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Thread: Golf improvement thread

  1. #21
    Nosevi's Avatar
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    Some may have seen this before, I saw it a while back and just stumbled on it by accident today.

    It pretty much highlights one of the things that I think are wrong with golf instruction these days. All the things he says are based on different 'theories' of the golf swing including how many parts it has. A good comparison is when Ian Woosnam was asked about how he saw the golf swing and allegedly said words to the effect of "It's a turn back and a turn through with a swish in the middle." JC below gives the other way of looking at it......

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQVFhqAKcMg&autoplay=0

  2. #22
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    All of the above said there are some basic 'concepts' that I've found have helped me so far.

    One of the biggest is something I've noticed when watching the England guys hitting the ball compared to your average 'hack'. Their swing looks effortless and balanced, but somehow the ball just goes - their swing looks simple. Part of this is there's a lot less movement in some areas than you get with a higher handicap player. Anyway, it's something I've been working on and it's all to do with lower body stability. Easiest way to demo what I mean is another before and after for me. Excuse the gash track-suit and trainers but I often practice in my field and don't exactly get 'togged up' for the occasion.

    Anyway, left is before, right is later.

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    Hopefully you can see the difference right from the first shot of half way back - my lower body is more stable in the right hand shot and hasn't moved a great deal. By the second shot there's even more of a difference with the 'before' showing my right side has swayed and collapsed, my left foot has actually had to come off the ground a bit, whereas later I'm much more centred and balanced. Moving on to impact the fact that my lower body hasn't shifted back means I have a more solid left side to be moving into - I'm not swaying backwards and forwards. Also looking at the ball between the second and third shots you can see that later there's a fair amount of compression going on.

    In addition to giving you stability over the ball creating a more consistent strike, by keeping your lower body stable and turning your upper body against it, you increase what's referred to as your x-factor - essentially the angular difference between your hips and shoulders at the top of the swing. By increasing this difference your whole body acts as a spring and that's where the pros get their power. If you look at the before shot at the top of the swing you'll see my hips are almost as far back as my shoulders - I have very little x-factor and so very little power comes from the tension that would create. In the 'later' shot of the top of the swing my hips are pointing just back of straight forward but my shoulders are at more or less 90 degrees. This tension creates masses of power without any effort in the down swing, it's just there.

    A good drill to get the right feeling is to stand in a golf stance with a golf club across your chest and turn your upper body back while keeping your knees still and your belt buckle pointing forwards. Once you get the feeling of your upper body turning against your lower body start doing mini practice swings, pausing at the top to check your lower body is stable. Then do some mini shots doing the same and finally some full shots. After a time you get used to using the muscles to turn your upper body while keeping your lower body stable. Has really helped my long game a great deal.
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    Last edited by Nosevi; 21-08-2013 at 03:17 PM.

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    No idea why some pics were on the last post twice, tried everything to make them just come up once but failed miserably.

  4. #24
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    well I have just spent a lovely afternoon at Silvermere trying all the new clubs !!!.........and I did like the new Taylormade's

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by markst View Post
    well I have just spent a lovely afternoon at Silvermere trying all the new clubs !!!.........and I did like the new Taylormade's
    Hi Mark, do you know which model you really liked? Was it one of the Rocketbladez, Speedbladez or Tour forged? Just curious as I need to start thinking about going to get some clubs soon - I've never been properly fit for clubs and really need to be some time soon. Up until now my swing has been changing quite rapidly so a full fitting didn't seem worth it - they'd be wrong in a few months, but now things are starting to settle down I need to get clubs that are right for me. I have a full Ping fitting place near me (Gainsborough) and I'm going to need to get fully fit for the right shafts with the right kick points etc so can't really just go to a golf shop for that. The clubs I've got now are a decent set - Wilson Staff PI5s, Wilson Staff woods and PD5 Driver (same setup as Padraig Harrington had when he won the Open - good enough for him etc) but really need to get properly fit as I'm told it can make a big difference.

  6. #26
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    Was thinking about doing a small update on here, just to say how things are going so might as well. All in all not bad although 'life' has been getting in the way a bit recently. I think I'm going to have to knuckle down a bit if I want to start making a bit more rapid progress. Thing is, I practice my long game a lot at home Net and launch monitor) and the golf course is literally 3 minutes away so tend to pop there for an hour or two then back home for more long game etc. The temptation to do other things (like tinker with my car!) sometimes gets in the way of really getting down to practice. This needs to change If I'm going to realise any of my goals.

    I've not been entering comps at the mo, plan is to make some progress then do that next spring/summer, the sort of comps I'm talking are all played off scratch anyway so handicap is largely irrelevant. I play with a lot of people I don't know though as mine's a friendly club and as I'm at the course most days people have got to know me pretty well. I've actually been asked to give some of my playing partners lessons already which bodes well for the future. As yet these have obviously been for free to keep my 'amateur' status (the pro doesn't mind, we know each other well and I've checked, he can't keep up with demand anyway) but it does look like I could make a few quid when I take the plunge and turn pro to keep things ticking over between improving my game and entering the odd event, just have to see how things go.

  7. #27
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    Right, so progress. Well my ball striking has come on. Not sure if I mentioned it before but I managed to blow a couple of holes in my pop up driving net hitting drives as my ball speed had increased. I bought another one but within a few weeks my striking was getting better and I started putting holes through it hitting my 8 iron (had stopped doing drives into it). In one morning I hit 3 balls straight through the net with an 8 iron so bit the bullet and went and bought a Huxley Rotanet - great bit of kit, retracts into itself with a cover on so it's neat when not in use and more to the point, can take a decent ball speed with the practice pop up nets you get from a golf shop really can't do.

