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My Swing (billchao)


billchao

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Still just a teeny bit laid off. I know you have to watch that because it'll be easy for you to get across the line with "sloppy" wrists, but that's a big part of why it wants to tip out.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
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48 minutes ago, iacas said:

Still just a teeny bit laid off. I know you have to watch that because it'll be easy for you to get across the line with "sloppy" wrists, but that's a big part of why it wants to tip out.

Yea because if I let my wrists hinge more everything just kind of collapses at the top, right? That was something we spent quite a bit of time on trying to fix in Erie and settled on feeling no hinge at all IIRC.

Laid off and the arms coming down earlier is better than laid off and just letting the clubhead completely tip out, yes?

Bill

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” - Confucius

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24 minutes ago, billchao said:

Yea because if I let my wrists hinge more everything just kind of collapses at the top, right?

That was the feeling that you/we found during the time here, but it's not about the wrist hinge as much as the forearm angle. Just go to where you are now, without the late roll of the forearms (or quite as much roll). What you do is left, what you should do is right.

BillC.jpg

I'm good with you being slightly laid off. It'll force you into a slight over-the-top deal, and you can feel like you do "less hand stuff" through impact. It's getting to be a lot now, though.

If you look at, say, swing 18 on the second day in your web locker, you'll see we went a little laid off because you were still in the habit of shallowing the club further from there. It's no longer doing that quite as much — shallowing — instead it's starting to tip out a little too much perhaps.

So, time to reign it in a little. Get a little steeper (forearm rotation, not wrist hinge) during the last part of the backswing.

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Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instructor Development, 5 Simple Keys®/Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins • Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 • "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 • Penn-State Behrend Head Coach • • • • • • • • • • :aimpoint: :edel: :true_linkswear:

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On 7/17/2022 at 10:00 AM, iacas said:

That was the feeling that you/we found during the time here, but it's not about the wrist hinge as much as the forearm angle. Just go to where you are now, without the late roll of the forearms (or quite as much roll). What you do is left, what you should do is right.

BillC.jpg

I'm good with you being slightly laid off. It'll force you into a slight over-the-top deal, and you can feel like you do "less hand stuff" through impact. It's getting to be a lot now, though.

I worked on this a little bit last night:

Looks better despite the @Vinsk :-)

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Bill

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” - Confucius

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That's better.

And that's about all you need. Like I said, given your past, I'd rather see you slightly laid off than slightly across the line.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instructor Development, 5 Simple Keys®/Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins • Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 • "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 • Penn-State Behrend Head Coach • • • • • • • • • • :aimpoint: :edel: :true_linkswear:

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  • 2 weeks later...
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I guess I'm going to top the shit out of the ball now. That's... fun. Swing arc isn't getting to the ground. It happens on the course, too, but usually with my hybrid or something, not my 6i while practicing. Overdoing the knee piece now, too? It looks like my hips are dropping like 4".

Bill

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” - Confucius

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23 hours ago, billchao said:

 

I guess I'm going to top the shit out of the ball now. That's... fun. Swing arc isn't getting to the ground. It happens on the course, too, but usually with my hybrid or something, not my 6i while practicing. Overdoing the knee piece now, too? It looks like my hips are dropping like 4".

So I think yesterday might have just been a bad day or something. Hit the ball much better today.

One thing I was thinking about though is that my right hand grip has gotten a little weaker. 

38EC0D24-C2F4-43E4-B9D0-8EE2F152A2CB.jpeg

 

4B071EF3-7613-433A-9F07-353C3086C84F.jpeg
 

It’s subtle. At this point I’ll freely admit I might be seeing it because I want to, but I strengthened it slightly and I hit the ball well tonight. I’m not going to argue with that.

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Bill

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” - Confucius

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  • 2 weeks later...
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I'm going to do a mid-summer update on the state of my game now that my trip to VA is over. Five rounds of golf in seven days is a lot more golf than I'm used to, but I think it's a good enough sample size to sit down and evaluate some tendencies. As always, it's great spending time with @DaveP043 and his wife Mary Anne, and we got a round in with @jsgolfer at his club, as well. Dave did start the week with a 75 which was great to see.

As for me, I played mostly mediocre to downright terrible golf. Sure, there were flashes of brilliance, but the good shots I hit don't save me nearly as many strokes as I lose on the bad ones. Some breakdowns:

Long Game

Good:

  • Driving the ball better than I ever have. They're not all great, but most of the time they're on the golf course.
  • Distance control on full swings is improved. I've learned to club more appropriately which has resulted in some very good shots.
  • Contact on partial wedges has improved since the beginning of the season. I'll still miss them fat, but I'm not thinning and topping them all over the place.

