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My Swing (billchao)


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Bill,

One thing I noticed with the driver was your head is moving back quite a bit from A3 to A4.  You are getting back in time for impact, but they may be some compensations required to do that.  The lines indicate your head position at A1.

That's a fault that often creeps into my swing too, right around the same position A3 to A4, need more side-bend but that is easy to overdo. Like you, I get back to where I need to be at impact but it's definitely adding compensations and timing issues that I don't want to be reliant on. Only takes a little mirror/camera work to clean it up, generally a quick fix for me but it never seems to be permanently fixed and I need to go back to it often. It usually triggers a degradation of my key#2 too which I actually think is the bigger problem, I can get away with a sloppy key#1 if my key#2 stays solid but if my key#2 is sucky it doesn't matter how steady my head is.

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Thanks. And thank you for taking the time to work with me. The really hard work is the road ahead... You, too, John. I definitely needed five full days on the swing changes, but I also got

Finally got out to try my clubs on TM. Going to repost pictures from my TM session with my old clubs for easy comparison. PW: MP4 JPX910F 6i: MP4 JPX910

I've been playing pretty well these last 5 rounds so I wanted to do a little assessment and compare with my end-of-season stats from last year. Right away, my driving and approach games are

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That's a fault that often creeps into my swing too, right around the same position A3 to A4, need more side-bend but that is easy to overdo. Like you, I get back to where I need to be at impact but it's definitely adding compensations and timing issues that I don't want to be reliant on. Only takes a little mirror/camera work to clean it up, generally a quick fix for me but it never seems to be permanently fixed and I need to go back to it often. It usually triggers a degradation of my key#2 too which I actually think is the bigger problem, I can get away with a sloppy key#1 if my key#2 stays solid but if my key#2 is sucky it doesn't matter how steady my head is.

For the driver, the ball is on a tee, so it's not that big of a deal. The problem is I do it with my irons, too, and that's where the fat shots, thins, and tops come into play. My Key #2 is generally pretty good, but I'll be more consistent when I eliminate this lateral move off the ball. I get good results doing mirror work, but everything changes once I swing at speed.

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The problem is I do it with my irons, too, and that's where the fat shots, thins, and tops come into play.

Me too. I can't really speak to my driver swing which is very much a WIP. With driver I generally just say a little prayer, close my eyes and swing for the fences. Oddly, that gives me far better results than any other techniques I've tried. :-P

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With driver I generally just say a little prayer, close my eyes and swing for the fences. Oddly, that gives me far better results than any other techniques I've tried.

Same here. Grip it and rip it. Hopefully it goes somewhere good. I've never really had success trying to manipulate or control it in any way, but it's not a control club anyways.

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Thanks for pointing it out, Scott. It's definitely something I've known about for a long time and I think it's related to my overswing. I just keep going in the backswing and pull my arms up and behind me, turning my shoulders flat, and moving my head back. I always hated it, but it's never been addressed as my priority piece because I do get back by A7.

It does affect the way I transition, but I think the idea is if I get the arms more in front of me and the wrist set better, all of these little issues will clean themselves up. There are more than a few things that need to be cleaned up in my swing.

It's funny, considering how often I film my swing, it's still ugly to me. Biggest thing is to focus on what will improve my scoring rather than what I think looks good.

Keys #2 & #3 are looking pretty darn good to me in these photos! How are #4 & #5?

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Keys #2 & #3 are looking pretty darn good to me in these photos! How are #4 & #5?

Thanks. Those stills are from good shots, so they were pretty good, but most of the time #4 and #5 are garbage and that's where the problem is. My misses can be huge.

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I'm fully committing to a shorter swing. It's stupid of me to think that I'll lose distance with a shorter backswing. I made some practice swings in the yard and it feels like I actually swing faster with the shorter backswing. I'm going to make all my practice swings from now on stop at A3 (my feel). Doesn't matter what I'm working on, I'm going to stop myself instead of going back as far as I can. Hopefully after doing this enough times, I'll stop my real swing short of where it is now.
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I'm fully committing to a shorter swing. It's stupid of me to think that I'll lose distance with a shorter backswing. I made some practice swings in the yard and it feels like I actually swing faster with the shorter backswing. I'm going to make all my practice swings from now on stop at A3 (my feel). Doesn't matter what I'm working on, I'm going to stop myself instead of going back as far as I can. Hopefully after doing this enough times, I'll stop my real swing short of where it is now.

In my case, and I think many other people, it's wasted effort going for that last little bit of swing length. Because it's usually not done by continuing to turn, it's done by "cheating" by bending the left elbow or cocking the wrists more.

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In my case, and I think many other people, it's wasted effort going for that last little bit of swing length. Because it's usually not done by continuing to turn, it's done by "cheating" by bending the left elbow or cocking the wrists more.

