wmblake2000, on 17 May 2018 - 12:34 AM, said:
Matadorb32, on 15 May 2018 - 08:16 AM, said:
I’m working hard on building a more fundamental, repeatable swing so I can quit focusing on playing "swing" and actually start playing golf. However, my elementary understanding of physics and angles is causing a lot of mental hiccups. I believe that a lot of my understanding is off base and guided by some misunderstandings or illusions.
I’m having a hard time understanding the release and what the ideal angle is between the arms/shaft at impact. My understanding of what is correct is that the club should be something like 145 degrees in relation to your arms at impact. My confusion: isn’t the force of whipping the club trying to make that angle closer to 180 degrees?
Currently I'm struggling with lifting the handle at impact in order to achieve this incorrect 180 degrees at impact that my mind is telling itself is what is "ideal." I'm thinking "swing in to out for a draw" and just getting weak pushes, or the toe is catching and jamming my wrist around, lead wrist is actually in some pain right now because of this.
The other day at the park, I took a sand wedge and was focusing on the "toe up to toe up" drill and had the most insanely accurate chipping/pitching i've ever experienced. I could not hit the ball wrong, distance control was on point and dispersion was tight. I wasn't thinking "swing in to out" or anything other than get the toe pointing straight up in the backswing and straight up in the follow through. It was silly, but i can't seem to replicate that feel throughout the bag for some reason.
So further on what I believe to be considered ideal:
1. Your hands hold the club out at 135 degrees at address
2. backswing takes the club back to the top and your wrist set at maybe 90-110 degrees
3. club comes down holding that c0cked angle until you release after/through the ball
4. you release your club to like 150 degrees, your unc0cked, nowhere close to a parallel line between shaft/arms
Anyone have any insights as to why I'm struggling with this?
I feel your pain,... I also want to get a really clear idea of what I am trying to do in the swing. I don't think in numbers, however, because the swing is a series of feels.
What I want is a really clear map that I understand conceptually (here's what and why and how) that translates into some feels without any thinking, just the sensation of a motion, that maps to some objective results (I use a slo motion camera a lot).
Then I want to practice these basic feels (just a few at a time - 1 or 2 or maybe 3) a lot until they sink in. The thing that makes this hard is it's easy to chase miracle feel after miracle feel - if you don't have some guiding principles, you can just chase your tail forever. The truth is you can hit a ball good and totally mistake why and what made it happen and not be able to repeat it after a day or two. Feel isn't real, and not only that, but at your stage of development, the likelihood you're focusing on the most critical things is slim.
What I'm trying to convey is, there really is a process that helps a person improve. Golf isn't too intuitive for most people. We're really bad at self diagnosis and our theory of the swing (both what we think we believe in and what we actually, more unconsciously believe in) is usually a mish-mash of random reinforcement and superstition. From your description, this is my guess as to where you are. I have been there, too. It's just part of the process.
Find a good pro. Take one lesson and once you've really worked on that input, take another. Get a good idea of what you really need to change and why.
Hope this is of some use to you. For some reason, I really relate to where I think you are...
Brilliant post, W!
I would go a step further to the OP. You are suffering from a very strong case of what I call "contamination" a kind of mild neurosis that most golfers also suffer from, to varying degrees. It is one of the first things I look for when working for the first time with a new student. Contamination is responsible for both a ton of bad golf shots when playing and when practicing (because it makes your body flinch, think a mild intensity yip) and for a ton of frustration when learning the golf swing.
Contamination means mainly that you are using the exact wrong mindset for the task at hand. Golf is a sport and the golf swing is an athletic motion that takes place start to finish in about 1.5 seconds. Top to impact is about 1/4 second. All the major muscles are used in this high speed athletic motion (except for the biceps). There is lateral and rotational weight shifting happening and a ton of body parts changing their orientation in space from where you start. (extreme side bending while rotating of the trunk is just one example).
Believing that you can "think your way" to better mechanics while doing that short time interval high speed motion is superstitious nonsense - the golf equivalent to believing the sun revolves around the earth.
It's like trying to use an abacus to solve a complex math equation that only a super computer has the power to do.
You do need some basic Big Picture swing theory to get you started on your journey, but it needs to be just that- "big" non-technical concepts about what makes the ball go far, up and straight (my Six Laws of Club Motion theory for example which I can explain to a ten your old in about 15 minutes and they will "get it"), Power generation in backswing and application in forward swing, and the role of the pivot, arm motion and wrists. And all that theory does is provide some basic clarity in your mind so when you move on to the next step which is directly training the body, it will make sense to you.
The most important thing for you to understand is that learning a good golf swing - once you are past that initial swing theory stage - is a SENSORY experience and NOT an intellectual experience.
The problem is that traditionally golf has been "taught" as mainly an intellectual experience - far more than any other sport. I forgot the exact number of books devoted to intellectual theory of the golf swing in the USGA library but it is several thousand at least.
And I am talking old school teaching. Since the advent of the Internet, we are seeing an explosion of highly technical swing theory, which has made old school contamination seem mild by by comparison.
By sensory experience I mean the ability to focus your Awareness clearly on how your body and club are moving in space. In the early stages this is done using your vision while looking at your reflection in a mirror, in real time (far more effective than looking at video after the fact) while moving in slow motion. In the intermediate stages you learn how to feel your body without judgement - just pure awareness using proprioception. You can play golf by feel, no one can play golf by thinking, since the thinking mind cannot actually control high speed moving body parts with precision, and one reason for that is that the intellectual mind cannot keep up with the speed the body parts are moving.
I have told this kind of story here a few times but it is a good one for folks struggling with mechanics. A few years ago, I had a new student who signed up for a three day private custom golf school with me. He had been playing golf for five years, had worked with six top teachers all over the USA, and spent countless hours watching youtube instruction videos, and read over 50 books on the golf swing, and practiced beating balls on the range twice a week. He was 50 years old and in good shape fitness-wise. Here is the shocker - his average golf score was 125! His lowest ever was 110.
And yet he continued to indulge in his contaminated mindset, thinking that somehow eventually he would find the "secret" using a new swing theory to magically transform his game. When we met the morning of his first day, I asked him what the other teachers had recommended. It was 100% swing theory with no actual application protocols at all - zero. Meaning not one teacher had explained to him that the basic purpose of the teaching was to ingrain a new movement pattern to the level of dominant habit. And how to practice using the mirror, slow mo, feel awareness, reps, etc to ingrain that pattern.
What he "got" from them was that if he used "swing thoughts" while at the range hitting balls, somehow his body would figure out how to translate that theory into actually new and better body motion. (I wont even go into how that strategy often leads to the yips!).
I explained why and how that strategy almost always leads to some kind of failure to make the body change, or at least vastly delays success. And then we got to work on Awareness training, learning to shut off the thinking mind and turn on the feel mind, and how to let go of consciously manipulating the body and club. He improved rapidly that morning and for the next two day made remarkable progress. Got an email from him a month later saying he was shooting in the low 90's and could see how his scores would continue to come down.