Take My Backswing… Please.

I headed out to the range today to practice the drills I’d been assigned in my last lesson at GolfTec. My focus has been my backswing: keeping it controlled, not turning too far back, keeping my lower body stable, and keeping my left arm straight and out away from my body. Focusing on all these aspects at once and incorporating them smoothly into a swing is next to impossible. Assimilating tons of corrections at once has to be one of toughest parts of being a beginners, when just about everything about the swing needs to be fixed. Following are some of the drills my instructor gave me to help with this challenge:

• Making “L’s” with the arms/wrist at the back of the backswing, and again at the front of the swing. This has helped quite a bit, especially when I remember to make a deliberate effort to include it in my backswing.

• One-handed swings with the right and left hands separately. This is done with the gripping hand choked up with the index finger touching the metal past the grip. There should be “L’s” at the back and front of the swing and the idea is to get a sense of how the forearm rolls over through the swing in a natural motion. This did help me get a feel for what the right swing should feel like naturally, with both arms completing this motion in tandem. I struggled to do this while I was focusing on L’s on the backswing and keeping my left arm straight. Maybe just too many things to remember at once.

• Stopping the back swing when arms reach perpendicular around waist level, then resuming the back swing in a controlled manner to the top and finishing the swing as normal from there. This is supposed to help keep you from going too far on the backswing and preserve the power of your swing. I felt a stronger “wind up” at the end of the swing that should translate into more power. This also ties into keeping the lower body stable – in my case, not letting my hips turn practically 90 degrees on the backswing. However, I found that breaking up my swing made it hard to make good contact with the ball. I messed up most of the shots I attempted with this, but I recognized the body position I was supposed to learn, I think.

My takeaway from all this… golf is going to be a lifetime pursuit, and I have nowhere to go but up.

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