Definitely. My arms lift off my chest and the wrists collapse. I continue to turn, too, unfortunately not the right way. Really, I think it turns me, if that makes any sense. Just because I can, doesn't mean I should. Biggest problem is coming back down, swing gets out of sequence and everything gets messed up. I always thought I hit it shorter with what I felt was a 3/4 swing, but maybe I just hit it shorter like that because I instinctively ease up on the downswing, knowing I needed to hit it a shorter than full distance.

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Some notes on what I'm working on:

  1. All practice swings going to A3. Swing feels short to me, but doesn't hurt my downswing. In fact, it makes the downswing easier due to more efficient use of energy. This is really starting to stick. A3 is important because what I think is A3 is actually A4, and what I think is A2 is actually more like A2.67 or something. It's a perception/perspective thing.
  2. I'm correcting the forearm rolling in my takeaway (even though @iacas said he wasn't worried about it for now) because I feel it's one of the reasons I get long. My arms lift off my chest and the club loads funny, so I have to overswing to feel "at the top." It's easier to get to where I want to be by eliminating this move as well, because even with the new backswing feel, my right elbow gets behind me when I roll my arms at the takeaway.
  3. Takeaway feel is now simply left shoulder down (along the hula hoop). No hands/arms rolling. Just using "the big muscles" to make my backswing. Lets me stop at the proper point in the backswing easier. The up component seems to take care of itself. Loaded feeling at the top with PP#4 moving down my left arm like @david_wedzik showed me early last summer.
  4. I'm making a grip change. It helps me get my wrists at the top in the proper position and helps with the overtaking rates on the downswing. Grip change is as follows: left hand weaker, slightly longer thumb. Right hand stronger. Both thumbs more on top of the grip instead of off to the side. Erik told me to do this back at Metedeconk, but I'll be honest, I wasn't a good student about it. It felt awkward and I didn't work hard enough at it to make it stick. I feel like I understand the relationship better now and why I needed to make the change.
  5. I'm also separating the right index finger from the rest of the fingers a bit. This changes where I feel the pressure points my hands more to where they should be and lets me hold the club a little more diagonally (because golf is played on an inclined plane) in my hands as opposed to horizontally.

That seems like a lot, but it's really not. Simple grip change, takeaway move, stop at A3. Everything else remains the same.

Everything I learned this past year is starting to come together and I think I'm finally beginning to understand it.

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Everything I learned this past year is starting to come together and I think I'm finally beginning to understand it.

I think 2015 is going to be a good year for a lot of the "regulars" on here, you included.

Just remember: play golf. Don't spend all your time on the range. :) And sometimes when you're on the range, "play golf." You know what I mean by that…

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I think 2015 is going to be a good year for a lot of the "regulars" on here, you included.

I agree. A lot of people have made some real strides this past year. You guys have been a real help to all of us. [quote name="iacas" url="/t/70666/my-swing-billchao/330#post_1090174"] Just remember: play golf. Don't spend all your time on the range. :) And sometimes when you're on the range, "play golf." You know what I mean by that… [/quote]Yes, I do :-) It's been easier since I discovered a good 9-hole course by me. I can easily fit in a round after work and get extra rounds in the week without disrupting my family life. I'd love to find a cheaper place, or even a membership somewhere that I can afford, but I haven't had any luck. This area isn't exactly known for cheap golf options.

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Went to a simulator place today and used the driving range. I'm not convinced simulators are for me, and all I did was hit full swings. I don't trust the flight characteristics. Distance seemed about right, with a few question marks, but the direction is what left me scratching my head. I pushed everthing, which is perfectly normal, but I couldn't draw anything back to center unless I really downturned my left hand. This is odd because I usually overdraw the ball left of center and that left hand feel produces some nasty duck hooks. It's entirely possible that some of the changes I've made recently have had some effect on my ballflight, but I hadn't hit a ball in weeks. I just practiced at home like I usually do, so I'm skeptical that the changes have really become concrete. The longer the club, the more I pushed it. That's all well and fine, but I'm also far more likely to hook a longer club and I just couldn't do it. Also, there's apparently a huge yardage gap between my 6 iron and my 7 iron. I was smoking the 6i on the sim but couldn't get comparable distance on the 7i. SW was interesting, too. With the exception of the first one I thinned the crap out of, distance was within 5 yards, but I can hit it 5 yards right to 15 yards left. I found it odd that I can push, pull, draw and overdraw the club and somehow it it almost exactly the same distance. Maybe if I got to spend more time with it, I could have played around with it more. Who knows, maybe this thing is completely legit and I'm actually perceiving things wrong on the course and range. That's not entirely out of the realm of possibility, in which case the reason I suck at golf is because my shot zones are nowhere near where I think most of them are, so I probably do all sorts of odd things to get the ball in the direction I need it to go because I lined up incorrectly to begin with. I'll go back. I like hitting golf balls :-D. Need to get some video one of these days.
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Some notes on what I'm working on:

All practice swings going to A3. Swing feels short to me, but doesn't hurt my downswing. In fact, it makes the downswing easier due to more efficient use of energy. This is really starting to stick. A3 is important because what I think is A3 is actually A4, and what I think is A2 is actually more like A2.67 or something. It's a perception/perspective thing.

