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RandallT

My Swing (RandallT)

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Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 3.53.34 PM.pngScreen Shot 2016-05-18 at 3.59.41 PM.png

These are both full swings with a ball present- not drills. Today's A5 on the left (18 May). May 5th on the right. Left forearm rotated more today and left wrist felt flatter, but perhaps still not quite enough. I'll be happy with improvement for now.

I'll wait for my instructor, but I still feel like I'm using my body to try to shallow the club more than I should. I feel like my shoulders are leveling out a bit too from the top. Not sure, but that's part of the awkwardness I feel. I have trouble keeping my shoulders on the plane they need to be one, and detaching that from the angle my forearm holds the club. They feel like they are both shallowing. But that's the feel I have- not sure that's what is really happening.

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14 hours ago, RandallT said:

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 3.53.34 PM.pngScreen Shot 2016-05-18 at 3.59.41 PM.png

These are both full swings with a ball present- not drills. Today's A5 on the left (18 May). May 5th on the right. Left forearm rotated more today and left wrist felt flatter, but perhaps still not quite enough. I'll be happy with improvement for now.

I'll wait for my instructor, but I still feel like I'm using my body to try to shallow the club more than I should. I feel like my shoulders are leveling out a bit too from the top. Not sure, but that's part of the awkwardness I feel. I have trouble keeping my shoulders on the plane they need to be one, and detaching that from the angle my forearm holds the club. They feel like they are both shallowing. But that's the feel I have- not sure that's what is really happening.

That looks better. It should help A6 as well with the club head passing through the hand plane or even behind it.

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50 minutes ago, boogielicious said:

That looks better. It should help A6 as well with the club head passing through the hand plane or even behind it.

Thanks, A6 was a bit iffy as the club was slightly outside my hands, but I think it was a tiny bit better than before. I'm just so eager to get that club behind the ball sooner, and the diagonal path eludes me. I spent some time looking at my video last night to see what I could spot, and my head was coming off the wall many inches. Maybe 6 inches?!  And standing up quite a bit. Uggh. I thought I'd gotten rid of those demons. No wonder nearly every full shot was a thin where I struck the equator!

But I was 100% focused on the plane. So I can hopefully bring everything else back in the way it was before. 

I'm off to play a round with whatever swing shows up on the course, and then I'll do video tomorrow to submit to Evolvr. Hopefully, I can do one more review of the latest lessons and self-critique of these videos before that, and we'll see if the next submission can be a step forward, or if it's a step back. At this point, I'm not sure!

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Note to self: practice the driver swing at the range before you debut a new swing on the course. 

We won't discuss the results of the round, but suffice it to say, I struggled keeping things together off the tee today. All of my practice swings were with the new motion in mind: from A4 try to get the club to fall behind me and get less steep at A5. Nearly every tee shot was a push slice. Nearly all were weakly struck, glancing blows. When I didn't hit it OB, I was chunking it left. But not to get discouraged- I did hit one nice and easy drive on 18 (after an OB right). 

From the fairway, I struggled to make good contact, and most shots were weak right again.

So it's back to reviewing the last lessons, review my last video, and make a stab at improvement for a video submission tomorrow. The only good news is that I'm changing the picture. If everything is going consistently weak, right, and slicing, then something must be very different.

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Oops, messed up the zoom on the Face On video. 

Good news is that I'm having to think less about forcing awkward positions. They awkward positions are just happening naturally now! But seriously, I think it's progress that I think of the swing in a new way with the constant drills.

I still see lots of differences with how my instructor wants me to be at various positions and how I actually look, but I'm confident I can make more progress there. These videos were just submitted, so I'll wait for specific guidance. 

