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My Swing (billchao)


billchao

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@boogielicious made me aware that I forgot to upload my lesson at Metedeconk, so here it is:

Before

Drill Swings

I had a great time working with @iacas and @pcombs21 . Was good to meet @nevets88 as well.

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Some range time today. I hit the ball fairly well, but the video shows I'm not changing the picture all that much (and not at all on full speed).

Video is of me with a 7 iron, doing the drill progressively faster so I can see where the upper limit is. Then I threw in a driver swing towards the end of the session where I was trying a different feel (super pitch elbow) to see how that would look. Didn't bother getting any FO shots because I would have been silhouetted by the sun.

If I had to grade myself, I'd give it a C+. It was kind of hard to get feedback today because the shots looked good, but the corresponding videos weren't as good, so I must have just been timing it well today.

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If I had to grade myself, I'd give it a C+. It was kind of hard to get feedback today because the shots looked good, but the corresponding videos weren't as good, so I must have just been timing it well today.

That's probably a little low, to be honest. B or so. And you're doing it better - and a little faster - than you were able to a few weeks ago. Right?

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That's probably a little low, to be honest. B or so. And you're doing it better - and a little faster - than you were able to a few weeks ago. Right?

Okay, I'll take it :-) Yea, I'm successfully doing it faster than a couple of weeks ago. It looks like I should stop somewhere short of swing 3. What's the exit point I'm looking for? Left shoulder? I think I'm trying to get it above that. Would that be exaggerating the piece a bit too much?

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Okay, I'll take it

Yea, I'm successfully doing it faster than a couple of weeks ago. It looks like I should stop somewhere short of swing 3.

What's the exit point I'm looking for? Left shoulder? I think I'm trying to get it above that. Would that be exaggerating the piece a bit too much?


Roughly there, yeah. Just below the "corner" or so? Plus you could play cuts and lower it slightly.

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Roughly there, yeah. Just below the "corner" or so? Plus you could play cuts and lower it slightly.

Got it, thanks.

Cuts? I think I've lost all ability to fade the ball unless I hit a big block. Not that I'm trying to hit a specific shape or anything, but most of my shots go left in varying degrees. Never got the chance to ask you in person about it, but I proposed the idea of opening up the clubface more at address at one point. I'm wondering if it might allow me to rev the wrists hard without having to worry about a pull/hook.

I have to reincorporate mixing up targets into my range routine, too. I have to remember that it's not just about trying to make mechanically sound swings, but to make the ball go to a target.


Here's another question:

How come my exit is low, even though my wrist is pretty flat throughout:

But Grant's is spot on, even though his wrist is cupped?

Is there something I'm missing (other than world class talent)?

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http://www.gamegolf.com/player/billchao/round/124559

4 fairways, 2 GIR, 0 nGIR. Yup, 0 nGIR.

I've lost the bottom of my swing. It's been going on for a few rounds now. I keep topping the ball or hitting it low on the face. I can''t say I chunked any shots, but a bad top is equally as useless.

When I actually make passable contact, they're coming out low bullet draws. I'm not really pushing the ball anymore except for the odd shot here and there. Shots are definitely not going the height I'm accustomed to and I can feel right at impact that they're not hit well.

Here's an example from the round. This is the first hole and it happens to be the only par of the day:

Drive was a low draw. Started right down the middle of the fairway and turned left. Hit the back of a mound and got a little kick forward. I wanted to start it down the right side. I wasn't pin hunting on this hole, either. I started that shot right at the middle-right side of the green and drew it all the way to the left side. I managed to draw a 3/4 SW shot 15 yards.

Just a little bit frustrating that I was playing better when the swing was worse. I'm just as inconsistent, but all of my shot zones have changed and I haven't been able to adjust. I have to figure something out soon, because I have another trip to Florida coming up in December and I'll be able to play a lot of golf and I'd like to go into that trip with some confidence.

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It's the one year anniversary of my swing thread! Happy Birthday, Swing Thread! :banana:

To celebrate, I went out and hit the range for some practice!*

*Not really, I didn't notice until I started uploading my video.

So here is today's video. Apologies for the FO view, it's a little washed out from the sun and the guard between the bays is really obtrusive.

These are just the swings from the end of the session. I made a couple of tweaks throughout that really helped my ballstriking, even though they didn't necessarily help me with my piece.

