After doing hundreds of reps of the chipping motion, I finally started to relax my left arm and left elbow which allowed me to understand how important gravity is when it comes to the golf swing. When doing the practice chipping motion, I use my left obliques to start the extremely short back swing, once I get the club off the ground I allow gravity to drop the club back behind the ball without using my hands or arms at all. If I do this correctly, I hit it perfect almost every time.
This has also helped me to understand the feel of the punch shot. If your left elbow rolls forward and towards the ground at impact, you are going to feel like you hit a punch shot.
I showed Patrick what I learned and started to feel and he was very pleased with my progress and mentioned that my learning curve was getting faster and faster. I hit a few very good chips, then hit a couple of extremely good pitching wedge full swings.
He continued to twist me up and added the element of using my lower left side a little bit more at the take away. In essence, I should feel it almost in my left glute as I start the swing. I also feel like I can control the speed of my backswing and down swing when I have stabilized my legs and have put pressure on the inside of my right foot. While the backswing feels shorter, I can control it so much better.
We did quite a few full swing stretches in which he twisted me a little further at the top of the backswing. On the down swing, he added the element of the club feeling horizontal to the ground right after impact with the back of my left hand facing the target and my right hand at about a 30 degree angle. From there, I am to use my left side to drive my arms up. It will feel like my left obliques and lat are pointing about 30 yards right of the target at the top of the swing.
It is amazing how far I have come. After my stretching exercises, I was hitting a pitching wedge with a slight, three yard draw and with a ton of spin. I am starting to really get confidence but I know I must focus on a slow and controlled take away. I still haven’t hit long irons or even my 8 iron since I have started to understand the swing, but that will come when Patrick thinks I am ready.
Also, I am 91 lessons in and still hitting irons off a tee. What a great game!
UPDATE: I am 191 lessons in and I am still only hitting my approach wedge and pitching wedge. One would think it is about time for middle to long irons but that has yet to happen. I play from 140 yards and in at Knight’s Play so there has not been a need for anything more than a 9 iron. I broke my 8 iron in the summer and have yet to get a replacement. It should be coming in soon.
Overall, it has been a long and difficult road but I know it will make the rest of my golf life a much more enjoyable experience.