7th November 2017
There is nothing like a fresh early winter morning when the sun comes up to be opening the boot and pulling the clubs out. The smokey breath and grabbing a coffee before getting into DT’s studio to warm up. Twenty balls into it and you don’t feel the cold any more.
Now we are into the off season DT is going to be doing much more positional stuff to make me think about the swing and hopefully make big steps forward. It is hard to do that in the summer as these types of improvements can lead to swing thoughts in the game which can be counter productive to playing well.
As usual, DT watched me hitting balls for a while before making some recordings. He then broke down some footage for me to demonstrate the club shaft position with my hands. We then brought up Justin Rose as he is on fire at the moment and watched DT’s personal behind the scenes footage of Justin hitting balls on the range, putting the two swings alongside each other. You can see in the picture above the difference in angle of the two clubs at address. I need to be lowering my hands, standing slightly further away from the ball and addressing the ball with at a flatter angle. This produces a very strange feeling to begin with, almost like a baseball shot but should improve the consistency of the swing path and therefore the strike consistency. It is worth pointing out that the actual swing isn’f flatter, that should be kept on the same plane as we have always worked on.
After doing some adjustments and practice, I was aligning up at a lot better angle as below – consitent with Mr. Rose.
Hitting more balls and watching the tape back, what the new stance had helped with was the swing path being along the plane of where we aligned up. As you can see from the images below, the one on the left is my back swing to begin with early on in the session with the club head coming in too flat and shallow. The image on the right is correctly coming back on plane to then increase the likihood of coming back correctly on the downswing.
Finally on this drill I asked DT how I was going to work on this at the driving range without cameras everywhere to check on my angles. His answer was to place an alignment stick in a range ball basket at just the correct angle. This can then be placed off the driving range matt to the back where you should be able to check the angle at address with the alignment stick angle. It sits there in your proliferal vision as a guide.
We used the footage of Justin Rose again to work on the second technical aspect we looked at today which was feet position. Since I started playing golf properly in the last couple of years I have had my feet pretty much at right angles to target. Unless its a drive or a short pitch shot when I opened my stance up.
If you look at this image ofJustin (ignoring the red and yellow lines which are making a point about swing path being from the inside) you will see that his left foot is always turned to target from address. It feels a bit unusual to begin with but most things do when they are new. DT wanted me to turn my left foot quite significantly towards the target. The reason for this is to help balance the body when transferring weight from the right side on wind up to the left side for the shot. With it being turned out the base is a lot more secure which again results in a lot more consistent strike.
TrackMan 50-100 yard Test
We finished off the lesson today by putting the technical stuff into a pressured environment with a TrackMan test. The first one was all over the place – you won’t see any photos of those results! It must have been down to my brain over thinking the swing with the pointers that DT had made. The second time through those was a big success and my highest TrackMan test score to date at 78.9. Using the TrackMan database of averages – that puts my pitchin at a level of a scratch golfer. Happy days. I wish that were the case! It calculates a score for each shot based on distance to a target – with 4 shots to each target to create an average. The total number of shots in this test was 24. My best scoring distance was from 70 yards which gave me a final distance from the pin of 7ft – giving me a chance at a 1 putt.
I will endeavour to get down to the driving range a few times now to practice these changes before our next lesson – a round at Prestbury in the cold when we get a clear day.
Happy winter leagues folks!