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JonMA1

My Swing (JonMA1)

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2 hours ago, boogielicious said:

My only comment would be do the first practice swings slower, like 50% speed. You’ve got the the simple and specific, but work on slow too. Really slow it down and get the positions right. Then hit a few at 50%. Then finally hit full. Don’t worry about miss hits on the slow swings either, or ball flight.

I have to focus really hard to slow down. It has taken a long time, but the benefits are great.

Will do @boogielicious.

I agree, slowing down not as easy as it seems it should be. I think a big reason is the desire to make good contact (as you alluded to in bold). So yes, I will disregard that and concentrate on what I'm trying to establish for the first several swings and once I feel that's happening, speed it up slightly from there.

2 hours ago, iacas said:

Are you holding the clubface open to achieve that shaft lean?

Do you mean post impact? If so, then yes. I think I'm trying to do that to avoid flipping. I over-doing it, right?


I have a couple questions. I don't want to take advantage of the generosity, and at the same time, I don't want the advice already given to go to waste. 

Is the main purpose of this drill to develop a feel for correct impact position? Then, by slowly lengthening up the swing, make sure that the correct impact position is always achieved?

I find myself a bit concerned with getting my hips to side forward. I watch videos of Hogan and even the 5sk videos where Erik's hips slide so far forward. Probably unrealistic to expect to be able to match that.

Should I continue to put some or even more focus on this while doing the drill? There is weight shift with this drill, but it looks like there should be more. At what point do I think this is a good enough hip slide and shaft lean, now concentrate on getting into this position every time?

Another thought is to exaggerate everything at these slower speeds so that as I start to lengthen the swing, even a little loss will still put in me good impact position. (I hope that makes sense.)

Thanks.

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4 hours ago, JonMA1 said:

Do you mean post impact? If so, then yes. I think I'm trying to do that to avoid flipping. I over-doing it, right?

No, I mean here:

Analyzr Image Export.jpg

You are. Look there.

4 hours ago, JonMA1 said:

Is the main purpose of this drill to develop a feel for correct impact position? Then, by slowly lengthening up the swing, make sure that the correct impact position is always achieved?

The main purpose is to feel good impact conditions - a shaft leaning forward, a clubhead still descending a little bit, and where your weight, your wrists, your hands, your hips, etc. are.

You're doing them too fast here. You should be starting with actual chips. Your weight should be pre-set forward (like in a chip) and not really moving one way or the other much.

4 hours ago, JonMA1 said:

I find myself a bit concerned with getting my hips to side forward. I watch videos of Hogan and even the 5sk videos where Erik's hips slide so far forward. Probably unrealistic to expect to be able to match that.

Don't try. Just put your weight forward for now and hit solid chips that go on-line.

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I've been spending a lot of practice time on the chip drill. Shortened it up (7 or 8 o'clock back to 5 o'clock through) and slowed it down from a pre-set weight forward position.

Even with this chip-like motion, I can occasionally make less than perfect contact. So it's not yet automatic. it's an enjoyable drill. I've set a couple cones up about 2 or 3 ft apart and just work on coming through at an angle that hits ball first then turf or mat from about 15 yards and using different irons. Most feel very good but occasionally, I'll hit one poorly. It's been pretty easy to hit them straight.

If this drill has done anything thus far, it's that I more aware of how poorly I come into the ball with my normal swing and especially my wedges.

For the last couple nights I've also been taking some full swings. Not working on any particular move, mostly working on a controlled rhythm and smoothing out the takeaway, backswing and downswing. I'm trying to simplify the swing so it isn't so choppy. When I played on Sunday, it was obvious I'd been neglecting this. Far too many poor contact shots and over-thinking of everything. It took about 9 holes before I started to make ok contact.

I also did some work with my wedges Monday night. I'm stuck between my bastardized swing (which has worked well at times) and a more conventional full swing. As poor as my mid and long irons can be at times, the recent inability to control my shots from 120 yards and in has made the game more difficult than I could have imagined. Guess I'd been taking this for granted.

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10 hours ago, JonMA1 said:

I've been spending a lot of practice time on the chip drill. Shortened it up (7 or 8 o'clock back to 5 o'clock through) and slowed it down from a pre-set weight forward position.

Even with this chip-like motion, I can occasionally make less than perfect contact. So it's not yet automatic. it's an enjoyable drill. I've set a couple cones up about 2 or 3 ft apart and just work on coming through at an angle that hits ball first then turf or mat from about 15 yards and using different irons. Most feel very good but occasionally, I'll hit one poorly. It's been pretty easy to hit them straight.

