Two weeks ago I came home from the course incredibly frustrated with my inability to hit the ball. I had been working hard on a change to keep my backswing on plane and was disappointed with the lack of progress under game conditions. Hitting big pulls with every club in the bag created a mental grind and was putting too much pressure on my short game. My daughter took this video snippet of my swing in the backyard and BANG! On went the light bulb. What do you see that might cause a big pull?
My take: My stance is too narrow and my right toe is angled out which creates an unstable base for me to coil against. I’ve got a little too much weight on my left side at address and my club is still coming too far inside on the backswing. As I complete my shoulder turn, I continue to raise the club with my hands, which causes me to lose control at the top and finally, I slide my weight forward instead of turning and hitting against a firm left side. Presto, I’ve got my big pull, not to mention a slew of other potential problems.
The fix: It’s never a good idea to fix too many things at once but I saw this as an opportunity to do most of the corrective work before I swung the club (in my setup) and only employ a single in-swing thought. So I widened my stance, squared up my right toe, and shaded my weight to the right at address. My only swing thought was to take the club back outside the line and after my shoulder turn had finished stop the backswing. Essentially, I felt like I was taking the club back way outside with a 3/4 swing but felt fully coiled and in a strong controlled position.
Validation: I tested my theory in an adjacent field with about 15 balls and a pitching wedge and my shots were flying strong and straight. The following Saturday I practiced short game and before I was finished hit a few 7-irons and drivers with the same positive feedback. The next day I played 18 after warming up very well and hit 13 greens and shot even par. Today (Wednesday) I was back in the field at lunch with my pitching wedge and continued to enjoy the excellent contact. What’s next? Well we all know that in golf momentum is fleeting but I can’t wait to play again. Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait another 10 days. I’ll try to stay sharp with some practice and will post an update after my next round. So send me links to any swing videos of you and let’s get to work!