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Hardspoon

My Swing (Hardspoon)

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6 hours ago, Hardspoon said:

#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.

If you can, put three sticks out in front of you (angled away from you) and set up square. Then, dynamically, try to hit the left stick, the right stick, and the middle stick. In random order (but decide before the swing, of course).

Learn a little "club face control."

 

6 hours ago, Hardspoon said:

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.

That's a good plan. Get a pattern, even if the pattern is a push fade, and play it.

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29 minutes ago, iacas said:

If you can, put three sticks out in front of you (angled away from you) and set up square. Then, dynamically, try to hit the left stick, the right stick, and the middle stick. In random order (but decide before the swing, of course).

Learn a little "club face control."

Makes sense.  Right now, my "don't think about it" swing leaves the face a bit open (approximately square to my path with irons)...I think this drill might help me "think about it" on every swing.  I'll definitely try it next time I get out to practice.

Of course, humans are essentially incapable of consciously doing anything in truly random order...  :-P

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On ‎6‎/‎26‎/‎2016 at 5:49 PM, iacas said:

If you can, put three sticks out in front of you (angled away from you) and set up square. Then, dynamically, try to hit the left stick, the right stick, and the middle stick. In random order (but decide before the swing, of course).

Learn a little "club face control."

I tried this drill on the range today, with some punch swings.  It's a lot harder than you make it look on the video.   :-P

During my past couple practice sessions, I have had been trying to work on too many things at once.  I still need a bit of thought to make sure I make a proper turn on my backswing...and I still need to think about the in-to-out swing...and I've started to think about the clubface control.

I need to get specific with each swing, and work on my priorities slowly and one at a time.  It's tough.

I did make a bit of a breakthrough today with the in-to-out path and the driver...that was pleasant.  Again, the progress came when I only thought about that single thing, did it slowly, and did it several times in a row.

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Productive practice session this morning, trying to be very specific in what I was working on.

My practice goals right now are:

  1. Ingrain proper shoulder/hip turn (on the course this still gets too abbreviated/short)
  2. Continue to work on in-to-out swing path
  3. Learn clubface control

Session #1

First half of the session was focused only on #1 and #2.  I would rehearse the backswing, pause, then swing with an emphasis only on the path.

Drill with 6-iron:

Drill with Driver:

I was generally making good contact; hitting straight-pushes and some push-draws with the irons, and straight-pushes and push-fades with the driver.  Looking at the resultant full-speed swings later in the session, I'm happy with the progress on my swing path, particularly with the driver:

 

 

I think this is the first time I've achieved my target A6 (club inside of hands) on a full-speed driver swing:

CAPTURE_Driver_DTL-A6_2016-07-10.png

 

Session #2

After working on backswing and path for a bit, I forced myself to sit down, take a 10-minute break, have some coffee, "reset" my brain, and move on to the clubface-control drill:

I wasn't able to stick anything downrange (it's astroturf), so I need to figure something out there (maybe a cheapo stand or something).  For today, I just went with trying to start a ball right, then left, then straight, using the "twist" feel from my last trip to Erie.

Since this is the first time I tried this drill, I exaggerated the heck out of it (way left, way right).  The tough part was not altering my actual swing path (ie, "looping" to hit left).  Need to keep an eye on that.

 

Summary / Next Steps

Today's session is going to be the template for my practice strategy until my next session with @iacas in Erie (three weeks from now).  I'm going to figure out a way to get some targets downrange for the clubface drill, so I don't have to exaggerate it so much.  I think if I can take the better driver swing path to the course, I'll be scoring a bit better than I have (last two rounds were TERRIBLE with the driver).

Looking at the video, I can see a lot of weird swing things (short-arming driver impact, cupped wrists, toe-up on my rear foot, etc.), but I'm going to be focused and just keep practicing my priorities for now.  Not easy, but otherwise it would be overwhelming.

 

 

 

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Appendix - Driver "Fitting"

After my practice today, I stopped by Dick's Sporting Goods to try out drivers.  My current driver is a Cobra S2 (10.5 degree) from 2010, with a Regular Flex shaft shortened about 3/4".  Putting aside swing faults or accuracy,  I was curious about my launch conditions, and whether I could pick up some easy distance by upgrading.

It was a good news/bad news kind of deal.  Good news is that my launch conditions (on well-struck shots) are pretty good.  Rough averages:

Swing speed: 95-99 mph

Ball speed: 135mph - 140mph

Launch angle: 13 - 14 degrees

Spin: 2750 rpm

Bad news, of course, is that I'm not going to pick up significant distance (on good shots) by improving my swing.  There's only so much you can do with my mediocre swing speed.

