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Hardspoon

My Swing (Hardspoon)

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I was able to get out to the range yesterday, and play a "practice round" today (playing as a single sandwiched between foursomes for most of the round)...both in beautiful weather.

Backswing pieces are feeling pretty good, including the shallowing (more hand depth) part.  Still a bit of work to do on the elbow piece; a lot of swings result in thin contact or contact off the toe...my guess is that when I don't get the rear elbow down, my lead arm "shortens".

When I make solid contact, ball flight is a nice draw (miss is a hook).  I seem to have gained a bit of distance on well-struck drives.

Excited to keep working through the winter...but I also plan on playing as much as I can, and using those rounds to practice short game stuff (and just have fun!)

 

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Simply awful practice session tonight, and it was completely my own fault.  I entirely abandoned the 5 S's of good practice, and ended up discouraged, annoyed, and frustrated.

Fun times.

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11 hours ago, Hardspoon said:

Simply awful practice session tonight, and it was completely my own fault.  I entirely abandoned the 5 S's of good practice, and ended up discouraged, annoyed, and frustrated.

Fun times.

It happens to all of us. Sometimes I am stressed or feel physically off and lose my focus. What I've done lately, when I find myself going down the wrong practice path, is change it up immediately. Example: switch to hitting 1/2 and 3/4 wedge shots or working on 'get out of trouble' punch shots.

Another way of helping is just getting a small bucket and only working on slower swings.

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Played a round with @iacas and @saevel25 today.  Erik gave me a few tips on my setup (standing a bit taller) that I'll be working on.  I played pretty poorly, although I did hit some decent shots.

The only encouraging thing was the short game.  I'm feeling a bit better about my pitching technique.

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1 hour ago, Hardspoon said:

Played a round with @iacas and @saevel25 today.  Erik gave me a few tips on my setup (standing a bit taller) that I'll be working on.  I played pretty poorly, although I did hit some decent shots.

The only encouraging thing was the short game.  I'm feeling a bit better about my pitching technique.

No pressure playing with those guys...;-). Had to be a cool experience though. I'm guessing you did ok.

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1 hour ago, Hardspoon said:

Played a round with @iacas and @saevel25 today.  Erik gave me a few tips on my setup (standing a bit taller) that I'll be working on.  I played pretty poorly, although I did hit some decent shots.

The only encouraging thing was the short game.  I'm feeling a bit better about my pitching technique.

You were better than you give yourself credit for. The short game was good, too, yeah… you'll just want to stop the thing where you MAKE your head go so early. :-)

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

you'll just want to stop the thing where you MAKE your head go so early. :-)

Yes, that's definitely a "crutch" right now to make sure I pivot. I'll start to tone it down as I get more comfortable with the overall technique.

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Played a practice round today.  My focus on full swings was my stance (standing a bit taller) and on my backswing (finishing a full turn with proper depth).  Overall, I hit the ball well.  I was playing multiple balls (and often dropping another after a bad shot), but I did keep score with the first ball on each hole.  It would have actually beaten my personal best by two shots if I took ESC on the one hole I didn't finish (lost ball).

I was completely alone on the course, so I also used the opportunity to practice AimPoint reads (checking them with a digital level) and take some extra practice on my pitching technique.

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Played a very good round (for me) today; had a real chance to break 90 until a penalty shot on 15 and a lipped out par putt on 17.  Still shot a PB 92, on a difficult course (72.6/136) and in 40-degree weather.  I was hitting the ball pretty solidly...I hit quite a few really good shots.  Putting was bad, as always.

I think that standing a little more upright (butt of the club pointed at my belt) has really helped me make better contact.  It may not look much different on video, but the feeling with my arms at address is better.

I'm finally getting more comfortable with making a full backswing, although once in a while I slip back into the shortened version if I don't focus on it.  I'm also getting better at getting my hands deeper.  I'm going to keep practicing these, but I really need to start working on my downswing priority (elbow piece) since I haven't really worked on that enough at all.

Pitching technique is still not good.  In order to make myself rotate my hips, I have to jerk my head around as well.  I'm going to keep practicing that.

