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My swing video: break me down....


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Hey all,

Here's a video of my swing with driver from behind me and down the line. I would like to know what you think of it and what i can do to improve on it.

In this particular video, the ball went a little left of my desired target with a fade in the ball flight.

Quick notes on myself:

- About a 20 handicap
- Took lessons March '06 and started playing in summer '05
- I'm 26, 6'1", 190lbs and hit my driver anywhere from 240-260 yards

Here it is:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjvUeIpiBBI
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Hey all,

Your plane is very good at the top,spot on. On the downswing, you're a little over the top, then you have a little bit of a block with a chicken wing. To fix the over the top, From the top, start down by using the ground to stretch all the pinch-able fat and skin from the left side of your torso. Make a motion that would throw your arms right off off your body if you had detachable arms like a Mannequin. These arms should hit the ground near the target line just ahead of the ball. RESIST moving the "bowtie" area forward. Stay as bent over as you can and finish with your hands as far from your left ear as you can.

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Your plane is very good at the top,spot on. On the downswing, you're a little over the top, then you have a little bit of a block with a chicken wing. To fix the over the top, From the top, start down by using the ground to stretch all the pinch-able fat and skin from the left side of your torso. Make a motion that would throw your arms right off off your body if you had detachable arms like a Mannequin. These arms should hit the ground near the target line just ahead of the ball. RESIST moving the "bowtie" area forward. Stay as bent over as you can and finish with your hands as far from your left ear as you can.

Ok, many thanks for the reply. I was actually surprised at my position at the top when i first watched the video. Better than i'd expected, but what do you think of my right leg? It seems that it straightens out more than it should. Could this affect me in any way? Then the downswing i know is where most of the trouble starts. A little confused on what a block is, help me out ;). I'm familiar with a chicken wing, though. Could this be that I'm standing too close to the ball or leaning over it too much? I'm trying to picture the stretch the skin on my left torso idea using the ground. Are you saying to kind of push my lower body forward first on the downswing? I'm just trying to visualize all this in my head before i head to the range again. Also, anyone else that can chime in, please do!! I wouldn't mind a bunch of different answers as long as your handicap is less than mine ;) thanks, Tom
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do you have a video of you hitting a 7-iron. you can usually tell alot more from that.

some overall thoughts

1) really like the tempo. definitely don't appear to overswing.
2) looks like you aren't getting enought forearm rotation and aren't releasing the club down the target line. (these are related) this is probably causing the chicken wing. this is why i would want to see a 7-iron swing.

personally, i'd shorten by backswing a bit and focus on getting your forearms rotating well and keeping your arms in front of your body. if you can release your forearms properly, you can get more power than a back backswing.
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Ok, many thanks for the reply. I was actually surprised at my position at the top when i first watched the video. Better than i'd expected, but what do you think of my right leg? It seems that it straightens out more than it should. Could this affect me in any way?

OK...first your right leg needs to be firmer, and I would suggest because of the length of your backswing, you coil against it. You need to take all of the slack out of your backswing.

The stretch of the skin means, start the downsing with your legs, maintain the tilt of your upper body away from the target. Please note- you will have to square up the club by rotating your left arm through impact. A block- you are holding the clubface open by trying to force it to the target. There is no rotation, supination or whatever you want to call it. This is what causes the chicken wing. Finish with your hands as far away from your left ear as possible.
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Equipment - Seems like the right flex shaft, maybe a tad stiff but barely. Not enough loft on your driver.

Setup - Too far on your toes. Grip is a little strong. A little too much bow and not enough "sit" to make that spine angle. Hands are pretty good just hanging far enough away from your body.

Finish - Left elbow way too far out behind you. This means you didn't release properly. Your right hip and leg are trying to stay behind which means you're trying to use your upper body too much in the swing. Right shoulder and arm is finishing WAY too high which is a clear indication you're making a glancing blow to the ball (swinging UP) to get the ball airborn instead of just driving through the ball with the club which would make you finish lower. (see equipment)

Balance - Toes at setup.. you equalize on your backswing by sticking your butt out more but this unfortunately drops your axis lower to the ball. Now on the forward swing you're going to have to raise up at just the right time or else you'll hit it fat. On the finish we see that high finish but weight trying to hang back on the right foot... all in an effort to get the ball airborn.