In addition to some "calibration" with the S2, I hit the TaylorMade M2, Callaway XR16, and Cobra King F6.  The launch conditions were pretty darn close for all of them.  A bit less spin on the XR16, resulting in some extra carry, but there wasn't a significant enough difference in ball speed to spend $$$ on any of them.

Good news: I didn't spend any money.  Bad news: I'd have loved to be able to pick up some extra yards by throwing money at the problem - haha.  I was fully prepared to drop the $400 for an M2 if I saw a significant difference.

Of course, this was just a cursory look at things, to see if my driver was a major detriment (it's not).  As my swing gets more consistent, I will probably go back, with an eye towards dispersion and spin.  I will say, the XR16 was sexy, and sounded really good...but without a significant distance improvement, I'd rather spend the money on an Edel putter.

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18 hours ago, Hardspoon said:

Today's session is going to be the template for my practice strategy until my next session with @iacas in Erie (three weeks from now).  I'm going to figure out a way to get some targets downrange for the clubface drill, so I don't have to exaggerate it so much.  I think if I can take the better driver swing path to the course, I'll be scoring a bit better than I have (last two rounds were TERRIBLE with the driver).

Are we doing that on the 31st? That Sunday?


To you, John (@Hardspoon) and others reading… we don't normally just say "swing in to out" as our instruction. This was John's secondary or tertiary piece that day, and for whatever reason, it produced really good results for him when he began doing it. So, we went with the "feel" or "picture" or thought that worked at the time.

Which isn't to say we won't refine that, or that everyone gets the same instruction for the same desired outcome. Even John will probably get something a bit more specific as his backswing has improved and is likely no longer Priority A, and we may do things with sticks or feeling where the hands go or several other types of things to help improve the path.

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18 minutes ago, iacas said:

Are we doing that on the 31st? That Sunday?

We had talked about doing a little work Saturday and Sunday in Erie/NY. I'm up for whatever. I'll PM you.

19 minutes ago, iacas said:

To you, John (@Hardspoon) and others reading… we don't normally just say "swing in to out" as our instruction. This was John's secondary or tertiary piece that day, and for whatever reason, it produced really good results for him when he began doing it. So, we went with the "feel" or "picture" or thought that worked at the time.

Yeah, I was trying to explain this to someone the other day, actually. It's just been convenient shorthand.

The "feel" (swing thought) that worked for me that specific day was "in-to-out" (after trying a few others), so I've been describing it that way here...in reality, when trying to work on it, I'm thinking (and rehearsing) with focus on hand position (out rather than down).

With the driver, it's the "handle up and away" thought that works best for now.

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Well, it's been a rough week, with a crazy workload, travel, and a bit of an illness.  I haven't been able to get to the range (or play) in more than a week.  I've been trying to stay on track with slow-motion swings at home, "mapping" downswing hand position and practicing the "twist" feel for clubface control with some chip shots in the backyard.  I've also been working a bit on my putting distance control in anticipation of taking Aimpoint Express class.

I might not get to the range soon, but I'm going to get to play on Friday and Sunday this week, so I'm looking forward to getting back out.

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It looks to me on the FO with driver that your head/upper torso is lower at impact (Key #1) and this results in you having to raise your shoulders a bit and bend your arms  to find the ball which is affecting your inline impact (key #3).  Takes some good eye hand coordination to find the ball with this compensation.  Some comparisons to Adam Scott...  

I've had to work on this same thing myself.  I think about extending my arms and reaching for the ball which only works if you don't drop your upper torso on the down swing.  I hope that might help.

HS1.PNG

AS1.PNG

Hardspoon.PNG

As2.PNG

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25 minutes ago, No Mulligans said:

It looks to me on the FO with driver that your head/upper torso is lower at impact (Key #1) and this results in you having to raise your shoulders a bit and bend your arms  to find the ball which is affecting your inline impact (key #3).  Takes some good eye hand coordination to find the ball with this compensation.  Some comparisons to Adam Scott...  

I've had to work on this same thing myself.  I think about extending my arms and reaching for the ball which only works if you don't drop your upper torso on the down swing.  I hope that might help.

HS1.PNG

AS1.PNG

Hardspoon.PNG

As2.PNG

I like the pictures you have for comparison. I may use them in the future when looking at my impact and post impact positions. I agree that the bent elbows at impact can be a problem. However, it doesn't seem like it's related the primary focus he was given. That said, it is a good thing to watch for improvement in general. Sometimes it'll automatically fix itself through other swing changes, other times it's something that is a secondary or tertiary focus.

