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Post by JAS on Tue 08 Mar 2016, 4:01 pm

Been working on getting a few things out my swing over the winter (the over the top cast and being laid off at the top, excessive head movement on takeaway) all of which leave me prone to an out to in swing path. I've hit more balls over this winter than the previous 2 put together but I'm really struggling to ingrain the correct feel. Could be a very very messy start to the season. I'm left thinking I've got 3 choices
1. Persevere - it must surely be about to click
2. Stop - Just go with what I have and accept it
3. Seek out an alternative opinion

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Post by golfermartin on Tue 08 Mar 2016, 4:16 pm

Tricky one. How much confidence do you have in the current opinion? I think that if you are convinced that you are on the right path you maybe wouldn't be asking the question? An alternative opinion can't harm (but it may confuse)?

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Post by McLaren on Tue 08 Mar 2016, 4:19 pm

Definitely 2. You are not a pro but a hobbyist. So make the game as enjoyable as you can.

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Post by super_realist on Tue 08 Mar 2016, 4:22 pm

Agree with Mac. Ride it out, it's not a race, and only a game. Just stay out of the medals until you are comfortable.

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Post by Bob_the_Job on Tue 08 Mar 2016, 4:29 pm

1. Unless you're just ingraining something bad....

2. This would be my preferred option, especially if you added in "realx and just enjoy playing golf"... but I know we're in different HcP categories and you're more serious about the game than me.

3. Someone else will have to tell you to make changes to justify being asked for an opinion in the first place - it's human nature.  That puts you into Rinse and Repeat territory.
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Post by Roller_Coaster on Wed 09 Mar 2016, 9:19 am

I would personally go with Mac & Super (whodathunk they'd be in accord...) but that's because it is my hobby to enjoy and I'm not looking for perfection.



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Post by JAS on Wed 09 Mar 2016, 10:50 am

The fact that Mac and Super agree has confused me even more :-p

This is probably the first time that I've doubted if I can make the changes I'm being asked to make, I can understand what my pro is trying to get me to do and why. I just struggling to get it consistently and feel lost with no consistency at the moment. If I get it I'm sure the consistency it will bring will take me to a different level but it's beginning to look like a big IF.


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Post by JAS on Wed 09 Mar 2016, 10:58 am

golfermartin wrote:Tricky one. How much confidence do you have in the current opinion? I think that if you are convinced that you are on the right path you maybe wouldn't be asking the question? An alternative opinion can't harm (but it may confuse)?

A lot Martin, he's taken me from 12 to as low as 4 in 2014, never really felt last winters changes bedded in properly and consequently went from 4.2 to 5.6. We've had another go at it this winter and I've felt at times I'm getting there but there's always at least one of the old bad flaws trying to creep back in. The worry is working toward a consistent model swing is just at odds with my natural instincts.

Worth adding that the big difference this year is that my pro now has a GC2 which is miles better than just biffing balls on the range and just having verbal feedback. I can see shot by shot the data (carry distance, azimuth, spin rates clubhead speed etc). The combination of the numbers and looking at the ball flight on the shot tracker is brilliant. The main thing we're looking at to confirm we're going in the right direction is the azimuth - which effectively confirms whether I'm hitting slightly inside to out (desired) or outside to in (effectively confirming the flaws are still there to a greater or lesser extent)


Last edited by JAS on Wed 09 Mar 2016, 11:09 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added content)

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Post by super_realist on Wed 09 Mar 2016, 10:59 am

JAS, what do you think is the main contributor to going up from 4 to 6? i.e. what is costing you shots?

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Post by JAS on Wed 09 Mar 2016, 11:13 am

Combination of things Super but mostly long game off the tee getting me into trouble. Of course I have the odd bad putting day but over the piece it's the long game, mid irons decent short irons and short game (with the exception of bunker play) good.

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Post by super_realist on Wed 09 Mar 2016, 11:16 am

It's often said never to take advice of amateurs, but when I'm struggling off the tee I slow down and reduce the length of the backswing.

