Today was the day. All the hard work has paid off. Although I am still under the weather and have a doctor’s appointment later today, I felt as if going to the lesson could not hurt. In actuality, it made me feel much better.
I started my warm up by doing the chipping practice Patrick explained with my right leg bent all the way behind my left leg and my toe basically off the ground. I really felt my right side doing the work when I flexed my upper back and lats with this exercise. This allows me to drive through the ball with my right side rather than trying to hit the ball with my right shoulder or arms.
I showed Patrick this and he knew it was a special moment. He explained that I now realize the right obliques and right hip are the power of the golf swing. At the top of the backswing, the right obliques need to get the club to the ball. Not the right shoulder or right arm.
He explained my setup was much better with the bending at the waist rather than just getting the club to the ground with my arms and head. He did get me to start up in the chest and get my right shoulder lower. From there, we keep the back flexed and allow the left side to start the backswing.
He added the wrist hinge as the club is starting to come up in the backswing. When I hinge the wrist, my right elbow and right arm folds in giving me a flatter backswing. I was always worried that my backswing was too steep but I never would have guessed the wrist hinge would have been the way to flatten the swing.
If I can get the wrist hinge with my back still feeling flexed, I almost always hit the ball extremely well. When I finish the swing, it feels like the ball should be going 50 yards left of the target. My right hip and my entire right side are left of the target which is why I think the ball should be left. In the past, my right hip and right shoulder stayed on the target line and never turned which is why I think the ball is going to go so far left now. It goes straight and with great trajectory now.
Patrick explained that I get the concepts and now it is just owning the swing. I hit about 20 great balls with very little effort. It is amazing to finally be at this point in the golf swing.
It took 87 lessons and thousands of hours of practice and mental preparation. Now, we have to own it and take it to the course. Patrick said we will start hitting longer irons in December. It is actually fun to hit the golf ball.
UPDATE: Yeah, no. Every single time I think I got the swing in the past 2.5 years Patrick added another layer to prove to me that I really didn’t know. While I had some idea of how to hit the golf ball, my arms were still way too active. I am now 187 lessons in and I realize I still have work to do to get my arms out of the golf swing. I do hit the ball better when I feel my upper back “flexed” and my triceps “inside” my shoulders but there are flexibility issues I need to get through to make myself comfortable when completing the golf swing.
While I know at any point during this adventure I could have told Patrick I wanted to play and he would have let me be finished at that point, I have remained patient in an attempt to be the best golfer I can be. It has been very challenging at times but I know it will be rewarding in the long run. Plus, we have been through nine months of Covid so it is not as if I would have been able to travel and enjoy golf anyway.