Hacker's Unite !

I’m really happy to see quite a few 10+ handicappers join Lag’s modules or the forum recently. So for those doing Lag’s modules with crappy swings like me, let this thread be a place to discuss our progress. Let’s leave the lightbulb stuff for the threads that exist, although no reason to not mention them here as well.

OK, my status:
Handicap 16.8
Modules I’m working on: 2 and 4
Swing issues: throwaway, inconsistent low point, arm swinger, dipping shoulders in downswing, fairly short hitter, poor iron play, misses are push/fades some days, pulls on others. Short game is quite good. Putting adequate.

3 months into the course there are still no miracles. However, having followed Lag’s posts, I now have a very good idea of every aspect of the kind of swing I’m trying to achieve, which are being backed up by the modules as I progress through them. I’ve never felt so sure of where I want to be and each module makes 100% sense to me. I’m doing well on the modules and Lag has progressed me quickly. I feel I have a long way before Modules 1 and 2 will enter my swing DNA, because I’m quite a long way from getting to the P3 4:30 position - I will need to find a way of getting there more and more over time. I’m considering flattening the lie on my clubs which may help. Something in my transition will need to improve. I have played a little with pulling the right elbow into a more pitched position at startdown, and this tends to give very good results for shorter irons, but hitting fat with longer irons.

Module 2 has been an eye-opener. Gone is my idea of superficially trying to get to the left leg on the downswing with a hip bump - that never felt right and Module 2 gives a much better weight transfer movement. I’m starting to get it, I just need to get in more practice which unfortunately right now I don’t have much time for.

Module 1 has taught me that my hands were hopelessly lost previously. I followed TGM but I couldn’t sustain the lag. I am beginning to learn to fire the hands, and when I do I get very good contact, but there is still the urge to hit from the top - to counter this I am using Sam Snead’s idea of a big body rotation with very little arm movement - very difficult to get throwaway this way. So transition is still an issue for me. As module 2 enters my swing DNA it is improving.

But what is my swing DNA? I’ve read a lot about it on here. Like many high handicappers I Imagine, I don’t feel I have a reliable one that I can turn to, i.e. swing without any thoughts. Regrettably I can’t remember ever having played a round of golf where I’ve played without swing thoughts. If I just swing at it with my “swing DNA”, anybody’s guess is where the ball is going to end up, and it’s going to be short. So that’s why I have to play with swing thoughts - I’m always fighting throwaway or some other issue.

My focus has now changed though. I need to be accelerating through and beyond impact. I’m beginning to lose the focus on the ball and think more of the final destination. It’s slow, but it’s happening. I love practicing with a 1 iron - when I later pick up a 5 iron, it feels like a 9.

I think that will do to get the ball rolling.

Another hacker here (at least for the time being until I master the modules :wink: ).

I started playing golf for the first time in June 2007, about 2 and a half years ago. After 6 months full on I then didn’t play for another 4-5 months due to work and family commitments. Been playing quite regularly over the past year although at the moment I would say I average one game a month with probably a couple of 9 holes in between.Got about 6 lessons when I started with an old pro that I now know had a very pivot related swing and was teaching me good stuff, only thing he was very abrasive and tactless and swearing etc. I got fed up and stopped seeing him. I went back to a “guru” here on the Gold Coast that proceeded to fleece me of 650 dollars giving me in exchange smoke. I couldn’t even hit the ball after him. Saw another pro that insisted in comparing my swing and my positions to those of the world number 1. No thanks.
Last pro I saw was a senior pro, great guy and I felt very at ease with him but he’s a swinger and was teaching me to be one. It didn’t work for me. Ever since (6 months ago) I have just been out to the range trying to figure out things myself. Reading Gerry Hogan’s book about a month ago has had a huge effect on my ideas and swing. I then came here and started work on module #1. I have found out I am definitely a hitter and always been one. I too can understand now where I need to be at impact.

