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Story Time -The Self Taught Golf Swing

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  • Story Time -The Self Taught Golf Swing

    I have been on a quest for some time now. Its a pride driven obsession that I hope to accomplish before my body decides NOPE, I'M DONE. I am trying to find the perfect swing for ME by trial and error, lots of practice, and pure perserverance. I don't plan to become an amazing golfer, but I do have certain achievements in mind. I have learned an aweful lot so far, but I have a long ways to go. There seem to be so many ways to swing a golf club, and so many swing thoughts out there, and so many variables that it is a daunting task for me. I thought I would ask myself some questions, and if you happen to be on a similar quest (I figure a simulator site would be the best place to find similar minded people, golf lovers, and maybe obsessors), please feel free to share your answers to them as well. I hope that I can help someone, inspire someone and or learn something new.

    1) What drives you to go after such a lofty goal of learning the perfect swing?
    I never learned to swing the club very well, and at the age of 30 (I am 35 now), I decided to pursue a total revamp of my swing so I could enjoy golf more, raise my ability ceiling, and maybe even lower my handicap to the single digits. I am also driven by the philosophy that pro's are not GODs, anyone can hit as far as them, and play as well as them, you just have to put the time in. I am driven by the idea that finding your fastest swing goes hand in hand with finding your most consistent and accurate swing. Lastly, I was told you had to be in great shape and workout in the gym a ton to be able to hit like pro's can, I simply didn't believe that to be true.

    2) How far have you come?
    I used to play pretty decent golf, but nothing amazing. At a very simple, open and easy 9 hole course, I would usually shoot 1-8 over par. Today, I hover more near the 5-10 over par, so you would think my obsession has been for the worse, but I would say that is untrue. I have gone from swinging my driver ~105 mph, to a consistent 120+. That is just from hitting thousands of golf balls, trying different techiques and feels, and trying to find what works. Problem is, I have not repeated the same swing ever, so each time I play golf, i am testing out a new swing change, and I refuse to let myself make a swing that still has major flaws "work". I also swing much faster without trying, so any flaw in my swing is now amplified way more than it was 5 years ago, so I hit a lot of balls way off target.

    ​​​​​3) What have you learned? I have learned that you really don't need to workout at all to hit as far as the pro's (though it doesn't hurt), you just need to get golf strong like Hogan put it, by hitting tons of golf balls. I have learned to be efficient, and I have learned that my body's phyisical ceiling speed wise is around 130 mph with the driver, I just had to unlock it. I have learned that flexibilty, stability, loose wrists, and soft hands are big keys to a good, fast golf swing with minimal effort. I have found it is very hard to swing as hard as you can and actually increase speed, you actually slow down. I have learned that large changes in grip position (strong, nuetral, weak) are EXTREMELY hard to do as it changes the feel of your entire swing. I have learned that the faster you swing, the harder it is on your body especially if you have a tendancy to mishit the ball one after another when you are "off". I have learned that just about everyone has pga tour speed in them, they just don't practice swinging as fast as they can so they can learn how to unlock it, and learn to control it. I have learned that a lot of pga pro advice one can read or watch, contradict eachother and just makes the sport harder.

    4) What are you still struggling with? I struggle with early extension, and making a very very strong grip work. If I can get the timing down for my EA, I can swing confidently and hit the ball a mile and on target with any club. I can get amazing launch numbers on all clubs when I get in this groove. I can carry a pw 165-170 yards with 10k spin, 125+ mph ball speed, and 23 degree LA. I can carry a 7 iron over 200 yards with 7k+ spin, 140+ mph ball speed, and 17 degree LA. and I can carry a driver over 330 with ~2k spin, 185+ mph ball speed and 16 degree LA. All with nice baby draws, and adequate accuracy (according to Skytrak). I can also snap hook every single shot, or hit them so severely off the heal or toe, that my left hand aches for days from the shock. On the days when I am hitting well, I want to go hit up a golf course and I feel like I can make any shot. On the days when I am insanely off, I don't want to go and embarass myself and I usually take a short break from golf. Its a high/low releationship just like it is for anyone, but man do those highs really keep me at it.

