Jump to content
IGNORED

The Ball is in the Way


Note: This thread is 1737 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

Recommended Posts

Had a bit of an epiphany today. This may or may not be helpful to any of you but it has dramatically improved my ball striking with all clubs. This is my first year golfing. My background is over 20 years of baseball. Breaking that muscle memory to build a mechanically sound golf swing has been hell. I slice everything off the planet. 

Today I tried to relax my muscles as much as possible and just swing the club. No swing thoughts, no straining of any muscles, no manipulations, just freely swing it. Not "hit the ball" like I would in baseball. 

I changed my focus from the ball to my club instead. Mentally, it was as if the ball was not there, it was simply in the way of my swinging club. 

Dear lord. 

The difference was night and day. I went from slices/shanks to towering & dead straight iron shots. My driver went from a 100yd banana slice to a consistent 250+ yd dead straight bomb. Consistently. Every club. 

My thinking is that if you have some natural athletic ability, your body knows what to do to hit the ball. You just have to let it do its thing. Swing the club. Don't worry about the ball. The ball just gets in the way of your club. 

Hope this helps someone like it's helped me. Cheers!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a similar realization about 3-4 months ago.  After 20+ years (on and off) of hitting "at the ball", all of a sudden I realized how *stupid* that is and how it's *never* going to work.  It was like a light went on in my head, lol. 

At first I thought I found "the secret to golf", lol.  But I realize now it's just one of several.  I consider this the "secret to being able to learn golf" .. because as long as you're mind is trying to hit at the ball, all the best swing advice, etc, etc . .will not come out correctly and just leave you wondering "why the hell can I not hit this stupid little ball"! 

Before I could see the ball so clearly in my mind during my swing I could've counted the dimples.  Now it looks more like a blurry line to me . .if I see it at all.  Since dropping this misconception, I've improved more rapidly than ever before in my life . .but still with a lot of hard work, practice and lessons.  Of course, I'm not a former baseball player or anything.  I swing a baseball bat totally wrong, always have . .which was another "realization" I had along the way, lol. 

 

Good luck and thanks for sharing!

Edited by Rainmaker
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Moderator

This happens when people realize that they don't have to help the ball get in the air or help it go a mile.  Too many people want to hit the ball so hard and lift up on it or cut way across it.  It's a tough barrier to overcome, so way to go!

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

I came to golf from baseball as well. I had problems in the beginning with the different weight shift, but i find the athletic motions of both swings to be similar. You're tying to swing through the contact zone in each instance. 

  • Upvote 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Moderator
3 minutes ago, Groucho Valentine said:

I came to golf from baseball as well. I had problems in the beginning with the different weight shift, but i find the athletic motions of both swings to be similar. You're tying to swing through the contact zone in each instance. 

Well in baseball, you have to watch the ball and follow it as you swing to make sure you hit the ball and not miss.  Golf, you want to swing normal and the ball is just in the way.  It is a bit different.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

5 minutes ago, phillyk said:

Well in baseball, you have to watch the ball and follow it as you swing to make sure you hit the ball and not miss.  Golf, you want to swing normal and the ball is just in the way.  It is a bit different.

I suppose. Ive just never thought about it that way. In baseball i had a habit of quitting through the zone and sawing off a lot of grounders to the second basemen. When i completed my swing i was able to drive the ball to center and right center much better. Thats the mindset i have with the golf swing too. Just complete the full motion and don't worry about "hitting" the ball. 

Edited by Groucho Valentine
Link to post
Share on other sites

This remains one of the most impressive videos I've seen . .how does he do that, lol? 

 

 

In watching this - I realized 2 things.  There are indeed many similarities between the baseball swing and the golf swing and I do *not* know how to swing a baseball bat, either.

In particular, the "butt at the ball" helped me figure out this downward, increase the angle thing in the transition.

Sorry for the slight detour - but it's an amazing video. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Rainmaker said:

At first I thought I found "the secret to golf", lol.  But I realize now it's just one of several.  I consider this the "secret to being able to learn golf" .. because as long as you're mind is trying to hit at the ball, all the best swing advice, etc, etc . .will not come out correctly and just leave you wondering "why the hell can I not hit this stupid little ball"! 

I love your point here! Prior to this epiphany I was so frustrated because I took lessons, watched endless YouTube vids, read every thread on this forum as well as others, etc. just trying to figure out how the heck to hit that stupid ball. All of those lessons and instructions are incredibly important. You can't hit it good if you swing completely wrong, you have to have a general sense of form. My "the ball is in the way" theory is not to say that all instruction should be disregarded. Quite the opposite! It is exactly as you say, changing your train of thought from "hit this ball" to "swing the club" allows the instruction and tips to come to fruition. 

