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Improved swing but lost 20% distance?!?


Luckydutch
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I’ve been working really hard on my swing technique with both lessons and regular practice over the past few months and whilst I’m still a little frustrated that I haven’t completely cured my steed/OTT tendencies, I am generally quite pleased with how the swing looks and the quality and consistency of contact with the ball.

 

HOWEVER, I have been progressively lose more and more yardage off all my clubs and it seems like with every new practice session, I’ve lost a few more yards. 

 

The two attached videos are 4 months apart and you can see in the older video my technique is awful. However, I was striking an 8 iron 140 yards at that point. Now I’m down to 115 average. The second video attached is from today and whilst it’s not my best ever swing, I feel it’s a good example because that shot only carried 109 yards!

 

At first, I didn’t mind losing a few yards for some consistency but I’ve now lost 20% of my yardages (which weren’t that impressive to begin with) and I’m actually carrying womens distances now. I have to know why!


The only time I manage to hit the ball a decent distance now is actually when I do go OTT and hit a straight pull left. They tend to go further than my straighter shots and draws.

 

Is there anything you can see in the two videos that might account for such a huge loss of distance?

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The quickest way to find a clear answer is to get some numbers, specifically clubhead speed and ball speed from a decent launch monitor. A few ideas as to the "why":

1) Your strike quality in both videos seems pretty poor. Both shots look like they are coming well out of the toe of the club. Strike quality will always impact distance heavily. 
2) Your newer swing is much better, but you may have a significant power leak coming from this:

25662962_ScreenShot2021-11-28at6_35_33AM.png.e241ece252436e9a388e071e9f8fc313.png70241461_ScreenShot2021-11-28at6_48_26AM.png.08cf64f7dd26506445a2c115ff230f5e.png

The club is WAY inside going back. That rolled up towel (or whatever it is) is likely encouraging this. That is a decent tool for attempting to move towards a more in to out delivery, but it will also encourage an inside takeaway, which is exactly what you don't want. A 45* angled alignment stick like Rory is using here would be more helpful (also note where the club is at the same position, this is closer to what you want). If you want to drop the club down into the "slot" for a technically correct and efficient delivery, you can't have the club getting sucked around behind you like this in the beginning. Most of the time this leads to an over the top delivery, however you are clearly resisting that as your hand path coming down is pretty good. The problem is that going "shallow to shallow" like this is not a particularly intuitive thing for our body. In addition to the strike issues, you're likely spending most of your downswing effort (and thus your potential power) just trying to keep the club on plane. This leads me to...

3) Inefficient/incorrect weight transfer as a result of the above problems will rob you of power. Even in your follow through it appears that you're still mostly on your back foot, meaning you're hanging back and "scooping" the ball quite a bit, another thing that will rob you of power as it will increase your dynamic loft, and thus launch and spin, basically turning your 8i into a PW. Combine that with poor strike and all your distance loss is explained. 

Linking all of these things together is the difficult part, and especially when trying to explain it in text. The entire golf swing is a complex combination of moves that all have to be in relative harmony. The moment something gets out of whack, the entire system has to slow down to allow time for compensation. That slowing down obviously decreases your speed and consistency. IMO right now you are likely focusing very hard on trying to cure your OTT move, but in doing so have introduced a few things that are causing the system to slow down. The inside takeaway and what i'd argue is much too long of a swing for a short iron leads to a club that gets too far around behind you...

534753836_ScreenShot2021-11-28at7_02_26AM.png.e474cba16cb73cf9118aaaf3d7f83444.png1459540185_ScreenShot2021-11-28at7_04_00AM.png.ae004f86c8cf09196e778c58bc1db62f.png

...and that takes time to unwind and get back out in front of you. At the same time you're trying to do this without throwing it over the top, so instead of being able to simply drop the club and unwind to create more free flowing power (like Rory is setup to do above), you're guiding the club down and buying time to get it back out in front of you. All of that will slow things down, and we see you rotating your hips in a decent sequence but you aren't getting up onto your front side when doing this. This is because if you did, that club that you're trying to get back down inside on the right path would end up stuck behind you and you'd flare everything 50y right, so your weight stalls so you can get the club where you want it to be and you've lost your main source of power. 