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Post by JAS on Wed 09 Mar 2016, 11:23 am

Yep, overswing is not untypical and something else I'm trying to combat, seem to be able to do it with ease on the shorter clubs.

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Post by McLaren on Wed 09 Mar 2016, 11:42 am

Jas

If I were to be cynical

Firstly I would say this guy has you hooked and isn't exactly worried by how easily he can tease money out of you. Also whatever a GC2 is I would ask for it never to be part of a lesson.

Secondly what did you expect to happen after going from 12 to 4?

It sounds like you are not the most naturally talented player with a number of odd positions in your swing. Getting 4 was a great achievement and you should have just stuck with whatever was working.

Thirdly (and I feel pretty bad about this one) are you aging? It could be that you are in a natural decline to your senior level of play?
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Post by JAS on Wed 09 Mar 2016, 12:27 pm

McLaren wrote:
This guy has you hooked and isn't exactly worried by how easily he can tease money out of you.

It's entirely my choice to pursue the path I'm on.

McLaren wrote:
Also whatever a GC2 is I would ask for it never to be part of a lesson.

Why would you dismiss the GC2 as a coaching aid if you don't know what it is??

McLaren wrote:
What did you expect to happen after going from 12 to 4?  

Maintain 4 and then possibly kick on from there

McLaren wrote:
It sounds like you are not the most naturally talented player with a number of odd positions in your swing.

I'm not a Pro no and thanks for the confirmation

McLaren wrote:
Thirdly (and I feel pretty bad about this one) are you aging?  

I don't think you feel bad at all, probably quite the opposite. Having said that your point is valid as I have let my fitness & flexibility slip somewhat over the past couple of years. Maintaining F&F does get more difficult as you age.[/quote]

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Post by McLaren on Wed 09 Mar 2016, 12:50 pm

Jas

Sometimes you have to ask the hard questions.

The conclusion would still seem to be that you should focus on enjoyment.
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Post by BlueCoverman on Wed 09 Mar 2016, 1:06 pm

Sometimes its difficult to focus on enjoyment though, when you are making the same mistakes week after week.

I'm with JAS on this one, I always strive to attain the best that I can (which isn't that great admittedly  Laugh)

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Post by super_realist on Wed 09 Mar 2016, 1:08 pm

The harder I tried, the worse I got.

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Post by JAS on Wed 09 Mar 2016, 1:20 pm

McLaren wrote:Jas

Sometimes you have to ask the hard questions.

The conclusion would still seem to be that you should focus on enjoyment.

I enjoy shooting low scores and I enjoy the pursuit of trying to make myself better. Even though that will inevitably mean periods of frustration, equally it should yield great moments as well. To not try and just accept frequent Poopie scores is just not me.

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Post by JAS on Wed 09 Mar 2016, 1:24 pm

super_realist wrote:The harder I tried, the worse I got.

There is an element of that always lurking..The thing is though, with yourself and all that hard trying (which I imagine included much practice), whilst it may not have paid off at the time, did pay off eventually when your mindset changed?.

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Post by super_realist on Wed 09 Mar 2016, 1:37 pm

Very true, I was too desperate to get as low as possible that I was stressing too much about it.

Now I focus on the areas that need it most, or which can remedy a bad shot. Hence why my chipping is dynamite.

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Post by raycastleunited on Wed 09 Mar 2016, 4:12 pm

I'm going to reverse your choices Jas.

3. Seek out an alternative opinion
Don't under-estimate the level of understanding he has of your swing, motivation and learning style. Or the fact you trust his methods. Does he coach other low handicappers or does he specialise in minimising the impact of the same flaws that mid-handicappers need fixing week after week? How serious are you about improving? What's the level of your ambition? You could go and see Leadbetter, Harmon etc. but it sounds like you trust the guy and he got you down to 4 so could probably get you down to 1 or 2.

2. Stop - Just go with what I have and accept it
If you're happy with your swing and playing off 5 then yes. But it sounds like you're unhappy with your driving and it's costing you shots which is frustrating. If you walk off the 18th green saying to yourself "I'm better than this" then you need to keep up the lessons in order to enjoy your golf more.

