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"Hit Impulse" not Full Swing Yips - Mental Coaching


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I need some mental coaching...OK, OK...my friends would say "So what's new?" Here's my issue. My practice swing is full, smooth, and gives a powerful swoosh. Put a ball in front of me and my full swing turns into a short, quick, jerky movement. Over the past two years I have lost about 30 yards on my drives. My greens in regulation on par 4's are about zip. If it wasn't for the fact that I have a solid short game, I couldn't break 90 whereas before I was knocking on 80 regularly. It only effects my driver and fairway woods swing. My research says that I have a 'hit impulse' not 'full swing yips' as in Charles Barkley yips. I still shoot mid-80s but it is frustrating to give up so much distance off the tee. I have tried dropping my practice swing to reduce thinking too much (too many mechanical swing thoughts) and just taking aim and swinging. I have tried humming while swinging through the ball. Now I realize I need some mental coaching to get past this. Just hitting balls on the range doesn't work well but my swing on the range is better than on the course. Yes, I know, added pressure and that is the next part. Put a hazard, lake, trap or long carry in the mix and I am hooped. I might as well just throw the ball in the hazard and move to the drop zone. If you have any tips or know of some mental exercises that might work...I am willing to try. I have looked at the work of Dr. Patrick Cohn and David McKenzie but haven't taken that step yet as their programs are expensive. Maybe later. 

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Kinda thought that 14ledo81. What I am trying to do is get my head out of the way of my real swing when the ball is in place. Plus I'd like the 30 yards I have lost on my drive in the past two years back. Hints and thoughts welcome.

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5 minutes ago, JohnLund said:

Kinda thought that 14ledo81. What I am trying to do is get my head out of the way of my real swing when the ball is in place. Plus I'd like the 30 yards I have lost on my drive in the past two years back. Hints and thoughts welcome.

I wish I had something for you.  I have (and have had as long as I can remember) the same problem.  I can make a very smooth practice swing with great "impact" positions with no ball.  Put the ball down, and back comes the flip.

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There's cure for us out there 14ledo81. I am hoping one of our fellow Sandtrappers has been through it and will post a program or suggestion that will lead the way to a cure. I am tempted to book an online session with David McKenzie at: GolfStateofMind.com to see if he has a solution. Check him out he is big in the mental game.

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Practice swings are deceiving if you have swing flaws. They are good for timing and feel but not for ironing out swing mechanics. First off, a practice swing allows you to stand upright and sway past your ball position. This gives you a much more forgiving sense of length and time. It also allows you to chili dip your swing path. But, when you have to setup to the ball you feel confined.  With a real golf swing you need to create length and leverage with coil, wrist hinging and weight shift. And, this all needs to be done with the same sense of timing, kenamatic sequence and relaxed wrists you had during your practice swing. 

There's no single recipe for how to address it all and this is the essence of golf.

My recommendation to fix hit reflex - braced right leg at address to give your hips leverage in the downswing.   Ball position just inside the left heel - not center. Approach your transition leisurely and slow. This will give you time and leverage to begin your downswing with a minor weight shift and hip twist followed by a relaxed swing. 

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Are you sure it's really "hit impulse"?  I shook off the urge to hit at the ball starting maybe 5 months ago.  I had done it for years and years and never realized it.  It has taken a LOT of work to overcome but I'd say I'm pretty much past it now. 

The thing that makes me wonder if you're really struggling with this is that you say it's only on your driver and fairway woods.  For me it was 100% through the bag.  It's a "wrong idea" that you think is right - so it seems unlikely to be only with certain clubs?   I did definitely have a much better practice swing . .and I definitely would feel constrained addressing the ball.  I don't know - I'm not an expert on fixing hit impulse, just having it, lol.

I suspect it's mechanical, though - try taking a video and see if anything jumps out at you.  If not, post it here in the member swing forum or maybe take a lesson to see what's going on. 

