Friday, November 6, 2009
Answers to Your D-Plane Questions Part I
I've been getting more questions in regards to D-Plane, 'swinging left' and Trackman. I am by no means a Trackman expert, but I'll attempt to answer them here. If I have anything incorrect, please let me know and I'll make the corrections.
First, I want to go over some basic Trackman definitions to answer these questions I've received.
Attack Angle = Angle that the clubhead takes towards the ball. Should be a negative angle for irons. Can be negative or positive for the driver since the ball is teed up.
Face Angle = Angle of the clubface at impact.
Horizontal Swing Plane = The 'path' of the club (inside-to-out, outside-to-in, square)
Club Path = Factors in Angle of Attack and the Horizontal Swing Plane. This is also called 'true path.' You ideally want your 'true path' close to zero. But it's not just getting the Horizontal swing plane to zero, it's also getting the horizontal swing plane to 'match' the angle of attack. I will go over this a bit more later in the post.
When using Trackman, you will see some negative and positive numbers for these categories. The general rule of thumb is that negative means to the left of the target and positive means to the right of the target.
Now...let's talk about the 'new ball flight laws' according to D-Plane.
INITIAL DIRECTION OF BALL FLIGHT = About 85% dependent on the clubface angle at impact. The other 15% is from the 'true path.'
CURVATURE OF BALL FLIGHT = Due to the true path in relation to the clubface angle at impact.
So, if a golfer has a clubface angle of 0.0* at impact, but a path of 5*, the ball will actually start out slightly to the right of the target (remember, face angle is 85% responsible, but path is 15% responsible) and then will draw to some degree. I haven't worked with Trackman enough to know if the ball will draw back to the target or left of the target, but it will draw.
However, I can have a clubface that is open, say 3* at impact and still hit a draw if the path is 5* (to the right). That's because in order to hit some sort of draw, the clubface has to be closed to the path on some level at impact. Conversely, to hit some sort of fade, the clubface must be open to the path at impact to some level.
Thus, if you are hitting a hook that starts left, then get the clubface to open up because you can hit a leftward starting hook with an open clubface. Conversely, you can't hit that big block slice with a closed face at impact.
Think about it for a second. Those duck hooks always go very low. That's because the clubface is very closed and the clubface gets de-lofted. With the block slice, the ball almost always goes very high because the open clubface adds loft to the club. Basically the clubface with a duck hook is so closed that a pretty good swing path will cause any ball to hook.
In other words, CONTROL THE FACE.
That's what really D-Plane is about. Control the face better and you will play better. And I believe that in any golf tournament, the winner usually controls the clubface the best for that tournament. Not only for the driver and irons, but for the putter as well. Remember, D-Plane is alive and well in putting.