Curing What Ails Me

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve developed a swing flaw that caused all of my shots to fly very high, left and not very far. I kept working on it, but no matter what I did, it just seemed to get worse.

As a coach, I’m pretty good at analyzing what’s wrong with someone else’s swing, but I have a hard time figuring out my own. Finally, I decided to seek professional help. I called my pro friend and he promised to squeeze me in after a juniors clinic he was putting on Monday.

I showed up at his club and we drove out to an isolated hole. I teed up the ball and took a swing. High, leftt and short.

And that was all he needed to see. He had me make a couple of adjustments and my next shot was lower, straighter and much, much longer. So was the next one. And the one after that.

The whole “lesson” took about five minutes.

Now I have to say that he as a real advantage when it comes to giving me a lesson. He’s the guy who taught me to play. He also taught me how to coach golf, and for a while he coached golf at our district’s one high school while I coached at the other. He knows my swing so well because it’s an imitation of his own.

So what was I doing wrong? A couple of things:

First, my ball was too far forward in my stance. I moved it back. That cured the height problem.

Second, I was bringing the club back too far inside on my backswing. He laid down a yardstick and had me bring the club back along the line until my shoulder rotation naturally pulled it in. He also had me shorten the backswing so my arms wouldn’t collapse at the top. That cured the distance problem.

And finally, I was going too fast on the whole process. That apparently was causing me to snap it left. So I slowed it down and the ball went straight again.

That was Monday. I went out Tuesday to play a round and work on my revised swing. The first couple of holes were not very good. I dribbled the ball off the first tee and popped the ball up on the second. But on the third, I striped it down the middle 250 yards. My drives for the rest of the round also were good … at least until the 18th hole, where I snapped two straight balls left into a pond. I slowed down and the third sailed long and straight.

On Wednesday, I’m going to play at a very tough local course. We’ll see if the lesson sticks.

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