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How Long Did your Swing Change Take and How Big of a Change was it?


hanginnwangin

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I'm just curious how others have gone through big swing changes. After staying stagnant at around a 3-4 handicap for a year or so I decided to go back to getting lessons in March of 2023. In doing so, I realized that even though my swing had improved greatly in the previous years to get to my 3-4 handicap, now with the new changes in my swing that I'm implementing, which is basically a whole new swing, that my swing before wasn't as good as I thought it was. It's been 8 months since I started lessons and my swing is visually looking light years better in every aspect. But the issue is that I can only do my swing with the changes at about 2/3's speed right now. When I go full speed, my old habits come back and even though I can still hit the ball better than most people like that, I still see the early extension creep back and the other bad stuff I don't like. So, I basically go back to doing things slower when I practice and literally only do reps at slower speeds with the new movements until I play on the course again. On the course, I just play golf and don't think. Whatever movements I make will be made. I haven't played as much in these 8 months during lessons, but still average about once or twice a month on the course. The scores have been fine, around a 3-4 handicap still, and the ball is flying straighter, but I am doing full speed swings on the course, so I know that my bad habits are still there when I play. My thought is it's like a mix of my good movements I am learning with lessons and then a mix of my old bad habits in the swing, which still leads to a straight ball flight in most cases, but I know it's not the finished product. My goal is to keep working on these changes till they look visually good on full speed and I'm anxious to get there but I know it's going to take more time. I just don't know how much. I guess I'm just venting here because I know I'm making progress, but geez, it takes time. How long did it take for those that went through a whole new swing change take to feel those movements on the course?

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Like this god damn swing change may take more than a year to implement. Maybe two years, the thing is I have no idea. I knew this would be tough, but damn! hahaha what a roller coaster. And I know I am a competent golfer that works hard and actually follows what I am being taught. Going through all this makes me really think that some people that go through lessons really just do not give enough time and effort for what they expect to play like. They just have no idea. 

Edited by hanginnwangin
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1 year. And I'm still ingraining the new feels. The changes I made:

 

1. Earlier lead side pressure and move to push up and away from target early in downswing. This got rid of a lateral slide. Which promoted the need to...

2. Ball position closer at address combined with an exaggerated shallowing move. Which promoted the need to...

3. Ball position back 1-2 balls

 

There's regression in every change. Just have to fight through. I haven't shanked a ball in forever. Shanked 3 in my last round because the shallowing moved regressed and I got steep. 

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It's ongoing. Started 2 years ago. The change was allowing my hips to turn more with a less bent over setup, as well as getting the arms synced more with the turn rather than overrunning all the time. 

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Following this thread with interest, I have been "working on my swing" with a specific instructor/methodology for the past 1.5 years. Sadly, for me, I am a poor student and a lot of the issues I started with I still have which is no fault of the instructor or the methodology. It's not for lack of trying, I hit balls into a net working on drills and feels almost every night (after kids go to bed) and hit on the range 1-2x per week. 

 

Changes that I successfully made:

Wrist angle in the backswing and at the top of the swing is now where I wanted it, instructor wanted it

Stopped following the club with my eyes in the first part of the backswing

 

Changes (short version) that I am battling:

Trail arm collapse (contributes to the flat backswing troubles described below)
Lack of hip depth/left side bend resulting in very flat backswing
Shift to left side happens too late or not at all

 

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I don't think of it as a change as much as an evolution. 

 

When I look at my swing, do I need to make wholesale changes?  I'm improving my hip rotation and ROM in a bunch of areas, which is allowing me to more easily do the movements I need to make. 

 

My wife (TPI L2) has been working with me the last month on hip "feels" and loading in the swing. She has me turning better and eliminating sway. We worked on motor control for torso in the turn, and loading in the feet. Now, I'm getting weight shift onto that back foot entirely through a turn instead of a sway.  Getting to a point where I feel like I'm "swinging in a barrel" took about a week. Likewise, really trying to drive UB/LB separation was a different set of drills and has me getting through the ball better without EE. That was also a week of work. 

 

I haven't played a full round in awhile, but I will say it's REALLY starting to come together. I'm consistently more accurate off the tee and in my shot shape types that I've never had before. The fact that I can now draw and fade more or less on command speaks to more consistent ball-striking. Even in my half-rounds in winter conditions, I've been putting together what would be 78/79 if I wasn't counting these as practice rounds; for a 73.6/134 course that in the winter is playing at 7,500 yards, instead of the 7,000 yards in summertime, that's really solid.  

