Its taken 10 weeks, 4 days and 5 hours but I’ve finally managed to have a practice session at Callaway that’s worthy of post.
I’ve been working at this swing change for a little over two months now and since that day back in December when I started this journey I’ve played 6 round of golf. Shooting very embarrassing scores of 108, 104, 119, 105, 102 & 115. After those outing I was seriously asking myself “What the hell are you doing?” Was shooting in the mid to low 90’s that bad? When I compare it to averaging 108, it sure as hell looks better. Wade, bless his heart, has been a relentless in his efforts to assure me that things will get better and up until last night I wasn’t sure if it was even remotely possible.
I went out and practiced some this past weekend at Revere, a course that’s real close to my house, and didn’t put together a very good session. Same as the week before out at Conestoga, I’m sending the ball so far off to the right with a slice I look like I’m playing golf for the first time. I’ve even managed to add the slice to my high lofted irons like my 8 & 9 irons. Not what I wanted to see.
Sunday night I had had enough. I sent Wade and text and let him know that I really need to Skype with him and go over how I’m practicing and see if he can tell what’s happening.
In previous session with Wade I’ve set up so he can see me swing down the line, my limited space in the garage hasn’t allowed me to set up where he can view my swing from face on. Knowing how important it is to have all of the angles available I did a quick remodel and got set up so I could swing and he could see me from face on.
That was a HUGE step forward. I really had been limiting my lesson but not having Wade see my swing from this angle. He picked up a few things right out the gate and in a matter of minutes he had me into the correct position at the top. I had been traveling too far onto my right side and in doing so complete eliminated the tension that should be created in my right leg. I could tell right away that I was in a much better place at the top because I could once again feel that tension.
The big change occurred when we looked at my swing from down the line. After looking a couple of swing Wade asked me to take my stance and perform an exaggerated takeaway towards the inside. Upon seeing that swing he basically said “No, an exaggerated swing.” In short my exaggerated swing was where I should have been all along. I’ve been doing a good job staying connected but I’ve also been taking the club back too far to the outside. That got me into a much better position on the top that allowed me to come into the ball more on the inside than I ever have.
One of the last drills that Wade had me do that night was work on feeling the toe of the club come around at impact and he has a fantastic drill for that. It’s a split handed grip, a VERY split handed grip. You keep your left hand in its normal place but your right hand goes all the way down to the shaft. I had half of my right hand on the grip and the other on the shaft.
When you swing with that hand placement on the club as you come through the impact area you have no choice but to feel the toe end of the club close in on the ball and turn through. I had never felt what it was like to swing the club and feel the face come square at impact until we did that drill. It was like an entire new set of muscles were born and I was using them for the first time.
I was eager as ever to get out to the range last night. I continued working on the drills Monday night and Tuesday night so when Wednesday rolled around yesterday I couldn’t wait to get out to Callaway.
Before I go all crazy and proclaim it was the best range session ever I must say everything wasn’t perfect. I am well aware that one good range session (it was great) does not make a player and there is still a lot of work that needs to be put in by me. Last night was awesome though. I had one of the best sessions ever with my driver. There wasn’t one shot that I can remember that would not have been in play. That’s huge for me. Considering lately I’ve been playing my 3rd from the box or taking an unplayable from the rock, trees and desert after my tee shots, it was a great thing to see.
As I became more comfortable with the swing I was able to loosen up some and really started hitting the ball very well. Getting into that better position at the top has eliminated so many bad thoughts about what I needed to do once I got there, now it’s just FIRE and fire I did. By the end of the night I was even hitting some draws with the big stick and my middle irons.
Needless to say it was real close to the best range session I have ever had and I was real quick let Wade know he had himself a happy, happy, happy student! Guess what? He was right, things have gotten better!
Like I said earlier one good range session doesn’t all of a sudden bring me or my game to higher level. Even though I’m hitting the ball really well right now I have to keep up on the practice sessions at home and get the new swing engraved into my brain and my muscles. The good thing for me is after last night’s session I now know that I’m doing things right. A straight ball flight is something I’ve been desperately seeking for a very long time. Let’s just hope I can keep it up!