After walking a few 9 hole rounds at Hope Valley and hitting the ball really well, I played Knights Play with Jacob on July 8th. After about seven or eight holes, I could feel myself coming “over the top”. I could feel myself getting too inside on the take away and I was never able to recover. I told Jacob that Patrick would fix me in about two minutes.
Patrick started by getting me to use my left lat more on the backswing. I use my lower left obliques well but then I allow my arms to take over and do not let my left lat drive the club to the top. After doing this, Patrick said it was time to adjust the thumb on my left hand. I have always extended my thumb and push it away from my index finger and around the grip of the club. Patrick wants a short thumb and wants it much closer to my index finger. He said he doesn’t mind if it is actually touching the inside of my index finger and what feels like being on the inside of the grip rather than wrapped around the outside.
As soon as I did this the club felt longer and I was able to hinge a lot more. In essence, I am using the club as a fulcrum more rather than trying to manipulate it at impact. After a few more stretches by Patrick I saw immediate results. As Patrick said, “you weren’t ready for it before”, in terms of the thumb on my left hand causing a grip change.
When I do this, it is also easier to get the club more away from my body down and through impact. I struggled to get the club to stay out in front of me and some of that had to do with my grip. Now, I can keep the club out in front much longer which allows me to hit the ball even better.
Other than using the left lat to drive to the top and the short left thumb change, we continue to work on using the left side to turn on the backswing and the right side to turn on the downswing.
I hit some of the best shots I have ever hit in my life after this change. In fact, I am compressing the ball even more and it is going a mile. We still have yet to address my legs and a few other slight adjustments but I am hitting the ball amazing right now.
Patrick is going to a wedding so he will be gone the rest of this week so he told me to really focus on my takeaway and allowing the left lat to drive on the backswing. But, “just a little bit”. He knows me all too well. When he gives me a piece of information, I almost always take it too far.
After practicing a few times, I realized my left lat needs to get active and drive when the club face gets to about my quads and is approaching my hip. If I can do this and keep the arms out of the swing, I absolutely crush the ball. It is all about the takeaway and make certain the arms are out of the swing.
UPDATE: The legs problem is going to come up very quickly. It will be interesting to read my journal entries after we start the process of taking my right leg driving forward out of the swing. I still think I wasn’t able to get the ball off the ground for several months but Patrick seems to think it was a shorter amount of time. Keep reading to find out.
This content is supported by Lakewood, Colorado Dentist Dr. Brian Levitin.