With every step forward, it seems like there is a step back. In the last few days, I have really worked on keeping my left arm straight(er) after impact and keeping the left elbow in. There is quite the stretch on my left arm and left shoulder when I do this. I have also been practicing the chipping motion in which my right knee is behind my left knee and I use my core to chip the ball.
Patrick was very impressed with my backswing and the fact that my legs are much more soft now. This is going to be a focus for the months to come. We did a few practice stretch swings and he let me hit the ball. As usual, I was hitting outside the ball. He explained that my right hip wants to swing forward and towards left field when it should go down and feel like it is going towards right field. This is nearly impossible for me right now.
I can feel my right knee getting behind my left knee on the practice chips, but I cannot seem to do it on the full swing. Part of this is lack of patience and part of it is the fact that I used to get power swinging my right hip. For most of the lesson, Patrick had me set up in the practice chipping posture and hit some balls. It is amazing how well I hit the ball when the right knee is behind the left knee.
He cleaned it up a little bit by getting my chest higher before taking the club back. He also encouraged me to use my core to start the backswing. When doing this, it feels like I am not using my legs at all. I have never felt this. After doing this a handful of times, it made me realize I was using the wrong lower body muscles in the backswing.
There should be a stretch or “pull” on the inside of the right leg when you get to the top of the backswing. You can then use the inside of the right quad that is activated to get the right knee inside the left knee. The only way this can happen is with patience and flexibility. I will also need to slightly lower my right hip to get it back to level. We worked on this months ago and now it is making sense.
I did dozens of chips keeping my right knee inside my left knee and my left elbow is down and to the inside. We haven’t talked about the follow through in this motion but I am confident I need to work on getting the outside of my left tricep stretched. Right after impact, I need to feel a stretch on the outside of my left tricep as my left elbow is pointed towards the ground.
Patrick is going on vacation to the beach next week and I am going to Las Vegas with Mikaila for the Life is Beautiful festival. My goal is to get my right knee to feel natural moving inside my left knee. It will start with very, very short chips and slowly work my way longer.
Patrick said to hit five to 10 short chips and make certain I am using my core and the right knee is inside the left. Then, go a little bit deeper in the backswing and hit it further. If I can continue to make very good contact and keep the right knee inside the left knee, I can go deeper. Eventually, we will work our way to the top of the backswing in a backwards fashion. Doing this a few times, It helps me to realize the importance of the right knee in the golf swing.
UPDATE: Ahhh, the good old days of having to basically do a short chipping motion to get the ball in the air. I remember going to the UNC Finley driving range and hitting a bucket of balls in the chipping motion. It is amazing how far I’ve come. It is now late October 2020, I am 176 lessons in, and I can hit the ball very high; almost too high. The next focus for me is to drive through the ball rather than hitting it so high in the air.