For now, what I see:

  1. My head movement is definitely creeping back in. Head moves "off the wall." I stand up. 
  2. At A6, my back is still too much to the target and my shoulders aren't level enough, despite a deliberate attempt to get there. Need to pound in the position I see in the drills provided to me, and make it happen.
  3. I need to still work on my backswing getting less lazy. My left arm bends a lot, when I think it should stop exactly when the shoulders stop. Club goes too far.
  4. Right elbow getting sloppy and drifting back to its natural position.
  5. Still not dropping the club enough at the start of the backswing. When I speed up, I just can't get the angles that I'm thinking in my mind. Steepness creeps in as I speed up.
  6. The "release" from A6 to A7 still baffles me, as i leave the club quite open and my cupped left wrist comes into play. On the course yesterday, i think the push slices were the worst part of my game. I need to ingrain how to get to A6 better, and then how to get to impact without blowing everything OB right.

Probably more, but I'll work on that until I hear back from my instructor.

 

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@RandallT You and I have a lot in common. We practice things slow and everything works fine, right? We work on hitting those positions slow and everything seems fine, right? Then we take it up to full speed and what happens? Things go to shit.

I noticed a few things. The lateral movement of your head is fine. The vertical movement is caused by something else. Yes, you stand up.

Early extension. It starts in your transition move. Your bum comes off the wall. This is why your club comes down steeper than the original shaft plane. This affects everything downstream. The next question is what is causing the early extension? Is it physical mobility? Or is it something else?

Did you know your club head is toe up at address? Then at impact it lands flat. Coincidentally, it appears as though you were fit with this move in mind. Of course, no one saw the early extension. Only a trained eye can see it at normal speed - or someone else with the same problem on a slow motion vid. They just looked at the impact board. 

If you were to address the ball with the club head flat to the ground, what would that do? 

So my opinion here is that you do what you do between A6 and A7 just so you can hit the ball. It's part of the compensation move. I don't mean to sound like I'm picking, but you're picking. 

The club needs to return to the original shaft plane at impact. All the great ball strikers do that. 

 

 

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1 minute ago, DrvFrShow said:

@RandallT You and I have a lot in common. We practice things slow and everything works fine, right? We work on hitting those positions slow and everything seems fine, right? Then we take it up to full speed and what happens? Things go to shit.

I noticed a few things. The lateral movement of your head is fine. The vertical movement is caused by something else. Yes, you stand up.

Early extension. It starts in your transition move. Your bum comes off the wall. This is why your club comes down steeper than the original shaft plane. This affects everything downstream. The next question is what is causing the early extension? Is it physical mobility? Or is it something else?

Did you know your club head is toe up at address? Then at impact it lands flat. Coincidentally, it appears as though you were fit with this move in mind. Of course, no one saw the early extension. Only a trained eye can see it at normal speed - or someone else with the same problem on a slow motion vid. They just looked at the impact board. 

If you were to address the ball with the club head flat to the ground, what would that do? 

So my opinion here is that you do what you do between A6 and A7 just so you can hit the ball. It's part of the compensation move. I don't mean to sound like I'm picking, but you're picking. 

The club needs to return to the original shaft plane at impact. All the great ball strikers do that. 

 

 

Thanks, Julia!

For me, I debate the underlined part, but fully agree with the bolded part above :beer:  (I still can't get comfortable at slow speed, but it's at least moving in a better direction, I think)

I never noticed toe up at address either! Funny how you see something so many times, you can miss stuff still.

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20 minutes ago, DrvFrShow said:

Did you know your club head is toe up at address? Then at impact it lands flat.

That's perfectly normal. The forces of the swing will cause the club shaft to flex downwards towards the ground from the DTL view, causing the toe to come down a little flatter. As long as @RandallT doesn't have issues with his lie angles, it's probably not an issue.

24 minutes ago, DrvFrShow said:

The club needs to return to the original shaft plane at impact. All the great ball strikers do that.

Most pros return the club at a steeper angle than it was at impact.

