Time to get back to it and see Ryan, check in on this new swing.
I’ll be honest, it still doesn’t really work!
This is the first time I’ve practiced with ‘actual golf balls’ since my round on Saturday. I warmed up with a few on my own…and it wasn’t great. After chatting with Ryan about how it’s feeling he watched me hit sine balls. After hitting 20 or so balls he stepped in.
It would appear my old, flat, evil, destructive swing has crept back without me realising! Damn. It’s weird, and I guess this is why you really need a pro to check in with regularly. I felt like I was swinging ok, and getting pretty close to the position we’d talked about and practiced. I was actually pretty far off. I have a real tendency to come around my body so the butt of the club is pointing way outside the ball rather than between feet and ball. This means by the time I get to the top of my backswing and start coming back down with good old Mr Gravity to help, I’ve got no chance of having a square club head at impact, hence a collection of bad shanks, hooks and all their friends.
We start again with that awkward feeling of being put into key positions by Ryan whilst I pray to my body to at least try and remember some of them! Now, at the top of my backswing it actually feels like the club head is not horizontal to the ground, but swinging round and pointing over my head. However, when we look at a video it’s nothing like that. Again, another reason to have your swing looked at by someone who knows what they’re doing!
So, we’re working on getting back into the correct (almost!) position at the top of my backswing and we think this is when we had what appeared to be my ‘Eureka Moment’. I’ve read and been told on many occasions to ‘keep your right elbow (for right-handed players) into your torso through the swing. I’ve even used practice techniques where you stick head covers in your arm pits! When ever things go wrong, I always think ‘elbow in’.
With one simple adjustment as the backswing reaches the top, my elbow releases and separates from my body. It just lifts a little, which when you think about it is a natural movement. It doesn’t move by much, but it’s enough to get me near to the position at the top that I need to be in. This is where I’ve been going wrong for the last…err…4 years or so, since I got rid of my slice! Wow, a tiny little adjustment really does make such a difference. My backswing actually feels good too. I feel like someone has come and turned all the lights on!! We looked at a few images of the guys on tour when they get to the top of the back swing and it just confirmed it…no elbows attached to bodies!
Ok. All good then right? No. There’s something that we must discuss at this point…and this is something I’m struggling with a little.
Once we’d had our ‘Eureka moment’ and actually started swinging into the (almost) correct position, Ryan kept saying things like ‘great swing’ or ‘fantastic strike’, which very lovely of him. However, the ball flight was awful and not going where it’s supposed to. How confusing? Why is he saying it’s good when clearly it isn’t? This is again one of those moments when we (us amateurs having our lessons) think our instructor is either mad or losing his sight. We go home and whinge to whoever will listen that they ‘don’t know what they’re doing’. I have been guilty of this in the past.
Ryan explained this to me. A swing change like this will not happen immediately. For now, it’s more important to drill in a swing movement so it becomes second nature. If we get that right, consistent impact & ball flight will come…in time.
So, I need to ignore the instant feedback the ball is giving me for now and stop watching the ball.
That’s harder than a swing change. I’ll be back to the range tomorrow…complete with eye mask!