After playing golf over the last few weeks, it was time to get some feedback from Patrick. My biggest issue was a pull or miss left. I was definitely still “coming over the top” and not allowing my right shoulder to be passive. Meaning nothing.
At the beginning of the lesson, we talked about the ups and downs of golf on the golf course. He was not overly concerned because he said a miss left means I have a good backswing and I am hitting the ball hard.
We talked about the exercise in which I spread my arms wide like an eagle and turn to feel the swing. When I was doing this, I was getting my shoulder plane square way too early. Meaning, my shoulders were going to be left of the target by impact and after impact. When Patrick showed me the correct way to do it, it felt like my shoulders were pointing about 20 yards right of the target as I was getting close to impact. The reason my shoulders were never in this position before was because I always “pull” across with my shoulders in an attempt to generate power in the golf swing. Instead, the power should come from my core, especially my right side. If my shoulders can be more passive and I can use my right side to create speed, I hit the ball much better.
In essence, I have step 1 of the downswing, which is “sitting” with the right hip and getting back to level, but I skip step 2 which is allowing my right obliques to drive towards the target and I go straight to step 3 which is allowing the right lat to drive the upper body towards the target. By doing this, I am going to pull the ball left every single time. At least now I know what I do it. To stop this, I must make certain I slow down and allow step 2 to develop. It is not easy now but with practice it is getting easier.
Patrick twisted me and stretched me out a few times to get the feel for step 2 and the right obliques driving towards the target. After doing a few of these, he mentioned that my right arm and right shoulder should always remain below the left arm and left shoulder during the downswing and follow through. Once I understood this feel, I hit some unbelievable shots. I told Patrick that anyone that played with me over the past week would never believe this is the same golfer.
My work needs to focus on getting the right shoulder behind the right hip, allowing the right obliques to drive my midsection towards the target and keeping my right arm and right shoulder under my left arm and left shoulder.
A practice exercise Patrick showed me was to hold a medicine ball in front of me while in good posture. I am to use my lower right obliques to start the movement, get into the middle right obliques and finish getting into the right lats to push my right elbow towards the target and under my left elbow. I am also to do this with using a little shoulders as possible. If I can, I should use no shoulders as all as both my right shoulder and left shoulder will remain passive in the golf swing.
Patrick also explained that a good practice exercise during the round is to practice swing from impact to about three feet off the ground using my right side to get the club to rise up with the right arm and right shoulder under the left arm and left shoulder. If I can do this, it will trigger my brain to think about using my right side to complete the swing.
When I have my best swings, my right shoulder is well below my left shoulder and my left arm is significantly higher than my right arm. It almost feels like I should be shanking the ball when I hit it well. Patrick has explained this is because I have never come from the inside to hit the ball. Overall, I hit some of the best golf shots of my life. Patrick took a video and was very pleased with my full backswing and the extension on my follow through.
Just to reiterate. My backswing starts with my lower left side near the back of my left ribs. Once the swing gets started, my left shoulder falls behind my left hip which allows me to gain leverage. From here, my left side drives the club to the top. When I do this correctly, my hands and arms feel like they are the perfect position at the top.
If I can then allow the rhythm of the swing to starting the downswing with my lower right obliques, I tend to hit a good shot. It almost feels like a looping motion when I start to swing very well.
There are still plenty of things for me to work on, but overall, I was very pleased to learn the things I did in this lesson. I imagine I am still weeks from putting a round of golf together but it was nice to get underneath and see a five yard fade with my 8 iron.
UPDATE: Well, we are now on lesson #151 in August of 2020 and I am still working on allowing my right side, especially my right lat, to drive the club to the ball. If I can get my left arm and left elbow to be soft and pointed down and my right arm and right elbow remain passive, I can get my core and left lat to drive to the top of the backswing. Sometime I am working on now is sucking in my stomach and right side to get full turned. Much more on that in about 75 more lessons, so keep reading.
Don’t give up on perfecting the golf swing. It is a challenging yet rewarding ride.
This content is supported by Raleigh, NC Dental Group Downtown Raleigh Dental.