19/02/18 - New Start
Yet again I’m writing my blog while sitting on a plane - a hectic four weeks has passed with work travel to Napoli, Atlanta, and now New Jersey. Rather than get fed up with not being able to practise, I’ve redefined these weeks as golfing rest (ie paid work) before the hard pre-season work starts.
There have been a few upsides though: I’ve treated myself to a change of car and can now throw my golf bag in the back without first having to remove all the woods; I passed my interview at my new golf club and have collected membership card and bag tag (Mrs G is thrilled that she’s got her own as well!); and I’ve finally hit some real golf balls on the driving range.
To give my new club a quick plug, Stanton on the Wolds Golf Club has been so welcoming - from initial enquiry at the Office, to the interview and welcome process, to my first visit to use the practice facilities. Everyone has made me feel at home. I spent an hour or so on the range on Saturday hitting real golf balls for the first time in well over 2 months! I’m thrilled to be a member there and look forward to playing for the first time next week.
Despite the lack of any real practice over the last 4 weeks - Explanar or putting - the swing felt pretty good at the range. I took a few videos, however, which then showed that the lack of work in the last four weeks had in fact brought back a niggling issue, among several positives
I’ve attached two videos - the first with a 7 iron; the second with my driver.
These are clean with no editing, but please bear with them as they demonstrate certain items that I need some expert advice on, and which I can then work on during the next month on Explanar, at the range, and on the course
7 iron video - 4 real swings
Driver video - 4 practice, one real; 2 more practice then second real
The 7 iron swings look consistent for numbers 1, 2, and 4 but 3 looks lazy and sluggish; no surprise then when you track the ball to see it straight and just above the bobble on my hat on swings 1, 2, and 4, but past my left ear on swing 3.
Similarly, on swing 3 you can see a fat hit behind the ball on the mat - the other three are pretty clean
All the driver practice swings look faster, longer, and more flowing than the real swings; I slow down significantly once I’m standing over the ball and also look like I’m stretching out to reach the ball - just by moving forward by 4 inches I seem to have lost 10 mph and therefore 25 yards; definitely something to work on. Don’t worry, I’m not going to try to replicate such a long backswing as my practice on a real swing!
In both videos, at the top of my backswing I can see my hands still dropping onto a flatter plane, however this is more noticeable in the real swings - going back too steep maybe? I’m intrigued as to whether the backswing is too steep, or the downswing too flat. Have I got my Explanar set too steep?
Its interesting to see that that the muscle memory swing ie the driver practice swing, that must come from the Explanar work over recent months, shows a more closely aligned backswing and follow through plane. Is the Explanar actually at the correct setting? The practice also looks as if I’m standing a little more upright which may be helping the hands position. Are the hands really an issue or just my own view?
Maybe the focus needs to be to make a better distinction between backswing and downswing - not quite Hideki Matsuyama, but possibly along the lines of back-wait-down; Explanar lets me get away with this loop with a flowing swing - it could be that I need to slow down on Explanar and let the weighted roller do the work
Although I’ve only taken the videos from one angle it looks like a nice straight left arm across my body at full backswing; good shoulder turn; firm right leg, and weight on right heel (last time I mentioned having my toes curl up on the backswing - here’s the proof!). Downswing from right leg with good hip turn to impact and then long right arm follow through down the line of the ball.
Ball strike feels really good and the swing feels really confident.
Once I’m back from USA then I’m at home throughout March so plenty of time for some real practice. Explanar session in the garage then go straight into back garden and hit plastic golf balls; driving range session at the club which is now only 3 minutes away; meet up with Matt, the Pro from my old club, who is only 30 minutes away.
Video evidence is showing up quite a few things to work on - I’m amazed at the difference in swing speed between practice and real; if I go on to hit 14/14 fairways then I’ll claim that its the over-swing training and I’m swinging within myself for accuracy. If I also find that the drives are out at 300 yards then I’ll definitely go for that theory!
In the meantime, time in the air - plus WiFi courtesy of Virgin Atlantic - means I can plan the Stanton fixture list; roll on that first medal!