Sunday, October 18, 2009

3Jack's Translation of TGM: Part 9D

10-6 (Basic Plane Angles)

The corresponding Chapter 7 Translation post can be found HERE.

There are three 'fixed' basic plane angles, one moving plane angle and one moveable plane angle, each are named for its particular reference point.

Here are the 3 most popular basic plane angles (thanks to Jeff Mann at Perfect Golf Swing Review for the pic

ELBOW PLANE - Homer states that this is a very flat angle of attack on the downswing and should be avoided on shorter shots UNLESS you naturally use this on your full shots. Very popular downswing plane for PGA Tour pros which usually makes it rare to see them come over the top, but the 'miss' is usually the golfer coming too far under plane.

TURNED SHOULDER PLANE - Very common for most golfers to reach the turned shoulder plane at the top of the swing. Homer states:

This Plane Angle has far better performance characteristics than any other because any Plane Angle Shift is very hazardous
A 'plane angle' shift happens when the golfer goes from one plane angle to another. Let's say they go from elbow to turned shoulder, that's a 'plane angle shift.' Homer believed this was hazardous, but seemed to change his mind after the book was published. Here's a pic of Jack Nicklaus and Byron Nelson.

Mr. Nelson 'shifts' his plane angle on the downswing (going from the turned shoulder plane to the elbow plane). Mr. Nicklaus does not shift, staying on the Turned Shoulder Plane.

Most PGA Tour players have a shift, usually to the elbow plane on the downswing. Most 'hitters' tend to stay on the TSP (turned shoulder plane). Swingers tend to get back down to the elbow plane. Now, Mr. Nicklaus was a 'swinger' and stayed on the TSP, but like I said this is a *tendency.* And a lot of it has to do with the type of elbow position the golfer uses (pitch, punch or push).

SQUARED SHOULDER PLANE - A bit like the TSP, but the line is drawn from the ball to the 'top edge' of the right shoulder instead of thru the middle of the right shoulder. This is a steeper plane than the TSP and Homer notes that if you use the steeper Squared Shoulder Plane with an Angled Hinge, the Angled Hinge Action almost becomes a Vertical Hinge Action. You want to avoid vertical hinge action with full swings.

Thusly, if you use Angled Hinge action, you need to work on a flatter plane than the Squared Shoulder Plane. Or if you want to use the Squared Shoulder Plane, you better use horizontal hinge.

TURNING SHOULDER PLANE - Homer states that this plane is 'undoubtedly the most widely used Basic Plane.' I agree, but you need to keep reading as to what he means by that.

But first, let's describe the Turning Shoulder Plane.

The Arms are simply raised and lowered vertically and the Wrists are Cocked and Uncocked with the Left Wrist Vertical to the ground at all times (remember, this is from the DTL view). There is a pivot involved even though the arms are simply raised and lowered vertically. Fred Couples is a good example of a golfer using a Turning Shoulder Plane on the backswing.

The reason why Homer says this plane is so widely used by golfers is that they try to take the clubhead 'straight back' from the ball and then 'straight down to the ball' at impact.

There are two versions of the Turning Shoulder Plane:

1. Vertical Wristcock Turning Shoulder Plane (already desscribed)
2. Vertical Left Arm Turning Shouler Plane

The Vertical Left Arm version is much like the Vertical Wristcock version, except the golfer takes the arms straight back and straight thru. I believe this is the version Fred Couples uses, but I could be mistaken.

HANDS ONLY PLANE - This is in the picture at the top of the post of Aaron Baddeley. If you want to return your hands at impact to the 'hands only plane', that can serve the golfer very well.



Anonymous said...

Ben Hogan being a hitter according to the use of angled hinging (?)shifts to the right elbow plane though.
What actually determs hitting and swinging in TGM?
This should be a very important question because there are elements you should avoid being a hitter or swinger according to Homer Kelley.

Kevin said...

In my opinion it is simply the difference between pushing using PA #1 (right arm) or pulling using PA #4 (left arm). Most components are interchangeable, and it is sometimes very difficult, even for the most well trained eyes, to see the difference. Only the player knows for sure.


Rich H. said...

According to physicists that have studies the golf swing and TGM, we all do a bit of a swinging and hitting. I read somewhere it was termed 'direct use' of centrifigul force (swinging) and 'indirect use' of CF (hitting).

IMO, it's what the golfer feels like they are doing. Hitters 'push' with the right arm. Swingers pull with the left arm and/or the pivot.

It's debatable whether or not Hogan was a hitter because you can swing with an angled hinge. However, the hitter doesn't use horizontal hinge.

Like Kevin stated, most of the parts are interchangeable. Those that are not advised to interchange, a golfer can still mix and match those components, but they will need to make compensations in order to hit the ball well. Some golfers can make compensations and do it well, most cannot.