After a long layoff from seeing Patrick in which I went to Denver with Mikaila and the Old Chatham course was closed, I finally got back to the grind. Over the layoff, I took the golf club out of my hand and simply working on my left obliques starting the swing and the right obliques starting the downswing. I felt the importance of the start being on the back side of the left obliques which in turn meant the downswing starts with the back side of the right obliques.
Patrick and I discussed this to start the lesson and he pointed out that I was on the right track but we needed to work on where the arms should be and the turn of the shoulders. This is a very sensitive topic with me as I want to us the arms and the shoulders first when they should be used last.
So, Patrick showed me that at the top of the swing, the downswing starts with the lower right side but the right heel and inside of the right foot stay on the ground and get “lower” than the left side. If I can do this, it allows the back side of my right side to stay on the target line and get through the ball.
I still have to be extremely patient halfway down on the backswing and allow the back side of my lower left obliques to get through and create speed. Once the lower left obliques are through, I can then turn my shoulders and get through the ball. I am still hesitant to turn the shoulders and I am so used to ripping them across at the top of the backswing. After twisting me about 20 times, Patrick added a little speed by pushing on my lower right lats as my lower right obliques were driving through the ball. When I do this and turn my shoulders, it generates a ton of speed. This is how speed is created in the golf swing.
All that being said, I still need to work diligently on my flexibility. My right side is still not as flexible as it needs to be to get all the way through the ball. I will continue to do the practice swings without a club in order to get more flexible.
I do not care about the outcome anymore and the important factor is the patience to let the lower right side get through the ball. That said, Patrick was very impressed with how well I was hitting my 8 iron. Even when I hit it well, I didn’t even look to see where it was going. I simply focused on a great backswing and getting my lower right side to activate on the downswing.
There are still months of practice to get to where I want to be, but there was a substantial jump in progress by accepting that the right side is what is going to create the downswing, not the right shoulder. The shoulders do not turn until the very last second. Ah, the joys of golf.
UPDATE: I am now 156 lessons in and we are still working on the flexibility of the right side; especially at impact. There are hundreds of hours of stretches that are mandatory before one can hit the golf ball correctly. It definitely take years to build a golf body. It is quite the journey though.
This content is supported by the Raleigh Pediatric Dentists at Carolina Pediatric Dentistry.