Just came back from my latest lesson with Ted Fort at 'The Swamp.'
The past month I had been playing quite well, dropping my index to a +0.3. However, in the last week I had been 'struggling' a little. Shooting 72-80-71-79-76-74-74. I had start hitting a cut, in fact quite a big one and while I was hitting it very hard and was able to play it, the cut is a bit problematic for me since I play with much more confidence and less fear hitting a soft draw. I also didn't like my putting as I've become a steady 2-putter, but struggling to make much of anything outside 15 feet.
Last night I practiced quite a bit and made some adjustments. Here is one of my swings from yesterday.
When I got to 'The Swamp' today I struck the ball beautifully. So much so that Ted stated that he had a hard time picking out anything that stood out as needed work on. He didn't like how I was crouched over at address as I'm 6'4" tall. He then asked me about my irons and I couldn't remember if they were + 1/2" or + 1/4" over standard. They are actually + 1/4" over standard. I knew they were supposed to be 1* upright. Ted then suggested that I make the lie angles more upright. I've considered putting some KBS Tour shafts in the irons down the road because they are lighter than my current Rifle FCM shafts, but if they are made a little longer that could keep them at a good weight. But for now I'm keeping the Rifles and getting the clubs bent upright.
I was put on the lie angle board with my club and the hits were slightly towards the toe. With the 3* upright irons they were in the middle of the clubface. And looking at my ball 'wear marks' on my irons, they were generally in the sweetspot but they were dispersed a bit horizontally towards the toe. Ted explained that one can hit the long irons pretty well with this issue because they don't have as much loft, but with the shorter irons you're likely to hit some fades...which is something I've struggled with.
After that we went over to the putting green. I had told him I didn't like my putting stroke and he had asked me if I had ever been hooked up to the SAM Puttlab. I had told him I got hooked up to it over a month ago and basically at the end of my backstroke my putterface was about 9* open, but at the finish it was about 1* closed. I also told him my path would arc on the backstoke and then be pretty much straight through on the thru stroke. I knew that I was essentially mixing in two different strokes, but couldn't figure out how to stop doing that. Ted then gave me the option of either making a SBST stroke by rocking the shoulders and standing upright to the ball or use an arced stroke with angled hinging by tracing the line fromt he ball to the target with the #3 PP. I chose the latter and started making some much better feeling and looking strokes.
Eventually we went back to the range and I hit a few more. Then I pulled out the driver and hit that OTT and 'steered' driver that would hit a big cut. We discussed this a bit and Ted believed that my start down was too quick and actually I was getting quick right about the point I was 3/4 back on the backswing. Essentially the body would be moving too quickly and the arms would fall behind and that would cause me to come OTT which then would cause 'steering.' So we worked a bit on slowing that part down so I can have a S-L-O-W startdown and I started hitting great drives that went straight or with a draw.
The big thing about today's lesson is that it confirmed to me that 'The Golfing Machine' is such a F-E-E-L oriented book and that the mechanics and the mechanical information in the book is there to help the golfer create their own subjective feel. This lesson we worked primarily on two things...tracing a plane line with my putter with the #3 PP and making sure that the startdown in my full swing was SLOW. Both of which are in the book as a method to help the golfer achieve the FEEL that works for THEM.
Hopefully this is just a sign of things to come and for now I can work on making my swing mechanics more consistent while improving my putting. From there I can then take some more statistics on my game and eventually look to add some more power off the tee.