Handicap 28
Although my handicap is high I have managed to break 90 twice in February last year whilst playing socially. On both those occasions I was hitting the ball with a nice draw.
Modules I’m working on: 1, started 2 weeks ago.
Swing issues: don’t have a swing, I have been listening to too many people with different contrasting ideas which left me in a hazy state for the past year.

Thats interesting Pip, I can identify with that. I messed about with my swing (supposedly in an effort to get better) so much a couple of years back I completely lost any sense of having a swing that was mine at all. One of the things I love about Lags approach is the seperation between what is fundamental where you must “obey” and what is optional in the golf swing so room for individuality still exists.

Cheers, Arnie

Read that February this year. I’m already in 2010 with my mind it seems. :laughing:

Hey Teddy,

The swing DNA thing is a changing of the pattern of your natural swing, not falling back on positive experiences, the “zone”, or even a better handicap. Because you live in your own skin you really aren’t going to “feel” any changes from day to day (or even week to week for that matter). Take a look at the difference in Prot’s swing pre-Lag and post-Lag. (not sure where the thread is, but there are videos). The positives are dramatic…especially the hands not flipping through the ball and he’s admittedly still a work in progress. However, the drilling has improved his impact position by a good foot at least!

Your swing pattern will change for the positive, but may feel and even perform worse depending on your flaw(s). Keep that one swing thought (as Gerry says) with that intention foremost in your mind. Forget the results and allow the rest will happen to the extent of your drilling.

Personally, I just try to maintain the feeling I have when I beat the piss out of the bag, but now with a smooth acceleration now that my strength and experience has increased.

Good luck.
Capt. Chaos

I like this thread, and would like to add to it, hopefully keep adding to it.

I played cricket and golf as a teen, and realistically, like Bradley Hughes, just learned things by playing and practising myself, self analysing and tweaking. I would suggest a fairly large gap in talent and drive between Bradley and myself, but I was getting there slowly. When I turned for lessons by the hack of a pro, I lost my natural swing, and was injected by many half thoughts, that I either mis-understood, or was just getting bad advice. Either way my mind had very little concepts of what was happening in the swing, and my passion only reached so far, so I was on a slow road to mediocrity. I wasn’t having fun at the time, and cricket was getting more time consuming, so I focused on that and dropped golf all together.

Another 12 years of cricket, then a 5 year break from any sport and here I am. I have done so little excersize and have eaten so badly the last 5 years but have had a ball raising two young kids. I thought my sport days were over, which is unfortunate, but golf raised it’s ugly head again, around 2 months ago. It took no time at all to find ISG, and with what I read on that site and watched on youtube, my knowledge of all things golf had increased about 20 times above that of me as a 17 year old kid.

That was before reading LAG’s thread. My knowledge continued to go up reading this thread, but an important ingredient of inspiration was added. It really is considerably harder to drill something written in text book form, than someone passionately explaining their experiences and feelings to you. So when I found the link to his module forum, I had a choice.

Battle it out on my own, trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together, which are mostly laid out somewhere within ISG and other sites/books/videos. Get a coach like a local PGA guy to get me going the right way, or do the LAG drills. I didn’t even really think the decision out that much, but I’m not regretting coming here one bit.

So my current golf goes like this. I can hit the bag pretty much most days, given my left wrist starts to loosen up (which it is slowly). I can chip around the back yard, or practice putting inside probably 4-5 times a week for 20-40 minutes, and can spend 2-5 hours at a golf course 2-3 times a week. Right now I’m hitting the bag, practising chipping a lot, and practising a little putting. I figure while I’m only on module 1 or 2, there is simply no point trying to hit the ball perfect, so I’m doing next to no real golf or full shots, and instead am focusing on tightening up my short game and let the modules sort out my full swing, and I’ll do as little as possible to get in the way of that.

About 3 weeks in, feeling a lot of muscles starting to strengthen up, and the drill seems to be getting pretty automatic. Will probably need another 1.5 weeks to finish the reps Lag set me, then it’s probably straight onto module 2. Chipping has improved drastically, and I’m almost past the point of worrying about contact, and am now more focused on consistant length and direction, thanks to Bradley, and working on that quite a bit. I’ll keep updated on my progress of these things, and other things I find might be relevant for beginner players like myself.

I love this thread because teaching the higher handicappers offers the greatest chance for improvement…

Getting a 3 down to a 1 can be as tough as getting a 20 to a 7…

The better you are at golf, the more challenging it is to get better…

You can hear the echos from down the hall from the better players here… as I have always felt there really is a need for more advanced instruction for better players. But hacker or not… if you are going to work on something… why not work on great stuff… the concepts are really the same… and it’s nothing more than our ability to execute these bizarre and seemingly contorted motions that are the gateway to radical improvement in ball striking.

For a lot of the better players, doing the modules is simply awakening old habits, muscular patterns, or simply cleaning out the cobwebs of confusion.

We don’t hit the ball on the backswing… as I have said many times…
We will be covering this, but there are bigger fish to fry in the first few modules so that the backswing will actually make sense to you, rather than be a constant guessing game of “maybe I did it right that time, but what happened now?”

Prot really worked his arse off… and anyone who really commits to putting in the work will reap similar rewards.

How good do you want to get?

Lag, here’s a question. Us hackers have certain issues and I was wondering how well the modules will fix them. Let me give one example, and I’m sure there are more. In the backswing (yeah, I know, let the backswing follow from impact - but hear me out! :slight_smile: ) I have a tendancy to lift up when I go beyond PV2 - it’s a bit of everything really - some of it comes from the lower half, some of it comes from the torso. The result is that I feel “distant” from the ball and feel as though I am lurching down to hit it. This is something I’ve only recently understood. I can fight this tendancy by conciously staying low in my back swing, the feeling is as if I’m ready to pounce, like a cat - my knees feel more bent, even if my right knee does in fact straighten. If I do this, I feel it’s much easier to get back to the ball, avoid throwaway, and so on - during a round or a range session, I’ll inevitably lose this as it’s not part of my swing DNA. So this is something I’m working on periodically - the other day I had a session at the range and it was pretty awful - only afterwards did I realise that I hadn’t addressed this issue, so the feeling of being distant from the ball, and lurching, was prevalent.

Do the drills address issues like this that we hackers suffer from? OK so I’m on Module 4, and I can see it’s clearly addressing many issues, and so my swing from P3 to PV5 is being improved, but there are many issues outside of this range of movement. I know I’m getting ahead of myself - it’s just a prod to find out whether the 10 drills we are going to work on will cover the swing from address through impact to finish and all the potential issues that lie within for us hackers!
:slight_smile:

Teddy,

Not Lag, but I’ll throw in a couple of cents worth of input. Your image of feeling like a cat ready to pounce at address is a good one and one I’ve used as well…it seems to help me with the springing up thru impact into p4. The mere fact that you’ve intuitively been able to figure out a key that works well for you means (to me anyway) that the modules are indeed developing other parts of your swing that may not be within a particular module’s “scope”.

Continued drilling allows this “good stuff” to creep into our swing dna and eventually change that dna for the better.

Good luck,

robbo

Good to see that there are some good players reading this thread about what it’s like to be a hacker! :laughing:
You make a good point Robbo. I felt this very clearly this evening doing Module 4 - I think I’ll write about it in the Module 4 forum. Cheers.

Well,

Those are good questions…

Now, if we understand that we need to strike from the 4:30 line at P3, then everything prior to that (address, takeaway, transition, downswing) must lead us into this…

The backswing transition if very important.

However, unless we know how to release the club (module #1) brace and support and shift weight (module #2) direct and properly sequence both the hands and post impact pivot thrust through a well conditioned motor (module #3) and have a way to visually check and balance our actions through the most critical zone of the swing (module #4)… any effort to arrive at P3 will do us little good. You simply cannot load pressures and forces beyond your ability to handle and support that load. Architecture 101.

