The Practice Swing/Actual Swing Dillema

I have been talking about this issue now for a while.  I wanted to show exactly what is going on so that you see the extent of the problem.  I also want you to keep in mind that with the actual swing, I still manage to hit the ball reasonable long and straight.

I would love to hear opinions on what you think is causing this, and of course I am very open to suggestions on how to fix it.

Practice Swing

Actual Swing

13 thoughts on “The Practice Swing/Actual Swing Dillema”

  1. I just noticed it. You are standing up in your real swing. Of course you have to reach down to the ball when you stand, thereby steepening your swing.

  2. @Tim Richman: I may be on the path to discovering a solution. I will post more as I confirm it, but I am making progress on this issue. I had the chance to play today and hit a few monster drives and some really good shots, including an approach shot that hit the pin.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  3. Slow down your tempo and try to feel a pause at the top of the swing before going into the downswing. There won’t literally be a pause, but there should be a noticeable transition.

  4. If only it was as easy as that. I believe that there is something else going on with a reaction to the ball as a major cause of the problem. I am working on some methods of changing that and will report back with results. I don’t disagree with you I just don’t think it’s that easy.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  5. Dude, notice your club the way it comes around your head when you finish…the practice and actual swing differs in that aspect…

    I mean, thats just my observation….


  6. Hi Ray,

    I appreciate your feedback. You’re right the swings definitely differ in that respect. The reason that happens is the steepness of the actual swing. When it comes in that steep, it wraps around steep. In the practice swing, it’s flatter and on plane coming down which gives it a nice wrap around that’s flatter.

  7. I have been working on my swing by eliminating one swing fault at a time. It has been working well for me. One swing fault I noticed in your actual swing is your right elbow is not pointing down during the back-swing (“flying elbow”). Whereas in your practice swing, your right elbow was in good position. The flying elbow could cause you to swing out-to-in on the downswing. I had this problem and I fixed it by doing the baseball swing drill.

  8. HI Edmund,

    You’re right in that swing the right elbow does go flying. I’ve since fixed that but that is a good observation. There’s a good video on youtube of Ben Hogan demonstrating the start of the swing with the lower body. He shows some great right elbow work with that little drill and it is very helpful.

  9. Thank you, thank you thank you! It’s like watching me. I’ve been fighting this for years. I don’t have a fix, but I’ll give you what I see. First, your backswing on your practice swing is more upright. then you transition to a little flatter on the downswing. Your going inside out. Smooth. You are watching your spot with your left eye then allowing your head to rotate through. You are keeping level and balanced. Real swing… You start the backswing more around your body (flatter) than your practice swing then you come down more upright (your going inside out). It looks to me that you are doing the exact opposite than your practice swing. Your haed is more face on with the ball and looks glued to the ball. I think I now have a clue as to what to do with me. I always feel like I have no room for my arms on the downswing (real swing), I always seem to have room on my practice swing. I now think it’s because I start flatter then come down more steep (the opposite of my practice swing). It makes sense to me watching what you’re doing. Then you feel the need to sort of pull back with your body to make room. I think this is why you are raising up as you are swinging through. I’m going to go out now and try. Thank you.

  10. Oops! Meant to say… You start your backswing more around your body (flatter) THAN your practice swing then you come down more upright (YOU’RE GOING OUTSIDE IN). It looks to me like you are doing the exact opposite than your practice swing.

  11. One more thing… Please understand I’m not a Know it all when it comes to golf. I’m hoping that this advice will help me as I’m thinking it through giving it to you (if that makes sense).

    On your practice swing I notice you come close to parallel (just short). On your real swing you are going quite a bit past. This may make you rush back to feel the sensation of your practice swing. For me, my practice swing feels comfortable and connected. This I feel is because I too have a shorter practice swing. On my real swing I feel a bit out of control at the top, then I feel like I rush to get back in control of that connected (comfortable) feeling. Maybe like a panic feeling at the transition. Put that together with the steeper (more upright) downswing with the need to make room for my arms… UUGGHH! I think it all starts with less around te body on the backswing. Anyway, my 2+ cents.

  12. @lenny: Hi Lenny, this is an issue that I’ve been working on, off and on, for a number of months. Recently I did find something that helped and without any range practice I was able to bring it to the course. Yesterday I ended up with one of my best ball striking rounds on a difficult course.

    Here’s what I did. I would bring the club back while limiting the amount my wrists cocked. This worked to help eliminate getting the club over the line and actually really kept me on plane. To initiate the down swing I would start with my lower body rotation, and then I would feel the hands move further behind me. When I first started practicing this at home, it felt really weird, but when I looked at the video, it kept everything really on plane. To finish the downswing I would just do my usual rotation through the ball. The results were fantastic. It shallowed out the swing. My mis hits yesterday on the course were thin instead of fat. I hit my irons really solid and had great distance control and I made much better contact with the ball. The ball would take off right on target and had a perfect ball flight. The only club that gave me trouble was the driver, but I think I’ll figure that one out soon. I was hitting my 18 degree hybrid only about 20 yards shorter than I normally hit the driver, with much more accuracy, so in the end it worked out well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *