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mooseontheloose

Great Lesson - Curious About Bringing It to the Course

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Alright so yesterday I had a lesson with a pro I saw a few months back. I'd been improving my game lately but had a particularly awful outing last week so the timing was great.

We get started and I'm firing off the shots I'm used to - high, weakish shots that are either straight or leak/block right. 7i going about 155-165 on simulator, which is pretty normal for me (sim adding a few yards over real life probably). One of the things he'd asked me to work on previously was beginning the backswing going back straight and up, since I have a tendency to bring it back flat/shallow and to the inside. I hit a couple and they went out to the right, as he expected. He then told me that I have to work much harder to release the club - to feel like I'm really rolling over my wrists on the downswing to square up the face and potentially start drawing the ball.

It worked. I immediately began hitting draws (some large ones but many tight draws and even some straight shots). Almost nothing to the right. More importantly, my ball flight came down to a height he liked better and I gained a ridiculous amount of distance. 7i was going 195-205 (95mph clubhead speed), 5i ~220, 3W 260-270. Didn't hit driver much but still wasn't getting the distance I should for the swing speed (110-115), but flight and dispersion were good. Before I go on, I know those numbers are BS - I'm not hitting a 7i 200+ for real ever, so I know the sim was adding 'some' yards there BUT I've hit these clubs on sims many times and almost always hit my 7i in the 145-165 range, with the odd pure shot around 190. So even if the numbers themselves aren't accurate, that improvement should still be relevant.

OK so on to my real question. I had a round scheduled following the lesson and treated it as a practice round. On the sim I found I picked this new swing up very easily but once on the course I struggled. Not in terms of my scoring (expected that would suffer) but in executing what we were doing inside. I did hit some nice shots and a few draws throughout the round, but I also had a number of my usual high/weak/blocked type shots. Now I'm not dumb enough to expect 45 minutes if enough to suddenly change my shot, but I was surprised at how much harder it was to even replicate the ball flight on the course versus on the sim.

I know sims add yards and cover up poor contact (although the pro still pointed out when I was hitting heavy etc), but is there another factor that could lead to it being so easy for me to start drawing the ball and adding big distance that isn't easy to bring to the course? I personally believe part of it is mental because inside I felt like I was swinging harder and maybe freer than on the course (where outcomes matter). I know I need to hit the range and really hammer in the habits and I plan to.

I was just shocked with how much better everything looked and felt on the sim. Like I said, I've hit on sims before and had a few lessons and I've never felt immediate results like that before and produced that can of power and ball flight so consistently. So I'm excited but want to be aware of any factors that could limit my ability to translate to the course. Thoughts?

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You might try taking incremental steps. If it were me making changes, first I'd have a reference video of me swinging with the instructor approved change.

Then I'd make sure I can do it with relative success on the range verified with video. Start with 1/5, 2/5, etc...

Then do it at range w/someone in front of you.

Then at a practice round on your own, don't care about scoring, just make sure you concentrate slowly on change, maybe even attach a camera to your bag. Drop a couple of balls at the same spot in possible.

Then during a practice round with partners, people eyes on.

Then an actual scoring round.

 

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12 minutes ago, mooseontheloose said:

He then told me that I have to work much harder to release the club - to feel like I'm really rolling over my wrists on the downswing to square up the face and potentially start drawing the ball.

Ugh.

It may have "worked" in your lesson, but I've never seen anyone I consider a good instructor talk about "rolling over your wrists" to hit draws. But it's not the topic here, so…

12 minutes ago, mooseontheloose said:

OK so on to my real question. I had a round scheduled following the lesson and treated it as a practice round. On the sim I found I picked this new swing up very easily but once on the course I struggled. Not in terms of my scoring (expected that would suffer) but in executing what we were doing inside. I did hit some nice shots and a few draws throughout the round, but I also had a number of my usual high/weak/blocked type shots. Now I'm not dumb enough to expect 45 minutes if enough to suddenly change my shot, but I was surprised at how much harder it was to even replicate the ball flight on the course versus on the sim.

