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Hardspoon

My Swing (Hardspoon)

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1 minute ago, iacas said:

Remember that the pig is forward and outside the ball. Not by your left foot.

Yeah, I've just been playing around here at home since I got back, and that was a big part of the problem.

(thanks)

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15 hours ago, Hardspoon said:

Went back to the range today with video to see how I was doing on my downswing piece; I'm glad that I did...

...since I'm completely screwing it up. 

Looks decent there, and the impact position is OK, but it's not as good as it was up in Erie:

6i_FO_A7_2017-01-15_Stab Drill.png

Even worse, when working on the "pump/stab" drill, I was not getting the backswing pieces right (generally bad on the hand depth, and some weird stuff going on at the top):

This had me coming way over the top (and mixing in some other weirdnesses), demonstrated at A5:

6i_DTL_A5_2017-01-15_Stab Drill.png

The good news is that I was able to see all of this going on as I worked by reviewing the video; the bad news is I struggled to correct it.  I need to make sure the "pumps" include my previous work to keep the club behind my hands, and I need to keep working on the backswing stuff until I can do it even while working on my downswing piece.

I'm going to work on that stuff at home, and then hopefully get back out to the range soon to try again.

 

One fun note: my driving range puts up seasonal inflatables (turkey for Thanksgiving, etc.), and they had a snowman set up today on the 150-yard green, perfectly on my aiming line for the bay that I ended up at.  On one of my shots, I hit him directly in the face.  Hilarious.

Snapshot 1 (1-15-2017 4-28 PM).png

 

So now you are going to have bad dreams about an inflatable snowman chasing you around the golf course John! :-P

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After a few weeks, I finally got back out the range today. I definitely did better at hitting my "normal" (hands deeper) position at A4, and had a few successes with the downswing piece at slow speed.

Downswing pieces are definitely tougher to learn than backswing or (obviously) setup stuff. I wouldn't be surprised if I'm working on this same thing all summer (and I'm OK with that).

I am going to be playing golf three straight days this week (in shorts!!!); I'm cautiously optimistic about how I'll be able to play. This is the first year where I haven't taken the winter off from practicing.

 

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1 hour ago, Hardspoon said:

Downswing pieces are definitely tougher to learn than backswing or (obviously) setup stuff. I wouldn't be surprised if I'm working on this same thing all summer (and I'm OK with that).

I am going to be playing golf three straight days this week (in shorts!!!); I'm cautiously optimistic about how I'll be able to play. This is the first year where I haven't taken the winter off from practicing.

Rehearsals (if you want) before the swing, then use whatever feeling you develop there as your "swing feel" for your shot.

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1 hour ago, Hardspoon said:

This is the first year where I haven't taken the winter off from practicing.

Ditto! Trying not to get my hopes up, but I'm looking forward to the warmer weather to see if I can start a season stronger than other years.

Also, now that you mention it, I think I've been working on my backswing for just about as long as I've ever had instruction (and I'm also ok with that, as it seems to be working). Will be refreshing to one day move on to focusing on something moving TOWARD the ball instead of AWAY :-D 

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10 minutes ago, iacas said:

Rehearsals (if you want) before the swing, then use whatever feeling you develop there as your "swing feel" for your shot.

Yep this is what I do.

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39 minutes ago, iacas said:

Rehearsals (if you want) before the swing, then use whatever feeling you develop there as your "swing feel" for your shot.

Makes sense, thanks!

I tried something similar for the last 10 or so swings with a few different clubs, to get a feel for what I'd do on the course. I think I've finally kicked my shortened-backswing habit, so I can hopefully use this as my one swing thought on the course.

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Had a decent practice session today. I've been plugging away at my backswing stuff at home in front of a mirror, so that is getting more and more natural.

My focus today was on the downswing elbow piece. It went OK. When I would do the piece at a decent speed on a "real" swing, I'd almost always push the ball right. I'll worry about that later. 

