Lesson #99 – January 9th, 2020
Given a week off, I played around with the importance of keeping the angle of the clubface with the grip and setup. As Patrick said from day 1, if we can get the grip and setup correct, every part of the swing from the takeaway all the way to the follow though will keep the clubface square. At this point, my right tricep and shoulder are still trying to “jerk” or move the club back. Part of that is because I used to swing that way and part of it is that I still need more flexibility and driving the backswing with my left core.
Patrick, Brad King and I started the lesson talking about Hit Makers by Derek Thompson and how if someone like Rory McIlroy tweeted or discussed the putting perfecter it would be a distribution to cause the product to “go viral”. This is what people call going viral, but it is more of distribution by an influencer because virality would be one to one and this would be one to one million.
When we got down to the golf swing Patrick explained to me that my right tricep, shoulder and entire right side will become more relaxed the more I can use the left side. He also showed me a few exercises in which I can stretch my right shoulder and tricep so I can get my right elbow to fall under on the backswing and any other athletic move such as throwing a football or baseball.
Patrick then showed me that after the take away and the club gets off the ground, I am to think of driving with my upper left obliques, right below the ribs, through the angle of the hinge below my left thumb. By doing this, it feels like my chest is opening up and my left shoulder opens. As I continue the backswing, my right elbow will “tuck” or fall inside and my right shoulder will open, making my chest and back broad at the top. Instead of trying to get to the top reaching with my hands or arms, I should use my left side to drive to the top. The better I can drive with the left side just after take away, the better I can use my core to get to the top of the backswing.
We briefly touched on the downswing. Just after impact, much as on the backswing, the right side drives through the inside of the hinge of the right hand under the thumb. Patrick explained that most people cannot do this so driving through the same spot on the left hand, under the thumb (like after take away) will complete the swing in the correct manner. This is the polishing of the follow through that will come months down the road.
For the time being, I am to work on allowing my left side to drive into the spot just below the left thumb (the hinge of the left hand) to create the backswing. The more I can open and broaden my back throughout the backswing, the better it is. If I can relax my shoulders and upper back more and more, the backswing will continue to get better.
It is amazing how detailed and intricate the golf swing is. Good luck trying to figure it out by yourself.
UPDATE: At that particular stage in my golf swing I had no idea how much my right side was still dictating the golf swing. I am now approaching 200 lessons and I finally understand what it is to keep my entire right side soft. All the way from my right obliques all the way through my right lats. Recently, I have felt my right lat relax which allows my left side to drive and rotate my upper body around my lower body. When my right lat softens at the takeaway, I can really turn my core and then into my upper thoracic. If the right side is tense or pulls on the backswing, there is no chance for a big and full shoulder turn. Good luck with that!