Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Seek Professional Help

My previous blog post described my first swing analysis at GolfTec during the 2009 U.S. Open. It was extremely helpful. After that first one-swing video lesson, I received a promotional, in-person swing analysis with a GolfTec instructor in Lake Grove. She broke down every element of my swing and corrected my atrocious posture, alignment and swing plane.

A few months later I took advantage of another promotion at GolfTec in White Plains. On that day, the instructor was able to help me refine my set-up and improve my takeaway and swing plane. Following these two sessions my game continued to improve, but I was still plagued with inconsistency.

That's when a Groupon offer found its way into my inbox. Two 45 minute lessons with highly respected golf coach Walter Ostroske for just $45.

It was an offer I couldn't refuse.

I immediately clicked accept and print, then called Mr. Ostroske to schedule my first lesson. By the time I took four swings with my 6 iron, Walter had identified my problem.

"Your set up is perfect. Good posture, although you could use a bit more knee flex. Nice take-away. Good swing plane."

Walter was very positive and encouraging, so why was every third ball squirting out to the right?

He placed the butt end of my driver four inches outside of my left temple and told me to take another swing.

Before my clubhead made contact with the ball... BAM! My skull whacked the grip.

"You're swaying forward during your downswing," said Walter.

We spent the remaining forty mnutes hitting balls, trying some drills and analyzing how the swing felt.

By the end of the lesson I was fairly confident that I could feel where my body position should be at impact. Walter then told me to practice the drills he recommended and come back after a week or so.

Two weeks later, after a few practice sessions and a nine-hole round at Eisenhower, I returned for my second lesson. My swing had improved. My impact position was better, but my follow through was still ugly. Walter showed me how my right side was outracing the rest of my body which caused my arms to collapse at impact.

The result was that horrendous "Chicken Wing" finish we all see at our local municipal course.

More swings. More advice. And a terrific two-club drill that helps keep the body in sync from takeaway to follow through.

My shots became more consistent and more powerful. As a result, I can now feel where the clubhead should be at every stage of the swing.

I thanked Walter and told him I would continue my practice routine and call in a few weeks to schedule another lesson.

Now let's see if there's any effect on my scorecard.