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My Swing Journey - post Monte clinic

Instruction Monte South Dakota Swing ddetts clinic

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#1 ddetts

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 09:15 AM

I recently attended one of Monte's clinics (they're awesome BTW and would recommend highly) and decided I wanted to sort of journal my progress along with the struggles and successes along the way. Shoutout to Schnee for already doing this and doing it so well, his thread is an awesome follow. This thread probably won't be nearly as exciting as Schnee's mainly because I don't update equipment that often and I also don't have the travel & food adventures to post either :superman:

Background

Played golf a fair amount growing up, but mostly occasionally with my parents and never had any instruction. Pretty much quit playing around junior high because I was playing other sports and because I worked (custom harvesting) the entire summer away from home. I got a 2nd hand set of clubs (TM Burner driver, Cleveland CG2 irons - pretty sweet set all in all) my mom purchased from a friend who was an avid player and that sort of got me back into it. Around my 2nd year of college I got invited to play, went out with borrowed clubs and remembered how much I enjoyed playing. Needless to say, I got the bug & purchased a junior pass/membership at the local muni's in Fargo, ND where I was living.

I went from not breaking 100 with mostly slices and crummy shots to 90s, then 80s, and then shooting my first round in the 70s in 2 or 3 years. This was all using the magazine instruction articles, a lot of range time and a lot of short game practice. When I moved from Fargo to Sioux Falls in 2009 I was almost always shooting under 85 and having around 5-10 rounds a year in the mid-high 70s. My long game was pretty good as I hit it pretty far for my size (pretty much always played the tips) and was a pretty solid ball striker and could hit fades/draws with pretty good consistency. If I struggled anywhere it was short game and putting.

Game has gradually got worse over starting 6-7 years ago. Now my short game and being really good at managing misses is pretty much all that is keeping me from shooting in the 90s. I have major inconsistency issues - I hit balls all over the face (sometimes off the grooves on the toe), topped shots from time to time, etc. I pretty much can't hit my 3 wood off the deck and I've tried a few different ones over the last two years. I play terrible in the wind because my shots go nowhere which I can only assume is due to excessive spin cause by my swing faults.

My main miss is left, mostly straight pulls and pull draws with the occasional block (having a two way miss is fun!).

If I had to guess, I could pin my decline on a couple of things. First, chasing both distance (my ego loved being the longest hitter in my group whenever I played) and probably even more so was chasing the elusive push draw. Second, would be a few injuries. I broke my big toe in my trail foot and probably came back too soon (only about 5 weeks without golf). I think this started a habit of not getting off my right foot. In 2016 I had two surgeries on my right hip. First was a core decompression which caused me to miss the entire year of golf. Second was having that same hip replaced that December. I've been trying to right the ship since then.

Swings Before Clinic

Below are a couple of swings from early in the season about a month before I attended Monte's clinic. Apologies for the videos being far away.





Issues identified at clinic
  • Grip is too weak, and mostly the right hand grip getting on top of the club. Need to really strengthen right hand grip - this has been very hard for me
  • The weak grip was causing me to cup/extend left wrist in the downswing
  • Backswing is too long, and arms overrun after shoulders stop

I've been wanting to do this for awhile, but was hesitant and to put myself out there as I kept thinking I'd find some magic little thing and my game would get back to where it was. That said, I welcome any feedback, thoughts, or just comments in general. I'm tired of being a 20 handicap on my full swing and like a 5 handicap on my short game.

And yes, I am and will continue to work with Monte.

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#2 Hawkeye77

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 09:22 AM

So many things going for you - young, athletic and Monte!  Having seen it up close and what you two were working on, I predict lots of good things for your golf game in the coming months/seasons!

As for Schnee (love the guy) - although I truly admire everything club ho, travel and particularly food - your journey could prove to be more economical!  I like that diner in downtown Sioux Falls, even thought the food is nothing fancy, it's good - my daughters still mourn the demise of Valentino's (me not as much, lol).  Don't discount those Sioux Falls food options! Plus you don't have to travel hardly at all to hook up with Ryan, a quiet Sioux Falls golf legend in the making.

