After some thought and practice, I realized that I was “standing up” on both my backswing and my downswing. Instead of getting my right hip back, I was laterally moving to the right. This forced my right hip up which in turn pushed my entire right side up instead of around my body. Trying to maintain my spine angle is not easy but it is much easier if I can get my right hip to sit back as I get to the middle of the backswing.
Patrick confirmed that the right hip is going to naturally go back as the right side moves the body in the backswing. As always, we are trying to keep the hands, arms and shoulders out of the swing. After hitting a few balls Patrick simply smiled and said you are getting much closer.
He worked to get my turn a little deeper throughout the lesson. He also helped me to feel more comfortable at the top of the backswing. In the past, I was afraid to get to the proper position as I felt as if I was falling over and my hands and arms were way too close to the ball (target line). Now I know that my right side will start the downswing which will get the hands and arms back inside and I will not come over the top.
As Patrick often mentions, coming over the top is different for different players. When I first started with Patrick my over the top started as soon as I took the club back. Now, my over the top is about half way through the downswing. With a little more work on my elbow plane and finishing the golf swing, I should be really good.
Patrick explains that my transition is getting much better but I give up about half way through the downswing and throw my hands and arms at the ball. I am absolutely killing the balls but I am not hitting it as straight as we are working towards. I am also not hitting it on the middle of the club face most times. I know there are just a few more things we need to clean up and I will be playing the best golf I’ve ever played.
Patrick always mentions I came to him as a very right arm dominate golfer. For the first time, I finally realize what he means. Even when I feel as if I am not using my arms, my right arm, especially my right elbow, likes to take control. I know this because my right elbow and right shoulder are very high at the top of the backswing currently. Before the next lesson I must work on continuing the backswing with keeping my right elbow low. To me, it feels like my right elbow has a string on it and it is attached to my right hip. If I pull the string at all it will break and the string will fall apart.
If I use my left side to start and finish the backswing and I keep my left elbow in the same place it is during the setup, I have a very good swing. At the present time, I feel my right arm wanting to take over in the backswing. It will often show up at different times. Sometimes it will be about half way back and other times it will be at the very top of the backswing. I have to stay aware of my left side completing the backswing and keeping my right elbow and right arm out of it.
This is going to take a lot of practice, but I can truly feel the swing being long and fluid if my right elbow “stays in place”. It will be interesting to hear what Patrick has to say about this. A dozen or so lessons ago he mentioned getting to the top of the backswing with the right shoulder and right elbow being as low as possible. Now, three months later, I finally know what he means.
As we discussed in this lesson, all the little nuggets he has been giving me for the last six months are finally starting to make sense. It is very rewarding to finally implement them into my golf swing and know exactly the feel and why we are doing it. I would have never understood the importance of the right elbow if we did not focus on the left side getting the club to the top of the backswing.
It is off to Miami with Mikaila and then I am back for lesson #36 with Patrick. Mikaila will be on her second lesson.
UPDATE: We are now in late June 2020 and on lesson #134 and I am still understanding some of the nuggets of information Patrick has given me over the last 21 months. I am still working on allowing my right elbow and right shoulder to be passive. What I have learned is it is more important to relax my upper right side throughout the backswing and especially during the downswing. I am 134 lessons in and am still not playing full rounds of golf. It has been quite the journey.