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Practice Swing Vs. Real Swing - How Can One Make These THE SAME


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3 hours ago, freshmanUTA said:

I haven't read every post in this thread, so it has probably been said before: Your practice swing probably has a bunch of small flaws: Face angles, path issues, etc. But you don't have a ball or anything to really receive results from to tell you what is wrong.

I guess there are 2 kinds of practice swings:

1) swinging as if you are actually hitting a ball.
2) swinging a little easier than normal focusing on rhythm, timing and a smooth flow. 

I've only ever done the 2nd type and found it to be very useful to sync the hands and body and square up the club.  One of the best drills I've ever found is to nonchalantly swing back and forth, letting the club face open and close, going from about a half swing to almost full and then back to half again.  Let the weightshift and footwork increase as the swing gets longer.

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There's is a big difference between swing at nothing versus a ball.  Ideally you'd find a swing feel that produces your most successful shots and maybe routine that feel before a shot. I hardly e

No thank you. Not because I can't, but because I probably have a hundred times here on the site in pieces here and there, and you can search for it, and you can ask many of the people here, or read my

2 minutes ago, Runnin said:

I guess there are 2 kinds of practice swings:

1) swinging as if you are actually hitting a ball.
2) swinging a little easier than normal focusing on rhythm, timing and a smooth flow. 

I've only ever done the 2nd type and found it to be very useful to sync the hands and body and square up the club.  One of the best drills I've ever found is to nonchalantly swing back and forth, letting the club face open and close, going from about a half swing to almost full and then back to half again.  Let the weightshift and footwork increase as the swing gets longer.

I almost only do the 2nd type also. 

When I take a practice swing I am trying to get a fell for the club I am going to use and getting a rhythm for it.  After I get my mind wrapped around the club I then line up behind the ball find my line and visualize the shot that I want to attempt.  I find that this entire process is the most successful for me.

What sucks is sometimes I get into a debate with myself over the shot, then it greats real interesting (:

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5 hours ago, iacas said:

Off the top of my head…

  • Change clubs.
  • Hit different sized draws/hooks (or whatever you're practicing), different heights.
  • Different length backswings at different speeds.

 

I like to choke up to the shaft and hit one shot, then one choked up just a little, then back to normal position.  Sometimes I find myself doing this on with practice swings on the tee waiting for my turn.  I tend to get lazy with my hands and don't get a good turn or set my wrist enough.  This little reminder keeps my hands active.

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Good suggestions for variable practice above.  I know there was a study on another golf site where the control group tried to hit all shots center club face.   I don't remember what the second group did.  The third group, hit one shot in the center, next on the heel and third on the toe.  Center contact improved most for the third group.  

 

One putting drill I have tried is to hit three putts.  The first putt so it hangs on the lip and falls in.  Second putt solidly in the center.  Third hard in the back of the hole.  Change length of putt and repeat, mixing up the order of lip, middle and back of cup.  

 

Another is to hit putts off the end of your putter or with a 5 iron turned sideways.

 

Hit clubs to various distances.  If you hit the 8 iron 150, hit it 100, 125 and 175.  

 

Hit a draw, followed by a fade, follow by a straight shot.

 

I think the idea is to not only change clubs on the range, but to change how you hit each club.  So hit a straight 7 iron, a draw with the driver, a fade with a PW.    

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26 minutes ago, alfriday said:

Hit clubs to various distances.  If you hit the 8 iron 150, hit it 100, 125 and 175.  

Hit a draw, followed by a fade, follow by a straight shot.

I think the idea is to not only change clubs on the range, but to change how you hit each club.  So hit a straight 7 iron, a draw with the driver, a fade with a PW.    

Good chances are since the OP is a 15 handicap, theres a chance he would struggle with the first one, and the next two would probably be close to impossible for most 15 handicappers to do. (myself included) Based on the variety of swing issues that the OP says come up in his swing, good chances are he doesnt hit it anywhere nearly consistent enough to be able to draw, fade, and hit a ball straight on command. Especially with a wide variety of clubs including driver mid iron and wedge like you mentioned. 

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8 hours ago, freshmanUTA said:

I haven't read every post in this thread, so it has probably been said before: Your practice swing probably has a bunch of small flaws: Face angles, path issues, etc. But you don't have a ball or anything to really receive results from to tell you what is wrong.

