Now that the weather has turned (for the most part) I have been enjoying getting outside and actually hitting some balls. Knowing that the next big improvement in scoring will come from an improved short game, almost all my time has been spent doing rifle barrels with wedge and 9 irons, and the little distance shots from 20-70 yards that require something less than a full swing. As we know, these shots are about distance control and accuracy and power does not come into play. I have been a proponent of the Pelz distance wedge system since I read the Short Game Bible years ago and know how far each of my four wedges fly for a each of a ¼, ½, and ¾ backswing. However my distance control from shot to shot has been inconsistent and the flight and divots indicate that I was not always attaining pro level action through impact. So I decided to work on an improved trail hand position. My goal in practice was simple maintain maximum trail hand extension (bent back) all the way through impact, and to take a divot forward of the ball position on every shot. My thinking was that if I could become consistent in maintaining the same amount of extension, then the distance control would become more a function of backswing length, as the trail hand would release with the same energy on every shot. Of course the side benefit of this training is improved trail hand position at impact on all other shots as well.
To start I placed almost all weight on my lead foot, then took a back swing that had my hands even with my trail thigh and hit down and through the ball finishing in rifle barrel. I hit four focusing thought on maximum trail hand bend, and four on clearkey. It took just a few sessions of 32 ball drills to see a big improvement in the quality of the strike and by the time I decided I was good they were all landing within a two foot radius about 30 yards out with my 9 iron. The repeatability of the distance was uncanny. This got me thinking so I took my 64 degree wedge and did the same thing - plop...plop...plop about 15 yards out in a real tight pattern. I started to get excited but I was outa time..to be continued.
Today, after my normal rifle barrel drills I decided to expand the backswing length. My hands went back just as far but this time I set Keystone. For non Bertholites this has the club level with the ground and parallel to the target line like this:
Today I was using my gap wedge and just repeated the drill from earlier focusing on maximum trial hand extension (backward bend), and following through to rifle barrel as before. Wow! Epiphany time! 50 yards into a brisk wind, EVERYTIME. A pattern of no more than about 9 feet total! I finished my 32 ball drill and then grabbed my 60 degree wedge and finished off my shag bag....again the distance repeatability was staggering. These shots were all done with my weight forward stance and involved no weight shift at all.
The thing that amazed me the most was the utter simplicity of the stroke and the very minimal effort required to make the ball fly the distance it did. My iron play has always been the weakest part of my game, and after the last two weeks work, and what I experienced the last two days, I am convinced that I have not been attaining a Bertholy / Pro standard of impact with my irons. I had lost distance on my irons (7 iron 155 -160 yds) last year and it was perplexing to me because I kill the ball off the tee and with my fairway woods, but my irons were weak and erratic. It was also puzzling to me because I can perform the golden exercise pretty damn good and couldn't understand why I wasnt getting more distance on my irons. I am encouraged by this result and plan on working diligently to improve that action of my claw through impact. I will continue to increase the length of my back swing until I run out of room on my short field, then I will have to head to the range to complete the training I guess. The good news is my driver will bust farther than ever too.
My new Keystone Distance Wedge shot now gives me four new highly repeatable distances I can rely on from 15 to 50 yards out.
This message has been edited by mcirishman57 on Mar 30, 2009 9:52 PM
Interesting post you did..
I was out at the range last Friday, then we had Snow Sat, now storms today, Monday. Weather is keeping me away from the course and the range since then.. (Okla)..
I wasn't hitting the ball worth a Dam- for some reason.
I thought ok, do some L to L drill work..I did the back swing only to were my right forearm was parallel, I kept my right elbow lightly against my side. From here I simple held everything in place and turned my core..arms relaxed and I couldn't believe the distance I was getting, also the solid click of a good contact. I did 10 of these with a 6 Iron and was probably 140 yard carry.. About the same as my regular swing. I tried this also because I had my 11 year old grandson doing the same thing, he's not a golfer and has only been out to the range about 8 times and course 3 times.I was just getting him set to hit from 100 yards and in. Anyway, he got the hang of it and did great with that technique and we played best ball.
Your picture with the wedge is about what I was doing with the 6 iron.. My thoughts are why it worked so well for me is that maybe I'm about in the 6/100 Bertholy position and maybe unlike my regular swing i am creating that type of lag with that short backswing..
About an Allen Doyle height probably..
Tell me what you think about this.. I hope it still works for me when I can get out again..hope by mentioning it I haven't Jinxed myself..
Thanks, Ron rofox
The recent bumps of some old threads had me overlooking....
First, the picture is of me and my weighted club in this thread...hehehe...just wanted to show keystone.
Second,the idea for this keystone wedge really goes back to a comment Peter made about one of my sequences - I would do well to advance my hands further toward the ball etc, and so I had been looking at things from 6/100 to impact ever since.
Third I think the reason for the nice contact and power we are getting is from executing a true involuntary release ala Bertholy AND the economy of motion. I think of martial artists breaking stacks of blocks with very little "backswing". Simplicity is better for us, again Peter's comment that Scott H. said most of us would do better with a 3/4 backswing is relevent. In my days of competitive tennis, I eventually gave up on the "full wind-up serve", and would just drop the racket straight behind me, toss the ball, and snap up and through. Very simple, much more accurate and consistent, and almost as much power. More moving parts makes for more possible errors. This is of course the appeal of SA swing systems - better for the average bear.
