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Making Swing Changes Permanent

 Ralphyboy84 ·  
Ralphyboy84Ralphyboy84 Members  172WRX Points: 61Handicap: +2Posts: 172 Fairways
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So I had a lesson recently and I’m now working on shallowing out my downswing. I’ve got some internal shoulder rotation of my trail arm going on that causes me to get steep then all manner of things after that.

My question is how long/how many balls until I start to see a difference? I’ve been working on this for almost 2 weeks now. I practice for 45 minutes twice a day. I do slow deliberate moves. I hit shots at half speed, 3/4 speed then full speed. I use the tour striker smart ball on every shot. There is definitely an improvement when I use the smart ball. Then when I hit a shot without it, it’s like I have completely gone back to my old swing, I’m back at square 1 and the last 2 weeks are a figment of my imagination!

It is incredibly frustrating. What’s everyone else’s experience for making a swing change? And does anyone have any pointers for ways I can make the changes become more permanent? Or is 2 weeks just not enough time? How long can it take?

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  • GolfWRXGolfWRX Warning Points: 0  11 Members Posts: 11 #ad
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  • gripandripgripandrip Members  1264WRX Points: 246Posts: 1,264 Platinum Tees
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    I made a pretty significant change in my swing 2 1/2 years ago. It was easily a year until I stopped dropping back into old habits, and well into the second year before I was not having an occasional relapse. I guess it depends on how big a change and how committed you stay with it. You probably didn't get the swing you have in two weeks, so you probably not going to get rid of it too fast either. For me, I found a minimal number of swing reminders that would keep me on track. When you are swinging the way you want.... video tape it. then you can look back at what you were doing. (Advice always given to me... although never followed through and should have).

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  • Rasser75Rasser75 New ZealandMembers  173WRX Points: 53Handicap: Single digit Posts: 173 Fairways
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    Hi, a swing change takes time and lots of pain. Looong time. And you look like a fool trying to implement it. That's why most give up and play their old swing.

    In my experience, back swing tweaks/changes are easier and lees disruptive to your game. However, it also adds less gain/value after implementation.

    Down swing changes are far more challenging. And it will disrupt your game for sure. And you will feel like a beginner again. It also adds more value/reward in the end. So stick in.

    As a casual player, with one round a week, and 2 range session. It would take at least 1-2 month to implement it to a stage where you can start play some decent golf again. But it still need work from there. One of my mates reckon it took him 2-3 years to properly shallow the club (casual player). And you will feel stupid and play some awful golf during the initial 1-2 mth transition period. Your old swing will keep popping up when you are under pressure. And some times it's a mix between new and old and your ball will fly screamingly OB as you keep hosel easy shots.... And your playing partners will go like, ohh poor guy. So you really need to slow down and give your new move most of your attention and commit to it. Also take some practice rounds on the course without a scorecard just focus on your new piece.

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  • Ralphyboy84Ralphyboy84 Members  172WRX Points: 61Handicap: +2Posts: 172 Fairways
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    That was kind of my expectation/fear. Looks like I need to update my practice time to 3 sessions a day now!

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  • Ri_RedneckRi_Redneck Leather for Life!! Members  5945WRX Points: 465Handicap: 8Posts: 5,945 Titanium Tees
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    The problem is you haven't forgotten the bad swing and it creeps into the new one regularly. I would give it a good 3 months before I tried to take it into a match (in other words, only play friendly golf with zero competitiveness) and you should still do the drills regularly even after that. Breaking old habits and implementing new ones is a very slow process.

    BT

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  • hanginnwanginhanginnwangin Members  42WRX Points: 26Handicap: 9.4Posts: 42 Bunkers
    Joined:  edited Jul 22, 2020 5:07am #7

    I'm in the same boat here. 9 handicap who just started taking lessons and am trying to do more of an in to out swing path to cut out my over the top and it's ridiculously hard. I have a nice looking swing when done smoothly, but when I go full speed, you see the bad habits come back. Although I have to say everything still goes pretty straight. So it's not terrible. But I just hate the over the top. It bothers me.

    But yea, I'm at 3 weeks of every day practice (and I'm talking about 6 hours days of practice) with trying to implement the new swing and it's still not there. So yea, I can see this taking over a year.

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  • rich_s2rich_s2 wisconsinMembers  1075WRX Points: 830Handicap: 1.6Posts: 1,075 Platinum Tees
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    Took me months. I did 50% speed, full swings with 100% focus. That was usually about 50 swings. Once the focus starts to go, STOP. Also don't be result focused. You should hit it like crap in the beginning, while trying to make changes on the range. Thankfully I had all winter (wisconsin) to get this move down. The time and effort was totally worth it. Golf is hard, improving is work. 2 weeks...hang in there

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  • andrueandrue Members  1558WRX Points: 297Handicap: 20Posts: 1,558 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  edited Jul 21, 2020 8:23pm #9

    Never found the trick yet. I made a swing change last September which was awesome and lasted until March. Then it got perverted into falling back at impact which wasn't good. I've just about got it back again (weight forward damnit) but for the last two weeks my game had been awful and I finally realised tonight that it was because I'd stopped turning my back to the target on my back swing and my arms had taken over. That's something I fixed over 18 months ago.

    There was some consolation tonight though once I'd worked that out. I was suddenly hitting 230 yard drives down the fairway. That's 30 yards further than I expect and feels goood :)

    I'm thinking of creating a laminated card with bullet points on it so that I can hang it from my bag. People will laugh but it'll be something I can refer back to when things go wobbly.

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  • bonvivantvabonvivantva Members  278WRX Points: 74Handicap: 21.9Posts: 278 Greens
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    I'd love to know the answer to this, but I'd be hesitant to believe anyone that doesn't say something to the effect of, "It depends/everyone is different/there is no way to know how long a swing change will take to ingrain. I realize that answer is not what you're looking for, but I think it's the closest to the truth you're going to get.

    I've spent just an insane amount of time and effort practicing and working on my swing in the last year or two. In my experience, significant changes take a lot of time, and improvement is gradual. For instance, I realized (by recording my swing) that I was bowing my left wrist at the top and opening the clubface. I watched a ton of videos on fixing this issue, I did drills, I practiced, and played, I worked on it, and I'd say it took months before I could swing the club without focusing on my left wrist in a way that I could trust my left wrist to stay straighter. From the day I identified the issue, to the day I realized I'd been controlling the club face well without having to think/focus on that issue, was probably about 4-6 months. Right now, when I'm working on my swing, I never think about my left wrist, but for the longest time, it was my primary focus.

    Right now, I'm working primarily on path. I'm currently experiencing good consistency of strike and distance (which is a welcome change of pace), but I have a tendency to pull the ball and I've always struggled with an over the top swing. I've been working on my path for really about a decade. You can argue that at some points, like when I was focusing on my left wrist getting bowed at the top, that I had another focus, but really, I think it's more accurate to say that I heard that letting the clubface get open was one of the reasons for an over the top path, so that was just the first big step on a long journey to fix my path. I've been focusing on my backswing for a long time, but I'd say that from March-now I started making some progress and building on that progress rather than driving myself crazy with trial and error. I think that what I'm working through right now can be pretty well generalized. In march, I was trying to do some fairly straightforward things. I was trying not to suck the club inside on the takeaway, and I was trying to have the shaft more vertical and less laid off at the top. Those two things were not too hard to accomplish, but I had trouble doing them and making consistent contact. I realized I had a bad habit in transition. As a result of playing years with my bad takeaway and flatter swing, I had some sequencing issues that had me losing my spine angle and throwing the club outside the path. So I had to try to keep the new more neutral takeaway, feel the shaft more vertical at the top, AND start working on a transition that I can only really describe as feeling more down than out, and without any swaying. Like I said, this progress started in March. Since that time I've shot my personal best, and then turned around and shot just as bad as usual. It's been a rollercoaster, but I'm just starting to get to where I have a feel for the new backswing, shaft position, and transition. I still definitely catch myself getting too flat with my shoulders and letting the club get too horizontal at the top from time to time, but the new feels are starting to become my default and this new swing, which is way different than what I was doing in February, is starting to become the norm. So that's another 5 months, and even though I've made a lot of progress, I wouldn't say it's all the way there. I'm definitely still actively thinking about takeaway, shaft position, and rehearsing transition so that I'm feeling more down than out.

    So for me, swing changes that become ingrained/default take me about 6 months. But recall, we're talking about specific aspects of the swing. If you consider the overall issue of path, I'm still nowhere near where I want to be. I still can't hit a draw on demand. I've had times that I could hit a draw or fade on command, but that was with a really inside takeaway that did not lend itself to consistency. Right now, I'm hitting the ball more consistently than ever, which is great, but I couldn't hit a draw right now with a gun to my head. I hope you're a faster learning than I, because my progress has been painfully slow, yet worth it.

