Golf Lesson #3 – A Temperamental Driver

After a week of golf in Palm Springs followed by a week trying to acclimatize back to the cold Calgary winter, Beth and I were back at the Country Club Sunday for another golf lesson.

Fred was pleased to hear that we had some encouraging results in Palm Springs, particularly with our iron games. With that, we decided to let that be for now and just continue to work on the same things in that department.

I mentioned that my driver was erratic on the trip and I felt a bit lost with it in how I should, if at all, carry over the fundamental changes we made with my iron game. The driver is a different animal, as most of you know. The setup is slightly different, your angle of attack is (hopefully) different, and your ball position is likely different.

Somehow the changes I made in my iron game set off some sort of irrational chain reaction in my brain to produce a beautiful quick hook with my driver. By beautiful I mean, well, not beautiful. Not the most desirable miss, however not the worst spot to dig yourself out from either.

Fred watched me hit hook after hook and finally stepped in. The only way to curve a golf ball is with swing path. Face angle determines direction, swing patch determines curvature. To hit a hook the club has to come from the inside on the downswing and go out (away from you), and my driver was coming 8 to 10 degrees from the inside according to TrackMan, which is way more than you’d ever want under normal circumstances.

The second problem I had was my attack angle. I wasn’t staying behind the ball very well and my attack angle was negative (coming down on the ball), as opposed to coming in flat or with a slightly positive attack angle (coming up on the ball). This was contributing to the low ugly hook. This has never really been a typical miss for me, so I found it strange to be in that position. Nonetheless, at this point in the process this is where I find myself with my driver; hitting a low hook.

The good news is that it’s temporary and Fred had some answers for me. The main points were:
(1) My take away. It was coming back too far inside and then coming back down on that plane. I have a drill now which will also help improve my position at the top and overall swing plane.
(2) Stay behind the ball. I had a tendency to lunge forward slightly with my upper body on the downswing and get ahead of it, causing the slight downward attack angle. Behind the ball, Josh! Come on!
(3) Over rotation. Over rotation? Yeah, apparently you can have too much shoulder turn in a golf swing. This will also help (2). This isn’t really anything technical. I just need to put a governor on my rotation for some added control.

Nobody said The Road to Scratch wasn’t going to have any potholes. Will tackle them one at a time. Can’t wait to practice today!

Thanks for listening and happy golfing!

Josh

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