I realized why I have hit a bit of a wall this year

and it dawned on me during this little layoff for my sore shoulder and on my trip to Dallas.

Now this is going to come off like over analysis and swing crack, but if you step back, it makes perfect sense…and it comes back to one basic issue. It will be the last thing I say and it’s applicable to all of you.

It came to me how I got in this pattern when I made a post on Golfwrx about what screwed me up.

Getting away from the game allowed me to see the progression.

I used to have an inside out swing path and a steep angle of attack. I would time it right and play some really good golf…but could be erratic.

Remembering my divots pointed way right and I would hit a block draw. I played the ball pretty far back in my stance and aimed left to compensate.

The swing nerds told me I was too steep and needed to shallow it out, so I needed to swing more to the right.

Now I say, “How in the world did I not know better?”

The answer, in my defense, is bog name and well respected people told me this.

Knowing what my Trackman numbers are now and applying them to what I was doing then and what this advice led me to…

I would say I had an 8-10 degree in to out from my foot line and probably a -3 to -5 AoA on driver. Because I aimed left, the path wasn’t all that much right of the target.

Trackman experts will tell you that the steeper than angle of attack, the more in to out the path gets. So when these geniuses (three of them) told me to swing more in to out, I would assume my angle of attack became even steeper to compensate.

Over time, I would bet my path got to be as much as 12-15 in to out, which led to shots that literally hit the middle of the club face and went 50-60 yards right…and snap hook that went nowhere with the driver. With the irons, I was hitting balls close to the hozel and only some pretty fair eye hand coordination prevents a permanent bought of the shanks.

My setup got more and more left and/or my flip at impact got more and more pronounced. Add some early extension for flavor…the result of an extremely vertical shoulder turn.

Over the past year, as my swing started to even out, my setup did not. Every time I started to feel good on the range, I would hit pulls and instead of adjusting the setup, I hit a wall and my path got out to the right again.

Stubborn me who had always aimed left his whole career, wouldn’t give in and aim more square…or even to the right a hair.

Your setup must match your swing when you play golf, regardless of flaws that exist, or show on that given day.

However, when you are trying to get better, setup to promote what your are trying to improve, so the flaw you are trying to get rid of doesn’t persist.

I am now going to attempt to do this and I believe my improvement will start to ascend again. Not playing enough golf is why it took my pea brain so long to grasp this concept that I instill in others.

That’s why teaching yourself can be a losing proposition.

Here is what Frank said to me in Dallas…

“Monte, you are teaching me about things that affect path and everything you have said has helped me simplify and understand what I am doing. You tell me that you are trying to get your path more left? Why the ______ do you continue to setup open?”

Hide the straight razors.

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11 Comments

  1. Robert Johansson

    9 holes today, 5 old swing shots, rest good. kudos for coming around to understand how easy it is to coach others but when doing things for yourself can be somewhat different.

    Reply
  2. Eric Cockerill

    This reminds me of a story I read about how Sam Snead would maintain his swing. If during the course of a tournament, he found himself consistently hitting too far right, he would simply aim farther left and grind it out. Then, when he had a few days, he would go to the range and aim right, hitting balls until his ball was flying to the target. If the opposite happened, he would do the opposite.

    That story gives so many nuggets: how all swings will “drift” over time, how even the very best have to grind it out sometimes playing the swing they brought to the course, and how setup/target orientation will influence the swing.

    Reply
  3. woody

    This is probably stupid, but when you talk about path, I assume that you are talking about the divot pattern, since the golfer can’t actually see the path of the clubhead.

    This is probably stupid too, but rather that working on path, it seems to make more sense to work on ball flight. If you modified your stance, alignment, posture, grip…it seems like “path” would take care of itself.

    If the target is the ball, it seems like “path” is a distraction. Maybe that’s what you’re saying–work on the setup.

    Reply
  4. Robert Johansson

    Feel is key.
    training feel is to get beyond uncomfortable due to the new motion will teach you new perceptions. Unless you want to do the same thing over and over called insanity?

    Reply
  5. banner12

    Or… you could simply go to Natural Golf and forget all this techo-babble and simply worry about rhythm and tempo…

    It changed my life.

    Reply
  6. Christian

    I say you find yourself someone you trust and make him (or her) your “swing coach.” Overall you know what you want to do, but they will be able to point out little details like this.

    Reply
  7. Jason

    Just like when Frank pointed out your eyeline issues.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Yes. These are the kinds of simple things that I need to be told.

      Reply
  8. Calvin

    Interesting Open Qualifier pairing:

    Germantown Country Club (Tennessee) – June 4th
    Tee Time Pairings Score
    Rd. 1 – 7:36 a.m. David Duval / Joe Durant / Danny Lee
    Rd. 2 – 1:06 p.m. David Duval / Joe Durant / Danny Lee

    Reply
  9. Jason

    Monte, try wearing a cap and sunglasses next time on the range, use these as a reference point for your eyeline.

    Reply
  10. woody

    “your eyeline”

    –Different strokes for different folks, but I prefer the eyeline to be in front of the ball, as did Moe Norman and Jack Nicklaus.

    The task isn’t to get the club to the ball…it’s to get the ball started on your line.

    Reply

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