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Scheduled My First Lesson

Nemo

Just trying to suck less
Oct 27, 2007
90
0
This is my 3rd season really playing golf. I'm basically self taught and I finally got around scheduling a lesson with a good pro (many recommendations) at a great facility. I plan to do 4-6 lessons depending how it all goes. My hcp is 19.1 (18.3 trend) and my stats for my 10 18 hole rounds this year are:

Scoring Ave: 95.5
Low Score: 92
FW: 28%
GIR: 11%
Putts Per Hole: 1.96
Holes Below Par: 3%
Holes at Par: 15%
Holes Above Par: 82%

While the FW stat is not great and I am not that long I consider my driving as one of the better parts of my game. I get a lot of "1st cut" missed fairways. My miss is a push/fade, losing it to the right. My short game is pretty good and my chipping and pitching is getting much better. I putt pretty well. I think my short game techniques are decent, so it's just a matter of practice to get a better feel for distances.

The real weak part of my game is full swing irons and fairway woods. With the irons I tend to hit behind the ball and duff a few 30 yds each round which end up costing me a couple strokes each time. I have a real mental block of creating the divot after the ball and that's what I really want to learn to do.

Aside from being honest about where I'm at with the pro any advice as how to get the most out of these lessons? I'm happy to have him break down my setup and swing anywhere, but just want to maximize the effectiveness of the lessons. Any advice would be appreciated!
 

Eracer

No more triple bogies!!
Oct 31, 2005
12,405
8
Well, you can either believe whole-heartedly in what he is saying, and work hard at the drills he provides, or you can get frustrated because the swing changes are causing you to play worse at first. That's the common wisdom, isn't it? That you've got to break down your old, bad habits and substitute them with good ones, which can only be ingrained through repetition.

On the other hand, I went to a three day class a few years ago in which the philosophy was, "nonsense!" They believed that good mental focus, and an understanding of the role tempo plays, were about all you needed. Angles? Who cares. Swing plane? Huh? They were all about rhythm and target.

Didn't make a whole lot of sense to me at the time, but immediately after the class I shot my career round, and my index went from 22 to 15 in two months. Hard to argue with results.

Now I'm back to a more traditional teacher (GolfTec) that bases their instruction on trying to duplicate the body angles of the pros at critical positions. My swing got a lot worse early into the series, but I'm starting to see some real positive change.

So I guess my point it, you need to completely "buy-in" to whatever you're doing. If you're lucky, you'll come out of it with a better understanding of the variables that make the golf swing so interesting, and the golf game so challenging.
 
OP
Nemo

Nemo

Just trying to suck less
Oct 27, 2007
90
0
  • Thread Starter
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  • #3
Had the first lesson today. I'm going to do 5 lessons, with the last one being a playing lesson. I'm going to try to do one a week, may have to miss a week in June though. But I think it will be great to reinforce the lessons by having several.

Today we just hit 8 irons and 6 irons. My main flaws have been hitting behind the ball with my irons and I struggle to get my divot in front of the ball. He watched me take some swings and then we got to work.

The good news is that I have a good setup and grip. And we did find what I do when I hit behind the ball. When my right elbow gets away from me (flying more like a baseball swing) in order to continue to rotate, I have to drop my left shoulder. This then keeps me from getting my weight back, therefore not getting my weight forward enough on the downswing. So this makes me come in too steep and behind the ball.

I did notice a big difference when I kept my elbow in and had a good turn. I hit the ball first, although I don't take much of a divot if any. But you can see that the grass is "distressed" in front of where the ball was. I'm happy with that for now, but I do want to be able to get more of a divot as I keep working on it.

What's a little frustrating is I was concentrating so hard on my elbow and my turn that I'd hit some bad shots just because I would occasionally give up on the swing through and stop really getting through the ball. I need to remember to concentrate on both parts!

But all in all it was great. I like the guy and when we were chatting about what I felt on different shots he was able to talk about it in a way that I could really understand. It was great to have someone be able to look at the swing and see the problem(s) so easily. I never would have figured out an out of position elbow on my own.

I'm playing 2 rounds before my next lesson, so I'm looking forward to working on what we went over today. Hopefully I can make it work, or at least understand when I'm making the mistakes.

Very cool.
 

ezra76

Well-Known Member
Feb 5, 2006
12,412
16
Sounds like some progress already. Keep at it. I know I took a look at my last swing video with total frustration. I'm shooting the same scores as 2yrs. ago and it's time to stop "blaming" it on anything but a poor fundamental swing. I've absolutely had it. Won't stop working on it from here on out, ever.
 
OP
Nemo

Nemo

Just trying to suck less
Oct 27, 2007
90
0
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #5
I'm playing tomorrow and hopefully I don't suck because I'm working on my swing, but I don't really care, working on the swing is more important to me than scoring tomorrow. I am going to go to the range before the round to hopefully make it a bit more automatic so I don't have to think about it so much. But I don't have high expectations for that. I know I have to be patient with swing changes.

Ez, had the lesson down at the Pt. Judith CC. I had no idea you could get lessons from the pro, since the place is private. The guy seems really good and the range/practice area is awesome.
 

Wi-Golfer

Golfer on hiatus.
Supporting Member
Jul 25, 2007
8,147
1,474
Madison, Wi
Country
United States United States
Now I'm back to a more traditional teacher (GolfTec) that bases their instruction on trying to duplicate the body angles of the pros at critical positions. My swing got a lot worse early into the series, but I'm starting to see some real positive change.


How do like the GolfTec & what are their fees like? One is opening up on the west side of Madison & I would like to check them out.
 
OP
Nemo

Nemo

Just trying to suck less
Oct 27, 2007
90
0
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #7
Second lesson today.

I've played 2 rounds since my first lesson and there has been definate improvement in my iron play. I'm getting a lower trajectory and my distances have increased about 1 club. I still can't take much of a divot, but I am able to hit the ball before hitting the ground consistently now. My instructer says not to worry about it. He says that being short (5' 7") my natural plane just may not produce one. I'm still working on taking one though.

He had me warm up by hitting some 8 irons, just to make sure I had the swing that we had been working on. He said that it had definately improved, but occassionally I'm getting so wrapped up in the proper backswing position that I'm forgetting to finish properly.

Then we moved onto my 4h and I was hitting them great. We quickly moved onto the 5w, which I have been struggling with. And now I'm struggling with it more.

What has improved my irons has been getting to a better position at the top and then maintaining my wrist cock and for a lack of better decription, letting the "big muscles" swing the club. This is causing new problems for me with the 5w. I just can't get the clubface back to square at impact and was slicing the hell out of them. I just can't seem to maintain the cock and then release fast enough. He had me doing a drill with a small backswing and just release through the ball to get a right to left ball flight. I just couldn't do it. At best it would go straight. And the best I was able to do with the full swing was a "baby fade".

What he said the problem is with the full swing is that the club is getting outside my hands at the start of the downswing and that I can't release from there. I get that. But the part that is driving me nuts is how different the concept seems to be getting onto the release so much quicker than it seems I need to with the irons. I feel like that with the shorter shaft of the irons the release kind of just happens, but with the longer shaft of the 5w I really need to force the release. It was pretty frustrating. I'm going to have to get out and work on this before my next lesson next week.

On a good note, I shot a really nice 91 yeaterday at a really cool course up in Salem, MA yesterday. A 1914 Donald Ross. It had some very cool holes on it.
 

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