Made Progress with the Driver

It’s far from where I want to be, but, it’s progress. These swings were taken about an hour a part. The photos on the left are the baseline swing (embarrassingly horrible) are the baseline swings and the swings on the right are after some video work. I post the baseline swing because it is SOOO bad that it should offer some encouragement that quick progress can be made by ANYONE when you’re working on the right things. Let’s take a look.

At address, I’ve been really setting up behind the ball too much in an effort to get a solid positive angle of attack. But it got a little sloppy and I started hitting the ball too high and slipped into having too much weight on my back foot at address. I now feel that my left leg is slightly more vertical and the ball is slightly back in my stance (ignore the tee height, I was tired of breaking plastic tees so I just left it on the little rubber peg). There is a point of diminishing returns when it comes to how high to launch the ball with the driver. As a rule of thumb, the faster the clubhead speed, the lower launch angle necessary to achieve maximium distance.

At the top of my backswing, I’ve turned into John Daly. This swing on the right is a slower swing and I’m thinking about coiling going back and am clearly overdoing it. This is super common when working on your swing, certain other things that may have been good before get a little loose because your swing is slower and your transition later, etc. I’m not worried about this and I’ve actually still managed to get into a much better position on the right as I’m not nearly as far on my right leg. This was, again, a result of really trying to launch the ball high – Mission Accomplished! I can now back it down and be more coiled at the top as I am here on the right and now really use my left glute to get set onto my left foot.

This is just flat out embarrassing. I’ve started the downswing with my arms (maybe I should read that golf instruction book, “The Rotary Swing”) and I’ve completely failed to set my weight onto my left side. Because of this, I’m just “spinning out”, more or less, right from the top and throwing the club away. You can clearly see that I have less lag on the left compared to the swing on the right. On the better swing, I’m more set onto my left side and my arms and wrists are very relaxed. My swing thought here was to “squat” onto my left side and feel my left glute rather than just spin out from the top.  The “bump” onto the left side I describe in the book is the same thing.

The swing on the left is ugly, but after an hour of work, I got it more straightened out, so I consider this good progress. I post this to show that:

a) everyone slips into bad and even terrible habits without realizing it
b) progress can be made quickly when you work on the correct things
c) progress still took an hour working exclusively on this one thing! (Keep this mind you are trying to change something in your swing next time!)

Wow, is that really me on the left? Just awful, I’ve lost a ton of lag and my left leg looks like it’s broken. Good on the right though, much better use of my hips to bring the club down and set on to my left side and I’m maintaining lag here still. The shaft is still stressed, more evidence that I’m not “throwing the club away” as the grip of the club is pointing vertical is still.

That guy on the left is a total hack.

More posted up at impact, it’s obviously creating a much lower launch.

In the last sequence, I have a much better release, more of a crossover release that I’m working towards. Below is a video of the swing on the right from today. As I’m working on things, these swings are a bit slow, this was 111 mph.

Author: Chuck Quinton

Author: Chuck Quinton is the founder of Rotary Swing Golf, a biomechanical and physics based approach to learning a safe and powerful golf swing. He was the first to online golf lessons and developed the first online golf instruction website.

35 thoughts on “Made Progress with the Driver”

  1. Much slower tempo than on the 112mph 8 iron. Over one second from take away to impact. Longer club would account from some of that but not that much. Slow tempo equates to a long stretch cycle. Get the same stretch shorten cycle with the driver that you had with the 8 iron and the speeds would be way up. Any how that my take on it. I’m really enjoying your articles and can’t wait for the next one. Good going.

  2. Yes, this is a much, much slower swing, a “thinking swing” I call it. That’s also why I got so long at the top. Just focusing on the body mechanics right now, then I’m going to get some speed going with it. Even though this swing was super slow and effortless, 111 mph is not bad considering how much I’m thinking and how controlled of a movement I’m making. I’ve seen David Toms at 108 mph with the driver on TV, and that’s full speed for him!

  3. I meant 111mph is really fast! I can only get to 100-105 on 80% and rarely hit 110 with 100%.

    Your body motion is looking more and more like tiger’s. Very impressive. Can’t wait to find out how to do it.

  4. Am I seeing this right. Through impact, it appears that you have maintained the flex in your left knee. You have squatted onto the left knee and maintained that flex for most of the downswing?

  5. Hayes, it does appear that my left leg could have straightened more than it did. I don’t want it locked out, I do want some flex to remain and I would say this is close but because I’m moving slow it’s not all the way around.

  6. Hey Chuck I was wondering where the weight should be in relation to your feet at the top of the backswing. Because I feel that when I make a backswing with no lateral movement that my weight is already on my left heel at the top… is that ok or should I be moving it to the right heal?