 

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Instructor priorities for the next two weeks:

  1. Daily motions of A4 to A6. Master the alignments we've discussed in practice speed (see next couple items)
  2. Make sure you are not tight during the slow motion mapping. Arms loose. Let left arm come OFF chest on the downswing. (I'm gluing it to my chest it appears, factoring into shoulder tilt and even making me stand up)
  3. Shoulders should be much flatter than they are at A6
  4. Shoulders should be less closed to target (putting club about where it should be, inside hands, but not so much as I'm doing in my practice swing).
  5. Address position needs flatter shoulders too. Need less than half of what I've got (I have 20+, should be 10max). Somewhere along the line, I've been creeping up and increasing my address tilt.  And make sure to stay loose.

Onward. I'll be logging this daily in the May and June 5 minute daily practice thread. When I get to the range, I'll use video and perhaps post one here next week.

 

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Good session today at the range, as I realize my A6 has been so far off. Not sure how many times I need to be told that, but apparently I get it now. Was great feedback from my instructor on how to correct it (last post), so I know what I need to do.

Today it was repeat over and over A4 to A6, several times, then swing through half shot from about A5.5 or so. Then check video after a few of those. 

Key learning today was that I am used to having my shoulders closed to the target at A6, so I need to rotate much more from the top to A6 than I have been. It feels very open now at A6 to me. Also my shoulders should not have the tilt that they have been, so I feel like I'm more on top of the ball than behind it. I do need to watch for shifting my whole body forward though, to achieve the flatter shoulders. I can achieve what I need mostly by not having so much axis tilt at the start and letting my shoulders rotate more.

So A4 to A6 is a totally new sensation in slow motion, as is the little half shot from A5.5 to finish- even after having been focusing on this for weeks. Change is slow, but it's going. I'll do a few more days of this slow practice, and then post video here by next week. Hopefully the awkwardness will be a little less by then, as I think I'm honing in on what the correct positions are, so it should start to feel more natural.

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Well, this is discouraging to view, so I'll await feedback from my instructor and get back to work. I was beginning to feel the awkwardness disappear at home, but today at the range, I felt a bit stiff and paralyzed over the ball. These were just slow swings to see if I could maintain some semblance of form- nope :whistle:

As I review a lot of my instructor's notes from the past two sessions on my piece, I see repeats of the same issues.  Much of this session was just trying to FEEL the swing shallowing and get the feel to be more natural, even in soft swings at the ball. My biggest surprise is that for as much of a looping feel I had with the club behind me, the picture hardly changed at all. Kind of frustrating, but kind of eye-opening how much change I can do without really visually changing much.

Anyway, these videos document the struggle. After over a month of diligent drills and logging progress, I am feeling awkwardness over the ball. The good news is that in my foyer, it's just starting to feel more natural. My fear is that I'm doing the slow motion mapping wrong there at home, so if that's the case, I'll never bring a better motion to the range.

 

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Watch that right elbow, @RandallT, especially around A3.5-A4.5. It starts to creep behind you, then as you start to turn your hips, it stays behind you. That's why your left arm is glued across your chest and your shoulders have to tilt so much into A6. It's a move that has a tendency to steepen the club and cup the left wrist.

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9 minutes ago, billchao said:

Watch that right elbow, @RandallT, especially around A3.5-A4.5. It starts to creep behind you, then as you start to turn your hips, it stays behind you. That's why your left arm is glued across your chest and your shoulders have to tilt so much into A6. It's a move that has a tendency to steepen the club and cup the left wrist.

Thanks, Bill. I had zero ability to self-correct today. I reviewed video as I went, and maybe felt a bit rushed to really do anything about all the issues I was seeing! Frustrating. But it's a work in progress, so gotta stay with it!

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6 minutes ago, RandallT said:

Thanks, Bill. I had zero ability to self-correct today. I reviewed video as I went, and maybe felt a bit rushed to really do anything about all the issues I was seeing! Frustrating. But it's a work in progress, so gotta stay with it!

