Member of Topgolf marketing team, Andy Gibson, is determined to get better at golf. Join on us on this series of golf diary entries as he tries to transform himself from terrible to Tiger. Missed the other parts? Start from part one here.
Golf is annoying. I was lucky enough to go on holiday for two weeks, but this meant I didn’t hit a golf ball for ages. Because of this (or at least that’s my excuse) I’d gone back to being rubbish and forgetting most of what Joe had taught me in my last session. When I had my first 30 minute session back with Joe it was genuinely embarrassing how badly I was hitting, or not hitting in some cases, the ball.
Joe immediately saw that my set-up had reverted back to my pre-lesson set-up and made sure my feet were a little wider and my knees were a less bent, meaning I was stood up a bit taller. This obviously meant I topped the next ball, which trickled slowly onto the range. Not only is this embarrassing, it also hurts, in the same way that trying to kick a football as hard as you possibly can but air-kicking really, really hurts.
Trying to pretend that I wasn’t in pain both physically and emotionally, I soldiered on with my new set-up. Although I hadn’t really practiced since our last session I had improved in my weight distribution and my grip was correct. Two of my biggest problems are my slices and pulls, which is what Joe and I worked on in this session.
Joe showed me one of my earlier swings for comparison and used his Hudl app to show me how my downswing meant that I was chopping across the ball. Because of this, it highly increases the chances of me slicing or pulling, and whilst it may not happen every time I hit the ball it means that there is always a chance of this happening. The reason for this chopping action was because my club was getting too far in front of me on the way down. You can see in the below images how the club is now more behind me as I swing down.
To correct this Joe got me doing a drill with my right hand holding the club below the grip, much like how an ice hockey player would hit the puck, and practicing swinging like this. This helps because it gets your right hand lower and less on top of your left hand – this is one of the most common mistakes in amateur golfers according to Joe. This drill helps to change the clubs plane on the downswing, ensuring that I was no longer chopping across the ball as you can see in the above picture.
Once I’d tried swinging the club like this, I tried to put the same principle into action holding the club properly. This is harder than it sounds, especially as I was still in pain from my air swing earlier in the lesson. After a few practices I was starting to get the hang of it, and it was noticeable that my shots were going straighter.
We ended the lesson on that note. It was great to finally understand why a good 50% of my shots end up 70 yards to the right and now understand how to stop this happening. I think a lot of practice is required to correct this issue and I’ll need to hit quite a few balls to get used to it!
As ever you can book a lesson online with Joe, or any of our coaches.