Saturday, March 7, 2009

Latest Lesson With Ted Fort

I received a lesson from Ted Fort today. Coming into the week I was a bit nervous because the week before I was playing pretty darn well and wanted to come into my next lesson playing well. But 3 days of rain and then 1 day of the course being closed because some snow was on the ground meant 4 days without swinging a club. On my first day back I started hitting the ball pretty well on the range and decided to play a round where I started out well and then struggled pretty badly after the 7th hole and shot a 78.

Practiced for another two good days but decided to schedule a lesson anyway for Saturday. I then shot back to back rounds of 71 (-1 for both days) at two different courses and was hitting the ball much better. So I was very glad that I was able to come into the next lesson playing pretty good.

Still, I had some issues with 'steering' my release and I didn't like how over the plane I was on the downswing. I was able to control, but I think years and years of experience helped with that.

Again, this is stuff that works for *me* and it *might* work for you, but it may be the exact opposite of what works for you. Ted and I talked about it for a bit and the way I understood it was a big reason why I tend to steer some swings is because I'm coming over the plane. So we wanted to get me on plane...even by getting me to attempt to come under the plane (over the plane is AKA 'coming over the top')

The big thing we worked on was the set up. Here's a pic of my old set up position.

Now, let's take a look at Ted at address:

Look at the arms. Ted's right arm is bent and you can see the left arm.. The right arm is also in line with the golf shaft. My setup was different. The right arm is straight and is not in line with the golf shaft. You also cannot see my left arm one bit.

This was the big reason why I struggle with getting above the plane on the downswing and then the steer comes into play.

I also got to meet Lynn Blake (aka Yoda) for the first time as he was working on something at 'The Swamp.' I've written a bit about Lynn over at this blog and it's easy to see why if you've ever seen his swing:

One of the things Ted wanted me to work on was to stand a little further away from the ball given my new right arm positioning at address and instantaneously Lynn was able to see why I stood so close to the ball at address, just by watching my pre-shot routine....something that Ted also worked at.

Then from there we worked a bit on my release as I didn't have the swivel release quite down. Given my years and years and years of steering the release (aka trying to do everything I can to open the blade to square at impact instead of releasing the club), I'm guessing this is the part that will take the most effort to fix.

From there we talked some TGM shop as I told Ted that I just received the book (I finished List #1 and I'm just starting List #2). We also talked a bit about one of Lynn's students, Brian Gay as he uses the right forearm tracing (which Ted went into a bit with me). While I'm more of a fan of the bombers like JB Holmes, Dustin Johnson (whom I've played with once), Sam Snead, Freddie, etc, I'm borderline infatuated with Brian Gay's game because his accuracy with every club in the bag, including the putter, is something that I find downright phenomenal.

Anyway, the goal for me is to get the setup and steadily get to being on plane on the downswing. I figure the release will take a little longer to learn, but I should make a steady progression there and in 3-4 weeks get ready for another lesson.

Ted can be found at or at (by the handle 'YodasLuke')


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