Edited by Jeremie Boop

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On ‎7‎/‎20‎/‎2016 at 2:26 PM, No Mulligans said:

It looks to me on the FO with driver that your head/upper torso is lower at impact (Key #1) and this results in you having to raise your shoulders a bit and bend your arms  to find the ball which is affecting your inline impact (key #3).  Takes some good eye hand coordination to find the ball with this compensation.  Some comparisons to Adam Scott...  

I've had to work on this same thing myself.  I think about extending my arms and reaching for the ball which only works if you don't drop your upper torso on the down swing.  I hope that might help.

Yeah, definitely could be.  I'm trying really hard not to worry about any of that yet...going to stick with the "practice template" from a couple weeks ago, and hopefully get out to the range twice this week in advance of my lessons this upcoming weekend.

On ‎7‎/‎20‎/‎2016 at 2:50 PM, Jeremie Boop said:

I like the pictures you have for comparison. I may use them in the future when looking at my impact and post impact positions. I agree that the bent elbows at impact can be a problem.

Funny - I missed @No Mulligans post until just now...so I've been wondering where the heck that photo came from (I hadn't remembered seeing it at all in this thread).

On ‎7‎/‎20‎/‎2016 at 2:50 PM, Jeremie Boop said:

However, it doesn't seem like it's related the primary focus he was given. That said, it is a good thing to watch for improvement in general. Sometimes it'll automatically fix itself through other swing changes, other times it's something that is a secondary or tertiary focus.

Exactly - it's probably all related, but I don't have the skill to work on more than one backswing and one downswing thought at a time!

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Tough practice session today.  It's hot out there (even at 8pm), and I'm tired from 36 holes of golf this weekend in 90-degree heat...and probably about 36 beers (not while golfing, but still).

I'm sticking with the same practice template.  First half of the session focuses on backswing and downswing path; second half focuses on clubface control.  Every swing is on video and reviewed.

I was a bad "stupid monkey" for about 5 swings at the beginning...I was thinking about the "short-arm" stuff above, and trying to work on it.  Based on the slow-mo video, I was actually able to get one REALLY good inline impact with the 6-iron by DRIVING my hands forward...but I made terribly fat contact.  After that swing I made myself stop and put it completely out of my head.  I didn't even take any more face-on video.  F-O-C-U-S is key right now.

After that brief distraction, my swing path and backswing work went OK...I was getting a bit lazy on the backswing and not completing my turn on some swings, but I'm doing better at hitting my downswing positions.  Contact and ball flight with the irons is really good right now (relative to my skill level).  I was hitting mostly my "on-course" pushes, moving towards push-fades with the longer clubs, but with overall very solid contact and height.

 

 

I think my A4 is pretty good on this swing...full shoulder turn and good hip turn (not sure about hand/arm position, but that's not part of what I'm working on right now):

6i_DTL_A4_2016-07-25.png

 

Club is in-line with the hands at A6 (that's good):

6i_DTL_A6_2016-07-25.png

 

Impact (not checking anything here yet, but including for completeness).  I can tell I'm still "short-arming" it at impact, but I'm not worried about that yet:

6i_DTL_A7_2016-07-25.png

 

Game Golf tag basically visible at A8 (that's good):

6i_DTL_A8_2016-07-25.png

 

I'm also finally hitting my target positions with my driver, which represents progress.  Contact was pretty bad tonight (quite a few heel and toe strikes), so I just slowed it down to 75% with the driver and focused on path.  Hit some decent 200-yard baby-fades with that swing (also a bunch of my "on-course" pushes).

 

A4 here felt a bit abbreviated, but it looks OK on the video (feel was probably because it was not a full-speed swing):

Driver_DTL_A4_2016-07-25.png

 

Club is in-line with the hands at A6 (took me a damn month to be able to do this with the driver, but...it's getting more and more consistent):

Driver_DTL_A6_2016-07-25.png

 

Impact for completeness:

Driver_DTL_A7_2016-07-25.png

 

Good A8 here for the driver (again, I say "really good" only in terms of the swing path I've been working towards):

Driver_DTL_A8_2016-07-25.png

 

Overall, I think it was a good night of work on swing path, considering how I was feeling.

 

As for the clubface control drill: I really need to find a way to put something downrange (or start going to a different range to work on that piece).  Without a visual reference, the open/closed clubface positions are way too exaggerated.  I'm probably still working on the skill (the "twist"), but not as productively as I could be.  This might be the piece that prompts me to buy a small net for the backyard.

