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Am I heading in the right direction finding my own swing?


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High handicapper trying to get some light. I am convinced that the "natural instinct" swing of any beginner is a faulty swing. Over the top, casting, lifting and not turning, flipping etc. are all natural moves, but are bad for a golf swing. I read a lot of instruction books, you-tubes and found that although most of the info given were"right" for golf, but most likely, they will not work for an individual. Drills are useless cos' everybody would perform drills with 100% accuracy but when its time to put the total package together, they will fall apart. Drills are more like check points or information of the positions associated with the golf swing, but its tough to grove those feeling in the swing.

Furthermore what about "discover your own swing" like Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson  or even the great Ben Hogan. What I found is no matter what style of swing one has to perform, THE CLUB HEAD HAS TO COMPRESS THE GOLF BALL AT IMPACT AND SQUARE TO THE TARGET. With that in mind, I asked myself, WHY NOT LEARN THE GOLF SWING BACKWARDS? Start with chipping by holding a cocked wrist back to impact, then a 10 o'clock swing. Notice how the body and arms will react and manufacture a swing from there.

Am I right progressing this way?

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I think your turn to dismissing drills and instruction is misguided.  And you even kind of disagree with yourself, as practicing impact positions and extending back further through the swing is itself a set of drills.  If you're looking for instruction I'm a big fan of the system from the owners of this site 5 Simple Keys (5SK).  They have instructors around lots of the country now.  Or you can get great (I haven't done it myself, but know a few guys who've dropped a TON of strokes with dedicated use) online instruction at Evolvr where you upload videos and get detailed instruction.

But to your original point, I have had some success at various points where one of my tools was sitting at my impact position and trying to go backwards from there to figure out what body part or feel or whatever is throwing me off getting to that position that I want at impact from some point further back up in the swing.  But I've found this is limited by the other knowledge I have of the golf swing.  And that other drills are in fact often useful for ingraining changes in my swing further away from impact that lead to a chain of events that put me in the wrong place at impact.

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Maybe I misused the term drills. I tried a lot of drills. I looked at the mirror and videos of myself. They are all perfect especially the drop into the slot drill. What slot? When you drop the hands like the drill suggested you will prone to flip your hands at least I did.          What I am really implying  here is pre- setting ones hands and body at address so that the only swing thought is move both hands up and down.

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I think to many swing thoughts is your problem. One must lose all swing thought to gain full swing control. At least with me. It's muscle memory, take your brain out of it. Think about eating French fries. Maybe a song with a good tempo for the swing. 

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High handicapper trying to get some light. I am convinced that the "natural instinct" swing of any beginner is a faulty swing. Over the top, casting, lifting and not turning, flipping etc. are all natural moves, but are bad for a golf swing. I read a lot of instruction books, you-tubes and found that although most of the info given were"right" for golf, but most likely, they will not work for an individual. Drills are useless cos' everybody would perform drills with 100% accuracy but when its time to put the total package together, they will fall apart. Drills are more like check points or information of the positions associated with the golf swing, but its tough to grove those feeling in the swing.

Furthermore what about "discover your own swing" like Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson  or even the great Ben Hogan. What I found is no matter what style of swing one has to perform, THE CLUB HEAD HAS TO COMPRESS THE GOLF BALL AT IMPACT AND SQUARE TO THE TARGET. With that in mind, I asked myself, WHY NOT LEARN THE GOLF SWING BACKWARDS? Start with chipping by holding a cocked wrist back to impact, then a 10 o'clock swing. Notice how the body and arms will react and manufacture a swing from there.

Am I right progressing this way?

Welcome to the forum @craps

It can be very frustrating for a beginner because there is a lot of misinformation, contradictory "tips" and bad instruction out there. That is what led me to this site and the instructors who started it. If you want to improve, a great way is to post a video of your swing in the Member Swings section of the forum.  Don't be nervous about us seeing what you think is not a good swing either. We've all been there. What you will get is very constructive comments on what to work on to improve by a couple of great instructors and by other members who worked on the same thing.

The golf swing is not a natural thing for us. We didn't develop the skill over millennia because we didn't hunt using a four iron and a rock! I really think if you stick around and check out the Swing Thoughts section and the Instructional content below, you will get a great idea on what to work on to improve and how to do it.

I would seriously avoid reading golf tips from magazines and other sources until you understand what is good info and what is crap.

Have fun!

Edited by iacas
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Drills are useless cos' everybody would perform drills with 100% accuracy but when its time to put the total package together, they will fall apart. Drills are more like check points or information of the positions associated with the golf swing, but its tough to grove those feeling in the swing.

Almost no one performs a drill with 100% accuracy. Honestly any typical golfing drill is not good if it's not meant for the golfer to actually improve their swing in the direction they want to improve it. If you take a standard "Golf Digest" golf drill and just doing mindlessly it will probably not help you. If you go and see a good instructor who knows what you need to work on and gives you a drill that will change your swing for the better than that drill will work if you do it correctly. 

