Lesson #97 – December 27th, 2019
After a week off to play around with the process of keeping my hands in front of my chest throughout the entire backswing I had the opportunity to get feedback from Patrick.
I understand that my hands and arms need to remain at address as I take away with my lower left obliques, but my right tricep and right shoulder want to “pull back” to move the club. It takes a lot of effort and practice to keep them in place while the left side starts the swing. After that, Patrick explained that my right side needs to get more flexible and turn more. I brace with my right lat and right shoulder which causes tension.
The idea is for it to feel like my right nipple is going under my right arm to my right tricep. When I do this, I can feel my full chest turn more rather than just my left side. I have the problem of creating tension and stress on my right arm and right shoulder when I feel as if I should hinge the club on the backswing. Patrick explained that when I feel the desire to hinge, my right elbow and right shoulder should then get extremely soft. The right elbow will fall down and towards the ball and my right shoulder should remain soft which will make it feel very low to me. This also feels extremely weak because I have used my right arm and right shoulder to get the club to the top for so long.
So, going back, I start with my lower left obliques while keeping my hands, arms and shoulders soft. As the obliques drive my midsection back, I should feel like my right nipple is going under my right arm and towards my right tricep. As I start to feel the need to hinge, my right elbow gets very soft and falls down and towards the ball. My right shoulder should also be very soft and tension free. When I do this and continue to drive with my left side, my shoulders feel flat. My right shoulder feels extremely low and I can only get to the top by driving with my left lat.
Patrick gave me an exercise to work on this. I am to put my arms in front of me with my elbows pointed down towards my belly button. They are to be tension free and soft. This is a problem because I already try to put tension in them. My hands should be outside my elbows and around my shoulders. From there, I am to get in posture, then work on turning with my left side while keeping my right below soft and down while my right shoulder is relaxed. It is going to take hundreds of these exercises to loosen up my right side.
After doing a few practice stretches with Patrick, he let me hit some balls. I now know what “right barrel” means as I am finally starting to come from the inside. I also feel the club being much “longer” because my right shoulder and right elbow are soft and relaxed. The more I can relax my right side and drive to the top of the backswing with my left side, I can feel my back flatten. Most amateurs have an arched back at the top of their backswing. The goal is for the back to be flat. The only way you can do this is to keep the right elbow and right shoulder relaxed and passive. Remember, passive means nothing!
Mikaila gets back from Israel on December 29th, 2019 and she then has a lesson on January 2nd, 2020. It will be lesson #98 for me. It will be her 7th.
UPDATE: It is now December 2020 and I am approaching 200 lessons. As of now, Patrick is kneading my right lat as I turn with the backswing. He does it so much that I actually react and soften the right lat and open my shoulder on the backswing. This is the final layer of the backswing to get me exactly where I need to be. Once about 3/4ths of the way through the backswing he stops me and tells me to turn with my shoulders. When I do this, it is a complete backswing. Only 27 months and 200 lessons to get the proper backswing. Not bad!