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My Swing (billchao)


billchao

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Tried something different today.

Some setup changes:

  • Weakened the right hand a bit. Thought it might keep the club more open through impact.
  • Squared up my feet. The right foot, at least. The left foot is still slightly flared.

I think the clubhead falling move I was doing in transition shallows it too much, causing its own set of problems. Here I'm feeling like I'm keeping the clubface square to the path, right elbow staying higher than the left going back, sit left in transition. Looks like I'm not rolling the face over like I was in my last video. I don't think that the feet being more square affected my lateral shifting any but it does look like the arms and hips are a little more in sync.

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Taking a look from a different angle. Should have worn lighter pants. I’m looking specifically at the tailbone here to see how my pelvis is moving in the swing.

I’ve got more of an old school move here, loading up on the right side in the backswing and then I slide too much towards the target. I think that slide causes me to have to tip my upper body back and that causes inconsistency in the bottom of the arc. With your players the tailbone at A4 is generally ahead of where it was at address, as in more towards the target, and at impact it’s actually slightly behind it.

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1 hour ago, billchao said:

I’ve got more of an old school move here, loading up on the right side in the backswing and then I slide too much towards the target.

I don't necessarily agree.

1 hour ago, billchao said:

I think that slide causes me to have to tip my upper body back and that causes inconsistency in the bottom of the arc. With your players the tailbone at A4 is generally ahead of where it was at address, as in more towards the target, and at impact it’s actually slightly behind it.

It depends on what you mean here. Compared to setup, the GolfTec numbers say:

  • 3.9" toward the target on the backswing
  • 1.6" toward the target at impact

But again, most of that is from rotation. I think you could start the "flow" forward a bit earlier, which would change the white line in the images below, but the yellow line isn't really that far off - and would be better with probably a bit more rotation.

01.jpg02.jpg

Your head was pretty good in this swing:

03.jpg04.jpg

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6 minutes ago, iacas said:

I don't necessarily agree.

It depends on what you mean here. Compared to setup, the GolfTec numbers say:

  • 3.9" toward the target on the backswing
  • 1.6" toward the target at impact

But again, most of that is from rotation. I think you could start the "flow" forward a bit earlier, which would change the white line in the images below, but the yellow line isn't really that far off - and would be better with probably a bit more rotation.

01.jpg02.jpg

Your head was pretty good in this swing:

03.jpg04.jpg

Hmm. Ok, I see it better with lines on it :-)

I thought with the saggy lead knee I might be sliding a bit too long. I'm guessing that's inhibiting the rotation a bit. The flow forward earlier bit is something I'll try to do. That's basically just doing my transition left sit move earlier in the backswing?

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36 minutes ago, billchao said:

The flow forward earlier bit is something I'll try to do. That's basically just doing my transition left sit move earlier in the backswing?

Nevermind. We had a whole day during the COVID-19 Challenge on flow.

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40 minutes ago, billchao said:

Hmm. Ok, I see it better with lines on it :-)

I thought with the saggy lead knee I might be sliding a bit too long. I'm guessing that's inhibiting the rotation a bit. The flow forward earlier bit is something I'll try to do. That's basically just doing my transition left sit move earlier in the backswing?

Yes. ~A3 the flow starts forward. And yes, the left knee extending primarily helps with the rotation.

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1 minute ago, iacas said:

Yes. ~A3 the flow starts forward. And yes, the left knee extending primarily helps with the rotation.

Ok. Thanks.

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More left flow. I worked on the left foot step drill for a while and then I modified the move so that it can be done during a real swing, which is basically a lift or unweighting of the left heel going back and replanting by A3.

Rotating a bit more and the clubhead was tipping out in my earlier swings so I played around with a couple of things and ended up on a float loading feel. I really like what it does with my arms: right elbow staying high without flying out with the right arm straighter and not collapsing the left arm too much. The wrists are hinging better as a response to the club loading and it almost looks like the left hand is bowing slightly. I'm not actively doing anything with the wrists and they're doing more as a result of me feeling less.

The whole swing feels like I'm manipulating the club a lot less and just letting it find the proper plane through my body movements. I was making really good contact doing this.

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Couple of raw swings:

 

Basically how I swung when I played on Sunday. I noticed the weak right hand helped with the amount of curve I’ve been hitting, but it was too windy to fully judge.

Stayed with the left heel unweighting in the takeaway and replanting by A3. Noticed just now that I’m not applying enough pressure when I replant to actually flow forward. Didn’t incorporate the float load feel from the last post because I didn’t want to play golf with a feeling I was messing around with for only 25 minutes.


