Weekly Update – May 27th, 2020

Week two of reporting and a long way to go.

One quick update before we dive into this past weekend’s performance.  I made a slight correction in the numbers from last week by figuring out one of the inputs on Golf Stat Lab.  Originally I had been placing putts from the fringe in the putting category, knowing full well that wasn’t accurate.  This week I was paying particular attention and cross-checking all of my shots and found the correct spot in the “Greenside” category to input putts from off the green.  Because of this adjustment, here is how it impacted the numbers from last week:

Strokes Gained via Golf Stat Lab
Updated Strokes Gained via Golf Stat Lab

This small adjustment is a really strong indicator of how powerful the Strokes Gained metric is and the importance of accurate reporting.  My overall performance was still terrible, but now we can see it was even worse in Driving and Approach (making up nearly 85% of my Strokes Gained).  

As much as I wanted to practice last week, I ended up being haunted by an untimely infestation of bug bites.  Some critter ravaged my lower and upper legs and left me uncomfortably itchy.  Try as I might, every practice session was interrupted by the distraction of, quite literally, an itch I shouldn’t scratch.

My only hope for a better round was to adjust my approach and wait for the pain to subside.

The results?

Strokes Gained via GAME GOLF, Last Round compared to Previous
Strokes Gained via Golf Stat Lab

All in all, I’m fairly happy with the improvement considering the lack of practice.  I still shot an 88 (+16) thanks to numerous penalties and a double-splash snowman.

Putting woes continue despite a slight setup change.  This week I’m hoping we get back on the home course so I can really learn if it’s a reading or stroke issue.  Since I know those greens so much better, I’ll have a greater sense of where my game is lacking.

Weather looks favorable this week to get to the range to work on a few things.  There is something off with my full swing, and I’ve started to get the impression that my right-hand action is influencing my downswing too early.  This may be contributing to several of the issues I’ve had over the past couple of months, including crossing the line at the top, a weird hitch in my transition, excessive in-to-out swing path, diminished speed, and my right miss.

A slight change in awareness at the top of my swing has also lengthened my backswing.  One of the indicators of an overly active right hand is a shortened backswing.  If the right hand gets involved too early, the release happens earlier in the downswing.  As you can imagine, it’s then beneficial to not go back as far to make better contact.

Essentially I was hitting at 70-80% of my potential power due to clubhead speed leaking too early.

I hooked up my SkyPro and found my 9i swing speed to be within 5-7mph of the PGA Tour average once I made some of those adjustments.  That is huge, as it means I’m not that far from my speeds at my peak performance.

As my path and sequencing start to adjust to my new motor pattern, I’m looking to see if my ball-striking improves.  My swing feels less janky and the newfound simplicity is very encouraging.

I mentioned last week that I wanted to monitor my clubface angle at impact.  Unfortunately it turns out the SkyPro doesn’t do that, and so I started a search to find a replacement swing analyzer.  They must not have been popular enough to continue making. 

Garmin’s TruSwing looked promising but has been discontinued since 2016.  Not sure where the market went.  I have a sense that Doppler swing analyzers have taken over accelerometers.  I’ll be on the lookout for a new tool that has swing path and clubface angle at impact, can be used without hitting real golf balls, and is reasonably priced.

Until then I’m going to put some hours in this week and see how next Sunday turns out!

It’s getting really exciting!

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