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Deja Vu All Over Again


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#76 Forrest Gardener

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 08:19 AM

This week saw a continuation of work mostly on the practice tee. I submitted my second swing review for core rotation yesterday. It's not that I think I will pass the review but more that I want to get some feedback from my instructor.

 

His advice last time was to work on maintaining right knee flex on the back swing. The idea is to get better loaded up with the weight moving over the right ankle. The loading up is used as a sort of brace to improve the efficiency of the hip movement starting down.

 

For reasons I can't explain I've always associated maintaining right knee flex on the back swing with a stationary right hip. The result is that getting any hip rotation on the back swing means moving the left hip around. That feels pretty awkward and the end result is that I've always associated maintaining right knee flex on the back swing with very limited hip rotation. That in turn restricts torso rotation and just made no sense.

 

All of this made me think a bit about my left hip action on the down swing. If I had to nominate one thing I've struggled with more than any other it would have to be turning my hips toward the target on the down swing. No matter how much I've tried I just can't get that nice effect you see in all the good players where the down swing starts with the hips sliding a little forward and rotating back to square. Slow motion shows that it is touch and go to even get my hips square by impact let alone the consensus thirty or forty degrees open.

 

Things have improved since I did some work maintaining the tush line (or the bum line as I call it). That seems to have worked its way into my swing as a consistent feature. The problem is that I have not been able to go to the next stage where the legs and hips actually drive the down swing.

 

All of that is a long way of saying that I figured out that if viewed down the line my left hip didn't have to move so far at the start of the down swing it would be easier to move both hips back to square. By happy coincidence I stumbled on an Athletic Motion Golf video which provided the missing link.

 

Now it might seem obvious that moving the right hip away from the target line on the back swing would make it easier to move the left hip better but it hadn't occurred to me. At least it had not occurred to me that it was possible to keep the right knee flexed AND move the right hip away from the target line. As the saying goes some blokes are smarter than others.

 

The results have been promising. Viewed down the line I am finally getting my hips noticeably open at impact. I wouldn't say that my hips are driving my downswing but I'm not having to work around them quite so much. I'm maintaining a bit more lag a bit later on the down swing. I've even developed a very small amount of forward shaft lean at impact.

 

Naturally changing my hip action has caused a bunch of other problems including mucking up my weight shift and a slight reverse pivot but those are fairly easy to address. The bottom line is that I feel like I am slowly making fundamental progress.

 

Now, if I can just get my fitness up so that I can comfortably walk 18 holes.


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#77 Forrest Gardener

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Posted 16 October 2018 - 06:22 PM

Got my instructor's review of my most recent swing submission yesterday and have been working on the advice. In a nutshell I was on the right track with my convoluted reasoning above. Sadly I was on an overly complicated tram.

 

The advice was to keep my right ankle on the ground until impact with the foot rolled in. My instructor recommended one of the standard instructional videos on the rotaryswing.com web site about the action of the right foot. Among other things that video described a neat progression starting with short slow swings and ending with the complete right leg action.

 

I remained pretty skeptical about the advice on the right foot but the advice went into some detail about keeping my right knee flexed on the downswing and how I was making things hard for myself by dipping my right hip. That was something I could identify with. In the end I figured that anything which might help my left hip move better was worth a try. I also came across another of the Athletic Motion Golf videos which wasn't really on point but which if I ignored the commentary did show how a pro (Dustin Johnson I think) moved his hips and knees.

 

So off to the practice fairway I went with my P wedge in hand. The first thing was to see whether I could in fact hit even short shots whilst keeping my right ankle on the ground at impact. I managed that pretty easily.

 

Next was to try to get my right hip turned back to square as early as possible on the downswing. That was harder. My left knee simply was not happy to move back to anything resembling its address alignment let alone early in the down swing. Figuring it couldn't actually be that hard I tried a few shots where my first move down was to bring my left knee to a better place. That wasn't so hard but it wasn't doing all that much to open my left hip. At impact my weight was well out toward the ball of my left foot. That is plainly no good when you are trying to drive the swing with the left hip.

