MIKE 12.20.19

Couple of things...you said you're still hitting the ball inconsistently. When you last played you had a horrible front nine and a fantastic back nine.

You're in a transition from your former swing and your new improving swing. This is going to happen until you own the new swing...and you will with lots of range time.

Your contact was pretty good today, at least the hits I observed while I was going between you and Brandi. I believe we agreed that the main challenge for you at this time is dispersion...how far off the target line you balls land from drive to drive. That's understandable in transition, but as you groove in your new swing mechanics you will narrow the ball dispersion. There are two ways it will improve and those are executing a full hip turn with your belt buckle facing your target. Today, your hip turn is about 45 degrees and we need a full 90 degrees. Turning your left foot out during the address will help you to execute that turn more easily. The other way to improve your dispersion rate is mentally. You will remind yourself that you require no more than 20 yards on either side of your target. That limits your dispersion to the point that you will almost always land your drive in the fairway. In time, you can tighten that to 15 yards, then 10 and so forth.

We also discussed the swing plane and how the driver and the irons are on different planes. The irons being more vertical because of the need to "chop" into the back of the ball driving into the ground and you'll take a divot in front of the ball because of the angle of attack. The driver is taken back on a lower plane so that when the driver head returns to the impact zone it is on a flatter arc coming through to the ball. This allows the driver to make solid contact in a sweeping fashion to lift the ball upwards off the tee. Because the club is lifting through impact there should never be a divot.

We measured your swing speed, your ball speed, your distance and your smash factor for your 7-iron and your driver. The smash factor goal for your 7-iron is 135, while the smash factor goal for your driver is 150. These are the ideal numbers for the equation between swing speed and ball speed.

Your speed ranged from low 90s to just above 100 in the swings I observed. However, since I wasn't with you the entire time you may have gotten other readings. The distance with your 7-iron ranged between 150 and 165 yards, partly because I requested that you take it down a notch for the sake of accuracy. Eventually, we want to know fairly accurately how far you should hit each club so that we can rely on those distances for better shot making and consistency. If you are more consistent with the 7-iron at a distance of 150 than 165 yards, we may want to make that distance compromise until you become more consistent at higher speeds...and you will. The same goes for your driver. If I recall you were hitting about 250 yards fairly consistently with the driver, but your dispersion was often too wide. That's a good distance for accuracy for now, but with practice you should be able to approach 300 yards fairly consistently. But again for now, I would like for you to be more consistent so let's work on the 250 yard marker until you've had time to groove your swing more.

I've added a video below titled "How to Hit a Driver Straight." The video demonstrates the drills and mindset to hit straighter drives. You can practice the primary drill at home or on the range.

We worked on your chipping near the green with the pitching wedge and the 8-iron. The goal was to land the ball with your pitching wedge about half way to the pin and let it roll out. The goal with the 8-iron was to land the ball just on the green and let it roll out to the pin. This is a good way to practice around the green because it will provide you with more versatility.

We practiced these pitches using the short pendulum swing with your feet close together and with the majority of your weight on the front foot [left]. You executed this well and my only suggestion was to open your stance a little to allow the club to swing a little more freely in the back and forward motion.

We practiced putting with the pendulum swing matching distance and speed in both directions of the swing. We also established a procedure for reading the green on the top side, the bottom side and from the side for conformation of each putt. In addition, we identified alignment spots [at least 2 each time—one closer to the ball and one more intermediate] on the green to help position the putter face to match the target. Remember that our target distance is 18 inches past the hole on lag putts, and less on close putts...close putts still need to have enough speed to pass the hole [but not as far] if it doesn't drop in. Maximum 2-putts per hole.