Modules #5 deals with the set up for transition… how the hands must feel, behave, and offer support to the club. It discussed how to load the club properly, and what our options are for doing so, and shows the player a very natural way of setting up the initial transition into P3.

Module #6 then flat out shows the player how to effectively take the club from address right into P3… in one simple flowing motion. The path from address through transition right to the P3 launch pad needs to be one flowing movement…

When we get there… you won’t have any issues of what to do, when to fire, or where to go with the body, the hands and arms… because you will have rehearsed this about 12,000 times!

Module #6 completes the biomechanic activity of the golf swing. After that… we then learn to take what we have and connect all the dots. The muscles will know what to do because they have been trained what to do… we work on putting it all together, learning how to aim, and start shaping shots, and focusing on ball flight, how to effectively draw and fade the ball with ease in some very simple and wonderful ways… and this is done by understanding lowpoint, and how to manipulate our plane line, flight line, ball positioning, dealing with undulations, wind, rain, and so forth.

There is little sense in trying to throw into a catcher mitt if you can’t hit the broad side of a barn. We learn precision, then we learn to aim that precision, then we learn to properly play the game.

Why are hackers so? I mean 50 years ago, it’s understandable. If you couldn’t meet a pro face to face, you pretty much had to learn to hit the ball yourself, and then it was up to your talents whether you succeeded with that or not. But now we have internet forums, video swapping, slow motion golf software, tonnes of technology in clubs and balls, and even lots of home golf modules like Lag’s. Where are we, that’s right everyones shooting in the 70’s… um no. 100 is still the average score.

It boggles my mind. Have we come this far and still not let anyone know the secret of the golf swing? Or is knowing the secret just not that important? Does a score mostly come down to a persons natural co-ordination and learning abilities? Is it a mental thing, where everyones learning to swing and chip better, but can’t overcome the obvious mental challenges the game throws at us?

Sorry, I don’t have any answers, just throwing the questions out there.

In the words of Lynn Blake:

“It’s because golfers continue to bend their left wrists through impact and hit at the ball. That is ‘hacking’ the ball, and as the handicap charts tell us, it produces only hackers. Until Joe Public learns to keep his left wrist flat and swing through the ball, handicaps will stay high.”

Full article from ISG

What Lynn doesn’t explain is that golfers throw their hands early because they have not learned how to fire them at the bottom… also, if the pivot accelerates post impact, it pins the left wrist into a flat alignment, then FLW becomes nothing more than a vapor trail effect.

The idea that you should try to force a FLW void of properly releasing the club, or learning proper pivot action is absurd.

Lynn’s analogy would be like looking into the sky, and seeing a white vapor trail behind an airplane and saying… airplanes fly through the sky because they have white vapor coming out of the rear of them… if you just blow some white vapor out the back, that’s all you have to do to fly a plane in the sky.

Lag, you’ve really wet my appetite for modules 5 and 6 … :slight_smile:

I think the reason people haven’t found the secret to the golf swing is because there is no secret. From address to finish we have pressures, forces, dynamics, and so on, and not positions, or secrets. We have to train our muscles to do these moves - some of us can work it out for ourselves over time, some of us can’t. I learned to kick a football from a very early age - I remember trying to teach my son, then aged about 6, to kick a ball. I showed him positions “look, your foot has to be in this position”. He just couldn’t get it. I bought him a half-sized goal for the garden and he kicked into it and 2 months later he could kick a ball properly. He worked it out for himself like how a child learns to walk. It’s not easy to teach somebody how you have to position your non-kicking foot and leg and balance, which is half the battle, but he built up the sensation over time through trial and error.

