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My Swing (billchao)


billchao

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Looks good, but that's almost always true.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instruction Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins
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26 minutes ago, iacas said:

Looks good, but that's almost always true.

Thanks.

I need to get more reps in this year so I spend less time trying to remember how I’m supposed to swing and more time just doing it.

Feels are forearm rotation with no wrist hinge in the backswing and push the left hip away from the target line in the downswing.

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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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First actual practice session of the year. Noticed my arms were coming up too high in the backswing the other day so I worked on keeping the swing a bit shorter.

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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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41 minutes ago, GolfLug said:

Love winter hair!

I wish I had what he has on top!

Swing is looking good @billchao

Scott

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boogielicious - Adjective describing the perfect surf wave

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5 minutes ago, boogielicious said:

I wish I had what he has on top!

Swing is looking good @billchao

I've stopped wishing for luxuries like hair long time ago. I've better chances of winning the Masters this year.😁

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Vishal S.

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23 hours ago, GolfLug said:

Love winter hair!

Funny thing is I just got lazy about cutting it at one point and now I’m just going to let it grow until I get sick of it.

22 hours ago, boogielicious said:

I wish I had what he has on top!

Swing is looking good @billchao

And I wish I was retired 😃

Thanks.

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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 months later...
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Finally got around to getting some practice in since the Erie trip. I’ve been mostly playing (poorly) and working and not spending enough time on my swing at all. Honestly I haven’t been sleeping well and just don’t feel like I have the energy mentally for things but that’s another issue.

The trip, as always, was great. It started off with the outing at Little Mountain where I got to meet some new friends and catch up with some old ones. That thread is here:

As some people may know, I tend to injure myself one way or another before trips. So imagine my excitement as I arrived in town injury free that week! It was short-lived. I somehow managed to tweak something in my back the morning of the outing… by sneezing. It was absurd. I had difficulty bending at the waist without sharp pain. Needless to say, playing golf that day was interesting.

Anyway, I soldiered on and managed to find a warmup routine that allowed me to actually get work done on GEARS and everything else we had planned for the week. I was fortunate that it was a muscle spasm so the increased activity was actually good for it.

This year’s lessons focused on three things:

  1. Backswing - less lateral movement away from the target, less hip turn, more vertical spine. We made a setup adjustment that felt like I was leaning my hips to the right at address. The rest of it just felt like I wasn’t doing much of a turn at all and just lifting the club up with my arms.
  2. Transition - I get under and across the line which leads to looping over and steep. We actually didn’t do much with this in part because a lot of it got cleaned up from the first piece and part of it is from overdoing the laying off thing from last year so I can basically just stop doing that feel altogether. It’s still something I need to keep an eye on.
  3. Downswing - the chair thing. I slide towards the target for too long and I need to clear the left hip away from the ball.

We also discussed a couple of things that weren’t pieces we worked on directly. I stand pretty close to the ball so I need to live in negative pelvic thrust land and I need some more roll to close the clubface. Just some stuff to sprinkle in.

So some video from today:

 

I focused primarily on #3 today with a little bit of a squeeze the forearms together feel I added in to see how that affects #2 and clubface control. I’m pretty happy with the result so far. The feel for #3 seems to work for me well because it’s not something I seem to have to meter and I can just do it to 11 which tends to work better for me.

Definitely need more work on #1 though, as I’m clearly shifting back on the backswing and staying there for a long time. I’ll focus on #1 next time. My old man backswing 😉

We did some short game and putting stuff too, which I’ll explain more in detail in another post.

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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 shifting gears a little bit away from the usual priority piece mechanical changes I work on. At the advice of @iacas from when we played near Philadelphia last week, I’m incorporating a slight pause at the top of my backswing a la Hideki Matsuyama. This is actually harder to do than it appeared so I have to make a conscious effort to add this to my swing, which is why I’m putting other things on the back burner for now.

The reason I’m doing this is for better ballstriking. It does two main things for me:

  1. Consistency of the position of the club head at A4. Too much momentum carrying my club does weird things to my wrist action at the top and the downswing starts with the club head in different places from swing to swing.
  2. Eliminates my tendency to get quick at transition, or rushing to hit the ball. It’s related to the first point.

Early results look good. I made swings back to back with the same backswing and downswing feels.

It feels awkward. That pause feels like it’s forever and it’s really a fraction of a second. The results are noticeable though.