Good luck and keep at it!

Edited by Hawkeye77, 11 July 2018 - 09:28 AM.


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#3 ddetts

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 09:27 AM

View PostHawkeye77, on 11 July 2018 - 09:22 AM, said:

So many things going for you - young, athletic and Monte!  Having seen it up close and what you two were working on, I predict lots of good things for your golf game in the coming months/seasons!

Thanks for the kind words Greg - it was nice meeting you at the clinic. Change is hard and progress can be slow & frustrating. It's going to take plenty of time to undo 6 years of ingrained bad habits!

I've been really working hard at strengthening my grip and shortening up my backswing, but wow do old habits die hard. I've been going to the range a couple of times a week with the sole purpose of really focusing on my grip and hitting a lot of half swing 7/8 irons to try to ingrain the feelings. As evidenced in the videos, the weak grip still creeps in and the arm overrun on the backswing is still there.

I feel like when I do get the strong grip right at setup, I either hold on cause my mind thinks it's going to snap left or I make current stall/flip release anyway and hit a sniping pull hook.

Monte proved to me on video a number of times at the clinic that what I feel is a left-arm parallel backswing is what should actually be my full swing backswing, but here I am still swinging wayyy long even though I felt like I was making a 3/4 swing in these videos.


Swings 7/10/18 - got a new setup to film with my phone, didn't quite get the height and angle on the camera setup perfect




Edited by ddetts, 11 July 2018 - 09:27 AM.

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#4 ddetts

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 11:37 AM

I forgot that I was going to add Monte's feedback for me, based on the videos from yesterday:

"Grip and long backswing causing all the issues.

You are leading with lower body big time, but your arms are tailing so much, body has to stall to wait for them.  Will send you a screen shot in a sec."

IMG_2045.PNG     IMG_2046.PNG     IMG_2047.PNG

"First still should be end of backswing.

2nd is actual end.  Look how there is no more shoulder turn just arm swing.

3rd shot. Red lines are where arms are, and green is where they should be.

If you led out more with Lower body and didnt stall, you’d miss the ball."

I can definitely tell I'm not synching up due to the arm overrun, as it feels like I am flailing at the ball. Going to try to do a lot of mirror work today and see if I can work in the feel of where to stop on the way back.
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#5 wmblake2000

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 11:53 AM

View Postddetts, on 11 July 2018 - 09:27 AM, said:



Thanks for the kind words Greg - it was nice meeting you at the clinic. Change is hard and progress can be slow & frustrating. It's going to take plenty of time to undo 6 years of ingrained bad habits!


6 years...pffft. Ain't nothin.  Try 40.  

Keep at it.  monte's post elsewhere about slow and steady is dead on.

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#6 ddetts

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 12:00 PM

View Postwmblake2000, on 11 July 2018 - 11:53 AM, said:

View Postddetts, on 11 July 2018 - 09:27 AM, said:

Thanks for the kind words Greg - it was nice meeting you at the clinic. Change is hard and progress can be slow & frustrating. It's going to take plenty of time to undo 6 years of ingrained bad habits!


6 years...pffft. Ain't nothin.  Try 40.  

Keep at it.  monte's post elsewhere about slow and steady is dead on.

For sure, that's the mindset I need and am finally working to apply. It was hard mentally to hit slow, half swings and still is even though I know it's the only way to actually feel what's happening.

I've spent the last couple of years thinking I'd find a quick fix or lightning in a bottle. I managed to shoot a couple pretty good rounds last year and the year before, I imagine that was nothing more than a matter of my short game peaking and managing my flip really well.
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#7 wmblake2000

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 01:01 PM

View Postddetts, on 11 July 2018 - 11:37 AM, said:

I forgot that I was going to add Monte's feedback for me, based on the videos from yesterday:

"Grip and long backswing causing all the issues.

You are leading with lower body big time, but your arms are tailing so much, body has to stall to wait for them.  Will send you a screen shot in a sec."

