The process was interesting, this is the guy that did it.
Custom Fit Golf Clubs - Dan's Custom Golf Shop
Custom fit golf clubs will only make a difference if the fit is right. True Length Technology is an Award winning fitting system that will keep you athletic
I don't know how I feel about his system, it feels weird having a longer wedges.
I couldn't tell you the technical details, I swung a bunch of different weighted clubs, he looked at my positions in addressing the ball and most of it was done by feel.
I agree, I can't quite remember who said it but basically if you want to win golf tournaments you have to be able to putt. I'm sure there's a point where it's a diminishing return but putting is pivotal imo. Look at Knudson, arguably one of the best ball strikers couldn't putt worth a damn, he still won but nowhere near the amount he should have. I can't think of any recent players but even Tiger in his prime, his putting was deadly. When I think of Tiger in his prime I think of 2 things, clutch putts and unbelievable shots.
I know in my own game that when I score well it usually comes down to putting. If I can putt, I play well, if I can't then it's going to be a grind.
Had my first REAL range session today, the other few I've had so far my focus was mediocre and I was more or less working on getting comfortable swinging a club again. Knocking the rust off if you will.
Before heading to the range I had read an article about practice and how to practice effectively. The article said that there's 3 steps to proper, deliberate practice. These are;
1. Performance Phase
This is where you work on your swing, you do your practice swing, you make sure your alignment is proper. You get the right visual representation of the shot in your mind and you pull the trigger.
2. Self Reflection Phase
This is after the shot, where you reflect on how you felt, what your body was feeling, the result of the shot and consider why it was either good, bad, etc.
3. Forethought Phase
After the self-reflection phase you then must come up with a strategy for the next shot, what are you going to do different? What did you like or not like about the shot? This is where you decide how you will take the information deduced from the 2nd phase and use it to determine what you are going to do for the next ball.
With these 3 phases in mind I hit 2 large baskets of balls which took me approximately an hour and forty-five minutes to go through, the last 15 - 20 or so I just did some chipping as it was starting to rain.
I went into the session with the goal of working on making my swing a little more upright and less around my body, which I'd say I accomplished even if the path was a little less clear than I originally laid out.
The first 12 balls I just hit some easy 56 and 58 degree wedges to distances of 50 yards and 75 yards, each shot I played it like a real shot on the course. Doing a practice swing, thinking about my trajectory, spin and considering how my body feels, reflecting on the shot.
After these 12 or so wedge shots I moved on to the pitching wedge which I hit to a barrel about 125 yards away. I focused here on a getting a low, penetrating type wedge shot that wouldn't be affected by the wind.
At first I put the ball back in my stance, put my weight forward, then tried to maintain the angle of my hands and the shaft to "knock" the ball down but what I quickly realized was that when I did this I started to hook the ball. My shots had this really big draw on them which I didn't like. So I tinkered with my stance and what I realized was that the more you put your weight forward, hands forward and ball back in your stance you are going to hook it because of the way you're coming down onto the ball. (at least in my swing)
So with some minor modifications I moved the ball slightly forward and opened my stance a tad which gave me the ball flight I desired. A nice relatively low wedge that would cut through the wing. It had a slight draw on it which was fine.
Once I felt comfortable with this shot, I moved onto my 6 iron. I picked a target about 170ish yards away and swung. Interestingly enough, I was hooking the ball quite wildly, big pull hooks. This can't be right I thought.
So I stepped back and reflected, had a smoke and considered what had been happening. Something felt odd in my swing and set-up.
In the swing, I felt like I was swinging with an extremely closed club face, not allowing my arms to rotate in an effort to get my swing more upright. The more I did this, the worse the hooks got.
I noticed that I was addressing the ball with a slightly closed club face and my lead hand did not feel comfortable. The grip felt way too strong and, when I let my hand relax I noticed that the clubface would close quite a lot. So I tinkered with this, at first I hit some half shots to see if the problem was in my full swing or if it was also prevalent in my half shots. What I noticed was that in my half shots I was also hooking the ball so this made me look more at my grip and stance as the culprit.
I tinkered with my stance some more, mainly ball position as I like to play the ball quite forward. I did this and it didn't really matter much, I was hooking it regardless. Then I thought about my grip and how it felt "off".
I addressed the ball and took my grip. Aha! The clubface was slightly closed but not only that, I was having such a strong grip that when I let my hands go to a normal position it would shut almost completely. Then I took away the club, and let my arms hang gripping an imaginary club. When I did this, my hands weren't as strong and they took a more natural position.
So holding that position I gripped a club. It felt weird, very weird. I took some half swings and my hook was gone but the grip still felt weird. It felt too weak.
Then I had the idea to move my club out of my fingers and more into my palm.
This made a huge difference. The hook was for the most part gone and had been replaced by a draw. By putting the club a little more in my palm on my lead hand, It felt like I could really get through the ball and I also feel like when I come into the ball my arms are allowed to rotate whereas before they weren't or else they would snap the clubface closed.
I hit some 6 irons to the target and was pleased with the flight + direction. I hit some 3 irons and again was pleased with the flight. By putting the grip slightly more in the palm on my lead hand I may have gained a bit of distance too because I was definitely hitting the ball a bit further than usual. This was further confirmed when I took the driver out. I'd say it's about a 3-4 yard gain, which I'll take.
After hitting the 6i, 3i and driver I moved back to the 56 and 58 degree. I hit some shots with my older stronger grip and my more palm grip, with the club a bit more in my palms I felt like I had more control and where my hands were more accurately corresponded to the whether the club was open or closed. With the strong grip, I had more trouble with feeling the position of the club head and it was a tad more erratic.
By this time I had only about 15 balls left and it was starting to rain so I just did small chip shots to about 10 yards away before packing up and leaving.
Once I got home, I reflected more on my grip and I had wondered why it was so strong. I thought back to my golfing history and remember that I used to spend a ton of time on the grip when I was younger but the way I was working on my grip was wrong. It was way too much in my fingers, which when you try to close your hand around a club that's entirely in the fingers you have no choice but to take a very strong grip. Take a pencil and lay it in your fingers on your lead hand, then close your hand.
Your grip is going to be quite strong because the pencil is in your fingers. Now, you could just rotate your hands back to a weaker position but that feels really weird to me, I much prefer to have it slightly more in my palm.
Anyway, that was my session for the day. Definitely the best session of the year so far.
I'm starting to track my session by 3 metrics, focus, learning and thoughtfulness. My score for today would be (and I'm very harsh on myself)
My focus wained a little bit towards the middle part of the session and at the very end when I was chipping. I feel like I walked away from it with valuable info and I think everything I did had thought behind it.
In the future, I'd like to see myself with better focus, I was a little bit distracted by some of the other guys at the range and some shots could have had more focus behind them but there were no pointless shots and I never started to just belt balls out into the range.