Baseball and Golf – Swing to Right Field

I was a baseball player when I was younger, and was constantly told that baseball and golf don’t mix. I’m not sure where I stand on this issue today, but the topic came up at a sit-down swing analysis session last night and here is how the discussion went.

My daughter is currently dating an excellent golfer named Chase, so I am constantly showing him my swing looking for help. You may not want to try this at home, because as Jason Sutton says on his blog (see my blogroll)…stick to one teacher and technique that you trust and block out all the rest! <g> I have a different philosophy, and will be discussing that in future blogs as well as I think there are 2 schools of thought on this!

Anyway, I showed Chase essentially a position I many times find myself in, which is the picture below:

MattTooSteep

Notice there is no extension here; the left wrist has broken down, and the left arm and elbow have come across my body and are pulled in.

I am a believer in cause and effect. I am very analytical and want to know why every single shot happens on the golf course.  Two explanations have been proposed to me for finding myself in this position. The first, is that I am “holding on,” and not letting the club go. I am not letting the “clubhead do the work” and trying to “guide the ball” too much.

OK, more on that in a later blog. I want to focus on the second explanation. The explanation given is…I am “coming in too steep, and therefore there is nowhere for the club to go but into this position.”

You hear a lot about swing plane, and it’s importance. The remedy for this position I have been told by various sources is that the swing needs to be shallower. That I need to come more from the inside and the swing needs to be more inside-out rather than across the body. In baseball terms, I need to swing more to right field.

When I was a kid and I would get into a slump the remedy was always…try to hit the ball to right field or try to just hit it up the middle. I am going to work on my swing plane in the coming weeks; and focus on a shallower downswing plane and focus more on coming “under” my backswing plane and more from the inside. I don’t want to over-exaggerate this and push my shots, but maybe I’ll need to do this for awhile just to overcome this longstanding habit of coming across my body.

I hope by practicing this swing plane adjustment and coming in shallower from the inside-out (or, to you baseball fans, trying to hit the ball towards right field!) makes this ugly picture of “pulling the left elbow in” go away once and for all!

Matt




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