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Massive Push Slices/Pull Hooks - Mainly Driver


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Hi all,

I have been playing golf since I was around 12 and have struggled in the past few years especially in getting the ball off the tee with the most destructive tee shots in golf

I suffer from massive block slices with the driver which can result in the ball starting at least 100 yards right of target and ending up about 150 yards right (serious) or the opposite, the ball starts slightly left, travels around 150 yards and viciously hooks into trouble (shot shown in the video - apologies for slow mo). To add to the issue I can sometimes just block the driver with no slice and with my irons simply pull them.

My swing has always been in to out and when I was younger I used to have a nice controlled draw however since I have gained distance it is simply uncontrollable hence my handicap of 11. When i attempt to initiate the downswing by bringing the club more out to in the ball most of the time either goes straight left or left and hooks. Even when I attempt to slow the swing down I simply don't get through the ball and block slices as usual.

I believe part of the issue is down to not being able to control the clubface however I feel it stems from my angle of attack and not being confident in the swing so I either leave the clubface open or shut it at impact

Any advice is greatly appreciated as I'm lucky if I hit the same fairway once a round nevermind a dozen..... (luckily I play at a massively open course). 

 

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First of all I think you would benefit from a slower swing speed as you mentioned you had tried on numerous occasions, but with the same result. I'd advice you to go to the range and grab a bucket of balls and use only your 7 iron and driver. What I want you to do is to hit your 7 iron as you do otherwise and then pick up your driver and hit it exactly like you would hit your 7 iron. Ideally we would like to have the same stance for every shot except pitches, bunker shots, chips and putts. The only thing we want to change is the position of the ball in the stance. You could try to practice different ways of swinging the club too. First try a shallow swing which should result in either a hook or a draw. next try a wide swing and see which suits you best or if you get any usable results. If that does not work it might be your grip that is part of the problem, most of the times amateurs tend to open or close the clubface by rotating their wrist this is not the right way you should turn it within your hands, if you know what I mean. At last I would advice you to losen up in your wrists, do not hold the club as if you where trying to choke it. Good Luck on the range. 

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Key #1 = Steady Head. Very important!

In my opinion keeping a relatively steady head does a lot of things. One of the things I have noticed over time is that this key plays a big part in stabilizing everything.

A drill (and sometimes swing thought) that I use from time to time is to just setup, and imagine that there is a line above my head. When I make my moves, I have the objective of keeping my head up against that line. Of course on video, it still moves some, but I don't care.

Just don't keep it still by directly stiffening your neck or doing anything in particular with your body really. Make your moves freely, but just have the goal of keeping your head up there.

Come up with whatever drill you like, or do what you must, but I feel it's non-negotiable that a steady head is a fundamental part of hitting golf balls well. Improvement here will help you hit the ball better now, as well as make future swing changes more successful.

 

 

 

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Many people throw the clubface 'out'  at the ball from the top of the backswing instead of swinging 'DOWN'  and 'OUT' on the swing plane . It is difficult to explain in words what I mean but look at these 3  videos below (2 are from the late Tom Tomasello and the other is another golfer who had the same experience/realisation that I've also just had).

You may think that the action being advocated is an early casting action but it takes time for a sub-conscious thought to become a sensation . So a thought to cast from the top of the backswing actually equates and looks like a correct release to an outside observer or high speed camera.

This has worked for me and my body , but it may not work for you but imho , it is worth consideration if you need to learn the correct mechanics of the golf swing .There are a series of old Tom Tomasello instructions on You Tube describing how to pivot, use your hands, arms, understand power, etc. But imho the 2 posted above provide the 'flesh' to the 'bones'.

 

 

 

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15 minutes ago, DownAndOut said:

Many people throw the clubface 'out'  at the ball from the top of the backswing instead of swinging 'DOWN'  and 'OUT' on the swing plane . It is difficult to explain in words what I mean but look at these 3  videos below (2 are from the late Tom Tomasello and the other is another golfer who had the same experience/realisation that I've also just had).

You may think that the action being advocated is an early casting action but it takes time for a sub-conscious thought to become a sensation . So a thought to cast from the top of the backswing actually equates and looks like a correct release to an outside observer or high speed camera.

This has worked for me and my body , but it may not work for you but imho , it is worth consideration if you need to learn the correct mechanics of the golf swing .There are a series of old Tom Tomasello instructions on You Tube describing how to pivot, use your hands, arms, understand power, etc. But imho the 2 posted above provide the 'flesh' to the 'bones'.

The guy in the video is hitting a 'functional' pull. He aligns a bit right of target and comes over the top a bit with a high right shoulder.

It clearly works, and may be the best he can do given age/flexibility. But it's not a motion that's considered 'textbook' and may limit potential power and shot-shaping ability. Also that pattern will tend to lower ball flight.

Edited by natureboy
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Yes, PAW PAW is probably not adhering exactly to what Tomasello teaches but he is using the 'early release/karate chop' feel and adding it into his own swing. The correct mechanics and baby moves are in the the series of you tube videos and  there  isn't much else about Tom  (they were cut from old VHS tapes he made when he was in Australia). He was one of only a few people who were mentored by Homer Kelley before his death. TGM is complicated and I've always been put off by the complex detail , but Tomasello didn't bother with all that stuff and just showed you how.