If this drill has done anything thus far, it's that I more aware of how poorly I come into the ball with my normal swing and especially my wedges.

For the last couple nights I've also been taking some full swings. Not working on any particular move, mostly working on a controlled rhythm and smoothing out the takeaway, backswing and downswing. I'm trying to simplify the swing so it isn't so choppy. When I played on Sunday, it was obvious I'd been neglecting this. Far too many poor contact shots and over-thinking of everything. It took about 9 holes before I started to make ok contact.

I also did some work with my wedges Monday night. I'm stuck between my bastardized swing (which has worked well at times) and a more conventional full swing. As poor as my mid and long irons can be at times, the recent inability to control my shots from 120 yards and in has made the game more difficult than I could have imagined. Guess I'd been taking this for granted.

It will take time. You've got motions that have been ingrained. You need to keep working on this for a while to 'change the picture'. It took me 6 months to get the shaft to start flattening all the time from A4 to A5. Just keep working at it. You will improve, plateau, improve, plateau. You will get some shots with great contact on the course and a bunch of bad ones. But now you know what to do. Knowing what to work on makes the bad shots less painful.

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7 hours ago, boogielicious said:

It will take time. You've got motions that have been ingrained. You need to keep working on this for a while to 'change the picture'. It took me 6 months to get the shaft to start flattening all the time from A4 to A5. Just keep working at it. You will improve, plateau, improve, plateau. You will get some shots with great contact on the course and a bunch of bad ones. But now you know what to do. Knowing what to work on makes the bad shots less painful.

Amen!  So true.

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Thanks @boogielicious and @tlazzol. I understand and agree with everything you posted Scott.

I don't think I've ever been as even-keeled and patient with how I approach practice as I presently am. While there's still frustration and an overall lack of confidence at times, I just feel like this year has been different. Even though my game may be as bad as it's been in a couple years, there hasn't been that "screw it, I'm going back to what works" attitude.

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I had a really good week of practice last week so was a little disappointed that nothing seemed to show up on the course this morning. I'm not even talking about shot results.

I really felt that all week I'd developed a good pace/tempo and was in better control of the weight shift and also a balanced finish. Worked on the pre-shot routine and then a commitment towards a smoother takeaway, backswing, downswing and followthrough - without a lot of twitchy stops and starts. 

Despite taking more club than normal, this morning it felt like I was swinging a bit too hard and falling back onto my back foot again. Nothing felt very smooth or in control. Almost like I was just half-assing it out there.

Maybe there should be a balance between not over-thinking mechanics and not just swinging a club and hoping something good happens. Maybe something in between the two.

Driver wasn't too bad until the 9th hole - a narrower par 4. Pulled the first 2 out of bounds, pushed-sliced the 3rd (still in play) and then for good measure, pulled a 4th out of bounds. Putting wasn't very good either.

I think there was just too much non-golf crap on my mind. It was still good to get out and walk 9 holes. I really needed that even if the golf wasn't very good. As has been the case lately, I didn't keep score so there wasn't much in the way of frustration.

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Follow up on my round today...

From these tees, this course can be pretty tough. I've only broken 100 a few times from them. I was able to keep my shit together (not get pissed off) and really concentrate on my instructor's lesson plan... 

1. Use the same pre-shot routine on every shot. Check. 

2. Play in the present, forget the bad shots. Check.

3. Shift weight to the left on downswing. Hmmm... not so much. Easier said than done.

4. Specific putting practice. Fail. I haven't been working on this and it showed today. 

5. Less judging, more acceptance (I think he meant on my game, not his instruction). Check.

Also,

6. Divots were on the target side of the ball today. Likely due to the Erik's chipping drill I've been working on.

Negatives...

1. On my best shots, I might be 50/50 at most on the weight distribution at impact. Slower tempo did help at times, but I was off-balance more than on and falling back on a few swings. 

2. Probably due to the above, I'm cutting across the ball a lot on everything from mid-irons to driver. I was able to keep the driver in play, but a lot of weak slices to go along with decent fades and even a slight draw. The variance in distance can be 40 yards. All of today's drives were well-struck on the face, but that spin is a distance killer.

3. Chipping was horrible as was my sand game.


After telling me he'd be in touch, I haven't heard from my instructor in a few weeks - which is fine. We've completed 2 of the 4 sessions I've paid for. 

This time around, I feel pretty good about my end of the deal. I've been as good of a student as I possibly can be. Kept a positive attitude and worked on the physical and mental things he'd suggested. I made it crystal clear how slow of a learner I was and gave him every opportunity to not accept me as a student.

If he does end up calling, I'll ask what his plan is and continue being positive. If he doesn't, some of what he's worked with me on will be useful.