1. Persevere - it must surely be about to click
Maybe. But maybe your coach is trying to get you to make a move which is never going to work for you. Have you discussed this with him? I would suggest telling him you're struggling and maybe there is a different option or swing thought he can suggest.

With golf improvement there is no destination, we'll never swing it like Scott or McIlroy, so you have to enjoy the journey

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Post by JAS on Wed 09 Mar 2016, 5:17 pm

Very very well thought out and put Ray which touches on quite a few of my current thoughts.

I'm pretty happy with my coach, like you say he understands my swing, motivation and learning style. He does coach a range of other handicaps but most notably he coaches the kids and is un earthing quite a pool of talent, you may remember a post of mine a few months back regarding 3 of our juniors (ages 8-12) making the wee wonders National final at St Andrews.
If I felt I was really stuck, i.e. if I don't think I've got through my current feeling in a month or two's time then I may consider a temporary 2nd opinion to  try and at least get a settled swing for the season. In that scenario I'd go to John Jacobs who is fairly local.
With the 2nd part of 2 you hit the nail on the head!!
With 1 That is indeed my concern, I have touched on it with him earlier this week. He says I'm so nearly there and when I get it I'll be so much more consistent.

Basically I will persevere for now and review in a month, If I'm still struggling then a 2nd opinion from JJ would be the next step. He is a highly rated coach -Golf Monthly Top 25

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Post by Nay on Wed 09 Mar 2016, 5:37 pm

super_realist wrote:Very true, I was too desperate to get as low as possible that I was stressing too much about it.

I am currently struggling with this, i like Jas have a number of lessons over the winter, trying to swing in to out. I can do it at the range, but as soon as i get on the course a different kettle of fish.

Very frustrating at the moment

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Post by JAS on Tue 22 Mar 2016, 11:41 pm

Well 2 weeks on and I feel like the changes are finally showing signs of bedding in, made buffer on Saturday with a bit of a mixed bag, hit some really sweet irons but 2 or 3 stinkers as well. Good job my short game's in reasonable shape.
First real big test this weekend with a stableford of the back pegs on Saunton East Saturday then the 36 hole open on Monday, given the current weather forecast it's already looking like a reductions only weekend :-p

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Post by McLaren on Wed 23 Mar 2016, 11:40 am

Jas

Would you be willing to share more details of exactly what changes you are trying to make and the drills you have been given to achieve these changes?
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Post by raycastleunited on Wed 23 Mar 2016, 3:16 pm

JAS, if you're struggling with golf fitness, you may want to try following golf.fitness.by.knl on instagram. Will certainly help with any stiffness you may be suffering.

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Post by JAS on Thu 24 Mar 2016, 1:17 am

McLaren wrote:Jas

Would you be willing to share more details of exactly what changes you are trying to make and the drills you have been given to achieve these changes?

So...to wind it back to what we're trying to eradicate...

I've always had a tendency to overswing so for a while to focus was initially on trying to get the club correct at the top i.e not cross the line, so on concentrating on this the way my body tried to do this was tilt to get to the top rather than hinge fully.
To avoid the tilt the focus was then on getting the feel of weight shifting onto the right side. Unfortunately to ensure I was weight shifting I then developed a tendency to move my head away (which then made me even more reliant on good timing to get back to the ball with the clubhead square).
This winter the focus has been getting a better hinge to avoid the tilt. Trying to hinge more really threw me off, loads of mishits. Through all of that my tendency was still to come over the top and cast causing an out to in swing plane.
The main drill for the past couple of months has been placing a ball about 6 inches behind the object ball and 1-2 inches wide of it. if I hit the outside ball it meant I was coming over the top and not from the inside, again Ive struggled with this although it's much better now.

