Backswing Basics – CASH into a good sequence

So I’m back into focusing on my game.  I played 9 holes a couple weeks back and although it wasn’t a great round I did notice that the one area I did well in was my putting – which is the one area I’ve been focusing on since the beginning of the year.  I can’t beat myself up too much because work’s been a grind and I haven’t been able to focus or practice much but I need to double down and re-look at my goals for this year.  But it felt great having such a grooved routine that I didn’t have to even think about for my putting.  I never 3-putted and I guess that counts for something.

I’m almost done with my batch of lessons – my very first batch of lessons from an instructor EVER! – and I have to admit that the greatest benefit from this is that I swing all the way around in one full motion now – instead of decelerating or stopping short.  My instructor’s been good with giving me mental thoughts and I’ve changed out my grips (per his advice) for the first time ever.  Who knew? (common phrase for me it seems) but grips are like running shoes – you have to replace them every so often even if you don’t play with them – they dry out from use and/or age.  At a minimum you should wash them often to get the grit off.

So now I have a new set of Golf Prides’ that are a smidge wider than my older grips on my new/used set of Titliest DC9’s.

And now I have a confidence that if I focus on a particular area of my game, I will see improvement over time – so I’m gonna focus on my irons. 3-9.

Recently I read a GratefulG blog about the many resources available to us die-hards and I decided to take advantage of online videos and such to research how to practice my backswing where I have a lot of trouble sequencing club movement and staying on plane.  It didn’t take long for me to realize that the real sequence evolves from thinking purely about the left arm’s movement and to think: clubhead, then arms, then shoulders, then hips when it comes to what rotates in what order. The acronym is CASH.  Move the clubhead to 730pm on the clock face, then move the arms to 9 oclock, then turn the shoulders until the left shoulder is under your chin/chest over your right foot, and lastly turn your hips until your back faces the target.  Also, I’m learning that the backswing is not where you get power – it’s just the set-up to get into position – like pulling the bow back before you release the arrow.  Once I got the CASH thing in my head, I saw it every where – on TV, in magazines and in a ton of online videos so this is a fundamental that I need to groove into a routine.

Anyway, that’s where I am for now.  I haven’t written in a while but I’m gonna try and get back in the saddle for that as well.

My Pittsburgh Steelers are playing tonight – whoo hoo! life is good.  I love my new grips – they feel great.  I shoulda done that a long time ago.

SVG-out

Backswing_CASH

The A Swing – A new approach and new book by David Leadbetter

QuDave Leadbetter_A Swing Bookick notes from Golf Central on the Golf Channel with Martin Hall.  I feel affirmed about my hunches about the backswing that I blogged about a couple days ago.

  1. New book released by David Leadbetter called “The A Swing – the alternative approach to Great Golf”
  2. DL’s 8th instructional book.  Why?
  3. It’s about the backswing – because the backswing is really difficult to repeat on a consistent basis .  Most amateurs go way inside too quick or turn too soon versus really good athletes who can compensate better.
  4. It’s all about synchronization between the inside circle (your hands) and the outside (the club head) of the body or the 2 circles of the swing.
  5. Leadbetter mentions Calvin Peete as one of his favorite players with a great swing.  Up there with Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones, Nick Faldo, Jack Nicklaus, etc.  Interestingly, Calvin swung with a bent left arm because it was broken during childhood and never re-set properly.  He died recently.David Leadbetter2
  6. Calvin Peete never let the clubhead get behind his hands.  Hands stay in and the clubhead stayed out.
  7. He likens it to a batter in baseball – go figure, just like I mused about in my recent random thoughts blog entry and I know the Grateful Golfer mentions this in his blog as well.
  8. If you keep the clubhead outside all the way to the top  you end up in a sorta natural batter’s set-up position which sets you up for more consistent down swings where the club head levels out perfectly to strike the ball.
  9. Closing comments – It’s all about simplicity.

I’m gonna take a look at some Calvin Peete swings on Youtube or something.  And next time I’m in the book store, I’ll check out the book.

David Leadbetter1

But this is re-assuring …. Leadbetter’s approach.  Because I still don’t fell ultra-confident about my ability to be consistent with my backswing.

What a nice end to what was an unusually grueling day in the Valley.

Retro Journal Notes No.9 – Raymond Floyd on Fundamentals

These notes were taken last summer as I tried to get a firmer grip (pun intended) on golfing fundamentals.  As usual they are from a recorded training show from one of the golf channels.

Raymond Floyd is known as the guy with no discernible flaws in his golf swing and is a 4 time Major champion.

Swing Technique

Swing Technique

Fundamental No.1 – the grip. How do you ‘take’ your club?  His suggestion;

  • Lay it down (as you address)
  • Get your left hand in position
  • Then marry your right hand to the left

Fundamental No.2 – Set-up – like just about everything else in golf, including practicing, it’s good to have a routine that you follow each time.  He suggests;

  • Start from behind the ball
  • Pick a target (I’ve heard others say it’s important to be very precise about your target – not just a general area like a tree – pick a branch on the tree or a noticeable sub-part of a bush or something – the important thing is to be precise)
  • Then pick/draw your target line
  • Then address the ball (“Hi, you cute little simple little ball you – now let’s do this!” – SVG trying to be funny)
  • Lastly, adjust your body by shuffling it to adjust to the club

    No discernible swing flaws for Floyd

    No discernible swing flaws for Floyd

I would add that you should make sure your club face is facing the target spot-on the target line.  Sometimes it helps to find a near spot on your target line (just 10-15 feet in front of the ball to align to). For me, when I address the ball (this is a new routine I started after reading another blogger) I now make sure my club face is square on target while my two feet are together. I do so with my right hand on the club but maybe I should change that up.  Anyway, then I move my left foot towards the target and then my right foot back to its position as I get set and assume the right posture.  I think I need to make sure that my arms are truly hanging freely during the set-up process but I haven’t incorporated that just yet into my routine.