 

Summary / Next Steps

I'm hoping to get one more practice session in this week before my trip to work with @iacas on Saturday.  Based on my slow progress to date, unless that session is some sort of cosmic breakthrough, I don't think I'm going to be ready to add any more drills or pieces to work on yet.  If I tried to add another swing thought on either the backswing or downswing, I'm pretty sure it'd mess up one of my current priorities.  Especially since I've only cracked the surface of the clubface control drill.

We'll see.  I suppose if I were to focus on getting into a better position at A4, I could work that into the backswing drills I've been doing...or something similar.

 

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On 7/25/2016 at 10:21 PM, Hardspoon said:

unless that session is some sort of cosmic breakthrough, I don't think I'm going to be ready to add any more drills or pieces to work on yet.

I took a tiny unexpected little hiatus for a bit, but right before the break, I was thinking that an in-person tune-up was exactly what I needed. As you know, I'm working on pretty much one thing, and I've struggled to do what I need to get past that one hump. In my case, I have trouble slowing down enough to the point where I get it right, and I'm way to eager to speed up to swing at normal speeds. 

So my thought was: if I had one of these experts right there with me, I'd be more likely to get over the hump. Similar to having a personal trainer I get a better workout than when I go alone to the gym. So I can't wait to hear how it goes at Erie.

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2 hours ago, RandallT said:

I took a tiny unexpected little hiatus for a bit, but right before the break, I was thinking that an in-person tune-up was exactly what I needed. As you know, I'm working on pretty much one thing, and I've struggled to do what I need to get past that one hump. In my case, I have trouble slowing down enough to the point where I get it right, and I'm way to eager to speed up to swing at normal speeds. 

So my thought was: if I had one of these experts right there with me, I'd be more likely to get over the hump. Similar to having a personal trainer I get a better workout than when I go alone to the gym. So I can't wait to hear how it goes at Erie.

I think he could attest to how it went based on the first time he was here. The bit he's kinda doing now was a last little piece in case he struggled with club face control, but he is doing much better at the other things he was asked to do. The "big" parts of his last time here.

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38 minutes ago, iacas said:

I think he could attest to how it went based on the first time he was here.

Yup.  @RandallT, I will admit I haven't tried Evolvr, so I don't know how it'd "mesh" with in-person instruction, but I can't emphasize enough how much that single trip to Erie helped me.  I'm going to try to make a trip every couple months or so regardless of progress...if anything, it will make sure that I continue to "do my homework" since I'd be mortified to show up there without having busted my ass to incorporate changes from the last time.

FWIW, the "cosmic breakthrough" I was hoping for was during my next SOLO practice session (tonight, hopefully), so that I could feel comfortable enough with the current priority piece(s) and maybe clear the brain capacity for a new one.

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6 minutes ago, Hardspoon said:

Yup.  @RandallT, I will admit I haven't tried Evolvr, so I don't know how it'd "mesh" with in-person instruction, but I can't emphasize enough how much that single trip to Erie helped me.  I'm going to try to make a trip every couple months or so regardless of progress...if anything, it will make sure that I continue to "do my homework" since I'd be mortified to show up there without having busted my ass to incorporate changes from the last time.

FWIW, the "cosmic breakthrough" I was hoping for was during my next SOLO practice session (tonight, hopefully), so that I could feel comfortable enough with the current priority piece(s) and maybe clear the brain capacity for a new one.

I completely agree that the face to face lessons I've had with Erik have always netted much better and quicker results than I ever was able to achieve when I tried Evolvr. However, I believe that's more due to my own personal style of learning as I do much better with instant feedback than I do with being told to do something on my own and filming the drill or movement to upload then wait for feedback on whether I'm doing it correctly. Other people who are much more adept at interpreting what they are told by their instructor through Evolvr have as much or more success than I have by getting in-person instruction.

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Whew.

I just finished an intense couple days of instruction/practice in Chautauqua/Erie. Full-swing work with @iacas on Saturday morning, and a practice round/playing lesson in the afternoon along with @saevel25 (who also gave some great tips, and helped me check my address pieces).

This morning, I headed to Golf Evolution for some work on pitching technique, then AimPoint Express, and then an Edel putter fitting with @Slice of Life.

I'm worried it was too much for one weekend (information overload), but I am hoping it will be easily broken down into a few different parts.  I'm going to post a bit later with my priority pieces for the full swing and pitching, and some general AimPoint notes. 

Even if the full-swing stuff makes me regress a bit in the short-term (I could barely hit a ball on Saturday), I think the pitching and putting stuff will have an immediate positive impact on score. I'm going to take a couple weeks without playing just to try to process all this.

But first...one of life's simple pleasures on a Sunday afternoon: a two-hour nap with golf on TV.  :zzz:

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