I realize this, but it's not like I'm saying, 'hey I've video'd my swing, and it looks perfect, yet when ii hit shots, theyre all slices, whats going on'

all im saying is, my practice swing looks right, but when I take a real swing with a ball, suddenly im going from an in to out, to insanely over the top out to in.  there is an obvious visual change that I wouldnt even need ball flight to tell me whats going on

 

but youre absolutely right, there could also be a hundred other little swing flaws, im sure my face might be open, or my hips are spinning out etc.  But if I can see huge problems, it's probably easier for me to work on those than the ones I can't see. 

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8 hours ago, alfriday said:

Hit clubs to various distances.  If you hit the 8 iron 150, hit it 100, 125 and 175.  

Hit a draw, followed by a fade, follow by a straight shot.

I think the idea is to not only change clubs on the range, but to change how you hit each club.  So hit a straight 7 iron, a draw with the driver, a fade with a PW.    

Other than trying to hit an 8i 175 yards :no:, I'll do a lot of this stuff just goofing off in the back yard. I've wondered if it was beneficial, detrimental or neither.

It seems like something I'd have done a lot of when I was kid had I been involved with golf during those years.

@klineka you're right that most of us can't get away with these things on the course, but you might be surprised what you can do just playing around with swing paths, club face angles and body alignments at the range.

Maybe it's a bad idea to spend/waste practice time trying to curve the ball or hitting a partial long iron swing to 100 yards when I miss so many full swings. But it breaks up the monotony when practicing. Besides, it's a good idea to develop ways of dealing with trouble shots besides just punching out all the time - at least that's how I justify it, lol.

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16 hours ago, JonMA1 said:

Maybe it's a bad idea to spend/waste practice time trying to curve the ball or hitting a partial long iron swing to 100 yards when I miss so many full swings. But it breaks up the monotony when practicing. Besides, it's a good idea to develop ways of dealing with trouble shots besides just punching out all the time - at least that's how I justify it, lol.

I don't think it's a bad idea at all. Not only do you learn different shots, but you also learn what feels produce what results, which is an important part of applying your golf swing knowledge practically. It's how you develop control over the ball.

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22 hours ago, downbylaw11 said:

 

all im saying is, my practice swing looks right, but when I take a real swing with a ball, suddenly im going from an in to out, to insanely over the top out to in.  there is an obvious visual change that I wouldnt even need ball flight to tell me whats going on

 

 

Sounds like a focus issue.  Check this out and see if it applies to you:

 

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Lol, I struggled with this for years , in golf and baseball.  I even noticed my swing is better hitting into a net or hitting a practice squishy ball.   Swinging freely where no contact is to be made is very easy, ur body is loose and the main thing is that there is no outcome.   When ur hitting a ball ur expecting an outcome and that will effect ur real swing ... My best advice is look at all the things you do well in your practice swing and try to get them one by one into ur real swing... really not that hard to do if u really focus on it one issue at a time .   Stop wasting time looking for a quick fix , don't make my mistake 

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On 8/26/2017 at 1:02 PM, billchao said:

I don't think it's a bad idea at all. Not only do you learn different shots, but you also learn what feels produce what results, which is an important part of applying your golf swing knowledge practically. It's how you develop control over the ball.

Yeah,  I kinda go along with that. As many know, in my backyard set up, I have not only a swing/mat station about 10 to 12 feet into a net, I also have a pitching station about 45-50 feet. I have found that when I am having trouble with consistency hitting full swings into the net, that if I go back to the pitching station and start working on path, face angle, shot shaping, that it kind of gets my coordination back and I can then go back to the net and hit full swings a lot better.  I set up a "wicket" window ten feet in front of the pitching station, and hit through the window, or around either side. It could be either low chips, or higher "soft" lobs. I suppose it just relaxes me somewhat.   Then again, there are days nothing is working, and I say to hell with it, and grab a brew or Jack on ice.

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11 hours ago, Ronnieb14 said:

Lol, I struggled with this for years , in golf and baseball.  I even noticed my swing is better hitting into a net or hitting a practice squishy ball.   Swinging freely where no contact is to be made is very easy, ur body is loose and the main thing is that there is no outcome.   When ur hitting a ball ur expecting an outcome and that will effect ur real swing ... My best advice is look at all the things you do well in your practice swing and try to get them one by one into ur real swing... really not that hard to do if u really focus on it one issue at a time .   Stop wasting time looking for a quick fix , don't make my mistake 

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I agree with what the guy in the movie said. I think a lot of golfer's brains get in their way. They think too much about getting their swing right, when it counts. 

