BOB M – 7.3.20

General golf lesson: Full Swing Irons and Driver; Chipping & Putting

Hi Bob,

Good to see you today for another productive lesson. I appreciate your willingness to try the suggestions I make to improve your game by improving your golf swing, plus chipping and putting techniques.

No doubt some things take very little time to adapt and others take longer.

The primary focus of today’s full swing lesson with your 7-iron and Driver. Distance is not really an issue, in fact, when you make solid contact your distance is well above average. As you know, making solid contact is the holy grail of golf and that’s hard to achieve when you’re undergoing major swing changes as the case with you.

The takeaway from today’s lesson is the following: These are mostly in order of priority in terms of practice. Start with the first one and get it working before moving to the next one…working on one adjustment at a time. You will be overlapping some, like the fingers grip will probably be included in all of these suggestions. Also, I didn’t list it separately, but just remember you shoulder alignment so that the right shoulder matches your left shoulder in terms of alignment [your tendency was to stick your right shoulder out and this misaligned you far left of your target.]

  1. Well, the takeaway! That’s the key to a good golf swing motion. It begins with a ¾ shoulder pivot around your spine angle with very little movement in your lower body because you allow your shoulders to do the pulling and torqueing. At the ¾ mark, your pelvis begins to pivot while maintaining some resistance, and then finally your left knee must move inward…slightly…in order to complete your backswing.

Order of pivot in the backswing: Shoulders, pelvis, lead leg [left].

There is a tendency to move your pelvis and left leg too far. So, spend time practicing the resistance in your lower body.

  1. The grip in your left hand has been too much in your palm and today we moved the handle more into your fingers. This is a pretty significant change and will take some practice to develop a natural feel. Remember to keep the button of your glove pointed at about 30-degree angle from down-the-target-line [your button was facing down the line, so this is a stronger grip where you see more knuckles on the back of your left hand.] Your right hand was adjusted somewhat so that it cupped firmly into the left hand with your thumb on the opposite side of the club shaft. The purpose of this change is to allow the club to release naturally and this should provide with more on target, straighter drives…and more consistently.
  2. Finding your swing plane angle and club slot at the top of your swing was something you asked about. I described a 4x8 foot piece of glass with your head through a hole near the top. The glass slants at about a 45-degree angle past your upper body and past your ball on the ground. The idea is to use this visual as a means to find the proper angle in a single plane swing. If you stay under the glass throughout your swing you won’t break the pane of glass, but if you don’t it will shatter! Your irons will be more vertical and driver more laid back. This is because the shaft of each club varies from short to long. Shortest being the most vertical and long the most laid off.
  3. Full Arm extension and right elbow. It’s important to maintain full extension throughout the swing, from takeaway to the top, back down to the impact zone and chasing the ball to your target in the through swing. The right arm elbow folds at the top of your backswing with the elbow pointing straight down to the ground. Your left arm remains full extended at the top with the wrist straight rather than cupped. This is achieved through the right hand pointing away from the target line…to the back…this flattens your right hand in a fully flexed position while the left hand sits on top of it with the wrist flat or slightly bowed.
  4. Inner thigh muscle triggers the downswing. The muscle inside the right thigh is fully torqued at the top of your swing and it releases and pushes your pelvis forward to initiate the downswing. Once the pelvis starts it pivot, your right elbow will drop into the right side and connect to your pelvis crest, the iliac crest. This gets your club on an inside tract to the impact zone where your ball is lazily waiting to get smashed.
  5. Chase the Ball. As you enter the impact zone keep your arms fully extended and moving in the direction of your target. Do not allow the club to swing back inside after you compress the ball…chase the ball with your arms fully extended to your target. Allow your club to return back inside once you are well past the impact zone.
  6. Rock the Cradle. This is the motion to use in chipping and putting and is one of the most reliable methods for distance control. We practiced this with a 7-iron and pitching wedge to get a “feel” for how each club travels different distances and with different spins. Naturally, the iron makes the ball travel farther than the wedge. The iron lands just on the green and rolls out to the pin, while the wedge lands about 40-50% of the distance to the pin and rolls out. Of course, this varies on how far the pins are from your chipping area and if there are any obstructions between your ball’s position and the pin. We practice on area where you had to chip up a short hill to the green.

I mentioned that your tempo is a little fast for me and suggested you may have better control if you slow it down a notch or two and take slightly longer swings with just your shoulders rocking back and forward.

We took that same motion to the putting green and had better success as you slowed your tempo down and lengthen your swing. This is a sure-fire way to save strokes on the green. With this technique you should almost never have more than 1 or possibly 2 three-putts in a round of golf.

We also worked on your spot putting for alignment by finding a spot at about 3 feet from your ball’s position as your alignment tool. Since the spot can get lost once you are in your putting stance, I showed you how to identify a pattern, roughly a 6-inch circle around the spot, to help you find the spot when you are lining up your putter.

This pretty much covers what we worked on today. If I’ve left anything out that you recall, just let me know and I can add it to this page.

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Stills of your swing on plane. Notice the club shaft angle is about the same as your left arm angle and that this wrist is flat as it should be at the top of your swing. Your elbow is pointing more down than away from your body. However, in your actual swing videos your right elbow is pointing more vertically to the ground. As you know from our experience, posing in one position for photos like these is not easy.

Your swing in live motion from the back.

Slow motion with 3 freeze frames: top of swing with elbow pointing down and flat left wrist; full extension at impact; chasing the ball down the line extension.

Live motion at an angle face on.

Slow motion with 3 freeze frames: top of swing with elbow pointing down and flat left wrist; full extension at impact; chasing the ball down the line extension.

Live motion at angle from the rear.

Slow motion with 4 freeze frames: 3/4 shoulder swing position; top of swing with elbow pointing down and flat left wrist; full extension at impact; chasing the ball down the line extension.

Live motion face on.

Slow motion with 4 freeze frames: 3/4 shoulder turn position; top of swing with elbow pointing down and flat left wrist; full extension at impact; chasing the ball down the line extension.

Live motion Driver from back.

Slow motion Driver with 3 freeze frames: 3/4 shoulder turn position; top of swing with elbow pointing down and flat left wrist; full extension in impact zone.