As I've got better the hands have had to relearn to release. I then started hitting hooks as the hands whipped through too quickly. More recently I've been laying a tee peg about 18 inches in front of the ball about an inch or 2 to the outside and trying to focus on extending through that line. This has helped in getting the hand to release much better and the stock shot that's emerging is a nice slight draw. Yes I'm still blocking occasionally (hand not releasing fully)

Other drills I do
To help with weight shift I have a few practice swings lifting my left foot slightly off the ground
To help with my head position I've drawn a circle on my mirror and practice backswings keeping the head in the circle
3/4 swings i.e. back as far as having the handle end of the club pointing at the ball then swinging through.
Through out I've recorded quite a few swings to check positions

I do feel it really is beginning to come together, much more consistent with short and mid irons and the long clubs are now also showing signs of being better too. It has taken longer than I expected but I'm now beginning to take it from the range to the course

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Post by puligny on Thu 24 Mar 2016, 4:08 am

JAS - hi. As you may recall I too have a tendency to swing across the line. I've never really worried about it believing the most (only) important position is as the club connects with ball. I think Jim Furyk would concur.
Nevertheless my action has driven one of our pros nuts for a long time. He's tried to fix me, and came up with something I really do find helpful, albeit simple, and not the re-engineering you are undertaking, and I suspect actually enjoying!!
Basically has got me to keep my right elbow more tucked in on the down swing, and to imagine taking a divot before the ball and on the inside. I don't actually take a divot, but in practice swing you can imagine the move which take you along that path. Second drill is to hit a 4/3 iron off a high tee - really high. Major concern when swinging across the line is coming back "over the top" and chopping? Hitting off a ridiculously high tee causes a more balanced swing to get the ball flying.
Both these are simple ( first one pro took from a lesson with John Jacobs over 40 years ago) but very effective, or at least I have found them to be so. Much more consistent striking without masses to think about. Hope that is worthwhile, if only to be dismissed I favour of your current path!
Cheers

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Post by super_realist on Thu 24 Mar 2016, 7:45 am

What's everyone working on this year?
For me the priority is hitting more greens and the 80 yard pitch. Going well so far and already shot a couple of rounds under par and level.

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Post by JAS on Thu 24 Mar 2016, 7:55 am

Cheers Puligny, you've hit a couple of nails on the head there, yes I am actually enjoying it, even though it's been driving me to distraction. Also, the having masses to think about, that's probably one of the biggest inhibitors when making a change. When you try to change one thing it opens up several others which then have to be dealt with. Think the pro has been great in trying to avoid this by trying to sort one thing at a time - that's hard though because you have to accept struggling performances during a long transitional period. Until it all comes together though it can be too easy to start thinking too much when you hit a poor one.
We have touched on the right elbow position and it does help to try and have it feel more tucked on the earlier part of the downswing. Another thing that's helped a bit is trying to feel the thumbs underneath the club at the top which has helped reduce the laying off (which I didn't mention in the last post).

I'll give the high tee 3 iron drill a go and see what happens.

How are you anyway? Did I read the other day you were on your travels again?

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Post by Bob_the_Job on Thu 24 Mar 2016, 10:19 am

super_realist wrote:What's everyone working on this year?
For me the priority is hitting more greens and the 80 yard pitch. Going well so far and already shot a couple of rounds under par and level.

1. Mid and long irons - by far the consistently weakest part of my game.  Actually, I've given up on long irons and got two hybrids which are improving that area.  But from 175 in down to about 130 in is iffy for me.

2. Consistency in the short game (specifically pitching and chipping).  When it's on I play to about 7, when it's not I play to about 17.  It's actually on more that it's not, but that's masked by problem 1 above, as I end up using it a lot (miss a lot of greens from more than 130 out).
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Post by McLaren on Thu 24 Mar 2016, 11:12 am

Jas

I don't get what your hinge has to do with you tilting instead of rotating?

Also it sounds like the focus on weight shifting has introduced a sway into your swing instead of a rotation. I assume your head was moving when you exaggerated the weight shift to right hand side by moving your whole body to the right? I am sure I had this discussion on here before (with Navy maybe?) that a still head should be the result of everything else staying in place and that just focusing on keeping your head still won't fix the rest of your body swaying out of position.


