Lesson #77 – September 24th, 2019
After having a week off and a quick trip to Las Vegas for Life Is Beautiful, it is time to get back to the grind. In my time off, I worked diligently on the chipping motion and reverse engineering the swing. I have gotten really good at the chipping motion Patrick has taught me.
I make certain my right knee is behind my left knee. I use my right obliques to get my right knee and right elbow to point toward the target. The deeper, or lower, I can engage my right obliques, the more I can feel where power comes from, the core, rather than the shoulders or arms. I also understand the importance of not using the arms in the swing when in this restrained chipping motion. I can go back about one quarter of the way and really hit the ball well. In fact, I can hit my pitching wedge about 100 yards with a chipping swing. One guy at the driving range asked me if I was working on hitting down on the ball. Nope, I don’t think about hitting down on the ball at all.
Patrick and I discussed the feel the chipping motion is giving me. He twisted me up a few times and added a new element to my backswing. For the first time, he is pushing my right elbow lower. I have always raised the club with my arms and my right elbow would go way above my ribs. Now, it feels like my right elbow never gets above my ribs.
If I can start the swing with my right obliques feeling like they are pointing towards the target, I can get the feel for impact. I know we will eventually get away from this, but for now my right obliques, my right elbow and my right knee are all pointed towards the target at setup. When I do this correctly, I also feel my left knee and left elbow “falling in”. At impact, my left elbow will be soft and down and my left knee should be where it starts at take away.
With my old swing, I used my legs and hips to twist instead of stabilize. Now, I have a terrible habit of straightening the left knee and allowing my left hip to turn way left of the target right at impact. Patrick is working on keeping my left knee as close to the ball as possible rather than turning out to left field. When I “hold off” the left knee, it feels like I am very squatty and my swing is short. When practicing full swings, it is a challenge to keep my left knee in place.
Over the course of the next few days I need to work on my left knee not straightening and going to the left of the target and keeping my hands and arms very quiet on the take away. If I can start the take away with my left obliques and keep my arms quiet, I tend to hit the ball very well.
UPDATE: It is crazy to read this as I am now 177 lessons in as of late October 2020 and I have spend countless hours on my footwork and leg work. My natural move with my legs is so very different than it used to be. My right knee falls inside and my left knee stabilizes and braces as my upper body drives through the ball. This took so very long to figure out but now it is fun to not even think about my legs when hitting golf balls. This alone could take someone a year or two to master. That is why the golf swing takes so very long to learn.