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It was a good week of golf. Shot my lowest round ever and otherwise played some decent rounds. I have to assume it has something to do with the chip drill that @iacas and @boogielicious helped me with (thanks again guys) as well as some of the suggestions my instructor gave.

Driver: This may be the biggest opportunity for improvement. It's been tough to get a consistent starting line, ball flight and distance. The bandaid fix is to align my feet right and close the club face at address. While this "takes away" the right side of the fairway and gives me decent distance (230 yds on occasion), it also brings a pull into play. Conversely, I can align straight, not close the face and play the slice/fade which takes the left side out of play, but also results in some very weak drives (<200 yards). For the most part, I'm  making decent contact near the center of the face of the driver.

On most holes, I can keep this club in play and still get more distance than my next longest club.

5w and 4h: Couldn't be happier with these clubs. But I also know from past experience it can change in a heartbeat - especially with these clubs.

Irons: Wouldn't dare consider anything I do to be "good", but I'm ok with how I've been playing these clubs. Starting lines have been better as has been contact. The longer irons (4i) are more prone to poorer mechanics and a resulting slice/fade. I need to consider replacing the 4 and 5i with hybrids. That sucks because flushing a long iron is one of the more satisfying shots in golf.

Wedges/9i: One of the reasons the week went so well is that I'm playing these 120 yards and in shots a lot better than I had been earlier in the season. I've gone back to my preset weight forward swing for these shorter distances. No doubt the chip drill has helped in this area.

Pitches, Chips, Sand: When I focus on these, I'm happy with the overall results. What can be damaging is taking good results as granted.

Putting: There are rounds where I feel I've putted poorly, but this has been the most improved area of my game this year.

I'm not sure how to keep this going other than developing a structured practice routine. I really enjoy the chip drill so that's easy to do every day. I need to continue to try and make incremental improvements in getting my weight forward.

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Despite the decent scores I've enjoyed lately, I have to get back to focusing on key #2. 

I had a lesson today where my instructor and I played a few holes. I played well (for me)...drove the ball well, putted ok, wedges and short approaches were good.  But I could feel myself falling back after every shot.

He told me my overall game was in good shape but we went to the range afterwards to work on getting my weight forward. He made some suggestions that I'm going to work on. Wish I had his confidence that we can fix this.

It feels good to have moved the needle in regards to my scores, but it drives me crazy that I still play with my weight on my back foot or that even when I get a tiny bit better at this it's so easy to revert back. It's like I'm missing something really obvious. It shouldn't be this hard... just shift my weight to the left side. 

Man, I sound like a broken record.

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1 hour ago, JonMA1 said:

Man, I sound like a broken record.

On the bright side, according to GG your a better golfer than me! Glad to see your scores trending the right direction my friend. 

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14 minutes ago, HJJ003 said:

On the bright side, according to GG your a better golfer than me! Glad to see your scores trending the right direction my friend. 

Even if that were true (which it isn't), it wouldn't be for long Henry. You've had a couple of tough rounds but you'll be back to breaking 90 very soon and I'll go back to struggling for a while. That's what makes the game so addictive. It's hard to hold onto any ground we gain.

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11 minutes ago, JonMA1 said:

Even if that were true (which it isn't), it wouldn't be for long Henry. You've had a couple of tough rounds but you'll be back to breaking 90 very soon and I'll go back to struggling for a while. That's what makes the game so addictive. It's hard to hold onto any ground we gain.

Well let’s hope we both can gain and maintain some momentum for the remainder of the year. I agree about the game being addictive. Especially when even when you reach a new level you see the next level and think “I’m not far from that”. One of the frustrating but fun parts of the game though. 

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Very frustrating practice tonight.

I've been really struggling on making decent contact with my shorter irons, specifically fat shots. So I started tonight with easy 40% swings and abbreviated followthrough. No problem with those - good contact and draw flight. But as soon as I get my hands up and try to make a fuller shoulder turn, it turns into a hot mess. I just couldn't get it back tonight, even when I slowed everything back down.

Towards the end of my practice, I started to use the "hit into right field" thought, bringing my hands in a bit tighter to my hip on the downswing, and getting a little right side lean on my followthrough. That allowed good contact on the last several shots.

I never thought I'd lose the ability to hit short irons, but that's where I am right now. My GIR are the lowest they've been since I started recording them.


As for the perpetual fail on key #2, my instructor suggested not flaring my right foot and keeping pressure on the inside of my lead foot during the backswing. While I like the idea of keeping weight inside, not flaring my right foot goes against the grain. But I gave it a serious try for the last two weeks and I don't think that's going fix anything. It's simply a matter of not shifting weight on swings when I hit a ball.

