Patrick reprimanded me for my poor actions this lesson. Over the last two weeks, I have played in three tournaments and one Thursday night league night. Patrick just shook his head when he heard this. He explained that I am just getting comfortable with a swing and I am only going to corrupt it and break down if I am results oriented. There is no way to not be results oriented if you are playing in tournaments. He has cut me off from any more tournaments in 2019.

Admittedly, I was broken when I came into the lesson today. As usual, in a situation in which I think I need power, I pull across with my shoulders. Patrick just smiled and said, “now we have to fix you, but we can do it in less than 30 minutes.” And, he did. With a few twists and turns and a better understanding of “passive” I was hitting the ball great again.

It is truly amazing that he can put me in the correct positions in my practice swings and I immediately start to hit the ball well. He explained that he is taking my mind away from the outcome and putting it on the task at hand which is a great backswing and a passive downswing. By the end of the lesson, I was hitting the ball as well as I have ever hit it.

The main focus was to keep the back broad as we get to the top of the backswing. Then, a slow move down and the hands and arms stay passive until the club face gets beyond the ball or my belt buckle. I have the habit of doing things with my hands and arms right before impact. Every amateur does.

Now that he has me back on track, I am not to play golf with anyone else. Patrick said he got so much better when he was playing golf by himself. He explained to me that going out and playing nine holes by myself and hitting two balls with each shot is fine. I can hit two drives, pick up the balls, put them on a tee 140 yards out and play into the hole. There is no reason to try to hit shots from an uphill lie, in the rough, from 180 yards out. This is not a shot I know how to hit at this point.

For practice, I am to work on completing my backswing with my back feeling broad at the top, being very passive on the downswing and allowing my right side to get through the ball. I trust Patrick and he said he has a plan for me. The plan is not to play in tournaments and money games to bring out the worst in my golf game.

He described it as I have stitches on my wound and I am just pulling them out one by one each time I hit a shot with the result in mind. For that reason, I dropped out of the Hasentree Member-Guest, The Bombay at Hope Valley and Kegs and Eggs. While it is hard to not play in these tournaments, I know I will be a much better golfer in the long run.

UPDATE: Well, we are now in September 2020, over 150 lessons in, and I still have not played in any tournaments since this time. It has been challenging at times, but it is something I absolutely need to do. It has been a very humbling experience as every time I think I have something figured out, we have to work on more flexibility in my shoulders and back and more core strength. In the long run, I know it is going to be better for not only my golf game, but my overall health.

I already have better posture and I am starting to work on a back bridge. This would never have been possible in the past. I figure once I can do a back bridge, I should be able to hit the golf ball rather well. We shall see.

This content is supported by the Richmond, Virginia Orthodontists at RVO.

You can find all my lessons here.