My Winter Swing Tune Up – Part 7

My last meeting was by far the most frustrating meeting I have had to date.  It was probably the most frustrated I have felt hitting golf balls all year actually.  I went into the meeting with all the confidence in the world that I had figured it out.  I felt as though my swing was perfect and I was ready to show it.  Man was I wrong.  Just like everything else in golf, as soon as you think you have it figured out the game humbles you.

After hitting my chips and pitches and a few adjustments from Mike I started hitting a few 7 irons.  I was trying to focus on my takeaway, a shorter backswing and clearing my hip while I was hitting balls.  The problem was that I was thinking way too much and my shots were only going about 130 yards on the trackman.  130 yards with a 7 iron isn’t going to get it done.  What the heck was going on?

I was getting really frustrated that I wasn’t hitting the ball well because I felt so comfortable with my swing and all the progress I had been making.  Mike basically stopped me and said he was going to force me to understand why.  He basically told me that I am thinking WAY too much and that I am hitting up on the ball instead of down on it.

This might be too complicated to write out, but he explained that my hips are the circle or horizontal rotation and those are fine, but my arms and the club need to swing in a straight line up from the ball and down into the ball then down the line and release.  Right now my arms are swinging on the horizontal plane and I am trying to lift the ball.  I could see it on the trackman stats.  I was hitting up on the ball at anywhere from 3 to 6 degrees.  Even when I tried my absolute hardest to just smash the ball into the ground it was hard to get a negative attack angle to show up on the screen.  I got one to show up at -6 but it felt extremely un-natural.  I was having a hard time putting the mental picture of hitting down on the ball and the ball going forward (straight) towards the target together.  I was seeing shanks in my head and pushes to the right when I was trying to hit “down” on the ball.  It was hard for me to square the club face largely because I was coming from the inside and not actually down on the ball.

It was beginning to make sense what Mike was trying to get me to understand.  Right now I swing the club around my body instead of up and down and allow my hips to bring it around my body.  I get what he is saying, but it is hard to actually do it.  Every time I try to compress the ball into the ground I shank it off the hossel because I am swinging the club from the inside instead of down into the ball.

He gave me a few drills to work on the points in my swing that are “check points” to make sure I am getting into the right positions, but I am really going to have to work hard to get over the mental block I have around hitting down on the ball.  I have way too many mechanical thoughts in my head right now and I need to get to a point where I take the club back and just release all of the energy into the ball and DOWN into the ball.  I want to feel more free-flowing with my swing instead of worrying about a ton of check points and mechanical thoughts.  I know this is a process and I am going to stay patient with the progress I am making and have made.  Hopefully the next meeting will prove to be a bit better.

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4 Comments to “My Winter Swing Tune Up – Part 7”

  1. Wow, that was a painful post to read. I feel your frustration coming through and can only remind you that as humans, we are not designed to process a ton of information simultaneously and be successful. Seems that’s where you are at and you should attempt to simplify your approach to get to your free flowing desired state.

    i have taken some lessons where the instructor imparted too much information and it screwed me up. I have given some lessons, and imparted too much information and screwed some students up. You are trying to be helpful during the lesson, especially when the student is not getting it, and search for something to make it right, but almost always the additional information is destructive.

    How would it go if you asked your instructor next time out to give you one thing to think about, and that’s it?

    Good luck!

  2. Thanks for the comment and suggestions Brian. The frustration has since dissipated and the swing has come around. That was just an instance when I was getting overwhelmed by information and technical thoughts. I have since been able to really let all of that go when I am practicing or on the course. Once I get on the course the one thing I try to focus on is tempo. I do agree that getting one swing thought instead of 30 would probably be beneficial.

    How is it coming along getting ready for your trip to Myrtle?

  3. Working on a different approach to Myrtle this year and trying not to over-prepare, especially on my golf swing. To-date I’ve worked conditioning only and have not hit balls once with the purpose of working on my swing. Quite amazing for late May but I am struggling with the temptation to tinker. My goal is to go down there with no swing thoughts because in years past I found myself paralyzed by too many. Have only practiced short game and am trying to focus that practice on reinforcing good technique for easier shots to continually build confidence. Who doesn’t play better with a relaxed mind and lots of confidence? The week before MB, I’ll play on some Bermuda grass courses in Ocean City, MD to get comfortable with the prevailing MB playing surfaces. That’s the extent of it. 25 days to go!

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