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amac

First lesson of the new year and I'm all screwed up!

18 posts in this topic

Sticking with my 2014 goals, I had my first lesson of 2014 with a new pro at my course.  This is guy is a top 50 of the top 100 teaching pros as published in the latest Golf Digest magazine.  I figured he had to know what he was doing, right?

After the pleasantries and telling him about my limited golf background, past teachers and personal goals, I gave him three swings recorded on Track Man and then it began.  Bad turn.  Bad shoulders.  Bad plane.  Bad angle of attack.  Bad, bad, bad.  Man, he broke me down and shattered my image of my golf swing.  I shot 79 last weekend and this pro was breaking me down like a beginner.  Apparently, I've developed my own swing mechanisms to compensate for my badness!  And I thought I was getting better. :doh:

So, I went into this lesson looking for and expecting some fine tuning and I came out with a whole new swing. :bugout: The new move may be familiar to many here, but it's the opposite of what I've been doing and thinking is the right thing.  The only thing he didn't change was my address and takeaway.  After that, oh boy.  First, the move left.  He emphasized the lateral hip move to the left while staying CLOSED.  Additionally, I had to get my left shoulder lower than my right.  My first move left was to drop my right shoulder and elbow - moving towards the slot.  Not anymore.  This idea wasn't hard to accept, but the synchronization of my swing has to adjust.

As I make this move left, I'm now supposed to get my hands further from my body - create a wider arc.  So, somehow, the hands begin to move while I shift down and left, keeping my hips and shoulder closed to my target (pointing somewhat backwards).  My arms and shoulders want to move together, not anymore!?  I don't understand this at all and have no idea how to incorporate this into my swing.  I will definitely be looking for my info on this move and how to install this into my swing.  It's on the back burner for now.

Then, as I make the final approach and turn towards the ball, I am supposed to fire up and away?  Hit the wall.  Spin out.  Thrust toward the ball/target, but stop moving forward/down the target line. Apparently, my swing before yesterday continued too far forward and left and thus zapped my energy/swing speed.  Idea is slinging a club down the range with the left hand.  Spin away, not down the line to create speed.  Makes sense, but it's so different from what I've been doing.  I spent a couple hours after my round today practicing this move.  I placed a bag stand next to my left leg and made swings consciously not hitting the stand.  It seemed to help ingrain the idea.

He called me a tugger.  My arms stayed close to the body and followed the shoulders.  I thought the shoulders turn and the arms follow?  If the arms are moving, shouldn't the shoulders also be moving?  According to this pro, I need to learn to allow my arms to swing more freely.  All of this is going to take some getting used to.

I took these new swing thoughts to the course today to play with my regular group.  I warmed up great.  Made a routine par on 1, then all hell broke loose.  I went on to shoot 90. :cry: Needless to say, I had a few things on my mind with every swing.  As mentioned, I spent a couple of hours after my round working on the new swing moves and began to flush everything.  I will return tomorrow and work some more.  Anyone else feel as though lessons just screw everything up?

I'm curious to hear from others that are familiar with the swing moves noted above.  If you can elaborate on the concepts, I'd like to hear.  Thanks and have a great 2014 golf season.

amac

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Making swing changes take time. I would recommend working on one thing at a time. Sounds like you are trying to work on everything
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Sticking with my 2014 goals, I had my first lesson of 2014 with a new pro at my course.  This is guy is a top 50 of the top 100 teaching pros as published in the latest Golf Digest magazine.  I figured he had to know what he was doing, right?

After the pleasantries and telling him about my limited golf background, past teachers and personal goals, I gave him three swings recorded on Track Man and then it began.  Bad turn.  Bad shoulders.  Bad plane.  Bad angle of attack.  Bad, bad, bad.  Man, he broke me down and shattered my image of my golf swing.  I shot 79 last weekend and this pro was breaking me down like a beginner.  Apparently, I've developed my own swing mechanisms to compensate for my badness!  And I thought I was getting better.

So, I went into this lesson looking for and expecting some fine tuning and I came out with a whole new swing.    The new move may be familiar to many here, but it's the opposite of what I've been doing and thinking is the right thing.  The only thing he didn't change was my address and takeaway.  After that, oh boy.  First, the move left.  He emphasized the lateral hip move to the left while staying CLOSED.  Additionally, I had to get my left shoulder lower than my right.  My first move left was to drop my right shoulder and elbow - moving towards the slot.  Not anymore.  This idea wasn't hard to accept, but the synchronization of my swing has to adjust.

