David D. and I have been corresponding via email for a couple of years now without having had the chance to meet.
While he couldn’t hit any balls due to a back ailment for which he’s still awaiting treatment, we talked while I hit balls and he observed.
I was having real trouble with my Driver again, which I attributed to performance anxiety, as I was hitting my irons and wedges exactly where I wanted them.
But with the driver, everything was a pull-fade, starting left and going high and drifting right. Granted, there was a slice wind today, but my irons and wedges had just the natural fade action that I’m used to seeing. The Driver howeverwas just not on.
Wouldn’t you know it that David came in where Steve P. left off last week with critiquing my own swing action? Where Steve had noticed something, David noticed something else, and the two were definitely related.
David noticed that my shoulders were very open at address. So open, that it almost assuredly explains my issues with the swing plane, my outside-in divot and the tendency to come over the top when swinging, a trait that gets more pronounced the longer the club I’m swinging.
It isn’t an issue, I imagine, with the shorter clubs, as I was hitting the ball with precision with those, but the Driver was a disaster. David said my shoulders were not only open, they were “grotesquely” open, or something to that effect.
So, I made the adjustment to squaring my shoulders at address instead of having them wide open, and this is how I looked then:
When David made his observation, we immediately went to the camera to see what I was doing. He took several video clips with his camera, which he will try to upload to Youtube so I can grab them and re-post them to the blog, but we got a video clip with my camera which I’ll share now – and what a difference it made to my swing!
DJ – Square Shoulders – More Inside Out Down Swing
What a difference in my down swing plane. Below, you will see the difference, where my club shaft is closer to my right forearm on the down swing, compared to previously where the shaft is aligned more with my left arm for a much steeper plane.
Also, at impact, I have much more “right elbow tuck” to the right side than usual, where my right arm is straightening at impact and the right elbow has left my side.
What a difference!!!
This change will have me swinging much more on the inside-out path that I want, and will eliminate the steep, outside-in path that I’ve had no matter what I did before.
And to think it was something as simple (relatively) yet crucial as my thinking my shoulders were square when they were really wide open.
I want to thank David for a very enjoyable time (we were there for 3.5 hours, and it felt like a blink of time, to be honest), and I look forward to his being 100% and able to swing again.
Final Note – 8 Second Hang Time?!?!
I had David capture one of my swings on video and keep the camera on me to determine what my hang time was with the Driver.
He had mentioned that the pros he watches (he’s an avid tournament hound on the Florida-SC swing of the PGA Tour) get hang time with their Drivers of around 6 seconds.
I would think it might be a little longer, but again, the PGA Tour stats show not much difference from David’s observations.
So, I hit a drive, and timed the ball landing to the tap of m Driver on the deck. On this particular drive, I missed right, but the hang was – get this – 8 seconds. The clip is the proof.
Just an interesting tidbit, I thought…