Patrick is very pleased with the depth of my backswing in terms of shoulder turn and we are now working on cleaning up some of the “outside” parts of the swing, namely the hinge of the wrist and keeping the back (right) shoulder low. As with every part of the backswing, I come up with a few things that work and Patrick cleans them up, but there is always progress.
As I get halfway to the top of my backswing I was “twisting” my shoulders. To do this, I basically felt like my lats were a top. This allowed me to get deeper into the backswing. Today, Patrick showed me that we will continue to get deep by the twist needs to come from the right side with the left forearm still feeling like it is staying on the target line going back. In fact, it is ok to think the left arm is pointing to the left of the target line as we approach the top of the backswing.
The hardest part about the lesson today was the discussion of the left wrist hinge. Patrick explained it as so, “the outside of the left wrist feels like it is pushing away from the body.” We do not want to feel any type of lifting of hinging by pulling up on the left wrist. As we start the takeway and push back with the left side this is the time in which the left wrist needs to hinge. This is extremely difficult for me. If I engage and activate the left wrist I want to lift the club up with my forearms or hands. It is going to take 100s of practice swings to get my left to push away from the body without my hands and arms taking over the golf club.
As the hinge is taking place and we get to the top of the backswing, it feels very short. Patrick said this would likely be the case. And that is ok. The backswing is not short, it just feels that way because I am used to the club being further away from my body without any type of hinge.
I am also working harder to keep the left arm on the target line deeper in the backswing. Even though it feels like I am going “back” with my upper body, I am continuing to use my left lat to “push” the swing to the top. This means there is leverage at the top of my swing. Unlike almost all amateurs, my shoulders are pointing at the ball or inside the ball, at the top of the backswing. Most amateurs have their shoulders pointing well above the ball at the top of their backswing.
I am excited for the new challenge of learning how to hinge the wrist without engaging the arms. This should take me about three or four days before I finally get the feel.
UPDATE: I am over 120 lessons in (April 2020) and I still haven’t learned the wrist hinge. I am getting much better in terms of getting my left lat to drive under the left shoulder which keeps the left arm more on the target line. There is so much to learn in the golf swing. I have so much respect for the guys that can actually play true scratch golf.