David Lamprecht joined the team at Vattanac Golf Resort as Head Teaching Professional 4 months ago and has experienced a whole new culture when it comes to golf. But one thing remains the same… everyone wants to be a better golfer.
Here he talks about the work he has done over the last 4 months with one of his first students at Vattanac Golf Resort.
Gaining 14mph Swing Speed
Since joining the team at Vattanac Golf Resort I have learnt a lot about Cambodian culture and golf. At the same time, I have used my experience and knowledge to help some of my first students improve their game. So let’s rewind 4 months and introduce you to Sean Chhuon Ing.
Chhuon Ing was one of my first students and a reasonable golfer who could get the ball in the hole for around 85 strokes per round quite comfortably.
Comfortable in a sense that every swing was 100 percent power and effort and with that came huge inconsistency in a two-way miss, as well as inconsistent strike which lead to varied ball flights, shapes, trajectories as well as inconsistent distance.
There were several scenarios and steps that came up in order to help Chhuon Ing reach his true potential.
We had no issue with creating speed with Chhuon Ing so I decided it was the right move to teach proper technique at a lower speed to ensure that the long term goal was loads of speed with minimal effort. In other words, there was no risk on injury while building a solid foundation of which something great can be built upon.
We started with removing the wrists and hands and arms from the golf swing and focusing on staying connected while rotating the lower half and chest as a base for improving the first step
Our first 5 lessons and Chhuon Ing’s game was falling apart off the tee but luckily, all the on course lessons which generally are focused on working on short game and awkward lies, helped keep the scores around the same level if not a little bit higher.
The move was engrained very quickly as we did several lessons and focused on the same thing every week until I was happy that the body was finally moving correctly and efficiently enough to lengthen the swing and increase the turn.
Downsides to This
Patience is key; we lost a lot of driver distance and although we gained accuracy, it was not as much as we had hoped for. It’s easy as a coach to back off and say, just do what you can to let the student play well and let them swing with bad technique as there is a fear you may lose that student if they do not want to persevere with something that is so difficult and complex to master…
Fast forward 5 weeks,
The body was now getting used to rotating instead of moving laterally and as discussed before there was endless amounts of speed now with the new move which made it very simple to get to work on the finer details.
2 Reverse Pivot
A term all golfers use loosely and far too often, this was tough for Chhuon Ing as many friends were mentioning the spine was tilting too far and he was going to start to struggle when he didn’t time the ball, this is correct and again, patience was the message communicated as I knew where we were going and I had a plan.
The reverse pivot was in actual fact very slight and yes it caused some trouble but it came from exactly what we worked on, I told Chhuon Ing over and over again “rotate with your right hip and shoulder as far back as you can and then release the left hip and let the upper body follow (this was the key to phase 3 as we needed this feeling in order to understand how separation felt).
After 4 more weeks, the body was working well and we were starting to see numbers with clubs that were truly unthinkable at the start they were so fast and so consistent.
Numbers with 7 iron went from 78mph average with a 7 iron to well over 85mph and the feeling was that there was no effort and no stress in the body, what!!! Yes, it was true we felt like the swing was at 5 out of 10 for these gains.
Removing the Reverse C
The next step was simple, as all that needed fixing was on the backswing the fact that the left knee was collapsing inward too much and this led to the change in spine angle, so we worked on pushing the knee forward instead of inward and then still just rotating the left hip back and out the way and what do you know, it fixed the reverse C and we went from snap hooks and push slices, to baby draws all day with every club except a wedge.
Now that Chhuon Ing was connected with the upper half all we needed to do was control small tasks such as alignment, setup, ball position, and then touch back on limiting lateral movement as there was more effort being put in than needed and that was causing a little too much side to side, instead of the desired rotational movement that was discussed in week one.
Alignment was a huge factor as Chhuon Ing started to hit a draw and he made the biggest cardinal mistake if all, he started to aim more and more right so he didn’t miss left, this caused havoc in the swing like you wouldn’t believe as it now changed everything, swing path was out to in by 8 degrees and the miss was either a big push to the right or a snap hook way left.
Now you may be thinking to yourself, why did him aiming right for a draw make him swing over the top? Well it’s simple, your brain knows where the target is, so no matter how much you try and trick it the more right you aim for your draw the more you will naturally swing left as that is the way your brain is designed to work, so if you slice the ball here is your answer, you aim further left to cure your slice right? This will only make you swing more left and because you don’t want to miss left your brain tells your hands not to release the club so we end up slicing the ball more as we swing more out to in and then also slow down our rotational movements which give you speed. Alignment is the simplest thing to address path in the golf swing but also the most overlooked in all aspects of the game, let’s aim straight and work on path and rotation. Instead of over correcting and making a bad habit worse.
Fast forward to September 4 months later, I get a message that in a better ball, not only did Chhuon Ing destroy the opponents because he was driving the ball 330 yards dead straight but because of all the on course lessons the short game was in tune and they managed to shoot a 64 around a challenging West course layout. The following day I was giving a friend a lesson and Chhuon Ing was around so we decided to have a bit of fun and see how far we have gotten in the 4 months with speed and control. The challenge was, 5 balls how fast can you swing the club and how straight can you hit it. Chhuon Ing managed 124mph club head speed with his driver which is a whopping 8mph faster than the PGA Tour average as well as consistently hit the ball over 300 yards with what still looked like such ease.
Chhuon Ing used to be at 108mph at his fastest so this was a major 14mph increase in just 4 months.
What we can take away from this is, fixing things takes time and dedication and trust in your Teaching Professional are key to making large strides in improving your all round golf game.
Another milestone to end off in is that Chhuon Ing has broken 80 and is capable of breaking 70 very easily with a little bit of time and fine adjustments.
This has been such a great experience and journey for me as I always feel like even though I am a teacher I am learning too.
Great work Chhuon Ing and keep at it.