Yesterday I was able to try the same concept out on a 1/4 (7:30) backswing and had the same positive results. With these shots, I am most concerned about the distance control. My goal is to know that for x swing, I can count on Y distance, every time. The benefit is improved game management and scoring on par 5's should be sweet.
Bertholy also advises a 3/4 swing for many people. I've noticed when doing the rifle barrel drills that I hold the angles better, getting cleaner contact with a divot in front of the ball most of the time with a 3/4 swing. When I go to a full backswing it all goes to Hell. This raises the question as to if I should even be doing full backswing rifle barrel drills ... if this is somehow reversing my progress with the drills.
Got back on track with full swing rifle barrel drills by pulling with my left arm/hand. This also eliminated the shanks and pushes off to the right. I was doing drills and could clearly see that the club face was still open and club traveling to the right at impact. I began to think about how to correct this. When I tried pushing with the trail arm or closing the right hand, I quickly lost the angles. So I tried pulling with the left arm and Voila ... dead straight every time with an incredible amount of force.
I went back to Golf Swing Construction 101 and sure enough, there are many quotes about making more use of the left arm. I seemed to have blocked this information out. The most notables quotes being:
"Fourth Dimension - Involuntary release of wrists, supplemented with a horizontal tug of the left arm at, through and beyond impact."
"The left arm and hand can thereby create more easily the correct pulling action in the downswing..."
"There must also be direct mental involvement by the golfer while playing to facilitate even greater left arm participation while hitting pin-splitting iron shots."
"Dominant right arm golfers will never reach their potential nor will they be able to perform as well under stress as the dominant left side golfer"
Thanks Mc and Allen,
That confirmed what I've found. I have been back out to the range since that post and I still am amazed at how well that works. (about an 8 o'clock swing actually. Right Forearm parallel with the ground) I was hitting the ball straight and a lot more consistent than with my normal 3/4 swing even.
Great click sound on contact, correct divot.
Some distance lost but not much. Like you mentioned Mc, a boxers Jab.. Centrifugal power, quick and short.
If it keeps working for me, I will try it on the course as soon as the weather straightens up and course drys out.
If anyone else trys and likes that, let us know your thoughts.
If it does keep being consistent I will use it as an Alternate swing when I'm off.. Of course if it is more accurate and I get really used to it, it may be my permanent swing.
I'm 65 now and I've seen some older guys really hitting well and decent distances with the Allen Doyle style.
If anyone has any input about the Spin Doctor wedges please let me know what you think,, I've been looking at them to try.
I too am a proponent of the Pelz 4 wedge/swing system. I noticed when I played my first round this year last weekend that all of my wedge distances were off (I have them printed on a 3x5 card and hung from my bag.) I was hitting the longer wedge shots as much as 15 yards longer! I guess I will have to remeasure after I get this new swing firmly embedded into habit.
However, I have noticed in the past that when I try to keep my trail hand at maximum extension on these short shots, that I can indeed do it all the way through impact, which results in the dreaded shank ... to the point where my golf buddies will take cover when they see me try this. I'm not sure how to fix it.
I can tell you that I have played several rounds with the F2s and no shanks. I have hit a few that would have been shanks with 'normal' clubs. One that stands out in particular was sandwedge 3rd shot to a par five that actually caused a reaction in my body (cringe) as I somehow knew that I shanked it. The ball ended up 5 feet from the hole and I managed to sink the putt for a birdie. I looked at the clubface after I hit and the ball mark was right under the hosel in perfect shank position. If I had made that swing with my old sandwedge it would have been in the woods ob and I probably would have taken at least 3 to get down after that resulting in a double bogey or worse. LOL like Stan says life is too short to mess around with the shanks... My confidence has increased a great deal since I started playing the F2s. I feel a bit more relaxed over the ball because I know that the shot might not be perfect but it won't be a hosel rocket.
In way though it takes some of the excitement out of the game. Knowing that I could shank any iron shot at any time added an element of danger that was a bit intoxicating... LOL I was always careful to make sure that nobody was standing to the right and ahead of me when I was hitting...
It was your input along with Remington finding the cheap price on F2s that led to my current state of shankless bliss.
LOL, I am now back to using my version of simple swing as the smaller grips seem to have eliminated the lead hand pain that I had before. I am using a triple overlap grip which may help some also. I set up with my weight on my lead foot and with my lead knee bent so I guess that I am mixing some IMA in along with some Bertholy training including my own version of the golden exercise. I also use a bit of STC as I find that thinking of swinging the clubhead and watching it swing thru the ball helps a lot. I am not using clear key though I did learn a bit from using it for a while. I might try it again sometime in the future.
"when I try to keep my trail hand at maximum extension"
Sounds like you are thinking about it while playing! Do it it off course, using 32 ball drills letting it filter in as a habit. You can start with trail hand only drills and play "leap frog" - hit one 2 feet, then hop the next shot over that one, the third over the last two, etc out to about 20 yards, then ad the left hand back in. Don't give it a thought on course.
Make sure you set up in an impact position and that the ball is played forward enough....NO LOWER BODY ACTION. Also, make sure you maintain your lead side connection.
Do you hit the laterals when doing rifle barrels? This is just a mini rifle barrel drill with no weight shift and master move lead knee action.