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  • sprcoopsprcoop Tucson, AZMembers  1012WRX Points: 238Handicap: 16.7Posts: 1,012 Platinum Tees
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    I think that instant feedback and NEVER making the mistake wrong twice in a row is paramount once you have identified the change you want to make.

    I use "Swing Profile" on an iPad that videos the swing, then plays it back immediately so you know if you accomplished the goal. Very good results changing my swing.

    Place iPad on tripod behind you. Swing Profile detects you swinging and takes video. You look behind you and see perfection or egregious mistake. Try again until perfect. Rinse, repeat a few thousand times.

    No affiliation. Saw it on a Be Better Golf episode.

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  • leekgolfleekgolf Members  1231WRX Points: 75Handicap: 9Posts: 1,231 Platinum Tees
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    Did you practice 40-60 hours a week when you were preparing for the Senior Q School? I always wonder what the heck tour players do to practice that many hours. I can see 1-2 hours on long game and 1-2 hours on short game daily. How do they come up with 8-10 hours?

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  • hurley999shurley999s Members  843WRX Points: 422Posts: 843 Golden Tee
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    I echo what Monte says...I see guys give up on something if they don’t see improvement in 3-4 swings. Mind you, this is improvement in ball flight, not even them making an improvement in the body/club movement...totally unrealistic.

    with that said, to me it totally depends on how ingrained the bad habit is. For example, I’ve changed my swing unintentionally in a matter of days by just working on certain feels a few times on the practice tee. Problem is, what changed wasn’t obvious to me until I got back on video...thought I was correcting one thing, and ended up changing something that didn’t need work. Then the things I need to fix still plague me and creep up from time to time and that’s the ongoing fight.

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  • sailfishchrissailfishchris Long Island NYMembers, ClubWRX  1116WRX Points: 300Handicap: 4Posts: 1,116 Platinum Tees
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    I saw Monte at a clinic last summer! Stand taller. Get your chin off your left shoulder. Two easy fixes (I thought). Its been a year! Still working keeping the bad habits at bay. I have days when it clicks a lot more than in the beginning. It takes time and effort.

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  • Carolina Golfer 2Carolina Golfer 2 Members  9655WRX Points: 597Posts: 9,655 Titanium Tees
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    This was a really good post. A lot of the same issues i just began working with an instructor on about 3 weeks ago...cupped wrist, out to in path, and in my case no hip/shoulder turn at all.

    good work, keep up the progress.

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  • DLiverDLiver Members  2863WRX Points: 327Handicap: 2.2Posts: 2,863 Titanium Tees
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    I started a similar thread not long ago> There was some great advice there. For me, the best take-away was to work on my swing every day for 10 of 15 minutes at a time. I reduced my range time and worked on my swing at home several times a day. It is starting really sink in now. You need to prevent yourself from making your old swing at all costs. As soon as your concentration starts to fade, it is time to stop. Hitting balls without 100% attention will not only NOT help you get better, it will actually work to bring back your old swing.


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  • hanginnwanginhanginnwangin Members  42WRX Points: 26Handicap: 9.4Posts: 42 Bunkers
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    It's their job, that's how. And they love it so when you love something it's a lot easier to do things. It doesn't feel like as huge of a task.

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  • ToolishToolish Members  73WRX Points: 96Posts: 73 Bunkers
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    Do they ever really become permanent. We all have tendencies that creep back in unless they are monitored, even tour players.


    Personally feel like I am always working on something and my swing rarely feels grooved. If I don't have something specific to work on then I don't know how to practice...if that makes sense.

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  • leekgolfleekgolf Members  1231WRX Points: 75Handicap: 9Posts: 1,231 Platinum Tees
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    I don't question that they do it, I just wonder what they actually do.

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  • GolfbeatGolfbeat Swing Lessee Members  1959WRX Points: 276Handicap: 5Posts: 1,959 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  edited Jul 22, 2020 1:33pm #20

    I have no supporting evidence for saying this but I think that too many people trying to make a swing change are ignoring the club face change that needs to go hand in hand with a swing change. Once there is a realization that the club needs to be closed around 30 to 40 degrees at impact compared to address in order to make good solid contact with some shaft lean, it might speed up the learning process. Trying to hit straight(ish) shots with a closed club face is still one of the best drills to make a swing change for the better IMHO.

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  • GolfbeatGolfbeat Swing Lessee Members  1959WRX Points: 276Handicap: 5Posts: 1,959 Platinum Tees
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    I think that what is included is a lot of play on the course.

