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JonMA1

Club Head Control

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I'm getting to the point where I feel like my swing path is consistent enough to start working on club head control. For the first time since I started playing, I'm able to address the ball with an open club face and hit a draw. Unfortunately, there's a lot of trial and error.

Are there any existing threads or videos on this site that describe swing thoughts or drills that might make it somewhat easier? There are YouTube videos out there that describe "rolling the wrists". But unless I'm mistaken, that's not really what I'm supposed to do.

As always, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Right now, I'm looking at one thing. Learning how to hit a stock shot consistently and not worrying about anything else. When I can do that, I'll be playing in the low double digits, and probably be too old to be able to play in single digits.

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I'm right there with you @DrvFrShow on the whole age thing. Except that even with a dependable stock shot, single-digits scores wouldn't be possible.

I'm not talking about learning any kind of specialty shot. I'm trying to establish a stock shot as well.

I found this:

http://thesandtrap.com/t/61376/5sk-video-thread#post_789393

... and have been using this drill for a some time. But I'm not concerned with working the ball. Just getting the ball to start center or a bit right of center. I feel like my backswing and downswing are becoming a bit more consistent and repeatable, but when it comes to squaring the face as I come into impact, I don't really know what I'm doing.

Probably making it more complicated than it is.

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Right now, I'm looking at one thing. Learning how to hit a stock shot consistently and not worrying about anything else. When I can do that, I'll be playing in the low double digits, and probably be too old to be able to play in single digits.

I am a walking example that older, amateur  guys can play to single digits. I got enough pins, screws , and plates in me that I melt metal detectors when I have to take a plane ride somewhere. I'll never see low single digits ever again. Plus as my distances diminishes even more, I expect 10, or 11 will have to suffice. Giving up on one's goals, should never be an option.

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I am a walking example that older, amateur  guys can play to single digits. I got enough pins, screws , and plates in me that I melt metal detectors when I have to take a plane ride somewhere. I'll never see low single digits ever again. Plus as my distances diminishes even more, I expect 10, or 11 will have to suffice. Giving up on one's goals, should never be an option.


I'm 66 (I know, not THAT old), but I played baseball/softball until I was 62 and always played golf with no instruction.  I have a slightly OCD personality and when I started taking golf seriously, I took lessons.  I did a 10 lesson series this last winter with unlimited use of an indoor practice range. I live in northern Minnesota.  My Pro gave out a copy of Lowest Score Wins with the package.  The book lead to Five Simple Keys to the Sand Trap.

Anyway, I shot my lowest round ever, a 76, and can state unequivocally that it was the lessons and working on the Five Simple Keys that got me there.  After that, 5sk.com's video lessons have really helped me to have a good swing path (still a work in progress, but definitely see the progress).  Practicing at least the first three steps of 5sk should really start to provide that consistent 'stock shot'.

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Thank's @SavvySwede .

A little background:

Last year I developed the ability to start the ball right and have it curve to the left. But to accomplish this, I had to really close the face, align my feet and shoulders very much to the right, aim to the right and basically hit a little bit of a hook for it to start right (of the target line) and land in the fairway. For the most part, this worked but I think closing the face at address was a bandaid fix for not only a poor swing path, but also an inability to bring the face back properly on the downswing. I don't think very many good golfers do this.

This year, I've worked on developing a more inside to out path. I've also worked hard at using the same full swing regardless of which club I'm using. My misses lately have to do with either closing the face too much before impact - resulting in a hook, or not closing it enough - which results in a push.

I was hopeful that there may be a simple swing thought or some information regarding how players bring the face back to the same angle at impact every time. Maybe it's just a "feel" thing and it simply takes a lot of practice to develop the timing.

Thanks.

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Well, your'e in the same boat I've been. We're not doing something when we push the ball, and when we hook the ball we over compensate for when we've pushed the ball. Notice that the hooks usually follow the pushes, and the pushes usually follow the hooks? That's our brains recalibrating. It's fine on the driving range, but not so fine on the golf course.

Also we're not good enough to where we're holding the club exactly the same every time. Or to where we're standing exactly the same every time. We need to work on that, too. It isn't just our swing. When we do one of those things a little off, our brain will figure it out mid swing and try to make a number of compensations to get the club in the proper position and because we're not professional golfers we'll fail at it. We don't have the correct procedural memory built up. i.e. the 10,000 hours of correct practice.

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Thank's @SavvySwede.

