ABS and the pre-shot routine

ABS and the pre-shot routine

Postby Ded2Journey » Sat Sep 06, 2014 3:55 am

So, I'm finding that my pre-shot routine is changing as I develop my ball striking abilities. I have added a lot more waggles and shuffle my feet a ton. I feel like Jim Furyk or Sergio Garcia out there...haha.

There have been strings of holes where I feel so connected to the target ( I use the analogy that a 1000lb fishing wire is wrapped around my shaft and the flagstick, my adjustments are just tightening the line between myself and the target). In fact, I have inadvertently found myself not taking yardages because I intuitively know which club to pull.

Anyway, my question is: Has anyone else become far more deliberate and/or experienced higher levels of target awareness?
"People have always been telling me what I can't do. I guess I have wanted to show them. That's been one of my driving forces all my life." -Ben Hogan
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Re: ABS and the pre-shot routine

Postby lagpressure » Sat Sep 06, 2014 7:29 am

I have inadvertently found myself not taking yardages because I intuitively know which club to pull.


The forgotten skill set.

Nothing wrong with knowing the yardage, but I know when I am playing my best, I feel the yardage much more intuitively based upon so many other factors.

"I feel lost on the golf course without knowing the exact yardage"
Zack Johnson


"I could feel the wind rustling in the trees, so I knew I had to hit it a bit harder"
Ben Hogan
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Re: ABS and the pre-shot routine

Postby norcalvol » Sat Sep 06, 2014 10:48 am

Ded2Journey wrote:Has anyone else become far more deliberate and/or experienced higher levels of target awareness?


Yes, absolutely, to the deliberate part, but less deliberate than say 3 or 4 months ago. For me, it has been a matter of getting used to a whole new feel: packed arms instead of extended, emphasis on the pivot instead of the arms, employing ground pressures (vertical, then horizontal), etc. In my former life, I took VERY little time hitting a ball... usually only one or looks to the target once at address. Changing so many things has certainly increased the reading on the deliberate meter.

Regarding target awareness... what has helped me more than anything is (1) Knudsen's flag pole, and (2) opening up my stance (which is still a work in progress as I eradicate the natural tendency of lining up to right and compensating with OTT move). I am now seeing that I can 'see' the target better with an open stance, and visualizing (and thus 'feeling') the target when not looking down field.
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Re: ABS and the pre-shot routine

Postby Ded2Journey » Sat Sep 06, 2014 2:32 pm

norcalvol wrote:
Ded2Journey wrote:Has anyone else become far more deliberate and/or experienced higher levels of target awareness?


Yes, absolutely, to the deliberate part, but less deliberate than say 3 or 4 months ago. For me, it has been a matter of getting used to a whole new feel: packed arms instead of extended, emphasis on the pivot instead of the arms, employing ground pressures (vertical, then horizontal), etc. In my former life, I took VERY little time hitting a ball... usually only one or looks to the target once at address. Changing so many things has certainly increased the reading on the deliberate meter.

Regarding target awareness... what has helped me more than anything is (1) Knudsen's flag pole, and (2) opening up my stance (which is still a work in progress as I eradicate the natural tendency of lining up to right and compensating with OTT move). I am now seeing that I can 'see' the target better with an open stance, and visualizing (and thus 'feeling') the target when not looking down field.



Can you elaborate on Knudson's "flag pole" ?
"People have always been telling me what I can't do. I guess I have wanted to show them. That's been one of my driving forces all my life." -Ben Hogan
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Re: ABS and the pre-shot routine

Postby norcalvol » Sat Sep 06, 2014 10:32 pm

Ded2Journey:

The flagpole is a metaphor for golf as a target game.

In the opening chapter of his book The Natural Golf Swing, Knudson talks about his discovery as a 12-year old while practicing at his hometown golf club. There was a giant flagpole in front of the clubhouse, and he began focusing his attention on the pole instead of the ball, and he credits that with making better golf swings and getting better results.

He basically discovered that trying to hit the ball, hitting at the ball, etc. was in effect making the ball his most important consideration - the thing at which he directed all of his concentration and energy. He wrote "...it kept me from making a swing. I was hitting at the ball, not through it. I wasn't making a swing. I was chopping at the ball, cutting myself off. I needed something to take my eye and mind off the ball. The flagpole was perfect for that purpose. The flagpole became my target."

Knudson goes on to write that "I realize that the flagpole at St. Charles had everything to do with the development of my thoughts on golf as a target game and on the swing as a motion. The flagpole became my target, not the ball. I exchanged the idea of hitting the ball for the idea of swinging through it toward a target."

And,

"It was the foundation of my conviction that golf is a game of motion directed toward a target. The ball just gets in the way. So my attention started going beyond the ball. And that's where it still is."