First, I practiced today with a dry erase marker. That let me know my misses were all towards the toe. The really big pushes are really far towards the toe. When I hit the sweetspot, the shots are great. Toe shots tended to over-draw from gear effect. I adjusted by setting up with the golf ball more towards the heel of the club at address. This allowed me to have more consistent contact. I definitely hit the sweetspot more, too, which is a feeling I haven't had in a while. Felt good.

You'll also notice that I employed a driveway marker down my target line. This let me know that my shots start right. I only remember hitting one or two pulls, and they were very slightly pulled.

The feeling I wanted to incorporate was related to PP#4. It was something I was working on with Dave back in the summer that I've neglected/forgotten about :8) . Oh well, that's why there's documentation, so I can find it again. Anyway, what I did was get into my address position and very slightly pull my left elbow towards my body by squeezing my upper arm towards myself, into the side of my chest. I'm not sure if I'm articulating it well enough. I was messing around with the feel at home and it seemed like it was easier to do my piece with it, so I wanted to see how it would look on camera.

The second adjustment I made during the session. It's just a little bump of the hips forward at address. Cleans up some Key #1 & 2 stuff.

Here's some good old fashioned self analysis:

A4:

A5.5:

A7:

A9ish:

A2. This really highlights the difference the new feel has on my arms:

I just noticed that the left wrist is flatter at A4 in last week's swing. Going to have to monitor that. For all the things I thought I was doing better, I ended up doing one worse. Oh well.

I was going to do some comparisons between last year's swing and this year's to highlight the improvements I've made over the year, but it's getting late. I'll add it in some other time.

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@billchao , this is much better, particularly in regards to the things we worked on (rate of closure issues causing you to start the ball too far left and hook like crazy).

I'd work on the backswing feeling a bit shorter, particularly in practice. Feel like you don't go past 3.

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@billchao , this is much better, particularly in regards to the things we worked on (rate of closure issues causing you to start the ball too far left and hook like crazy). I'd work on the backswing feeling a bit shorter, particularly in practice. Feel like you don't go past 3.

Thanks. That backswing length is an old nemesis. I'll start focusing on that if the overtaking is less of an issue now (unless you mean for me to do both?). I'm going to experiment with adding that left arm feel with my right arm, as well, see what that yields. I've tried to swing to 3 in the past and I still swing to 4++. I'll just have to tackle it like I do everything else.

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I'm going to experiment with adding that left arm feel with my right arm, as well, see what that yields. I've tried to swing to 3 in the past and I still swing to 4++. I'll just have to tackle it like I do everything else.

Bill, time to be blunt: your swing has been fine for a long time. Much more fine than it needs to be to break 90, probably even 80.

1/2 to 2/3 of your practice time should be simulated holes. Hit driver. Hit a 7-iron like it's in the rough because you pulled your driver a bit. Hit a little pitch shot like it's near the green. Whatever. Alternate clubs. Give yourself ONE swing. Picture the hole. Make up holes. Have water right and some light trees left.

Everyone gets better at hitting the ball when they're swinging the same club all the time on the range. Your swing should not be producing tops, shanks, fats, etc.

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Bill, time to be blunt: your swing has been fine for a long time. Much more fine than it needs to be to break 90, probably even 80. 1/2 to 2/3 of your practice time should be simulated holes. Hit driver. Hit a 7-iron like it's in the rough because you pulled your driver a bit. Hit a little pitch shot like it's near the green. Whatever. Alternate clubs. Give yourself ONE swing. Picture the hole. Make up holes. Have water right and some light trees left. Everyone gets better at hitting the ball when they're swinging the same club all the time on the range. Your swing should not be producing tops, shanks, fats, etc.

Got it, thanks. I appreciate the bluntness, BTW. I can be pretty dense sometimes, just ask my wife ;-)

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  • 2 weeks later...
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Went to the range today. I actually wanted to play, but the course was closed for an outing, so I practiced instead. Focused on hitting the ball to various targets, simulated holes, etc.

Hit a few poor shots at first, but I made a minor adjustment and started hitting pretty well. Better than I have in a long time, actually. Hit the ball fairly straight, perhaps even with a slight fade. Most of the "approach" shots would have been on the green because they didn't move that far right of my target.

I didn't do any "picture changing" work. Just felt what I should be doing through practice swings and waggles and hit the shots.

Short game practice went well, too. It was the same type of practice - different targets from different lies. I don't really do much mechanical work on my pitches and chips anymore. I did make one slight adjustment: noticed my ball position got a little bit forward, so I moved it back a hair.