 

The next piece in the puzzle was to move both my left knee and my left hip into a squatting position at the start of the down swing. As a happy coincidence that made it easier to keep my right ankle on the ground as well. So I tried that and by second happy coincidence my hips not only turned back to square but continued to open approaching impact.

 

Now the revelation above is exactly what the rotaryswing.com web site says will happen when you squat to square. The missing link for me was the squatting part. Although I previously thought I was squatting to square my right knee was in fact moving forward and caused me to do something more like standing to square.

 

The final piece in the puzzle was that my hips were opening so easily I was sort of spinning out. That was pretty easy to fix by putting a bit more weight shift to the left into my squat to square.

 

The results were pretty good. I've always been skeptical about the suggestion that you have to get worse before you get better when making a swing change. The changes today were pretty significant and the improvement was immediate and obvious. There were a few odd shots including a few fats and even a couple of shanks but somewhere deep down the changes just felt right.

 

Always one to apply one idea to other unrelated areas I hit a few pitches from 30 and 40 metres focusing on getting my weight set onto my left ankle before starting the down swing (mimicking the action I was trying to use on the practice tee). Much to my surprise I hit a series of really good pitch shots as well.

 

And right about then it started to rain. I can't wait to see what happens with some longer shots.



#78 Forrest Gardener

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 09:24 AM

Was going to play on Saturday but woke up late and the rain outside the window put me off. Later in the day there was some sunshine so I went out to hit some balls. The temperature was ok but the combination of drizzle and light wind felt quite unpleasant. My video expert decided to sit in the car and I was sorely tempted to join her despite having already paid for my bucket of 30 balls. Despite the practice fairway at KH being about the best I have seen it does seem to be very exposed to the elements.

 

Yesterday the ball machine swallowed my token and then took money from my card but dispatched no balls. The always helpful pro shop staff were happy to give me replacement buckets. By the time I got back to the practice fairway somebody had given the ball machine a good nudge and it was back to dispatching balls. On the bright side the longish walk back and forward warmed me up.

 

With two buckets of balls instead of one I thought I'd do some work on forward shaft lean at impact and release. The rotaryswing.com videos assure me that it doesn't need any form of magic and that good mechanics will produce the desired result.

 

Starting with left arm only and a very short swing I found it pretty easy to get my left hand in front of my left leg at impact. That surprised me. The only thing out of the ordinary was trying to get my shoulders square and more or less level at impact. Somehow I'd always associated open shoulders and left shoulder high at impact as being desirable.

 

Things did not go so smoothly when I put my right hand back on the club. The first drill was to have the right hand trail behind the left hand by about an inch but not touching the club. As might be expected that introduced a whole lot of shoulder movement. The next drill was to keep the right hand against the shaft but take it off at impact. The swing only went through to waist height and the right hand was then moved back to form a complete grip.

 

I quite liked the progressive nature of the drills. In the end I achieved a modest amount of shaft lean. I'll leave the release part of the progression for another day.

 

My second bucket of balls was devoted to my ongoing quest to maintain flex in my right knee on the downswing and the accompanying goal of keeping my right heel down at impact. Helpfully my instructor suggests two additional criteria from a different perspective. First was to have my right knee in the same position at impact as it was at address. Second was to keep the right hip higher through impact to keep the hips more level.

 

The results were uneven. Time after time I would rehearse my right leg action perfectly. Time after time my right heel came up quite early on the down swing. My instructor tells me that is a sign of pushing with the right side. At this stage I am keen to do as much with the left side as possible so I persisted. After some time my heel stayed down but still my right knee buckled out. Worse was that I started standing up on the down swing and my weight shift back to the left wasn't working very well.

