Monday, June 21, 2010

3Jack Explains 'Swinging Left' With Video

I have been saying on the forum that one day I would do a video on 'swinging left' and do it with a plane board in hopes to get more people to understand what 'swinging left' is. Well, I came close. Check out this video.

Of course, there's some 'explainin' to do.'

First, let's take a look at 'club exit.' Here's a pic showing the club 'exiting' after impact.

In this golfer, the club is exiting just below the left shoulder.

Of course, we should see the golfer's swing as well.

This golfer was swinging the club 'properly' to the left. Meaning that he swung the club well enough to the left to have a path that was square to the target.

Here's a pic of me, swinging out to the right.

See how the club is 'exiting' higher up?

If you 'connect the dots', you can then see how this basically shifts the inclined plane and the path out to the right.

Of course, we wouldn't know just how far out to the right I am swinging and just how far to the left the golfer above me is swinging unless we were measured thru Trackman.

One of the points that must be made though is that having a path that is 'inside-to-out' or 'outside-to-in' certainly is not a bad thing. But, how much is too much?

I would say that the threshold is -6* (leftward) to +6* (rightward). I say this because according to Trackman's research, the Tour golfer with the path furthest out to the right that they have ever measured is Kenny Perry at +6*. And the Tour golfer that has a path furthest left is Colin Montgomerie at -6*.

I'm not so sure that any historically great golfer has gone outside of those parameters either. Thus, I would say those are the parameters that we need to stick to.

Now, many golfers may play better with a path going left vs. a path being square or going right. Or a golfer may be better with a path going -2* left instead of -5* left.

In the video, I showed how a flatter downswing plane requires more swinging to the left than a more upright downswing plane. Let's take a look at this pic.

So, in order to square up the path, Byron...who swings on a flatter *downswing* plane than Jack, needs to swing more to the left. Conversely, Jack needs to swing a lesser amount to the left. Jack still needs to swing left, just not as much as Byron would TO SQUARE UP THE PATH.

That's one advantage of a more upright downswing plane than a flatter one, you don't need to swing as far to the left which can be easier for many golfers to accomplish.

But there is another big factor that affects the path as well and that is the attack angle. The steeper you hit down on the ball, the more you have to swing left.

For instance, let's say you have a square path typically with your swing and your attack angle with the 7-iron is normally abou -3* (downward). But, let's say you take your normal swing with that 7-iron except this time you swing down at the ball about -8*, in order to square up the path, you now have to swing more to the left.

Conversely, if you shallow out your attack angle...say taking that 7-iron with a normal -3* attack angle and changing that to a -1* attack angle, you have to swing LESS TO THE LEFT in order to square up the path.

That's a big reason why ball position can be crucial. For me, if I want to hit a small draw and not really change my swing to do so, I will move the ball position slightly back and move the handle of the club slightly forward and just take my normal swing. Why? Because that increases my attack angle slightly which moves my path sligtly out to the right and since I'm not trying to swing more left, the path will be out to the right of the clubface and I will hit the slight push-draw.

So, if the 'okay' path paremeters are -6* (leftward) to +6* (rightward), why do instructors try so hard to get golfers to swing left so they can square up (0.0*) the path?

For starters, the better golfers I mentioned who 'swing out to the right' and have the club exiting very high, tend to get out of those -6 to +6* path parameters. That causes a lot of problems with consistency and controlling the low point.

But, if you can get the path pretty close to 0.0* at impact it becomes much more difficult to hit a bad shot. Why?

1. You're likely to make good sweetspot contact as shots that miss the sweetspot and poor paths correlate very well together.

2. You're more likely to control the low point.

3. The face can point in different directions and often times result in quality golf shots.

The last point may bring up my criticism of Hank Haney's work with Ray Romano in 'The Haney Project.' In that show, I criticized Haney for working solely on the path of Romano's swing while ignoring the clubface and the pivot (plus, the way he was going about working on the path was a bad idea, IMO. And I think the grip Haney teaches is extremely flawed).

The problem with Romano was his clubface was extremely wide open at impact. So, even if he were able to get the clubhead path at 0.0* every single time, they would still have the issue of a wide open clubface which would still result in a SLICE. If the face was slightly open or slightly closed, but the path was very square to the target, that can still result in good shots. But in Romano's case, the face was so wide open that it would not result in good shots.

The last point I was going to go into was the 'CP vs. CF Release' theory and how it ties into 'swinging left' and 'swinging out to the right.'

Here's the pics showing the ABS version of 'swinging left' (aka CP Release) and 'swinging out to the right' (aka CF release). Notice the gap between the right arm and the right side.

So, does that mean I need to have my upper arms connected to my body in order to 'swing left?'

No, not at all.

In fact, many Tour golfers 'swing left' without having their upper arms attached to their body post impact. Take a look at Phil Mickelson.

Obviously, Phil plays left handed so technically he has to 'swing right.' :)

But, his upper arms are not connected to his body post-impact.

The reasoning behind the ABS and MORAD upper arms staying connected to the body post-impact is to have a swing that is 'pivot dominated' instead of a hybrid 'pivot & arms' swing. And the theory (which I agree with) is that using your arms less will lead to more consistent control of the face, path and low point. Hogan, Knudson, Snead, etc were pure pivot driven golf swings.

Trackman measures 'swinging left' with the measurement called 'horizontal swing plane.' It will measure the HSP and also the path. The golfer who understands these measurements and wants to learn how to swing properly left can look at the Trackman results and if the path is not where they want to be, they can tinker with their HSP until they get the path where they want it.



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