Friday, May 13, 2011

Shades of Gray with Swing Fixes

One of the topics of discussion lately has been what causes the ‘over the top move.’

The popular belief is that it’s due to ‘improper sequencing’ of the downswing, where the upper body moves first, instead of the lower body moving first. This video gives a brief overview of the explanation.

Another prominent theory, popularized by Brian Manzella, is that it’s the golfer ‘reacting’ to their clubface being open in the downswing. Below is a picture of certain clubface angles at the top of the swing, left is ‘open’, middle is ‘closed’, and right is ‘square.’

So, who do I think is right?

Well, both are right.

But, there’s more to it than that.

What’s something I struggle with in my swing? The over the top move. And by looking at my swing, I think my ‘sequence’ is fine and my clubface is closed.

Now, I’ve gone over this quite a few times with my instructor, George Hunt ( and we know why that over the top move tends to happen…and it is not due to an open clubface or improper sequencing.

Again, it’s not that these two theories are wrong. Not in the slightest.

A golfer with improper sequencing will likely never get enough axis tilt to avoid getting under plane and their hips will probably ‘spin out’ too much forcing the club ‘above the plane.’

However, many times an open clubface causes the issue. Open clubfaces means that the ball will start out to the right at impact. So a golfer’s brain tries to get them to figure out a way to get the ball moving more to the left and they try to ‘hit it left’ instead of getting the clubface less open at impact.

But, there are other golfers with different problems. My dad is a good example. He’s always hit a big slice. And he used to play it by aiming his body and clubface well left at address and then cutting across it and hitting a big slice down the middle. Eventually during my days in college he was struggling with his game and got lessons by an instructor who had him aim his body square. He then *increased* his over the top move and now hoods the club in the takeaway and has a very closed clubface with a big over the top move.

In my dad’s case, he learned to adjust the face to compensate for the path. Whereas somebody like Ray Romano, who plays with a very open clubface…he learned how to adjust the path to compensate for the face.

Just like there's no 'one way' to swing the club...there's no 'one thing' that causes swing problems and no 'one fix' to those swing issues.


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