Lesson #100 delivered an “aha” moment. I understand the importance of letting the left side set the angle and start the backswing, but I continue to use my lower left side to drive back. This was causing me to stand up and flatten the swing. Patrick played around with some things and went through the take away very slowly.
Instead of continuing to use just the lower left obliques, I needed to use more of my left glute to set the angle and then use my entire left side, after the angle is set, to drive back. When doing this correctly, my left shoulder will come under and the club will go up and to the inside more. I feel like I am doing a very, very small squat and then using my entire left side to drive under and around my hips.
To be more precise, I start the swing with my left glute and lower left obliques setting the angle and my hands do not move. I then use the large part of my left obliques and side to drive my navel into my right knee. This will cause my shoulder to go low and cover the ball. I was not covering the ball in the past. I was setting the angle and trying to get to the top of the backswing by simply using my lower left obliques. If I can get into my entire left side and drive I don’t have to use my arms at all, allowing me to get much deeper in the backswing.
Then, the downswing mimics the backswing. I allow my lower right side to get back to the proper angle, I allow my lower right obliques and right side to drive my navel into my left knee and then drive through with my entire right side while keeping the lead leg planted and slightly bent.
After getting the complete understanding, it feels like an actual swing. My left side lowers my left shoulder which gets the club up and behind me. I still need to focus on turning with my upper thoracic once I get the club head up to my hip on the backswing. The more I can do that, the more my body will lead the hands. When I don’t use my upper thoracic to get the full turn, my hands get in front of my body a little bit.
This was all contingent on me also understanding that at setup, the right side being “under” and towards the target is what causes the shaft of the club to look like I am forward pressed. Visually, if I can keep this “forward press” as long as possible on the take away, the less I am going to use my arms on the back swing.
We are at lesson #100 and I am still learning more and more with each lesson. It is challenging yet very rewarding to understand how to create a circle by using your body instead of your hands or arms.
It is going to be very cold for the next week so I likely won’t get to hit balls or practice that much. My challenge is to see if I can not obsess by doing swings inside. We shall see!
UPDATE: It is now December 2020 and I am approaching 200 lessons. There are still “aha” moments where I realize that Patrick had to take me down one path to get to another path. My left side has all the flexibility and strength it needs for a backswing. Now, I need to make sure my entire right side is relaxed and “sucking in” to get full rotation. Recently, I have been able to relax my upper right lat which has made a huge difference in terms of completing the backswing.