:

This was a straight-as-an-arrow low bullet that went forever. I hit the wall at the back of the range (which was like 240 yards away). I'd prefer more hip slide/axis tilt and I would like to see my head lower and back, but it's not bad otherwise. I really tried to add speed to this one to see what happened and for the most part, it's promising. But jeez, squaring the knees/silding hips/rotating hips simultaneously as the downswing begins is definitely not easy for me to do and will take some work.

 

I'm excited by my progress so far though. To summarize the updated feels:

1) Steep shoulder pitch on the backswing

2) Regain flexion in trail knee and torso in transition/early downswing as hips slide/rotate/extend

3) Swing arms across my chest through impact

 

💪🙂

 

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Constantine

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I had just a stretch day yesterday and overall felt pretty good, so I decided to go back to the range to hit some drill PWs, just so I could do some disciplined work on my swing and build some momentum hopefully towards lasting change.

Keep in mind, I can't even break 90 right now. Not because of putting and short game which IMO are perfectly fine (for example, I shot an under par round at the Jupiter Lighthouse mini-golf course recently), but because I would just hit so many awful full swing shots, there's simply no way it would happen right now.

The good news is, the range is a magical place for me despite all the frustrations that come with trying to change one's swing. 

So face-on looks perfectly fine to me right now, especially given the scores I anticipate I would shoot if I stepped on the course:

 

BTW, I hope everyone is cool with vertical video. I used to poo-poo it, but since I read the site a lot on my phone, vertical vids are actually preferred for me, but I can stop doing that if it's frowned upon still.

But yea, I know that's a drill swing, but it seems like it's fine given my ability level.

DTL however is a bit of a different story. This is more or less a full swing. Well close enough anyway:

 

Yea, not as promising looking as FO is. That said, after I left I went to grab a bite, and while watching some swings at the table while waiting for my food I noticed this:

elbow1.jpg

Elbow shifts behind me in transition which probably is compromising some of what I'm trying to do. And I don't do it in softer drill swings. From that nice DTL driver swing from Monday:

elbow2.jpg

And I'm not necessarily trying to copy Tiger, but he's such a good model for so many things, I'm just going to remind myself what he looks like at this point too:

elbow3.jpg

 

I will say, working my swing again has been both totally frustrating, totally fascinating, and a lot of fun 😄. It's interesting how on drill swings the elbow doesn't shift behind me, but it does on full swings. It's definitely something I need to pay attention to if I want the kinds of elbow positions that make it easier to swing the club on plane. I know Rory McIlroy and others have weird elbows and stuff and are fine, but since I'm such a crap golfer, I think it's probably a good idea to apply some conscious thought to this so it gradually goes away with practice and time.

I'm otherwise still working on the same things: Steep shoulder pitch in backswing, dip torso in early downswing, bring arms down faster relative to the body, open/slide/extend knees and hips, and now... don't let my trail elbow shift behind me in the transition. 

Hopefully I feel good enough to get back out to this range in a couple days. I got a two hour PT session though in an hour with some BFR therapy so hopefully I get through that well given how sore I am at the moment lol.

Baby steps continue....

 

Edit: I just wanted to add that because I'm dynamically working on several things,especially during rehearsal swings in between actually hitting the ball, this experience will likely be a bit more frustrating than normal. I know these are a lot of changes to juggle. I just want to remind myself that frustration and bad shots and everything else are just a part of the game, and the faster I learn to accept that, the better off I will be.

Edited by JetFan1983

Constantine

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Make sure your turn rate matches up. If you don't turn, your shirt seam will be further "forward" than it should be. In other words, you could leave your elbow there and move the shirt seam rather than moving the elbow relative to the shirt seam.

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Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instructor Development, 5 Simple Keys®/Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins • Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 • "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 • Penn-State Behrend Head Coach • • • • • • • • • • :aimpoint: :edel: :true_linkswear:

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  • 2 years later...

image.png
 

Wow, that's way too depressing to see on this thread. Time to change it.


TLDR, I suffered a serious setback after my last post here and it took 2.5 years to recover. I have barely played golf these last six years, but I'm kind of, sort of back right now. I still get treatment regularly, and all I can do is hope I can manage these issues so I can return to the game I love so much. I don't necessarily want to relive the last couple years here right now, but just know they were really difficult. 

I played 9 today with my dad from 5700-5800 yards. This is my third time playing since returning in mid-June. I played remarkably well all things considered. This was the only swing we filmed today, and it's with my dad's Ping G10 7-iron, but this is more or less what I did all day.

I shot +4 with no birdies and didn't lose a ball. I was hitting driver between 220 and 260 yards, but most of them went like 250 I think? I hit this thin bleeder cut all day, but it was predictable and functional. 

Erik fixed my setup by getting some weight out of my heels, but the swing thought I'm using to make my swing function is "make a super armsy downswing." Brian Creghan gave me that tip years ago and it still works. If I don't use this swing thought, my swing stops being functional. I'm also trying to stay super soft, relaxed and short with my action. 

I guess I should include a FO. Here's the only one I have so far. It's a PW (a mulligan) on a short par 3. This was June 20th at the same course (Sandhill Crane in Palm Beach Gardens). I thinned this onto the green. Sorry for some reason, it won't let me embed it. 

https://www.youtube.com/shorts/-EIbHWqOMEU

Here's a rear view six iron, also from June 20. This drew too much but hit the fairway and I ended up making par (300 yard par-4). 

 

Anyway, like I said, Erik gave me a good setup fix (less weight on heels) and I'm using "swing arms" as my priority. I know my swing doesn't look great but it's really functional despite how it looks. I've lost maybe one ball thru 27 holes? No range until tonight where I hit that only ball. 

