Today was Mikaila’s 6th lesson and she did wonderful. It is amazing how well she can understand how to make her body move to get the club to go where Patrick wants it to go. I am the exact opposite. I try to get the club to where Patrick wants it with my hands, Mikaila does it with her body. Patrick is convinced she would be very, very good if she actually did more than one lesson every three months. She hit a couple of shots that were high draws and about 80 yards. It was fun to watch.
Patrick worked on getting my backswing a little bit deeper while also keeping tension with the right hip. I used to have a bad habit of allowing the right hip to pull back or fall back but now I do a much better job of keeping tension in that hip. We worked on getting the turn deeper by turning the midsection at the top of the backswing. This feels very “full”. At the top of the backswing, I have to cognitively put pressure on the ball of my left foot (inside) and the lower part of the inside of my right quad. As I allow the club to approach the ball, the inside of my left quad and the inside of my left foot will brace rather than pull to the left like they did in the past.
If I can continue to practice putting the pressure on the inside of my left foot and the inside of my lower left quad with my chipping practice swings, I hit the ball in the middle of the club face about 80% of the time. The times I don’t hit the middle of the club face, I hit the ground right before impact because I don’t trust my body and I use my hands at the last second.
I must have hit 30 chips with this motion while Patrick and Mikaila watched. It was very nice to feel the club striking the ball in the middle of the club face. I am still only going back about a quarter of the way but Patrick said as I continue to trust it more and more, I will go back further in a slow and controlled way. No reason to try to get all the way to the top of the backswing in just a few days. We have plenty of time.
It is interesting to feel the inside of the left leg bracing at impact while the inside of the right leg is actually behind the left knee. It feels like my legs are a pretzel as I strike the ball.
Something else Patrick continues to impress upon me is the idea of finishing low and in a punch shot like motion. By doing this, I am holding the energy until the last second and then releasing it, after impact. The more I can hold off on the release, the better I hit the ball. When I practice chip, it really feels like my right side is coming under and up through the inside of my left quad. It really is a cool feeling.
I am going to practice a lot of chips to get the feel for my legs at impact and my lower right obliques starting the downswing.
UPDATE: I guess this is when the practice chipping motion really started in full force. Since then, when I hit balls, I do five practice chips and then hit five balls. I cannot even imagine how many times I have done the practice chipping motion. I have gotten so good at it that Patrick actually asks me to show it to some of this other students. Now, if I can strike the ball as well with the full swing, I would be very good. In time. In time.