Since my last meeting with mike I took 4,000 reps across three of the drills I mentioned last time. The one drill I didn’t track was the drag the club down the line drill. The reason for this is because this drill can be very effective without massive amounts of repetitions. I did it a few times every night just to get the feeling and I really feel that this was sufficient. I focused mainly on the set up to impact drill, the handle to impact drill and the rope swings. I really enjoy the rope swing drill even though it is tough to get just right.
When I got to the meeting Mike and I discussed how he recently went to a chiropractic office and got a full physical evaluation. He was having trouble clearing his left hip with his longer clubs and the guy at the chiropractic office told him that his left hip was definitely weak and considered a power leak. He suggested that I go for an evaluation and I think he is right. I am going to try and look into it this week.
After we were done talking I hit a few chips and they were pretty good. Each time I go my impact position is getting better and better. My chips are starting to feel better, sound better and look better. The anxiety I used to have around chipping the ball is quickly dissipating as I am working through all of these drills. I am much more comfortable and confident standing over the ball now as opposed to five weeks ago.
After I hit a few chips Mike told me that I was going to have my “aha” moment at this lesson. When he said that I thought he was full of it, because how could he predict when it would all click for me? Strangely enough, he was right.
He had me hold a golf ball in my right index finger and my thumb and take my back swing and try to throw the ball at a ball set up where I would normally have a ball I was trying to hit. On my first throw, I threw the ball a good two feet behind the ball. The next few got closer but they were going way off to the right. The reason this was happening was that I was flipping my hands and not pushing my hands (the handle) through the ball.
Next, he moved the ball about five feet out in front of me and told me to throw the ball at that ball. This was much easier for me to do and when I released the ball it was going straight and not off to the right. Mike was trying to show me that my visual needs to be throwing my hands, and in particular my right index knuckle, out in front of the ball instead of directly down at the ball. The reason this clicks for me is because I tend to bring the club back a bit from the inside, which isn’t a bad thing necessarily.
The next thing we did was take a golf ball and put it in between my index finger and thumb and then grip the club and hit chip shots. I was visualizing throwing the ball in my fingers out in front of me at an imaginary ball. This is when my chips really started to sound, look and feel really good. I was having my “aha” moment. I dropped the ball and hit a few shots without it and still trying to visualize throwing the ball. I was able to do it fairly consistently and I was getting excited.
Next time I am bringing my 9 iron and we are going to start trying to take some of these fundamentals to more or a full swing. Until then I am working on throwing the ball at a ball in front of me as well as swinging a club with a ball in my fingers and against the shaft. The other drill I am working on is taking a shaft and holding it almost like a javelin on the handle between my index finger and thumb and taking my back swing and pointing it at a ball in front of me. I am working on extending my right arm and keeping the angle of my right wrist in this drill. I am going to do as many concentrated reps of each as I can over the next week, but I am not going to set a numeric goal this time around.
I am also going to add another piece to my workouts this week. I went and got a chiropractic assessment this past week. I wanted to see my range of motion and physical limitations and determine where I can work on my strength and flexibility in my swing. I was pleased to find out that I am not that terrible in my range of motion and flexibility in my swing areas.
The doctor pointed out two key areas that he saw room for immediate improvement. The first was in my hip flexors. He said they were noticeably tight and probably restricting my hip release in the swing. He gave me a few stretches to really open them up and I have been doing them every day at least twice a day.
The second area he mentioned to me was my upper shoulders and the muscles under my shoulder blades. He said that my upper shoulder muscles were really tight and the muscles under my shoulder blades are weak. This causes my shoulders to almost give out when they come down from being extended.
Both of these problems are largely caused from sitting at a desk all day so I am working on my posture as well as a few rehab exercises and stretches.