All of my work last month in fixing my swing was unfortunately stunted by the horrendous winter weather that defined southern Ontario in February.
For the entire month, I wasn’t able to hit a ball outdoors. All of the good feelings I had about my swing evaporated. There’s only so much help the notes I made for myself can give when I can’t actually practise.
And that showed at the start of my club fitting with my instructor, Stew Bannatyne, from Modern Golf.
The new “strong” grip I had been using all but disappeared from my muscle memory and my slice returned with a vengeance. Then all of my bad habits came back.
Luckily, I had Stew there to quickly diagnose what I was doing wrong — I was under-rotating my top hand and I was over-rotating my bottom hand — and the slice disappeared once again, hopefully for good.
The remainder of my bad habits can be cured, Stew and I found, by not rushing my backswing or takeaway. When I rush to the top of my golf swing, it makes it very difficult for me to make clean, consistent contact.
A slow takeaway and then speed and power on the downswing is going to be my recipe for success.
That and a club fitting.
I had no idea a club fitting was so in-depth. Stew used Trackman launch monitor data to gauge the strengths and weaknesses of my swing and my body to fine-tune a set of clubs that would be perfectly calibrated for my performance as a golfer.
‘We’re going to make sure that the length, the lie angle, the grip size, the shaft, the flex, all of those things are matched up so that you can deliver the club back to the ball as consistently as possible,” Stew said.
And the irons that will do that for me are the Ping G425s. The lowest iron that Stew wants to have in my bag is a 4 iron and then right to a hybrid.
“We want to make sure that you have versatility in your set,” he said. “And when we took a look at what clubs are going to suit you, instead of giving you a three iron or a club that’s going to maybe not fit what you need on the golf course, we found that a hybrid club is going to be a lot more effective for versatility, but also making sure your distances are correct.”
So, with my set of clubs, I will be ready for any distance or shot I will encounter on a golf course.
And I’m really happy with my distance update. I hit a borrowed driver 243 yards during my swing evaluation in the first episode and now I’m hitting that far with a hybrid.
I also moved my total distance into the 250s as you can see in the video above. I hit a three wood 259 yards, so I am now 41 yards away from the target I set for myself at the beginning of the year.
As the weather warms up, I’m looking forward to getting more opportunities to practise my swing and get my distance into the 260s for April!
Mike Arsenault is a Digital Broadcast Journalist and a host of Global News Weekend.