It might take months to learn to do this even 90% of the time, man. Yeah, 45 minutes is not enough time. But 45 hours might not be enough time, either.

BTW, part of the reason you might have trouble "taking it to the course" is because it wasn't a great lesson.

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To be clear, he wasn't advising me to actually 'roll my wrists' into impact. He was saying that it should feel like that to me (compared to normal) since I had the habit of a cupped lead wrist at impact and/or hands not ahead at impact. The way I interpreted it was to try to work on 'knuckles down' into the downswing and then feeling like my wrists roll over at impact (practice swings with this feel seem to create the 'roll' or release after the ball though) even though the result is them releasing after the ball.

Not trying to argue - maybe you're right given how I explained it. 

Edited by mooseontheloose

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I won't comment on the quality of the instruction you got, or the advisability of consciously releasing the club.  But it sounds like you were essentially timing some type of manipulation or compensation.  The problem with timing things like this is that its not too difficult when you're hitting one shot after another, but its really difficult to consistently time things when you're only hitting a shot every few minutes.  Its possible to practice this kind of timing thing until you can do it consistently, but its likely to take a lot of practice.  

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Started playing last year and have had 5 lessons with 4 instructors.

1. Put me on video and compared me to Weir. Showed the differences at different positions. Taught me my weaknesses but didn't properly communicate how to fix them. Left with no idea how to practice and improve.

2. Same place as above but with a different person (free because I complained about prior lesson). Same basic approach. Did give me some drills but no real personal connection here. Drills also didn't feel particularly tailored to my problems.

3. New guy, he focused on having my bow my left wrist hard ( turn knuckles down ) from the top.

4. New guy, he focused on address - wanted my shoulders more square (tendency was to have them pointing left) and backswing more back and up rather than low and inside. Good lesson I thought.

5. Returned to prior guy and had lesson described in the OP.

 

So ya, feel pretty discouraged RE: lessons and trying to get on track with a long-term development/practice plan. 

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3 hours ago, mooseontheloose said:

So ya, feel pretty discouraged RE: lessons and trying to get on track with a long-term development/practice plan. 

Well, that's a pretty different topic. IMO there are a lot of well intentioned but not very good instructors out there.

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Ya I mean I felt alright about that lesson. It seems to me we all have different backswings and most people aren't going to get it perfect, so everyone will have their own manipulations (including pros?) and adjustments to achieve the same position at/after impact. Now I don't know. Oh well.

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Moose, I can understand why you feel you might be wandering in the wilderness about now! But think about this.

Why did it take Tiger Woods nearly two years to "internalize" everything every time he made a swing change? True, he's a pro, and you and I, are not, so his expectations are way past ours! Still, making a swing change is no small thing!

And your mindset on the practice tee is entirely different than on the course. At practice you're trying to learn. On the course you're trying to score! Two entirely different objectives.

Ever hear golf commentators remark about a player in the doldrums, "He looks like he's playing 'golf swing' instead of golf "? So, as I started reading your OP I wasn't surprised at the outcome.

I'll say this. If you liked what your last instructor did for you, keep going. He kind of sounds like a Haney acolyte with the "knuckles down" thing, but if you were flipping it may help. Or you may have been "hanging on" to the club. Either way gives weak shots to the right.

Hang in there!

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On 9/7/2018 at 2:59 PM, iacas said:

Well, that's a pretty different topic. IMO there are a lot of well intentioned but not very good instructors out there.

I agree that there are a TON of band-aid instructors who give advice that might get you part way through the sunday scramble. BUT I also think that part of this is the expectations of the students. When I go to a new instructor I ask for what I want. I am a long term student who will work on an item for weeks and weeks on specific parts of the swing. But I expect to leave with a clear idea of what I am doing, what i should be doing, How to practice and how to evaluate if I am making the right move.

I find that often I will get in lesson advice and a long conversation and something about ball flight. If I find a good match I leave with a set of drills and practice set up with a simple metric of if I am doing it correctly.

One of my favorite is 2 shafts with 2 strings between them. They help set swing plane. Goal is to come close to the top string at parallel to the ground on the backswing and not hit the string on either side.

 

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