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Enough Ryder! Lets help my game instead!

DaveE

The golfer fka ST Champ
Aug 31, 2004
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I've received some pretty decent advice here lately so I'm back for more. Here's the deal. It has become apparent to me that I am basically a visual learner. My real improvements have come with visual swing thoughts, not written explanations. For example, the pane of glass to explain swing plane in Hogan's book.

What I need (this time) is a visual thought to help me make better contact with a descending blow. When I try to just think about hitting down on the ball the result ends up looking like I'm trying to plant corn. I've tried concentrating on the front of the ball instead of the back with some success but it's still not the answer.

Am I a mess or what? :confused:

Rock, if you have what I need here, we'll forget about the fine from the other thread and you can still get the visors. :p
 

Bravo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2004
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Dave:

I am notorious for asking a diagnostic question or two before replying...

At impact, are your hands slightly ahead of the ball? Do you know where your hands are relative to the ball at impact?? :smilie_tm
 
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DaveE

DaveE

The golfer fka ST Champ
Aug 31, 2004
3,986
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  • #3
Bravo said:
Dave:

I am notorious for asking a diagnostic question or two before replying...

At impact, are your hands slightly ahead of the ball? Do you know where your hands are relative to the ball at impact?? :smilie_tm

Bravo, That's one of the areas of improvement for me this year. I don't have video but I would say yes my hands are ahead at impact. Interesting you would ask that. One of the changes I made this year was as a result of your suggestion to tilt the club forward at address. This is now part of my routine. My overall distance has improved this year as well just making contact. What I'm not getting is enough of a descending blow to create a divot. It's more like I'm sweeping the ball off the fairway.
 

Youngun5

Beware of the Phog!
Aug 26, 2004
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i'll add another question to bravo's list, dave, where is the ball in your stance for lets say a pitching wedge?
 

Bravo

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Aug 27, 2004
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DaveE said:
Bravo, That's one of the areas of improvement for me this year. I don't have video but I would say yes my hands are ahead at impact. Interesting you would ask that. One of the changes I made this year was as a result of your suggestion to tilt the club forward at address. This is now part of my routine. My overall distance has improved this year as well just making contact. What I'm not getting is enough of a descending blow to create a divot. It's more like I'm sweeping the ball off the fairway.

Well that's good, bc having your hands forward can help somewhat in creating that downward blow.

Next, do you have enough "sense" of your swingplane to describe it as flat or steep? Do you take the club back inside around your right shoulder or more upward? A flat(er) swingplane makes it somewhat harder to hit a downward blow - although there are plenty of tour players with a "flat swing" that can do it...
 

Rockford35

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Dave,

A few questions before i wrap my noodle around a visual:

Are you asking this question in regards to wedges? Or all your irons in general?

Also, are you taking good divots with your swing, or are you taking huge beaver pelts?

Finally, what iron is your favorite to hit?

Thanks in advance,

R35
 

Rockford35

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DaveE said:
What I need (this time) is a visual thought to help me make better contact with a descending blow. When I try to just think about hitting down on the ball the result ends up looking like I'm trying to plant corn. I've tried concentrating on the front of the ball instead of the back with some success but it's still not the answer.


Dave,

I've been watching Monday Night Football, and it's been so exciting, i just had to think about your post. BTW, it's 10-6 Eagles. Weak game.

Anyhoo, here's my advice. With irons, i like to keep a couple things in mind when I practice them.

First, i remind myself that I have to keep my left side quiet, but still rotate it with my swing. If you slide your hips left to right, you invite the possibilty of either a hook or a slice, depending on the severity. A mental picture for me is imagining that my left leg is a pole or post if you will, that rotates in a circle rather than moving from right to left. Try it out, it makes a huge difference in balance and staying on/behind the ball. When i hit a huge push, it's always from getting my junk thru, but moving my hips in the process. Which, in turn, moves both my body and my head off the ball. From there, it's all downhill. Staying quiet with the left leg is key.

Secondly, i imagine my swing through impact as an extension of my right/strong hand. Any wrist work will be nullified if you keep your right wrist strong from about 8 o'clock to 4 o'clock if your ball is at 6 o'clock. And your wrists will bend properly naturally as you follow through. I don't mean grip the snot out of the club, i just mean be firm through that 4-8 zone, like your smacking someone's ass. You see alot of guys swing their right arm through the zone keeping their upper body quiet. Same idea. But, your most important part is keeping strong through the swing plane as contact occurs. This may seem more of a sweep, but it's fundamental to my stroke being solid.

