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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Video Tells the Story

Back in January, I took my video camera with me on a golf trip to Hilton Head. Earlier this week, I brought it out again when I played three times locally with my cousin Tripp McKeon. While it's cumbersome to pull out the camera every time I play, I think I'm going to use it often because it shows me exactly what's right and wrong with my swing.

Tripp and I played back the Hilton Head video and the nine minutes we shot this week. It was incredibly revealing. Though I managed to patch together some decent rounds on the days I used the camera, it's painfully obvious that I'm going to need to change a few things if I want to get my scoring average down from 90.5 to the 86 or 87 range.

What did I see? On the positive side, I have pretty good posture and decent alignment. Still, they both could be improved. On my bad shots, I'm moving my hips and hands through the ball too early, and the result is a pull. It's probably a result of overswinging and not allowing my hands to stay back and let the club do the talking. It's a problem that can be fixed now that I see it on tape.

On both my good and bad shots, I noticed something that will require lots of attention and hard work to change. I'm getting my hands in a terrible position at the top of my backswing and pulling everything down and through (to the left) on my downswing to compensate for the poor position at the top. The result is an over-the-top move where I'm sort of chopping down and through the ball. When it works, I hit a power cut, and when it doesn't work, I wipe the ball, and it flies nastily left-to-right. The wipe creates a weak shot and has the potential to put me in trouble on my next shot.

So, I think I'm going to bring the camera to the range and see if I can flatten out my takeaway and get my hands in a better, lower position so I don't feel the need to do an outside-in jobbie to make good contact. It's not going to feel comfortable at first, but it should result on a more "on plane" swing that should eliminate the weak cuts/wipes.

I don't know when this all started because I had never really seen my swing on tape. But, my old ball flight was a slight draw, and now I can't draw the ball if my life depended on it. At least now I can see why this is the case.

If you're having issues with your swing (I assume you all do to some extent), be a geek and have one of your playing partners videotape your swing. Do it from the side (seeing that angle showed that I usually take my club past parallel on my backswing) a few times, but make sure you tape yourself from behind. It's the most revealing angle.


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