Bad:

  • Two primary misses. Left of my target which are actually straight shots that draw because I set up to hit push fades, and weak wipey cuts.
  • Tend to hit the "left" miss with the short irons, 8-PW. Except for that one time I decided to aim right with my PW because I was hitting it left all day and pushed it OB. But it's weird to have a different shot shape as a regular pattern in the middle of my bag, because I don't tend to draw my 7i and I definitely don't draw my wedges.
  • Still top the ball badly at least once per round. Like almost missing the ball entirely bad.
  • Distance control on partial swings is not good. Definitely need to remap.

Short Game

Good:

  • Honestly this was the weakest part of my game this trip. It's hard to find good things from it. I can conceptualize good shots, I guess, for what that's worth. There were plenty of shots that were going to use the contours correctly, but were just a yard or two from landing in the right spot.
  • Ok I did hit some pretty good shots, but not many.

Bad:

  • Contact. So bad. Bladed pitches, stubbed chips, shots where I swung too hard because I didn't think I'd catch the ball cleanly, shots where I just slid the club right under the ball.
  • I have absolutely no idea how to control spin. I hit shots that checked up when I thought they would release, and shots that released that I thought would check up. I had chips from the fairway in basically the same place on #12 on separate days, with the same club, and one ran to the back of the green and the other stopped after two hops.

Ugly:

  • Bunkers. Yikes. Somehow I can hit 4" behind the ball and not catch any sand at all on similar shots.

Putting

Good:

  • Making a better effort to be "fully involved" in the process and it seems to make a difference. 30% from 6-9' is significantly better than 9%. There were times I knew I made a putt without even looking up because I hit the line I wanted.
  • Distance control has been better. It's still not good, although some of it may just be due to Stoneleigh greens being ridiculous and not quite understanding exactly how much weight I have to put into a stroke to get the ball past the windmill blades and into the gorilla's mouth.

Bad:

  • Sometimes I misread my AimPoint read. I don't mean I read it as a 2 and it was a 3, which is going to happen. I mean I missed which direction it was going to break entirely. I spotted that sometime in the middle of the trip though and I think I sorted it out.
  • Under-reading putts.
  • Occasionally I'll miss a putt horribly. Like 10° off from my intended line. Can be a push or a pull.

I think that about sums it up. I need to practice. I need to get out and practice my short game and some putting. Short game is definitely a glaring weakness at this point.

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Bill

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” - Confucius

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For pitches and short game shots, really focus on letting the club "fall" or getting "heavy" and just softly (usually) rotating your belly button. "Do less" with your hands, arms, wrists… and not like this:

extra too much GIF

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Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instructor Development, 5 Simple Keys®/Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins • Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 • "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 • Penn-State Behrend Head Coach • • • • • • • • • • :aimpoint: :edel: :true_linkswear:

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

For pitches and short game shots, really focus on letting the club "fall" or getting "heavy" and just softly (usually) rotating your belly button. "Do less" with your hands, arms, wrists… and not like this:

extra too much GIF

Yea, and sadly I know this. I just couldn’t make myself do it properly at the time.

I’m sure I’ll get it sorted out with some dedicated short game practice and probably fairly quickly. I just have to stay on top of doing it (practicing).

Bill

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” - Confucius

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Had a pretty good practice session at my house today. I wanted to focus on getting the arms down faster and stop cutting across the ball, but without ending up stilt-legged as I tend to do when I stop focusing on the lower body. To that end, I incorporated a stomp drill into my pump drill. That ended up looking like this:

 

These are a little bit faster than what I was doing most of the time because I filmed these swings later and was more comfortable with the motion. Contact was pretty good for the most part (minus the shank on the FO drill swing, but even that's a good thing for me because it means I'm swinging the sweetspot out instead of pulling it in and hitting way out on the toe). Actually it was really good and I think part of what made me keep working on it today.

Some mental notes:

  1. Left heel stomp is away from the ball. Don't need to feel towards the target because I want to go forward naturally, but have to feel away from the ball or I will extend and jump like crazy.
  2. Left heel stomp must come before right elbow extension, otherwise arms come down too early and clubhead tips under plane. Not delayed, though. Stomp - pause - arm is no good. Just stomp - arm.
  3. Right elbow extends with right shoulder external rotation.

Felt like once I started incorporating full swings that I was swinging the club really fast, but was never at risk of not finding the ball with the clubhead. Felt in balance and stable, which you can see at impact by how I'm posted up on my left leg. I'm definitely using the ground.

I was playing around with a couple of feels to go from the heel lift of the drill to a more normal left foot position in the backswing but I kind of abandoned it. These swings were just better. I don't see a good reason not to swing like this while playing.


Practiced pitching, too.

These were ok, not great. Definitely hit the ground a couple of inches behind the ball. I thought maybe I was playing the ball too far forward and moved it back a bit and that seemed to help. Ended up hitting much crisper pitches. Felt like the ball was back in my stance because I play the ball so far forward, but it was still forward of center.