 

I've been working on flexibility and activating the right muscles since mid-summer; that's the key. Without the improved ROM and muscle activation, these drills to improve my swing would be a waste of time. The reason I had my previous issues was lack of ROM, which, as we all know, leads to EE. 

 

If someone came to me and said "I need to fully change your swing", I'm not sure I'd get behind that. My swing looks the way it does because I have some severe physical limitations. I try to minimize those and update my swing accordingly, but someone's version of an idealized golf swing only works with an idealized nearly perfect physical specimen.    

Edited by RoyalMustang
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23 minutes ago, RoyalMustang said:

I don't think of it as a change as much as an evolution. 

 

When I look at my swing, do I need to make wholesale changes?  I'm improving my hip rotation and ROM in a bunch of areas, which is allowing me to more easily do the movements I need to make. 

 

My wife (TPI L2) has been working with me the last month on hip "feels" and loading in the swing. She has me turning better and eliminating sway. We worked on motor control for torso in the turn, and loading in the feet. Now, I'm getting weight shift onto that back foot entirely through a turn instead of a sway.  Getting to a point where I feel like I'm "swinging in a barrel" took about a week. Likewise, really trying to drive UB/LB separation was a different set of drills and has me getting through the ball better without EE. That was also a week of work. 

 

I haven't played a full round in awhile, but I will say it's REALLY starting to come together. I'm consistently more accurate off the tee and in my shot shape types that I've never had before. The fact that I can now draw and fade more or less on command speaks to more consistent ball-striking. Even in my half-rounds in winter conditions, I've been putting together what would be 78/79 if I wasn't counting these as practice rounds; for a 73.6/134 course that in the winter is playing at 7,500 yards, instead of the 7,000 yards in summertime, that's really solid.  

 

I've been working on flexibility and activating the right muscles since mid-summer; that's the key. Without the improved ROM and muscle activation, these drills to improve my swing would be a waste of time. The reason I had my previous issues was lack of ROM, which, as we all know, leads to EE. 

 

If someone came to me and said "I need to fully change your swing", I'm not sure I'd get behind that. My swing looks the way it does because I have some severe physical limitations. I try to minimize those and update my swing accordingly, but someone's version of an idealized golf swing only works with an idealized nearly perfect physical specimen.    

Good post. And you're right, it is an evolution, but regardless, it takes time, dedication, repetition, and hard work, as well as following what you're taught.

 

Another good point you make about activating certain muscles that have been asleep forever with the way you have previously been swinging. You have to awaken those muscles and activate them before making changes. It's all about awareness of body parts is what I'm learning from my coach. 

 

I'm taking virtual facetime and skillest lessons from Colin McCarthy if anyone is interested. Great coach.

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I'm just under a year right now, I believe I started with my coach last January, not going to list all my issues, it was a lot but the changes/evolution of my swing. 

 

Set Up - This is usually the first thing every coach should look at and my issue was I was too close to the ball. We spent an entire lesson working on setup and since then hasn't been a huge issue, just a few minor reminders with my hand position getting too low at times but it's settling in now to second nature. 

 

Take Away - This was a play as we went on, originally we found success with me feeling like I was pushing the club out and away at take away, but as I lost weight during the year that was causing issues and we found a take away that felt more low and inside to be much more successful, this played into the next focus. This is much more natural now being giving a drill I work on almost every practice session to engrain feel.

 

Swing Path - Again like most people I came in with an over the top out to in swing, the take away focus above and the drill given is helping me feel that more proper in to out path while avoiding that over the top move in the back swing. This one is still a work in progress, it's easier for me with shorter and heavier clubs but have to drill that feeling into my longer irons and even into driver at some point. 

 

Impact Position - Before sever chicken wing, now sometimes proper, sometimes little chicken wing, this will be a work and probably a byproduct of path and allowing me to just move easier in the swing vs fight my swing. 

 

Wedge Feel - I couldn't for my life chip consistently, I'd have an ok one, then several duffs, thins, etc. After one session with my coach on wedges and lots of practice I have vastly improve my wedge game, I now have the feel and know what the feel is like but  one thing my coach kept talking about is how wedge game is no personal, there are so many factors for shots that you have to practice and get creative which I have been. Now my duffs and things are usually when I'm in extremely difficult lies.

 

Driver -  This is all over the place, 1 day I can miss a 20 yard fairway and next I can't hit a 200 yard fairway. Lots of different feels and changes in my swing and body, it's coming around hopefully but a focus I'll be working on a ton this winter. This is really a big factor for me playing better and scoring better too. 

