This morning I woke up and somewhere out of thin air I could feel that I’d have some sort of breakthrough today. Something would either get better, become more clear, feel better, something along those lines.
Earlier in the week I already had another breakthrough. My right elbow was not staying tucked into my body and was causing some havoc. So I got a handle on that. Mind you, this is nothing of what I learned from Pete Black. I have read Hogan’s Five Lessons, looked carefully at the graphics in the book, and watched more than a dozen youtube videos concerning downswings, transitions, weight shifts, etc. In all of them, the right elbow is glued to the body.
I have studied and practiced like a beast. Golf clubs litter my home.
I took my practice kit (guitar gig bag with bag shag and only a sand wedge) and headed out to my favorite baseball diamond overgrown with a one-inch ground cover. I love this spot because the balls stand up like Easter eggs and are easy to shag.
I started hitting. I managed 40 good shots or so over an hour and a half (if shots are bad I shag them for a do-over so it takes awhile) and then the prophesized breakthrough hit: I wasn’t shifting my weight so that I was moving toward target at impact and because of that, I was releasing too soon. The club head was getting ahead of my hands and specifically, I noticed I wasn’t rolling toward target with my right foot. I often ended the swing still partially camped out on my root foot in fact. Yikes. Not good.
What I’m talking about is shown clearly in this video from Meandmygolf. (How cute are Pierce and Andy anyway? If any ladies are reading, check out these two just for the pleasure of watching a couple of adorable Brits. Oh yeah, they also know golf.) But seriously, that roll forward with the right foot was not happening before today. I only experienced hints of it. Of course, as Hogan says, it does come about naturally if the left hip does what it is supposed to do and everything else is right prior to and all the planets align. But I simply know the hip is right because I can roll that right foot toward target and finish poised and balanced. Oh my does that feel good when it happens.
I also have to credit Pete Styles and his Freeonlinegolftips website, specifically this video, which is where I first heard of the hip “bump” which, after all is said and done, works to get that weight shift and lets the arms fall. I don’t really bump the hip per say but I do move laterally ever so slightly toward target at the transition. Again, I didn’t hear of this from my instructor. How in the world did people learn to golf before the internet?
Bottom line, I hit some good shots doing this. Shots that felt right. Shots that reminded me of what the pros do. I can hardly wait to get out tomorrow and continue working on this.
I’m not gonna lie – this is the most difficult thing I have ever tried to learn. I want to scream when I read on some internet site or under a youtube video “Oh this (whatever ‘secret’ it might be) is a great tip. I started it yesterday and my score fell by 15 today…” All I can say is, yeah, right. But…
There is hope.