 

For whatever reason (and that is a sign I wasn't attending to my intention) I tried focusing on keeping my right hip high for a few balls near the end. It felt like I had taken off the hand brake. All of a sudden everything flowed smoothly through impact and my radar showed a couple of shots with over 100mph with my hybrid. Now I take the numbers with a grain of salt unless they repeat ball after ball but all of a sudden something had freed up.

 

Before I left for home I hit a few finesse shots. My motion is generally improving except that for all the world it looks like I am trying to hit way further left than I think I am. I have a similar tendency on my putts where my mental image of the position of the target goes skew whiff.

 

When I got home there wasn't much difference to be seen on the hybrid videos except for a more complete follow through on some but not all of them. I'll be interested to see what happens next time I hit the range. That easy power felt really good.


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#79 Forrest Gardener

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 08:11 PM

Followed up today with another range session working on right leg and hip action.

 

I was interested to check out videos on YouTube of players like Adam Scott, Ernie Else and even Tiger Woods. I was quite surprised to see how flat their hip turn is through impact. That fits in with the downhill hip movement advocated on Athletic Motion Golf whereby the lead hip stays below the trail hip until the lead leg posts up just before impact. I had always imagined that the best players turned their hips on a tilt to match their upper body rotation. Not so.

 

The hip rotation on the model swing on rotaryswing.com is as flat as any. That contrasts with my downswing where my right knee kicks in very early and my right hip tends to go lower than the left very early. My was goal was to eliminate my habit of pushing with the right leg and to flatten out my hip turn.

 

To my surprise it wasn't all that hard to get my right heel to stay down and to get my right knee at impact to be more or less the same as it was at address. It was pretty easy to flatten out my hip action. All it took was trying to move so that I was right up on the toe of my right foot at the end of my follow through.

 

So far so good. Then as always came the unwanted changes. In particular it was harder to shift my weight over my lead ankle on the downswing, and I tended to lose my bum line and lose my posture on the downswing. Worse still was that when I tried to rotate my upper body on the backswing I tended to rotate my right knee which threw a bunch of things out of alignment.

 

The good news was that my ball striking was pretty good with my clubhead speed up a bit more and I think I detected the first signs of a good release after impact with my hands crossing over and my shoulders rotating through more smoothly.

 

Sadly there was no miracle increase in club head speed but toward the end I hit a few drives. The first was 104mph and the second was 108mph which is pretty good for me.My 6I topped out at 86mph which is also pretty good for me.

 

After looking at my swing videos I decided to send off some for review. Now to see what my instructor says.


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#80 Forrest Gardener

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Posted 26 October 2018 - 10:20 AM

I've been enjoying my work on the practice fairway at Kingston Heath but it was time to get out on the course again. The weather was cool and overcast with a southerly wind which was blowing more strongly than I first thought. Play was from the seventh tee and that suited me fine although twelve holes turned out to be eleven because the tenth was out of play. The course was fairly clear and the groups who teed off a few holes in front maintained a good pace.

 

I put my swing radar on the tee next to my drive on the seventh, hoping that my increased club head speed would show up. Sadly it showed 90mph. Not only that but my drive hooked into the titree. The good news was that it popped out onto the fairway. I carefully topped my second just wide of the fairway bunker. That left 145m to the pin. That should be a 6I for me but into the breeze I used a four iron and caught it just right. It flew at a nice height straight at the pin and then dropped on the very front edge leaving about a 25 foot putt. Seriously? 135m with a well struck 4I? How sad. Two putts for par was ok. Still, I was feeling pleased with myself because I had dropped a ball 95m from the pin and holed that ball with my P wedge. It was one of those nice ones which lands near the hole and you can see it moving then it disappears. Always fun.

 

The eighth was a weak drive and a lucky three wood which landed well short of the green and rolled up to about 15 feet and two putts for a par.

 

With the fresh breeze behind and tees forward, nine was a 3W off the tee and an 80m pitch to about 25 fees. Again two putts for a par.

