Patrick suggested hitting all my irons off the tee as I am training the new downswing. Remember, back swing first, then the downswing, but he explained that many people like to dig when the ball is on the ground so go ahead and put it on a tee.
I was really starting to hit the ball well but was pulling it about 20 yards left every time. In fact, it was probably the most solid I’ve ever hit the ball in my amateur golf career. Every now and again I would hit about a foot behind the ball which has been a problem since starting the process of learning the downswing.
Patrick explained to me that it is not uncommon for amateur golfers to hit behind the ball or pull across and hit it left. We are so accustomed to getting to the “somewhat” top of the backswing and pulling across with our arms and shoulders. Remember, speed is not generated from the arms and shoulders, it is generated from the core.
UPDATE: Well, we are now on lesson #108 and I am still hitting my irons off a tee. I am 108 lessons in and I have still not even started the process or learning how to hit the driver or woods. I have moved on to hitting 8 irons rather than just pitching wedges. As the clubs get longer, my backswing gets shorter and I hit behind the ball, much like described above. No matter how hard we try to now pull across with the shoulders or the left side, it seems like a natural instinct.
The are millions of amateur golfers that are on the road to learning how to hit the ball correctly but they are pulling everything 10-20 yards left. This is the correct path, but they give up and go back to “old faithful” because they cannot play on their home course with a miss that is constantly left. Fortunately, I did not play through the entire swing change. If I did, I would never be where I am today.