That is a lot of info, so i'd condense that down to two things to start with. First, you need to get the club out in front of you more in the backswing like the first Rory screenshot. It doesn't need to be that far out in front, but it needs to be much less inside than it is right now. Second, shorten your backswing by what feels like at least 25%. A correct "full" swing with your 8i will feel like a 3/4 or even 1/2 swing compared to what you're doing right now, so you'll need to recalibrate to find the new/correct "normal" there. These are the only two things I would worry about for now as correctly implementing them will likely change other elements that should be addressed then. You can still use the towel as an aid, but i'd recommend moving it a little further away and keep it pointing down your target line you encourage you to take the club straight back as opposed to inside. 

Edited by Valtiel
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2 hours ago, Valtiel said:

The quickest way to find a clear answer is to get some numbers, specifically clubhead speed and ball speed from a decent launch monitor. A few ideas as to the "why":

1) Your strike quality in both videos seems pretty poor. Both shots look like they are coming well out of the toe of the club. Strike quality will always impact distance heavily. 
2) Your newer swing is much better, but you may have a significant power leak coming from this:

25662962_ScreenShot2021-11-28at6_35_33AM.png.e241ece252436e9a388e071e9f8fc313.png70241461_ScreenShot2021-11-28at6_48_26AM.png.08cf64f7dd26506445a2c115ff230f5e.png

The club is WAY inside going back. That rolled up towel (or whatever it is) is likely encouraging this. That is a decent tool for attempting to move towards a more in to out delivery, but it will also encourage an inside takeaway, which is exactly what you don't want. A 45* angled alignment stick like Rory is using here would be more helpful (also note where the club is at the same position, this is closer to what you want). If you want to drop the club down into the "slot" for a technically correct and efficient delivery, you can't have the club getting sucked around behind you like this in the beginning. Most of the time this leads to an over the top delivery, however you are clearly resisting that as your hand path coming down is pretty good. The problem is that going "shallow to shallow" like this is not a particularly intuitive thing for our body. In addition to the strike issues, you're likely spending most of your downswing effort (and thus your potential power) just trying to keep the club on plane. This leads me to...

3) Inefficient/incorrect weight transfer as a result of the above problems will rob you of power. Even in your follow through it appears that you're still mostly on your back foot, meaning you're hanging back and "scooping" the ball quite a bit, another thing that will rob you of power as it will increase your dynamic loft, and thus launch and spin, basically turning your 8i into a PW. Combine that with poor strike and all your distance loss is explained. 

Linking all of these things together is the difficult part, and especially when trying to explain it in text. The entire golf swing is a complex combination of moves that all have to be in relative harmony. The moment something gets out of whack, the entire system has to slow down to allow time for compensation. That slowing down obviously decreases your speed and consistency. IMO right now you are likely focusing very hard on trying to cure your OTT move, but in doing so have introduced a few things that are causing the system to slow down. The inside takeaway and what i'd argue is much too long of a swing for a short iron leads to a club that gets too far around behind you...

534753836_ScreenShot2021-11-28at7_02_26AM.png.e474cba16cb73cf9118aaaf3d7f83444.png1459540185_ScreenShot2021-11-28at7_04_00AM.png.ae004f86c8cf09196e778c58bc1db62f.png

...and that takes time to unwind and get back out in front of you. At the same time you're trying to do this without throwing it over the top, so instead of being able to simply drop the club and unwind to create more free flowing power (like Rory is setup to do above), you're guiding the club down and buying time to get it back out in front of you. All of that will slow things down, and we see you rotating your hips in a decent sequence but you aren't getting up onto your front side when doing this. This is because if you did, that club that you're trying to get back down inside on the right path would end up stuck behind you and you'd flare everything 50y right, so your weight stalls so you can get the club where you want it to be and you've lost your main source of power. 

That is a lot of info, so i'd condense that down to two things to start with. First, you need to get the club out in front of you more in the backswing like the first Rory screenshot. It doesn't need to be that far out in front, but it needs to be much less inside than it is right now. Second, shorten your backswing by what feels like at least 25%. A correct "full" swing with your 8i will feel like a 3/4 or even 1/2 swing compared to what you're doing right now, so you'll need to recalibrate to find the new/correct "normal" there. These are the only two things I would worry about for now as correctly implementing them will likely change other elements that should be addressed then. You can still use the towel as an aid, but i'd recommend moving it a little further away and keep it pointing down your target line you encourage you to take the club straight back as opposed to inside. 


Hey thanks for the incredibly detailed response there!

 

The inside takeaway is sort of deliberate. To help with the OTT move, my instructor has had me swinging under an alignment stick. 
 

58BFF713-9AEF-42E3-8402-B299701B9938.jpeg.4c7ce20a638b3f3e8270f08c4837db2f.jpeg

 

I guess doing it does pull me a bit inside but my arms go back initially then raise up more vertically at the end of the backswing. 
 