I'm correcting the forearm rolling in my takeaway (even though @iacas said he wasn't worried about it for now) because I feel it's one of the reasons I get long. My arms lift off my chest and the club loads funny, so I have to overswing to feel "at the top." It's easier to get to where I want to be by eliminating this move as well, because even with the new backswing feel, my right elbow gets behind me when I roll my arms at the takeaway.

Takeaway feel is now simply left shoulder down (along the hula hoop). No hands/arms rolling. Just using "the big muscles" to make my backswing. Lets me stop at the proper point in the backswing easier. The up component seems to take care of itself. Loaded feeling at the top with PP#4 moving down my left arm like @david_wedzik showed me early last summer.

I'm making a grip change. It helps me get my wrists at the top in the proper position and helps with the overtaking rates on the downswing. Grip change is as follows: left hand weaker, slightly longer thumb. Right hand stronger. Both thumbs more on top of the grip instead of off to the side. Erik told me to do this back at Metedeconk, but I'll be honest, I wasn't a good student about it. It felt awkward and I didn't work hard enough at it to make it stick. I feel like I understand the relationship better now and why I needed to make the change.

I'm also separating the right index finger from the rest of the fingers a bit. This changes where I feel the pressure points my hands more to where they should be and lets me hold the club a little more diagonally (because golf is played on an inclined plane) in my hands as opposed to horizontally.

That seems like a lot, but it's really not. Simple grip change, takeaway move, stop at A3. Everything else remains the same.

Everything I learned this past year is starting to come together and I think I'm finally beginning to understand it.


Bill,

For 2. my experience was using a mental image of holding down a rubber band under your left foot that is connected to the butt of the club really keeps you connected to the left side and keeps you from over-swinging at the top. No surprise that it is also an actual exercise to increase strength and flexibility. IMO it very difficult to over swing without violating two keys: steady head + keeping weight on left. Rubber band image really useful.

V

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Bill,

For 2. my experience was using a mental image of holding down a rubber band under your left foot that is connected to the butt of the club really keeps you connected to the left side and keeps you from over-swinging at the top. No surprise that it is also an actual exercise to increase strength and flexibility. IMO it very difficult to over swing without violating two keys: steady head + keeping weight on left. Rubber band image really useful.

V

Very interesting. I sometimes use the image of a rubber band (or energy beam) connecting club face to ball, I tell myself to not break that connection. Keeps my swing from going too far back and feels like it helps me stay more "on plane".

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Bill,

For 2. my experience was using a mental image of holding down a rubber band under your left foot that is connected to the butt of the club really keeps you connected to the left side and keeps you from over-swinging at the top. No surprise that it is also an actual exercise to increase strength and flexibility. IMO it very difficult to over swing without violating two keys: steady head + keeping weight on left. Rubber band image really useful.

V

I'm definitely not doing Key #1 properly as a result of the overswing. I'll have to try that visualization. So far, the issue for me is to just remember to swing shorter. I kind of get into that "grip it and rip it" mentality and stop thinking about mechanics altogether when I get over a ball. I need to get that 3/4 swing mentality down.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by GolfLug

Bill,

For 2. my experience was using a mental image of holding down a rubber band under your left foot that is connected to the butt of the club really keeps you connected to the left side and keeps you from over-swinging at the top. No surprise that it is also an actual exercise to increase strength and flexibility. IMO it very difficult to over swing without violating two keys: steady head + keeping weight on left. Rubber band image really useful.

V

I'm definitely not doing Key #1 properly as a result of the overswing. I'll have to try that visualization. So far, the issue for me is to just remember to swing shorter. I kind of get into that "grip it and rip it" mentality and stop thinking about mechanics altogether when I get over a ball. I need to get that 3/4 swing mentality down.

@billchao have you tried the straight right arm feel ? I know it doesn't work for everyone but it is absolutely magic for me. Sometimes I'll really exaggerate that feel, to the point were my buddies will say "nice little punch shot", but I've hit my absolutely straightest and longest shots ever with that feel. 195y 3 hybrids all day with that feel. Helps keep the BS very short, compact and on-plane. I also feel like it really encourages an aggressive followthrough because you feel like you haven't taken it back far enough.

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@billchao have you tried the straight right arm feel? I know it doesn't work for everyone but it is absolutely magic for me. Sometimes I'll really exaggerate that feel, to the point were my buddies will say "nice little punch shot", but I've hit my absolutely straightest and longest shots ever with that feel. 195y 3 hybrids all day with that feel. Helps keep the BS very short, compact and on-plane. I also feel like it really encourages an aggressive followthrough because you feel like you haven't taken it back far enough.

Yea, it doesn't work for me. My arms lift up and off my chest instead of the right elbow bending past 90°.

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