 

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Thanks for this tshapiro. Last week I was taking a lesson from our club pro who watched me take a practice swing then my swing with a golfball in front of me. He then said, "John you have a great golf swing. Now we need to figure a way to hit the ball with it." Since then I have read up on this issue and have come to think it is mental as much as physical. In other words I think my head is getting in the way of my ability to make a full swing. I am heading to the range again today. Overnight I had a swing thought from years ago. My early swing coach used to say, "Full swing; half speed," when I was having difficulties. His point being "relax" use a loose grip, relax the arms and take as slow a swing as possible. I am 6'2" so it is important to have a smooth vs hard swing. There is an answer out there...the search goes on.

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Rainmaker...glad to hear you got past the "hit impulse." There is hope for me. The nerves took over my 8 and 9 irons about two years ago. My club's 16th hole is an uphill water hole demanding an accurate 135 yard shot over a lake that had my nerves take over. Over time I got past that but now the nerves take over my driver, 3 and 5 woods. Weird...I know. I used to love to hit the ball hard. Over the past two years I have lost 30 yards on my driver and I can no longer get my fairway shots higher than my belt buckle. I can still play in the mid-80s but rarely get on greens in regulation. Frustrating. If I didn't have a decent short game I wouldn't break 90. I want my smooth powerful swing back. You are right, the nerves have changed my swing....I now end up on my back foot and I have trouble getting in a full shoulder turn. My nerves tighten up my muscles and just won't let me take a full smooth swing. Thanks for the encouragement.

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Success guys! At least on the range success. I took your thoughts and added one of my own and hit the ball better than I have for a long time. My swing thought for this session was, "Full swing; half speed" and it worked. Because I have been nervous about not swinging well I have been tensing up and got too quick in my back swing. This means I am not getting a full shoulder turn which in turn means a weak right result. I also use Tshapiro's idea of bracing the rear leg to prevent sway and to increase hip leverage. Viola! Long and straight off the driver. My 3-wood still needs works but then, it always did. I will have another practice session tomorrow and take it to the course on the weekend. Will let you know how that goes. I am pumped. Thanks for the thoughts guys.

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On 7/20/2016 at 11:57 AM, JohnLund said:

I need some mental coaching...OK, OK...my friends would say "So what's new?" Here's my issue. My practice swing is full, smooth, and gives a powerful swoosh. Put a ball in front of me and my full swing turns into a short, quick, jerky movement. Over the past two years I have lost about 30 yards on my drives. My greens in regulation on par 4's are about zip. If it wasn't for the fact that I have a solid short game, I couldn't break 90 whereas before I was knocking on 80 regularly. It only effects my driver and fairway woods swing. My research says that I have a 'hit impulse' not 'full swing yips' as in Charles Barkley yips. I still shoot mid-80s but it is frustrating to give up so much distance off the tee. I have tried dropping my practice swing to reduce thinking too much (too many mechanical swing thoughts) and just taking aim and swinging. I have tried humming while swinging through the ball. Now I realize I need some mental coaching to get past this. Just hitting balls on the range doesn't work well but my swing on the range is better than on the course. Yes, I know, added pressure and that is the next part. Put a hazard, lake, trap or long carry in the mix and I am hooped. I might as well just throw the ball in the hazard and move to the drop zone. If you have any tips or know of some mental exercises that might work...I am willing to try. I have looked at the work of Dr. Patrick Cohn and David McKenzie but haven't taken that step yet as their programs are expensive. Maybe later. 

A friend of mind had that great practice swing, poor ball swing . tried everything. Finally he would get into his set up, and just before he started his back swing he closed his eyes and pretended the ball was not here. It took a while, but eventually he got it right. 

Me when I tried it, for fun, I screwed myself into the ground. 

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1 minute ago, Patch said:

A friend of mind had that great practice swing, poor ball swing . tried everything. Finally he would get into his set up, and just before he started his back swing he closed his eyes and pretended the ball was not here. It took a while, but eventually he got it right. 

Me when I tried it, for fun, I screwed myself into the ground. 

