Today, Patrick added a few additions to my practice chipping motion and the full swing. For the practice chipping motion, he wants my hands lower and more forward and my chest to be higher. When I do this, it feels like a completely different strike of the ball. Basically, it forces the club face to stay square and my swing has much more width; even on a chip.
On the full swing, we continued to work on spin angle, keeping my head from falling forward on the backswing and falling back on the downswing. The major addition we added was getting set up and then relaxing the upper back. I have gotten into the habit of flexing my upper back and then trying to hold it. Instead, we can flex it to get to the proper set up, but then relax and let the obliques do the work. If I can relax my upper back, I hit the ball ridiculously well.
In fact, Patrick took a video of my swing with his iPad and it happened to be one of the best balls I ever hit. He mentioned that over time my right arm is going to stay more behind my left arm, for longer, on the downswing (when face on), but for the time being we are going to focus on the chipping motion with the hands low and continuing to get depth with the upper back being soft or relaxed.
The relaxation of the upper back has, time and again, been the remedy for all that ails me. Back when I shot an 80 in the Hasentree Member-Member in May 2019, I was focusing on using my obliques and keeping my upper back relaxed. Obviously, I had a lot of other things to learn, but it was the start of understanding the importance of keeping the upper back relaxed.
Now, we are in the process of getting to the top of the backswing and slowly working the downswing into the chipping motion. When doing this, it is amazing how low the hands have to be at impact. The only way to get the hands low is to use the right obliques and right side to drive down and towards the ball.
So much to learn. It has been quite the ride. Patrick’s TV commercials for the Putting Perfecter are airing on The Golf Channel tomorrow (Wednesday) so it will be fun to see how that goes. I hope he sells millions.
UPDATE: So much has happened in the last year. I am now 189 lessons in and have really worked diligently on my backswing. My downswing is still a process as I want to stop and fall back right at impact. I end up lifting with my chest and shoulders instead of staying low and driving under with my right lat. When I can stay low and drive under, I can play some good golf. When I give up and fall back, I have no power and the contact is poor.
It is crazy how hard I have worked and hopefully all that hard work will pay off in 2021.