Golf is a bit harder though - it’s counter-intuitive for many and there are incorrect impulses that will forever prevent us from long term improvement. That’s why I’m glad I’m following these drills. If I become a decent ball striker one day, I’ll feel almost as though I’ve cheated. :laughing:

Imagine this. Tiger and his coach come out and start a site like Lag’s and makes it free to use. They fill in every gap of knowledge they think people will need to know with drills and theory, everything from nailing a 1 iron, to putting from 6 feet.

Do handicaps now improve? If the answer is yes, then people who are currently trying to get better at golf obviously still have a lot of good information kept from them, thus the term secrets.

The question is, with this information freely available on the internet, and very easy to find due to Tigers popularity, how much better do golfers get?

Anyway, progress report, which I want to keep doing on this thread. Drills are going well, wrist feelling strong again, whereas this time last week it was noticeably sore after the drills or picking up anything. So happy with that. I can also see why Lag likes repetition, as you continue to refine the actions every day, as well as the muscle memory. Without interruption, I should have about a week until module 2 now.

Apart from that, working on the chipping at home and on the practice green at my course. I have come a long way very quickly, and am already a better chipper than when I played as a teenager. It’s amazing how good I could have been if I’d put a bit of real work into my game as a 17 year old, and then kept playing of course. Still it’s never too late. I was practicing technique mostly, but after loosening up, made a game out of it this morning, where chips inside 3 feet are 1 point, holed chips 2 points. 18 different positions around the green, some hard some relatively easy, 3 balls at a time, so 54 chips in total. This will be a common game, where I aim to see an upward trend in scores over the coming weeks/months. This morning it was 21 points including two holed shots. Not a bad start, but even though I’m better than I’ve ever been, I have a long way to go. Pro walked out of his car, put down a bag of balls, and hit 6 chips just off the edge, quick downhill slope, not one more than a foot from the hole… nice. I look forward to doing the same one day.

It’s really fun to watch a pro hit shots in the short game isn’t it? Our club pro is not an overwhelming ball striker by any stretch, but is truly great around the greens and can shoot 68-69 when he isn’t hitting it well, just because of that short game.

I really like this thread and will jump in as a fellow hacker if nobody minds. The last post by Lag gives me a lot of optimism. I am 2100 reps into mod 2 and everything feels really good with the drills, but I have to admit that sometimes I get bogged down into wondering how and when I will start to get of feel for just getting to P3 4:30 in the full swing. Knowing that this and more great stuff is coming in future mods is pretty exciting.

The more hackers the better. No wait, that doesn’t sound good. The more current hackers, who will soon be former hackers, the better. Actually I wonder if we are allowed to post once we crush this game. Oh well, will make that tough decision when the time comes.

Coming up on the end of module 1 and I really want to find out what it is now. I’ll do the required to finish module 1, but like when you are working your last 3 days before a holiday, my mind is already on module 2.

Apart from the drills, chipping is becoming the center of my golf world right now. The more I think about it, the more everything seems to revolve around it. Right or wrong, Lynn Blake comments about drilling flat left wrist with chips, and I can see where he’s coming from, so it may be helping the rest of my game. Also, from a learning point of view, it really reinforces your personal learning systems. I mean you get Bradley Hughes tips to give you a framework to build on, now practice brings the more unexplainable things together through feelings and some trial and error.

Finally, you can really understand the importance of a good chip shot on the course. Obviously, missing a green but still making par is brilliant, but the effect of being able to do this goes deeper than that. Put yourself 150m from a tight green. Does the shot change whether you do or don’t have a good chip? Not much, but what does change is your fear. If your only real chance of 3 or less comes from hitting the green, suddenly you can’t afford to miss, and this will likely put more fear into that 150m shot. But if you can still make a lot of 3’s whether your approach lands in the bunker, any short grass and reasonable lies from the rough, you have nothing much to fear any more.

Some call it confidence, I call it a lack of fear. Lack of fear from any really horrible misses by drilling Lag’s techniques right through module 10. Then a lack of fear from smaller misses, because your short game has a lot going for it.

Heres to a fearless golf game :slight_smile: