Day 17- 1/2 Swing Good, Full Swing Bad

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  • Day 17- 1/2 Swing Good, Full Swing Bad
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    I am on day 17 and loving the program so far. I am trying to practice as I go and am totally committed to changing my swing. While practicing, I am finding that if I pause at the 1/2 swing position, where the left hand is in the punching position, I get great results and the movements to impact are consistent. When I go past this position, things go terribly wrong and I end up with an extremely open club face at impact which produces a weak, spinning, rocket to the right. Any thoughts as to why this is happening and more importantly, how can I work through this and gain confidence in the full swing?


    William – Great question! I’ve been thinking a lot about this recently as well even though I haven’t taken my daughter (who is going through the program) to the range yet to see if her propensity to hit weak shots to the right remains. With that said, I am paying close attention to checkpoint positions that might give me clues. Here are a few things I am checking for.

    1) Where are the arms going during and after the punchback? My daughter has a tendency to send her arms in a direction that is far from parallel to the target line or even a line drawn across her feet. Traditional golf instruction, I believe, refers to this as getting the arms stuck behind. Movement 8 of the Ch 2 Assessment indicates that both palms should be perpendicular to the target line at the top.

    2) What is the plane of the club? This is an area that we’ve struggled with as my daughter tends to be very steep. Not wanting to flatten the plane artificially, I recently spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out how to get her “on plane” without her going into an early extension position with her back. I THINK (and hope) that the problem is simply a matter of her positioning her hands incorrectly. To visualize where the hands should be for a naturally strong strike, I had her stand straight with fist at pressure 3 and palms facing back while knuckles are facing forward. Next, I had her rotate shoulders to a punchback position and then squat into golf posture (one can reverse this step and should have the same result). Notice the angle of the forward hand. I believe this is the naturally strong position we are seeking.

    3) Is there a pushback in the glutes and slight lifting of the ribs during the surf? I believe Bryan discusses this in chapter 2 as a crucial movement that allows the arms to slam onto the body for a strong striking movement.

    In chapter 3, there will be discussion and focus on new impact movements that help provide safety to the clubface through impact so you can anticipate learning this in the days or weeks ahead. I’m sure Bryan and the gang will provide far more insightful knowledge than I have.


    Hi William,

    Thanks for the response David, some great thoughts here. One thing to watch for as you extend your backswing past the front arm punch position is to make sure the club is reaching parallel to the ground and parallel to the target line and the club face is parallel to your front forearm. As you move in the downswing, I wouldn’t be surprised if you are getting over-rotated too early as you move through the “surf to level” position. The shorter swings wouldn’t expose this as much as the longer swings would.

    As you train, focus on Body Movement 7: Surf to Level. As you reach the end of this movement, be sure a) your front knee is closer to the target than your front foot and still flexed, b) your knees, hips, shoulders and arms are all roughly 5-10 degrees closed to the target line (rather than square) and c) the front knee, hip, shoulder and hand are further from the ground than the back knee, hip, shoulder and hand. The more closed the knees, hips, shoulders and arms are at the end of this movement, the more this will promote an in-to-out path in the downswing and through impact rather than out-to-in and “over-the-top” which you may be experiencing. The more slanted away from the target these body parts are the more this will encourage an in-to-out path on the downswing and through impact as well. Add speed to this movement until you can easily reach the performance outcomes mentioned above (a-c). Notice how different this might feel right at the start of your downswing. From here you should be able to focus on Hand and Arm Movement 12: Thrust Through Impact w/Club. As you perform this movement feel free to turn the club right side up. At the end of this movement when the club shaft is parallel to the ground and parallel to the target line, the club face should be perpendicular to the ground and straight up and down. This may feel more “closed” in the hands than you are used to as they may feel rotated more counter-clockwise than normal here. This is a great checkpoint to be sure your club face is square and closed enough through impact. Feel free to give these recommendations a try. We are here if you need any more help and offer online and live training opportunities for you to get 1on1 attention from a member of the Tathata Golf staff.


    Thanks so much to both of you for your response. Definitely gives me somethings to pay close attention to. I am quickly learning that something as simple as grip pressure can really disrupt the golf swing. I have noticed that when my grip pressure is light and relaxed, the checkpoints on the way up and back down are much easier to hit and my distance and accuracy are improved as well. With a relaxed grip, my swing is balanced and towards the target. When I inadvertently have a tight grip, I tend to swing harder, swing plane drops to baseball type swing and follow through is across my body.
    Swing is getting better each day and I am feeling more confident in troubleshooting my swing when things go south.

    Thanks again for the responses,


    William – Don’t worry too much about grip pressure for now. Chapter 3 will delve in this deeply. Just keep an open mind about the greatness to come. 😉 I know that I think much differently about many aspects of the golf swing than I did a few months ago. Chapter 3 may expose you to a lot of new thinking. Just smile and be open to it.


