What I want to go into in this particular post is the question of 'When should I get another lesson?'
Based on my experience of taking lessons, I find it best to give your latest lesson an honest try, first. That's why I think it's a bad idea to get a lesson once a week. You have to fight thru the difficulties and also allow the teacher to better determine why you are unable to execute the motion that you are trying to make.
From there, the big question is 'Are you progressing?'
Now, I would advise that if you're playing well...keep on playing. Enjoy the fruits of your labor. But once you start plateauing in your scores AND your technique, then it's time to get a new lesson. But again, it's important to reward yourself if you are playing better by not taking a new lesson.
For me, I figured it would take me roughly six weeks for a new lesson. I thought it would take me about 2-3 weeks to get the backswing pieces down pat and then 3-4 weeks to make some progress with the downswing pieces.
I did shoot 68 (-4) the last time I played, but I could see the scores plateauing and I was executing the downswing pieces less often.
Prior to my lesson I got on Trackman and only had time to hit 6-irons because the shop was going to close down for the night. Here's some key numbers I was getting with the 6-iron.
92-96 mph club speed
126-132 ball speed
18-20 degrees launch angle
~ 6,000 rpm spin rate
-1.8 to -2.7 degrees attack angle
Here is a view of the PGA Tour averages on Trackman:
(Click to Enlarge)
So while the club speed and ball speed numbers are good, the launch angle indicates the bigger issue of my swing. Furthermore, the spin rate is slightly lower than the PGA Tour average (6,000 rpm vs. 6,200 rpm), but that is still too much spin for that type of high launch angle.
This would also explain one of my issues with mid to short irons...distance control. The launch angle is too high and when the spin rate gets close to 6,000 rpm that cause more of a ballooning, soft ball flight. And when I get the spin rate closer to 5,000 rpm, then I may miss long due to creating a high launch, low spin rate conditions with the ball flight.
With that, Denny, Jeff and myself worked on the following parts:
- Standing Taller at address
- Not going 'up' so much
- Getting more left lateral bend at the top of the swing.
In the last swing journal post I had discussed how by 'going up' in the backswing it allowed me to get more leverage and keep the swing shorter. The issue was that I over-did it a bit and that would make it difficult to get the left hip into flexion in the downswing which will help in rotating the pelvis and getting the torso more tilted towards the target instead of the torso tilting back and away from the target. That will create more forward shaft lean at impact and lower the launch conditions.
Below is a diagram showing more of what we are trying to achieve thru impact. The yellow line represents the middle of the torso to where the head should be.
The red line represents the left arm and shaft in a 'drive-hold release.'
By being more crouched over at address and having to go upward so much it makes it difficult to get the left hip into flexion and instead the pelvis slides instead of rotates and we get that excessive torso tilt.
Like I always say We only make a change if it is for a good and detailed reason.
Standing taller at address also helps give some 'leverage' so I don't over-swing the arms in the backswing.
- Continue to work on the left hip flexion, creating the 'K' look on the downswing
- Create the left hip flexion by flexion and lowering the left hip instead of raising right hip
- We want the left hip and leg to flex independent of right leg movement.
- Proper left hip flexion will cause the lower spine to tilt towards the target.
- Scapula 'lift' to help shallow out the shaft plane
The first 4 bullet points are basically the same motion, it's just more detail in hopes to better understand the motion. But, the 'K' look is an important concept.
When we have the left hip flexion and the pelvis is rotating, we see a semblance to a 'K' from the left side of Sadlowski's torso down his left leg. This is common with drive-hold release swings because the golfer is getting the necessary left hip flexion in order to rotate the pelvis and make for it easier to execute the drive-hold release.
In my swing, I didn't get enough left hip flexion and didn't get the lower spine tilted towards the ball and the target and I could not create that 'K' look:
We discussed some things further about this and we worked on what we call the 'scapula lift' where the left scapula lifts upward in the downswing in order to help flatten the shaft plane. As I've discussed many times on this blog, if you struggle with rotating the pelvis often times the shaft plane being too steep is the cause. However, I will get into the scapula lift in later swing journal entries.
For now, I plan on working on the following at once:
- Standing taller at address
- Left lateral bend at the top of the swing
- Left hip flexion in downswing to create the 'K' Look
- Scapula Lift
So far, the one that is difficult to implement is the left hip flexion. The other three pieces I caught on to quickly and do not seem difficult for me to learn. However, since the left lateral bend and scapula lift go hand-in-hand, I will work on them at the same time.