Just chalk it up as a bad practice day and move on. We've all been there, I'm sure. It's not unlike a bad shot during a round; you have to shrug it off and keep going forward.

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Decent range session today, but was only able to do DTL video due to crowds. That's ok, because I wanted to focus on how my arms would relax and separate from my body. Dare I say it, but it seems like at the end of the session, I was generating a new feel that was getting comfortable?!?!

I hit a few half speed shots, and it mostly broke down. I think that if I can build on this for the next few sessions that I might be able to speed up with this form. The A6 position definitely felt better with flatter shoulders and getting less closed to the target by that point. Moving the arms out away from the hands really helped that.

What was also nice was the feeling of getting to impact from this A6. With my left arm off my chest, it feels like a simpler and more powerful move to continue with the hip/shoulder turn and get the club to the ball.  My biggest fear was that getting the arms away from me would feel "over the top" but it doesn't.

Also, part of getting the feel for separating the left arm from my shoulder was to start the separation very close to the start of the downswing, which naturally helps shallow the club. All things people have told me, but seemed like a new revelation today.

So even though it mostly broke down at moderate speed, I'm feeling some progress on the assignment from my instructor, for the first time in a few weeks. Just wanted to jot this note down to remind myself to keep rolling on this, and make sure I include this in my next submission.

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Was hoping to have a good post today with video to show some progress. Unfortunately, I have to be honest, and the video I took at the range looks virtually the same as prior videos (perhaps even a bit worse). Still doing the priorities from the instructor daily, so I'm pleased that I've been able to stay on track and focused. Despite some encouragement from my instructor, however, I'm not seeing much progress yet. Next submission will be in a week or so, and I've got lots of things to improve upon in the meantime. Slow going, but still hopefully on a positive path. 

I hit several drives today to prep for a round with a friend, and the shots were all weak/right or a left pull. It should be a fun day on the course tomorrow, as I really don't know which way the ball will go right now. I truly feel stuck between what is natural (a bad, steep swing) and what is unnatural (a shallowing at the top with more hip/shoulder turn to get to a good A6).

The new movements to get to the right positions feel so awkward, that I can't get the club to the ball well from A6 to A7. But the old movements are poor fundamentals, and I often fat the ball that way too. Pick your poison.

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Round today was rather forgettable. Not that I expected to hit well, but I was hoping I'd find something on the course. The range prep session was actually decent, and I thought I was going to be able to capitalize on some of my work over the past couple months. 

I was mainly using the round to see if I could get a feel for what I have been working on, but no such luck this time. Lots of lost balls, lots of mishits, fats, weak pushes. It's hard to put up a score with the tee shots I was hitting, so score really didn't matter. In my defense, I haven't really practiced with my driver, and that showed. Clearly. Missed both directions, plus a couple flubs. My buddy, who never takes lessons, cleaned my clock. Oh well. He's your athletic dude bogey golfer who gets out only a few times a year.

I felt awkward over the ball and didn't feel like I could put a solid strike on it. After the round, I found a few stray range balls and went through my drills. It all felt mysterious again. Is it possible I could've damaged my cause by playing a round? I doubt it, so let's hope tomorrow will be ok.

I'll get back out there tomorrow to the range for some video work. My thought now is why bother playing a round of golf until I've got something to play with. I didn't get frustrated, and I mostly tried every shot to relax and use what I've learned in my lessons (which I have on a notecard for review)-- but afterwards, I am just stuck thinking what's the point of playing? I could've hit crappy shots at the range and been more deliberate about it. Perhaps it's just good as a checkpoint once in a while, and it is nice to hit off real grass. Plus, it's good to get out with a friend- even if he crushes you.

So, the journey continues. The steepness issue is still kicking my butt big time, but we'll see how it goes by the end of the summer. I've told myself scores don't matter until I can get a decent swing. I'm nailing the "scores not mattering" part of that- just need to work on the "decent swing" part.

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