A4 is pretty obvious:

FD4E9B8A-D700-43D6-B6BA-4C135D648080.jpeg

vs

3E4FE463-1D62-4C05-8B32-559B9DDC7DB0.jpeg

A5 is a little more subtle:

14B539A1-21F7-477E-B2C3-F8C7D0A93E6D.jpeg

vs

F5C6591E-411D-4984-98F3-8F0AC1235772.jpeg

The ballstriking speaks for itself:

19F878A1-4F53-40F9-9715-DB2E0A2B4643.jpeg

To be fair it was only five swings with the impact tape but that’s the best grouping for five consecutive swing I have ever had.

 

Here’s the slow motion version of the pause swing:

 

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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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29 minutes ago, GolfLug said:

@billchaojust out of curiosity, do you have/use any visual cues in your downswing? Especially at or around the impact area?

I’m not sure what you mean.

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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1 hour ago, billchao said:

I’m not sure what you mean.

Well, for eg, I keep a soft focus on a dimple of the ball and a point on the ground 2 inches past the ball in the direction of the target. It helps my hand eye. I know these kind of things are very individualistic and not everyone has them (or they have other cues/feels). Was curious about yours.  

Vishal S.

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18 minutes ago, GolfLug said:

Well, for eg, I keep a soft focus on a dimple of the ball and a point on the ground 2 inches past the ball in the direction of the target. It helps my hand eye. I know these kind of things are very individualistic and not everyone has them (or they have other cues/feels). Was curious about yours.  

I’m just happy when I hit the ball 😃

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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18 minutes ago, GolfLug said:

Well, for eg, I keep a soft focus on a dimple of the ball and a point on the ground 2 inches past the ball in the direction of the target. It helps my hand eye. I know these kind of things are very individualistic and not everyone has them (or they have other cues/feels). Was curious about yours.  

I read an article about this. That better players are more lasered focused on a spot while amateurs let their eyes wonder. 

I tried this out yesterday, where I kept my focus on a single dimple, and it helped on contact. 

 

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  • 1 month later...
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Just a couple of quick notes while they’re on my mind:

  • Full swing - hips go left, hands go out. I need to put in some time on this. Contact has been good but I’m swinging like 3° left now.
  • Pitching - swing the arms and club head down at the ball. I still have the tendency to get too active with the hips and end up pulling the grip up too early.
  • Putting - distance control is much better with heads up putting, but still missing more than my fair share of makeable putts. Although I did have a match with some friends the other day and made every putt outside of 6’ that I needed to, so I think a focus/intent issue might be the root of the problem.

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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I’ve been feeling pretty tired lately but I made myself practice today.

 

I noticed that my hands have gotten kind of high in the backswing so that was my primary focus for the day which I did fairly well.

As far as the mechanics go, I’m pretty happy with where I’m at right now. I’m not turning as much in the backswing (though probably still more than I need to), I’m pausing at a good position at the top, and I’m extending left and away from the ball. I’m living in negative pelvic thrust land where I need to be.

I noticed my ball position is way too far forward. It’s a holdover from the old swing with the big lateral shift. I made an adjustment before I fired up the Mevo+. I also decided to use the Mevo+ more often when I practice - maybe even every time I practice at this point. I’m predominantly focused at this point on some club data I need to actually measure as I work and making sure I’m hitting my target.

So I originally had in mind to work on club path and AoA (-2.7° and -2.8°, respectively, last session), but as it kind of turned out, lowering my hands in the backswing and adjusting my ball position kind of took care of both things (-1.4° and -5.9°). It actually ended up a little too steep so I’ll move the ball forward a hair next time and see how that goes.

6EA0462A-FBE4-44EA-95D8-A66E45ED670C.jpeg

I hit a push and a couple of pulls. It’s worth noting that I practiced with my blades because I was too lazy to dig my gamers out of the car, but the grouping looked close enough to my last session that I didn’t think anything of it:

294EAED0-532F-4D5E-A8C6-23A68DE237D7.jpeg

Lateral dispersion is about the same. I hit the blades a club shorter. Good enough for practice, I think.

