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Hardspoon

My Swing (Hardspoon)

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I've been Playing Golf for: 5 years

My current handicap index or average score is: 27.0

My typical ball flight is: Fade

The shot I hate or the "miss" I'm trying to reduce/eliminate is: Poor contact (fat/thin)


I will be filming my swing for the first time over the weekend - thought it'd be interesting to describe where I think I am and what I'm feeling, and see how it compares to what's actually on the video.

Setup / Grip

I have been working on a proper grip.  Overall, I think my setup is pretty decent.  Perhaps a bit too "a**-out", making it tough to keep my eyes down.

Key #1

I feel like my head is relatively steady on the backswing.  The main thing I'm working on right now is making sure that I rotate properly - I have a tendency to swing only with my arms, with no trunk or hip rotation on the backswing.  One thing that's not clear is whether my head starts to move forward/up too early, before impact.

Key #2

My weight is definitely forward at my finish - not sure about sequencing and whether it is forward enough at impact.

Key #3

I'm guessing I have a major "flipping" issue.  My truly terrible swings occur when I basically just fling my hands and clubhead at the ball, but I'm betting that even when I make good contact the swing is still very flippy.

Key #4 & #5

See "Handicap Index" above.  When I make good contact, my ball flight is a straight-fade.

I've been golfing for about 5 years, but only seriously trying to get better and taking lessons for the past three seasons or so.  This year, I've finally started consistently breaking 100.  My best round ever is a 93 (a few times)...average is around 96-97, and bad rounds in the low 100's.

I follow the RoG very strictly, and record all penalty strokes.  Just started keeping a handicap this year when I decided to join the TST Pittsburgh/Erie/Ohio outing.

My priority pieces right now, in the absence of good instruction (soon to be rectified), have been getting comfortable with a proper grip and making sure I rotate on the backswing.

I'm excited to get serious about improving.  Will post video this weekend.

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Swing Update (9/19/15)

My swings in beautiful (ha!) slow motion, filmed yesterday by @iacas ng:

6i, Down the Line

6i, Face On

Dr, Down The Line

Dr, Face On

(both of those driver shots definitely murdered some poor unsuspecting worms)

Talking to Erik during the round, the piece of advice he offered was in line with what I was thinking - I'm not rotating my hips and shoulders properly in the backswing.  It's pretty clear on the video.

The next month is going to be difficult for me golf-wise, since I have a two-week trip coming up, along with all of the work-related insanity that precedes vacation time.

My plan (for now) is to dedicate available practice time to increased (and proper) hip and shoulder rotation on the backswing, while continuing to get comfortable with my corrected grip.  If there are setup tweaks that would help, it'd also be advantageous to try to get those improved.  For example - looks like I might be a little too close to the ball on the 6-iron.

Once I get back from my trip in mid-October, it will be time to get focused.  I'm planning a trip up to Erie for some work (and hopefully Aimpoint, finally).

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Talking to Erik during the round, the piece of advice he offered was in line with what I was thinking - I'm not rotating my hips and shoulders properly in the backswing.  It's pretty clear on the video.

Yes I would definitely recommend making a trip to Erie.

Here's a couple good threads to get you started.

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In addition to what @mvmac said, I have two things for you to look at…

  1. Your weight distribution toe to heel. It's very much in your toes. Your butt sticks out, your chin is up, and your back is pretty straight. See .
  2. The centered pivot thing will help but your left shoulder (and hips) will have to work on a steeper inclination. This will come a bit more naturally with the posture, but you may still have to "feel" the changes to make it different. There's a "shoulder pitch with driveway sticks" thing that you can do while you're on vacation in Europe, Thin Matt.


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Thanks, Mike & Erik!  This is fantastic stuff.  I just threw my fancy new TST alignment sticks in my car (headed to Philly for a few days tomorrow) - I'm going to start working on these in front of a mirror right away.

If I don't stop traveling so much (looking at 1,000 miles worth of Turnpike food this week alone), the "thin" part might not be particularly descriptive for long...