A little background:

Last year I developed the ability to start the ball right and have it curve to the left. But to accomplish this, I had to really close the face, align my feet and shoulders very much to the right, aim to the right and basically hit a little bit of a hook for it to start right (of the target line) and land in the fairway. For the most part, this worked but I think closing the face at address was a bandaid fix for not only a poor swing path, but also an inability to bring the face back properly on the downswing. I don't think very many good golfers do this.

This year, I've worked on developing a more inside to out path. I've also worked hard at using the same full swing regardless of which club I'm using. My misses lately have to do with either closing the face too much before impact - resulting in a hook, or not closing it enough - which results in a push.

I was hopeful that there may be a simple swing thought or some information regarding how players bring the face back to the same angle at impact every time. Maybe it's just a "feel" thing and it simply takes a lot of practice to develop the timing.

Thanks.


I thought you were talking about shaping shots but now I see you really meant you want key #5 improvement. One thing to watch is the grip. Very easy for the hands to change slightly from shot to shot and if your hands are placed a degree or two off the clubface will be off just as much or require some compensation. My pre-shot routine is mainly focused on very deliberately placing my hands on the club.I have a tendency to get too strong if I'm not paying attention. The rest is just good sequencing.

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Well, your'e in the same boat I've been. We're not doing something when we push the ball, and when we hook the ball we over compensate for when we've pushed the ball. Notice that the hooks usually follow the pushes, and the pushes usually follow the hooks? That's our brains recalibrating. It's fine on the driving range, but not so fine on the golf course.

Also we're not good enough to where we're holding the club exactly the same every time. Or to where we're standing exactly the same every time. We need to work on that, too. It isn't just our swing. When we do one of those things a little off, our brain will figure it out mid swing and try to make a number of compensations to get the club in the proper position and because we're not professional golfers we'll fail at it. We don't have the correct procedural memory built up. i.e. the 10,000 hours of correct practice.

To quote Phil Mc:

"The expert golfer has maximum time to make minimal compensations. The poorer player has minimal time to make maximum compensations . "

This game is hard for sure. To this day, I can pick up a baseball and a bat, and hit fielding practice to nine different positions on the field simply by tossing the ball up in the air a couple of inches and hitting it with the barrel of the bat on the way down. Even if I haven't done this in years, it's the easiest thing in the world for me to do because I learned it at a young age. Golf? Not so much.

I thought you were talking about shaping shots but now I see you really meant you want key #5 improvement. One thing to watch is the grip. Very easy for the hands to change slightly from shot to shot and if your hands are placed a degree or two off the clubface will be off just as much or require some compensation. My pre-shot routine is mainly focused on very deliberately placing my hands on the club.I have a tendency to get too strong if I'm not paying attention. The rest is just good sequencing.

That's a really good point about the grip. I can see where a small variation can cause a drastically different result. That's something that can be improved upon for sure.

You mentioned good sequencing. Not to get too technical, but there's information out there about where the club head should be pointing at the different positions of the backswing and downswing. When you were learning your swing, did you sort of "dissect" it to the point were you controlled what the club head was doing throughout the swing? Or did you just practice the feels to the point where it became automatic?

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To quote Phil Mc:

"The expert golfer has maximum time to make minimal compensations. The poorer player has minimal time to make maximum compensations."

This game is hard for sure. To this day, I can pick up a baseball and a bat, and hit fielding practice to nine different positions on the field simply by tossing the ball up in the air a couple of inches and hitting it with the barrel of the bat on the way down. Even if I haven't done this in years, it's the easiest thing in the world for me to do because I learned it at a young age. Golf? Not so much.

That's a really good point about the grip. I can see where a small variation can cause a drastically different result. That's something that can be improved upon for sure.

You mentioned good sequencing. Not to get too technical, but there's information out there about where the club head should be pointing at the different positions of the backswing and downswing. When you were learning your swing, did you sort of "dissect" it to the point were you controlled what the club head was doing throughout the swing? Or did you just practice the feels to the point where it became automatic?


Yes, playing  baseball for most of my life still rears its ugly head when I'm playing golf.  Especially if I am playing fairly well, I think I can hit it harder and go right back to the over-the-top swing.

I stated this in a previous post, but what has really helped me get an inside out swing is, during practice, to set the ball up with the logo at the back of the ball on the target line. then turn the ball 1/4 in so the logo is now inside the target line (nearer my right foot).  Then swing VERY SLOWLY thinking only of aiming at the logo and NOTHING else.  Don't worry about the target or your actual swing, just hitting the logo.  As you get proficient at hitting the logo, gradually increase to your normal swing speed. It has helped me immensely.