 

So all that say 10 months into this the swing hasn't changed but it's improving and will probably see another year until everything has settled in until the next swing issues arise.  

 

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It's taken me 6 months to "reliably" not let my arms overrun. I just got to the point where I don't need to consciously think about, "shorter swing" to avoid the arm overrun. Even then, I still get a little long and overrun on the course now and again. Changes, even small like mine, are extremely difficult to ingrain. 

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I am doing the same thing.  I have played a hook/draw for the past 30 years, and I finally decided to fix it.  To fix it, I have been working on my club path angle since November 22 when I started the lessons.  I was above 10* in to out, and now at 3/4 speed I am within 3*, but on a full swing I can still find myself in the 7* range.

 

I also wonder when I will be able to get to where I want to be at full speed consistently, and like you I also wonder when I will see the finished product.  I do have to say though, I am lucky enough to play a little more than you and, while I never felt like I had total control of my golf ball all year, my handicap did drop a couple of strokes to a 2.8 for the winter.

 

I suspect if you are hitting the ball straighter you are probably getting better, the scores just aren't showing it yet.

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25 minutes ago, Petethreeput said:

I am doing the same thing.  I have played a hook/draw for the past 30 years, and I finally decided to fix it.  To fix it, I have been working on my club path angle since November 22 when I started the lessons.  I was above 10* in to out, and now at 3/4 speed I am within 3*, but on a full swing I can still find myself in the 7* range.

 

I also wonder when I will be able to get to where I want to be at full speed consistently, and like you I also wonder when I will see the finished product.  I do have to say though, I am lucky enough to play a little more than you and, while I never felt like I had total control of my golf ball all year, my handicap did drop a couple of strokes to a 2.8 for the winter.

 

I suspect if you are hitting the ball straighter you are probably getting better, the scores just aren't showing it yet.

Yes, this is all correct. I’m a better golfer but I just don’t think I get on the course enough for the scores to reflect that. But I’m hitting the ball straighter than ever and I know the swing looks better than before even at full speed. If I was able to play multiple times a week, I really think I could post a sub par round. But for now I just want to focus on my swing changes and short game and eventually the sub par rounds should come. 

Edited by hanginnwangin
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This was February this year. ‘S’ posture, hips wide open in backswing, sucking club inside, cupped wrist at top, over top, steep, throwing trail hip at ball, early extension, casting, flipping…. Pretty much every fault. 
 

 


 

And Today… it’s 50% effort swing and still have work to do but a fairly significant change. 
 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Sp4zRX said:

it’s 50% effort swing and still have work to do but a fairly significant change. 

 

I would say yes, that is absolutely a significant change! That's amazing. 

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These are my before and after. The first swing is when I was still some how magically shooting in the high 80s on good days, just from pure athleticism and knowing how to get the ball in the hole. Probably the worst swing I’ve ever seen and seeing my swing like that on video is what made me get lessons. Really humbling. This was pre covid before I got my first set of lessons.

 

The other video is a day ago. As you can see it’s a drastic change and there are good things but I still feel like Bambi walking for the first time at times. The work to get here has been constant. I got ten lessons in 2020 and thought I figured it out and got to a 4 handicap with those lessons and work. And then stopped the lessons and got a simulator. Then stayed at that 4 handicap and have been 8 months into new lessons with Colin McCarthy. 

IMG_4074.mov
IMG_8037.mov  

 

Edited by hanginnwangin
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Biggest swing change was from going in to out 8*+ to now 2-4*.  I was sick of playing with a hard draw that would snap hook on bad swings.  I had to overhaul setup, grip, back swing and down swing.  It took 3 months before I started seeing progress, 6 months before I started feeling comfortable with it and a full year before I was consistent with it. 

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5 hours ago, Sp4zRX said:

This was February this year. ‘S’ posture, hips wide open in backswing, sucking club inside, cupped wrist at top, over top, steep, throwing trail hip at ball, early extension, casting, flipping…. Pretty much every fault. 
 

 

IMG_2391.MOV 6.63 MB · 7 downloads  


 

And Today… it’s 50% effort swing and still have work to do but a fairly significant change. 
 

 

FullSizeRender.MOV 8.19 MB · 4 downloads  

 

 

How have you been working on throwing your trail hip out and at the ball? Results look pretty good.

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56 minutes ago, Wolfhammer said:

 

How have you been working on throwing your trail hip out and at the ball? Results look pretty good.


I’m only to the point where I can do the hip motions slow with a ball in front of me so I don’t think I’m quite ready to call them “results” just yet. 😵‍💫

 

I’ve been working obsessively on the hip motion all year. I wish I could give you the silver bullet but it has been piece by piece. 
 

