I'll try to explain the "punch". Basically at the point just before impact you imitate the punching action with your rear or trailing hand as if you're punching someone your height in their stomach in the direction of your shot. It is supposed to, IF DONE CORRECTLY, produce a "snap" at the bottom of your swing helping you hit farther. My unfortunate luck had me experience a few nice hits using this new found technique. After a few rounds, it just messed me up and I couldn't get out of the funk I got into. No matter what I tried I could not shake this bad habit I've developed.
It got so bad that almost each and every drive and fairway ball would always go high, right, and slice. Then to make matters worse my stance and grip compensated for the errant ball flight so my swing was all jacked up. On tape my club head ended up way in front of my hands at impact. I had the dreaded chicken wing. My tempo was off. My overall game was no longer fun and each time I took my spot over the ball with everything but the putter and sand wedge, I would worry about having to pull another new ball from the sleeve because my messed up swing may cause me to hit the ball into thick rough or into water.
That's not the end of the story thankfully. I was able to get rid of the old habit but it took a complete rebuild my golf swing. Not tweaking it but totally rebuilding it from scratch. A little disclaimer - I am not a low handicap golfer. I score in the 90's on a good day but low 100's usually. That's totally recreational scoring range, but when I play I have the confidence to go up to the tee box knowing that most of the time my drive will be straight and decent length. I don't aspire to be a great golfer. My only goal is to enjoy the rounds that I do get to play. And until I got rid of my messed up swing and replaced it with a swing that produced fairly consistent results, I would never enjoy the game of golf ever again.
In this part of my series (which may go 3 or 4, not sure yet) I'll go over the main things that I addressed in order to fix my swing.
First, forget everything I knew about the golf swing and approach the rebuild as if I had never held a club. Next, GPA. Grip, posture, address. After that rotation, rotation, rotation. On the back swing, coil and load the spring but not too much. Tempo, tempo, tempo. Start from the legs - the lead leg mainly. Rotation, rotation. Keep my head still. Let the club swing and do it's job.
I'll tell you how good it has worked for me.
I have had long spells of not being able to go either the range or the course. I mean several months or years. Within a half a bucket of balls or less I am usually able to get my swing back to the point where I could hit from driver to wedge with decent aim and distance.
There was one time I hadn't played for 6 months and was on the big island of Hawaii. I had maybe 12 balls to hit at the range and ended up with a 98 at a course I never played at before. For me, that was an amazing feeling to break 100 at a new course in Hawaii after not swinging a club for 6 months!
In my next post I'll go over forgetting everything and GPA.