On January 25th, 2019 during lesson #27, Patrick and I talked about the the club coming into the ball on the target line. This lesson was extremely hard for me to digest but I “sort of” figured it out then. The club comes into the ball in a scooping or sliding under feel rather than trying to use your hands to move the ball.
Mikaila always talks about “scooping” the ball and today I finally did it. After Patrick did some practice simulations with me, he showed me that the club is going to come from about 5:30 (behind me) to about 12:30 in from of me. But, when this happens, the club face is not going to rotate. In fact, it is going to feel like the club face is wide open and I am going to hit the ball 45 yards to the right of the target line.
It also looks weird because the club face is way out in front of where I think it should be. When looking at the club just beyond impact, it looks like it is pointing towards the 1st baseman on a baseball field. This makes sense when you think about it because the target line is in front of your face and eyes meaning the club should look like it is to the right of the fact.
When I do it correctly, my club face is pointed towards the sky and the club is at a 45 degree angle out in front of me. From there, my left elbow will fold as my lower right lat drives through. This will make it feel like I am reaching towards the sky with my arms. Once again, the club face is not going to rotate. To me, it feels like it is completely open.
It is crazy to think I almost had it figured out back on January 25th, but I did not have a good enough backswing nor a good grasp on the overall swing for it to work. I would have reverted back to old habits the first time I didn’t trust it.
Today, I told Patrick it takes a lot of trust for me to keep the club face what I think is completely open. He explained this as patience as I am allowing my body to do all the work rather than allowing my hands and arms to try to hit the ball.
I hit about 15 balls that were unreal. You don’t even have to swing hard. If you properly “scoop” the ball, allow your body to rotate and fold your left elbow, the ball naturally goes straight and far. I had to temper my excitement as I have been waiting seven months to hit the ball like this. It is still going to take lots of trust and patience but I finally understand what it is to hit the golf ball with lag.
The other important part of the lesson was making certain that my lower right obliques start the downswing and get as far into the downswing as possible. We are going to store the energy as long as we can so there is no need to use the upper right lats until absolutely necessary.
Once again, as Patrick told me on January 25th, I must use my hips as my hands. If I get my right hip to drop, then move towards the right of the target to start the downswing, I can get the feel for the rest of the swing. What I really need to work on is allowing the lower right obliques to really drive making my right shoulder fall behind my right hip. The lower the right shoulder goes, the better the swing.
I also need to allow my left elbow to relax as when I use my right hip to go down and to the right of the target, the left elbow rolling forward will get the club on plane. From there, my right obliques drive towards the target while my arms stay back as long as possible.
Keeping my arms behind me while my lower right obliques do the work is a challenge. If I start to hit the ground before the ball, I know that my shoulders are driving too soon. I have to focus on allowing the right hip to drive the backswing as early and as long as possible.
It is so much fun to hit the golf ball correctly when you do not have to swing hard. Once again, the trust of allowing my right elbow to be in front of the ball and the club face seeming completely open is going to take a lot of trust. I know that we are getting closer and when I get the right shoulder to drop down to the right hip, I will have a very, very good golf swing.
For now, I have to make certain to continue my practice exercises and trust that the club face being “open” is going to hit the ball straight. It is a scoop!
UPDATE: This was a time in which I was hitting the ball well but I have terrible footwork and my legs were all over the place. We are now in July 2020 and I am over 140 lessons in. We still tweak parts of the backswing and the downswing with each lesson. I have studied the golf swing for almost two years and there is always something else to learn. Today, I broke my 8 iron at impact at the Hope Valley range. Never before was there enough speed to break a steel shafted 8 iron. It will be a fun story to tell for years to come.