Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 July 2012 00:47
Monday, 16 July 2012 22:13
by Bryan Outram
A few years ago Tiger Woods' swing coach Hank Haney took on the onerous task of trying to fix the famously flawed swing of ex-NBA star and current basketball analyst Charles Barkley.
It was with that ideal in mind that your agent decided to embark on the ambitious undertaking of trying to realize improvement in a golf swing that has had the benefit of precisely one professional lesson - albeit from renowned local instructor Jack Westover of Vancouver some 40 years ago - to see if one really can make a silk purse out of a sow's ear (sorry Mr. Westover, probably should have taken more lessons).
As I arrived at the 3D Golf Performance
facility for the 5th in my series of lessons with instructor/owner John Aasen, I allowed myself to wonder if - much like early on in high school - I could fool my teacher into thinking I had done my homework and just make up for it the following week.
The answer now is the same as it was then - no. And the thinking behind it is the same now as it was then - stupid.
Everybody gets busy in their lives with a multitude of different obligations and responsibilities but if there is one thing that remains constant if you wish to survive in a fast paced world, you'd better get a good grasp on time management.
Or at the very least get your priorities in order.
And developing a sound, consistent, powerful golf swing has to be right near the top of anybody's to-do-list, right?
Without getting into what got in the way, I managed to go from my last lesson date to this without once picking up a club.
That is not a recipe for success when you set out in the first place to see what kind of results might be achieved by overhauling a homemade golf swing and replacing it with something at least resembling a properly trained one.
You Can Pretty Much Tell By The Green Line From My Thigh Alllll.... The.... Wayyy.... Out To My Hands That There's Just A Tad Too Much Separation There
So what this all comes down to is, basically, when you are given information and 'tools' to work with, if you don't do anything with it….well, that should be quite obvious.
Lesson Five - Same As The First Four (Back To The Drawing Board)
What I discovered this week was how easy it was to fall back into old habits if you don't spend at least some time working on the elements of a new swing that have been taught by a professional.
This isn't to say that going through the process of constructing a new swing is as simple as 1-2-3. It does take time and repetition. And that is an extremely important component, the repetition.
I had heard in the past that practicing bad habits wasn't exactly a good use of one's time either. That's also a big factor in coming to see John, as he gives me exercises to do, I have something specific to focus on and I'm not just going out and aimlessly pounding golf balls - something I was never real fond of anyway.
But now that I've had a few moments of success, I'm more motivated than ever to practice - PROPERLY.
My Cup Runneth Over. As In The Cup In My Left Wrist Returns To Wreak Havoc With The Rest Of My Swing
Maybe having a disappointing day today actually played a role in going forward with this whole concept in that it reminded me of what is necessary to see positive results.
The fact that with just a few pointers from John, having him put me in the right spots to create a solid inside to out swing plane where I also encounter the thrill of 'lag pressure' and see what it can do when unleashed on an unsuspecting golf ball…..well, suffice to say I've rededicated my commitment and now more than ever want to see just whether I can accomplish that new, efficient, powerful golf swing.
As Illustrated By The Angle Between The Shaft Of My Club And The Correct Plane Angle Described By The Green Line, I Am Attempting To Catch A Rainbow Trout With This Particular Swing. One Which Is Beginning To Resemble Something That Belongs On The Shore Of The Harrison River Accompanied By Wading Boots And A Six-Pack. Ignore The Guy On The Right .....He Hasn't Won A Major In Over 4 Years
I have to give John credit, though, even though the feedback he gives in the voiceover on my image capture analysis video that reulted from this day's session is essentially him outlining how armageddon is mounting throughout my swing, he points it out in a very positive and encouraging manner.
Not to worry, John, I can beat myself up better than anybody else can anyway.
When You Reach The Point In The Video Analysis Where The Subject Is Barely Visible Due To All The Green Lines That Have Been Drawn Over Him, Well, It Really Is Time To Get Back To The Drawing Board
In moving on, I have devised a little checklist of things to do this coming week during my scheduled practice time:
1. I WILL put my hands on the grip of the club at the base of my fingers with a solid, 'strong' grip.
2. I WILL focus on taking the club away in the previously talked about '1 to 2' move, ensuring that the back of my left hand is not cupped and that the relationship between my hands, arms and chest/midsection remains the same with the clubface as it was at address.
3. I WILL make a good shoulder turn, keeping the connection with my arms and torso consistent so that they don't fly off on their own agenda.
And when I take the club up to the top, keeping the back of the left hand flat and in line with the clubface......
4. I WILL drop the club down on the inside using my left hip as the trigger to get everything moving on the proper plane.
5. And lastly, I WILL NOT flip my hands at impact in attempt to make up for the 'accidental' cupping of my left wrist which was created by a weak grip, poorly connected takeaway, awkward shoulder angle and subsequent casting 'over the top' of the club as I attempt to 'Fix It On The Way Down' (an exercise that is to be exorcised).
Interesting How The Demon 'Cupped' Left Wrist Still Refuses To Die In This Abomination Of A Swing
I also took some of John's advice and watched Rickie Fowler's swing on YouTube a few times. That young man has a very athletic and incredibly efficient golf swing.
Other than the fact that he is approximately 106 years younger than me, I feel quite comfortable attempting to emulate the move back down to the ball that he makes.
Let's see if after doing my 'homework' this week I can come back and show a positve step forward.
To view the video of this week's lesson click on the link below. It may take you to the video or to my 3D Golf Performance login
It varies depending on how well I've done the linking. If you are taken to my login use this information to go to my student page and click on the video dated 7/4/2012. This week there are two video captures - both dated 7/4/2012 with one also labelled 'Face On Pivot'
Next Week: Lesson Six - Stepping Into A Sequence
By Bryan Outram
Bryan Outram has been editor-in-chief for Inside Golf for the past eight years.
More articles by Bryan Outram