Combining Training Aids for Maximum Results

Sometimes training aids complement each other.

PBS-orangewhipI found a really good combination this morning.  The Pure Ball Striker (no review yet although one is planned) and the Orange Whip Trainer work great together.

The Pure Ball Striker is designed to help you feel the lag on the index finger of your bottom hand, in my case, the right hand.  Normally when I practice with it, feeling the “lag pressure” is very subtle and it’s hard sometimes to really feel it.

Combining it with the Orange Whip Trainer basically magnified or amplified it for me.  I could REALLY feel the lag pressure and it was awesome.  It gives me a better idea of what to feel when I use the Pure Ball Striker by itself.

Let me know if you have any successful combinations of training aids.

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

The hardest thing to do in golf

The hardest thing for me to do in the entire game of golf is to have my actual swing look like my practice swing.  This is the one thing that I believe will completely transform the game for me when I achieve it.

I had an awesome practice session today.  Recorded a lot of 9-iron swings and driver swings.  The same thing that I’ve written about kept happening over and over.  I would have a beautiful practice swing, and I would follow it with an over the top swing.  There were several times when I could have sworn that my actual swing matched the practice swing, until I looked at the video.  On those shots were I thought I nailed it, I hit some really solid iron shots.  But when I checked the video, still an over the top swing.  Ugh!

When it came time to hit driver, I knew I was going to be over the top, the only question was how much over the top.  I still managed to hit some bombs.  Long, straight and with the right trajectory, from an “ugly” OTT move.

Tim said that it takes 10,000 swings to ingrain a golf move.  I’ve heard other theories.  60 reps a day for 21 days.  Don’t know which is true.  What I do know is that a practice swing is easy and a thing of beauty, and then you put a ball in front of me and I have this urge to HIT IT.

What shocks me is that even with an OTT move I hit the ball as solidly as I do.  I wonder if it is going to take me months or years to change this.  I know this is a key to great golf.

Play like you

I have a little unique move in my swing.  I haven’t seen anyone else do it.  I don’t think it’s wrong, per se, but it is unique. On the backswing, I let my head rotate with my torso, then when its time to start the downswing, my head quickly rotates back forward, like it was at address.  It seems that when I try to keep my head from rotating at all, the dreaded OTT move shows up, and when I let it rotate, it doesn’t show up.  I hit a lot of great shots today letting it rotate.  Like I said, I have never seen anyone else with this move, but a lot of great players, have their own way of doing things.  If it works right.  Maybe this is an important part of my swing.  Besides getting rid of the OTT move, this quirk in my swing, also gives me a lower ballflight.  I think that’s because I’m coming in a lot shallower. I was a bit surprised at how straight many of my shots were today.

When you look at the PGA tour, a lot of great players have unique moves.  Look at Jim Furyk, JB Holmes, Camilo Villegas, Lee Trevino, Jack Nickalus, etc.  I don’t think my goal should be to have a text book swing, I think my goal should be to have the best swing, that I can have, based on my body type and what what works best.

Hitting the ball with your entire body

After a few days away from the game (10 actually) I went to the driving range today.  Amazingly the swing thought of throwing the club down the range was still firmly ingrained and I was hitting some really good shots.  I began to play around with a new swing thought to see what would happen.

1. The no shoulders swing.

As I’ve been documenting a battle with an OTT move I realized that the first thing that usually happens with an OTT move is that the shoulders turn before the hips do, sending the club over the top.  So this thought went like this: don’t rotate the shoulders on the downswing.  Now obviously you can’t not turn and still hit the golf ball.  This thought does really force the hips and lower body to turn first.  I had one swing with this thought that felt like the perfect swing.  It was with the driver, the club I fight OTT with the most.

I hit one drive with this no shoulder swing, and the swing felt slow.  At impact it felt like I hit the ball with my entire body, and even though the swing felt slow, the contact was completely solid.  The ball sailed over the back fence at 240 yds.  It seemed that it hit the apex just above the fence, and I have no idea how much further it carried but it was the best drive I had hit in some time.  It was dead straight and it had an awesome trajectory.  In Five lessons, Ben Hogan talks about hitting the ball with your entire body.  I don’t think I had ever truly experienced that until this swing.  It was pretty amazing and something I want to feel on every shot.

Throwing the club down the line and ingraining new motions

The more I work with this swing thought, the more I like it.  It really is a different sensation to feel like you are throwing the club down the line.  It makes an inside-out swing much more natural for me.  Although it is still too early to tell, I think this will make a huge difference in my ball striking.  I am continuing to practice with my video camera there.  I want to see what happens on all my swings, both the good ones and the bad ones.

I read something interesting to ingrain swing motions.  60 repetitions, every day for 21 days.  That’s the minimum to ingrain a new motion.  The beauty is that I can swing at home without having to go to the range.  Although I’m not actually hitting balls, I can video tape my swing, and make sure that I’m ingraining the correct motion.  19 days to go.