As for grooving a feel into the swing. Drills are awesome for that if done right and if they meant for your swing. 

 

Furthermore what about "discover your own swing" like Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson  or even the great Ben Hogan. 

Furyk is a special case. Furyk is a good case just to show that the backswing doesn't matter if it's consistent to the point it gets you in a good spot in the downswing. 

Also, Zach Johnson works with Mike Bender. I think Mike just doesn't change how Zach's swing looks because it works. I am sure Zach has tinkered with some finer points to get a tad more consistent. 

Ben Hogan was his own golf instructor and an outlier. If you don't have the skill like Hogan did then you will be a poor golfer trying to get better only by yourself. 

With that in mind, I asked myself, WHY NOT LEARN THE GOLF SWING BACKWARDS? Start with chipping by holding a cocked wrist back to impact, then a 10 o'clock swing. Notice how the body and arms will react and manufacture a swing from there.

Am I right progressing this way?

Not particularly how I would go about learning a swing. What would this serve in terms of building a swing? What consistent movement are you trying to develop that lets you come back to the ball with a non-extreme swing path and with clubface control? Honestly I can't see how this would promote a consistent swing. From I am getting at is you want to hinge early, hold the hinge through out the turn then right? 

What I am really implying  here is pre- setting ones hands and body at address so that the only swing thought is move both hands up and down.

Ok this makes a bit more sense. Pre-set drills are good for trying to get impact. They really don't teach you much of anything else. When you go back to a normal swing you might have improved your weight forward and how your hips move into impact but you still probably have a bad backswing. It depends on your priority piece. If your backswing is causing issues for your downswing then a pre-set drill is not the way to go.

In the end it's best to find a good instructor that can figure out what you need to improve on and what to leave a lone. 
 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by saevel25
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Mark Crossfield just posted and has several other good youtube videos on "fundamentals". I think the hardest thing being an adult learner of the golf swing is hitting the ball.  They may sound silly but the "your own swing pros" that you mentioned earlier started playing golf early in life. They did not need to be taught how to make contact with the ball with a swinging clubhead in a fluid motion. I am sure that at least once in their careers they tried a traditional swing but when it didn't perform as well as their swing they went back.

I have taken lessons and it seems that the drills that you mentioned or proper positioning are tweaks and improvements. But for me personally I may feel that an hour lesson grooving 1st postion, 2nd position, etc may have been a waste at first because i go to play and i can't hit the broadside of a barn.  But 3-4 weeks later those positions are a little more natural feeling or i forget about them and when i hit a good shot i realize i was doing what we had practiced.

Try a just hit it with a seven iron range session. Warm up with nice easy 1/4 and 1/2 swings with follow through turning your hands over but just trying to get the ball in the air.  Then once you are warm just hit balls.  Off your front foot, off your rear foot, crowd the ball, reach too far, closed stance, open stance.  If you try one and you have bad contact. Don't just abort it but go to 3/4 swing, then 1/2, then 1/4 if you have to to get good contact.  (I should do more of this my self)  A ball can be struck well to target from about anywhere, with most any club, with most any swing (path to face at impact determining trajectory of course) but for me personally i'll blame bad shots usually back and forth between thins and fatties on ball positioning which really isn't so and a bad crutch that i need to get out of.

 

 

Edited by sirhacksalot
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Jack Nicklaus didn't compress the ball and is the greatest golfer to ever live. My advice to you is to copy lpga tour swings and not listen to all of the advice on this thread it's designed for the flexible athlete. Instead focus on impact using eye hand coordination and not so much torque and coil which will result in disaster because beginners aren't able to do so. If you an athlete however then attain to copy good players and pga guys because your capable of doing their backswing. Iv'e seen pretty good rec players at my course hit the ball 240 yards are consistent yet they sway and aren't ideal but have learned to make it work.

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Jack Nicklaus didn't compress the ball and is the greatest golfer to ever live. My advice to you is to copy lpga tour swings and not listen to all of the advice on this thread it's designed for the flexible athlete. Instead focus on impact using eye hand coordination and not so much torque and coil which will result in disaster because beginners aren't able to do so. If you an athlete however then attain to copy good players and pga guys because your capable of doing their backswing. Iv'e seen pretty good rec players at my course hit the ball 240 yards are consistent yet they sway and aren't ideal but have learned to make it work.

Do you even read what you write?

@craps , please ignore whatever this guy posts. 

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Jack Nicklaus didn't compress the ball and is the greatest golfer to ever live. My advice to you is to copy lpga tour swings and not listen to all of the advice on this thread it's designed for the flexible athlete. Instead focus on impact using eye hand coordination and not so much torque and coil which will result in disaster because beginners aren't able to do so. If you an athlete however then attain to copy good players and pga guys because your capable of doing their backswing. Iv'e seen pretty good rec players at my course hit the ball 240 yards are consistent yet they sway and aren't ideal but have learned to make it work.

Of course Nicklaus "compressed" or deformed the ball.

Hey buddy just my opinion to a high handicapper I get the 5 k method on here it's correct but maybe not for everyone right?

The Keys are just the things that great golfers do. 5SK is not tied to any particular "method" and leaves plenty of room for every golfer to have their own quirks and unique pieces.

 

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Jack Nicklaus didn't compress the ball and is the greatest golfer to ever live. My advice to you is to copy lpga tour swings and not listen to all of the advice on this thread it's designed for the flexible athlete. Instead focus on impact using eye hand coordination and not so much torque and coil which will result in disaster because beginners aren't able to do so. If you an athlete however then attain to copy good players and pga guys because your capable of doing their backswing. Iv'e seen pretty good rec players at my course hit the ball 240 yards are consistent yet they sway and aren't ideal but have learned to make it work.

There are so many different swings on the LPGA tour.  Alexi Thompson, Natalie Gulbis, Inbee Park are nowhere near the same. And men, I'm assuming OP is male, have stronger upper bodies, so totally different physicality. 

Edited by nevets88
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i am a high handicapper too and this will probably not help you one little bit.

but if we didn't have all the different swing styles in tournament golf, it would be very boring to watch.

also, i find that certain players have their own aura, which in the long run is very important for retaining the popularity of the game.

i have been at it for years trying to find that elusive magic swing, but regardless of my constant  failures, i never tire trying new "tips' and watching in awe, events like the Masters.

 

 

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Start with chipping by holding a cocked wrist back to impact, then a 10 o'clock swing. Notice how the body and arms will react and manufacture a swing from there.

Am I right progressing this way?

If I could begin all over again and lessons from a good instructor were not an option, I would try something similar to this. Obviously, there are a lot more things to consider going from a chip to a full swing. And if you're going to learn the golf swing on your own, you'd better pack a lunch. Trial and error can take a while. 

But the idea of learning the correct impact position initially, then working "back" seems like a good one. 

If there's one thing I've learned from this site, it's that conventional golf instruction (poor instructors, youtube videos, golf magazines) can be very detrimental to learning the swing.

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If I could begin all over again and lessons from a good instructor were not an option, I would try something similar to this. Obviously, there are a lot more things to consider going from a chip to a full swing. And if you're going to learn the golf swing on your own, you'd better pack a lunch. Trial and error can take a while. 

But the idea of learning the correct impact position initially, then working "back" seems like a good one. 

But even if you do that there's no guarantee that when you make a full swing that you'll be able to get back to that good impact.

Chipping is a mini swing with very little wrist movement. When you start adding a pressure shift back and through, "full" arm swing, sweetspot swinging past A1.5, wrists hinging, a pivot, there are a lot of elements that are going to determine what happens at impact.

Not saying that understanding or being able to produce good impact alignments on a mini swing is a waste of time, just that it's unfortunately not as simple as that. Otherwise every golfer could just practice chipping swings for a few hours, "get it" and always hit the ball solid.

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I think chipping if doing right teaches one NOT TO FLIP AT IMPACT. If you do a " bigger chip', it will actually lead you to swing with your arms. The difference is shiort chip require a very firm wrist, but a half swing require you to hold thethe club lightly and let the wrist hinged naturally during backiswing and back to firm when club head passes hind leg to avoid flipping. Isn't this right?

 

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But even if you do that there's no guarantee that when you make a full swing that you'll be able to get back to that good impact.

Chipping is a mini swing with very little wrist movement. When you start adding a pressure shift back and through, "full" arm swing, sweetspot swinging past A1.5, wrists hinging, a pivot, there are a lot of elements that are going to determine what happens at impact.

Not saying that understanding or being able to produce good impact alignments on a mini swing is a waste of time, just that it's unfortunately not as simple as that. Otherwise every golfer could just practice chipping swings for a few hours, "get it" and always hit the ball solid.

I agree. That's why I stated that "obviously, there are a lot more things to consider going from a chip to a full swing".

My first lesson from a PGA pro included a bunch of time learning his grip, keeping my spine straight and restricting the hips on the backswing. Nothing about weight forward and getting my hands aligned to or in front of the club head at impact.

That's what I was referring to with my last paragraph and the point of my post. While nothing is as good as getting proper instruction such as the type you and Erik offer, there are some things worse than trying to learn the swing on your own.

To the OP, one of the swings I use with a "decent" amount of success is used with a gap wedge through 9i. The setup is very similar to what I use on a pitch or a chip where my hands are in front of the ball at setup, most of the weight is on my front foot with little or no weight shift throughout the swing. The distance is controlled by my turn and how far I grip down on the club. With this swing, my distances aren't much less than that of a full swing, but with a lot more control. I use it exclusively for shots less than 125 yards where I want a high ball flight. It's not that different than the setup I use for a punch shot with a longer iron when I need to keep the flight very low. I'm not suggesting anyone else should try this. Just thought it would be worth mentioning as it was derived from my short game setup.

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