We are continuing our trek to becoming a great golfer. Over the last few days, I have started to figure out the concept of staying connected. When I relax my upper body and use my core to create the backswing and get it close to the top, I can then feel my right forearm staying under/behind my left forearm and using my left lat to turn even further. If I “stay connected” and do not use my arms, I feel as if the club is going towards the second baseman. I still have the habit of allowing my right arm to take over and get steep at the top, but it is a work in progress.
Patrick continued to work on my posture and spine angle at the top of the backswing. When I get to the top of the backswing I fall back a little bit rather than keeping my spine angle. It will take some to allow the entire backswing to develop while also keeping my spine angle. We also talked about the hinge being up or towards you rather than bowing the wrist. The club gets heavy when you bow the wrist but it feels light if you hinge the club up just like when we are setting up.
Patrick also made sure that I was focusing on the chipping practice motion. We added the element of keeping the hands low and the chest high last time. This time we discussed the importance of the left arm and left elbow being extremely relaxed. This would have been impossible for me a month ago but is getting easier now as we stretch out the muscles and trust the core is going to get the club to the ball.
With the relaxation of the left arm and left elbow, it feels like the forearms are touching right after impact with the chipping motion. This is going to take some stretching and practice because my arms and hands simply do not want to do that right now. When all is said and done, it will feel like my right elbow is leading and under my left forearm with the back of my left hand pointing towards the ground.
Remember how Ben Hogan talked about this in his 5 Lessons book over 50 years ago? Well, no amateur truly understands that, but it is starting to make sense to me.
Patrick said the rapid success of my golf swing and game is going to be due to the fact that I can understand mentally and visually. This is the hardest part for him to teach. Now that I am starting to get the mental picture of what impact should feel like, I am hitting the ball better with every practice session.
I know there are plenty of practice chipping chips that need to be made and many more practice swings, but it definitely feels like the swing is coming around, literally. It is fun to feel the move and transition at the top and seeing the ball come off from the right and turning back with a slight draw. It is only going to get better and better from here on out.
UPDATE: It is now November 2020, I am 190 lessons in, and I am still working to perfect the practice chipping motion. It is amazing how stubborn the arms are when it comes to the golf swing. Every time I think I have taken the hands and arms out of the golf swing Patrick adds a new element and I realize just how much I use them. It is beyond comprehension how hard the golf swing is.
While I definitely have a much deeper shoulder turn, I now struggle with hitting behind the ball because I give up right before impact, lift with my shoulders and throw my hands at it. It is going to take a lot of time to get my upper body to not only drive to the ball, but through the ball. Ahhh, the joys of learning the golf swing.