There is a thread on here about swing thoughts during a real, for score swing. I posted that I don't have any swing thoughts during my real, for a score swing. 

To the OP, try just walking up, set up, and just swinging the club head through the ball. Don't think about anything. Just swing the club. The ball may not go where you wanted it to go, but I would bet it's better that what you get now, and eventually your results will be even better. 

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On 8/25/2017 at 10:52 PM, iacas said:

Well, if it's just a mental thing, then decide to do it properly, and then there you go. Right?

It's not a mental thing.

Or is it?

By practice swing, I think of swinging without a ball there. This can feel very free and relaxed! The only thing is, you don't have to square the clubface to bring about a straight shot. This is fakery! Jiggery, pokery! Or whatever you want to call it!

Go to the range and look at your ball flight! Correcting that is the only way you'll get things done!

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  • 9 months later...

Hi folks, brand new member here, and I literally joined because of this thread.  I almost cried when I read this entire thread...because I completely understand what downbylaw11 is saying.  I don't mean to be disrespectful towards those of you contributing to this discussion, I guess my observation is that if you haven't been in someone's shoes on this then it's hard not to offer up the advice that makes the most sense to you based on your experience.  

Not to be too dramatic, but my golf game has literally fallen to pieces almost overnight due to this exact issue.  About 10 years ago I was a 15 handicap, shooting in the 80s on a good day and mostly in the 90s, rarely over 100 if ever.  My swing was fine, not great, but good enough to warrant continual investment in the game.  My triggering event was preparing for a 40th birthday trip to Scotland with 5 of my best friends.  I prepared in my basement, working on my swing, practice putting, and then hitting the range in the spring before our trip, but admittedly my preparation was not on the course, I rarely hit the course before our big trip.  Then we got to Scotland and my mental issues started on Day 1.  I don't know why, it just happened, possibly triggered by my lack of confidence on the short grass w/links style courses.  But what happened was crazy.  On my short chips I started missing the ball completely, my arms would yip upwards not on the practice swing, but only when swinging over the ball.  It then moved to my putting...what you all would call yips.  Bottom line is I golfed the most amazing courses in the world over those 7 days, and I never shot better than 110, I was literally overnight losing to a friend of mine who I would never, ever, ever, ever, ever have lost to ever.  Did I mention ever?  

Fast forward 10 years, I have not shot under 100 AT ALL in my 40s, and I am set to turn 50 next March and once again, the group wants to go to Scotland.  

My friends love to talk about my practice swing, even the caddie at St Andrews said the same thing to me..."why don't you just swing like your practice swing?".  So that comment from the caddie led to 10 years of this comment.  I feel very strongly that it is 100% mental.  This is not about mechanics, it's not about angles, it's not about tricking my brain, it's way smarter than my ability to trick it with games like 'close your eyes' or 'look through the ball'.  In my opinion the angle issues, the swing issues...those are symptoms of the mental problem, they are outcomes from the mental problem, and so the idea of a video and swing plane and angles makes absolutely no sense to someone like me (and I think downbylaw11) because those actions imply mechanical failure. My issue is simple, when I swing without a ball it flows nicely, I transfer nicely, it's a decent swing, it's consistent, it feels great.  Then when I get over the ball...the brain starts kicking in there you go.  My current goal when golfing is anything less than a triple bogey...that is considered a win for me. 

So, unfortunately what has happened to me is that I am often embarrassed to play with anyone other than my closest friends.  I feel bad that they have to put up with this crap, and it makes me sad...until I remember that this is a first world problem :-).  So I've basically stopped golfing other than a couple times a year with my teenage son.  And now I want to see if I can overcome it over the next 9 months and I'm trying to figure out how best to proceed.  I don't have a solution, but I felt compelled to back up what downbylaw11 has been saying.  

The only advice that I've found that makes sense is what I read from Hank Haney's Fix the Yips book, which was the brain gets wired a certain way and that wiring is tied to the club hitting the ball, that specific connection between club and ball, and that the way to get out of it is to 'unwire' that connection.  Sounds easy, right?