Relax - You're stiff from the very start all the way to the end. Trying to angle the club around instead of swinging it is the greatest loss of distance you can find. As a result you don't properly release the club, there's no driving force through the ball, you merely glance at it trying to prop it up in the air, you look stiff as a board in your arms the entire time, and your poor body is going to take a beating every round. You probably barely finish 18 holes with any strength left.

My advice:
Get a club with more loft, yes I know sometimes you hit it high but that's because you are making a poor swing to get the ball in the air instead of relying on the club to do it for you. Perhaps one with a lower kick point and more flex to the shaft. Set up with more "sit" and less "bow toward the audience". Put your weight on your arches instead of on your toes.

Learn to finish with both elbows out in front of you and away from your body. Keep the right shoulder lower than the left... and practice my walk through drill . This will help ensure you finish on your front foot with driving force toward the target instead of up to the clouds.

Try taking some practice sessions with your eyes closed. Do this until you can hit 5 out of 5 golf balls square on the clubface with your eyes closed.

And finally relax your elbows through the entire swing. Forget about that early wrist c0ck BS. It's causing you more havoc than a room filled with coin jars and hobo's. Reduce your grip pressure from 10 to 2 and keep it at 2 for your entire swing.. ESSPECIALLY THROUGH IMPACT AND RELEASE!!

Now get out there and practice. ;)
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Ringer, thank you for your thorough reply!

Now, if you don't mind, i'm going to ask you an onslaught of questions If anyone wants/can chime in also, please do!
Equipment - Seems like the right flex shaft, maybe a tad stiff but barely. Not enough loft on your driver.

Interesting. I've been thinking to myself that I might want to try a higher loft driver soon.

-How exactly did you figure this out by watching my swing vid? -What/who does a lower loft driver benefit compared to a higher loft? -The driver i'm using in that video is a 9.0* Cobra HS9 w/ a graphite design YS 5.5(?) stiff flex. I love it! -What loft do you recommend trying?
Setup - Too far on your toes. Grip is a little strong. A little too much bow and not enough "sit" to make that spine angle. Hands are pretty good just hanging far enough away from your body.

I've noticed this recently and especially so after i recorded my swing last week. I was bowing the same amount, but i was "sitting" even less at that time. Up until that point, i thought my swing may actually look good. I was wrong and in this video here i'm sitting more than i was last week.

Finish - Left elbow way too far out behind you. This means you didn't release properly. Your right hip and leg are trying to stay behind which means you're trying to use your upper body too much in the swing. Right shoulder and arm is finishing WAY too high which is a clear indication you're making a glancing blow to the ball (swinging UP) to get the ball airborn instead of just driving through the ball with the club which would make you finish lower. (see equipment)

After watching my swing compared to some others on youtube, i definitely noticed the sky-high right arm.

Balance - Toes at setup.. you equalize on your backswing by sticking your butt out more but this unfortunately drops your axis lower to the ball. Now on the forward swing you're going to have to raise up at just the right time or else you'll hit it fat. On the finish we see that high finish but weight trying to hang back on the right foot... all in an effort to get the ball airborn.

After reading this it makes complete sense as to why i'm straightening out my right leg on the backswing more than i should be. Just messing around in front of a mirror, my leg doesn't want to straighten out as much when i put less weight on my toes. Can't wait to try it at the range.

Relax - You're stiff from the very start all the way to the end. Trying to angle the club around instead of swinging it is the greatest loss of distance you can find. As a result you don't properly release the club, there's no driving force through the ball, you merely glance at it trying to prop it up in the air, you look stiff as a board in your arms the entire time, and your poor body is going to take a beating every round. You probably barely finish 18 holes with any strength left.

Well, i actually feel ok after the 18 holes, probably because i try to exercise at the gym and keep in shape, but lately, my lower back seemed to be getting a little stiff while playing.

I can see what you're saying about my arms being stiff. Sometimes i feel if i relax too much, my wrists and left elbow get all wobbly which is probably why i look the way i look. It's a sort of defense mechanism i guess, but apparently i need to drop it.
My advice: Get a club with more loft, yes I know sometimes you hit it high but that's because you are making a poor swing to get the ball in the air instead of relying on the club to do it for you. Perhaps one with a lower kick point and more flex to the shaft. Set up with more "sit" and less "bow toward the audience". Put your weight on your arches instead of on your toes. Learn to finish with both elbows out in front of you and away from your body. Keep the right shoulder lower than the left... and practice my walk through drill. This will help ensure you finish on your front foot with driving force toward the target instead of up to the clouds. Try taking some practice sessions with your eyes closed. Do this until you can hit 5 out of 5 golf balls square on the clubface with your eyes closed. And finally relax your elbows through the entire swing. Forget about that early wrist c0ck BS. It's causing you more havoc than a room filled with coin jars and hobo's. Reduce your grip pressure from 10 to 2 and keep it at 2 for your entire swing.. ESSPECIALLY THROUGH IMPACT AND RELEASE!! Now get out there and practice. ;)

I will look over that video and try to incorporate some of those techniques.