 

Having loosened up, the breeze behind and with ten out of play it was over to eleven. I knew that my best line was just left of the fairway bunker but I wasn't sure how much room there was. Technology to the rescue as my laser said it was 245m to a very small tree just on the edge of the fairway. My ball came off the club nicely and flew just to the right of my aim point. It bounced and then disappeared from view. Fortunately it had pulled up 240m from the tee and was hidden by one of the many very shallow undulations which are part of the character of the course. From there it was a 7I which just failed to carry the ridge on the left side of the green and ran down to where only the brave play a lofted finesse shot. After all that play on bermuda greens I had forgotten just how fast the surrounds are on the sand belt and bludgeoned my chip about 15 feet past. Still two putts for my first bogey of the day was ok.

 

Twelve was back into the breeze. Even off the white tees I had no chance of carrying the central bunker. The golf ball magnet in the bunker almost did its thing but my ball came down safely on the fairway. A very modest 3W left me a 7I which failed to reach the green. Again I resisted the temptation to play a lofted finesse shot and putted up to about a foot for an easy par.

 

Thirteen was downwind. With the pin set left there wasn't so much value to flirting with the bunkers on the left. Instead I drove it into the right rough perilously close to some long grass. Only 70m to the pin I caught my pitch fat and left a 30m shot. My running chip went about 15ft past. Two putts for another bogey.

 

Fourteen used to be the longest of the par 5s. Into the breeze the second used to call for a little judgment to get over the right side bunkers and stop safely short of the left side bunkers leaving a pitch from around 70m. But that was then and this is now. Two ordinary shots left me 130m from home. A full 7I finished in the middle of the green and two putts gave me an easy par.

 

Fifteen is one of the best known holes on the course. It plays slightly uphill and is dominated by the green side bunker on the front left. The pin was set behind the bunker. Downwind from close to the full length of 145m firing at that pin is a guarantee that the ball will bounce over the green and down the bank at the back. So the only real option is to play down the narrow part of the green to the right of the bunker. Did I mention that there are very deep bunkers everywhere on the right as well? Somehow my ball finished in short rough between two bunkers. A simple but blind pitch to 15ft and two putts gave me an easy bogey which is almost always a relief when you miss that green.

 

So to the finishing three par fours. A weak cut drive on sixteen followed by a duffed chip out into clumpy rough followed by a hack 30m short, a strangely pulled pitch shot and two putts felt like I had really blotted my copy book. A nice drive on seventeen wasn't quite long enough to see the flag but the sprinkler said it was 160m to the front. I figured a smooth 4I would do the trick. Sadly I hit a fat, low pull. Thanks to the slopes it finished pin high. Only the firm ground and the bounce on my wedge got my fat finesse shot to around 7ft. Figuring I was due to hole a putt I over hit the putt and watched bemused as it rolled 5ft past. Almost to my surprise I neatly holed the return putt.

 

Eighteen is a hole which has changed quite a bit over the years. I knew that aiming away from the left side bunkers was required. Then I saw the flag on the sixth and something from the dim, dark past told me to aim for that. I drop kicked the drive and watched as it went a little right of where I'd aimed. Just as well as it ended up less than 10m to the right of the last of the fairway bunkers. From there it was 155m to the back pin. I figured a 7I which landed on the front third would run up. And so it did leaving a 7ft putt which I duly holed for my only birdie of the afternoon.

 

I am not quite sure to make of my afternoon stroll. On the one hand most of my shots were fair to muddling. Putting was ok but from outside 15ft nobody holes too many. My swing videos showed that I have not bedded down my right knee action and frankly showed a swing which lacks any sort of power. Overall six over for eleven holes was somewhere between encouraging and disappointing.

 

In summary I guess it is back to the practice fairway but I must get out onto the course more often. It really is fun to play even on a cold and windy afternoon.


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#81 Forrest Gardener

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Posted 30 October 2018 - 11:29 AM

For something new and different yesterday I played 12 holes after hitting a bucket of balls. I'm a bit worse for wear this morning but it's all part of a loosely planned progression.