"First still should be end of backswing.

2nd is actual end.  Look how there is no more shoulder turn just arm swing.

3rd shot. Red lines are where arms are, and green is where they should be.

If you led out more with Lower body and didnt stall, you’d miss the ball."

I can definitely tell I'm not synching up due to the arm overrun, as it feels like I am flailing at the ball. Going to try to do a lot of mirror work today and see if I can work in the feel of where to stop on the way back.

Things that happen to me when I work on less arm runoff - may be useful to you.  My sense of timing is all thrown off.  And more importantly, my sense of where the power/speed will come from is threatened.  These are big-time issues for me.  Getting better over time.

My point is, when you make this kind of change, it's not just the mechanics and feel that get re-learned. It's your whole 'theory' of the swing and how it (doesn't!) works.  At least that's how it works for me.
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#8 ddetts

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 01:06 PM

View Postwmblake2000, on 11 July 2018 - 01:01 PM, said:

View Postddetts, on 11 July 2018 - 11:37 AM, said:

I forgot that I was going to add Monte's feedback for me, based on the videos from yesterday:

"Grip and long backswing causing all the issues.

You are leading with lower body big time, but your arms are tailing so much, body has to stall to wait for them.  Will send you a screen shot in a sec."

"First still should be end of backswing.

2nd is actual end.  Look how there is no more shoulder turn just arm swing.

3rd shot. Red lines are where arms are, and green is where they should be.

If you led out more with Lower body and didnt stall, you’d miss the ball."

I can definitely tell I'm not synching up due to the arm overrun, as it feels like I am flailing at the ball. Going to try to do a lot of mirror work today and see if I can work in the feel of where to stop on the way back.

Things that happen to me when I work on less arm runoff - may be useful to you.  My sense of timing is all thrown off.  And more importantly, my sense of where the power/speed will come from is threatened.  These are big-time issues for me.  Getting better over time.

My point is, when you make this kind of change, it's not just the mechanics and feel that get re-learned. It's your whole 'theory' of the swing and how it (doesn't!) works.  At least that's how it works for me.

Couldn't agree more with this. One of the things I recall from the clinic that struck me the most was about wasted motion, what feels powerful vs what is powerful and efficiency. I definitely struggle with the sense of where power/speed will come from as well, my brain seems to be hard-wired to associate the long swing with power.
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#9 wmblake2000

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 01:19 PM

View Postddetts, on 11 July 2018 - 01:06 PM, said:

View Postwmblake2000, on 11 July 2018 - 01:01 PM, said:

View Postddetts, on 11 July 2018 - 11:37 AM, said:

I forgot that I was going to add Monte's feedback for me, based on the videos from yesterday:

"Grip and long backswing causing all the issues.

You are leading with lower body big time, but your arms are tailing so much, body has to stall to wait for them.  Will send you a screen shot in a sec."

"First still should be end of backswing.

2nd is actual end.  Look how there is no more shoulder turn just arm swing.

3rd shot. Red lines are where arms are, and green is where they should be.

If you led out more with Lower body and didnt stall, you’d miss the ball."

I can definitely tell I'm not synching up due to the arm overrun, as it feels like I am flailing at the ball. Going to try to do a lot of mirror work today and see if I can work in the feel of where to stop on the way back.

Things that happen to me when I work on less arm runoff - may be useful to you.  My sense of timing is all thrown off.  And more importantly, my sense of where the power/speed will come from is threatened.  These are big-time issues for me.  Getting better over time.

My point is, when you make this kind of change, it's not just the mechanics and feel that get re-learned. It's your whole 'theory' of the swing and how it (doesn't!) works.  At least that's how it works for me.

Couldn't agree more with this. One of the things I recall from the clinic that struck me the most was about wasted motion, what feels powerful vs what is powerful and efficiency. I definitely struggle with the sense of where power/speed will come from as well, my brain seems to be hard-wired to associate the long swing with power.

