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Irons: going from “sweeping” to “digging”


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8 minutes ago, natureboy said:

So you're catching it a little on the upswing, but not so bad that you're thinning it regularly. Where's the ball position relative to your lead foot and how wide is your stance for a mid (5 or 6) iron?

Ball position for a mid-iron is probably 2" forward of center, stance is probably just inside shoulder width (the outside of my cleats is even w/ the outside of shoulders). 

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1 minute ago, Kalnoky said:

Ball position for a mid-iron is probably 2" forward of center, stance is probably just inside shoulder width (the outside of my cleats is even w/ the outside of shoulders). 

Then better pivot to lead side and a 'later hit' would seem to be things to work on.

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50 minutes ago, Natural Patrick said:

Wow! Half of a Diameter? Your good.

Thanks? I guess it comes with the territory of learning to play in Texas summers where even the fairway is dry, hard and thin, to say nothing of the average lie under the trees. You don't want to hit the ground with the club, before or after hitting the ball, so I learned to sweep and I had to learn well.

I still thin a ton of pitch shots though (that and my 3-wood are the primary reasons I'm still a 30-cap), so I'm hoping this new shallow dig will get me under the ball more reliably.

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15 hours ago, Hacker James said:

Greg Norman was a fairly good ball striker and he was a "picker".

Let's not bring up a man's personal hygiene issues.:-P He's Australian. Maybe that is acceptable in public down under.

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I made this change. I used to be a picker. I wouldn't say I'm a digger now but I typically take a decent divot after the ball. 

It was a whole process to get there not just one thing. The biggest factors were me eliminating my over the top, casting move. I did this working mostly on keys 1 (steady head) 2(weight forward at impact) and 4(diagonal sweet spot path)  

Something that could potentially help you right away is to stand closer to the ball.  Address the ball as normal then move it about 1 ball width closer to you.  

It will probably feel strange but go in slow motion.  Think about the path the club needs to take to arrive at the ball and how you need to swing to get it there .

I came into this the other way around - first making changes and then realizing I needed to stand closer...but it could help  

Good luck!

 

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3 hours ago, boogielicious said:

Let's not bring up a man's personal hygiene issues.:-P He's Australian. Maybe that is acceptable in public down under.

ha ha, well he certainly has a lot to work with in that regard. Reminiscent of Jimmy Durante.

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I'm struggling lately because I've focused so much on fixing my over-the-top swing. Now i'm consistent with an inside-out path but I'm hitting irons fat again because my right side is lower at impact. I can either hit down on the ball, or inside-out, but not both :-(

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2 minutes ago, zero said:

I'm struggling lately because I've focused so much on fixing my over-the-top swing. Now i'm consistent with an inside-out path but I'm hitting irons fat again because my right side is lower at impact. I can either hit down on the ball, or inside-out, but not both :-(

Extending your lead leg / lead side through impact should create enough room to drive the right shoulder down toward the ball. Maybe you're not used to doing that with your old swing? Or possibly you were doing something else like diving into the ball to get your high 'over the top' right shoulder down to the level of the ball. May take some time to sync everything up properly with the change.

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31 minutes ago, zero said:

I'm struggling lately because I've focused so much on fixing my over-the-top swing. Now i'm consistent with an inside-out path but I'm hitting irons fat again because my right side is lower at impact. I can either hit down on the ball, or inside-out, but not both :-(

So many mechanical things to think about all taking place in 2 seconds or less.. It can be frustrating. I keep thinking if there was only more time to practice when I wasn't so tired after work... I also wonder how many people out there have managed perfectly well with "bad" golf swings for decades. 

After nearly two buckets of balls last night I figured something out... I have not been setting my wrist properly in the backswing. Back to the range I go tonight. 

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7 hours ago, Kalnoky said:

So many mechanical things to think about all taking place in 2 seconds or less.. It can be frustrating. I keep thinking if there was only more time to practice when I wasn't so tired after work... I also wonder how many people out there have managed perfectly well with "bad" golf swings for decades. 

After nearly two buckets of balls last night I figured something out... I have not been setting my wrist properly in the backswing. Back to the range I go tonight. 

Had an amazing round today using almost only irons. My focus was on only two things: maintaining 90* wrist angle on downswing until hands reach right leg (lag) and initiating downswing with hip rotation. I was hitting my 5 iron 200 yrds, (normally ~180). I know this is because of decreased loft due to shaft lean, the awesome thing was the trajectory and accuracy. Hit almost all fairways and greens. I love how small changes make such a big difference. Now to get it to stick during league play :)

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8 hours ago, zero said:

Had an amazing round today using almost only irons. My focus was on only two things: maintaining 90* wrist angle on downswing until hands reach right leg (lag) and initiating downswing with hip rotation. I was hitting my 5 iron 200 yrds, (normally ~180). 

Wow. Man that is great, congratulations. Did you incorporate these two things at the range before your round, or was it something you already knew, that you just needed to focus on?

I have big problems with the lag (the SK #4 "forward, down, and out"). For some reason it is mentally very difficult to grasp for me. The rest of the golf swing I think I have down pretty good. I have had it down pretty good since last year. But the wrist set and downswing - for some reason the club always bottoms out before the ball. How are you beginning your downswing? By turning the hips? Letting the right knee bend inwards?

