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(Video and Journal) Found Power - Sick with Shanks Now - 3 Months to Get to a 7 Handicap - $100.00 per hole Match

33 posts in this topic

Ok. So some people might remember me from a couple of years ago where I wanted to break into the 80's.  I kept a journal on here and hit my goal.  Now I need to fast forward and I have a new task.

Ill start with the fact that I was as low as a 10.8 handicap.  I play golf a ton and I am willing to work to fix or get better.  I know to get to a 7 I will need to make more putts and scramble better.  That is what primarily got me into the 80s.  Here is my issue, I have caught the shanks after finding power in my swing.

I also have a friendly match against a business associate for $100.00 per hole, match play, in October.  He has to play at his target 10 handicap and I am at a 7.  I have to give him 3 strokes no matter where our games are sitting at that time.  It is go time.

I will journal very frequently and post videos.  I know there are some players on here and guys that know the golf swing.  I like to think I have a pretty good understanding of it, but I am at a loss right now.  I have seen pro's and they give good tips and help but I need to settle on a swing that I can be confident with. I caught the shanks in April and I have been battling them since.  I have put together some good rounds, but when they show up, it seems to be a 24hr virus no matter how I try to get out of it.

My recent finding when tweaking things was that I was not making a full shoulder turn.  I started to really turn into my swing and bang my pitching wedge went from 125 to 145.  I didn't realize I wasnt using my shoulders enough.  I thought I got rid of the shanks by creating this lag at the top of my swing.  Then, I got to the range earlier this week and now I am hitting powerful shanks.

Only 1 thing seems to stop me from shanking after it starts - A hard S&T; stance and an armsy swing.  This is just temporary during a session to get my confidence back as it is not a good swing.

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Things I have tried -

1. I was on my toes a bit and thought I was delivering the hozzel

2. Taking club away to outside/steep/shallow/inside - you name it

3. Loosening grip

4. Taking club more shallow and more steep

5. Quick takeaway and slow take away

6. Pinning my head to watching the ball

7. Exploding from the hips at the top

8. Trying to stay connected by turning with torso

9. Right armpit tight/left armpit tight

10. Left arm straight/both arms relaxed

All of these seem to have individually helped as a bandaide until it shows up again.  There must be something in the swing I am not seeing.

I did see a pro that noticed I was pulling my head out of my swing at contact and moving away from the ball and then reaching with the hozzel.

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Moving forward - I will have videos this weekend as I know it is probably a guessing game with out them.

I need to retain my power and get rid of the shanks

On a side note, I am practicing chipping and putting a lot.  I know how important it is and even with the best ball striking, I can't shot in the 70's without scrambling.  On the other hand, if I can't get near the green, I can't get a chance to scramble.

As always all help is much appreciated.

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Something that helped me with the shanks was to look at some pictures of some pros of club placement at the top and where I am at the top.  Generally when Im shanking, the club face is pointing past my midback, while I need it more towards my right shoulder(right-handed).

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When you don't shank it, what's your typical ball flight?

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Thanks for the help.  I will have videos tomorrow.  Hopefully some good shots and then I'm sure I'll hit the shank streak and post those too.

My normal ball flight with irons is a draw.  Starts straight or right and comes around left (closed face) with in to out.   Sometimes I can overcook it.  This is new since I found this increase in power.  I used to hit a fade pretty consistently.  My woods tend to have a little fade on them.

Those pictures are good but now I need to see for myself where I am in the video.  I know what feels like something usually isn't what I am actually doing.  I need to find the right positions and then drill getting into them.  Right now my confidence in ball striking is low so it will be a work in progress.

------------

Side note - I sent my buddy that I am going to be in a match against the thread so he will be possibly posting and most likely keeping tabs.  We are trying to keep and eye on where one and others games are during the lead up to the match.  His game has greatly improved so I need to really focus.  He will be at a 10 in a month.