So cliff's notes for me to work on: -Less bow, more sit -less toes, more arch (do you mean the balls of my feet?) -take a chill pill and relax
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Interesting. I've been thinking to myself that I might want to try a higher loft driver soon.

Experience. [;)]

-The driver i'm using in that video is a 9.0* Cobra HS9 w/ a graphite design YS 5.5(?) stiff flex. I love it!

If you had a bit more flex it would help to soften your arm swing and improve your tempo.. but it's not required. I think the shaft is probably just right for you.

-What loft do you recommend trying?

Just a guess but probably a 10.5 or 11. I'd have to see your current ball flight.

So cliff's notes for me to work on:

You got it. And call me in the morning. (But not too early, I have a tee time.)

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OK, went to play 9 holes tonight with trying to incorporate most, if not all, of the ideas that ringer had mentioned.

Synopsis:

-It was definitely ackward at first. Naturally, i was expecting to hit crappy shots so i was just playing to practice and was playing 2 balls off the tee...no worries, no one was on the course behind us

-I had more success with my irons than with my driver. A 165 yard 6 iron shot on that last hole in particular really has me feeling good about this change. About as crisp as i ever felt.

-Driver on the other hand was not as good. I had 2 decent shots. Most bad shots had a tendency to slice a little, but not TOO bad. One mishit actually went left and had a hooking ball flight. Overall though, i think i can get a control on this. I definitely have an idea how things are supposed to feel.

-One thing that i think is messing with my head the most is not c0cking my wrists as soon as i did. I felt that by doing that it helped keep my left arm straight. I just need to get my ass to the range and practice more.

Unfortunately, i did not have my digi cam to take some video. But, i want to work on this a little more before i post a new vid.

When should i feel that my wrists should be cocked and at what position is it best to start the downswing with your hips?

Thanks again,
Tom

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OK, went to play 9 holes tonight with trying to incorporate most, if not all, of the ideas that ringer had mentioned.

Hey Tom.. as for the wrists hinging it should happen when the arms are no longer trying to pick up the club. Let the CLUB pull YOU to the top.
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Hey Tom.. as for the wrists hinging it should happen when the arms are no longer trying to pick up the club. Let the CLUB pull YOU to the top.

Ok, i will try to work with this. I just don't want to get too wobbly like i had previously mentioned.

If i over compensate and sit too much for my lean, what will notice with my swing? Also, the first movement on the downswing will be the "stretching of my left love-handles," right?
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Ok, i will try to work with this. I just don't want to get too wobbly like i had previously mentioned.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the typical non-sense we concern ourselves with as golfers. Don't worry gills, we all do it from time to time.. but....

STRETCH your lovehandles? Common now. Maybe if you're a +2 handicap and trying to get 5 more yards out of your driver should you even consider such a concept. That's entirely the wrong place for you to be working on to improve your game. People who bow too much toe it... people who sit too much heel it. Just set up the ball like you're going to lift a couch... or you can also follow my advice on how to setup here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qz0aqQZlvS8 If you want to know what your forward swing should feel like... work on this drill... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnQ6RHepJgk
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Steve,

Trust me, I think i've watched all of your videos. As for the lovehandle comment, i'm just trying to visualize steps in my head, that's all. i.e.- starting my downswing. I was at the range today and honestly, this little thought seemed to be beneficial to me at this point in time. As well as the one-piece takeaway, right shoulder finishing lower than left, walking toward the target...etc. My driver is starting to get more controlable, and when i hit my irons cleanly, it just feels amazing to say the least. So in all your advice seems to be working with the addition of member "leek's" advice of the lovehandle thing. Thanks for your help and i will continue to update my swing video for you to critique if you don't mind. -Tom
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the typical non-sense we concern ourselves with as golfers. Don't worry gills, we all do it from time to time.. but....

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