I appreciate your input. 

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1 hour ago, Kalnoky said:

Wow. Man that is great, congratulations. Did you incorporate these two things at the range before your round, or was it something you already knew, that you just needed to focus on?

I have big problems with the lag (the SK #4 "forward, down, and out"). For some reason it is mentally very difficult to grasp for me. The rest of the golf swing I think I have down pretty good. I have had it down pretty good since last year. But the wrist set and downswing - for some reason the club always bottoms out before the ball. How are you beginning your downswing? By turning the hips? Letting the right knee bend inwards?

I appreciate your input. 

It was known. I guess I'm always working on one thing. Before this it was swing plane. Once I got that figured out my long clubs (driver) finally started straightening out basically "automatically". I think people undervalue learning through watching. I love to watch great golfers and can learn so much that way. Incorporating a change takes time and it is hard to be patient and persistent on making a change, especially when it temporarily makes you worse! But after a few years of continual improvement that's what has me hooked on this game. The most central theme for me is keeping my mind focused on executing the most perfect swing I can and the ball just gets in the way vs. hitting the ball. If my brain switches over to "hit the ball" the old bad stuff happens in an instant. 

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On 9/8/2016 at 0:44 PM, CarlSpackler said:

Did your instructor give you any recommendations or homework? Their job is not (only) to point out what is wrong, but to give you drills, etc. to fix it. When you go to the doc, they don't simply look at you and say that you're sick and send you on your way? They give you medicine that you typically have to mortgage your house to pay for.

It sounds like his instructor is a golf "monitor," who only tells him what the problem is. "There's a problem."

Lol. Had to. Those commercials are driving me nuts.

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Communication breakdown is a feature of golf instruction. Days after a golf lesson, and after careful contemplation, I will often realize what my instructor really meant.. I may realize this while lying in bed and I may or may not retain it for practice the next day. Months after a golf lesson, I will realize my first instructor and my second instructor meant the exact same thing, but said it in two completely different ways.

Surely there is a better way to do this. 

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On 9/14/2016 at 10:33 AM, Kalnoky said:

Communication breakdown is a feature of golf instruction. Days after a golf lesson, and after careful contemplation, I will often realize what my instructor really meant.. I may realize this while lying in bed and I may or may not retain it for practice the next day. Months after a golf lesson, I will realize my first instructor and my second instructor meant the exact same thing, but said it in two completely different ways.

Surely there is a better way to do this. 

My instructor ended up saying & demonstrating the same things in many different ways to get them to sink in on deeper levels. It totally worked even though by the 4th lesson I was like, really, we covered this. But then I realized ooohhh, we covered it and covered and covered it and I still don't 100% get it, hence the repetition and re-wording. I come back to those simple themes often because they work.

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  • 1 month later...

@Kalnoky how did you get on with this? I watched the following video last week because I was sick of leaking my wedges out to the right. I think I was sliding the club face under the ball, and like you I was sweeping the ball. 

Its really transformed my approach play, especially wedges, albeit in only a few rounds. Probably from 9I through wedges I'm taking large divots, with a fantastic straight ball flight. 

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Thank you for the video @Hazsa 

I did fix my flipping problem and now I take small divots with the wedges and short irons. It took me three weeks of furious practice until one day at the range out of frustration, I started taking one-armed swings. To my utter shock and fascination, I hit a 5-iron straight about 170 yards. I tried it again, left arm only, with the same result. And then again, and again, and again.. same beautiful ball flight. I thought I was hallucinating.

I concluded I was releasing early and flipping because my dominant right side took over in the downswing. When I swing this way, the only way to hit the ball in the air is to hope to catch it low and flip it into the air, like you describe. That is VERY hard to do on a consistent basis, as all flippers of the ball know. And, you will not get any distance this way.

Looking back, my instructors tried to communicate this idea of a "quiet" or "hollow" right side, but it did not register with me. I admit, I'm probably a slow learner. I now see what they were trying to show me. One drill I do a lot to keep from flipping is just practice chipping. Just ball first contact, with no wrist movement. Another thing I do I saw Sergio Garcia do on TV, which is to deaden your right arm and pull it through a practice swing with your left arm. It gives the feeling of the left arm being live and the right arm being "along for the ride".

Anyway, this was my problem. Now I have another problem, which is coming up out of my stance to early and thinning the ball. But that's much easier to fix. All in all my ball striking has improved 500%. Last week I shot 35 on a Par 31 exec course, for me that is really good.

 

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On 9/8/2016 at 4:46 PM, saevel25 said:

Weight (pressure) more under the front foot at impact. 

Keep a steadier head throughout the swing. 

Hard to not hit the ball first when you do these two things. 

To add, another symptom for an unsteady head when you don't have a mirror on the range is to feel your torso from the waist up. If it is moving backwards, then your head is moving backwards. Check your shoulders during the downswing - if they are angled so they are leaning back, your head is probably moving backwards at an angle. Your left shoulder should not be raised as compared to thr right shoulder at the start of the downswing. Good luck.


Coming out of posture early? Stick your butt out, but keep your posture, during backswing and downswing until your follow through takes over after contact.

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