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“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” - Confucius

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Practiced today. Did some chipping with my 6i and full swing stuff.

 

I found a feel that doesn't require the ridiculous heel lift in the backswing. It's just letting it unweight as I go to A4. Stomp the heel, hard. I didn't do anything with the arms today so the path is a little left. Probably why the club tipped across the line a bit, too. I hit a bunch of off speed shots with this feel and they're pretty doable, unlike the right knee feel I've been doing which goes to 11.

Also flared the left foot slightly more. I took a break from practice to eat dinner and noticed the back of my ankle was feeling tight. I was worried that I might be stressing a tendon or ligament with the way I roll onto the outside of my left foot in the swing so I flared it out into its finish position to protect it.

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Bill

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” - Confucius

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  • 4 weeks later...
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I spent a couple of hours at the range yesterday doing full game practice. After warming up, I started with the long game hitting to various targets and alternating between my driver, 6i, and GW. Then I tracked some drives on the Mevo+ and finished the last ten balls trying to get them in the chipping nets they had set up out there (~60 and 80 yards). Some notes:

  • Wedges are pretty solid. Sometimes they draw and sometimes they fade, but not enough to miss a green if I'm aiming for the middle of it. Miss tends to be long on partial swings. Just need to remember to keep my weight left on the course. Got two in the 60 yard net, both on a bounce, but still pretty good.
  • Irons are mostly good. Hit a few draws but mostly fades. Didn't hit any of those weak cuts like before. Miss is badly toed shots, like on the chrome.
  • I've been hitting my driver pretty well lately, though I tend to play a fade but at the range I was hitting mostly draws. The range tee was higher than I normally tee the ball up and I think that's the difference. I hit some nasty hooks, though, which I haven't done while playing in quite some time, so I don't think raising the tee height is right for me.
  • Mevo+ missed like 1 in 3 shots, both good and bad. Don't know why.

I went to do some putting practice afterwards because the short game area was quite busy. I dropped one ball in a spot and played to a "hole" (they had those bumper pins, only one actual hole which was being used for a lesson), then picked a different spot from a different distance and repeated. Distance control was pretty good except for one downhill putt I rolled 8' past the hole. I didn't "make" anything longer than 4' and I'm pretty sure at this point it's green reading and I need to recalibrate my AimPoint feels. Don't know why I didn't think of doing this while I was out there.

Went to the short game area after that and it was still quite busy, but my main focus was bunker shots anyway which I hit away from the practice green because I didn't want to kill anybody. Got a video of that:

I'm either hitting 2-4" behind the ball or I skull it. Everything comes out the same height. The practice bunker was pretty good so these shots would have been playable on the course, but I've been playing out of bunkers with too much fresh sand or too little compressed sand and it's an absolute nightmare. I mentioned this in another post, but I'm finding myself in greenside bunkers more often because my irons have improved so I'm missing closer to the greens so this is one area of my game I definitely have to sort out.

I ended up not doing any chipping or pitching. That's fine, I mostly fixed my issues there anyway. It's a matter of correct mechanics and simply remembering to do them, which is partly repetition that I missed out on yesterday, but I've been taking extra practice swings before shots on the course to ingrain the feeling and it's been working. In my last five rounds, I've lost 1.93 strokes to a 5 handicap, 1.65 of which are from the bunker, so I think I'm fine there.

I finished the day back on the putting green because I wanted to check my contact, so I did the tee drill. It's fine.

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Bill

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” - Confucius

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That video, you're hitting WAY too far behind it. Controlling low point is huge out of a bunker. You're not letting the clubhead pass much either - you're pushing the clubhead into the ball, almost (or pulling it, depending on how you view it).

image.jpeg

That ain't 2-4". That's like a foot.

Make a few super relaxed swings where you let the back of the club spank the sand.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instructor Development, 5 Simple Keys®/Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins • Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 • "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 • Penn-State Behrend Head Coach • • • • • • • • • • :aimpoint: :edel: :true_linkswear:

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9 minutes ago, iacas said:

That video, you're hitting WAY too far behind it. Controlling low point is huge out of a bunker. You're not letting the clubhead pass much either - you're pushing the clubhead into the ball, almost (or pulling it, depending on how you view it).

image.jpeg

That ain't 2-4". That's like a foot.

Make a few super relaxed swings where you let the back of the club spank the sand.

So like a pitch but faster?

Bill

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” - Confucius

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10 minutes ago, billchao said:

So like a pitch but faster?

Yes. And just 1-2" behind the ball. not 12.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instructor Development, 5 Simple Keys®/Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins • Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 • "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 • Penn-State Behrend Head Coach • • • • • • • • • • :aimpoint: :edel: :true_linkswear:

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8 hours ago, iacas said:

Yes. And just 1-2" behind the ball. not 12.

Well I know that, but that’s the part I’m having trouble with 😃

Bill

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” - Confucius

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