Anyway – I think Ray’s main point is that you let the club lie and club position dictate your body positioning versus the other way around – starting by getting set-up and THEN placing down the club.  Too many chances for getting your alignment messed up if you do it backwards.

Fundamentals No.3 – Alignment and Related Issues

  • Try to imagine right angles as you align yourself.  Ray believes alignment is one of the biggest things amateurs fail to do correctly.
  • Also – weight distribution is important.  Try to get your weight sorta on the balls of your feet and then settling back thru to your heels.  Feel like you’re planted.

Fundamentals No.4 – On Transition

There are 2 distinct pieces to the golf swing – Don’t Mix Them! First you get set then you go. [This resonates with other words of advice I’ve stumbled across.  Many state that the first part of the backswing is really all about getting your club in place to swing forward – think more like getting ready before taking off in a sprint and putting your feet in the blocks and your fingers on the track and getting locked into take-off position….first you get your feet and body set and then your go…., or, more appropriately, like getting into position as a batter in baseball with the bat cocked behind you.. ONLY, you have to get the bat – or club in this case – from the ball-address position to the start position – that’s what the beginning of the swing is for, no more no less.  The main point is that the beginning of the back swing is all about getting your club ready – it is NOT the real part of the swing.]

More from RF:  make sure it’s a 2 piece move – 1, get set, then 2.ray floyd1

  • Keys to remember: Get the shoulder rotated and pointed towards the ball (the left shoulder for you right-handers).  Turn the right hip to point behind you.

A Practice Drill:

  • Rotate hitting hooks, draws, punches and high shots – all at the same target.  This is a useful drill for the driving range.  Try and focus on your weakest of ball flight shapes.

end notes_svg

ThinQ Golf – Improve Your Mental Game Online

Stumbled across this from a fellow blogger – Sir Shanks Alot – gotta love the rapper blogger name fo’ sho’

ThinQ Golf purports to help with your mental game.  I am not endorsing it but it looks like a cool site – Small member fee (don’t like that part) but could be worth a gander.

Also here’s another site I think could be very informative on swing routines. (this one is just free good advice)

http://thinqgolf.com/

ThinQ Golf

ThinQ Golf

http://www.andrewricegolf.com/

Which Golf Grip is Best for You?

Which Golf Grip is Best for You?. From the Grateful Golfer….good succint review and often overlooked fundamental.  I’m an interlocker myself from the start.  it helps me really feel like i can get the grip on my fingers instead of my palms – but that said, i often forget to make sure the hand overlap just right and i think you’re right – it can explain sharp shanks when everything else seems to be in the right place.

Golf Practice Routines

So  I thought I needed to get a book or something or sit down and put my mind to what a good weekly/daily/monthly routine should be to improve my game.  I’m thinking I should re-establish some goals like establishing my handicap, getting to a point of comfort with my fairway irons and finally learning how to hit a driver consistently.

So I tooled around the web – usual operating procedure ya’ know and go figure <golf practice routines> yielded some good stuff.  I’ve captured one in particular for your reading pleasure.

Next I need to map out what i will do on what days for how long etc.  and what my drive-to deadline is.  I’m thinking New Years is a good goal post to re-assess my progress.

I’m currently on the train.  Not a bad day at work.  Usual stressors.  I think I’ll practice hitting my 7 iron in the front yard using that new net I haven’t used too much.  Weather – a nice 68 degrees and usual low-humidity liquid sunshine.

The Ultimate Golf Routine from WTAQ (?)  routine summary below

Putting:  (15 shots each…75 shots total)

3 foot circle (3 rounds of 5 balls surrounding hole at 3 ft…PW club is exactly 3 feet)

6 foot circle

9 foot circle

25 foot putt to inside 3 feet

50 foot putt to inside 3 feet

Chipping:  15 shots each (5 balls, 3 sets, 60 shots total)

2 yards off green to far side pin to inside 3 feet

2 yards off green to near side pin to inside 3 feet

5-10 yards off green to far side pin to inside 3 feet

5-10 yards off green to near side pin to inside 3 feet

Bunker and Pitch Shots:  (15 shots each, 60 shots total)

Green-side bunker shots to inside 5 feet

30 yard pitch to inside 10 feet

50 yard pitch to inside 10 feet

80 yard pitch to inside 10 feet

Range:  15 Shots Each (60 Shots)

Whatever your 100 yard club is shot at 100 yd pin to inside 10 yards

Whatever your 150-160 yard club is  shot at 150 yd pin to inside 10 yards

Whatever your 200 yard club is shot at 200 yd pin to inside 15 yards

Driver shot to inside imaginary fairway

THERE YA GO!!!  Make sure to record results and create success percentages in each category.  This should help your game incredibly!!