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Ok.  So I went to the range hoping to hit some shanks.  How often does a thought like that come up?  Anyways, I took the day off yesterday so I came in fresh and not fatigued.  My tempo felt good and I was hitting shots pretty well.  I started to think, go figure I wont be able to hit one today.  Then sure enough, I got a few.  I was able splice 6 of them together and then show the same 6 shots at 50% speed.  Camtasia Video is awesome for this.  I filmed my shots in groups of 3 and then cut in the shanks.  All 6 of these ARE shanks or very close.  I am trying to find something in common causing it.

If anyone needs me to edit it in a different way, draw lines, slow it down, just let me know.

Shankompilation - ((Skip to 10 sec.  The first 10 seconds are blank))

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stljckE9ju8

------------------------------

These shots are non shanks to compare what I am doing

Good Shots

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiZ9BV2tWmA

- Something interesting on the good shots was that after my swing it looks like my balance kept forcing me to fall closer to the ball and step towards it with my right foot.  I am not sure what to make of that

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The other focus on this thread is to find out how guys with good putting and chipping practice and dial in.  Anything they do that really makes them accurate.

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Today I went to the range and played w a wedge only. I wanted to focus on target based shots. Only thinking of the of the target. Bob rotella stuff. It worked out well. I did spend a few balls thinking about my swing and how to produce that shoulder turn while keeping the swing under control. I started to find the power when I decided to let my backswing go until I felt my left lat tighten up. That was about 2 weeks ago. The problem was, after a few days of that, my lat was stretched and I couldn't find that pull. I tried to do what Matt kuchar mentions and that's to pinch the right shoulder blade towards the spine to get the full turn. That seemed to feel awkward at first but it works. Anyways - not too many shanks and target based practice is where I need to be.
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So I went out and played 9 holes tonight. I walked and played 3-5 balls per shot to practice. I ended up playing another kind of swing phase I had used in the past. The difference this time was that I realized where it breaks down. It is more of a 1 piece takeaway, rounded, baseball type feeling swing. I would have to show video I guess. It is also very simple feeling. It doesn't have all of the moving parts like the swing I have now. I realized I lost this swing a while back because I became armsy with the takeaway. Today I stumbled back into it as I worked on that first 2ft of takeaway staying connected. When its working it is very accurate and very powerful. When I lost it , its very gone. I feel like I can't settle on a swing. I find one for the day (eventually) and then try to make that work.
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watch your left knee on your down swing. it sways more forward than you would want. I tend to have this problem aswell. The swing thought i try to use is stay low and feel like i am trying to bump a chair with my left hip on the downswing.

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My left knee pushes too far forward? I'm not sure I follow?
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yes your knees are swaying towards the target. watch a view of rory mcilroy swing from a face on view and watch what his knees are doing. Then watch the video of your swing from the face on view and watch your knees. When you sway to much it makes your right side fall back and the club falls to the inside of the swing plane. Watch a swing of his iron shots because you do want some sway in the driver swing.

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Played 9 tonight. 3 balls per shot. The baseball rounded swing feels good. That 1 piece takeaway and shoulder turn has kept my contact solid. My distance control was very good with my wedges. I would usually put all 3 wedge shots on the green and each one closer to the pin. I'm working on getting comfortable with some putting adjustments. Consistent placement of ball relative to my body . Lining my putts up with the new stance. I missed more putts than usual but I expected that as I adjust. 5 birdie chances and all missed. Those were all on the love ball.
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Same routine tonight. The swing is feeling good. Focusing on the first 2 ft of take away with the entire body. Then a good shoulder turn. I also made my putting stance and position consistent. Then I have been choosing my line and burning the image of the hole into my head. Putting went real well tonight. The short game is coming around. I will be keeping my handicap again starting this weekend.
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I like how serious you are about honing your swing. I tried the more rounded swing you are trying. I ended up with a never ending case of the shanks.

I do have a couple things that I work on to help my lower body from swaying.

1) Put you golf bag behind your right leg and try not to touch it with your back leg on your back swing.

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Ohhh. You mean my hips are swaying. I thought you were saying my lead leg was moving to far towards the target. Sometimes when I get sloppy my hips do make a lateral move. I've recently widened my stance which was more of a concern to me for that off balance situation I saw in the video. It has stopped the sway and retained better balance.
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I always try to feel like my butt is pointed to the target on my back swing. You won't be able to sway if you can do this.

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