My Winter Swing Tune Up – Part 4

Before I went to this meeting I made 3,700 turns with a shaft across my chest to work on my back swing hip turn.  I didn’t make the full amount of turns that I had initially planned, but I still feel I made effective use of the practice I did do.

After the week of practice, I can feel myself dropping my right pocket back instead of swaying as well as keeping my weight on the inside of my right foot instead of swaying to the outside.  It was actually easier to make this change than some of the other changes in the past.  It is obviously something I still need to keep in my mind and work on, but it feels much better now.

When I got to the meeting, I hit a few chips just like I have in the past and I am still having a little bit of trouble letting go of my old habit of trying to hit the ball with the club head instead of leading with my hands in front of the club head.  It is frustrating because I know what I am doing wrong, but I have so much bad muscle memory stored up it is hard to break the old bad habits.  Mike wasn’t concerned.  He told me that what I am doing now is already 100% better than what I was doing when I first came to him.  He also said it is great that I am starting to understand what I am doing wrong.  He really wants me to understand what I am supposed to do so I can make adjustments and work on my own with out him.

After I hit the first batch of chips we started to circle back to working on impact position.  Mike gave me a few drills that will help me really feel where I am supposed to be at impact.  The first was to set up to the ball and then move into the impact position and hold it.  From there all I was supposed to do was bend my right elbow to take the club back and push my hands through the ball leading with the handle.  I really liked this drill and it also brought up the point that I was gripping the club too tightly.  I made a few attempts at this drill with my right index finger and thumb off the club to really feel a light grip and it was a very different feeling.  My grip pressure is something I will be working on a lot more throughout this process.

The next drill was to simply take the club from set up and drag it along the ground (in a straight line) all the way down the line.  The point of this is to feel the hands in front of the club head on a straight line.  I need to do this drill a lot.

The next drill was to swing a rope.  At first I thought Mike was crazy because how can you swing a rope like a golf club?  Then he showed me how you can.  The point of the drill is to get the rope swinging back and forth then make a back swing and pause until it comes to rest under your left armpit.  From there you just make your normal swing and try to get it to gently come to rest under your right armpit.  If the rope whips you at either point you know you are doing it wrong.  It was hard, but definitely do-able.  This also helped me feel loose in my swing instead of griping the club tightly and trying to muscle shots.

The last drill Mike gave me before I left for the night was to work on my impact position with just a grip handle.  He said it is much easier to feel where your hands should be when there is no club head attached to the handle.  He was right.  All I am doing with this drill is making small swings with just the handle to try and finish with the handle in the proper impact position.  Hopefully that will translate to a better position when I start swinging the club next week.

My goal is to make 2,000 swings of each drill over the next week.  It is a tall order, but that is my goal.

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