The very best I can hope for at this point is a centered hip turn on the back swing, weight about 50/50 at impact, and a followthrough without falling back. I'm even failing at those far too often.


The improved scores last month were very enjoyable while they lasted. I'll try to get back there, but judging by the last couple rounds and practices, it'll be difficult. Sadly, I'll have to return to not keeping score to eliminate frustration. My index will drop substantially in 2 days, but because I don't keep score on every eligible round, I don't considerate it legitimate.

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I took a bunch of video at the local driving range today. I was trying to figure out why I've been slicing my drives so much... to see if anything would show up on video. Of course, I hit nothing but relatively straight or slightly pulled drives.

However, while looking through the videos I finally realized why I so often fail at making anything close to a full shoulder turn. 

ShoulderTurn.jpg.e8c381351e20ac1dfda5d7a831388730.jpg

The over-swing images on the (right) are just practice swings and not what I want in a swing. But it was bugging me why that kind of a turn was so easy, yet I almost never get to 90° in my real swing (left).

It's because I turn my head so much on the practice swings and then try to prevent it from turning on the real swing.

I'm not sure how this might help, but one thing I know for sure is that my head will have to turn a little (not as extreme as in the above photos) to make a better turn. My neck just is not flexible enough otherwise.

So I took a few swings out in the yard tonight allowing my head to turn more. I've yet to take more video to confirm what effect this has on the shoulder turn (it feels a bit better), but was able to make good contact after a couple swings.

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These were from a range session last week. Good distance and ball flight (fade) on nearly all of the shots. I didn't just pound the driver on every shot either. Took two or three swings, worked on other clubs and then picked up the driver again.

I can see some of the issues - head moves back some, a little less than a full shoulder turn and of course weight staying back - but I can live with the results which are 220+ yard drives with less angled spin. (I'm not sure what the hell is going on with my index finger, lol). 

What I find hard to deal with is when the results go south as they did on my last round when I made horrible contact and the resulting 180 yard low pull slices.

@HJJ003 suggesting putting powder on the face as he thought the weak shots might be heel contact. I will try that on my next practice session.

During today's round I'm going to focus on my pivot at the top (from trail foot to lead foot), pulling the handle down, and swinging a bit harder.

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1 hour ago, JonMA1 said:

These were from a range session last week. Good distance and ball flight (fade) on nearly all of the shots. I didn't just pound the driver on every shot either. Took two or three swings, worked on other clubs and then picked up the driver again.

I can see some of the issues - head moves back some, a little less than a full shoulder turn and of course weight staying back - but I can live with the results which are 220+ yard drives with less angled spin. (I'm not sure what the hell is going on with my index finger, lol). 

What I find hard to deal with is when the results go south as they did on my last round when I made horrible contact and the resulting 180 yard low pull slices.

@HJJ003 suggesting putting powder on the face as he thought the weak shots might be heel contact. I will try that on my next practice session.

During today's round I'm going to focus on my pivot at the top (from trail foot to lead foot), pulling the handle down, and swinging a bit harder.

Looking better! Good impact position with the hands too, Key 3. Keep working on Key 2 and it will improve more.

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DriverFace.jpg.c6ecccc0e67c99cb8491c2da592b0a87.jpg

@HJJ003 -  a while back you had mentioned the possibility that hitting off-center on the driver face might be a reason for my weak drives.

It's been bugging me since then and I finally had a chance to check it out yesterday. In lieu of impact tape, I used some postage labels and hit a few drives.

The first shot is the one highest on the face. Maybe I just have hands of stone, but it didn't feel like terrible impact as is the case when I hit off the toe or heel. So this could be happening on the course and I'd be unaware of it.

Next, I had to figure out how to fix it. I'm thinking it's a negative angle of attack but I'm pretty ignorant about that stuff. Still, I tried to get my low point back a few inches thinking it result in a positive angle. But I was still hitting pretty high on the face. 

I finally combined getting the low point back along with a shallower angle (if that's the right term), and I hit a couple down closer to the center. Unfortunately, the ball flight was a bit lower than I think it should be. But again, what the heck do I know?

I'm wondering if I shouldn't tee the ball up just a bit higher, and combine that with playing the ball up a bit more in my stance. I'm currently using 2 3/4" tees and keep them fairly high. 

More than likely, the lack of distance is as simple as less club head speed. Still, now and then I'll get that 220 - 230 carry. It would be nice have that happening a lot more often.

Anyway, thanks for the advice and I'll keep working on this.

Edited by JonMA1

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