I used to spend a lot of time traveling and playing in the winter, but as I get older and my body suffers more from the constant abuse of playing and teaching from the middle of March to the middle of November I now take about a 4 month break where I will only play in a couple of events and teach a lighter schedule. This gives me time to continue to work on me swing and to ramp up my workouts so that I might be more physically capable of performing the movements I believe are necessary for high-level ball striking. If this video is any indication (and I won’t know until I play in my next tournament) I am on the right track, because this particular golf swing is pretty good.
As I mention in the video I have returned to an open stance, wherein I rotate my lower body to the left at address. My use of this setup is a personal preference, and I have used it before with good results: indeed, if you watch the video of me winning the National Club Pro in 2001 you might notice that I am playing from an open stance. My reasons are specific: because of my back fusion I lack mobility in my lower spine and consequently have a tendency to lift and over-rotate my lower body in the backswing. From a square stance my transition move is forward into the front of my left foot, which slows my lower body rotation and causes me to back out of the swing with the shaft falling under my arms (stuck) and releasing out to the right, all of which place a tremendous strain on my hands and wrists to flip the club over and save the shot from going right. My main focus this winter has been to force myself to lower in the backswing while staying somewhat centered over the ball, then driving my weight more directly toward my left heel while encouraging my head and neck to release with my chest and shoulders, something I tried to do this past year without success. I am looking for my hips to be more in the “box” during the forward swing and follow-through, and for my body to be more facing the target at impact. What I see here is encouraging.