Ryan is an advanced golfer and has played most of his life. He played high school golf however he did not play on his college team. He says that he has some recent coaching sessions because during the past decade he has gone from a single digit handicap to scoring in the 90s lately. He mentioned that his primary problem was with his drives. Low hooks, pulls, pushes and slices and pretty much in that order of frequency when his drives don’t go straight.

My initial observation is that Ryan’s golf swing is compact, stable and yet dynamic. It is also too vertical at the top and needs to be more laid off in order to shallow his swing arc through the impact zone for more forgiving of less than perfect ball impacts.

Today, Ryan swing speed, ball speed and smash factor was measured with the Swing Caddie SC200. Swing speed was 113, ball speed 122 and smash factor 145. Ryan has a fast swing by any measure and transmits his speed to the ball efficiently.

Distance with a 7-iron ranged from about 175-185 yards while with his driver his distance was consistently 285-295 yards.

Dispersion with the 7-iron was minimal and not more than 15 yards off his target line. However, with his driver he was more inconsistent off the tee. Sometimes his drives pulled hard left and low and other times they faded and sliced. However, mostly Ryan’s drives were fairly straight with high launch angle and long.

During the session and then later in analyzing his swing sequence videos, I noted several flaws that if corrected will yield more consistent drives and improve his accuracy with irons, as well. This is a list of the most obvious ones.

  1. At the top, Ryan’s left wrist is cupped, and his right elbow is slightly flared away from his body.
  2. His address is square with his target line however his lead left foot is too square to his target line, which restricts his forward pivot.
  3. While he starts his downswing with a right shift of his pelvis it doesn’t pivot as much as I expected during the impact zone.
  4. Ryan’s left elbow flares away from his body after passing through the impact zone.

Suggestions and Cures

  1. Ryan should practice setting his position at the top of his swing. This includes allowing the right hand to be in the position of a restaurant tray carrier while the left-hand palm fits into the right-hand position. This will do two things. It will cause his right elbow to point more vertically, sky to ground, rather than slightly flared away from his body. The other thing is that this position will cause his left wrist to be flat, or even slightly bowed [preferable] and thus removes the wrist cupping.
  2. At address, it will benefit Ryan to flare his lead left foot about 25-30 degrees open to the target line to accommodate a better pivot through the downswing. Currently, his pelvis is facing the ball at impact and doesn’t pivot around toward the target line until after impact with the ball. Pivoting earlier will promote a faster swing speed through the impact zone and straighter drives and should eliminate his pull hooks.
  3. Making these changes should automatically take care of the left elbow flaring away from his body after impact allowing a better transition to the finish with his forearm bones rotating over each other.

The plan going forward if for Ryan to practice the top of the swing hands and elbow placement and possibly meet again this coming Friday afternoon a week from our consultation.

Other than these full swing tweaks, not sure what else will be needed to improve Ryan’s scoring but hopefully we’ll have some time to analyze his pitch, chip and sand shots and his putting technique. Go from there.

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