  7. Really interesting how much more your face is pointing down in the right-hand pics…like your whole spine angle was steeper. That was the case a few days ago also, no?

  8. Ray, my spine angle is the same actually, it’s that I’m unwinding later with in the downswing with my shoulders in the swing on the right which allows me to keep my head back.

    Steve, my grip is the same actually, I’ve always had a slightly weaker grip with the left hand.

  9. Alex, we’d need to define the “top” of the backswing to answer that correctly. If you mean the time that my club stops moving back and is getting ready to move forward, then I’m already back to my left side, or working hard to get there. So, there is less weight on the right foot at that point.

  10. I’m the guy on the left most of the time and the guy on the right a statistically insignificant amount of the time…I suppose that’s why you own the website and I just subscribe.

    On the bright side, I can always get better.

  11. First of all halfway back notice how your left arm covers your right? This is changing your radius/arc and trapping your right side!! NO great players get here……Second great golfers NEVER cross over there hands past impact this is NOT a release it’s a flip…..MY GOSH……..Some of the greats I have worked with have FELT like the hands cross over but pictures prove they don’t!!! Steve Wozeniak PGA

  12. Are you serious? Coming on the blog of another instructor, calling him out on his teaching and then having the temerity to link to your own website? Business slow with all “the greats” you work with?

  13. Wow Steve, looks like you just made a lot of friends. Um, Tiger Woods hands crossover just after impact, but you’re right, he’s not very good. And, let’s see, Luke Donald, Greg Norman, most PGA Tour players, blah, blah. If you understood a crossover release, perhaps this would be easier for you and you would know the difference between a flip and a crossover. I was going to delete this comment because you are trolling, but I’m going to leave it up so people can see what kind of person you really are and that you actually don’t know what you are talking about.

  14. Thank you Steve WozenHACK I needed a good laugh this morning. Nice site you have my 4 year old neice could have done the same thing with…what did you use front page?? What’s the matter…none of your tour pros want to leave a testimonial? Rocco Mediate, Jim Colbert, Jim Dent, Marco Dawson, Emily Klein, Leonard Thompson and Jim Mclean. YEAH RIGHT…What a joke.

    Hey let’s all send Mr. WozenHACK an email telling him how unprofessional he is …

  15. Gee, Steve. You also just called out Homer Kelley, Lynn Blake (Brian Gay, #30 on the Money List), Rob Noel, Ted Fort, Michael Jacobs, etc. They all teach the left forearm swirl after impact (read crossover here)to take the club up to the followthrough. An article on Tiger’s Impact Position is in the Golf Discussions thread for you to take a look at.

  16. will there come a point where thinking about our legs or arms won’t be required. Simpley turning our bodies correctly will provide a “gift” of the “bump”. That to me would really simplify the swing.

  17. Mr. Wozeniak,

    Your unprofessionalism is quite interesting. You slam a fellow instructor for displaying his release, WHICH IS THE VERY RELEASE YOU TEACH AND DEMONSTRATE ON YOUR OWN BLOG SITE. Please, sir, look again at your pictures of you demonstrating the left hand action through impact that Mr. Ben Hogan has indicated and that you reference. Are you suggesting, sir, that Mr. Hogan also was flipping?

    It would seem from my perspective that your credibility is falling faster than a dress on prom night – in that you cannot recognize the very move that you obviously endorse.

    Please show me the broken down left wrist and the extended right wrist that indicate obvious flipping – I’ve missed that still. Even in the video, the first frame past impact shows a very slight breakdown – but certainly not a bona fide flip.

    It may be time for some Continuing Education credits to hold your PGA status. You seemed to fail the ‘swing evaluation’ test.

  18. Poor Steve Wozeniak got an ass kicking and ran home…

    Just wanted to say Chuck to please keep up the excellent work and the instruction. I believe that this maybe the most important instruction that I and all of these other solders in the battle against par will ever receive.

  19. Wow… Chuck, you know what, i wanna swing my 8 iron like you do on the video where you’re swinging your 8 iron at 112 mph…i really like your swing is looking…the squat motion show how it’s look easy to throw the club. PLease show me the way…:))

  20. Hey Chuck I’ve been getting confused on the takeaway. I watch Tiger and I’m wondering if I’m seeing it correctly but is he taking the club away with his lower body. Or what is the Biomechanical correct way to take it back?

  21. Alex-

    Tiger is not taking the club away with his lower body. I have no idea what his actual swing thought is but it’s clear that the dominant feature of the backswing is the coiling/torqueing of his core. Alison describes it as a rotary “pull” in the videos.

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