    5) Where do you want to be when you are done with your quest? I want to be able to swing any club my full capable swing speed when I have to and be quite confident I will at the very least keep it in play (thick rough lies come to mind, greens hidden behind tall trees that only a nuked wedge will find, or that par 4 that is greenable if I catch it with everything I have), I want to be able to swing for par 4 greens and at least scare it a bit when I do golf scrambles, I want to be able to play very nice and more difficult courses without worrying about embarrasing myself, and I want to beat some snobby coworkers that teased my abilities in the past.

    I am obviously very speed minded. To me, that is the most unique and memorable thing about a golfer. People aren't generally in awe of someone's pitching or chipping or maybe even putting, but many do pay attention to how hard someone can hit it (and keep it in play). I however, don't want just speed, I want speed and control and I feel strongly that I can achieve both. I want to achieve these things for myself but it would also be kinda fun to be more unique and known amongst my friends, colleagues or anyone at the local golf club as "the bomber" lol.

  • #2
    good story. two names come to mind. fowler who looks like he's' never picked up a weight in his life and young, pre-jacked rory. I keep thinking, if skinny fat fowler and pudgy rory generate ball speeds in the 170s and 180s, why can't I? when i try swinging out of my shoes and top out in the low 160s I think they must have been born with special golfing muscles. your story gives me hope. care to share some swing videos with numbers of your progress?

    Comment


    • Clevited
      Clevited commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the response.

      Don't forget about John Daly, and Bubba Watson. I think everyone has the ability right now to be above and beyond what you currently are, the problem is, it can be devistating to your game to change now but if you have the will to do it, you can. The muscle I feel is there, you just have to activate it and keep it activated.

      As far as videos, I do sort of have an "evolution" of my swings i keep private on YouTube and I have some screen shots i can share from my good days with my current swing. I don't like posting pictures of myself let alone a video, but I can give you private links in a pm if you would like. Please just don't share or repost, I enjoy my privacy.

    • inorkuo
      inorkuo commented
      Editing a comment
      I started playing golf 2.5 years ago and went though a swing overhaul of my own after the first year. not long ago I started taking lessons and while I made good progress on my own, having a good instructor definitely helps. pm me the links.

    • Clevited
      Clevited commented
      Editing a comment
      I had to undo 15 years of really bad habits. Id have done lessons if I could afford them but I am enjoying the solo adventure enough. I have however recieved pointers here and there from pros, some helped, some just made things really really bad.

  • #3
    Here are some pics of a more recent session in my garage. First one is PW, second is a 7 iron high off the face push that I have no idea why I took a pic of, and last is a pretty much as good as I can hit driver in my tiny cold bay. Apparently I swing much more free at the range on a Trackman than I do in my bay as I get quite a bit better ball speeds. (Could also have to do with my suspicion that Skytrak has issues reading ball speeds in the 170s and up, as during one session at the range a while back, I had 2-8 mph slower ball speeds on Skytrak than I did on the Trackman and the deviation seemed to get worse as the ball speed went up, but thats a story for another time

    Comment


    • Little_Stickner
      Little_Stickner commented
      Editing a comment
      That driver is....

      BEAST MODE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Clevited
      Clevited commented
      Editing a comment
      Ha, thats nothing to me. I have aspirations to be able to touch the 190s ball speed wise. I think that is my absolute upper limit, and it will require me getting more consistent and a little more efficient with my current swing. I have to get rid of a couple of major swing flaws to make that happen.

  • #4
    Little update to my endeavor. When I first got my Skytrak, I hit thousands of balls in a short period of time. I hit just about daily, sometimes non-stop for a couple hours. I was mostly hitting in temperatures that varied between 10 F and 50 F depending on if I ran my heaters or not. Because of that, and because I was testing many different and very athletic changes to my swing, I inflammed just about every tendon in my body. About a year later, I am finally healed (I just recently took a long enough time off to let everything heal appropriately). I am back at it, and working on getting my hips to open faster as I have way too fast of an upper body in the downswing and that is causing all kinds of inconsistencies. I have made some great initial strides, but my speed has definitely suffered in the 2 months or so I have stopped practicing regularily. Hopefully with a revamped practice routine, I can get that speed back and then some, as well as perfect my swing in time for summer league.

    If I can teach anyone anything, it is to not over do it. I am 35, and healthy, but all that swinging really did a number on my hands, wrists, ankles, feet, knees and back. Some due to poor technique, some due to trying new things and thus stressing new parts of my body, some from swinging as fast as I do, but mostly from repetition. If you wake up feeling like you are a hundred years old each morning, and you have been hitting a lot of golf balls with your shiny new simulator, I recommend taking a couple of months off ha.

    Comment


    • #5
      How are you determining your swing faults? Video and self analysis? Video and feedback from others? Combo? Thanks..

      Comment


      • Clevited
        Clevited commented
        Editing a comment
        All of those. I have had a handful of very short lessons over the years and a couple instructors look at video of my swing, but nothing long term. You tend to learn quite a lot about the mechanics of the golf swing just by going on this little adventure. I also own a Casio Exilim high speed camera which helps a lot.

    • #6
      Who is this mythical Greek God that calls himself Clevited? He swings faster than Tiger did yesterday. If Tiger swings his wood 129.2 mph, which is the fastest so far this year and Clevited is swinging his PW 125+ mph...goodnight! What PGA touring pro is Clevited ?

      Comment


      • Clevited
        Clevited commented
        Editing a comment
        Why are you trolling me? Jealous much? Also I don't swing my pw 125 mph, I am not sure how you came up with that. You might want to view my screen shots again. Also, there are lots of golfers that can swing as fast or faster than TW. Control over that speed, now that is amazing.

      • Clevited
        Clevited commented
        Editing a comment
        Got it, you must have read ball speed and thought I said swing speed? That would be something if I could do that. I am almost certain no human could swing a standard pw that speed.

        You probably feel a little silly. PM me if you would like. I would be happy to help you find some extra speed. My thread was to inspire people, and discuss with anyone else doing a similar thing, not to toot my horn. I don't have a low handicap to go along with the speed I have worked so hard to achieve. I have no horn ro toot.

    • #7
      Not trolling at all...and yes, absolutely jealous...and I’m serious, I have to swing out of my shoes to get my CHS over 100 mph.

      Comment


      • Clevited
        Clevited commented
        Editing a comment
        Well it didn't sound very kind lol. Choose you words better next time lol.

        I have heard great things about that Super Speed Golf system. It essentially helps you train the muscle you have to fire faster, and helps you get golf strong as I like to call it.

        I essentially obsessed about speed and went after a goal. I have since exceeded it but I have put a lot of time into it. 1000s of balls at the range, hundreds of notes on my progress so i can keep track of feels that work feels that don't. I truly feel every golfer has 110+ in them, it doesn't take much muscle to move a golf club fast, you just have to train it the right way.

        I have done it purely with experimenting and beating tons of balls, not a single hour in the weight room. Could I up my ceiling more by hitting the weight room? Sure, but I don't need to. This all can work for you, just need to put the time in

    • #8
      In light of your goals, are you thinking that if you dial back the speed at some point you may find the same swing more consistently? Length is great but as you've pointed out you need to tame the target at some point. I wonder if you'd find part of your goals with a 90% swing in there. Being able to total distance drives out to 300 yds is plenty most places especially if you can follow it up with equally long everything else. It comes down to do you want to score well or impress everyone on the tee box?

      I wish I had the time or the simulator space to pursue this but I completely believe the ability to find a few mph's in the swing speeds for most everyone. I'll dig for mine eventually.

      Comment


      • Clevited
        Clevited commented
        Editing a comment
        Great question. My answer is yes. My hope would be to find my max swing speed through technique and activating and building my available muscle involved in swinging the club. I have a goal of being able to regularily achieve 130-135 mph as I think that is what I am currently capable of all out, but not with a ball in front of me (currently). I essentially want to be able to use that from time to time for fun and actually have a good chance at controlling it well enough where it won't go miles off target. I would though, have a slightly dialed back swing at that point which would be my accuracy/consistency swing.

        Basically, I want to tap into what I feel I am capable for pure enjoyment and to prove a point and inspire other golfers, especially those that feel so inadequate in the distance department. Through this adventure, I hope to unlock my speed and be able to use it for fun and when the opportunity warrants it (at my golf course there are several really tempting par 4s that are reachable with that swing speed), but basically up my stock swing speed as well.

        As far as time goes and achieving this goal, I really think it is a product of how bad you want it. When I started this endeavor, I have lots of time and money on my hands as I was single. I went to the range a lot and experimented and practiced swinging as fast as I could. I bought a few tools to help me measure progress, and I hop on the Trackman now and then at my local pro shop to check where I am at officially. I am however, married now and we have recently had our first child. I do luckily have an indoor hitting bay so I can easily continue my work whenever I have a few minutes. My wife also understands and "allows" my obsession because it is really my only form of exercise, and the only hobby I truly enjoy with a passion.
        Last edited by Clevited; 03-14-2018, 02:28 PM.

    • #9
      Kudos to you in your endeavor Clevited...! As an old Vietnam combat veteran I too like operating "out of the box" when I can. Not so much in golf so far though. I've been at golf since I was a teen and I'll be 70 in August. Double your age. Do you think that I could up my swing speed from the pretty normal 85 to 110? Just curious.

      I've got Ben Hogan's book. One thing that stood out besides his relentless practice was how he said that if you aren't "enjoying" the game then you are not doing it right.

      I'm in the process of purchasing my SIM components. Waiting for SkyTrak to go on sale. SIM is probably a couple of months out.

      This will make many jealous for sure. I live on an 18 hole golf course. Ok, so big deal you say. But, our home is the ONLY house on the course and no others can be built...! Why? There is a 5 acre requirement in the area and no acreage is available. The home was built by a minority owner in the course and he moved to CA. We just happened to fall into the 3.75 acres and beautiful home in October 2013.

      I'm interested in your progress and any suggestions.

      Mekongmike

      Comment


      • #10
        First and most importantly thank you very much for your service. Secondly, thank you for the compliments.

        I never read Hogan's book but I have a lot of respect with what he could do. I enjoy the relentless practice. I may not benefit from it as much skill wise due to how I am constantly trying new swing thoughts, and often swinging fast as I can, but I love to shut my brain off some days and just beat balls for the exercise and the maintaining and improving my speed. One certainly gets very strong and fast just doing that, but it only works if you have the time and money.

        Having a simulator is great. You will love it. Take the time to do it right. If you are going to have anyone over that hits the occaisonal shank or even is super powerful, guard against that lol. I have blown so many holes through my nets its rediculous. I did a cheap netted bay and it only stops balls for so long. I had to stack cardboard boxes in front of the nets now to help catch the uber speed balls that would otherwise destroy my garage door.

        Your how on an 18 hole course would indeed be my dream, especially with a lot that big, and no houses crowding you. That would be my ideal home, awesome score for you!

        As far as upping your swing from 85 to 110 I believe you can do it if you want it bad enough. Barring any injuries, if you are able to practice swinging all out whenever you can, you will eventually get more flexible, stronger and faster. I really believe we all have plenty of muscle to move the club very fast, it just needs to be trained to do so and what do teachers often tell us, not to swing out of our shoes when we practice. I don't think you should do that all the time, but its handy to practice it. You are basically teaching your muscles to fire fast whether it was a good swing or not. You will keep upping your ceiling as long as you work on it continually. I have seen big gains just from hitting balls year round instead of seasonally. I don't know what my actual swing speed is at the moment, but on my swing speed radar that I have had for years, I have gone from 105 to now 139 (as of last night). I swing a little differently now, so that 139 number is probably more like 127-130 in reality, and that 105 could have been actually 100, but that doesn't matter. It definitely shows a large gain.

        I hope to get on the Trackman this weekend and see where I really am at.

        Anyways, point is, if you have the time, and can put in the work, you will definitely gain a lot of speed. Take a look at that Super Speed Golf system too. Similar idea but in a more excerise program method of delivery. Cheaper way is to hit balls into a bay or at the range (if you have a membership that makes it cost effective).

        Anways, good luck to you. If you do go on a similar adventure, I would love to hear about your improvements!

        Edit: I figured I should add a couple of cautions. If you have a great swing, there is a risk that practicing swinging hard will get you some bad habits, so I wouldn't swing hard constantly. If you go to the range, I suggest doing your normal routine, and then end with swinging all of the clubs in your bag hard as you can like 5 times each. Perhaps do more than that with the driver as that is the one where extra speed can be the most useful.

        Also, I have hurt myself swinging too much after getting my Skytrak, so be careful. It is addicting, and I hit something like 300 balls a night for weeks, eventually I woke up feeling like every tendon in my body was inflammed and I couldn't walk or even pick something up for a good 30 minutes each morning. I had to stop for about 2-3 months to let my body heal. Now I hit a bunch of balls every other day, but not 300. I am just trying to maintain at this point, and still mess with swing feels and technique.
        Last edited by Clevited; 03-15-2018, 12:56 PM.

        Comment


        • #11
          I feel like I should have played more before the family life but having a forgiving partner goes a long way on this obsession. I would love to be at the practice area a few times a week and playing twice a weekend but it's just not practical with important family commitments. A big reason I'm creeping around here. After 8pm I have a free pass so swinging in the garage would be amazing.
          Last edited by banjopete; 03-15-2018, 08:51 PM.

          Comment


          • Clevited
            Clevited commented
            Editing a comment
            Yeah, if you are able to find a way to swing in the garage, it is great to be able to work on stuff in a more convenient way. A good simulator system though like Skytrak is a great help because it helps you see shot shape and you can practice more than just upping swing speed. You will be able to see if you are still controlling it to your liking.

            Family life makes it tougher to focus on personal endeavors, and in many cases, those personal endeavors no longer seem so important or as desired. I am truly obsessed with my goals and the game, but as my kiddo grows up, that could very well change. Hopefully he enjoys the game too and we can play it together and I can teach him what I know.

        • #12
          Clevited,

          Your kind words are much appreciated...! It wasn't easy at 19-20 years of age. We lost many and had scores of casualties. I am Thankful every day that I made it out and have been able to live for those who could not.

          Hogan's book was written in 1957 and is still very valuable today.

          Do you think that you will one day settle on a swing that fulfills what you want? I hope so.

          I consider myself a "perfectionist" so I will build the SIM as quality as I can. Being an old Building Contractor certainly helps.

          Good on upping my swing speed. I can see a lot of moves in my head. Just need to get them coordinated in my swing. I realize that "lag" and "wrist cock/action" is so very important, but I'm still working up to them. I'm still in the rather normal amateur "casting" of the club and am working on that aspect too.

          I'll certainly take your advice on not swinging out of my shoes and hitting 300 balls a day.

          I looked at the Super Speed Golf system. Interesting, but I wouldn't be able to get it by wife at this point as I'm purchasing components for the SIM.

          It will take awhile, but I'll keep you posted on my results.

          Thanks Again,
          Mekongmike

          Comment


          • Clevited
            Clevited commented
            Editing a comment
            Awesome that you made it through that, what a trying time in a person's life war is. I can only imagine. All I have is what documentaries and hollywood tell me it is like.

            I have sort of settled on a swing. It is extremely difficult for me to master though as it requires a lot of athleticm to do well. Basically I have the club in an ultra strong position in my hands (face extremely closed). It forces me to open my hips quickly which was something I never learned to do prior to this swing adventure. It is extremely difficult to get the face squared up reliably unless I get the mechanics just right. I am hoping practice makes perfect otherwise I will have to ditch it and return to a more traditional swing method.

            As far as the super speed golf system, many have made their own cheap. They bought cheap shafts off ebay and epoxied washers onto the shafts to make them the same weights as the SSG system. So to do that, you need 3 45 in shafts, and you need to make one stick weight 255 grams, second weigh 290 grams and the third 335 grams. Just and fyi if you ever want to go that rout.

        • #13
          Yep, glad to be here!

          Hope that the swing that you have settled on works for you.

          Thanks for the info on the SSGS. I'll file it away for later. Too much going on right now. Like golf every day.

          Mekongmike

          Comment


          • #14
            Wow amazing accomplishments! The only three things we have in common is Sky Trak, our age and a bulldog. lol

            Now I am tempted that I may reach 100 mph if I just put enough work on my swing. I can barely get my driver to 95 mph let alone 100.

            I agree with you with the letting you body heal. Since I have figured out how to swing indoors, I have been hitting golf balls every day and playing at least 9 holes everyday on my ST and so far I have developed some shoulder, back and elbow pain. I made a log of my practice and will limit myself to 3 x max per week and maybe even lesser to recover. Summer is almost here in Canada and I don't want to miss out on real golf when it comes.
            Last edited by msg; 03-21-2018, 04:46 AM.

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            • #15
              Ha, good things to have in common! Yeah, I really think you can reach speeds past 100 if you work at it. It just takes changing your mindset when you practice and throwing out the ego on the driving range because you are going to suck for a while trying to up your ceiling. You just need to teach those muscles to fire faster, as well as learn what it takes to control that speed so you can play well still.

              The 3X a week max is very similar to what I am doing now. I am keeping the strains and aches at bay that way. Mid thirties and my body has changed from young gumby to a really old and brittle gumby.

              Can't wait for spring/summer here in Minnesota!

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