1st Day Back After 10 Months Off – Good Numbers!

I finally go out for my first range session of the season and my body is certainly telling me that it’s been 10 months since I last hit balls!

I had only gone to hit a large bucket and I unfortunately learned a lesson – you can play around with your launch monitor and you can work on your swing with camera, but you can’t do both if you have limited time.

That said, by the time I had finished getting the hang of how to work the SC300i and how to manage the setup after I hit some warm-up irons and a few drivers, I was out of balls, out of steam and wasn’t going to get another bucket.

That said, I will say that the change I made to my setup and swing (removing the left-dominant bias) paid instant dividends – the first swing in ten months hitting a 9 iron was nearly perfect.

It wasn’t very warm (about 15C or 59F) – and by that I mean for getting optimal ball-striking with range balls, not that I was cold – and there was a crosswind slightly against.

I didn’t get around to actually taking slo-mo video to analyze later but from the limited video I got on the SC300i, I know there’s work to be done (well, it would be a shock if that weren’t the case after nearly a year off).

Here’s a swing I wasn’t too unhappy with:

Even so, I was able to exceed 170 mph ball speed with driver on the first day, which when you again factor in the cool temps and that I was hitting range balls… I’ll take it!

I also exceeded 290 yards carry and 300 yards total distance – that drive read 305 total yards on the monitor but I can’t include both on the video data so I like to go with carry when I’m swinging.

A little slower:

As you can tell, this was the standard Classic Golf Swing MCS swing I was putting on the ball – now that I’ve been out and had a little taste of the launch monitor and how to work it, I’ll be making sure that I’m swinging optimally with the Classic version before I move onto the Post-Modern MCS model.

I was initially disappointed with both the numbers and how my swing looked until I gave myself a reality check on how good I could possibly swing after such an extended time off.

I wasn’t comfortable over the ball or swinging, so it will take some time, perhaps another session or two, before I really settle down and can be ultra-critical looking at the swing – the body has to adjust to swinging a club at a ball instead of just a swing aid, plus I have to build some strength and stamina into the swinging muscles.

Methinks that the idea of starting off with the Momentus Heavy Driver might have been a sound one and will help speed things up if I combine that with swinging my Momentus Heavy Iron at home.

I just didn’t feel I had any leverage or strength into the swings, but again, I actually just about matched the ball speed I had four years ago when I was at the TXG facility and using one of their custom-fitted Callaway Rogue drivers with newer and better balls than my range’s balls:

Today, I was swinging my TaylorMade RBZ driver which is not quite the quality of the Rogue, but one can’t be too upset that, four years older and into one’s 50s, one matches prior ball speed after a ten-month layoff.

I was about ten yards off the carry and twenty off the total distance, comparison-wise, but the TXG facility is indoors with no hurting wind and is certainly warmer than the temps I had today. Not worried.

One observation – the spin rate was something I learned is a little off with the SC300i, and I knew from searching out reviews that the club speed can be off by a couple of miles per hour, which I can also live with.

I’d bet my club speed was likely closer to 120 mph than 115 (no way I was getting 1.5 Smash on the first day out) and the highish spin rates (mid-3000s) it gave were likely why I wasn’t getting as much carry and run as I might otherwise have, even if the actual spin was a little lower than the estimated.

I really only need raw ball speed which the SC300i nails with its Doppler radar.

All of that said, I’ll leave off the video launch monitor fiddling for the time being and just use it to check my ball speed while I’m working on the swing and getting video – I’ll have lots of time to play with it once I’m further into the season and have data and video to go along with the fiddling.

I’ll try to get decent video the next time out and while my schedule likely won’t let me back out this week (I am free Friday but the forecast is rain all day), I’ll be back at it next week and things should start cooking then.

So for now, that’s about it!

12 thoughts on “1st Day Back After 10 Months Off – Good Numbers!

  1. BM

    DJ, remind me how the desirable trail foot drag happens. I’m sure you have covered before, if you could point me to the post that would be greatly appreciated. Funny enough, I had done that early in my golf career and began to feel it wasn’t ‘right’. Funny how we deceive ourselves out of a natural, correct way.

    1. DJ Watts Post author

      Hi BM – I might not have a specific post on the trailing foot slide but I’ve posted on how the leading flying foot syndrome is due to not shifting completely into the leading foot.

      Here it is in a nutshell- if you have a weight shift into the leading foot and a full hip turn to the finish, you can’t keep the trailing foot anchored or you will seriously injure yourself. The players with flying front foot – they know they will wreck themselves anchoring the trailing foot AND shifting completely into the leading. So they hang back over the trailing foot and the leading foot flies up and around so the hip turn doesn’t rupture the leading foot and/hip/knee joints.

      I had a drill years ago where I advised making practice swings, making sure to shift fully into the leading foot and letting the trailing foot release.

      By 2 or 3 swings, you’ll feel how natural it is. Give that a shot. 👍🏼

  2. Barry

    DJ Watts … I haven’t played a round in 6 years … but that’s about to change. As I rekindle my relationship with golf, I am always thinking MCS.
    Barry Cooke

      1. Barry

        Doin great. Might have to bring the teenager by July for a brush-up lesson. Somehow he started swinging 10 degrees inside-out when I wasn’t paying attention!

          1. Barry

            July 10 or 11 could work for us, depending how busy you are. I have him reviewing your course materials now. They stand the test of time.

            1. DJ Watts Post author

              I should be around then Barry. I may still have a clip of when you were last in town, I’ll see if I can find it on my old drive. If I’m correct, it was September 2013? How time flies!

  3. Barry

    June 2015. I didn’t dare swing a club in front of you, let alone a camera! But I had you check out the lad’s setup. He was only 8, but he still remembers meeting you.

    1. DJ Watts Post author

      Ah, OK! September ‘13 would have been Turd Ferguson, now that I recall. I still think I may have something stored away from that day shot on the old Casio.

      Regardless, give me a shout when you’re planning to be in the area and we’ll catch up, old friend. 👊🏼

  4. Barry

    DJ. As a an honest-to-goodness bona fide scientist, I really appreciate your approach to experimentation. Both your science language, and just the way you put yourself out there. You got guts.

    1. DJ Watts Post author

      Coming from you, that is deeply gratifying, BJC.

      My pet pleasure since 2016 has been watching science shows, astrophysics in particular and it has changed the way I go about the swing research.

      Athletic aptitude and trial and error got me so far, but in taking the swing theory from what I had to a definitive theory that stands up under scrutiny and argument – the way scientists go about it is really the only way to conduct research.

      Again and humbly, thanks for the positive feedback.

      If I have a scientist looking over my shoulder, I know I can’t go far off track if I do stray! 😊👊🏼

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