I wanted to see if I could spot why I’ve been hitting my partial wedges poorly, so I filmed a half wedge swing with my 50°. Right on cue, chunked the shit out of the FO shot:

 

Way too much movement going on for a controlled shot.

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Different take on the left flow move. Instead of unweighting and replanting the left heel, I lifted the entire foot and took a "step" in place. I had to make a couple of adjustments and these swings are the end result. I planted my left foot slightly open on purpose because I kept stepping slightly towards the ball and heeling the crap out of it. I also had to go back to an active arms down feel because my first swings without it were ridiculously long, like my centers were already forward of their address position and I was still turning back.


Worked on my wedge again:

 

Much less movement. Feels like the swing is all arms: arms go up, arms go down. Keeps the lower body quiet.

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9 hours ago, billchao said:

Shot 93 today at Neshanic. Hit the ball really solidly but had no control over where it was going. I’ll upload the round on Game Golf and see if I can learn something from it when I get home.

I learned something by looking back at the round. Almost all of my lateral misses were in the same direction as the wind. When the wind blew right to left, I drew the ball, and when the wind blew left to right, I faded it. So in short, I learned absolutely nothing :smartass:

But seriously, it's been hard to judge ballflight lately because I haven't played a single round in calm conditions. I struck the ball well when it wasn't buried in rough or fescue, so that's a positive. Today's miss was a push rather than my usual pull.

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Did something different with my swing. I was practicing this morning and I split the skin open on my left thumb, which happens from time to time, so I started playing around with a different feel that doesn't cause that spot to rub on the grip. Ended up on something that feels like I'm pulling the butt end of the grip to the ball as I left sit from A4, letting the wrists hinge and load in transition. I also tweaked some footwork/balance stuff. Felt like I kept getting out over my toes at address and in the downswing, so I shifted everything to feel more pressure in my heels so the overall pressure is split more evenly across the feet.

I kind of like this swing. It gets my arms coming down faster and not lagging behind the lower body so I don't have to stall the hips and roll the hands over at impact. More rotated at impact, too, both hips and shoulders. Plus it doesn't hurt my thumb. I think I'm going to keep working on this one.

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I post a lot of swings at full speed, so I thought I'd take a video of me actually practicing to share. I don't want to give the impression that I practice at full speed. On the contrary, I practice in segments; I isolate a couple of the feels I'm looking for and then I piece them together. The emphasis is is really on the different feel I'm going for and I repeat it several times before I make a half swing at the ball.* Rinse, repeat.

The entire process is important for me because I need to feel what it is I'm changing as well as how it works when I actually hit a ball. If I don't hit a ball eventually, all I'm doing is rehearsing some feels and not really transferring them to my swing.

*The move I'm doing produces a faster swing than half speed because I'm trying to load the wrists in the transition and there's almost no way to feel the club loading without a decent amount of force behind it.

So the first thing there is I'm reminding myself to get more weight on the heels by feeling my stance completely on my heels. The next part is the left sit move. Again I'm trying to feel that less towards the toes and the ball and more in my glutes. Feeling that more as a hip movement than a knee movement. The next part I add in is the hand movement up top. I added a little right palm strike feeling to what I did in the previous post, but the end goal is still the same: to get the wrists to load properly and the arms moving down faster. Finally I put everything together and hit the ball.

The swings feel better... stronger... faster. The arms coming down faster allow me to feel like I'm extending my hips up just as the club gets to the farthest point behind me, so all the force from my lower body is being transferred properly to the clubhead. Kind of like having the correct timing of your kick when on a swing. It feels like my hips are extending up and pulling the club up with me, as opposed to how my swing used to feel, where my hips extend up and my arms swing around them in a circle laterally. Definitely seeing more stability of the clubface through impact, hitting the ball straight or pushing it, rather than both of those and pulls on any given shot. Also noticed the arm action stops my shoulders from turning 140° in the backswing.

Here are some swings, of course:

 

I think these swings are going to reduce the amount of curve I get on the ball. I almost wonder if they're going to fade if I'm pushing the ball more. I have two rounds lined up for this weekend so I have some work to do before they're "game ready."

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On 7/27/2019 at 1:38 PM, billchao said:

Here's an example of my perception issue: on the 18th hole at Green Knoll, I typically miss right. So I have it in my head that I always miss right with the driver on that hole. Turns out:

Green Knoll #18.png

 

 

On 7/28/2019 at 7:19 AM, boogielicious said:

Is that a par 5? I would hit a shorter club to just make it over the trees onto the fairway or just to the right of the tees. It looks like the designer really wants you to do that with the tree placement.