I read somewhere that if you imagine your club as an axe or pick that you'll understand the feeling of the stroke that you should have to create the power needed for pure, straight shots. I sorta identify with that.

Lastly, i like to take those ideas of the post left leg, the clubhead being an extension of my powerful right wrist, and add them to the idea of "pointing out your target line". In other words, after i've successfully kept the left leg quiet and strengthened up my impact zone of my swing, i like to point my club on the followthrough to my target line. Not the flag, not the green, but along the lines of where I want my ball to start. If i'm playing a cut, i start out to the left. A draw, just to the right on my intended target. But that comes as you become more comfortable with your swing. In the meantime, just point it at the flag with your followthrough. I like to hold the club out in front of me at about 9 or 10 o'clock, with the club pointing down my target. Call this "Toe Up" or whatever, the key is that the club is pointing down the line.

Your "hooding of the ball" at address isn't going to help you in terms of hitting down on the ball, but will work as a mental key to remember to keep your hands in front, wrists strong and left side quiet.

I'm no savior, but this works for me. It may sound unorthodox, but no one's swing is the same as anothers. Harvey Penick wrote that the most important part of a golf swing is the millisecond that the face meets the ball. This is so true. You can get the face there a million ways, it's just the method that works for you to square it up at impact is what is important.

Try a few of these out. It only took me about 6 years to master and I still go back to them every one in a while when the irons sorta slack off. And it works everytime.

If you need me to explain any of the above, let me know. I'd be more than glad to help.

Cheers Dave,

R35
 

bdcrowe

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Aug 30, 2004
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Bravo has asked the questions as I thought them. Strange... :) If you have no video to see about your plane, or a friend to watch and answer, tell us your mistake shots. Do you tend to push, push/fade, and draw, hook? These shot shapes are generally associated with a flat plane, as is a shallow contact. I genuinely think you probably are inside and flat.

A help for this would be to keep a 1-piece takeaway along the backward target line for as long as possible. Another good swing thought is to view yourself as reaching for the sky at the top of your swing, a la Nicklaus.
 
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DaveE

DaveE

The golfer fka ST Champ
Aug 31, 2004
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Bravo said:
Well that's good, bc having your hands forward can help somewhat in creating that downward blow.

Next, do you have enough "sense" of your swingplane to describe it as flat or steep? Do you take the club back inside around your right shoulder or more upward? A flat(er) swingplane makes it somewhat harder to hit a downward blow - although there are plenty of tour players with a "flat swing" that can do it...

Bravo & BD, My swing is more flat than upright My mistakes tend to be hooks or pull hooks & once in a while a push but rarely a slice. That seems to go with what you are thinking Bd.

Are you saying that changing to a more upright swing plane will help make a downward blow or that it will just help with the hooks?


:groupwave
 

bdcrowe

ST Homeland Security
Aug 30, 2004
2,207
276
Bravo has asked the questions as I thought them. Strange... :) If you have no video to see about your plane, or a friend to watch and answer, tell us your mistake shots. Do you tend to push, push/fade, and draw, hook? These shot shapes are generally associated with a flat plane, as is a shallow contact. I genuinely think you probably are inside and flat.

A help for this would be to keep a 1-piece takeaway along the backward target line for as long as possible. Another good swing thought is to view yourself as reaching for the sky at the top of your swing, a la Nicklaus.
 
OP
DaveE

DaveE

The golfer fka ST Champ
Aug 31, 2004
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rockford35 said:
Dave,


First, i remind myself that I have to keep my left side quiet, but still rotate it with my swing. If you slide your hips left to right, you invite the possibilty of either a hook or a slice, depending on the severity. A mental picture for me is imagining that my left leg is a pole or post if you will, that rotates in a circle rather than moving from right to left. Try it out, it makes a huge difference in balance and staying on/behind the ball. When i hit a huge push, it's always from getting my junk thru, but moving my hips in the process. Which, in turn, moves both my body and my head off the ball. From there, it's all downhill. Staying quiet with the left leg is key.

Secondly, i imagine my swing through impact as an extension of my right/strong hand. Any wrist work will be nullified if you keep your right wrist strong from about 8 o'clock to 4 o'clock if your ball is at 6 o'clock. And your wrists will bend properly naturally as you follow through. I don't mean grip the snot out of the club, i just mean be firm through that 4-8 zone, like your smacking someone's ass. You see alot of guys swing their right arm through the zone keeping their upper body quiet. Same idea. But, your most important part is keeping strong through the swing plane as contact occurs. This may seem more of a sweep, but it's fundamental to my stroke being solid.