 

I mucked up my most recent swing review in that I forgot to mark the box saying I wanted my core rotation reviewed. What then happened was that my instructor had an overall look at my swing. His advice was to change the position of my right elbow at the top of my back swing. If I drew a line up my spine my right elbow was around navel height. He advised getting it to the base of my pecs - or level with the base of my boobs.That's a change of around four or five inches.

 

The first part of my practice was a continued effort to bed down my leg action at the same time as trying to open my hips a little (more) at impact. Ever so gradually I was able to take some divots after impact rather than just flicking the ball off the top of the turf.

 

The second part was an effort to raise my right elbow. The simplest way to describe what I was trying to do is a bit like raising a glass to drink while at the same time rotating the upper body. Much to my surprise I hit some pretty solid shots. Even more to my surprise was that my hands were no longer just past level with my shoulders at the top of my back swing but were level with the top of my head. My half swing was now a three quarters swing. I'm not sure what it would translate to on a track man but my swing speed radar scored a couple of swings at 104 and 106mph. That is around 10mph higher than it has been.

 

So out to the course for twelve holes off the seventh tee. My driver swing speed hovered around 100mph on the radar (equivalent to maybe 95 or 96mph on a trackman). Things fell away a bit toward the end but I was really pleased early on. Thirty metres short of the pin in two on the seventh and a neat pitch to about three feet. A beautiful 4I into eight even though it drifted just enough to catch the left green side bunker.

 

That little word "if" is a big word but if I had chosen my targets a little more carefully I might have had half a dozen birdie chances. The best example was on twelve. A nicely struck pitch from 80m was just left of the left side pin placement. Much to my surprise instead of giving me a birdie chance it disappeared on its last roll and left a really tough bunker shot.

 

Once again I got some rude reminders to pay attention to the slopes on the greens. On fifteen my tee shot was on the right of the green just past pin high with the pin on the left. I allowed about six feet of break watched in anticipation as my ball rolled nearer and nearer then broke left and rolled a full five feet below the cup. I holed for par then had another try aiming about ten feet of break. Of course it stopped about three feet above the hole. All too casually I missed the down hill three footer and watched it rolled and rolled about fifteen feet below the hole. I hasten to add that the area around the hole was fairly flat. It is just that I needed something a bit more subtle than a sledge hammer.

 

Somewhere from the dim, dark past I then remembered the maxim of always leaving your ball beneath the hole on the sand belt. Attacking on a down hill or side hill putt is an act of pure folly.



#82 Forrest Gardener

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Posted 01 November 2018 - 11:05 AM

It's probably a bad idea but I follow several different teachers. I recently received two reviews of my swing from my instructor at rotaryswing.com. The first review advised me to set my right elbow higher at the top of my back swing. The second review advised me to work at keeping my right shoulder moving in the middle of the back swing. More on those shortly.

 

I also follow Clay Ballard at topspeedgolf.com. In the last few days he released a video about 60 yd pitch shots. I found it interesting for two reasons. First is that it is completely contrary to James Sieckmann's finesse shot system. Second is that Clay was saying more or less the same thing as Andrew Rice has said.

 

In essence the advice is to strike the ball with about 10 degrees of shaft lean and keep the body moving through impact. The final element is a modest downward approach to the ball. This is easiest to achieve with a slightly closed club face on the back swing. Although neither says it explicitly they both show a set up position with the nose more or less level with the ball. That assists with the rest of the motion and more or less eliminates any back foot trench digging.

 

I should point out at this stage that Sieckmann does not advocate his finesse shot method over about 30 yd. In fact there is an arguable case that apart from the shaft lean at impact his full wedge system is pretty close to my summary above.

 

At any rate I thought I would give it a go. It worked remarkably well producing fairly low shots with quite a lot of spin. Even on the firm practice greens at KH the ball noticeably grabbed. Videos showed that the better I kept moving through impact the better the results. I was really pleased when I saw my hands moving together with my club well after impact. Mickelson's hinge and hold came to mind.