It's also time for some video next time out just to check things.

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After literally a month without swinging a club (I've been limited by work and travel and weather to in-house slow-motion practice), I went back out to the range today to get some video of drills and swings.  In 37-degree weather.  Ugh.

Using slow-motion rehearsals, the "stab" drill, and video, I was able to work on the elbow piece.

I'm putting the videos of my drill in a spoiler, mostly just for reference and for @iacas to take a look at if there's something seriously wrong.  I'm at the point now where I'm hitting roughly the same positions in my drills and my 90% swings.

Spoiler

6i DTL, Stab Drill:

6i FO, Stab Drill:

 

Full swings are looking better than before (both are with the 6-iron):

 

 

I'm able to get the club in a better position at A5:

6i_DTL_A5_2017-03-19.png

...and I'm doing better at achieving inline impact:

6i_FO_A7_2017-03-19.png

That impact position is definitely improved.  And when I was hitting shots solidly, they were FLYING, even in the cold weather.

My biggest problem right now is contact off the toe of the club.  The second shot (FO) filmed here was very toe-ey...and it's a recurring issue.

What I've noticed is that when I focus on the "stab" piece (early downswing), my contact is much worse.  When I use a swing thought of "hands fast", and getting my hands forward quickly in relation to my arms (late downswing), my contact is much more solid.  It's hard to tell without being rigorous about it and video-ing the two different thoughts, but I'm going to try using the hands-forward thought and see if that helps.

In some ways, this session was just a warm--up after not having swung a club in so long, but it was encouraging to see that slow-motion work in the house can achieve results too.  I'm looking forward to continuing on the same path and getting better at simply finding the center of the clubface (unless Erik sees something I should tweak look out for, of course).

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21 hours ago, Hardspoon said:

What I've noticed is that when I focus on the "stab" piece (early downswing), my contact is much worse.  When I use a swing thought of "hands fast", and getting my hands forward quickly in relation to my arms (late downswing), my contact is much more solid.  It's hard to tell without being rigorous about it and video-ing the two different thoughts, but I'm going to try using the hands-forward thought and see if that helps.

I was going to suggest that you stab "outward" slightly more.

Also, since you're working on your hands, your lower body isn't quite doing what it normally would, since the focus is on your hands. So if it's not as dynamic or getting forward as much, you'll fat/toe more shots.

But if the thought works, go with it, because it's pretty much in the same "mechanics" cluster, so… Yeah. Go with it.

And yeah, really looking good otherwise.

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5 hours ago, iacas said:

I was going to suggest that you stab "outward" slightly more.

OK - I can see that.  The very start of my downswing still has the handle starting down more than out, so I could see how improving that thought would help.  I'll work on this at home.

I only hit maybe 10 balls, so there's nothing to say that the difference in toe shots was anything more than coincidence.  Looking forward to being able to practice more often as the weather improves.

Thanks!

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I had a good practice session today, mixing in full-swing work with some partial wedges and pitching practice.

My focus for the full swing was on the downswing "stab outward" feel.  That went well.  I can really feel the difference in/around impact when I do it right, and not as many toe shots anymore.  I'm able to make much better contact on the pump drills as well, which is a good sign.

I've also recently been trying to work in a few minutes of putting practice every night, in the hopes of improving that still-glaring weakness.

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Weird practice session tonight.  I couldn't seem to get comfortable with the "stab" piece; I just couldn't feel it on anything above a 25% swing.  I spent about the first half on just slow-motion swings and drills; nothing felt good.

So, I spent some time just...hitting golf balls.  No real thoughts, just sort of worked through the bag and tried to hit solid shots.  Strangely, it went really well.  Hit most everything solid and straight, especially the driver.

Not exactly what I was hoping for, but it was nice to get out since I probably won't get to play or practice this weekend.  My next practice session definitely needs to include video.