 

I felt as if I was fully equipped from a mechanical side of things and it felt great on practice swings but as soon as it went from being a "practice swing" to "I'm trying to hit this ball" everything fell apart. It was incredibly frustrating.Thinking on that "swing the club" vs "hit the ball" made me have the realization that "hey, what I swing like the ball is not even there like I do in my practice swings?" To test this, I would setup at address, literally close my eyes and just swing. I was hitting the ball better with my eyes closed than when they were open. And that's when it all came together. It's a mental thing more than anything for me. I literally have to feel like the ball is not there, it simply happens to get in the way of my swinging club. 

 

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, @Rainmaker I very much appreciate it!

1 hour ago, phillyk said:

This happens when people realize that they don't have to help the ball get in the air or help it go a mile.  Too many people want to hit the ball so hard and lift up on it or cut way across it.  It's a tough barrier to overcome, so way to go!

So true! Prior to this I would try to muscle the ball as far as I could with the driver and lift the ball as much as I could with irons rather than just letting the loft of the club do the work for me. It feels good to have broken this barrier, as you say :) 

 

Now if I could just translate that to the course on a consistent basis I'll be a happy man and can start working on game strategy rather than sitting there thinking "gosh, I hope this ball goes in the air this time" lol!

1 hour ago, phillyk said:

Well in baseball, you have to watch the ball and follow it as you swing to make sure you hit the ball and not miss.  Golf, you want to swing normal and the ball is just in the way.  It is a bit different.

This was a huge realization for me. I realized that while in baseball I had to be laser-focused on the ball if I wanted to hit it, in golf, the ball is stationary and it is not moving anywhere in the process of my swing. Theoretically, once I've setup at address, I don't need to see the ball anymore because I'm already positioned to hit it, and it's not going to move on me. It's simply just in the way at that point. 

 

Thanks for sharing, @phillyk!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am reading this and can´t wait to give it a try ! I am so frustrated these days because I feel that I am play worse everyda day that goes by. Maybe, the explanation has something to do with this point. I try to squeeze the grip, and I need to be relaxed and just swing....

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

6 minutes ago, Jameson said:

I am reading this and can´t wait to give it a try ! I am so frustrated these days because I feel that I am play worse everyda day that goes by. Maybe, the explanation has something to do with this point. I try to squeeze the grip, and I need to be relaxed and just swing....

Can't wait to hear how it goes! Good luck out there!

Link to post
Share on other sites

You can use your experience in baseball to your advantage.  In golf and baseball you load on your post leg and brace with your stride leg...end result?...Stability!...You don't go anywhere!  Ted Williams is a better template for golf than Charlie Lau.  Here is an image you may find familiar.  The bat/club is a door...the ball/front of the plate is the threshold...your assignment is to shut the door such that the baseball/golf ball is propelled (smacked) straight up the middle.  If you are a bit late you foul away...if you a bit early (impatient) you will pull the ball.  The tricky bit about both is that the bat/club unloads later than is generally assumed.  In baseball it is from the threshold forward...in golf it is the same.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

I found a similar awareness from hitting balls at / past dusk on the range. I don't even think about looking at the ball anymore, and if I make a good pivot, my contact is better than it used to be.

Aspects of the baseball swing don't transfer well to golf like how much they hit up on the ball even for line drives and you can hit effectively off the back foot a bit in baseball (less full transfer to lead side), but that's a potential 'death move' in golf.

Congrats on the epiphany! Breakthroughs like that are part of the fun of golf.:beer:

Edited by natureboy
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

The plane may be different but the mechanics are very similar: load on the post leg and brace with the stride (front) leg.  This must happen.  Otherwise you compromise your rotation.  You cannot wallop a golf ball while sliding to a stop.  The stable back leg keeps your center from drifting away from the target (2nd base) and the stable front leg keeps you from drifting toward the target.  Such a base provides both consistency and power.  It took me much longer than it should have to recognize that I like giving a full shot my undivided attention.  There are many others who feel the same.  What I did not know was how fluid and seemingly effortless true power is.  I was attacking the ground; when I should have been slapping line drives up the middle.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

  • Administrator
9 minutes ago, Piz said:

The plane may be different but the mechanics are very similar: load on the post leg and brace with the stride (front) leg.

I disagree that the motions are very similar at all. Your weight stays back in baseball hitting (50/50 or so), but you slide your hips forward quite a bit in golf. Baseball has a backswing. Golf has feet that don't move much. No baseball player jumps up with both feet like Lexi but lots of girls (and some guys) do it. The goals are different: you don't have to hit a baseball just before you hit the ground. Etc. Long list of differences. Short list of similarities.

On March 26, 2014 at 9:59 AM, Deryck Griffith said:

The habits that are ingrained by the baseball swing are horrible habits for the Golf Swing and most times, a former baseball player who is "now a golfer" must exercise those baseball swing habits completely out of their muscle memory.

