Today was one of the more “breakthrough lessons”. It has been quite some time since I’ve had one of these. I asked Patrick if there was a way I could use my lower back to “twist” at the top to get the shoulders to turn even more. Remember, when I do this, I tend to hit the ball extremely well.
Patrick explained the “twist” is actually my left side supporting my right side and creating an angle. He did a few stretching exercises with me and explained how to create the torque. In essence, I was manufacturing the torque feel when it is actually created by keeping your right shoulder high and allowing your left shoulder to stay low. This is done by driving with the left obliques. This is the leverage Patrick talked about months ago. It feels like my left shoulder is basically pointing down at my toes.
When I get a great shoulder turn, it feels like my hands and the club are “way” behind me but this is simply not the case. It is my lower body and obliques supporting my upper body as it remains bent over. Remember, at set up, we felt extremely bent over when I started the swing change. Now that is becoming even more important as the right shoulder is high and is creating a very steep angle to the ball with my left shoulder. I feel a great pull in my lower back when I torque it up.
Once we are torqued, the right ankle lays down and the club comes down “inside” as the left elbow rolls. As we approach the ball the right obliques and right side take over to drive through the ball.
Patrick added another layer today that helps me understand how professionals get such great distances. Once we have approached and hit the ball, the left leg braces and the right side continues to drive towards the target with the arms extending to the target and not exiting stage left. When I do this correctly, I feel very big in my midsection. Almost like I am fat. This is caused by the use of all the muscles in my right side and especially in my stomach. I feel very out of breathe when I complete the exercise properly.
If I am not out of breathe, I am not using my right obliques and abs enough to drive way past impact. I am still in the process of learning to brace my left leg, but I know that will come in time. Much like I will learn to brace my right leg on the backswing. That is something we will discuss several months down the road.
For now, I am to really torque it up on the backswing, allow my right ankle to lay down, use my right obliques to drive to the ball. When I do this, it feels like a scoop and very long. The coming inside really does feel like you are coming inside. It took me a very long time to get to the top, remain patient, and allow the club to come inside rather than jerking with the shoulders. I know there will still be times when I go back to the old habit of jerking my shoulders but it feels amazing to actually come inside and hit the ball correctly.
I hit one ball today in which Patrick said, “that is pretty cool there, huh?” Yes, yes it is. It was one of those balls that no amateur has ever hit in their life. It came off right barrel and started to rise. At its apex, it simply fell to the left. It was beautiful to watch and something to strive for in the future. I am still working on not being overly concerned with the result but that was amazing to watch in the air.
There are a lot of takeaways from this lesson that I am going to incorporate into my swing practice drills. The torquing feels powerful. The coming inside is unique but now I understand it. The extension and driving with the right side and abs is something that is going to take quite a bit of time to get used to.
Golf just gets more and more enjoyable with every single lesson. Well, most of the time!
UPDATE: Well, it is now September of 2020 and I am 158 lessons in. I didn’t fully grasp the right shoulder back then I as used my right side to get to the top of the backswing. One of my biggest faults now is I use my right side, especially my right shoulder and right elbow to get the club to the top of the backswing. Remember, the left side drives under and does all the work on the backswing. The right side should do very little until the transition and on the downswing. Ahhhh, welcome to the joys of learning a new golf swing.
This content is supported by family dentist in Garner, NC Dr. Adam Moore.