As I make this move left, I'm now supposed to get my hands further from my body - create a wider arc.  So, somehow, the hands begin to move while I shift down and left, keeping my hips and shoulder closed to my target (pointing somewhat backwards).  My arms and shoulders want to move together, not anymore!?  I don't understand this at all and have no idea how to incorporate this into my swing.  I will definitely be looking for my info on this move and how to install this into my swing.  It's on the back burner for now.

Then, as I make the final approach and turn towards the ball, I am supposed to fire up and away?  Hit the wall.  Spin out.  Thrust toward the ball/target, but stop moving forward/down the target line. Apparently, my swing before yesterday continued too far forward and left and thus zapped my energy/swing speed.  Idea is slinging a club down the range with the left hand.  Spin away, not down the line to create speed.  Makes sense, but it's so different from what I've been doing.  I spent a couple hours after my round today practicing this move.  I placed a bag stand next to my left leg and made swings consciously not hitting the stand.  It seemed to help ingrain the idea.

He called me a tugger.  My arms stayed close to the body and followed the shoulders.  I thought the shoulders turn and the arms follow?  If the arms are moving, shouldn't the shoulders also be moving?  According to this pro, I need to learn to allow my arms to swing more freely.  All of this is going to take some getting used to.

I took these new swing thoughts to the course today to play with my regular group.  I warmed up great.  Made a routine par on 1, then all hell broke loose.  I went on to shoot 90.    Needless to say, I had a few things on my mind with every swing.  As mentioned, I spent a couple of hours after my round working on the new swing moves and began to flush everything.  I will return tomorrow and work some more.  Anyone else feel as though lessons just screw everything up?

I'm curious to hear from others that are familiar with the swing moves noted above.  If you can elaborate on the concepts, I'd like to hear.  Thanks and have a great 2014 golf season.

amac

Agree with @jclark on that one. I don't care if the guy is a top 10 instructor. He shouldn't be overloading you like that. That is absurd.

Pick something, master it then move on.

Also check out the 5 keys videos here. They are a lot easier to understand than what that instructor was saying.

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I certainly agree with the one thing at a time suggestions. I don't know what sort of conversation you had with this pro before you got started, but it sounds like he was cataloging issues that he felt like needed work. I am amazed a highly rated instructor would weigh a student down with that many suggested changes in one session though. Are you, perhaps, in a resort area where he gets a lot of students he will only ever see once and who are expecting that kind of "all in one" lesson? Also, given he is highly rated, I presume he charges a premium price. Perhaps he's a bit self conscious about that and trying hard to give you your money's worth? My suggestion, if you plan to continue with this pro, would be to have a heart to heart about information overload and request limiting it to one or at most two changes per session. On a related note, after about every lesson I take with my unranked but pretty good for me pro, I seem to be screwed up for about a week before things get a little better than they had been before the lesson. I'm pretty sure that is natural.
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Making swing changes take time. I would recommend working on one thing at a time. Sounds like you are trying to work on everything

Agreed.  I can't believe he threw so much at me at once.  But, the moves work together.  Right now I'm trying to work in the lateral shift with hips and shoulders closed and the follow through.  The arm thing can wait, mainly because I have no idea what he's looking for.

Trying to be patient, but I have my first member golf association match next weekend and really want to have my swing manageable.  Will see.

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You said after the round you worked a couple hours and started flushing it again, sounds to me it's working and you need to stop worrying about your scores or even avoid going on the course for a week or so and get this swing more grooved and hopefully bring it to the course in a week or so.

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I certainly agree with the one thing at a time suggestions. I don't know what sort of conversation you had with this pro before you got started, but it sounds like he was cataloging issues that he felt like needed work. I am amazed a highly rated instructor would weigh a student down with that many suggested changes in one session though. Are you, perhaps, in a resort area where he gets a lot of students he will only ever see once and who are expecting that kind of "all in one" lesson? Also, given he is highly rated, I presume he charges a premium price. Perhaps he's a bit self conscious about that and trying hard to give you your money's worth? My suggestion, if you plan to continue with this pro, would be to have a heart to heart about information overload and request limiting it to one or at most two changes per session.

On a related note, after about every lesson I take with my unranked but pretty good for me pro, I seem to be screwed up for about a week before things get a little better than they had been before the lesson. I'm pretty sure that is natural.

Good advice.  I'm not at a resort club.  It's English Turn in New Orleans, LA.  As a club member, the lesson's run $100 per hour.  A pretty good deal for a highly rated teaching pro.  He actually spent closer to 1-1/2 hours with me.  And please don't think I was being snooty giving his credentials.  I was just laying out the situation.  I've taken plenty of lessons from club pro's that know how to swing the club.  Personally, I'm looking for a teacher I can trust and connect with.  I gave this guy a try because he is nationally recognized.  Curiosity brought me to him.  The fact that he screwed up my swing is gonna bring me back!  LOL.  FWIW, I did notice huge improvement in the video analysis by the end of my session.  I believe he will get me on the right track.

