Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Faulty Wiring

I hit the range last night, light of heart and full of intent. The back nine on Sunday had proved that the swing changes are in there and that with a sharp increase in self belief, dedicated and purposeful practise sessions and the continued guidance of my teaching professional, the single figure aspiration he set and I laughed at, may, just may, be more realistic than I thought.

I don't know what happened, but by 6.30pm I was home alone at Blue Mountain near Bracknell. Not another soul on the range at all and no-one came in for the remaining thirty minutes I was there. There had been three others working away at their games when I arrived but one by one they drifted off. I could understand it a few weeks ago when we were gripped by minus temperatures and even last week was a bit parky but it was pleasant enough last night. I would have thought golfers would have been out knocking off the rustiness from their games. Not that I minded though. Once I had finished my paid for allocation, I wandered up and down outside the bays, collected another half bucket and dispatched them too. Well, it wasn't as if I was in any danger of being hit on my Todd.

I was there with one thing in my mind last night. Turning the hips and not sliding them. I need to get them cleared as much as possible through impact as part of this one plane swing I'm working on. That has two benefits. It gets the club out in front of me more allowing me to hit down on a steeper angle and compress the ball properly. It also lets the club travel on the correct, in, square and in path.

Faulty Wiring
The problem I've had, is that I've swung the golf club a particular way for twenty plus years now and was taught in an era when a big leg action was considered acceptable. Times and teaching have moved on but I am having all kinds of problems re-wiring my brain and body to do the same thing. I've written on here recently about coming out of lessons with my teacher, looking at the Plane Truth website and their instructional videos, and having a very strong and clear picture in my mind of how a one plane swing looks and works. Hip slide and a shallow impact position are the two biggest killers this new swing can have.

When it works, the results are really strong and reinforce the pictures in my mind I have. The trouble is, the old habits are so ingrained and there is an unconscious fear of the new swing path that I have real issues converting technique and committing fully.

As I said, in essence, the hips can't clear quickly enough and I really need to feel as though I want to hit everything 45 degrees left to get the club head turning correctly on the way through impact. That is all I worked on. I have to say I think we've finally broken a few mental barriers down. There were still too many shots where the hips slid or the club head travelled down the line of the shot (another big no no) but when I committed and trusted, I really got the hips to turn better and felt much more on top of the ball as I hit it. The good ones were as good as anything I've produced since I stated this rebuild and only reinforced the knowledge I'm on the right track.

I've purchased an impact bag which is sure to endear myself to the neighbours as I live mid-terrace.

Repetition - get that feeling ingrained (not sure the neighbours will be happy though)

The plan is to do ten minutes per day and really focus on that feeling of getting the hips clear and hitting down. Repetition is key I think and as long as I don't get lazy with the swing it has to be a good thing. It's all about re-wiring the old grey matter and accepting the new moves are right and to embrace rather than fight them. I'm back at the range tomorrow, possibly Nobby No Mates again, and will keep on working on it. I'm not unrealistic enough to think I'll walk onto the course in the roll up at the weekend and it'll be great but if we can get more holes like the last six or seven on Sunday, more often, then step by step we'll build into full rounds where the ball striking becomes natural, consistent and good. Then we just have to rely on my chipping and putting. Oh bugger.

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