CHRIS 7.14.20 Lesson

Hi Chris,

We worked on two parts of your golf game today: the drive and chipping/pitching to the green, because Jason believes your score may have been much lower had you not had issues with these two areas.

DRIVING:

We worked on hitting straighter drives through several drills to help you have a better feeling about where the clubhead is throughout the swing and especially at impact.

One of the drills is swinging the driver upside down. This lightens the club and increases the speed of the handle. You swung the club five times in this manner and then flipped the club right side up and you could feel the weight of the club head a lot better. Do this often.

We worked on drawing and fading the ball by changing our setup. To draw the ball, you placed your left foot forward of square to your target but kept your shoulders in line with your target and this helped produce a draw. To hit a fade, you placed your right foot forward of square. To hit straight, you aligned feet, hips and shoulders to your target.

When you arrive for your lesson, your shots were mostly mishits. This was because your feet and hips were aligned to your target and your shoulders were aligned far left of your target. This was due to your right shoulder pushing out away from your body in a down and out direction. Your right shoulder should be down, but not out.

Another other issue and one of the main reasons for mishits was the straightening of your right leg during the backswing. Your lower body was also a little to active, so we tried to settle it down some by keeping your knees bent the same amount throughout the swing until just before impact with the ball.

Another aspect that we worked on was the shoulder turn. Your shoulders were not turning soon enough because you were relying too much on your hands to start the takeaway. This has to be eliminated completely from your backswing. It must start with your shoulders with your left shoulder turning under your chin very soon in the takeaway. The left and right shoulders must turn together in unison as one piece to eliminate reaching across your chest with your left arm. By the end of our session you were getting there…just keep practicing this move.

We also did the club to our shoulders drill with your arms crossed in front of you. We did the rotation while standing straight up while holding the club across our shoulders and then we bent from the waist and continued pivoting with the club in our athletic position. This helps you see the correct plane of your golf swing.

We worked on reaching the top of the swing with our arms only [no club] where the right hand is reaching straight up on plane with the palm facing to the sky and the left hand’s palm pointing towards your face. This drill will help you get the feeling of getting in the correct position at the of your backswing so that the right elbow if facing down while the palm faces the sky. At the same time your left wrist fitting into the right-hand position with the club while your left wrist is straight, or even bowed. This eliminates cupping of the left wrist, which also causes mishits.

The final piece that worked on was your forearm rotation. We want to eliminate it…as much as possible in the takeaway and the downswing. Instead, we want to take the club back with a square clubface and keep it square by not rotating your forearm. This is accomplished 100% of the takeaway coming from your shoulders…no hands leading or snatching the club from the setup position. Just shoulders. And this is one of the reasons we want your takeaway to be 100% shoulder rotation and for it to occur as early as possible. At least a ¾ shoulder pivot by the time your club shaft is horizontal in the backswing.

All of these drills will help you hit straighter and longer shots on target.

You did a great job and on review of your videos your shot making was looking pretty perfect and we ended your lesson with a perfectly struck drive. Congratulations on this part of our lesson today.

CHIPPING:

We worked on two methods of getting onto the green nearest to the pin.
The first one is the chip and the second one is the pitch. Both these are within very close proximity of the green, let’s say anywhere from 5 to 30 feet of the green.

To set up for the chip, you put both feet close together, touching is fine. And your weight is mostly on your front foot and the ball is just inside your front instep…just slightly ahead of center. From this lower body position, the club shaft should lean forward into the ball with the handle in the middle of your left thigh. You can choke up for more control. The takeaway is in the same leaned forward position without breaking your wrist. This keeps the clubface square and the face delofted. The club is returned in exactly the same position by gravity…no forced hand swinging, which would increase the chance of blading the ball across the green. This distance the ball travels is dependent on the length and tempo of your swing. The forward swing stops somewhat abruptly after impact, instead of following the ball’s path.

PITCHING:

This is similar to chipping however the ball goes higher up and lands more softly and stops quickly due to backspin. Too pitch the ball, your set up is slightly wider. The feet are about 12 inches apart to allow for slight movement of your lower legs at the knees. The takeaway is similar to the chip except it is longer. The downswing is again driven mostly by gravity and the club is allowed to impact the ball and then the swing continues on through to the finish.

You found chipping fairly easier than pitching. The latter is where you encounter some blading the ball across the green. It will take some practice to get the timing correct to prevent blading. This comes with allowing gravity to swing the club back to the ball instead of swinging the club forward with your arms and hands.

VIDEOS:

Your videos are in real time, slow motion and freeze frame. The freeze frame is to emphasize certain parts of your swing. The position of your right elbow and the straight left wrist in the backswing and the impact poistion. They are perfect...there really are no significant flaws in any of these videos.

My takeaway from this lesson is that you should score better in your upcoming tour events.