So, seeing as I didn’t need to mess around too much with mechanical stuff on the Mevo+ as I intended, I pivoted to working on flighted shots. I tend to hit more pulls with them (especially with my 8i and 9i) and I think I figured out why. I kind of swing all arms with the flighted shots because I’m trying to take something off the swing and that has more of a chance I’ll reach impact with a closed face. I figured out that I can still swing with the left foot exploding/extension feel and still do it to a 3/4 finish, which gives me better control over the clubface. Or rather I’m reaching impact more consistently with the conditions of my full swing (left path, square face) that I’m used to. I can’t quite wrap my head around having more control over the clubface by not thinking about the club at all and jumping on a fitness shot but apparently that’s just how I swing.

I hit PW. Again, blades, so distance is shorter. Next time I’ll work with my flighted 8i. I almost always pull those. I’m pretty dialed in with the flighted PW, actually.

This is after I made the adjustment. I did hit a few pulls beforehand.

EA221A98-EBCD-4748-AD63-0D8FB14961C5.jpeg

 

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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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  • 3 weeks later...
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Ok so this is why I post these things. I’ve been missing my flighted shots left my last few rounds, just enough to miss a couple of greens I thought I should have hit. But of course I come back here and see my shot zone with the flighted swing is actually slightly left of my target and not slightly right like my full swing is. So basically I’ve just been aiming wrong. I should be aiming right center to hit the middle of the green and I’ve been aiming left center. Oh well, easy fix.

I have been hitting the ball better, overall. I’m averaging almost 8 GIR over my last ten rounds. I do need some work with the driver, though. The path is getting too far left and I’m hitting big curves even with center contact. I can probably band-aid it by closing the face a few degrees at address for now, but I’m worried that might cause me to hit more pulls which are disastrous considering how I aim left to begin with.

I also made a putting adjustment. I’m still doing the heads up putting but I realized I was focusing on the hole instead of a target. It’s kind of obvious now that I typed it out. But now I’m looking at a specific spot to hit the ball towards and let the break do its thing. I’m starting to make more putts now. I do have to stop being quick with the AimPoint reads, though. I’ve misread the direction on a handful of putts recently and I think I’m not taking a second or two to settle at a spot before making the read.

Short game has gotten pretty decent since watching the Rick Shiels video and realizing I was opening the clubface the wrong way. I’ve also kind of simplified my short game by having just a couple of basic motions and varying my club selection based on the situation. I have a basic chip motion I can use with all of my wedges and even into the mid-irons. I have a basic pitch that for my 60°, 55°, 50°, and PW depending on how far I want to fly the ball and how much room for roll I have. Then obviously slight speed variations in between depending on what I want the ball to do, but given a choice I prefer to make the smaller swing and use a lower lofted club and just let the ball roll towards the hole over flying it most of the way. It does lead to some mistakes in shot selection but it’s not like I wasn’t making those mistakes before using predominantly the one wedge for all shots. Execution is easier this way and I’m getting consistently better.

Except for bunkers, though. They are still the bane of my existence.

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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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  • 6 months later...
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Hit some golf balls today. I've been playing quite a bit - already played 10 full rounds this year and a 9-hole round. I feel like I didn't practice a lot last year compared to previous years, but I think part of that was because my pieces last year were simple so it kind of didn't feel like a lot of work.

 

I've been hitting the ball fairly well and not losing many golf balls off the tee... right up until this past weekend. Chalk it up to an off week maybe? I kind of had a feeling of what I was doing wrong so I wanted to get out and make an adjustment and get it on video. The swings above are after the adjustment. I was getting the club way under and then across. These are better. They're still a little under to over but I can work with this.

My short game is a dumpster fire. There was a stretch during the winter where I kind of righted the ship but then (as I do) I completely forgot about the changes I made and went back to the default motion that doesn't work. Fortunately, I remember it now. Whether I will remember on Sunday remains to be seen. This is why you're supposed to practice, so change becomes unconscious.

Putting has improved of late. I think it took a little bit of adjusting to heads up putting but now I feel pretty good about it. I've been holing 3-10' putts at a more appropriate rate. I also switched to a left hand low grip. Right now I can honestly say the worst part of my putting is green reading and that's the easiest part to fix given how many AimPoint clinics I've been a part of. I'm getting more confident about my putting and it makes me put more effort into each putt, which in turn causes my putting to be better. It's funny that there's a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy thing going on. I still hit some clunkers, but I'm not expecting to hit every putt well. Overall it's been better.

I feel like there's low-hanging fruit. I should be able to get back to being a 12 or something by summer if I put in the work.

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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

My Swing Thread

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