I feel like it helps me to start the downswing with a vertical move with the hands and get the club shallowed so I can come into impact on that shallower plane. So the downswing sort of becomes the exact reverse of the backswing. Shallow takeaway, steep backswing, steep transition, shallow strike.

 

I have tried a steeper takeaway and not letting the hands get as far behind me and I found it made the OTT move worse because my hands don’t have as far to move horizontally before they over the plane so it’s really easy to go severely OTT.

 

Is there a particular move or feeling you do when you’ve done a steep backswing to avoid the downswing being just as steep and OTT?

 

The comment on how far I go with the backswing is bang-on, I think. My instructor told me the same. I can’t help it! Would you believe me if I told you that felt like a 25% less swing? Admittedly, if looks worse than it is because the camera angle is low (sat on a small bench) but I definitely need to work on that. I think it makes proper sequencing harder for me when I’ve rotated so far.

 

 

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34 minutes ago, Luckydutch said:


Hey thanks for the incredibly detailed response there!

 

The inside takeaway is sort of deliberate. To help with the OTT move, my instructor has had me swinging under an alignment stick. 
 

58BFF713-9AEF-42E3-8402-B299701B9938.jpeg.4c7ce20a638b3f3e8270f08c4837db2f.jpeg

 

I guess doing it does pull me a bit inside but my arms go back initially then raise up more vertically at the end of the backswing. 
 

I feel like it helps me to start the downswing with a vertical move with the hands and get the club shallowed so I can come into impact on that shallower plane. So the downswing sort of becomes the exact reverse of the backswing. Shallow takeaway, steep backswing, steep transition, shallow strike.

 

I have tried a steeper takeaway and not letting the hands get as far behind me and I found it made the OTT move worse because my hands don’t have as far to move horizontally before they over the plane so it’s really easy to go severely OTT.

 

Is there a particular move or feeling you do when you’ve done a steep backswing to avoid the downswing being just as steep and OTT?

 

The comment on how far I go with the backswing is bang-on, I think. My instructor told me the same. I can’t help it! Would you believe me if I told you that felt like a 25% less swing? Admittedly, if looks worse than it is because the camera angle is low (sat on a small bench) but I definitely need to work on that. I think it makes proper sequencing harder for me when I’ve rotated so far.

 

 

 

Shortening one's swing really can be difficult.

 

But as for your pic, sure looks OTT to me. And I'm not sure what either line you drew is suggesting.

 

How's this ?

 

1359232040_WRXSWINGPLANE.png.1dd831024e1222c23e2a0d2b299d98d7.png

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53 minutes ago, nsxguy said:

 

Shortening one's swing really can be difficult.

 

But as for your pic, sure looks OTT to me. And I'm not sure what either line you drew is suggesting.

 

How's this ?

 

1359232040_WRXSWINGPLANE.png.1dd831024e1222c23e2a0d2b299d98d7.png


That’s a screen capture from a video my instructor sent me.

 

This is half way through the downswing:

89BF2572-DF8A-4D4B-BC44-5CD821C3E3C0.jpeg.50758e53f35abf1ec070146bff099f60.jpeg
 

And this is impact (left at the start of the lesson coming OTT, right after spending the lesson swinging under the stick):

 

8BF31C1A-0F77-4C76-8624-B464A99C796A.jpeg.94059191a895176a330e94716df0626a.jpeg

 

I’m not at all saying you’re wrong about the takeaway thing, just explaining why I’ve been doing it. It was a byproduct of the drill I’ve been doing to work on the OTT.

 

Having said that, the drill worked in the lesson but I reverted to OTT the very next day because I no longer had the stick there.

 

 I’m now trying to use swing thoughts about dropping the hands down behind my right shoulder and turning the body keeping my back to target longer, to control the OTT (with mixed results).

 

Despite all this, I just can’t understand why, the better I get at controlling my OTT, the shorter my carry distances are becoming.

 

The first video in my OP, my swing is absolutely awful yet it’s striking the ball 25 yards further than the video below it. Just can’t get my head around it!

Edited by Luckydutch
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2 hours ago, Luckydutch said:


Hey thanks for the incredibly detailed response there!

 

The inside takeaway is sort of deliberate. To help with the OTT move, my instructor has had me swinging under an alignment stick. 
 

