The last two evenings I have walked 9 holes at Hope Valley with my “4 club back”. I hit some of the best shots I have ever hit in my life. From the women’s tees I hit it to the front of the green at the par 4 #5 with my drive (288 yards). I also hit the par 5 #8 hole in two with only 144 yards into the green after my drive. Golf is so much different when you actually compress the ball and hit it well.

Patrick shook my hand and was very excited to hear about my successes on the golf course. For the first time in a very long time, I was carefree during the lesson and on the golf course. During my walking rounds, I actually heard the birds chirping, watched the squirrels running around and enjoyed the walk. This was never the case before.

Patrick worked on cleaning a few things up with my backswing and started to add some speed on the downswing and follow through. The swing feels so long now. The using of the lower right obliques to start the downswing does change everything.

The turning point was about two weeks ago when Patrick twisted me to the top of the backswing and used the muscles in my lower back to get me to the top. This helped me realize these are the same muscles that are going to start and generate speed in the downswing. Now, when I am on the golf course, I am feeling more and more of the speed coming from the inside rather than ripping my shoulders from the outside. I know there are still times when I will rip with my shoulders but I get the overall picture of coming from the inside.

I am trying to accept that the best shots feel as if they are going to come off dead right. Many times, I will hit a shot and think it is going 30 yards right and it is a “right barrel riser” as I call it. A “right barrel riser” is when you pure one and it comes off with the normal trajectory and about 80-100 yards out it starts to rise even more. This is a beautiful thing to watch with an 8 iron.

There are a few tweaks with my follow through that Patrick is working on but I am going to let him play with that. I also need to work on releasing my right leg and right knee so I don’t do the Gary Player walkthrough when I hit a great one. These are all steps in the right direction but are going to take time. While I feel as if I could probably play, I am teeing it up from 150 yards and in after my drive and enjoying compressing the ball and hitting it very well.

As I continue to improve, it is going to be extremely difficult to relate to other amateur golfers. They truly have no idea what it feels like to get leverage on the backswing and compress the ball by coming from the inside. It will be a learning curve to just allow them to enjoy their broken swings.

UPDATE: Well, this was about the time Patrick had to decide whether he was going to allow me to play and enjoy the swing I created or rip off another bandaid which was my leg and foot work. As you read over the next month or two, you will learn that I was doing some things very well, but there was still so much more to learn.  As soon as I started to feel good, it was time to work on the legs. Man, that was a very painful time period.

This content is supported by Raleigh Invisalign orthodontist Dr. Jason Gladwell.

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