 

Always being one to test out whether the same ideas can be applied elsewhere I then tried some 15m finesse shots with the emphasis on keeping the hands and arms moving together with the club through and after impact. To make this work requires a very early release of any lag on the down swing. By the time the club passes the trail foot on the downswing the shaft is more or less in line with the lead arm. At impact there is next to no shaft lean and there is only the faintest of hints at a downward strike. After impact the shaft never passes the trail arm.

 

I have to say it worked better than I thought possible. There was no hint of flipping through the ball and no timing of the release. As Sieckmann says it felt as though I was swinging with the trail arm and the shoulders and hips just caught the motion as my arms moved past.

 

That reminds me of my full swing practice session. I can only describe it euphemistically as a learning experience and I strongly dislike that description. With my fairly limited ability to rotate my chest over my hips I guess it was never going to go smoothly. I was pleased with progress elevating my right elbow. I was also pleased to make a more or less complete back swing rotation. On the other hand almost all of my improved leg and hip action was gone especially when I was foolish enough to hit a few drives at the end of the session.

 

I just hope I can get back to where I was by dialling back to short irons and partial power. Then I'll try to ramp it up more gradually. The rotaryswing.com guys are right. It is impossible to learn at full speed.


Edited by Forrest Gardener, 01 November 2018 - 11:10 AM.


#83 Weetbix

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Posted 01 November 2018 - 11:44 AM

So many ways to golf
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Handicap
Best result: 2 over 74 at Hills International on 13 Feb 2016
Eagles: 21/10/16 17th Keysborough, 24/10/16 18th Woodlands, 15/4/18 16th Carbrook
Goal: A round at par or better!
Brisbane Fairways 2015 Club Champion

2018 Nationals 4BBB Champion with Commish
Winner: 2015 Nationals day 5 round at Links Hope Island
Winner: 2016 Nationals day 5 round at Woodlands
Winner: 2017 Nationals day 5 round at Bonnie Doon

​Winner: 2018 Nationals day 2 round at Kooralbyn

​Winner: 2018 Nationals day 3 round at Sanctuary Cove Pines
South East Queensland Golf Group - Treasurer
http://www.brisbanef...ssocialgolf.com - Treasurer


#84 Forrest Gardener

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Posted 03 November 2018 - 05:43 PM

Monthly medal at KH. A quick warm up with two simple swing thoughts. One to get my right elbow up a little higher on the back swing. Two to get my weight onto left ankle in the down swing. From there it was all about getting the pace of the practice green. It quickly became apparent that even the slightest slope made a significant difference to the roll of the ball. The breeze although light also seemed to be making a difference. After a little while I was pretty happy with my feel and it was time to hit off.

 

Highlights were two nice shots onto the green on one, a nice up and down for par on six, another on thirteen, an easy par on fourteen, a very good tee shot to about 20ft on fifteen, a nice up and down on sixteen, and an easy two putt par on seventeen. In between I hit quite a few shots I was pleased with but didn't string together two in a row very often.

 

Ninety gross for nett 84. DSR 74. Played to 16. Sloped played to 13.6. Handicap remains at 7.1.



#85 Forrest Gardener

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Posted 10 November 2018 - 04:12 PM

Stableford for the Riversdale Cup at KH today. Simple warm up consisting of chips, finesse shots and bunker play then putting to get a feel for the pace of the greens. A few full swings had me warmed up and ready to go.

 

Highlights: 245m drive on first hole and nice drives on 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 12, 13, 14. Hit green in regulation on 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 12, 14. Great up and down from 50m on 17 for par.

 

Lowlights: three putts from 10ft on 4, super fat fairway wood on 6, left in bunker on 10, wipe from 100m out on 13, wipes on 15 and 16, super fat drive on 18 which didn't make it to fairway.

