After missing the Wednesday lesson because of rain, we got back to the grind today. Over the last week I really focused on keeping pressure on the inside of my left foot and left quad while also keeping my right leg inside the left leg. I did hundreds of the chipping motion but I noticed that I was bottoming out right before the ball and hitting just behind it. I showed Patrick and he introduced a new layer to the chipping motion.
While my left leg is doing good, my right leg is heavy and there is tension. In the downswing, the right leg and right foot should feel very light. Instead, I was putting a lot of pressure on this foot and leg. Patrick told me to get my right knee all the way behind my left knee with just my toe on the ground. It should feel like I have absolutely no pressure on my right foot as the toe is just keeping balance on the ground. This is very unnatural to me as I am used to putting a lot of pressure on the right foot.
When doing this, I am to not move my right leg at all, use my left obliques and do a very short backswing. The downswing and follow through should also be very limited. I hit a couple of great shots by doing this. It helps me to understand using my obliques rather than using my arms or shoulders.
Patrick then told me to put 80% of the pressure on the inside of my left foot and inside of my left leg. I was then to point my right toe in slightly and take all the weight off my right side. I was then to start the backswing using my left obliques. It feels like a very limited range of motion but I can actually get into my left lat now when before I was just using my lower obliques and never getting to my lats.
We did about 15 of these and then he had me chip a few. The chipping motion or half swing is much easier for me if I put the pressure on the inside of my left foot. I can feel the club coming back into the ball without having to use my right leg to “generate” power. It is very weird because it feels so weak but the ball actually goes much straighter and further.
Patrick then reintroduced the importance of keeping my angle with my hips rolled forward. I cannot work on this enough as when all is said and down, I am going to keep that angle throughout the entire backswing and downswing. Right now, I get lazy, lose the angle and start to use my arms which makes me stand up on the backswing.
The final layer Patrick added today was the importance of not “pinching” my left lat under my right shoulder. Instead of turning under with my lat, I tend to pinch it under my left shoulder. When I keep my left shoulder “rolled out” I can feel a more rounded turn after the club gets off the ground. I used to feel a turn that was much more vertical my shoulder collapsed and I did not keep the length of my left side. This is a small layer that he briefly introduced but I am certain will touch upon more in the lessons ahead.
So, today I learned the right foot and right leg need to be “weightless” in the downswing. I learned that I need to work diligently to keep my hips rolled forward and the spine angle. I also learned we need to really focus on getting into the left lat without the shoulder collapsing or pinching it on the second part of the backswing. Easy enough, right?
UPDATE: After thousands and thousands of practice chipping motion exercises, I now feel very little weight on my right foot and with my right leg on the downswing. It took a long time to master this, but I am so much better today, in November 2020. I have also gotten much better at keeping both of my shoulders broad on the backswing which allows for great length on the transition and into the ball. It has taken a long time to understand the swing, but it gets better with every lesson now.