I had open club face at top with cupped wrist. Fixed it, hip movement got slightly better. 

Hip way too open on backswing. Fixed, hip slightly better.

Routed club over instead of under at transition. Fixed, hip slightly better. 
 

Steep coming down. Fixed, hip slightly better. 

‘S’ posture. Fixed, hip slightly better.
 

Pressure shift very late. Fixed, hip slightly better. 

 

The list goes on and each of these were and some still are a struggle in themselves. 
 

Montes content has been a huge help, specifically NTC and Power Shift. Cast A and the Power Shift around P1.5 have definitely been key ingredients. 

 

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6 hours ago, hanginnwangin said:

And here is a recent one without the ball as a training aid. That trail arm stabilization is what I’m really trying to work on right now. Along with the shallowing.

Awesome! Congrats, and keep up the good work. 

 

Takeaway with low hands to create room and time for shallowing. 

 

 

Edited by Carlito
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10 hours ago, Sp4zRX said:


I’m only to the point where I can do the hip motions slow with a ball in front of me so I don’t think I’m quite ready to call them “results” just yet. 😵‍💫

 

I’ve been working obsessively on the hip motion all year. I wish I could give you the silver bullet but it has been piece by piece. 
 

I had open club face at top with cupped wrist. Fixed it, hip movement got slightly better. 

Hip way too open on backswing. Fixed, hip slightly better.

Routed club over instead of under at transition. Fixed, hip slightly better. 
 

Steep coming down. Fixed, hip slightly better. 

‘S’ posture. Fixed, hip slightly better.
 

Pressure shift very late. Fixed, hip slightly better. 

 

The list goes on and each of these were and some still are a struggle in themselves. 
 

Montes content has been a huge help, specifically NTC and Power Shift. Cast A and the Power Shift around P1.5 have definitely been key ingredients. 

 

 

I figured this would be the answer, but I hate that this is the answer.

 

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16 hours ago, hanginnwangin said:

The other video is a day ago. As you can see it’s a drastic change

This is excellent improvement.  I'm in the same boat as you - been taking lessons for 9 months (currently still taking them) and have come down from a 7 hc to a 4.  I still have a lot of big things to fix and the progress is pretty slow.  My mindset now is to view progress as week-to-week as opposed to day-to-day.  That is, I can compare a swing video from last week to today, and see improvement, whereas day-to-day improvement is not as easily discernable.  I sometimes even feel like I regress from one day to the next.  

 

I think the main thing is to keep working on the change and slowly build up speed. For me, if I see on video that my swing is regressing (or I'm not doing the new technique properly), then I know that I'm swinging too fast and need to slow it down.  Goal is to be at the threshold of maximum speed while maintaining the new technique.  I'd say 95% of my friends who have taken lessons have given up because the process took too long, and they reverted back to their old swings.  

 

Edit: Also, FWIW, if I had known 9 months ago that changes would take this long, I probably wouldn't have started lessons in the first place.  In hindsight, though, I'm glad that I did the lessons.  

Edited by OHGolfer2
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5 minutes ago, OHGolfer2 said:

This is excellent improvement.  I'm in the same boat as you - been taking lessons for 9 months (currently still taking them) and have come down from a 7 hc to a 4.  I still have a lot of big things to fix and the progress is pretty slow.  My mindset now is to view progress as week-to-week as opposed to day-to-day.  That is, I can compare a swing video from last week to today, and see improvement, whereas day-to-day improvement is not as easily discernable.  I sometimes even feel like I regress from one day to the next.  

 

I think the main thing is to keep working on the change and slowly build up speed. For me, if I see on video that my swing is regressing (or I'm not doing the new technique properly), then I know that I'm swinging too fast and need to slow it down.  Goal is to be at the threshold of maximum speed while maintaining the new technique.  I'd say 95% of my friends who have taken lessons have given up because the process took too long, and they reverted back to their old swings.  

Good stuff man. I think this is a great way to approach it. The reality is that people do not understand how to take lessons properly. They don't do things in slow motion, don't use cameras or mirror, don't do small swings. All things needed for change. So it's nice to know we have figured out how to benefit from lessons at least. Most people don't and just waste money and then go back to playing wack f***.

Edited by hanginnwangin
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2 years. Made significant changes to takeaway, hip/shoulder turn and swing plane.

 

I was stuck at about a 6-8 handicap. Wasn't seeing it get much better with the current swing.

