Although still serving on boards, Liz Krimendahl has more time to work on her game since retiring last year. Liz lives in Holland, Michigan most of the year and spends her summers on Walloon Lake!
Liz is working on her fundamentals with me this year. The major challenge is that she has been taking the club back with a closed clubface. So, even on fundamentally correct swings, the ball would take off to the left, even on a proper inside attack and hook a lot to the left because the clubface is shut. The ball reacts more to a severely closed (or open) clubface at impact and will tend to start in the direction of the club face, even if the path is different then the clubface.
Closed Clubface in the Takeaway and at the Top of the Backswing
The first thing we did was move her grip to the left in a very neutral position. Liz doesn’t need more encouragement to release her hands, especially with her tendency to close the club face.
We then have her “feeling” that she is opening the clubface in the takeaway and all the way to the top of the backswing. This results in meeting me halfway with a more square club face and a much straighter ball!
Square Clubface in the Takeaway and at the Top of the Backswing
Here is Liz, later in the lesson with a club face that is much more square in the takeaway and at the top where you can see a 45-degree tilt of the clubface instead of pointing at the sky. With her new, more neutral grip, and the “feeling” of taking the club back with an open clubface. It often takes exaggeration to make a change!
From the Student – Liz Krimendahl
I have taken lessons with Pete for a number of years and he’s always figured out how I need to make changes that improve my swing and my game. Pete never gives me too many things to think about, so I can easily apply it when I practice. It’s also easier for me to self-diagnose.
For our lesson in addressing my closed clubface, Pete saw that my backswing was too steep. He uses video on his phone to show me the before – where I need to make adjustments and the after so I can visualize what to keep doing right. We had already weakened my grip and opened the clubface a titch. I am now taking the club straight back and more ‘around’ (sort of wind up vs reach for the sky) in my backswing. The clubhead is so much easier to control and this helps me keep it from going too high. Peter puts three tees next to my ball along the desired swing path. If I am swinging out to 1 o’clock, I don’t hit them. If I am coming down on the ball, I do hit them. Very easy and accomplishes the goal!
I find it that my backswing is much easier now and takes less effort since the movement is simpler and more controllable. The other piece I am working on is making sure my downswing starts from under and finishes out to 1 o’clock in the follow through. For now, that keeps my ball going straight or produces a slight draw.
or now, that keeps my ball going straight or produces a slight draw”.
Following the lesson, Liz’s ball flight is much higher, longer and straighter. Now distance isn’t a problem for Liz and shot direction is a lot better too!