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  • bonvivantvabonvivantva Members  278WRX Points: 74Handicap: 21.9Posts: 278 Greens
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    This is a question I've often pondered. Some changes definitely become permanent. My wrist I explained earlier, it seems automatic or default now. I think it was a result of sucking the club inside too much, and once I got that figured out, it just went away. I never have think about it. A friend of mine had his realtor convince him to change his grip, which led to a massive improvement. I don't think my friend has to fight any innate tendency on a grip change. But then for something a little more complex/comprehensive like path for instance, I tend to agree that we have tendencies that may never fully go away. Justin Rose is not one of my favorite players, but I really enjoy watching him on TV because his preshot routine looks like mine. I could be wrong about him, but I swear it looks like he's rehearsing path and fighting a natural over the top tendency. Next time you get a chance, watch him before an iron shot. It looks like he's exaggerating dropping the club inside while telling himself not to be an idiot and to stay in sequence and on path.

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  • SNIPERBBBSNIPERBBB Hit Ball Hard SE OhioMembers  3506WRX Points: 934Handicap: 2.9Posts: 3,506 Titanium Tees
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    I just wonder if you're too dependent on the smart ball to sync your arms

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  • GolfbeatGolfbeat Swing Lessee Members  1959WRX Points: 276Handicap: 5Posts: 1,959 Platinum Tees
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    Definitely a possibility. The smart ball makes the lead arm working automatically. Much harder to make the lead arm work correctly together with the trail arm without the support of the smart ball.

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  • crapulacrapula Golf! Members  2051WRX Points: 248Handicap: 0.0Posts: 2,051 Platinum Tees
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    Sometimes training aids train the opposing force/ opposite move. It can look right on video and feel good but take the training aid away and now there is no resistance/ no opposing force.

    Like if I were to push your club shallow you might be resisting the shallow move, thus training the opposite move actually needed.

    Posted:
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  • MonteScheinblumMonteScheinblum Rebellion Golf Southern CaliforniaMembers  19094WRX Points: 1,762Posts: 19,094 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  edited Jul 22, 2020 4:38pm #27

    I wish. Teaching a full schedule and being a single father 4 days a week. I was lucky to have 15-20. Most weeks I’m lucky to have 5.

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  • tthomasgolfer605tthomasgolfer605 Members  186WRX Points: 91Handicap: ProPosts: 186 Fairways
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    Jack Nicklaus said that when he sees tour players at the range all day they have nothing better to do. For the OP. I saw your swing on youtube and you have a very good move. There's a guy on tour with a LOT more internal rotation than you on the downswing. His name is Rickie Fowler and he's a walking ATM machine.

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  • Ralphyboy84Ralphyboy84 Members  172WRX Points: 61Handicap: +2Posts: 172 Fairways
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    Thanks for all the comments guys. It was really interesting reading through this and seeing the experiences everyone else has had. I completely agree about getting too dependant on the tour striker smart ball. I actually purchased the training band thing that keeps your arms together. I might introduce that into my practice sessions as well to mix up the feels a little bit.

    Someone further up suggested not playing competitive rounds and just concentrating on practice just now. I’m actually going to do the complete opposite of that. I’ll do my little drills in my ore shot routine then focus on the target.

    I actually enjoy hitting balls, so the work isn’t too off putting. I just need to learn to be patient I suppose.

    I’ve made some good progress with my hand path post impact using the smart ball. Just need to keep the grind going to implement it into my full swing!

    Keep the stories coming guys I’ve really enjoyed reading them all


    Posted:
  • leekgolfleekgolf Members  1231WRX Points: 75Handicap: 9Posts: 1,231 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  edited Jul 22, 2020 11:14pm #30

    I wish you had gotten the time needed so you could find out what you could accomplish. I'd like to see you get the chance, but of course family is more important.


    Do you think practice rounds make up a large portion of the time tour players put in to practicing?

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  • milesgilesmilesgiles milesgiles Members  675WRX Points: 251Handicap: 2.3Posts: 675 Golden Tee
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    I don’t see any reason you can’t improve your setup and backswing in a few weeks. Thanks to advice on here, I’ve got rid of a nasty flat shaft lean on the backswing for the first time in 30 years, it’s barely taken a month..

    downswing..for the average golfer, yes years if you’re talking a typical 4-6 hours practise a week. I was always ott and it still creeps in..

    Posted:
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