Thanks for letting me get this off of my chest, I feel better already :-).

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RA in my hands and rotator cuff problems make me fearful to take a swing and hit the ground. TENSION sets in. I MUST do the following to produce a decent contact: slow loose practice swing letting my heel lift and BRUSHING the grass to find my low point; immediately stepping into position and HOVERING the clubhead above/behind the ball, glance at the target and repeat the practice swing, this time hitting the ball. I practice this in every practice session. As an old golfer with older bones, I find this intentional, continuous loose movement helps get rid of a lot of tension. Thanks for all your tips, -Marv

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9 hours ago, hopingtoenjoyagain said:

Hi folks, brand new member here, and I literally joined because of this thread.  I almost cried when I read this entire thread...because I completely understand what downbylaw11 is saying.  I don't mean to be disrespectful towards those of you contributing to this discussion, I guess my observation is that if you haven't been in someone's shoes on this then it's hard not to offer up the advice that makes the most sense to you based on your experience.  

Not to be too dramatic, but my golf game has literally fallen to pieces almost overnight due to this exact issue.  About 10 years ago I was a 15 handicap, shooting in the 80s on a good day and mostly in the 90s, rarely over 100 if ever.  My swing was fine, not great, but good enough to warrant continual investment in the game.  My triggering event was preparing for a 40th birthday trip to Scotland with 5 of my best friends.  I prepared in my basement, working on my swing, practice putting, and then hitting the range in the spring before our trip, but admittedly my preparation was not on the course, I rarely hit the course before our big trip.  Then we got to Scotland and my mental issues started on Day 1.  I don't know why, it just happened, possibly triggered by my lack of confidence on the short grass w/links style courses.  But what happened was crazy.  On my short chips I started missing the ball completely, my arms would yip upwards not on the practice swing, but only when swinging over the ball.  It then moved to my putting...what you all would call yips.  Bottom line is I golfed the most amazing courses in the world over those 7 days, and I never shot better than 110, I was literally overnight losing to a friend of mine who I would never, ever, ever, ever, ever have lost to ever.  Did I mention ever?  

Fast forward 10 years, I have not shot under 100 AT ALL in my 40s, and I am set to turn 50 next March and once again, the group wants to go to Scotland.  

My friends love to talk about my practice swing, even the caddie at St Andrews said the same thing to me..."why don't you just swing like your practice swing?".  So that comment from the caddie led to 10 years of this comment.  I feel very strongly that it is 100% mental.  This is not about mechanics, it's not about angles, it's not about tricking my brain, it's way smarter than my ability to trick it with games like 'close your eyes' or 'look through the ball'.  In my opinion the angle issues, the swing issues...those are symptoms of the mental problem, they are outcomes from the mental problem, and so the idea of a video and swing plane and angles makes absolutely no sense to someone like me (and I think downbylaw11) because those actions imply mechanical failure. My issue is simple, when I swing without a ball it flows nicely, I transfer nicely, it's a decent swing, it's consistent, it feels great.  Then when I get over the ball...the brain starts kicking in there you go.  My current goal when golfing is anything less than a triple bogey...that is considered a win for me. 

So, unfortunately what has happened to me is that I am often embarrassed to play with anyone other than my closest friends.  I feel bad that they have to put up with this crap, and it makes me sad...until I remember that this is a first world problem :-).  So I've basically stopped golfing other than a couple times a year with my teenage son.  And now I want to see if I can overcome it over the next 9 months and I'm trying to figure out how best to proceed.  I don't have a solution, but I felt compelled to back up what downbylaw11 has been saying.  

The only advice that I've found that makes sense is what I read from Hank Haney's Fix the Yips book, which was the brain gets wired a certain way and that wiring is tied to the club hitting the ball, that specific connection between club and ball, and that the way to get out of it is to 'unwire' that connection.  Sounds easy, right?

Thanks for letting me get this off of my chest, I feel better already :-).

What makes yours an interesting case is how it seemed to come on later in your golf career. It sounds like you were about to have the golf event of your dreams and the anticipation of that psyched you out.

I'm interested in what Haney said. How do you do this "unwire" ? I never golfed as good as you, but I had to physically force myself for two years to overcome the tendency to rush the downswing - something i never did with the practice swing.

 

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