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stephenh

Transitioning from a baseball/softball swing to a golf swing

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Hi all,

 

After growing up taking lessons and playing baseball throughout my life, I am now refocusing on a different sport that I can play for a long time: golf! In baseball, I was very comfortable in controlling the bat to be able to hit to all fields. After high school baseball, I transitioned to slowpitch softball (very fun) in college intramurals, and am about 2 years removed from that time. I know I have the coordination, fast-twitch muscles, strength, athleticism, and also flexibility needed for a golf swing, yet I feel others can generally out-drive me. I know this can be attributed to my power slice, which has come and gone, as well as most of my misses on the driver come at the high heel (I think that's why I broke 3 shafts at the ferrule in my 9064ls dfs, and am tentative with adjustable drivers now).

 

Can anyone with a baseball swing background give any general tips or techniques that helped you transition to golf or even your struggles with your transition? Or if anyone has tips in general based on these symptoms, it's appreciated. Thanks!

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Hi all,

 

After growing up taking lessons and playing baseball throughout my life, I am now refocusing on a different sport that I can play for a long time: golf! In baseball, I was very comfortable in controlling the bat to be able to hit to all fields. After high school baseball, I transitioned to slowpitch softball (very fun) in college intramurals, and am about 2 years removed from that time. I know I have the coordination, fast-twitch muscles, strength, athleticism, and also flexibility needed for a golf swing, yet I feel others can generally out-drive me. I know this can be attributed to my power slice, which has come and gone, as well as most of my misses on the driver come at the high heel (I think that's why I broke 3 shafts at the ferrule in my 9064ls dfs, and am tentative with adjustable drivers now).

 

Can anyone with a baseball swing background give any general tips or techniques that helped you transition to golf or even your struggles with your transition? Or if anyone has tips in general based on these symptoms, it's appreciated. Thanks!

I've only been playing for a little over two years and have a lot to learn myself. But for me, the biggest thing I can tell you is DO NOT focus on hitting the ball! Like you said, you were comfortable controlling the bat to hit where you wanted. That's where your focus should be in golf---where you want the ball to go, not where it's sitting. Once I get setup to the ball, I don't keep looking at it. On my take-away, I actually look at the club. It helps me make sure I'm taking it back on the path I want. On the downswing, I let my head turn with my body and I'm already looking past the ball when it gets hit. It lets me focus on the feel of the club head and where it is instead of trying to steer it into the ball. My body reacts to the clubhead and that way I make a more consistent swing and don't have to worry about hitting the ball because I know I set up to it already and it's sitting on the ground not going anywhere. No real need to "keep your eye on the ball" like there is when the ball is moving. If you make a repeatable swing, the ball just gets in the way of it.

 

Oh, a good way to learn to trust your swing like that is to practice hitting balls with your eyes closed. You're more aware of the club and how your body moves and reacts to it when you're not looking.

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In baseball, I was very comfortable in controlling the bat to be able to hit to all fields. After high school baseball, I transitioned to slowpitch softball (very fun) in college intramurals, and am about 2 years removed from that time. I know I have the coordination, fast-twitch muscles, strength, athleticism, and also flexibility needed for a golf swing....

Wow...that could be my biography....just 20 years older ;)

 

You're going to have a hard time getting good advice without anyone seeing your swing. FWIW...what I did wrong was swinging WAY too hard (still do at times) and swinging out to in. Eliminate the slice and you'll be well on your way.

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Started playing golf at age 27 or so...played B-ball for many years. First... DO NOT think about hitting to all fields anymore! You want a swing that's more of a "power or pull" type. Then take a level practice swing (holding your driver straight out...like swinging at a baseball). Then, drop your club down and swing that way as a "golf" swing. Just convert the "power swing" into your golf swing. Second...Get to a pro for next step as fast as you can!....Otherwise you'll never forgive yourself if you don't..lol

That is the very best advise you'll get starting out, as your grip and setup is the whole key to the correct swing mechanics....Good luck...

Doc (Buckical)

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Thanks for all the replies! Another thing I noticed was that when I first started and when someone pointed it out recently, my hip would drift right with my backswing, so I think that messed with my contact.

 

@blade: Interesting tip after being trained on tracking the baseball all the way to the mitt. I'll be sure to try it out.

@BK in wisconsin: I do admit swinging for the fences :), and do note that the out to in is something I've realized and been working on.

@buckical: I'll try that swing too. As for the pro, I've thought about that, but looking for the right deal and person.

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I played baseball when I was really young, but there was so much of a gap in time between my baseball years and golfing years that I don't think it had much of an effect besides the starting out slice which I have since overcome.

 

I did however have the issue of missing the ball in the exact place at the high heel. I found on another forum a technique that worked great for this. If you are right handed, imagine there is a pea between your left pictorial and left shoulder/upper arm. As you take the club back, try and crush the imaginary pea. This creates a more inside out swing and fixes the problems of hitting the ball off the heel. If you do this enough times, the ball will start to come off the toe even, then you can ease off the crushing the pea and let your swing go back to a little more normal, hopefully taking the issue away.

 

You can go back to this every nice in a while if it comes to be an issue, but it has since fixed it for me.

 

This can also fix a slice many times, as it helped fix mine. After a few balls at the range I even found myself hooking it.

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Hi all,

 

After growing up taking lessons and playing baseball throughout my life, I am now refocusing on a different sport that I can play for a long time: golf! In baseball, I was very comfortable in controlling the bat to be able to hit to all fields. After high school baseball, I transitioned to slowpitch softball (very fun) in college intramurals, and am about 2 years removed from that time. I know I have the coordination, fast-twitch muscles, strength, athleticism, and also flexibility needed for a golf swing, yet I feel others can generally out-drive me. I know this can be attributed to my power slice, which has come and gone, as well as most of my misses on the driver come at the high heel (I think that's why I broke 3 shafts at the ferrule in my 9064ls dfs, and am tentative with adjustable drivers now).

 

Can anyone with a baseball swing background give any general tips or techniques that helped you transition to golf or even your struggles with your transition? Or if anyone has tips in general based on these symptoms, it's appreciated. Thanks!

 

A long time ago they compared Tiger Woods golf swing to Berry Bones Baseball swing. The overlay and positions of their swings were very close to one another when the comparison was done. Different start points, slightly different impact points but everything else was pretty dang close or exact.

 

Your transition to golf coming from baseball is going to be dependent (imho) or your baseball swing techniques. If you use wrist roll into the impact zone (lots of mlb pros do this) then you will be a pretty easy transition as you have to rotate wrists over in golf to square the face. Baseball bat orientation and wrist roll mean nothing in golf it means the difference between slice, straight, hook a lot of times.

 

The main reason people have trouble moving from baseball to golf are two main things

1) Swinging too hard / over swinging (baseball is about over powering the ball right?), golf is about finesse the ball and tempo.

2) No wrist rotation / club orientation (again baseball you can get a lot of power with zero wrist action), golf zero wrist action = massive slice

 

I don't know if that helps any from a technical mechanical stand point.

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If you are just getting started with golf, do yourself a huge favor and find a reputable pro and pay for some time with him! I wish I could go back to when I started playing an start out right! It would have eliminated me starting with a very poor foundation and made thing much much easier for me now!

 

I have no advice on relating baseball to golf, but wish you good luck!

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