 

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16 hours ago, Hardspoon said:

Weird practice session tonight.  I couldn't seem to get comfortable with the "stab" piece; I just couldn't feel it on anything above a 25% swing.  I spent about the first half on just slow-motion swings and drills; nothing felt good.

So, I spent some time just...hitting golf balls.  No real thoughts, just sort of worked through the bag and tried to hit solid shots.  Strangely, it went really well.  Hit most everything solid and straight, especially the driver.

Not exactly what I was hoping for, but it was nice to get out since I probably won't get to play or practice this weekend.  My next practice session definitely needs to include video.

As you get better, the "stab" feel may work less and less because to truly do it, you'd delay lag too long and some other things.

I'll leave it at that since I think you'll get what I'm saying if you think about it, and how having that much lag can make for some really goofy/bad swings.

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2 minutes ago, iacas said:

As you get better, the "stab" feel may work less and less because to truly do it, you'd delay lag too long and some other things.

I'll leave it at that since I think you'll get what I'm saying if you think about it, and how having that much lag can make for some really goofy/bad swings.

Yeah - I understand completely.  I'll be honest - my first thought (wishful thinking) was that maybe I'm doing it unconsciously now, so I can't really feel it, but it's resulting in solid contact and a better impact position.

But I'm not going to allow myself to be that optimistic until I see video.  It's more likely that it was just a coincidental day where I struck the ball well.

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I got out to practice today; unfortunately, the range was mobbed (literally people waiting for stalls) so I couldn't take video (my FO video requires an extra stall next to me).

I've definitely "lost" the stab piece...the drill and pumps just aren't really changing any feeling for me, even on slow-speed swings.  I actually gave up about halfway through and just cycled through my clubs, focusing on my backswing priority (finish it off) and on making good contact.  I actually hit the ball fairly solidly.

To be productive, I worked for a little on hitting wedge shots from the center of my stance, rather than back, per advice from Erik this weekend.

I also did some pitching work, focusing on different length swings to try to improve my distance control.

Not much else to say.  As I said before, my next session has to include video to be productive, so I'll either go to a different range or more off-time (Sunday mornings seem good, and this weekend might work well for that).

 

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Finally got back out to practice with video today (videos are in the spoilers).  The first thing I did, after warming up a bit, was to take an "on-the-course" swing with a 6-iron.  It was instantly clear why may ball-striking has been backsliding lately:

Spoiler

 

6i_FO_A7_2017-05-21_A-Test.png

This is a little after impact, so it's not as flippy as it looks, but the impact position was clearly not what I'm shooting for with the stab piece.

The good news is that - unlike my last couple sessions - I was able to feel the stab piece pretty well and get it sorted almost right away by doing my drills:

Spoiler

 

6i_FO_A7_2017-05-21_B-Stab Drill.png

Quite a difference.  I'm glad I can "feel" the stab thing again; it makes me think I can keep working on this without needing another trip to see my instructor.

When I work on it, it's also pretty good with the driver:

Spoiler

 

Dr_FO_A7_2017-05-21_B-Stab Drill.png

Something I need to be careful of is when I try to "cheat" by substituting a "straight left arm" feel for the stab feel.  I end up with the hands way back at impact, resulting in a pretty bad flip, even though the left arm is straight:

Spoiler

 

6i_FO_A7_2017-05-21_C-Hands Back BAD.png

No bueno.  This feel just doesn't work.  The good news is that I can actually tell it's going wrong, even at relatively quick speed.  I knew before looking at the video that this wasn't going to be pretty.

So...I just need to stay the course.  Keep working on the stab piece, and hopefully see progress that "sticks" this time.

For my own reference, I took a couple DTL videos, as well:

Not too bad.  Still a little steep, but these were near full speed swings so they didn't benefit from a proper execution of the "stab outward" feel.  I'm doing well with my backswing pieces, I think.

So - more of the same over the next few weeks.  Time to get to work.

Edited by Hardspoon

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