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Hardspoon

My Swing (Hardspoon)

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3 hours ago, Hardspoon said:

I went out the range today for a bit (in the rain, so no video)...trying to really feel more extension on the follow through.  Hit the ball OK, and the follow-through was definitely different, but whatever I was doing was closing the face too much.  Lots of straight-draws/hooks, instead of the pushes I had been hitting.

I'll get back out soon with the camera and see what I can see.

It might also be as simple as:

  • Grip was a little stronger.
  • Grip was set up a little closed at setup.
  • You may need to feel you're "holding off" a little bit.

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After a couple weeks of practice (a few minutes a day of slow-motion work in front of a mirror, and a couple trips to the range), I think I've been able to get the path more rightward, back to where it should be.

Over the last few range sessions, as long as I mind my grip, my ball flight has generally been very good on well-struck shots.  This is relative, of course, to my generally terrible consistency...and that "on well-struck shots" is still a big caveat.  But, it's encouraging.

Videos from today:

 

 

I can definitely see the difference in the follow through, despite my sub-par (haha) camera positioning today.  Top is from last month; bottom is today's session:

CAPTURE_Follow-Through_2016-04-24.png

CAPTURE_Follow-Through_2016-05-17.png

 

I also grabbed a screen capture to check my grip:

6i-GripCheck_2016-05-17.jpg

Looks pretty close to what I was doing in Erie with Erik.  Over the ball, I keep thinking it's a little too strong, but it feels comfortable (I've tried a bit weaker, but that feels strange), and those pull-hooks haven't really popped up, so I haven't messed with it.

So...work on my priority piece seems to be going OK, and I've been hitting the ball pretty well on the course.  On the other hand, my last few rounds, I've scored like absolute shit, so it's been a bit of a discouraging month.  I'm just trying to focus on the process, and enjoy playing when I can, regardless of score.  It's helped that my last few rounds have also been in GORGEOUS weather.

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Start to mix in some shorter almost "punch" like swings. Make these sort of your go-to on the golf course for a little while. The focus on those should just be really solid contact. Short, then punch hard with good contact.

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7 minutes ago, iacas said:

Start to mix in some shorter almost "punch" like swings. Make these sort of your go-to on the golf course for a little while. The focus on those should just be really solid contact. Short, then punch hard with good contact.

Interesting...no conscious change to any mechanics, just a "punch" swing?  Sounds odd...

...yet kinda fun.  I'm in!

Will you give me the "Stupid Monkey" badge if I play an entire round with only punch shots?  ;-)

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1 minute ago, Hardspoon said:

Interesting...no conscious change to any mechanics, just a "punch" swing?  Sounds odd...

...yet kinda fun.  I'm in!

Your swing is good right now. That should help you score a bit better. Just tighten things up a little. The "change" is to keep working on what you're working on. Getting better every time I look.

And yeah, the grip's a little strong.

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1 minute ago, iacas said:

And yeah, the grip's a little strong.

Cool...I can definitely see it, which in itself is a positive.  I think my left hand is actually good (pivot point is on the "wrist depression"...whatever the heck that thing is called)...it's that right hand that I can see creeping around stronger.  I think I can bring it around slowly as I practice.

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1 minute ago, Hardspoon said:

Cool...I can definitely see it, which in itself is a positive.  I think my left hand is actually good (pivot point is on the "wrist depression"...whatever the heck that thing is called)...it's that right hand that I can see creeping around stronger.  I think I can bring it around slowly as I practice.

Both, really. The left hand I'd actually say is a bit stronger.

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Reviewed the Functional Grip thread and practiced at home all week.  Here's what my grip looks like now:

DSC05432a.jpg

(Bonus points for accidentally capturing the Titleist backpack I won at the Norwalk TST outing last year.  I went to crop the picture and realized it was back there so I left it in)

Hopefully I haven't gone too far in the other (weak) direction...it's frustrating that I can't figure out how to hold a damn club.

Went to the range this evening, and, as expected, was back to hitting a lot of pushes and push-slices.  I had to focus on delivering the clubface square (using a flat left wrist feel)...was able to hit some solid shots with that thought, but not very many.

Took @iacas' advice and kept working on the same stuff (proper turn, in-to-out path, "extendo-arms" on the follow through) and mixed in some punch swings.  I definitely made better contact on those.

Hopefully I can get this stupid grip thing taken care of...if this looks good, I'll just spend a few minutes every day practicing it.

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Good practice session today.  I reviewed the grip thread one more time before I went out, and made that a point of emphasis before every shot.

My focus was to continue to groove the in-to-out path I've been working on, but to start to really work on proper clubface angle.  My tendency right now (when I take the "correct" grip) is to leave the face open at impact, leading to straight pushes and push-fades.