As for the 3 wood, have you tried a 4 or 5? A 5 will get almost all the distance and be easier to hit from the fairway. I play a 4 now and am getting very comfortable with it.

Scott, I was wrong. Apparently you can hit it over those trees. Watched a guy do exactly that with his driver yesterday from the same tees I play.

I can’t hit it over those trees, but don’t have that trajectory with my driver.

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1 hour ago, billchao said:

 

Scott, I was wrong. Apparently you can hit it over those trees. Watched a guy do exactly that with his driver yesterday from the same tees I play.

I can’t hit it over those trees, but don’t have that trajectory with my driver.

Well then hit it into the adjacent fairway and use a 3W to birdie the hole then!😜

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56 minutes ago, boogielicious said:

Well then hit it into the adjacent fairway and use a 3W to birdie the hole then!😜

What I want to do is hit it into the middle of the fairway with a draw and hit a long iron on for an eagle opportunity.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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This is going to be long...

Wrapping up my trip out to see @iacas in Erie. It was a great trip overall. Got to see familiar TST faces like @georgep, @Hardspoon, @Divot Master, and @CarlSpackler, as well as meet a couple of new ones: @klineka, @Braivo. I also played/practiced with some locals that Erik knows, as well as @NatalieB. The golf was fun at frustrating at times, the practice days were long, and I wouldn't have had it any other way.

The big theme for me is to quiet everything down. I tend to be too quick in tempo, natural rhythm, jumpy, or whatever. It manifests in my game in a general lack of control over the motion of whatever I'm doing.

Erik and I spent some time doing some short game stuff, basic technique refreshers and decision making, which was a problem for me. I tended to choose bigger swings and harder to execute shots than I needed to for most situations, and because I'm jumpy I tended to make even bigger swings than I thought I was making and then decelerate, causing all sorts of issues.

Technique-wise, chips need to be more of a driving hit; more crisp, but controlled. My pitching wasn't bad but I was taking the clubhead too far under going back. That, and the length of the backswing was usually too long because I'm a bit spazzy. The big thing for me was learning how to hit a 10' or 15' pitch. That shot requires control which I was lacking, so if I keep working on that motion I'll be able to develop that calmness.

My distance control in putting had the same problem. I would think I had the right weight in my practice stroke for a given distance, but the quickness in how I would do them meant I didn't really develop a good feel for the length of the stroke at all. Another change in my putting is to play the ball slightly back by about a ball because I was delivering slightly too much loft at impact.

Full swing stuff... there's a lot going on there. We spent most of the time on the full swing stuff. When I came into town on Saturday, I hit the ball very poorly. Erratic, two-way misses, no control over start line. It was so bad that I decided to go to a backup swing just so I could attempt to play golf on Sunday with the larger group.

We went to work on Monday on the swing and every day since. The biggest issue is that I don't use my lower body properly, so I ended up overdoing stuff with my arms and shoulders to compensate for it. We worked on the sit stuff last year, too, but this time we tackled it in a different way.

Some before/after pics:

TST 01 Right Knee.jpg

Right leg flex doesn't change on the left, hip stays high and the lower body just kind of turns. Not using the ground at all.

TST 02 Knees.jpg

You can see on the left that my lower body hasn't really done much from A5 to ~A6.5 or so. Looks very static. Much more dynamic movement on the right, left elbow doesn't have to bend to keep from chunking the crap out of it.

TST 03 Sag.jpg

Much better extension on the right. On the left I extend the left leg but then sag again as I turn through. Can't really see it well from the FO view here but the stall on the left causes higher overtaking rates and lack of clubface control.

TST 04 Plane.jpg

Very across the line on the left with the right shoulder retracted. Right arm softer on the right so it folds earlier, wrists hinge earlier. Feels like I'm laid off but I'm not. If anything, I'll still get a little long and across the line which is something I need to keep an eye on, but it won't be as much as it was before.

TST 05 Active.jpg

Pretty big difference here.

TST 06 Pallet.jpg

Delivering the club more in line on the right, more athletic. Flat footed on the left.

TST 07 Lower Body.jpg

Hips and shoulders too closed on the left. Better impact position on the right.

Here are the swings from earlier tonight, after a round of golf at Whispering Woods where I hit some really good shots:

 

I'd get into some feels but this this post is long enough. There's a lot to do and I'm probably going to have to break it up and work on different pieces when I get home. I was hitting big curves before and now when I strike the ball well I'm hitting the ball fairly straight. I'm happy with the changes, just need to put in the work to make them happen.

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