Fingers crossed I can maintain my health this time around. I'm getting some treatment at Palm Beach Sports Medicine tomorrow with a good DPT. Still trying to fix some stuff on the anterior deltoid that bothers me at times, but things in general with my shoulders are a lot better than they used to be. I eat the keto diet now (3+ years running), I workout/rehab regularly, and my sleep/stress has been really healthy this past year. It's all helping me get better. 

Hopefully I can update this thread often in the future since that means I'm healthy. Cheers, guys. Thanks for reading. 🙂

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Constantine

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Yay!

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Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instructor Development, 5 Simple Keys®/Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins • Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 • "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 • Penn-State Behrend Head Coach • • • • • • • • • • :aimpoint: :edel: :true_linkswear:

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Another update! I'm on a roll. First range session in 2.5+ years. Felt great. Shoulder feels great. Fingers crossed.


I started around the green hitting chips and pitches, and then I putted for a little while refamiliarizing myself with AimPoint. I'm probably going to buy one of these tomorrow to speed up getting a feel for 1, 2, 3, and 4. 

image.png

 

After that, I decided to film my first bunker shots in 2.5+ years.

 

Sent that to Erik and he said "more speed thru the sand." Here are the next three swings using that idea:

Gonna take some reps to get a low point that doesn't jump all over the place, but I like it. A thunderstorm rolled in right after this so I tabled short game/putting work for a Cobb salad in the clubhouse. 

After the storm passed I headed to the range. Here's a DTL 3-hybrid. Again my focus is 1) less weight in heels at setup and 2) make a super armsy downswing. Though this was a drill swing, this is probably what I would do on the course too. I'm fine just bunting it 175 yards out there doing this since I'm playing from 5700-5800 still for the time being. 

For my last vid, I have a face on six iron. Same stuff. Weight more in balls of feet, make a super armsy downswing. The contact I'm getting when focusing on this is great and I'm more than happy to play this pull fadey trajectory for the time being. If I don't focus on a super armsy downswing, it gets really ugly and dysfunctional: really really weak cuts and I often can't even find the golf ball. But as soon as the downswing thought is "swing my arms only" I'm good enough to break 80 from sub-6000 yards right away.


Had a lot of fun today. This was my first solo golf session since November 2018 so it felt really weird being out there all alone. I had a late lunch/early dinner at the restaurant during the thunderstorm, and pondered life's mysteries as I waited for the dark clouds to pass. Something really special and peaceful about being stranded in a clubhouse during a rainstorm.

Hard to say when the arms thing will become habit. Could be a while. The good news is, golf is really really easy right now for me, relatively speaking. I'm ignoring all other swing issues (of which there are many) and I'm pretty much playing at my ceiling already for what my swing is. 

I've got two treatment sessions (Tuesday and Thursday) that I'm looking forward to this week and I'll probably spend the rest of it just focusing on fitness and flexibility. Hopefully my body feels good tomorrow when I wake up since I probably hit one too many balls today, but it was hard to walk away. 🙂

Listened to this on the drive home with the windows down. Felt nothing but happiness 🙂

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Constantine

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Husky digital levels. You want percentage slope not degrees.

9” or 10”.

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Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instructor Development, 5 Simple Keys®/Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins • Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 • "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 • Penn-State Behrend Head Coach • • • • • • • • • • :aimpoint: :edel: :true_linkswear:

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7 minutes ago, iacas said:

Husky digital levels. You want percentage slope not degrees.

9” or 10”.

Lol ooooops. Glad I posted what I was up to now. Thanks, man. 

Constantine

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A couple quick notes I wanted to add. My grip got weaker today somehow. Need to watch that for next time.

June 20th:

32.jpg

July 10th:

unnamed.jpg

Probably could add a touch of forward press to the bottom picture too (a six iron).


The real reason I wanted to add a follow up post was I forgot I had a face-on from June 20th of what it looks like if I don't use "make an armsy downswing" as my primary swing thought. This result was a really weak push fade that almost went into the marsh. I believe this is an 8-iron. Anyway, you can clearly see the difference and how much worse my swing is without it. It was after seeing this swing that I abandoned all other swing thoughts, and I haven't lost a ball since (15 hole streak currently).


 

It's amazing how much fun the game of golf is. I really hope I can stay relaxed and disciplined on the range this time around because it really is easy to fall into bad habits and just beat balls. It's easy to get frustrated when the ball flight isn't what you want, or if your swing doesn't look how you want it to. I'm going to have to forget about all that negative stuff as best I can and just try to stay as calm and efficient as possible out there. Any trouble I run into I know there are smart people I can consult right away. I don't have to try to figure this out all by myself, nor should I.

Thru four days of golf so far since returning on June 14th, this has been an absolute joy. 

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Constantine

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Interesting about the grip. I feel like my set up changes three times in a round. And then I am chasing a hook or a bleeder slice. 

Vishal S.

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5 hours ago, GolfLug said:

Interesting about the grip. I feel like my set up changes three times in a round. And then I am chasing a hook or a bleeder slice. 

Lol, the one thing I have been able to practice all these years is my setup in a mirror. It helps to have mirrors for both face-on and down-the-line when looking up to see how it looks because sometimes I'll get DTL right but not FO, or vice versa. Then I reset, try to recreate the same setup, and I see if my feel for it is right. 

The grip thing with me, I have no idea how that happened. Maybe it's just an example of how precarious it all is for me whenever I'm out there 😄

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Constantine

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