It's not easy, but I did have some success, starting with slow-motion swings and working up to (what felt like) 80-90%.  I focused on using the move that @iacas explained in Erie (hand rotation, not a "wrist-flip") to get the face squared up.  I was able to hit some nice push-draws and straight draws with both the irons and driver...not consistently, but it was encouraging.

I also bought a tripod adapter for my iPhone so I can try some 240fps recordings of my swing this weekend.

 

 

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More full-swing practice today.  I'm continuing to ingrain two pieces:

  • Proper grip
  • Proper rotation

while working on my priorities:

  • In-to-out path
  • Clubface angle at impact

I was hitting most shots very well, with generally solid contact.  Mostly push-draws, with some push-straights, and one or two hooks if I overdo it on the face-squaring piece.

Near the end of the session, I hit 6 balls in a row with my 4-wood off the deck, and 5 out of the 6 were perfectly struck (the 5th was a bit low, but still straight and playable).  If someone told me I would be able to do that a year ago (even at the range), I wouldn't believe it.

 

VIDEO

 

I was also mixing in a bunch of punch-type shots per @iacas ' advice, to work on more consistent contact (I also used this shot a bit on the course this weekend when my swing started to get shaky, with good results):

 

 

 

 

ANALYSIS

Something interesting I noticed, looking at the video (after I went home), is that my impact position seems better on the punch shots.

Impact with full-speed swing:

6i_FO-A7_2016-06-05.png

Impact with "punch" swing:

6i_FO-Punch-A7_2016-06-05.png

I'm not going to worry about this yet (I assume this may be a priority down the line), but it was interesting.  To my untrained eyes, that impact position on the punch shot looks really good.

As for my actual priority, I think I'm doing OK with the in-to-out path.

At A6, the club isn't behind my hands, but it's not ahead of them either:

6i_DTL-A6_2016-06-05.png

At A8, I'm within inches of being able to see the butt end of the club:

6i_DTL-A8_2016-06-05.png

Overall, I think it looks close to what I was working towards in Erie.  If I wanted, I could "push" it more, but I'm hitting the irons really well right now (at the range at least), so I'm not sure I need to.

The driver is more problematic.  It's not terrible - solid shots are carrying well and have a nice ball flight - but (on the course and the range), I'm hitting far too many shots to the right (the unholy trifecta of push-fades, straight fades, and pushes) as I work on combining the in-to-out path with a squared-up clubface.

Club looks OK at A6:

Driver_DTL-A6_2016-06-05.png

But it's well behind my body at A8:Driver_DTL-A8_2016-06-05.png

Unless this is related to the upward driver swing, it seems like I may need to exaggerate the in-to-out swing even more with the driver to get good results.  But, it's more important (at least in the short term) to be able to consistently square the face, since my worst shots on the course are a result of a wide-open face at impact (push fades that fly off the planet).

Anywhoo - I really do feel like my full swing is improving.  I do need to start shifting some practice time to the short game and putting...right now my practice ratio is basically 98/0/2 (all full swing, all the time, except for practice putting before a round).

I've scheduled my next trip to Erie for late July; I'm excited about that.  I'm going to work my ass off for the next two months as much as time permits, and hopefully start seeing some better scoring.

 

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11 hours ago, Hardspoon said:

I was hitting most shots very well, with generally solid contact.  Mostly push-draws, with some push-straights, and one or two hooks if I overdo it on the face-squaring piece.

Near the end of the session, I hit 6 balls in a row with my 4-wood off the deck, and 5 out of the 6 were perfectly struck (the 5th was a bit low, but still straight and playable).  If someone told me I would be able to do that a year ago (even at the range), I wouldn't believe it.

Very good to hear! Awesome.

11 hours ago, Hardspoon said:

I was also mixing in a bunch of punch-type shots per @iacas ' advice, to work on more consistent contact (I also used this shot a bit on the course this weekend when my swing started to get shaky, with good results):

ANALYSIS

Something interesting I noticed, looking at the video (after I went home), is that my impact position seems better on the punch shots.

Impact with "punch" swing:

6i_FO-Punch-A7_2016-06-05.png

I'm not going to worry about this yet (I assume this may be a priority down the line), but it was interesting.  To my untrained eyes, that impact position on the punch shot looks really good.

It does, yes. VERY good impact on the right. You're right to worry about that later, too: not the priority(ies) right now.

11 hours ago, Hardspoon said:

The driver is more problematic.  It's not terrible - solid shots are carrying well and have a nice ball flight - but (on the course and the range), I'm hitting far too many shots to the right (the unholy trifecta of push-fades, straight fades, and pushes) as I work on combining the in-to-out path with a squared-up clubface.