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  8. #28
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    Launch wise these are the sort of numbers I'm now getting, firstly with an 8 iron (favourite iron, got to say) :

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    And with a driver:

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    The number at the bottom is obviously the carry distance so that's the easiest to determine how things are going. My coach is very much of the opinion that length matters (well, length off the tee anyway ) and as Championship courses are getting longer it's all very well to say that accuracy is all important but if you're constantly having to hit 3 irons into greens rather than 8 irons after your drive, you're going to struggle to score. The numbers I'm getting are comparable to the pros now and these numbers are from hitting ProV1s (my ball of choice) so that part of the puzzle is well and truly in place. You can never have too much distance off the tee but the drive there (which is a decent one, normally high 260s to 270, have hit further but accuracy goes down exponentially with any more distance right now) is slightly above the average distances when most of the Pros on the PGA tour were asked to hit balls on a Trackman which was 269. On a decent tour course setup they recon on up to about 15% roll on a decent drive so that one would be pushing 320 yrds on a firm fairway in zero wind. The launch monitor assumes zero wind btw.

    On that note had a slightly amusing story from the other day, well it was funny afterwards, bloody irritating at the time. The second hole on the small course I play is a dogleg left par 4, it's probably about 290ish to the back pin position if you cut the corner. In order to see if the group ahead is out of the way you need to walk quite a long way from the tee to be able to see the green. Anyway, there was a group of 4 old boys playing ahead and so I walked to my vantage point to see if they had cleared the green while my mate tee'd off. They finished putting out and saw me standing there looking at them...... they looked at me. After literally a minute or two, where I later found out they were discussing what I was doing, I waved...... one of them waved back. I waited........... They just stood there waiting to see what I was up to. Eventually I walked back to the tee but not wanting to put them at risk sent my mate out to where you could see the green and he said they were still there, later we found out they were wondering what he was doing now. After a long wait they eventually got bored and walked to the next tee which is pretty close to that green so I tee'd off - a beautiful draw over the corner onto the green to about 10 feet from the hole. I walked up and sunk the Eagle putt - probably birdie the hole every other round (my favourite hole!) but have only eagled it a couple of times however I resisted any show of emotion or a little dance. After the next hole they walked towards us and we had a chat, they were so complimentary that I couldn't really tell them I was annoyed or how close I had been to just saying s*d it and just teeing off.

    So distance off the tee is great but you do spend a lot of time waiting around on the course - even longer when others don't realise that they're 'in range' and faff about.
    Last edited by Nosevi; 22-10-2013 at 06:27 AM.

  9. #29
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    Another quick thing I've been working on which has been helpful is accepting my swing as it is, to a certain extent.

    That last comment is pretty important. Had a long chat with my coach not so long back. I like to understand the technical side of the game - after all, it's physics that makes the ball fly, if you don't understand it, it's pretty tough to know how to make improvements. The thing is this can go too far, pretty much every swing app out allows you to compare your swing to some pro or another. The thing is, the pros they choose are the ones with fairly 'text-book' swings. Yes I can put my swing next to Tiger or Rory Mcilroy but it'll never look like theirs - I simply don't have the flexibility and if I try to swing as long as them the only way to do it is if I loose stability in my lower body (something I've worked hard on) or start putting in some interesting leaning to get the club further back, both of which I used to do a lot. I can't swing like Tiger or Rors and really shouldn't try. But, and it's quite a bit "but" tiger carries his 8 iron about 158 on average and Rory quotes 160 as his average, so I'm in the ball park for how far we fly the ball. Driver distance I don't need to hit it harder to drive it as far as them, I need to be working on balance and strength so I don't need to try quite as hard when I do.

    The point is, contrary to what many of those apps will tell you, it's relatively pointless to compare your swing to many of the text-book swings out there. I use Francesco Molinari as a model for much of my swing - kind of stocky chap, not overly flexible. That's far more useful to me than chasing a swing I could never hope to replicate. Just need to start replicating the accuracy now!

    Anytime I think of trying to 'perfect' my swing, I watch this vid - says a lot. All of these guys are better at golf than me - after all, golf is about how many, not about how.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3kh0bjlYX0&autoplay=0

  10. #30
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    Last thing for now, little shot from the app I use that thought I'd throw up that shows a few things I've been working on.

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    Firstly I've been working on lower body stability, separating my upper body turn from my lower body. A while back this shot would have shown my waist pointing in the same direction as my shoulders, now I've got a bit more separation between the two. This allows my lower body to support the swing far more effectively to give a far more consistent strike.

    Secondly, swing plane. I've worked pretty hard o this and am basically about there. These shots are on the way down and my club shaft is now pretty much 'on plane' (line through club head and shaft points at the ball). This means you have far fewer compensations to make on the way down in order to get the ball to go further.

    Lastly, in the second shot I'm not attempting some wacky trick shot, I'm trying to get my hands a tad deeper or further behind me on the downswing, I'm just going for the middle ball. If you were to try to put your hands further behind you you'll find that all sorts of other things change - you swing plane will change as you force your hands into an unnatural position for one thing. By setting down balls as you can see there then swinging normally and going for the middle one, you force your club to drop a fraction further to the inside by getting your hands a bit deeper. The important thing though is that you do it naturally, it's not forced. I like drills like this, that force you to subconsciously change something rather than just forcing a change. Only word of warning with this one is that if you get it wrong, balls go everywhere

    Anyway, that's me for now, all going ok, slow progression but there is progression which is good. Need to knuckle down a bit more though.

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