Today was a backswing day and Patrick fixed the “one final weird thing” about my swing. Something I have always done is attempt to lift the club with my right shoulder. As soon as I start the backswing, my right shoulder lifts which causes me to lift with it throughout the entire backswing. Patrick explained that I need to work on keeping my right shoulder down and basically stacked over my right toes while my left side drives back and to the top of the backswing.
Patrick took the club out of my hands and told me to put my palms toward the sky at setup. From there, I was to feel my right shoulder down at address. Then, my right hand/palm should stay low because my right shoulder was to stay low. The first few times I did this I wanted to lift with my right shoulder. After a few times I started to feel my right shoulder staying down while my core rotated back. In previous journals I mentioned that it basically feels like my right nipple is going under my armpit and is trying to touch my lat. If I can keep my right shoulder down, get my core moving before my hands and keep my right shoulder down, I really have the ability to create a lot of space which means more depth in the backswing.
I did this a few times with the practice chipping motion and the club felt so much longer and I didn’t feel like I had to manipulate the club into the right position to hit the ball. On full swings, I still have the habit of slightly lifting my right shoulder but it is definitely getting much better. When my right shoulder stays down and I drive with my left side, it feels like my left side is going much lower and causing my head to drop. I know this is not the case, but it is the feel. If my head does not feel like it is dropping, I know I have lifted my right shoulder and am manipulating the backswing.
With the right shoulder staying low at take away and throughout the backswing, it is now much easier to keep the right shoulder lower than the left shoulder at impact and all the way through impact. Instead of trying to manipulate things, it is coming much more natural now.
By keeping my right shoulder low, I can also feel the circle much better with the swing. I also need to work on not allowing my right side to slide or get fat when I keep my right shoulder low. After my take away, I should feel my right side sucking in and both of my shoulders should feel broad. When both shoulders are broad, I then use my core and left lat to drive to the top of the backswing. It feels so much better if the right shoulder does not lift.
I asked Patrick if he allowed me to keep making mistakes so he could clean other things up that would make me a great golfer. He explained that to learn the golf swing, it takes two years. During that two years, there are many things that must be cleaned up that only a coach would recognize. He successfully changed my leg work, my footwork and my elbows and arms pinching in throughout the swing. Early on, he could have told me to simply keep my back shoulder lower but I would have tried to immediately take it to the course and would have skipped steps.
By keeping my right shoulder low, allowing my core to move before my arms and being patient with the depth of my backswing, I am hitting the right barrel risers Patrick talked about so long ago. I still need to be patient and understand there are other additions to have a true scratch golf swing.
UPDATE: It is now mid May 2021 and I am finally able to finish the backswing without lifting with my right side. Every now and then I allow my right hip to slide back but my right side does not lift nearly the way it used to. I am proud of the fact that I have successfully taken this out of my golf swing. Now the focus is on the crease on the downswing which will take some hard work.