That's funny Patch. My problem seems to be part mental; part physical. I think I have most of my issue solved. If I can convince myself to loosen up and slow down my backswing long enough to take a full turn, I will be fine. It's in there but I think I'll keep my eyes open thanks. 8--)

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11 minutes ago, JohnLund said:

That's funny Patch. My problem seems to be part mental; part physical. I think I have most of my issue solved. If I can convince myself to loosen up and slow down my backswing long enough to take a full turn, I will be fine. It's in there but I think I'll keep my eyes open thanks. 8--)

Yeah I have found over the years that a good take away, and smooth down swing into the ball usually takes care of a lot of things. Glad you are working it out. 

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On 7/21/2016 at 9:51 AM, JohnLund said:

Rainmaker...glad to hear you got past the "hit impulse." There is hope for me. The nerves took over my 8 and 9 irons about two years ago. My club's 16th hole is an uphill water hole demanding an accurate 135 yard shot over a lake that had my nerves take over. Over time I got past that but now the nerves take over my driver, 3 and 5 woods. Weird...I know. I used to love to hit the ball hard. Over the past two years I have lost 30 yards on my driver and I can no longer get my fairway shots higher than my belt buckle. I can still play in the mid-80s but rarely get on greens in regulation. Frustrating. If I didn't have a decent short game I wouldn't break 90. I want my smooth powerful swing back. You are right, the nerves have changed my swing....I now end up on my back foot and I have trouble getting in a full shoulder turn. My nerves tighten up my muscles and just won't let me take a full smooth swing. Thanks for the encouragement.

Here's a drill that helped me a lot.  I showed it to other people I know and it did absolutely nothing for them . . but you never know.

I call it "the reverse golf swing drill" and that's basically what it is . .make a swing in reverse.  Simulate your impact position (ie , fire hips, etc). Put the club on the ground a few inches in front of the ball.  Now *rewind* to the top of your backswing.  Once this feels comfortable, unwind into the ball. 

When I did this - a light came on for me that I'd been hitting at the ball all this time and needed to stop!  Then the work began, lol. 

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On 7/21/2016 at 4:59 PM, JohnLund said:

Success guys! At least on the range success. I took your thoughts and added one of my own and hit the ball better than I have for a long time. My swing thought for this session was, "Full swing; half speed" and it worked. Because I have been nervous about not swinging well I have been tensing up and got too quick in my back swing. This means I am not getting a full shoulder turn which in turn means a weak right result. I also use Tshapiro's idea of bracing the rear leg to prevent sway and to increase hip leverage. Viola! Long and straight off the driver. My 3-wood still needs works but then, it always did. I will have another practice session tomorrow and take it to the course on the weekend. Will let you know how that goes. I am pumped. Thanks for the thoughts guys.

Good for you! The thing about a practice swing is, you don't have to square the clubface! One way to combat this is to always take a practice swing at something. Could be a dandelion, clover flower, dead leaf, doesn't matter. Make yourself square the clubface on your practice swings.

And I like Tshapiro's idea as well. Earlier this season I found myself swaying all over on my tee shots. I realized I needed a firmer right leg, although I really don't care about hip leverage. I just don't want to be wobbling all over the place!

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Thanks guys. I took my game to the course on Saturday and had a great front nine. Hit the ball straight off the tee...not as long as I would like but I had the old confidence back. Just a little more shoulder turn and I will be there. The "full swing; half speed" swing thought slowed my tempo down and the right leg support stopped my swaying over the ball. All good until I lost a little focus on the back nine...had a couple of bad holes hence shot an average score. Never mind, wait til next time! Quite excited to be on the right path. Thanks again.

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15 hours ago, JohnLund said:

Thanks guys. I took my game to the course on Saturday and had a great front nine. Hit the ball straight off the tee...not as long as I would like but I had the old confidence back. Just a little more shoulder turn and I will be there. The "full swing; half speed" swing thought slowed my tempo down and the right leg support stopped my swaying over the ball. All good until I lost a little focus on the back nine...had a couple of bad holes hence shot an average score. Never mind, wait til next time! Quite excited to be on the right path. Thanks again.

Good to hear. An observation for you... When you start getting your lower body into it guess what?  You start doing work!  And that takes fitness.  Some people have an illusion of an effortless golf swing. But in reality, it's effortless for your wrists but more work for your legs and core.  So, keep is mind as you go from hitter to swinger your fitness, core, and lower body strength demands go up. 

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