Bunker practice was a whole other issue. I've completely lost all ability to hit well out of a greenside bunker. I used to be able to (at worst) just pop the ball up and onto the green. Now I blade everything. Taking too much sand and hitting too shallow, perhaps? I'll have to avoid bunkers like the plague when I play.

Putting practice was mediocre. Apparently I can't feel the greens at all after a long day of work. I tried to re-calibrate my feels and I was off by some ridiculous numbers. I eventually gave up. Speed control is still my biggest issue, along with aim. Start lines are pretty good and the stroke is consistent, but I seem to have a hard time aiming at something from down the line and translating it parallel to the line. Usually end up aiming my body at my target and my clubface can point anywhere from too far right to too far left depending on how well I subconsciously compensate. I have this aiming problem in other areas of my game, too.

All in all, a good practice day.

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Went to the range today. I actually wanted to play, but the course was closed for an outing, so I practiced instead. Focused on hitting the ball to various targets, simulated holes, etc.

Hit a few poor shots at first, but I made a minor adjustment and started hitting pretty well. Better than I have in a long time, actually. Hit the ball fairly straight, perhaps even with a slight fade. Most of the "approach" shots would have been on the green because they didn't move that far right of my target.

I didn't do any "picture changing" work. Just felt what I should be doing through practice swings and waggles and hit the shots.

Good. That's what you need to do a lot of. Particularly during the summer/fall.

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Good. That's what you need to do a lot of. Particularly during the summer/fall.

Thanks. Why summer/fall? So I don't dramatically change my pattern and Shot Zones mid-season like I did this year?

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  • 2 weeks later...
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File this under "Stupid Things I Should Have Realized Long Ago": I grip the club too far off the end, like this: Going to start gripping it an inch farther down, like this: Keeps me from having to cup the left wrist to help support the weight of the club.

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  • 3 weeks later...
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All of my goals revolve around my singular objective to score lower, but since "score lower" makes for a terrible goal, I'll break it down in sections.

2015 Goals:

Practice more at golf and hitting shots and make less changes to my swing. There are two aspects of my swing that dramatically hurt my consistency (overtaking rates and overswing) and I've got a pretty good handle on what I need to do. This year I need to spend less time making changes to my swing and more time actually getting it to work on the course. This is my biggest weakness, so I'm making it the top priority.

Improve my putting. It's a glaring weakness (besides my long game contact issues) and I'm going to make it a strength. Particularly my 3-15' putting, because I should be making at least 75% of my 4' putts, and I don't. It costs me strokes. It's stupid to pitch the ball close from nGIR and still 2-putt for bogey. I've already taken AimPoint Express, so I'll have to be diligent about practicing that. Other than that, it's string and yarn drills and clock games and such. Basically just spend more time actually practicing my putting productively. I think I get bored practicing putting because I don't particularly enjoy putting (out of the three major skills, it's my least favorite). Bonus points if I pull the trigger on an Edel putter this year, but I'm not holding my breath.

Improve my driving. I swing fast enough to get some good benefits out of a driver, but I don't make good contact consistently. Even with my irons, I can find the sweetspot pretty well and my miss is more consistent. The driver is all over the place and I hit it all over the face. I know I'm probably wrong about this, but I really do feel like I hit my 3w better than my driver. I'm going to have to revisit my setup and possibly make some swing adjustments just for the driver, if necessary. I might have to get fit properly for a good driver, but this goes in the same folder as the Edel putter.

Get to a 12 handicap. I always post lofty handicap goals, so this one is more reasonable (but still lofty). I still feel like I'm just around the corner from some good scores, and if I make good on goal #1 I'll get there.

Get the wife to start playing. We've been talking about this for a while and I really want to get her going on this. I think it will be more fun for us to do this together, especially on vacation. She used to come with me to the range all the time, so I don't see why she couldn't just start hitting her own clubs.

From the 2015 Goals thread.

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Got some range time in today because I wanted to see what kind of shape my swing was in before I head on vacation. Looks decent actually; can't tell it's been a while since I practiced. Miss is still left. Big sweeping overdraws. Everything pushes though, so that's a positive. Hit a straight push every once in a while, too. Driver was ok, I guess. In my simulated holes, it didn't get me in any serious trouble, but I'm not hitting it with any consistency of direction or distance. I'm not sure I'm really going to want to use it to be perfectly honest.

Sorry, video quality is bad. It was raining so I stayed under the canopy.

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