My Winter Swing Tune Up – Part 6

Since my last meeting and chiropractor session I have been working on my flexibility and range of motion drills as well as my chipping motion.  When I got to my meeting, I hit a few chips and quickly progressed into longer pitch shots.

When I transitioned to the pitch shots I wasn’t hitting the ball all that great.  As soon as Mike told me to focus only on releasing my left hip and letting the club fall into place I started striking the ball much better.  This became a big key for me.  In the past I have really just swung the club with my arms and upper body and never focused enough on getting a proper turn on the back swing and a proper hip move to initiate the down swing.  Once I stared using that as my swing thought things started to come together.

After a few pitch shots and talk about range of motion Mike had me hit a few 9 irons.  A few things popped out at me once I started to hit some full 9 iron shots.  The first was, I was gripping it too hard and not focusing on my fundamentals.  There is something very strange about how quickly things go out the door once a small white ball is placed in front of you.  Second, I felt very comfortable over the ball.  I wasn’t that concerned that I was going to shank it or miss hit it as much as I had in the past.  Lastly, my balls were being left out to the right a lot.  Mike assured me that it was just bad contact and that my swing was actually looking pretty good.

The big takeaway from this session was actually my takeaway.  Since I have a tendency to swing with my arms I was taking the club back way too far to the inside by rolling my left forearm over to my right.  This caused me to really have to fight on the downswing to get the clubface back to square.  This was causing me to lose power and hit the ball out to the right.  I was also not clearing my hip to start the down swing, which was also keeping me from really releasing all of the stored up energy of the back swing into the ball.  Another thing I am trying to focus on is keeping my left arm connected to my chest throughout the swing.  If I am able to do this, I hit the ball great.  If I don’t and my left arm gets away from my chest I tend to hit it with an open club face or off the hossel.

Leaving the session, I was given homework to keep up with my range of motion exercises as well as to strictly focus on my takeaway.  If I can keep my left arm from rotating on the takeaway then I know all I have to do on my downswing is release my left hip and let the club release into the ball.  It feels much more natural this way and it doesn’t feel as though I am fighting my own swing.

The last thing I am focusing on is a shorter backswing.  My rotational limitations mean that I should really never let my hands get too far past my shoulder on the backswing.  This lets me store up the most energy, stay solid over the ball and keep my head still.  With these as my focus points I know that when I work with Mike again I will be hitting the ball much more solid and hopefully a bit straighter.


One Comment to “My Winter Swing Tune Up – Part 6”

  1. You nailed it with that clearing of the left hip on the downswing. Once you get that ingrained, you’ll enjoy the power boost. During the Wells Fargo telecast, they relayed some statistic about the degree of turn in an average pro’s lead hip had on the downswing and how Rory McIlroy had exceeded that by about 20 degrees. After watching him bomb 3WD past his playing partner’s drivers, I’m a believer. Have noticed myself with my off season (now in season) conditioning work. I swing a club upside down and focus entirely on firing my left hip to trigger the downswing and build club head speed. The result has been considerably more power off the tee. When all this sinks in, you’re going to love it, good luck!

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