This last week and a half my practice sessions have been off the chart outstanding. I’ve committed myself to practicing every night no matter what, even if it’s at 10pm I’m going out into the garage and grinding away.
I’m now exactly 9 months into the swing change I started with Wade back in December. While the first several months were a virtual nightmare that included some outings where I did pretty much anything but play golf, thankfully those painful days of struggling are long behind me, I’m now starting to see the results of my hard work. It’s been a challenge that’s for sure but if what has taken place over the last 10 days is any kind of an inclination of what’s to come, I couldn’t be more excited.
Going back to mid July I’ve been plagued with a pull that has been giving me nightmares. It wasn’t detrimental to start but as my ball striking over the last month has dramatically improved the pull has become more of a fixture than a flaw, and that’s not good.
At one point back in August I thought I had the pull under control but that was short lived. I did manage to put up a couple good scores shooting an 86 at Rio Secco, a personal best, and then shooting an 88 at Bali Hai. Both rounds I drove the ball really well and that saved me. The more I looked at the recap of the rounds though the more I saw how the pull, along with some other imperfections that I’ll talk about at a later date, changed what could have been some very good scores.
After grinding it out night after night at home last week I went out to the TaylorMade Golf Experience (formerly Callaway Golf Center for those who didn’t know it’s changed) to see if what I had been working on had changed anything in my ball flight. My ball striking again was rick solid and everything else in my swing I was extremely happy with, except the pull of course. It was more present than ever before. That session was my breaking point so I got in touch with Wade to get a refresher so to speak and to see if together we could help remedy my pulls.
A couple of phone calls and some video exchanges with Wade is all it took and he worked his magic with me yet again. There were a few things taking place that was causing my pull. First off I was pushing my hands out away from me on my take away. That was instantly allowing my body to get into a poor position, certainly a bad position to swing a club effectively. Doing some research on the takeaway I’ve learned that in the Ballard swing the last thing you want to do is change the radius of your swing on the takeaway which is exactly what I was doing by pushing my hands away from my body. It also caused me to become instanly disconnected, another reason the pull was happening. Then, on top of the improper hand motion, I was getting over to my right side incorrectly. Instead of coiling onto my right I was swaying. The difference between a sway and a coil is night and day and through our phone conversations and the videos I sent Wade it was easy for him to help me get back to the correct take away and initiate a proper coil.
I had my moment of clarity when Wade said “There was absolutely no way you were going to hit anything but a pull with way you were taking the club back. It was physically impossible for your body to do anything other than pull the ball.” I’m not sure why that resonated with me the way it did but it was such a relief. The pull was something I could fix, with some proper technique and a lot of practice I could elimnate it.
That’s where I’m at now. Several days into the process of eliminating the pull from my swing I’m beyond elated with how this week has started off, two hours grinding on Sunday, two hours Monday and a few more last night with no plans on slowing down.
I’ve seen some real progress. I only have about 10’of ball flight to judge from at home hitting into the net but the ball is launching nowhere near as far to the left as it was a week ago and that’s exciting.
I’m looking forward to bringing this new takeaway and proper coil to the course. I have a few rounds planned over the next couple of weeks and of course I’m going to continue to grind it out at home.