I know you like making changes and improving but it seems like your pro has introduced a lot of alterations in a short space of time. I would suggest asking him to pick what change he wants to make at a time and only move on when that has bedded in. It appears he is trying to sculpt a new swing in one go.

At the moment you are trying to change

Weight shift
wrist c*ock (hinge)
swing length
swing plane
changing from tilt to rotation of body on the way back
and maybe a few more.

I am not sure anyone could fathom all those changes at once.



Super

Probably just work on the short game as always. My long game has been in decline for about 10 years from my peak but hopefully a good short game can make up for that.
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Post by JAS on Thu 24 Mar 2016, 11:42 am

Mac, as usual you misinterpret and use your misguided but fertile imagination to build up a totally inaccurate picture. The changes I've listed above have been taking place over 2 or 3 years bit by bit. Some changes are easier to grasp than others, sometimes a change can reintroduce an old bad habit.

Whilst I've gone through periods of frustration I'm happy with and understand the general direction my pro is trying to take me.

Are you or have you been a teaching pro? I suspect I know the answer. If I ever get into gaming or need advice on bus routes I'll know where to come, until then...

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Post by McLaren on Thu 24 Mar 2016, 1:22 pm

Jas

I agree 2 - 3 years would seem a sensible time period to make that many changes but you started the post by saying you were trying to sort a few things out over the winter, so I thought that was the period over which you were trying to make the changes. Sorry for the misunderstanding but I don't think you mentioned any other time periods in your post above.

Although it does seem to be the case that at this moment in time you are trying to work on the issues listed above simultaneously, is that correct?
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Post by navyblueshorts on Thu 24 Mar 2016, 3:20 pm

super_realist wrote:What's everyone working on this year?
For me the priority is hitting more greens and the 80 yard pitch. Going well so far and already shot a couple of rounds under par and level.
Driving and pitching from 100 yards in.
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Post by puligny on Thu 24 Mar 2016, 3:24 pm

JAS yes we are in Arizona enjoying some fine weather and interesting golf courses. Yet again struck by just how polite and pleasant the Americans we come into contact with are, and yet what a mass of contradictions there are over here! Listening to local news first thing in the morning there has been a shooting in Phoenix every night we've been here! Hey ho, loving the golf, desert scenery and culture. Food passable, good is often pretentiously delivered, most is quantity over quality. Craving a piece of soft fruit from a market/supermarket that tastes of anything, let alone what it should! Best business sign on a chiropractor unit - JOINTS!
Drinking only American beer and wine - no shortage and very good. Coffee however is a huge disappointment - US well down my world ranking which is still headed by Aussie and NZ in joint first place.

Super - spot on, hitting greens and bunkers, after last year on long game. Driving is now a thing of beauty D and 3w. Gives great base to really focus on scoring!

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Post by McLaren on Thu 24 Mar 2016, 3:27 pm

Navy

How is the driving from a 100 yards in going?
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Post by Nay on Thu 24 Mar 2016, 8:42 pm

super_realist wrote:What's everyone working on this year?
For me the priority is hitting more greens and the 80 yard pitch. Going well so far and already shot a couple of rounds under par and level.

1) Putting
2) mental side (have started wriggling toes when i started thing of anything but current shot)

On the swing i have been working for the last 6 months on sequence of the swing.

I yank the club from the top which causes me to cast before i start to put my weight forward at ultimatly lose balance and inconsistent contact.


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Post by McLaren on Thu 24 Mar 2016, 10:16 pm

Hitting from the top is the devils work. I am pretty sure that has ruined more shots in my golf career than anything else. Once you swipe from the top it is impossible to get a solid hit.
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Post by JAS on Tue 29 Mar 2016, 7:34 pm

The answer to my original question...a wee bit longer yet but it's coming. Not so great scoring in the Easter 36 at Saunton 86 on the East & 90 on the West, sounds horrific but it was on the coat tails of storm Katie, to be honest my putting really let me down (5 3putts in the afternoon 3 3putts and a goddamn 4 putt in the morning, ball striking (with the exception of 3 or 4 holes was better than expected). Was going along really well in the afternoon, 1 over through 6 (and that was a 3 putt), first really poor shot came on the 7th tee but managed to scramble a bogey then 3 putted 8 from the fringe so basically on handicap then came the par 3 9th, nice high 8 iron, hung in the air just long enough for a gust to take it into the green side bunker...plugged, 2 to get out and another 3 putt and head gone. I knew the CSS would be high (75 as it turned out) so felt the way I'd played the first 6 I could still at least make buffer, perhaps even a cut. By the 14th tee I was 10 over still not dead & buried in terms of buffer then boom, 2 old style swipes and I was 5 off the tee ending with an ugly 10. Kept plugging away then a bizarre incident on the par 5 17th. Boomed a drive down the middle and I'm scoping the pin at 210, 185 to clear the ditch and 225 to the knee high stuff behind the green, had I been on a good score I'd have laid up to 100 and wedged in. With all hope of a decent score gone I went for it. Wind was left to right (neither helping or hurting) so a draw required. A well struck rescue would have put me in the rubbish behind so out came the 3 iron. 185-190 is about my carry with a well struck 3iron. Swoosh, off it went, sweet as a nut, pitched just over and rolled on to about 20 feet. As it was in the air I felt something at my feet and the club felt very light in my hand. The shaft had snapped on my through swing...wtf?? That's the 2nd time I've had a shaft snap on me, last year in the county Champs my 5 iron snapped on impact on a shot. To put the tin hat on it, I lipped the eagle putt then missed the tap in birdie.

So all in all not a great day but over the course of the whole weekend I had longer and longer spells of good solid ball striking interspersed with some of the old rubbish, which is getting less and less to be fair. My putting now clearly needs some attention as it's acutely frustrating to feel I'm getting somewhere with the long game only to have it all unravel at the business end of the hole.

JAS

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How much longer!! Empty Re: How much longer!!

Post by raycastleunited on Thu 31 Mar 2016, 12:15 am

Were you playing with those plastic clubs from Argos again? I know it says suitable from Age 3 and upwards, but I don't think they were designed for adults.

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How much longer!! Empty Re: How much longer!!

Post by Roller_Coaster on Thu 31 Mar 2016, 9:40 am

raycastleunited wrote:Were you playing with those plastic clubs from Argos again? I know it says suitable from Age 3 and upwards, but I don't think they were designed for adults.

Put "Taylormade" on the side and I know some people that would buy them!

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How much longer!! Empty Re: How much longer!!

Post by JAS on Sun 18 Sep 2016, 2:13 pm

Interesting re-reading this one and I think the answer would have been...until September!! Having struggled with the long game most of the season I was a bit apprehensive going into the Tassie at Carnoustie, it really isn't the place to spend an enjoyable week if you're spraying it with the big stick. What kept me going was knowing that my short game/recovery game was in good nick.

As it has turned out I played very well tee to green over the week at Carnoustie and golf being golf I ended up cursing a barrage of 3 putts, some missed easy birdie putts and 2-3 eagle putts. Basically during my trip away I played 9 rounds in 8 days and on only one day (the 2nd round of the matchplay) I struggled. Before last week I was hitting anything from 5-8 Greens in reg, Now I'm back up at 10-12. Infact after travelling home Friday night hit 14 at my home course Saturday. Medal today and 12 GIRs for a 75 net 69. 2 silly doubles and a bogey on front 9 followed by a 1 under gross back 9. During my struggles I was averaging around 30 putts, dipping under that on several occasions. Now all of a sudden I'm up around 34-36. That probably indicates that it was my chipping rather than putting that's been saving me all summer.

JAS

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How much longer!! Empty Re: How much longer!!

Post by super_realist on Mon 19 Sep 2016, 9:28 am

I feel your pain Jas, I'm happy (but frustrated) how I'm playing. Most times, I'm playing to my handicap, yet, making a few errors meaning I'm not getting cut. For example yesterday, I shot 3 over, so buffer just, but I only hit 8 greens and had a three putt. This means my short game is on song, but annoying that I have to fight for par when with better approaches I could be putting for birdie. I suppose that's what is so great about golf.

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