Knudson goes on to compare this approach to the golf swing to martial arts where there is emphasis on moving through an object. He concludes by emphasizing that golf is mistakenly taken for a game of hand-eye coordination... "By thinking this way, golfers turn the game into a hand-eye game, a hit-the-ball game. But it's not."

I find this completely consistent with Lag's approach to the swing, especially when it comes to post-impact intentions including maximum acceleration after contact, not at or before contact.

So, I endeavor to incorporate this into my swing, and I pick a specific target on every shot and then keep it clearly in my mind's eye when at address looking down at the ball and during the swing.

This is of course nothing unique or new -- it has been written about by many -- but because I found Knudson's imagery and explanation powerful, and ABS has a special affinity for Knudson, it has made a big impression on me for the first time.
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Re: ABS and the pre-shot routine

Postby Ded2Journey » Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:21 am

Norcalvol,

Thank you for sharing! That is some solid stuff...Unfortunately, I've been working on the ABS "mechanics" for some many months now, that I'm having difficulty turning off that switch. Either way, that is my ultimate goal--target golf. I guess, ABS just makes it easier to connect with the target...I'm starting to really understand what hogan said about the waggle being a full rehearsal of the swing. So many lightbulbs, so little time.
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Re: ABS and the pre-shot routine

Postby Ded2Journey » Fri May 13, 2016 6:39 am

Thought I would throw in an update on this with some revelations I've discovered. First off, the flagpole stuff is very spot on. I've probably read Knudson's book 2 or 3 times, but never really understood nor comprehended it until now. After countless hours of attempting to just "hit" the ball and looking at video to see what it looked like, I became depressed. Quite honestly, my "natural" swing is terrible mechanically speaking...but that was the only way I thought I could focus on the target and execute a shot without swing thoughts.

Then it happened...I stopped trying to hit the ball and started trying to make a golf swing...Letting the ball get in the way as described above in the Knudson post. I did this with no swing thoughts, just the feel of BALANCE throughout the swing. I started to realize that the golf swing is much like shooting a free throw. There is a motion you want to feel, that may be derived from mechanical thoughts, but should not be thought about. I was simply sending my swing in the direction and path of my target.

As I got better at this, I discovered that your target orientation becomes almost automatic. In other words, I just made my swing directed at my target...much like I would make my shooting motion directed at the basketball hoop--trying to feel the right amount of power. I hit 14/14 fairways and 16/18 greens with relative ease the other day...couldn't have been easier actually...haha.

Many of you are probably saying, DUH! But this was a real struggle for me...I tend to chase perfection and mechanical thoughts constantly plagued me.

In short, this all boils down to one thing...YOU MUST BE present during the swing with both your balance and target. I took a video yesterday and was absolutely blown away by how far my technique has come. Even better, the only thoughts in my head were vibrant neon lights blinking around my target. I'm excited to take this to the next level with some advanced visualizations...more updates to come.

I truly hope this update helps those of you searching for a way to stop playing golf swing and start playing golf again!
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Re: ABS and the pre-shot routine

Postby LesMurray » Fri May 13, 2016 7:44 am

Agree absolutely. I credit my recent improvements with become much more target oriented and much less swing-thought oriented. There is an element of trust required and once you get that hitting to a target becomes much easier. When my game starts to get away from me is when I think more about score or swing rather than target.

I've heard some say we never make a bad swing - if we are thinking of hitting the ball then we will make whatever stroke necessary to hit the ball. If we are hitting to a target and especially if we can visualize a specific shot to that target, then we are much more capable of hitting that shot and getting to our target. We are hard-wired to be goal driven. I try to make my target my goal and visualize my shot going to that goal. The best example I have heard of visualization is of Jack Nicklaus - he could both visualize the shot going to his target and play it back in reverse.
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Re: ABS and the pre-shot routine

Postby norcalvol » Fri May 13, 2016 10:11 am

Ded2Journey wrote:... I started to realize that the golf swing is much like shooting a free throw. There is a motion you want to feel, that may be derived from mechanical thoughts, but should not be thought about. I was simply sending my swing in the direction and path of my target.

As I got better at this, I discovered that your target orientation becomes almost automatic. In other words, I just made my swing directed at my target...much like I would make my shooting motion directed at the basketball hoop--trying to feel the right amount of power...


I've had the same thought recently. Watching the Warriors is a ritual that my wife and I practice happily throughout the NBA season, and especially in May and June of late. There is no player like Steph Curry when it comes to precision AND feel. I'm sure his mechanics are perfect... but he often shoots off the dribble and thus it is purely feel... a reaction. And when he drives to the lane and puts up those tear-drop floaters... pure feel for the target. He has been an inspiration to me as far as golf having to be a target game first and foremost.

And, oh BTW... I just looked up his golf handicap: 0.2
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