Well, I mentioned that this journey wouldn’t be without its trials and tribulations.
A couple of days ago I did a long drive clinic and exhibition for one of my corporate clients. It was fun and everybody had a good time, but I was hitting uphill, into the wind all day for groups as they played.
I think I over-did it.
A couple of months ago I separated my AC joint in my left shoulder. That’s the part where the clavicle comes up and over the shoulder. I did it while exercising, not while hitting golf balls. I tried to rest it for a month, but it wasn’t getting better. So a month ago I got a cortisone shot in the joint.
This was my 4th cortisone shot – I’ve had one in each elbow to deal with tendinitis, and one in the thumb joint of my left hand. There’s a lot of wear and tear in long drive.
So I had to take a couple of days off practice to see if my shoulder would settle down.
The pain hasn’t eased up much, so I certainly can’t practice at full speed. I don’t want to risk an injury that will completely take me out.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t practice.
The shoulder only hurts when I raise my arm up. If I keep my left arm down low enough on the backswing I can swing without pain. That means flattening out my swing a bit. The good news is that I used to swing that way when I first started playing golf, so in some ways it feels completely natural.
The trick now is to practice so that a flatter swing becomes the norm, meaning I don’t have to think about it.
To do that, and still get in some reps, I switched to low energy swings.
Low energy swing are full swings but at reduced speed. They are great practice drills because I am making the full motion, but the slower speed allows me to be much more aware of different aspects of my swing.
I’ll also do low energy swings using my full pre-shot routine as a way to groove the flatter backswing and protect my shoulder.
In this video I am practicing my low energy swings, but using my full pre-shot routine. I discovered a few interesting details doing this drill, which I’ll share in the next post.