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Thanks, Mike & Erik!  This is fantastic stuff.  I just threw my fancy new TST alignment sticks in my car (headed to Philly for a few days tomorrow) - I'm going to start working on these in front of a mirror right away.

If I don't stop traveling so much (looking at 1,000 miles worth of Turnpike food this week alone), the "thin" part might not be particularly descriptive for long...

Yeah good stuff from @iacas . Stick with that drill, even 5 minutes a day will make a big difference. Good luck!

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Practice Update (9/25/15)

After a week playing around with the shoulder pitch drill and working on my posture (mostly in a 100sf hotel room), I finally got out to the range today.  This was also my first time ever filming my own swing, so it was also an experiment in the filming process itself.

It thought it might be a bit overwhelming since I'm really working on five things at once:

  1. Making sure I maintain a proper grip (I grip correctly at first, but sometimes standing over the ball I let the club rotate)
  2. Trying to get comfortable with a better posture (less "ass-out")
  3. Weight balance (heel-toe) at address
  4. Centered pivot
  5. Properly inclined shoulder plane

In reality, though, the first three of those (grip, posture and weight) are "static".  Before every practice swing, I would grip, address the ball, get in my posture, and then back away and repeat a few times.  When actually starting to swing, I only had two closely related thoughts - #4 and #5.  So, I don't feel like I'm biting off more than I can chew.  We'll see.

#1, #2, #3 - Revised Address Posture

Definitely a different feel - more head-down than my "stick-up-my-ass" posture before.  It feels less athletic, which is an odd thing to me, but I think it might help me keep the tension down at address (I'm pretty wired in general).

I might actually be a bit too slouched now, but that's probably because I am now standing too close to the ball.  Weight is still in my toes, although I think that might be just the choice of clip; some were better, some were worse.  Still work to do here.

#4 - Centered Pivot

Worked on this in conjunction with #5.  At the end of the session (about 60 minutes, but only 24 range balls), I tried a few 50% - 75% swings:

I feel decent about this - it seems like my hips are doing the correct things.  This part feels good to execute - my right hip has this "rubber band" feel to it, which is a powerful feel.  There is some weird s**t going on with my arms and head at the top of the backswing, but that should be easy to clean up later (I hope).

#5 - Properly Inclined Shoulder Plane

Worked on this in conjunction with #4.

Here's the drill I've been doing:

This one is a little sloppy (not a good straight angle).  I do really try to exaggerate the incline pitch when doing the drill.  Today was the first day I actually tried "swinging" a club with this thought.  Here's the 50% - 75% swing:

In terms of the incline angle, I'm getting closer, but not there yet:

Really need to exaggerate that shoulder-down feel from the drill and get it into my "real" swing.  It might help when I move a bit further from the ball at address.  Going to rewatch Erik's video and keep working.

Summary

Overall, it was good to get out and actually practice with a purpose; it felt good to actually have something specific to work on.  I'm hoping I'm not over-reaching by trying to do too many things at once.  My plan is to keep improving the "statics" at home, in front of a mirror, and doing the shoulder drill.  I've canceled my weekly round of golf for this weekend; I'm planning to get out on the range again and work.

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#1, #2, #3 - Revised Address Posture

Definitely a different feel - more head-down than my "stick-up-my-ass" posture before.  It feels less athletic, which is an odd thing to me, but I think it might help me keep the tension down at address (I'm pretty wired in general).

I might actually be a bit too slouched now, but that's probably because I am now standing too close to the ball.  Weight is still in my toes, although I think that might be just the choice of clip; some were better, some were worse.  Still work to do here.

Looks good. FWIW I'd measure it more like this:

In terms of the incline angle, I'm getting closer, but not there yet:

Really need to exaggerate that shoulder-down feel from the drill and get it into my "real" swing.  It might help when I move a bit further from the ball at address.  Going to rewatch Erik's video and keep working.

No, look at the picture above. Your spine doesn't go down and out the outside of your right pants pocket. :) You are fine. You're overdoing it in the "drill" video (which is fine), but doing it just about the right amount in the actual video with a swing.

