Lesson #72 – August 30th, 2019
After two weeks off due to the Senior Am at Old Chatham, we got back to the grind today. I worked on posture and keeping my right knee stable on the backswing during the time away. Today, we cleared some things up.
The first thing we discussed was the importance of the knees being “out” when setting up to the ball. I have my knees pointed in which did not allow me to properly open my hips at take away. It is interesting because now I feel like I can relax my arms even more as I use my quads to move my knees out at setup.
We also talked about the importance of keeping the arms very loose, especially the left arm. If I can feel as if my left elbow is pointing towards the ground or even behind me with very little tension, I know I am using my left side to get the club to the top of the backswing.
Patrick also showed me that my left hand should not bow as I take the club back. This has been a habit of mine as long as I can remember. Instead, the left hand should remain in the “strong” grip but not bow. This is something extremely difficult for me and Patrick said we will slowly work that into the swing and is not something I should worry about for the time being.
The major flaw in my swing right now is my left leg and leg hip flying open right before impact. When I do this, it feels like I am standing up instead of staying down and getting through the ball. Patrick said this is how I used to get to the ball so it is going to be a habit that I have to break. In essence, when I am getting close to the ball, I have to make sure my left leg and left knee remain in place and do not straighten or fly open. When I do it correctly, it feels like my left leg is almost too bent and I am staying low through impact.
It is going to take a lot of effort to break the habit of the left leg flying all over the place. While I have figured out how to brace with the right knee going back, bracing with the left knee going forward is going to be a completely different challenge. This is where all the true power in the golf swing comes from. After hitting a few balls, I started to feel my left leg being soft and not flying open.
When all is said and done, the left leg and left knee won’t be soft but it will feel soft to me because I am used to moving it so much. Eventually, it is going to be a brace in which I turn my entire upper body around my lower body.
The good news is I can now get the ball in the air. It is not going far but I am starting to hit the ball towards the middle of the club face again. It was a full month of hitting ground balls, straight right shots and chunks. All the hard work is paying off, but the month of August 2019 was extremely difficult. Fortunately, I have learned that the result does not reflect my progress with the proper golf swing.
For the next few days I am going to work on getting to the top of the backswing with the right knee braced, the arms soft, my left elbow turned down or inside and coming into the ball starting with my right heel. When coming into the ball, I need to make 100% certain the left knee stays in the same place and does not fly open and to the left. If I do this, my right side rotates through and around my left side. Ahhh, the joys of the golf swing.
UPDATE: Ok, s it seems as if it was only one month that I couldn’t get the ball off the ground. That said, it was a very difficult month. It is interesting to read about my left knee as I have spent so much time training my legs that my legs and footwork is extremely good in October 2020 (172 lessons in). In fact, when I get to the top of the backswing, my right knee falls inside, my right foot gently rolls to the inside and my left knee braces. It is hard to imagine going back to the old way of using my legs in an attempt to get power in the golf swing.
That said, I am only now learning how to get my right side to drive all the way through the ball to generate club head speed. While we have come a very long way, there is still a lot to learn.