How I have dealt with this is, once I buy into the validity of the new way, I simply permit myself to go thru the frustrating period of not getting the new way and start looking for the alternatives to the old way based on the new way.  They emerge, but I had/have to find them and they are new feels/beliefs so I had/have to wander in the dark a little.  

But, yep, your brain is wired to the long swing.  That's ok.  You can re-wire it.
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#10 ryan983

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 02:34 PM

Just keep trying to be better than you were last week and the week before.   As much as you want to hit full shots, you are really going to have to work on hitting 7 iron about 80 yards from a short backswing position.   Get something setup at home so you can do this for 15 minutes every day.   For me change happens faster if I do it as slower speed initially.  

Keep filming yourself and do what Monte has prescribed!   It will come!  



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#11 ryan983

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 02:36 PM

If you want to meet up at the range sometime, let me know.   I’m going to mostly be on vacation until the end of July but will be around in August.

Edited by ryan983, 11 July 2018 - 02:37 PM.


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#12 ddetts

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 02:40 PM

View Postryan983, on 11 July 2018 - 02:36 PM, said:

If you want to meet up at the range sometime, let me know.   I'm going to mostly be on vacation until the end of July but will be around in August.

I'd absolutely take you up on that! When you're back from vacation get in touch on what works.
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#13 ryan983

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 02:53 PM

View Postddetts, on 11 July 2018 - 02:40 PM, said:

View Postryan983, on 11 July 2018 - 02:36 PM, said:

If you want to meet up at the range sometime, let me know.   I'm going to mostly be on vacation until the end of July but will be around in August.

I'd absolutely take you up on that! When you're back from vacation get in touch on what works.

Will do!

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#14 sheldonjhacker

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 03:03 PM

Ddetts,  lots of positives...great flexibility and your faults ARE fixable over time !  Keep working at it !

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#15 ryan983

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 03:06 PM

View PostHawkeye77, on 11 July 2018 - 09:22 AM, said:

So many things going for you - young, athletic and Monte!  Having seen it up close and what you two were working on, I predict lots of good things for your golf game in the coming months/seasons!

As for Schnee (love the guy) - although I truly admire everything club ho, travel and particularly food - your journey could prove to be more economical!  I like that diner in downtown Sioux Falls, even thought the food is nothing fancy, it's good - my daughters still mourn the demise of Valentino's (me not as much, lol).  Don't discount those Sioux Falls food options! Plus you don't have to travel hardly at all to hook up with Ryan, a quiet Sioux Falls golf legend in the making.

Good luck and keep at it!

Valentino’s was awful!   I am too much of a knucklehead that doesn’t score as well as I should for the shots I can hit.   Thanks for the kind words though 😁


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#16 Hawkeye77

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 03:24 PM

View Postwmblake2000, on 11 July 2018 - 11:53 AM, said:

View Postddetts, on 11 July 2018 - 09:27 AM, said:



Thanks for the kind words Greg - it was nice meeting you at the clinic. Change is hard and progress can be slow & frustrating. It's going to take plenty of time to undo 6 years of ingrained bad habits!


6 years...pffft. Ain't nothin.  Try 40.  

Keep at it.  monte's post elsewhere about slow and steady is dead on.

Yep - 40+!

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#17 Hawkeye77

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 03:28 PM

View Postryan983, on 11 July 2018 - 03:06 PM, said:

View PostHawkeye77, on 11 July 2018 - 09:22 AM, said:

So many things going for you - young, athletic and Monte!  Having seen it up close and what you two were working on, I predict lots of good things for your golf game in the coming months/seasons!

As for Schnee (love the guy) - although I truly admire everything club ho, travel and particularly food - your journey could prove to be more economical!  I like that diner in downtown Sioux Falls, even thought the food is nothing fancy, it's good - my daughters still mourn the demise of Valentino's (me not as much, lol).  Don't discount those Sioux Falls food options! Plus you don't have to travel hardly at all to hook up with Ryan, a quiet Sioux Falls golf legend in the making.

Good luck and keep at it!