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PS. The Tomasello action is basically a right arm swinging action , which was also advocated by Tommy Armour (grip it with the left hand and hit the hell out of it with the right!!).  It would suit someone (ie. like me) who has zero hula-hula flexibility in the spine where a movement of the shoulders immediately moves my hips (and vice versa). May not be suitable for those with a flexible spine where their shoulders and hips can rotate with a time lag.

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On 10/15/2016 at 7:50 AM, DownAndOut said:

PS. The Tomasello action is basically a right arm swinging action , which was also advocated by Tommy Armour (grip it with the left hand and hit the hell out of it with the right!!).  It would suit someone (ie. like me) who has zero hula-hula flexibility in the spine where a movement of the shoulders immediately moves my hips (and vice versa). May not be suitable for those with a flexible spine where their shoulders and hips can rotate with a time lag.

Right-sided / left-sided intentions...whatever works for you.

But in this video, Armour does initiate the downswing with his lower body. hips move before shoulders.

And in his younger years there was no evidence of an over the top move. His right shoulder stayed down through the ball (he turned shoulders on plane).

Armour2.JPGArmour.JPG

 

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Yes , there are 2  ways to pivot , a reactive or active one. In the Tomasello videos , he recommended you pull the forearms down from the top of the backswing until the hands are below shoulder height before the hips are moved to prevent an OTT move. It can be an active one where weight shift to lead leg first or it can be in reaction to the swinging arms/club unit. Tomasello taught a reactive pivot where the arms/hands swing the clubhead while the body follows (but still obviously moves first to get out of the way subconsiously).

Edited by DownAndOut
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PS. Definition of an active/reactive pivot.

 In an active pivot action, the stone skipper will first take a step forward with the left leg and initiate a pivot action before the right arm throws - similar to the right arm throw action of a baseball pitcher. In a reactive pivot action, the stone skipper will brace his left leg, and throw his right arm across the front of his rotating torso, while using the resistance of a braced lead leg to stabilise/control/direct the reactive pivot action. Both pivot actions work very well, and each individual stone skipper can choose the pivot action which works best for him

Edited by DownAndOut
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On 10/15/2016 at 3:00 AM, natureboy said:

The guy in the video is hitting a 'functional' pull. He aligns a bit right of target and comes over the top a bit with a high right shoulder.

It clearly works, and may be the best he can do given age/flexibility. But it's not a motion that's considered 'textbook' and may limit potential power and shot-shaping ability. Also that pattern will tend to lower ball flight.

He is trying to hit to 1st/2nd base  but its not a functional pull. If you try to hit the ball to target, clubhead lag will cause it to pull to the left. See  this video below and sincere apologies to FHLMP if none of this helps him.

To succeed with this type of action you need to swing down and out on the swing plane when your hands are below shoulder height (like a karate chop with the right arm/hand) to the inner quadrant of the ball.

 

 

Edited by DownAndOut
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8 minutes ago, DownAndOut said:

If you try to hit the ball to target, clubhead lag will cause it to pull to the left.

Don't understand your sentences??? I've seen Tomasello's vids before. I generally like his explanations.

The 'reactive pivot' you posted about sounds weird. Have any videos demonstrating or is the only difference between the two pivots that one has a step and the other doesn't?

Edited by natureboy
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1 minute ago, natureboy said:

Don't understand your sentences??? I've seen Tomasello's vids before. I generally like his explanations.

Yes and I'm actually quoting him from his videos (chapter 2  with Lee Deitrick at 6:22). Basically the clubface has to be slightly open at impact pointing to 1st base , the ball compresses against the face of the club and rides on it for a very short interval until the clubface is square, then the ball should leave the face going more to the target (slightly right with a little draw). If you concentrate on getting clubface square to target line at impact, the ball will move to the left (for a righty). Hope that makes sense.

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8 minutes ago, DownAndOut said:

Yes and I'm actually quoting him from his videos (chapter 2  with Lee Deitrick at 6:22). Basically the clubface has to be slightly open at impact pointing to 1st base , the ball compresses against the face of the club and rides on it for a very short interval until the clubface is square, then the ball should leave the face going more to the target (slightly right with a little draw). If you concentrate on getting clubface square to target line at impact, the ball will move to the left (for a righty). Hope that makes sense.

Sorry, the interval of contact is too short for a clubface pointing to first base at impact to close to square before the ball leaves the clubface. Enough time to close to the path a bit for a push draw maybe. Also, this is not the explanation of what the 'reactive pivot' is distinct from the 'active pivot' I had asked for.

Most pros at impact have shoulders that are slightly open to the target line and hands ahead of the ball. What do you think that does to a clubface that was slightly open at address?

Edited by natureboy
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8 minutes ago, natureboy said:

Sorry, the interval of contact is too short for a clubface pointing to first base at impact to close to square before the ball leaves the clubface. Enough time to close to the path a bit for a push draw maybe.

Most pros at impact have shoulders that are slightly open to the target line and hands ahead of the ball. What do you think that does to a clubface that was slightly open at address?

All depends what swinging to 1st  base means from a face angle perspective. That did confuse me a bit in his videos because I'm not that acquainted with baseball but I guess he meant points slightly open to the target line at impact.

Edited by DownAndOut
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19 minutes ago, DownAndOut said:

Most pros at impact have shoulders that are slightly open to the target line and hands ahead of the ball. What do you think that does to a clubface that was slightly open at address?

Wouldn't this depend on what grip they used? If you had a lot of lag with hands ahead of ball, the face will be wide open from a dynamic perspective , so you would need a strong grip at address to counteract.

Edited by DownAndOut
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