Measure properly. You don't need to have your shoulders at 43°… that would be too much.

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OK - point taken. Leave the analysis to the professionals, kids! Thanks. I'll keep practicing to ingrain this. Hope to be able to get it right at "full speed" soon.

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OK - point taken. Leave the analysis to the professionals, kids!

Thanks. I'll keep practicing to ingrain this.

Hope to be able to get it right at "full speed" soon.

Definitely looks better, keep it up. And yeah, take note of where @iacas drew the spine (or the inclination), couple more examples.

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General Update (10/6/15)

The last week or so has been tough - only able to get to the practice range once, and without a camera since it was raining.  I've been working on my stance and grip to continue to get comfortable, and doing the alignment-stick drill indoors.  Still haven't taken a full swing with this new approach.  Hoping to get out once tomorrow before a two-week vacation.

I purchased a Game Golf unit, since it went on sale at Amazon for $115.  It just came today.  It's unlikely I'll be able to even play golf for the next three weeks, but it's something to look forward to!

 

 

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I purchased a Game Golf unit, since it went on sale at Amazon for $115.  It just came today.  It's unlikely I'll be able to even play golf for the next three weeks, but it's something to look forward to!

Nice, you can add your GAME Golf username to your profile.

Screen_Shot_2015-10-06_at_10.20.18_AM.th

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Well, it's been about 4 months since I've even touched a golf club, due to an insane work schedule and a (minor but annoying) neck injury.  Finally went out to the range yesterday just to get the feeling of gripping and swinging a club again, pretty much in slow motion.  Hit about 10 balls...felt awkward but great to be "playing" again.

Going to try to get back this weekend with a camera and do some video just to see where I stand.  Priority piece is not going to change - proper spine tilt and rotation.

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Finally got up to Erie today to work with Erik...had a great time, despite the 38-degree weather!  We mostly worked on the full swing, but also took a few minutes to work on my putting stance (which was terrible) and rhythm.

For the full swing, we worked on a few main (new) things:

  1. Improved grip
  2. Pre-set hips at address, to encourage more weight forward and better lag at impact
  3. Standing a bit further from the ball
  4. Better swing path - my hands were "dropping" too much at the beginning of the swing

#1, #2 and #3 were relatively simple...they already felt pretty comfortable by the end of the day, and a little more practice should make them second-nature.  #4 was tricky.  We tried a couple things that didn't really work for me; the thing that actually clicked was the feeling of "pushing" the ball - swinging "out and down".  It's definitely going to take some practice, but I think I was able to at least understand the proper feeling.  I also need to continue to work on proper hip/shoulder rotation...I haven't practiced it enough for it to be natural yet, so I still sometimes get lazy and don't complete my hip turn.

I'm posting the before (left) and after (right) photos as a reminder/log of what I need to practice and what things should look like.

#1 and #2: Better grip and pre-set hips, getting me in a better position at impact:

01 Setup.jpg

02 Impact FO.jpg

Erik was happy with the impact position...that's a positive, at least, since it's not something I've actively worked on.  It feels natural.

"Swinging to push" (#4) changed my swing path for the better:

03 Swinging to Push.jpg04 Clubhead.jpg05 Impact DL.jpg06 Hands.jpg

We also "jumped ahead" a bit, and discussed the correct way to square the face at impact (that was worth it just to see Erik's face when I talked about "releasing the clubhead").

I have the luxury of a week off from work, so I'm excited to get out to the range tomorrow.

Also for reference, my "goal" putting stance...nose slightly behind and slightly "in" from the ball position:

IMG_0216.JPG

It feels incredibly awkward right now, but Erik gave me great reference points so it's something I can practice easily at home or whenever I get a few minutes.

 

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I don't know much about the golf swing, but I think those look like really good positions for a 26 handicap.

Also might try that putting stance out myself. Mine....well, I just wing it, and it sometimes doesn't work out that well.

Good stuff!

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4 minutes ago, bm85 said:

I don't know much about the golf swing, but I think those look like really good positions for a 26 handicap.

I think I told him that his backswing positions were better than some of the single digit guys we see.

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