For today’s blog entry, I just wanted to take the time to discuss the effects of my practice in isolation. I sincerely hope, that what has happened to me has NOT happened to you.
In a way, this is a follow-up to my last piece (Inverted Cups- Yay or Nay), and just for the record, I’m a nay, even though I found a positive spin on the abominations.
About me the golfer. While I am very familiar with the technical side and the mechanics of the golf swing I am very much not a technical, mechanical, or “cookie-cutter” type of player. While I can teach the mechanics, and even then, the instruction is dumbed right down, at the end of the day I’m a “feel” player to a fault. In fact, I’m so much of a feel player that when I’m not testing electronics for review, I’m using at the most, the yardage markers found on the golf course. Other times, I literally say to myself or a playing partner “Well, it feels like 180 yards” so I play accordingly.
But, as the drone of COVID-19 dragged on, I needed something to pass the time. Like in so many locales, we had no golf here and I needed a “fix”. So, I went out to the backyard and made swings daily on the “UTNT Practice Center for Deprived Golfers”. While I was out there I was “swinging my swing” and the quality of the strike was very good. It just felt like everything was good in the universe and that the stars and the planets had aligned themselves. But then, for some stupid reason, I decided to look for more. Us golfers, we can be so fickle at times can’t we? What was I looking for? I’m not sure exactly, more lag, maybe more speed? After all, I am getting to be in my more advanced years? All that I know is that I was… “Looking”. Mostly because I was bored. So, I started to read books like Leadbetter’s “A Swing” and I glanced at swing videos of Mr. Palmer, Mr. Nicklaus, and Mr. Hogan to name a few.
In my experiences, a lot of bad can come from being bored. Boredom eating packs on the pounds, boredom can create bad habits, and being bored created an issue. I became “mechanics-obsessed”. You see, I was so focused on my mechanics in the backyard, that now it’s like I have forgotten how to “swing my swing”. The one day when I played with my GM, I had the “thins”. Ultimately, caused by early extension which when compared to “fats” it’s the lesser of two evils. I can sort of live with the “thins’ in a way. Then, I played 4-holes by myself real quickly after work on another day. On the first hole, a Par 5 I blocked my tee shot (driver) right, topped my second shot, hit a shank for my third shot, hit it fat with my fourth, and slowly limped my way onto the green where I one-putt. I knew that I was rusty, but that was brutal! Consequently, any time that I played, suddenly my miss was to the right. That never happens to me because my miss is a low left.
So, what caused this sudden new miss? Two things. I figured that I was working too hard on delaying my release so now, my hands weren’t passing through impact. Essentially, I wasn’t swinging my swing. I really noticed the problem the other day when I took a video of my swing while testing products from Tour Edge Golf that’s in for review. By the way, these Exotics EXS 220 clubs that I’m testing are extremely forgiving and hide glaring mistakes. So I went back and analyzed the video of my swing. I must say that what I saw was a special kind of ugly. Here’s what I was doing wrong. In no specific order and not limited to…
- No one-piece takeaway (picking the club up)
- Loss of connection
- No downturn, my turn was too horizontal and flat. That resulted in “getting stuck”
- Hips/glutes weren’t activating at all.
The latter was very evident based on what I tell my students. I always tell them that all of us have a training aid on us at all times. We all have navels, and when golfing, generally speaking, we all wear belts. My belt buckle was finishing well to the right. Gross and disgusting. Which brings me to the second cause of my swing malaise. I’ve been swinging sore and stiff through a bout of arthritis. So, I was making a bunch of compensatory moves. It’s no excuse, but what I saw on the video was nauseating.
I’m not too worried about getting it fixed. It won’t take long at all because I just need to do what I do. Swing my swing, and never worry about finding more or how someone else swings, no matter who they are. I’m not them and they aren’t me. Just remember folks, no matter what, swing your swing. Or if you want to try to find more, contact your local professional.
Until The Next Tee!!