Since my last meeting with Mike I made 2,000 practice swings with my right arm only working on fanning my right hand and letting the handle lead the club head through the ball as well as 2,000 practice swings with just my left hand working on rotating my left forearm and releasing the club properly.
When I got to the second meeting I hit a few chips like I did in the first time and I had improved by a good amount. I was able to lead with the handle much more than before. As a reminder, at the first meeting I was trying to hit the ball too much and I was flipping the club head in front of my hands. I still hit a few where I flipped my hands, but I wasn’t expecting to have fixed all my bad habits in one week of practice.
I was pleased with my progress and I was very much ready to take the next step and build on that progress.
Mike seemed reasonably pleased with the progress I had made and was ready to get me to start focusing more on my impact position as the next step. He had me use a gadget that tried to get me to piece together leading with the handle (creating lag) and rotating my forearm in an abbreviated fashion. By abbreviated I mean that it was not a full swing. It consisted of taking the club back to less than parallel to the target line and pushing the right hand against the handle and through the impact position and then rotating the left forearm to simulate the release.
Mike was trying to get me to realize that pushing the right hand forward and creating a bit of a bow in it as it pushed against the handle the left hand flattens out and brings the club head to square at impact. If the right hand is bent the left has to be straight. If the left is bent the right has to be straight and if the left is bent it equals death in golf. The whole point of this was to feel how the club should feel when it is square and impact. A square club creates a straighter ball flight and that is what I am trying to accomplish.
Next we worked a bit with a yardstick and an impact bag. The yardstick served a few purposes that I found interesting. It helped me with my grip. It is clear when gripping the yardstick that it should rest in your left index fingers joint and under the pad of your hand. This allows it to rest more in your fingers and give you free motion of the club. The left thumb should be slightly over the yardstick and it creates a nice little fit for the right hand to just slide right in to. I was pleased with how the grip adjustments felt.
This wasn’t the focus of the drill though. Mike wasn’t giving me a lot of instruction on my grip. He gave me a quick suggestion and moved back to the focus of the drill. I know he was doing this on purpose because he was trying to teach me the fundamentals of the swing from the ground up. One step at a time.
Next we worked on taking the yardstick back to parallel of the target line so that none of the front or underside of the ruler was showing. Again, this was really an extension of what I was working on in the past week. It took the principles of the right and left hand swings and put them together with the yardstick in my hand.
After taking the yardstick back to parallel with my right hand fanned out I was trying to hit an impact bag by pushing my right hand into the bag and against my left thumb while keeping my head and body quite. Naturally, my hip started to clear but I was really just trying to focus on keeping my body as quite as possibly while striking the impact bag with the yardstick completely square to the target after taking it back with a fanned right hand to parallel to the target line.
This brought up an interesting point about ball position that I was not fully aware of. I will talk more about this later on as Mike and I fully dive into it, but I don’t want forget that it came up.
My homework after this meeting was to work with the yardstick and an impact bag like I mentioned above. I am going to make 5,000 swings in the next week in order to engrain it into my muscle memory and make it become second nature.