 

Swing is now pretty much ingrained, but was a tough couple of years in process. Overall, very glad I made the change and am playing pretty consistently with the changes. There is an occasional relapse, but it is easy to correct. When you get where you want to be, videotape your swing. If start to regress, you can remind yourself where you want to be.

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46 minutes ago, hanginnwangin said:

The reality is that people do not understand how to take lessons properly

An excellent point.  It's almost like there are 3 conditions that each need to be satisfied to improve via lessons: (1) taking lessons with a good instructor; (2) practicing whatever the instructor told you; and (3) practicing properly (e.g., slow motion, on camera, etc.).

 

Probably more (e.g., patience, reasonable expectations, not getting sidetracked with unrelated YouTube videos, etc.), but those 3 seem to be the bare minimum.

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On 12/1/2023 at 11:15 AM, hanginnwangin said:

Good stuff man. I think this is a great way to approach it. The reality is that people do not understand how to take lessons properly. They don't do things in slow motion, don't use cameras or mirror, don't do small swings. All things needed for change. So it's nice to know we have figured out how to benefit from lessons at least. Most people don't and just waste money and then go back to playing wack f***.


I couldn’t agree with this more. Lessons are good for pointing you in the right direction but as you work on the things you were taught in the lesson there is a world of self discovery that you have to experiment with along the way. Most of this discovery is done through small swings, slow swings, exaggerated swings, and video. I believe most people think if they buy a lesson they will just be told how to swing better, then they will swing better. That’s not how it works. 

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On 12/2/2023 at 3:23 PM, Sp4zRX said:


I couldn’t agree with this more. Lessons are good for pointing you in the right direction but as you work on the things you were taught in the lesson there is a world of self discovery that you have to experiment with along the way. Most of this discovery is done through small swings, slow swings, exaggerated swings, and video. I believe most people think if they buy a lesson they will just be told how to swing better, then they will swing better. That’s not how it works. 

Very very true. I’ve realized the self discovery thing as well with a few pieces in my swing my coach never specifically told me but learned going through the stuff he did teach me.

 

And typically for those things I self discover I will ask him about it in the next lesson if it’s something to focus on and then so far all those points have been good things to think about. So to be able to get feedback from your coach and to be able to ask questions in lessons makes the learning process even better.

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Good lord, this is a loaded question isn't it? 😄 

I started down the road without a ball to at least get going and now I have a net. I've been at it about two months now and I'm maybe 1/10 of the way there. Of course, it isn't linear in time but I'm hoping by the spring time my swing will resemble something much more technically proficient than it was up through September.


So far, I went from an early extension and clear standup. I was able to get decent shots, but had no control or consistency over time. Today, I've at least eliminated the severe early extension and am learning how to get my hips in the right position at impact, but still seem to struggle with proper upper body motion.

 

I am horribly self critical, so maybe it looks better than I think, but I just can't seem to maintain spine angles or get the crunch in the downswing that you see so readily in the best golfers. Though, I shouldn't think after two months I'd have it down... Nowhere near it. LOL

 

This video was from two months ago and the one after was from a week or so ago. I feel like I've gotten better after last week as I continue onward. What I am going to work on tonight is keeping my spine at the right angle which has been the toughest for me. It'll get rid of the big looking effort swing and hopefully start enabling me to get the quick movements I'm targeting. It'll be in my "Swing Drills Minus Ball" Thread.

 

 

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I’m coming up on a year of properly committing to a swing change. I’ve always been a tinkerer and hated my swing. Wild inconsistencies round to round, hole to hole. Especially with shape (king of the double cross).

 

My mate is a pga pro and i started working with him early this year. Much of our work has focused on pressure shifts and ground forces. Before working with him, I had absolutely no clue about any of this stuff. It’s been a slog rewiring my brain, and learning to go vertical as well as horizontal.

 

Along with that, I used to suck it back inside and then get way across at the top. Of course, from there I’d pull down hard, steepen the shaft and flip it. So I’ve also worked on proper wrist movements through Monte’s NTC with my mates watchful eye.

 

Things are much improved, but still a ways to go. The difficulty is what makes it so fun though. I can’t wait to get to the range or out in the backyard to work on the changes. The process of improving is as rewarding and enjoyable as actually playing.

  • Like 2

Titleist 909D3 w/ Diamana Whiteboard 73x
Titleist 906F2 w/ Diamana Bluebored 83x
Mizuno MP-4 3-PW w/ KBS C-Taper x-flex
Scratch Tour Department 52*
Cleveland Reg. 588 56* & 60*
Scotty Cameron Studio Style Newport 2

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