I still haven’t named my new swing but I am getting more familiar with it. After posting my swing video and getting feedback from my swing coach Jay in the comments and on the phone, I went ahead and started practicing with my driver rather than just my irons.
Here are some of the changes I’ve made that I worked on with my irons every day leading up to driver practice:
Posture/stance: stick out butt more, chin up, ball farther from feet
Swing: weight more on heels, weight shift before club passes, more descending blow, more rotation of wrists/arms, more extension at and after impact, flatter swing overall including finish.
Yes, I was pretty much doing everything wrong. And this was just with irons off the ground. Hadn’t even really discussed hybrids, woods, drivers and tees with coach yet.
In my last progress update I mentioned feeling soreness in new and exciting places. Some aren’t as exciting as others. I have had arthritis since I was young, mostly in my wrists and shoulders but it’s been pretty manageable over the years. I knew the descending blow was going to be a blow in this area and I was not wrong. I mostly practice on mats, which hurts. I did take a few swings on the grass (against the rules – what a rebel) and found I was actually taking proper divots, which was exciting. It’s not so much painful while I’m doing it as it is later that night and especially the next morning, but I can handle it.
More fun and exciting are the places that I know will just get stronger and stop being sore once I work them out more. Like some of the muscles I’m using in the rotation that have been… shall we say – seldom used – until now. More on strengthening and fitness in upcoming blogs.
Another pain in the neither new nor exciting column is lower back. If you’ve read this blog for awhile, you’ll know I’ve had troubles in this area before. I haven’t had back pain in awhile and got complacent with my stretches. That’s going to change. I wasn’t playing much and when I did even when I’d score 100 or more, most of those strokes were short game or putts. When I practice, I hit at least 100 full swing, full effort shots with new technique. Every day. My back is feeling it.
After Jay saw my video and I started practicing driver, I really started to feel it. Why? Torque. He told me to keep my right leg bent, among other reasons, to better control my position at top of back swing. When I do that, I obviously twist more with my shoulder turn. My hips are more in charge of starting my swing and unwinding my body and there’s just a whole lot more activity in my lower back. Perhaps this is where I lost distance and control in the first place – maybe I tried to correct my swing to ease my back woes. Whatever. Sorry, back. We’re going to have to work this out with a better fitness routine for you because I’ll throw you out before my new swing if I have to.
I’m really trying to shorten my swing and keep my left arm straight. As you can see in my version of the Konica Minolta Biz Hub, which I’ll call GolfChick Hub or just ChickHub, I don’t do a good job of that yet. I am keeping my knee bent more now though. Perhaps that explains why I’m nearly hobbling around today, babying my tender back that keeps having mini spasms. More torque with the same Daly-esque turn cannot be good for it. And yes, a bit more rotation with a lower ball flight and flatter finish is evident. Of course I will keep working on it and keep you posted.
Setup through pre-impact
Impact, release & ball flight
Finish and hold pose
By the way, I welcome your suggestions for names for my new swing. My last swing was called Stella.