Cheers Dave,

R35

These are exactly the kind of 'thoughts' that tend to help me. It's less distracting for me to have images in my head during a swing than to have verbal reminders. That way if I want a single verbal thought it can be something simplie like don't to forget to hit the ball dumba$$. I really like the rotating post idea & will try it tommorow. The right arm idea will be interesting to try as I am a natural lefty playing right handed. That's always made some of the swing tips like the underhanded throw difficult as I tend to throw pretty girly with my right hand.

To answer your first questions. We are talking about irons in general & I tend to not take a divot at all. When I do try to think "hit down" I really hit down and then we are talking beaver pelts and usually a fat shot.

The fine is off, you can have the visors. :golf:
 

bdcrowe

ST Homeland Security
Aug 30, 2004
2,207
276
DaveE said:
Bravo & BD, My swing is more flat than upright My mistakes tend to be hooks or pull hooks & once in a while a push but rarely a slice. That seems to go with what you are thinking Bd.

Are you saying that changing to a more upright swing plane will help make a downward blow or that it will just help with the hooks?


:groupwave
It will absolutely give you a more downward blow. Think about it, flat, inside swing sweeps, upright swing "falls" down into the ball. Work on this, and you'll see huge benefits. Just don't overdo it. Also, if you're seeing hooks, PULLhooks, and pushes, you may want to address a more consistent ball position. It's possible that your swing plane could be changing from inside-out to outside-in, but more likely that you aren't being consistent with your ball position (and I don't mean consistent from club to club, I mean consistently same place every time with a 7 iron, or 8 iron, etc...) If you are playing it too far forward in the stance occasionally, this could lead to impact AFTER the clubhead has traveled inside to square and then back inside-- causing the occasional pull, AND the occasional fat shot. This is all conjecture, but something for you to look at.

Finally, if this fixes your issues, revisit this occasionally, as my tendency is to fall back to severely inside and I game goes haywire. I have to visit my swing plane occasionally.
 
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DaveE

DaveE

The golfer fka ST Champ
Aug 31, 2004
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bdcrowe said:
It will absolutely give you a more downward blow. Think about it, flat, inside swing sweeps, upright swing "falls" down into the ball. Work on this, and you'll see huge benefits. Just don't overdo it. Also, if you're seeing hooks, PULLhooks, and pushes, you may want to address a more consistent ball position. It's possible that your swing plane could be changing from inside-out to outside-in, but more likely that you aren't being consistent with your ball position (and I don't mean consistent from club to club, I mean consistently same place every time with a 7 iron, or 8 iron, etc...) If you are playing it too far forward in the stance occasionally, this could lead to impact AFTER the clubhead has traveled inside to square and then back inside-- causing the occasional pull, AND the occasional fat shot. This is all conjecture, but something for you to look at.

Finally, if this fixes your issues, revisit this occasionally, as my tendency is to fall back to severely inside and I game goes haywire. I have to visit my swing plane occasionally.

Take an aspirin not the whole bottle right? :thumbup:

It's a good thing I enjoy my time at the range. I'll pay more attention to ball position as this would be a quick fix if it's the culprit. I have been trying to pay more attention to plane lately and think I will have to experiment with this to find an angle that will promote the downward blow.

I've more or less devoted this year to improving my swing and so far it's paid off. I'm hoping that by the end of the year I can at least be settled on what swing to practice so I can devote next year to improving my scores.
Thanks,
Dave
 

Bravo

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Aug 27, 2004
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Dave:

Sounds like you have the big issues covered.

I like Rock's and bd's suggestions quite a bit. I have always been a steep swinger and if I have a divot issue - it's usually Too Much - not enough. Therefore, I have no visual experience "queues" with trying to take a deeper divot.

It is really tough to help someone without seeing them in person....
 

Rockford35

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I agree with Bravo, don't take any of this as gospel, that's forsure. It's just a suggestion that's worked for me.

In any of the tips and tricks books or columns that i've read, a point that is always reiterated is that many high to mid handicappers (10+) almost never take divots and sweep the ball. Annika Sorenstam said that her game came to a head when she started taking divots. I've worked hard on this aspect of my game over the last 4 years and it's paid off. I take divots with all my irons, only as the club gets less lofted, i take less of a divot. In other words, i take pelts with my wedges, but i only clip off the grass with my 4 and 3 irons. But it's fundamental to good ball control that you are under it. Just try and control a thin fade. No chance.

Let me know how the post idea works out for you. It won't happen off the bat, but you'll figure it out on one shot and say to yourself "why wasn't i doing this before?". Then it will be engrained in your mind.

R35
 

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