Valentino’s was awful!   I am too much of a knucklehead that doesn’t score as well as I should for the shots I can hit.   Thanks for the kind words though 😁

I will make sure my daughters know that "locals" agree with me, lol!

FYI, having my Jeep soft top repaired in SF and will be picking it up in a couple weeks - if you have any good SF food suggestions my wife and I are all ears.

Edited by Hawkeye77, 11 July 2018 - 03:30 PM.


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#18 vaca22

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 03:35 PM

At my last range session I came to the realization that I too was swinging the club too far back.  I took a slow swing while looking it at the shaft the whole time and I got it to parallel, which is what I've been trying to do with the driver (which is a good thing, right?).

Anyway, having previously watched videos of Tiger, Rory, et al hitting 6 irons, I noticed they did not bring the club that far back.  So I attempted to replicate this, with excellent results.  

It felt REALLY weird because I felt like I was hitting pitch shots with my 6 iron (that's my all-purpose practice iron) in the sense that the swing felt so short.   And my brain felt like I needed to rush the downswing to make up for the shorter distance the club was traveling.  Then it felt like I was really screwing up my tempo.

So the end result was a shorter backswing coulped with what felt like a slower downswing...but man...I was hitting the ball NICE.

Somebody please tell me this is also what you experience....

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#19 ddetts

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 03:38 PM

View PostHawkeye77, on 11 July 2018 - 03:28 PM, said:

View Postryan983, on 11 July 2018 - 03:06 PM, said:

View PostHawkeye77, on 11 July 2018 - 09:22 AM, said:

So many things going for you - young, athletic and Monte!  Having seen it up close and what you two were working on, I predict lots of good things for your golf game in the coming months/seasons!

As for Schnee (love the guy) - although I truly admire everything club ho, travel and particularly food - your journey could prove to be more economical!  I like that diner in downtown Sioux Falls, even thought the food is nothing fancy, it's good - my daughters still mourn the demise of Valentino's (me not as much, lol).  Don't discount those Sioux Falls food options! Plus you don't have to travel hardly at all to hook up with Ryan, a quiet Sioux Falls golf legend in the making.

Good luck and keep at it!

Valentino's was awful!   I am too much of a knucklehead that doesn't score as well as I should for the shots I can hit.   Thanks for the kind words though ��

I will make sure my daughters know that "locals" agree with me, lol!

FYI, having my Jeep soft top repaired in SF and will be picking it up in a couple weeks - if you have any good SF food suggestions my wife and I are all ears.

I'd be happy to provide suggestions, what type of food or restaurant (quick service, fine dining, etc) are you looking for?
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19

#20 ddetts

ddetts

    Ty Webb

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 10:16 PM

Well tonight at my match play league was a mixed bag. I had a few really nice swings, some longer than I am used to but I also had some really poor ones that cost me a hole as well.

I widened my stance a little bit, and got my hands forward a touch more in my setup which I felt made it easier to setup with the stronger grip. It also felt as if the wider stance forced me to make a shorter backswing. I didn't take any video, but am going to try to work those into my next practice session as I feel they were moving me in the right direction.

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#21 ddetts

ddetts

    Ty Webb

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 03:13 PM

Been working on setup changes today during breaks - stronger grip, wider stance, hands forward more and a little more tilt. I'm going to take it to the range tonight and hopefully get more comfortable with it.

Amazing what feel like drastic changes are only slight, but I think comparing to the videos above the setup looks much better. What do you think?

20180712_141226.jpg
20180712_145400.jpg
20180712_145709.jpg

Edited by ddetts, 12 July 2018 - 03:22 PM.

Nike Vapor Pro, Matrix Red Tie 6Q3
TaylorMade '17 M2 Tour 15*, Kuro Kage Silver Dual-Core TiNi
Callaway X Utility Prototype 18*, KBS Tour 120
Mizuno MP-54 3-4 / MP 15 5-PW, C-Taper Lite S
Mizuno MP-T5 52*/58*
TaylorMade TP Mullen

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