It's working across. So, two things with the driver:

  1. Feel that the handle keeps raising up throughout impact and the follow through. Raise the handle up and out to the right. That's not really new, but emphasize it with the driver.
  2. The little twist we talked about can be done here to help square the face.
11 hours ago, Hardspoon said:

Unless this is related to the upward driver swing, it seems like I may need to exaggerate the in-to-out swing even more with the driver to get good results.  But, it's more important (at least in the short term) to be able to consistently square the face, since my worst shots on the course are a result of a wide-open face at impact (push fades that fly off the planet).

Right. #2 does the squaring, while #1 helps the path. If you end up playing a baby fade with the driver and draws with the irons, that's fine.

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On 6/6/2016 at 8:23 AM, iacas said:

It's working across. So, two things with the driver:

  1. Feel that the handle keeps raising up throughout impact and the follow through. Raise the handle up and out to the right. That's not really new, but emphasize it with the driver.
  2. The little twist we talked about can be done here to help square the face.

Right. #2 does the squaring, while #1 helps the path. If you end up playing a baby fade with the driver and draws with the irons, that's fine.

Went out to practice a bit with the driver last night...I was tired, and not in a great frame of mind, and it did not go well.  I'm able to get the "twist" part (#2) to square the face, at least at slow speed, but #1 was completely eluding me.  It felt like impact was occurring at the end of my extension, if that makes sense...as if it couldn't really go out to the right anymore because my arms weren't long enough.  Part of the problem may have been that in slow motion I wasn't getting my weight forward.

Anyway, I'm going to get out this weekend in a better state of mind to work on this, but I wanted to post here since @RandallT told me I was being far too positive in this thread.  :-P

 

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Way too much light-heartedness here, and entirely too much progress. I'm waiting for the fascinating diagnosis from the coaches on your performance on the greens :-O. We need to get to the bottom of it, because if we're not careful, Malcolm Gladwell will write his sequel Outliers book on your strokes gained putting.

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26 minutes ago, RandallT said:

Way too much light-heartedness here, and entirely too much progress. I'm waiting for the fascinating diagnosis from the coaches on your performance on the greens :-O. We need to get to the bottom of it, because if we're not careful, Malcolm Gladwell will write his sequel Outliers book on your strokes gained putting.

Haha! Love it.

Got your message, and I'm looking into it this weekend. I just realized I didn't edit pin positions in that round...I'm going to use it as an experiment. I'll snap my SG before/after editing. 

I also realized that I can use your spreadsheet for putting at least, since I do keep notes on that after each hole. 

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11 hours ago, Hardspoon said:

Haha! Love it.

Got your message, and I'm looking into it this weekend. I just realized I didn't edit pin positions in that round...I'm going to use it as an experiment. I'll snap my SG before/after editing. 

I also realized that I can use your spreadsheet for putting at least, since I do keep notes on that after each hole. 

Yah, the spreadsheet works fine with shortened holes- you don't need to enter a full hole. You "tee off" from the green with a "32g", and each hole becomes like a Par 2! But the strokes gained calculations all work against the baseline data just fine. I still suspect GG's putting baselines are quite good relative to what the PGA is putting out. It'd be great if you either confirm or reject that.

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A couple more decent practice sessions this week.

Irons are feeling good.  I can hit pretty solid (slight) pushes fairly consistently, so I would feel reasonably confident on the course (I'd just aim a bit left).  Also, with slow speed practice swings and punch shots, I'm able to "do the twist" enough to hit some draws/hooks.  Not even at moderate speed, yet, but still - progress.

Driver is a bit tougher...it is still really hard for me to get that "up and out" move at anything more than s...u...p...e...r.., s...l...o...w... m...o...t...i...o...n.   I have been making a bit of progress on "the twist" though, and just getting the clubface squared a bit better has improved the quality of my shots (on the range, at least).

Probably won't get to practice again before a round Friday morning (weather permitting)...I'm cautiously optimistic about taking progress to the course.

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Quick update after a round yesterday and a good practice session this morning.  I am still working on two main things:

1.) In-to-out swing

2.) Squaring the face properly at impact

#1 is progressing nicely with the irons...not so much with the driver.

#2 is tougher - it's very inconsistent with full-swing speeds.  I can do it pretty well on punch shots and slow-speed swings, but at anything approaching full speed the face is all over the place.  I'll hit a mix of perfect baby-draws, big pull-hooks, and some straight pushes.

So, every practice session (full-swing) right now is focused on these two items.  I do feel like I'm making progress, even if it's incredibly slow.

I haven't been filming my practice lately, since I can't really see the face-squaring "twist" on video anyway.  I think my next session I'll film a few full-speed swings just to check my positions with relation to #1.

When I actually play, I just line up aiming left and try to play the straight-push that feels "natural" (ie, no real swing thought to square the face).  I'm much more consistent that way.  If I start to struggle, I switch to a longer club and hit a punch shot or two to settle myself down.

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