We are still at Knight’s Play due to Coronavirus. We had a significant amount of rain over the last week so I had not seen Patrick in almost two weeks. Over that time, I really worked on stretching my lower right obliques at the top of the backswing. The pull in feeling as we get deeper into the back swing.
Today Patrick reintroduced the importance of the core turning in the backswing. I was getting into the habit of having a good take away but then I would immediately get into my left lat to drive to the top of the backswing. It is important to remember that the left lat is the finishing touch on the backswing, it should not skip the step of the core turning. We went over the steps of the backswing again. First step is the left hip goes towards the right foot. This will cause the toes to separate and hold off. Then, the left obliques feel skinny as they turn the entire body. When I do this correctly, it feels like I am spinning my body. The obliques, or core, are the power in the swing so they need to turn the body. Once the obliques stop turning the upper body, only then do we finish off the backswing with the left lat.
We mimic that same feel with the downswing. I have a terrible habit of allowing my showers, especially my right lat, to get involved way too early in the downswing. The right core should get to “spinning” well before the right lat drives through and under. In fact, the later the right lat drives under, the more lag we will have.
Something else Patrick introduced was the importance of keeping my right arm and elbow soft. Remember, I was, and still am, a right arm dominant swinger. When all is said and done, we are going to try to get that right arm out of the golf swing as much as possible. If I can soften my right arm and keep my right elbow bent at address, I can feel when I start to pull with it on my backswing. It is going to take a lot of focused practice to keep my right arm and shoulder soft, but at least I recognize it now.
Also, Patrick addressed my posture. Instead of looking straight ahead and allowing my head to drop when getting into my setup position, Patrick wants me to start down and once my hips are rolled forward, he pushed against my forehead to keep it in the same position as I lowered my arms and the club to the ground. Basically, I am keeping my chest higher rather than letting it fall over. This gives me more room on the backswing.
There was a lot of information in this lesson and Patrick wants me to play 9 holes at Knight’s Play in the near future, but we will see about that. For the time being, I have to work on my core creating a very full turn and keeping my right arm and right elbow soft. Patrick informed me we will be back at Old Chatham in two weeks. Yay!
UPDATE: Well, we never went back to Old Chatham. It is now February 2021 and we are still at Knight’s Play as Old Chatham and Patrick severed ties. That whole right shoulder, right elbow and right arm. Well, it is still an issue. In my lessons in February 2021 we are really working on the right lat coming under the right shoulder and remaining broad at the top of the backswing. When doing this, it flattens my shoulder plane and caused my right elbow to come completely under my right arm on the backswing. It is a completely different feel than I would have ever guessed a good golf swing should feel like.