 

Must do: work out bunker play from bare lies (bounce=bad, sharp downward strike=good), improve fitness, bed down swing feels.

 

Total: 29 points, at a guess played to 13, sloped played to 11.0 most likely handicap still 7.1



#86 Forrest Gardener

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Posted 10 November 2018 - 06:45 PM

As an update to the above post my guesses were correct except that my handicap is now 7.0.

 

I know how the handicap system works and I know that my playing handicap will not change but there is something unreal about having 26 points and 29 points and having my handicap go down.

 

It's a long time ago now, but what was wrong with the old system where your handicap came down when you beat your handicap and went out when you didn't?



#87 Forrest Gardener

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 08:32 AM

It only just struck me that I hit eight greens last Saturday and had a nice par on 17 after a poor drive. Simple arithmetic says that I hit enough good shots to break 80 or be close to it. To score only 29 points means either that my short game was a mess or my course management needed improvement.

 

At any rate fitness dictates that I needed a few days to get over walking 18 holes so my golf in the last few days has been on the practice areas.

 

My main focus for the last few months is progression through the steps prescribed by the rotaryswing.com system. To recap I'd previously completed set up and weight shift. That doesn't sound like much but it covers fundamentals including moving to the trail side and loading up then moving to the lead side and posting up for impact. There are more check points but maintaining axis tilt throughout produces a pretty solid basis for a mechanically sound golf swing.

 

The last 10 weeks have been about core rotation. In a nutshell that means getting a good shoulder turn going back and a good hip turn turning down. Together with sound weight shift and maintaining good upper body posture down the line a lot of things fall into place.

 

At any rate my instructor passed my most recent swing submission. Although he did comment that I needed a little more attention on my weight shift that leaves just the arms and club to go in my swing overhaul.

 

Not knowing that my swing submission would be passed, yesterday I thought it was a good time to go the bash. I tried out my sklz gold flex swing trainer in the back yard. For those not familiar with the trainer it is essentially a 48" long flexible shaft with a heavy yellow ball on the end. The result is that it flexes like crazy and reacts violently if you fail to swing in a good sequence on a steady plane. Very interesting.

 

Satisfied with that I went to the driving range. The range at KH runs from north to south. Most days so far the wind has blown from the south which is good because there is no pretending when you hit shots into the wind. Yesterday the wind was from the north which was great for an ego boosting bash session. The practice tee is huge, maybe 40m from back to front. By happy coincidence the tee was near the back of the range and the pin on the last green was 245m away. After that the fairway disappears over a rise and maybe another 50m away there is a tall net. Not that I was ever likely to endanger that.

 

So I started off determined to keep track of the numbers for each of my 30 balls. First ball was 101mph, then 108, 109 and 113. The practice fairway drops off a little on the left so it is hard to gauge distance but the third ball was on target and landed what looked like about 10m short of the green took a few bounces and disappeared off the back of the green. I guessed that it went around 265m. The FIG JAM was all over the place. It was therefore only to be expected that my next ball was 102mph even though it landed fairly close to the one I guessed at 265m. That FIG JAM was spread much thinner after that.

 

I don't trust the individual results on my swing speed radar but I find it useful because if it produces a bunch of numbers close together and later on produces a bunch of different numbers close together than it can tell me whether I am getting faster or slower. When the numbers settled down I produced a consistent 104 to 106mph. Just when I was taking pride in the slowest readings all being 100mph or more up popped a 98 and a 96mph. A golfer's ego is such a delicate thing.

 

Last time I compared my swing speed radar results to a flight scope my 100mph on the radar was around 94mph on the scope. At a guess that means my real numbers were probably in the high 90s rather than the low to mid 90s as they had been a few months ago.

 

I must take a couple of range balls out onto the course to see how they go compared to real golf balls. Perhaps I'm closer to playing well than I think. But we all know what happens when a golfer thinks he is getting things under control. Golf can be such a cruel mistress.


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