    William, I’ll bet that I know what is wrong, and it has to do with the critical “right elbow movement” left out of the Day 17 Routine. The truth is that as you punch out with the left hand, arm, shoulder cluster, you must point the right elbow at your belly and press in with it. You can not forget this movement and simply push out with both arms as is taught. If you do that you will end up with a flying right elbow that is so far away from your torso that you can fit an entire golf bag under your right armpit between your right triceps and right rib cage. The omission of pointing the right elbow at the belly during the backswing will lead to catastrophic mishits. I know because that is what happened to me. If you fail to point the right elbow at the belly and keep that pressure and direction, you will describe a circle with a moving center. That is disastrous. Try this as a simple, effective, low stress fix. Stick your driver’s head cover under your right armpit with the closed end out toward your chest and keep it there throughout your backswing and through impact. I’ll bet you will experience the same, dead on the target shots that I did once I enforced that drill on myself. After this “Lydia Ko Drill” worked I went back into the course and found a segment where our teacher/guide calls this “point your elbow at your belly” movie a critical one that not only must be performed as the left arm punch occurs, but can only be performed as the left arm punches out. Why that key information is left out of Chapter 17, I don’t know, but it can be found in either Lecture 15, or 16. I’m just a student like you, but I’ll bet that we’ll learn more about this push pull technique in later lessons. In summary, try the maneuverer and try the Lydia Ko “Driver Cover Under the Right Arm Pit” Drill, and then, let me know what happens. One more thing, I can’t turn my back enough yet to do the Tahatha Golf Swing all the way to the top. Half way is all I have, but, boy, it is fun to hit those laser shots at the pin.


    I think the Tathata Staff responded inadequately to your question. Here are two simple fixes: 1) Stick a driver’s head cover beneath your daughter’s right armpit and have her keep it there throughout the backswing and through impact, 2) Without the head cover have your daughter point her right elbow at the middle of her tummy and press in with it as she punches out with her left arm & shoulder. The first tip is used by pro golfer, Lydia Ko, and can be seen on YouTube. The second tip is Total Tathata Technique right out of Chapter 15, or 16. If you control that right elbow, you will hit laser shots toward the flag; if you let that elbow fly, you will be inconsistently wild right and left. Try both methods independently, and then try them together. It worked for me. I hit a flagstick for the first time in my life.


    Thanks Chester. I’ll take a look. What day of the program are you currently on?


    I just completed Day 17. I also just used my cell phone, video camera to photograph myself doing the drill that I recommended to you. I think you will find, as I did, that there is a huge difference between the two drills and you may also feel that combining the two is the very best. Bottom line: none of us should be able to stick a golf bag under our right armpit at the top of our backswing. A driver’s head cover is the most, and that’s too much if you push out with your left arm and in with your right elbow. The feeling on the way to the top and as far back and up as I can get is total strength, absolute stability, and complete cohesion with the Tathata Technique.


    Would you mind posting it to YouTube and sharing the link with us?


    Thanks Chester! I am going to the range today and will give these suggestions a try. Things are starting to click a little better and I am seeing progress. I would love to see the video you made.


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    How did it go? Here is another thought for you: stop attempting full swings until you are supple enough to have your entire back pointing at the target, ie. at the top of the backswing, your back should be perpendicular to the target line. If you can’t do that, settle for a half or three quarter swing until you have achieved greater flexibility.
    I have one more suggestion: go on YouTube and search under “Golf’s Greatest Secret” Swar Det. There, you will find a compilation of videos chronicling the instant of impact by the games greatest players. It sure looks to me like the hands are opposite the middle of the left (target side) thigh when the club handle and head release. One more thing, no one I know of has ever suggested that the driver swing and the short iron swing are identical. That, in so far as I am concerned, is total bu$$shit. In every video I have ever studied the driver shaft of a pro golfer, at impact, is more vertical than the wedge shaft. I think it is the height of ignorance to show photos of top pros hitting the driver when teaching how to hit a stock seven iron. Finally, in a consummate act of Tathata Heresy, I insist that most top players could fit two driver head covers, one beneath the other, under the right (trail arm) and hit perfectly sound drives. That means that any statement our Tathata guide seems to make that will contradict that fact and the fact that the hands should be no further than 4″ to 5″ from the zipper of our trousers at impact should be viewed as total hor$$hit. Let me know if you think “Golf’s Greatest Secret”, or Tathata Golf Video imply anything different.


    I just finished Day 18 and I would like you to view “Golf’s Greatest Secret” by Swar Det. I think his video and nearly every other video of a successful professional golfer that I have viewed, reviewed, and studied indicates that the driver swing and the wedge swing are different. By that I mean the driver shaft at impact is closer to upright than the wedge shaft. I am absolutely confident that the wedges, as well as the 9, 8,& 7-irons, show a forward shaft lean when struck by a professional. I also am totally confident that the swings in “Golf’s Greatest Secret” show that the hands release opposite the middle of the left (forward side) thigh. Finally, I don’t believe that any pro golfer hits a driver like he hits a seven iron.


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    Hi Chester – I watched the video and see a lot of variation among the players. Several of the clips for driver swings were even hitting down on the ball. But no one is going to swing perfectly every time so that’s to be expected.

    My understanding of Tathata is that there are many different swings for different shots/clubs, which comes later in the program. Try to keep an open mind of new things to come and you might be surprised. Even as I struggle with a few components, I do my best to be open to learning something new each and every day I study Tathata.


    Hello fellow golfers, I have noticed this past few days that my swing is stronger and balanced at impact. However, has anyone been hitting their irons further than your normal expectations? For example, today my 7 iron went over 190 yards carry, I have never and I mean never gone that long with my 7 iron maybe 180 on a super day (wind assist), also, my pitching wedge is long (145 yards) and it seems that I now have to readjust on what irons to use and to be honest is confusing the heck out of me. Is this normal or just something that I am experiencing as an anomaly. Is this what I should expect as I continue with the program? Help/advice. Thanks Rob

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