58BFF713-9AEF-42E3-8402-B299701B9938.jpeg.4c7ce20a638b3f3e8270f08c4837db2f.jpeg

 

I guess doing it does pull me a bit inside but my arms go back initially then raise up more vertically at the end of the backswing. 
 

I feel like it helps me to start the downswing with a vertical move with the hands and get the club shallowed so I can come into impact on that shallower plane. So the downswing sort of becomes the exact reverse of the backswing. Shallow takeaway, steep backswing, steep transition, shallow strike.

 

I have tried a steeper takeaway and not letting the hands get as far behind me and I found it made the OTT move worse because my hands don’t have as far to move horizontally before they over the plane so it’s really easy to go severely OTT.

 

Is there a particular move or feeling you do when you’ve done a steep backswing to avoid the downswing being just as steep and OTT?

 

The comment on how far I go with the backswing is bang-on, I think. My instructor told me the same. I can’t help it! Would you believe me if I told you that felt like a 25% less swing? Admittedly, if looks worse than it is because the camera angle is low (sat on a small bench) but I definitely need to work on that. I think it makes proper sequencing harder for me when I’ve rotated so far.

 

 


No problem, thanks for the follow up. 

It sounds like the coach you are working with is taking a more "one piece" swing sort of approach. Nothing wrong with that, but it places a heavier emphasis on fundamentally correct lower body action and rotation, which I think is a big part of why your distance is suffering since you don't have that right now. If you can, full speed videos would help to see how your body is moving in real time. 

When you're coming over the top and pulling it a bit as you mentioned, you're forced to snap the clubface shut with your hands more. This delofts the club and will give you extra distance. That combined with the possibility that you're simply going at the OTT swings a little harder since you aren't consciously trying to resist anything and you have all your distance loss explained. 

Ideally, going back steeper doesn't require any particular move or feeling because it should be a more natural reaction to then shallow the club, just like people that struggle with a steep downswing are so commonly taking the club back too inside. The backswing sets up the downswing, if you're too flat then the room your body will want to shift towards is out over the top. If you're steeper, the room is more inside which is where you want to be. That is the basic concept behind the two plane swing though, and a more one plane swing approach is fine IF it works for you. Even then, you don't want the club getting behind your hands like that. Even the flattest one plane swingers will keep the club in line or outside the hands (Matt Kuchar, Zach Johnson etc), and critically they have shorter backswings. I believe you when you say you feel like this swing was short/shorter, because nearly everyone with overly long backswings seems to run into that when trying to fix it. And yes you're right, sequencing absolutely becomes an issue. The ONLY reason to have a big long backswing is if its something that either works with the way your body wants to move or is deeply ingrained from a young age and your compensations for it are equally ingrained and fundamentally sound. Only managing to get an 8i out to 100 yards is a pretty good indication that a long backswing is doing you no favors. 

 

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1 hour ago, Valtiel said:


No problem, thanks for the follow up. 

It sounds like the coach you are working with is taking a more "one piece" swing sort of approach. Nothing wrong with that, but it places a heavier emphasis on fundamentally correct lower body action and rotation, which I think is a big part of why your distance is suffering since you don't have that right now. If you can, full speed videos would help to see how your body is moving in real time. 

When you're coming over the top and pulling it a bit as you mentioned, you're forced to snap the clubface shut with your hands more. This delofts the club and will give you extra distance. That combined with the possibility that you're simply going at the OTT swings a little harder since you aren't consciously trying to resist anything and you have all your distance loss explained. 

Ideally, going back steeper doesn't require any particular move or feeling because it should be a more natural reaction to then shallow the club, just like people that struggle with a steep downswing are so commonly taking the club back too inside. The backswing sets up the downswing, if you're too flat then the room your body will want to shift towards is out over the top. If you're steeper, the room is more inside which is where you want to be. That is the basic concept behind the two plane swing though, and a more one plane swing approach is fine IF it works for you. Even then, you don't want the club getting behind your hands like that. Even the flattest one plane swingers will keep the club in line or outside the hands (Matt Kuchar, Zach Johnson etc), and critically they have shorter backswings. I believe you when you say you feel like this swing was short/shorter, because nearly everyone with overly long backswings seems to run into that when trying to fix it. And yes you're right, sequencing absolutely becomes an issue. The ONLY reason to have a big long backswing is if its something that either works with the way your body wants to move or is deeply ingrained from a young age and your compensations for it are equally ingrained and fundamentally sound. Only managing to get an 8i out to 100 yards is a pretty good indication that a long backswing is doing you no favors. 

 


Hopefully I don’t have any ingrained compensations because I’ve not been playing long enough. I only picked up the sport this year.

 

I’ll need to revisit this backswing then.

 

I tried some recently with a steeper backswing and even staying steeper at the top so my hands were higher but got less far behind my right shoulder. Probably wasn’t doing it right though because the downswing was exceedingly steep and quite OTT.

 

Here’s one in slow and normal speed:

 

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3 hours ago, Luckydutch said:

 

Despite all this, I just can’t understand why, the better I get at controlling my OTT, the shorter my carry distances are becoming.

 

The first video in my OP, my swing is absolutely awful yet it’s striking the ball 25 yards further than the video below it. Just can’t get my head around it!

 

What has your instructor said about ?

 

Also, have you hit balls with impact tape on the face ? Flush contact with consistent speed = best/most consistent distance.

 

If you hit your 8 iron 140 before, either you're mishitting it or your speed has diminished because of the new "swing".

 

The new sequencing would seem to be quite a bit better so you almost HAVE to be mishitting it; i.e. not hitting the sweet spot.

 

You need to know where your misses are.

 

And btw, for someone starting this year I'd say you were doing very well.   👍

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18 hours ago, Luckydutch said:

I’ve been working really hard on my swing technique with both lessons and regular practice over the past few months and whilst I’m still a little frustrated that I haven’t completely cured my steed/OTT tendencies, I am generally quite pleased with how the swing looks and the quality and consistency of contact with the ball.

 

HOWEVER, I have been progressively lose more and more yardage off all my clubs and it seems like with every new practice session, I’ve lost a few more yards. 

 

The two attached videos are 4 months apart and you can see in the older video my technique is awful. However, I was striking an 8 iron 140 yards at that point. Now I’m down to 115 average. The second video attached is from today and whilst it’s not my best ever swing, I feel it’s a good example because that shot only carried 109 yards!

 

At first, I didn’t mind losing a few yards for some consistency but I’ve now lost 20% of my yardages (which weren’t that impressive to begin with) and I’m actually carrying womens distances now. I have to know why!


The only time I manage to hit the ball a decent distance now is actually when I do go OTT and hit a straight pull left. They tend to go further than my straighter shots and draws.

 

Is there anything you can see in the two videos that might account for such a huge loss of distance?

IMG_1025.MOV

You are not bringing power up from the ground very efficiently and so even though your swing motion may have improved, your power production is still very inefficient. 

This appears to be a good position a the top of your backswing but you have shifted your weight to your back foot as evidence  by the inside of your trail foot coming off the ground. There should be a pressure shift but not much of a weight shift as a weight shift moves your swing center and that is generally not good as you want it to be as stable as possible.

 

image.png.e02e7a52a0f14109f8dc74c9c7ff7e93.png

 

You also early extend which means that you are no longer pressuring the ground so you will lose all ability to lever the ball as you are not in a good power position entering impact. I great feeling entering impact is that you are trying to twist the ground apart with your feet.    

image.png.c5dbef1adcd1c0ac3e724aa9cd975340.png

 

 

You also did not strike this ball out of the middle and you struck it off the toe as the face is wide open post impact. That alone will cost you 20 yards of carry. 

image.png.0914315c5869e0d8d9a657ca2dfae325.png

 

 

A video to understand weight shift vs. pressure shift: 

 

A video to help you learn how to lever against the ground  better and not early extend: 

 

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8 hours ago, nsxguy said:

 

What has your instructor said about ?

 

Also, have you hit balls with impact tape on the face ? Flush contact with consistent speed = best/most consistent distance.

 

If you hit your 8 iron 140 before, either you're mishitting it or your speed has diminished because of the new "swing".

 

The new sequencing would seem to be quite a bit better so you almost HAVE to be mishitting it; i.e. not hitting the sweet spot.

 

You need to know where your misses are.

 

And btw, for someone starting this year I'd say you were doing very well.   👍


He absolutely refuses to engage in a conversation about distance! 😅

 

He just wants me to focus on curing the OTT and getting a consistent, straight flight.

 

I was fine with that when I lost 5-10 yards but now that I’m hitting ladies numbers, I’m no longer fine with it.

 

I don’t think it’s down to miss-hits though because it’s every swing. My average and maximum carries are both down by 20%.

 

Here’s a video of probably my best swing I caught on camera recently. I did a good job of shallowing and hit the ball central on the face with a square face. It was a 7 iron and carried about 125, down from previous 150-155 carries with the same club:

 

 

It must be down to swing speed? Either because I’m focusing on shallowing or because I’m not pushing through my legs, as you say.

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20 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

You are not bringing power up from the ground very efficiently and so even though your swing motion may have improved, your power production is still very inefficient. 

This appears to be a good position a the top of your backswing but you have shifted your weight to your back foot as evidence  by the inside of your trail foot coming off the ground. There should be a pressure shift but not much of a weight shift as a weight shift moves your swing center and that is generally not good as you want it to be as stable as possible.

 

image.png.e02e7a52a0f14109f8dc74c9c7ff7e93.png

 

You also early extend which means that you are no longer pressuring the ground so you will lose all ability to lever the ball as you are not in a good power position entering impact. I great feeling entering impact is that you are trying to twist the ground apart with your feet.    

image.png.c5dbef1adcd1c0ac3e724aa9cd975340.png

 

 

You also did not strike this ball out of the middle and you struck it off the toe as the face is wide open post impact. That alone will cost you 20 yards of carry. 

image.png.0914315c5869e0d8d9a657ca2dfae325.png

 

 

A video to understand weight shift vs. pressure shift: 

 

A video to help you learn how to lever against the ground  better and not early extend: 

 


Hi, thanks for the response there. Unfortunately, the video you analysed there was actually my pre-lessons swing from 4 months ago. A few of the issues there I’ve worked on with lessons as you can see in the other video.

 

I included that old video because that was my older swing that for some reason was carrying 20-25% further than my new, much better swing.

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Something occurred to me this morning while I was playing around with swing plane on some practice swings and watching videos of myself.

 

At the top of my backswing, regardless of whether I do a steeper or shallower takeaway, I always have the club go quite deep behind me and if you look at where the butt of the club and thus my hands are pointing at the top, they're pointing at the ball. I think this is largely due to my left forearm not just moving up and across my chest but also rotating in it's socket:

 

679115169_Clublineattop.png.0c194c72abe72eb6a70c9f73191d78ca.png

 

Now, I've always thought with my swing that my natural inclination is to just throw the arms in whatever direction the butt of the club is pointing. Like I'm swinging a bat or something. That's what feels most powerful to me and so that's probably why it is what comes natural.

 

Could that be why I'm losing distance? In order to shallow from this position I have to drop the hands down first rather than just unwind and swing the bat?

 

I was thinking, should I let the club wrap around my head a bit more at the top so it's actually pointing behind my right side at the top so my first move in the downswing would be to swing the club away and behind me then let it curve round and hit the ball? 

 

939313187_Clubwraparoundhead.PNG.62f1805182a3c3aebbcc7204821ed340.PNG

 

This is obviously an exaggeration but that's what I mean about having it wrap in a plane more around me (but obviously a much reduced backswing than that). I presume to achieve this, I do a backswing but don't allow my left forearm to rotate so much in the backswing?

 

In red below is the plane my club will swing on unless I really actively fight that over-the-top move and focus a great deal on tucking in the elbow and dropping the hands. The green line is the plane I would swing on if I had the club wrap more around my head at the top so the butt of the club was actually pointing away and right at the top.

 

1465332711_Steepplane.png.227e88fa54749cbd5966fa2e802ff3aa.png

 

Wouldn't that make it more natural to shallow the club without fighting against my body's natural desire to just swing wherever the hands are pointing? It would probably be a slightly longer swing too, so maybe I could gather more speed?

Edited by Luckydutch
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4 hours ago, Luckydutch said:

Something occurred to me this morning while I was playing around with swing plane on some practice swings and watching videos of myself.

 

At the top of my backswing, regardless of whether I do a steeper or shallower takeaway, I always have the club go quite deep behind me and if you look at where the butt of the club and thus my hands are pointing at the top, they're pointing at the ball. I think this is largely due to my left forearm not just moving up and across my chest but also rotating in it's socket:

 

679115169_Clublineattop.png.0c194c72abe72eb6a70c9f73191d78ca.png

 

Now, I've always thought with my swing that my natural inclination is to just throw the arms in whatever direction the butt of the club is pointing. Like I'm swinging a bat or something. That's what feels most powerful to me and so that's probably why it is what comes natural.

 

Could that be why I'm losing distance? In order to shallow from this position I have to drop the hands down first rather than just unwind and swing the bat?

 

I was thinking, should I let the club wrap around my head a bit more at the top so it's actually pointing behind my right side at the top so my first move in the downswing would be to swing the club away and behind me then let it curve round and hit the ball? 

 

939313187_Clubwraparoundhead.PNG.62f1805182a3c3aebbcc7204821ed340.PNG

 

This is obviously an exaggeration but that's what I mean about having it wrap in a plane more around me (but obviously a much reduced backswing than that). I presume to achieve this, I do a backswing but don't allow my left forearm to rotate so much in the backswing?

 

In red below is the plane my club will swing on unless I really actively fight that over-the-top move and focus a great deal on tucking in the elbow and dropping the hands. The green line is the plane I would swing on if I had the club wrap more around my head at the top so the butt of the club was actually pointing away and right at the top.

 

1465332711_Steepplane.png.227e88fa54749cbd5966fa2e802ff3aa.png

 

Wouldn't that make it more natural to shallow the club without fighting against my body's natural desire to just swing wherever the hands are pointing? It would probably be a slightly longer swing too, so maybe I could gather more speed?


I see what you're getting at and I agree that your hands/arms being too deep is likely an issue, which is one of the most common symptoms of an inside takeaway. The club works too much behind you and you then need to buy time and slow something down to get it back in front of you. 

The solution however is very unlikely to be a longer backswing, or one that crosses the line as you're describing. Its worth trying just to see what happens, but it feels to me like mentally you're heading in the direction that many newer players get trapped in which is fixating far too much on what your hands and arms are doing. A vast majority (I would almost say "all") new golfers would be FAR better served by focusing mostly on how to move their lower body properly before ANYTHING else since there are a dozen different ways to do it wrong which will compromise everything. It is one of the reasons why starting golf young is such an advantage because kids are forced to learn to use their lower bodies because their hands/arms aren't strong enough to do it alone. This is absolutely the biggest hurdle for adult new players to get over because with hands/arms strong enough to hit a golf ball, the lower body gets ignored. Tiger Woods has talked about, Justin Thomas has talked about it, and every high level player will agree that the lower body is the driving engine of the golf swing, and without a fundamentally sound foundation there, no amount of fixating on backswing or hand position will ever produce desirable results. 

As for the "why", the hands and arms on their own are pretty weak in the context of a golf swing. From a power standpoint they are like later stages of a rocket that need to be sped up by the boosters first, those being the legs. Without that initial thrust coming correctly from the lower body, several bad things will happen. First, the muscles we will activate to try to speed up the arms will be less effective at doing so, and they will almost always mess with your timing, low point control, and path. The reason pros can be so consistent with their deliveries is that the lower body is functionally flinging the arms at the ball and the arms themselves a result don't have to do much to get there. It may not look like that, and for some pros this will be more/less true, but the underlying concept is always there. 

To frame this a different way, i'm not sure what profession you're involved in, but most of us can relate to the concept of the fresh college graduate (or similar) that shows up and thinks they have all the answers at their new job. He/she MIGHT have some good ideas, but the chance of anything they bring to the table being revolutionary or even GOOD is fairly slim. This is doubly true for anyone picking up golf. The entire golf swing is a deeply unintuitive set of learned and drilled movements, and the chance of anyone new to the game coming up with anything that will be helpful is so slim that it almost not even worth considering. I mean that with no disrespect, this is true for ANYONE. I have seen otherwise very intelligent and capable people have the most backwards ideas about how to play the game or fix theirs or other's swings. I've been playing the game just over 30 years and I still have bad ideas sometimes, and i've only just very recently really come to understand how the lower body is supposed to function. Padraig Harrington actually said something similar recently as well, and that dude has won majors lol. 

So by all means, please experiment, but understand that you're wading into an ocean if you truly want to become good at this game and you will need to fail a thousand times before you start glimpsing any meaningful successes. If you just want to have fun with it on the weekends then I would stick with a good instructor (hopefully the one you're currently working with is one of those) and try not to come up with *too* many ideas of your own yet for the reasons I stated above. If the person you're working with has you doing things that you don't understand or isn't communicating then i'd push them for better instruction, or look for someone that jives with how you understand things. 

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2 hours ago, Valtiel said:


I see what you're getting at and I agree that your hands/arms being too deep is likely an issue, which is one of the most common symptoms of an inside takeaway. The club works too much behind you and you then need to buy time and slow something down to get it back in front of you. 

The solution however is very unlikely to be a longer backswing, or one that crosses the line as you're describing. Its worth trying just to see what happens, but it feels to me like mentally you're heading in the direction that many newer players get trapped in which is fixating far too much on what your hands and arms are doing. A vast majority (I would almost say "all") new golfers would be FAR better served by focusing mostly on how to move their lower body properly before ANYTHING else since there are a dozen different ways to do it wrong which will compromise everything. It is one of the reasons why starting golf young is such an advantage because kids are forced to learn to use their lower bodies because their hands/arms aren't strong enough to do it alone. This is absolutely the biggest hurdle for adult new players to get over because with hands/arms strong enough to hit a golf ball, the lower body gets ignored. Tiger Woods has talked about, Justin Thomas has talked about it, and every high level player will agree that the lower body is the driving engine of the golf swing, and without a fundamentally sound foundation there, no amount of fixating on backswing or hand position will ever produce desirable results. 

As for the "why", the hands and arms on their own are pretty weak in the context of a golf swing. From a power standpoint they are like later stages of a rocket that need to be sped up by the boosters first, those being the legs. Without that initial thrust coming correctly from the lower body, several bad things will happen. First, the muscles we will activate to try to speed up the arms will be less effective at doing so, and they will almost always mess with your timing, low point control, and path. The reason pros can be so consistent with their deliveries is that the lower body is functionally flinging the arms at the ball and the arms themselves a result don't have to do much to get there. It may not look like that, and for some pros this will be more/less true, but the underlying concept is always there. 

To frame this a different way, i'm not sure what profession you're involved in, but most of us can relate to the concept of the fresh college graduate (or similar) that shows up and thinks they have all the answers at their new job. He/she MIGHT have some good ideas, but the chance of anything they bring to the table being revolutionary or even GOOD is fairly slim. This is doubly true for anyone picking up golf. The entire golf swing is a deeply unintuitive set of learned and drilled movements, and the chance of anyone new to the game coming up with anything that will be helpful is so slim that it almost not even worth considering. I mean that with no disrespect, this is true for ANYONE. I have seen otherwise very intelligent and capable people have the most backwards ideas about how to play the game or fix theirs or other's swings. I've been playing the game just over 30 years and I still have bad ideas sometimes, and i've only just very recently really come to understand how the lower body is supposed to function. Padraig Harrington actually said something similar recently as well, and that dude has won majors lol. 

So by all means, please experiment, but understand that you're wading into an ocean if you truly want to become good at this game and you will need to fail a thousand times before you start glimpsing any meaningful successes. If you just want to have fun with it on the weekends then I would stick with a good instructor (hopefully the one you're currently working with is one of those) and try not to come up with *too* many ideas of your own yet for the reasons I stated above. If the person you're working with has you doing things that you don't understand or isn't communicating then i'd push them for better instruction, or look for someone that jives with how you understand things. 


Totally see what you’re saying there.

 

I wasn’t necessarily talking about making the backswing longer, just slightly changing the plane of it so it curves around my spine and not just straight back. Makes it feel a bit easier to pull my arms down behind me without going OTT then because that’s where the butt of the club is initially pointing at the start of my downswing.


It feels like it’s to do with arm rotation. Until now I have always rotated my left arm in a clockwise direction in its socket during the backswing. So if you were to stand up straight and just do the arm rotation, left thumb would pointing horizontally right. That rotation is what’s putting the arms way behind me and pointing the butt of the club quite horizontally at the top. Hence the temptation to pull in that direction in the downswing.

 

Don’t tell the missus but I did a few practice swings in the house with a PW and was really surprised by the results:

 

 

It’s not a perfect swing. Itlooks like the legs are straightening a bit in the downswing and I think it caught the towel slightly behind the address position so might have been a slightly fat shot. However, no OTT move, and relatively shallow coming through impact.

 

I wasn’t having to do any deliberate manipulations of the club like dropping the hands or tucking in the elbow either. It felt like a smooth, single plane on the downswing and so outside, I recon I could replicate that swing with a fair bit of power.

 

The big difference is the hand position at the top and the club angle. In prior swings my hands would be where the red circle is here with the club pointed more behind me on a much flatter plane:

 

AB31CDC2-4A8D-4649-B176-B384789EE692.jpeg.7f646b293d74d13f12cc7c38c9952739.jpeg

 

Take your point about power coming more from the lower half. That’s not something I have a great grasp on right now.

 

If I can get rid of the hideous OTT move once on for all, perhaps that’s something my instructor will be able to work with me on. 
 

I’ve tried practicing the ‘hogan power move’ that so many people talk about at home. I’m getting a bit better at not just spinning my hips in the downswing and keeping the right pelvis back while I pull the left pelvis back as well. Can’t say that I feel completely confident with it though. Still hit a fair number of fat shots.

 

 

Edited by Luckydutch
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