That happens to be a guy who played pro baseball at a high level.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Fair enough; but you missed the reference to Ted Williams and Charlie Lau.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

5 hours ago, Piz said:

You can use your experience in baseball to your advantage.  In golf and baseball you load on your post leg and brace with your stride leg...end result?...Stability!...You don't go anywhere!  Ted Williams is a better template for golf than Charlie Lau.  Here is an image you may find familiar.  The bat/club is a door...the ball/front of the plate is the threshold...your assignment is to shut the door such that the baseball/golf ball is propelled (smacked) straight up the middle.  If you are a bit late you foul away...if you a bit early (impatient) you will pull the ball.  The tricky bit about both is that the bat/club unloads later than is generally assumed.  In baseball it is from the threshold forward...in golf it is the same.  

Teddy ballgame's wrists also speak a bit to good things.

Link to post
Share on other sites

After sleeping on it...I think the difference is one of perspective.  I look for similarities and am relentlessly positive.  A skill developed in one sport does not have to be directly transferable to another to be of use.  A good 3-pointer, base hit, or bunker shot, all feature balance, tempo, and grace.  Every sport I know of requires both confidence and humility.  Details are important; but no less so than learning how to identify them.  So, again, it depends on how you look at it and why.  I see a batter I see someone setting up in the box...taking a stance...gripping the bat lightly...initiating a swing with the lower body...keeping the head reasonably stable...rotating the upper body against a stable lower half...the weapon lagging...then unloading thru the ball...squarely, if all goes according to plan.  It isn't so much a case of having to forget something you have learned - it's deciding what it is you have learned.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

I agree with the light grip philosophy.  I keep my grips clean and wear a dry glove.  The clubface will try to naturally return to square if you don't grip too hard.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Note: This thread is 1737 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



  • Want to join this community?

    We'd love to have you!

    Sign Up
  • Support TST Affiliates

    TourStriker PlaneMate
    Golfer's Journal
    Whoop
    SuperSpeed
    FlightScope Mevo
    Use the code "iacas" for 10% off Mevo and the code "iacasfeb21" for 10% off SuperSpeed.
  • Posts

    • Of course I know I can take more than one. And I usually do. Every now and then this seems to be a mistake I will make.  Like I said I don't really think I make too many course management decision errors. 
    • Yep, I get that. There is so much in life that needs to be prioritized over golf. Golf is still a game. Life, and the people in need to be given more priority. Sometimes I forget that. But hopefully, there will be a time in the future when you can do your 4 day golf school. Best wishes. 
    • Both. Thanks, that's interesting. I do address the ball with the driver club head on the ground. I'll check what happens when I hover it slightly. Now I'm a "low-pegger", so at impact the driver header is pretty close to the ground. I still get a few degrees upwards AoA. I try to address the ball towards the toe with driver. Just to avoid "heeliness". Could that actually have the opposite effect? My brain thinks I need to move the club "longer out"? I can also add that I'm an inside-outer, probably coming from the inside 5 degrees.
    • Really appreciate your input, I’m not going to add more than 1.5 inches as per info I’ve read and seen on some videos such as Mcgolf. It’s for my brother and the reason I’m leaning towards keeping the ping shafts is the flex suits him, I just don’t know if the butt extension is going to make the shaft stronger or not. Was hoping someone had done it before, guess I do it and see what happens. Cheers 
    • I’ve got tennis elbow so I’ve only been a few times over the last few years as hitting balls one after the other does me no favours.   I’ve got tennis elbow so I’ve only been a few times over the last few years as hitting balls one after the other does me no favours.   I usually play Wednesdays and Fridays also the odd Monday  . If I don’t play Monday I will often go and have some practice, either that or a Tuesday. I often take the Driver , 3 wood 4,5 & 6 irons out of the bag and go with the rest. Learn to hit shots with the clubs I have ,stop around the green have a few chips ,pitches putts etc.  Also I read Dave Pelz’s short game book a while back. I’ve adapted my bike and can fit a wedge on it. At night I go down to the corner of a mown area by sports fields. I take turns of which wedge, and do pitch & 2 different ‘finesse’ swings. Over summer I’ve gotten a pretty fair idea of how far I hit the various swings & it’s definitely paid dividends . I regularly get up & down from under 100 yards, especially under 40/50.  Before I just sort of guessed which club, and the other benefit is swinging slower I find I’m much more accurate with my direction. 
  • Today's Birthdays

    1. Miguel Martinho
      Miguel Martinho
      (25 years old)
    2. mtclinton21
      mtclinton21
      (36 years old)
    3. SwingCity18
      SwingCity18
      (33 years old)

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to TST! Signing up is free, and you'll see fewer ads and can talk with fellow golf enthusiasts! By using TST, you agree to our Terms of Use, our Privacy Policy, and our Guidelines.

The popup will be closed in 10 seconds...