I had the course completely to myself, so I took some on-course swing videos at @iacas' request (angles may be a bit off, since I was using a rigged-up "tripod").

Driver:

 

 

Irons:

I definitely didn't get a good rotation on my backswing on this first swing, although the shot turned out well (GIR):

 


Partial Wedge Shot:

 

Pitching "Technique" (ha):

 

I don't have much to say about these, since I was really just playing and wasn't working on anything in particular.  We're supposed to get some snow in the upcoming week, but I'm hoping to get some more (heated) range time over the next few weeks.

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9 minutes ago, iacas said:

Do that stuff better. ;-)

I hate when you give me such technical advice. :-P

My reads and bead are improving; distance control is really the culprit for my bad putting. At least once a round, I'll hit a putt that travels under 50% or over 150% of the distance to the hole.

I did take a couple "greenside" videos of me putting, and I'm definitely accelerating through the stroke too much. I'm going to work with a yardstick in my living room to better match up my backswing and follow-through length.

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2 minutes ago, Hardspoon said:

I hate when you give me such technical advice. :-P

You're going to have a hard time doing your elbow thing with the backswing being flat.

So rather than work on the downswing, spend a little time making sure the backswing isn't getting "hands away from you, arms rolled, shaft flat" during the first 3/4 of the backswing.

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18 minutes ago, iacas said:

You're going to have a hard time doing your elbow thing with the backswing being flat.

So rather than work on the downswing, spend a little time making sure the backswing isn't getting "hands away from you, arms rolled, shaft flat" during the first 3/4 of the backswing.

Hmmm, OK. I think I see what you mean.  

So in my effort to get more hand depth, I'm bringing the hands "out and around" too much, instead of straight(er) back? 

 

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7 minutes ago, Hardspoon said:

Hmmm, OK. I think I see what you mean.  

So in my effort to get more hand depth, I'm bringing the hands "out and around" too much, instead of straight(er) back? 

Yeah. Let the turn give you the depth.

We should make a video on that.

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On 12/4/2016 at 6:13 PM, iacas said:

Yeah. Let the turn give you the depth.

We should make a video on that.

 

Dropping this link in here so I can follow along in my thread...(and, thanks).

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I've decided to be a bit more rigorous documenting my evolving priorities, with the goal of more focused practice.  In anticipation of some winter practice time (and a trip to Erie in a few weeks), I'm posting an updated list of my current practice items for my own reference.  This is based on my list from July, along with progress and feedback over the past few months.  Items that are crossed out are natural enough right now that I don't have to consciously practice them.

1.A - Full Swing (Setup)

  • Stronger grip
  • Stand further from the ball
  • Feet a bit more flared
  • Stand a bit more upright

1.B - Full Swing (Backswing)

  • Full rotation (no cutting it short)
  • Maintaining axis tilt during the backswing
  • Hands gain more depth, primarily from the pivot/turn

1.C - Full Swing (Downswing)

  • Prevent elbow from getting trapped, by driving elbow forward and pushing hips (keep clubhead behind hands)  Not a priority for now
  • Finish out to the right and up, rather than around
  • Clubface control  Not a priority for now

2 - Pitching

  • Hands lower (shallower shaft)
  • Ball position and weight forward
  • "Wristy" take-away (hands don't move much)
  • Hip rotation drives the swing, but without whipping the head around
  • "Close" follow through

3 - Putting

  • Practice AimPoint reads with digital level
  • Practice AimPoint process for short-, mid-, and long-length putts
  • Practice AimPoint adjustment for speed
  • Check AimPoint calibration (3@15 and 2@20)
  • Speed control

As expected, the setup items were pretty easy to address (pun intended).  My only continued fix is standing a bit more upright than I had been, with more of a "straight-arm" feel.  For the next few weeks, the backswing pieces will be my priority, along with indoor putting practice to work on my speed control.

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I've been working at home a bit on the backswing pieces:

It seems like I'm able to roll the arms less and keep my hands closer by feeling like I start the swing with my chest, rather than my hands or arms or the club.  Not sure if this is enough yet...but it seems a bit better.  About a week until my next trip to Erie, so I'd like to get this nailed down a bit more to make that trip more productive.

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