Thanks

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I'm impressed that you can remember all of that. ;-) But I am curious enough now to watch some of his videos.
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Another thread from a guy who just came back from a lesson, complaining about it.  I don't understand.  Why did you seek out Manzella?  You must have seen plenty of his videos online so you knew his approach. If you don't like what he told you, go to someone else.

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I wouldn't assume he messed up your swing. Changes feel weird and typically don't lead to immediate improved scores. Will take your word for the overwhelming advice he gave. Though it sounds unusual.
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If I may offer a suggestion, you should work on your swing at home, on the range, anywhere other than the golf course. When you're on the course, just use your "natural" swing. It takes time to ingrain changes and make them part of your swing and you're going to question everything you've been taught if you start shooting really poorly. The other thing is simply that a round of golf just doesn't offer enough full swing opportunities to be useful for effective practice on swing mechanics. Think about your swing everywhere else, but when you're on the course, just play golf.
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I've been given similar advice regarding the arms by multiple instructors who know what they're doing - get the arms going from the top, karate chop. I was given drills and did those, lots of slow motion work in front of a mirror - no ball, foam ball, hit mid irons100 yards or less @ slow tempo, throw clubs, etc... Those helped me. Plus I kept re-watching the lesson vids. One of the things that holds me back is my obsession with getting the backswing perfect, ie veering away from main point of instructor's instruction.

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One of the things that holds me back is my obsession with getting the backswing perfect, ie veering away from main point of instructor's instruction.

That's one of my problems too, easily pulled off on tangents, getting better at staying focused now though. I'm glad my instructors prioritize, I couldn't handle the "all at once" approach the OP describes.

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As I make this move left, I'm now supposed to get my hands further from my body - create a wider arc.  So, somehow, the hands begin to move while I shift down and left, keeping my hips and shoulder closed to my target (pointing somewhat backwards).  My arms and shoulders want to move together, not anymore!?  I don't understand this at all and have no idea how to incorporate this into my swing.  I will definitely be looking for my info on this move and how to install this into my swing.  It's on the back burner for now.

Then, as I make the final approach and turn towards the ball, I am supposed to fire up and away?  Hit the wall.  Spin out.  Thrust toward the ball/target, but stop moving forward/down the target line. Apparently, my swing before yesterday continued too far forward and left and thus zapped my energy/swing speed.  Idea is slinging a club down the range with the left hand.  Spin away, not down the line to create speed.  Makes sense, but it's so different from what I've been doing.  I spent a couple hours after my round today practicing this move.  I placed a bag stand next to my left leg and made swings consciously not hitting the stand.  It seemed to help ingrain the idea.

He called me a tugger.  My arms stayed close to the body and followed the shoulders.  I thought the shoulders turn and the arms follow?  If the arms are moving, shouldn't the shoulders also be moving?  According to this pro, I need to learn to allow my arms to swing more freely.  All of this is going to take some getting used to.

To help you simplify it, Brian told you three things.  As you transfer forward he wants you to stay closed longer while the arms release down and out (this is where the left shoulder staying "down" is important). Also impact/followthrough will feel like a "thrust" upwards.

Making changes is going to feel like a "new swing". It really isn't though. Your current swing produces shots that you want to change, it just makes sense that some of the mechanics have to be adjusted in order to produce different shots.

Here's how you work on it, make a ton of slow swings demonstrating what he told you and when you play, just play. Don't try to implement the mechanical changes, do that on the range or at home.

Here's a video I did to help the arms feel, at least I think this is what you're describing

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Another thread from a guy who just came back from a lesson, complaining about it.  I don't understand.  Why did you seek out Manzella?  You must have seen plenty of his videos online so you knew his approach. If you don't like what he told you, go to someone else.

Not really complaining. Just expressing my frustrations. I honestly thought my swing was more sound than Brian. I had a lesson about 3 months ago with another guy using track man. He didn't go after the same things as Brian. Brian knows what's going on. I fully trust his teachings and will be back for more.

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Mvmac, you are spot on. I will spend more time in front of a mirror rehearsing the arm separation move. Your swing on the left reminds of me. Especially the early release and high left shoulder. I had a 2 hour range session this morning working on most of the lessons. It's going to take some time. The move left is easy. Staying closed will take getting used to. The turn and thrust finish is harder than I thought. I've got a bob in my follow through instead of just locking out the left leg. So many things! Thanks for the post.
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Way better. New move has been easy to adopt. I have a follow up lesson this Friday.
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