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Originally Posted by SavvySwede

I thought you were talking about shaping shots but now I see you really meant you want key #5 improvement. One thing to watch is the grip. Very easy for the hands to change slightly from shot to shot and if your hands are placed a degree or two off the clubface will be off just as much or require some compensation. My pre-shot routine is mainly focused on very deliberately placing my hands on the club.I have a tendency to get too strong if I'm not paying attention. The rest is just good sequencing.

That's a really good point about the grip. I can see where a small variation can cause a drastically different result. That's something that can be improved upon for sure.

You mentioned good sequencing. Not to get too technical, but there's information out there about where the club head should be pointing at the different positions of the backswing and downswing. When you were learning your swing, did you sort of "dissect" it to the point were you controlled what the club head was doing throughout the swing? Or did you just practice the feels to the point where it became automatic?

I don't really know. I've always felt like clubface control was just one of those things that just came with time. The more time you spend with a club in your hands the the more it becomes sort of "mapped" into your brains awareness. Kinda like how you learn to use a pen.

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Thanks @SavvySwede and @metbid . l just went out a hit a few into the net using both suggestions - concentrating on my grip being the same with each swing, and rotating the ball so that the position of the logo matches my inside-out path. Took some slow swings as suggested (40 - 50%) and tried to think only about hitting the logo.

Here are a few other thoughts I found online to help square the club:

• Allow the arms to straighten after impact (don't try to hold lag)

• Start to square the club earlier in the downswing

• Bury the knuckles of the left hand into the ground at impact

• Loose grip, wrists

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Well, your'e in the same boat I've been. We're not doing something when we push the ball, and when we hook the ball we over compensate for when we've pushed the ball. Notice that the hooks usually follow the pushes, and the pushes usually follow the hooks? That's our brains recalibrating. It's fine on the driving range, but not so fine on the golf course.

Also we're not good enough to where we're holding the club exactly the same every time. Or to where we're standing exactly the same every time. We need to work on that, too. It isn't just our swing. When we do one of those things a little off, our brain will figure it out mid swing and try to make a number of compensations to get the club in the proper position and because we're not professional golfers we'll fail at it. We don't have the correct procedural memory built up. i.e. the 10,000 hours of correct practice.


Similar experience here. This is really a post for you fellow hookers.

After my initial floundering I went to a PGA pro who taught me an inside out swing using bottle caps to help map the path. it became ingrained. (I don't think I ever sliced an iron in a long long time.)

However, I had a tendency that I did not realize to have a too strong grip in relation to the way I set up at address.

What I was finding was that even when I set the club in the fingers of the left hand properly and then took my grip thinking that at address it was good. I was still hitting lots of hooks or variants on the hook. And pushes, with just enough perfect shots to keep me persisting with the same grip routine that felt right, (but was too strong).

I went back tot he pro but ended up doing some horribly punitive drills that led to me hitting a lot of water filled gatorade bottles. That was like shock therapy. But it didn't work.

I tried making the swing less inside out, but the problem was not the swing so much as the angle of the club face at impact.

I tried to alter the grip for a couple of years, but it never felt right on the backswing . But just because it didn't feel right , didn't mean the change was wrong, it was just a difficult adjustment. [Unconsciously, I liked a heavier feel to the club head at the top of the backswing, and when I weakened the grip, the club felt too light at the top of the backswing, which felt less solid and less controllable.

I recently took a few months off, came back to it, and I found that if I did a small check on how I was returning to address after taking my grip and then my stance, I noticed that the grip that I had thought was square (or even a degree or two laid open) was actually way too strong when my natural  wrist and hand tendencies took over.

I revised my grip routine, let my hands do what they want to do, but rotated the club counterclockwise in my finger so that when I return to the impact position it is now square.

It seems to have eliminated this inconsistency and the hook is all but gone. I do still have the occasional push, but I'm so relieved I don't have to fight the hook any more.

The key was not entirely the change in weakening the position of the club in the grip — that was important but I had not been doing it quite right — what seems to have been more more important was the sequence, the point in time during address where I make sure the club face is square.

Trying to "control" the club head in flight IMO, is asking for trouble, at a time when you really want the unconscious — rather than conscious — capabilities of the mind to be dominant.

It's still a work in progress and I have not catalogued the changes -- I just made them — and I will have to make some notes and remember what  the new sequence for taking the grip is, but, oh what a relief. I hope it's not fleeting.

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