On Wednesday night, I practiced at Golden Bear Golf Center. The days have been very hot in Texas, so no practice after work until cooler weather returns.
My biggest problem lately has been hooking, and it seems the primary cause of that hook is tension. When I’m swinging freely, I get a straight ball or a slight draw. When I’m not, the hook intervenes.
On to the driver. Since the driver is my problem club (as well as the 3-metal), I changed my setup so that I use a slightly open clubface and a slightly closed stance. If I’m swinging freely with a good pause at the top, the driver goes straight as an arrow, and with good distance. When my swing has tension, the driver hooks and has lousy distance. So, the key for me is to get rid of the tension. This is true of the irons as well, though the misses are less. Hook = tension!
On Saturday morning, I practiced again at Golden Bear Golf Center, hoping to get in a few balls before threatening thunderstorms rolled in. I started out hitting the ball fat, but soon worked through it and hit the irons pretty well. I was able to hit the driver and 3-metal pretty well today, though, as usual, misses were hooks. Still need to figure out a swing key to get out the tension… My final pin-hunting drill went well today, making some good swings and about half my shots were 4 or better on a 5 scale.
Time to get back out on the course…
The heat has been brutal in the afternoons, so I’ve been unable to practice after work. Instead, this week, I’ve been chipping into a net in my backyard after dinner, when the heat is bearable. During the summer, I only practice either early in the morning or after dinner. Morning is out on work days, so I’ll have to start practicing after dinner.
My chipping stroke is getting better…
I’ve spent the last two days trying to get the hook out of my swing, and really, it comes down to two things:
- I’m releasing the club too early, resulting in a closed clubface at impact.
- My swing is too inside-to-outside, and I’m tending to hit the toe of the club instead of the sweet spot, as the club lengths get longer.
Hooking the ball has gotten so bad that even the short irons are affected. I never thought I could hook a 9-iron 30 degrees, but, yes, I can.
To combat these problems, I’m standing a bit closer to the ball and setting the ball a little back in my stance. We’ll see how it goes this week. I’ve also put the Big Bertha 2004 irons back in my bag until straighten out my hooking problem.
I had planned on Saturday to determine my distances for all my clubs, but due to my extreme issues of hooking the ball and striking the toe of the clubface on the longer clubs, didn’t get time to determine my distances. I had earlier determined that I’d been striking the toe of the longer clubs, but still hadn’t quite figured out how to fix it. Alan saw me hitting balls and stopped by, and we worked on my swing quite a bit. He had me adjust my stance, open and closed, and the ball back a bit. Only closing my stance really helped at all, so I need to figure out how to get my swing inside-to-square again and to hit the sweet spot on the face of the clubs.
P.S. Earlier this week, I’d received my NEC 500g rangefinder. One evening this past week, I ventured out onto the Coyote Ridge Golf Course and took many distance measurements and compared them to markers on the course. The device works extremely well and is very quick with a measurement. I’m pleased with my purchase.