I often have “breakthroughs” on the range. Don’t we all? Today was one of those days. This one had me feeling kinda brilliant. No, I mean more than when we just find a new trigger that works or “discover” a better tempo or tiny move that makes all the difference. This was more “scientific” in nature.
This type of situation can probably only happen with a physical problem like I was having. Recently, I experiencedÂ a strange problem a few times which was particularly frustrating and baffling. Â I even asked my favorite golf pro about it and got no resolution (apparently it’s useful to actually SEE the swing). What was happening was, I’d be going along fine (thankfully it had only happened during practice) and all of a sudden, my irons started freaking out, spitting balls out to the right in that S-word fashion or worm burning or I was topping it. The only consistent thing about the results was the ugliness. Every swing. No matter how I slowed it down or shortened my swing to get it back. So maddening!
Each time, I felt my club turn in my hands and saw it finish completely rotated forward in my grip. I’ve had grip and hand problems before, but these times were not pain related, nor was I having those pesky hand spasms (thankfullyÂ that has not happened lately – knock on wood). So I’d give it a good death grip and STILL the club would turn, twisting my glove all up and looking disgusting at the finish! I couldn’t stand it!
Always Gets Worse Before it Gets Better
I got good and mad and, knowing from experience this was a problem exclusive to my irons, I “hammer timed” a bunch of 3 woods and drivers for some good old fashioned anger management. I’m a huge fan of range therapy. It’s so soothing to watch that ball fly long and far after POUNDING it. Unnngh! (Also works for my alter ego, The Gun Chick, on a different range). Aaannnyway…
It occurred to me that since I’ve been working on a flatter swing with my long sticks but not my irons, maybe that had something to do with the problem only happening there. Then I thought of a bunch of other tips I’d heard on certain problems (including but not limited to mine) and my problem just kept getting worse.
I got so frustrated, I resorted to erasing all ideas, tips, etc., and trying to come up with my own idea, somehow.
The Breakthrough Aha Moment
I looked at my hands on the club in the finishing position and thought “how did that happen?” So I decided to reverse engineer the problem. I slowly moved the club back and forth, trying to figure what could possibly cause it to end up in that position in my hands, what kind of impact, and what position. I experimented. Not this, not that… until I had the impact. And what could cause that kind of fucked up impact? Backing up from there in the same kind of experiment, I realized that could only happen if I brought the club over the top (no, I wasn’t trying to emulate Tiger’s latest practice swing, so poop if you were thinking that). Once I had that, I was able to make the necessary adjustments and get my swing back to working condition. Instantly. What a relief!
I’ve been working very hard – pretty much on my own – on the rest of my swing changes and it’s finally starting to feel pretty comfortable despite some snags like this. I could trace the roots of the mental process that caused this particular problem but that might cause me to put those bad ideas back in my head. Sorry I am unwilling to do that for your benefit at this point. That’s also the reason I haven’t shared as much about my swing and game progress with you as I probably should have. It has been much more of a painful struggle than I ever thought it would be, and sharing that only leads to multiple external opinions/distractions that only make it harder. I even had to stop reading tips and magazines and listening to “experts” no matter their esteem or size of audience. I occasionally seek out specific ideas and try to implement where I can, but for the most part, they only serve to derail me.
It definitely got waaaayyyy worse before it got better. Actually, it hasn’t gotten better from before I began the process of changing just yet, but it’s finally starting to get better from the total breakdown that occurred when I really embraced the process and stopped reverting to my old swing. I am hopeful. And I think I might be close to officially Christening my new swing with a name of its own.
What’s your latest breakthrough? Where did it come from? Does help help?