Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Look At The Unorthodox Swings - Part 10

In part 10 of this series, I look at Nancy Lopez’s swing.

Lopez has won 3 LPGA majors as well as 48 LPGA tournaments. She is a member of the Golf Hall of Fame.

Most people notice her unusual takeaway where the hands raised and then the wrists roll inwards. What’s amazing to me is how flat her swing was ½ way back.

She does have an ‘across the line move.’ The ‘across the line’ move is when a golfer, at the top of the swing, has the clubshaft right of parallel. Conversely, a clubshaft that is left of parallel at the top of the swing is known as ‘laid off.’

The ‘across the line move’ really isn’t all that bad because typically the golfer who is across the line will have a problem with getting underplane. The ‘laid off’ golfer tends to get ‘above the plane.’

This to me is a glaring flaw of Hank Haney’s teaching of Ray Romano on ‘The Haney Project.’ Romano does have an ‘across the line’ move, yet does get above the plane. But his clubface is so wide open in the downswing that I believe Romano eventually started getting above the plane in order to get the ball moving left, but we know from the ‘new ball flight laws’ that move really doesn’t help much (if not makes things worse).

Anyway, as flat as Lopez’s backswing gets, she does get on a nice inclined plane in the downswing. She then ‘swings left’ in order to hit the ball straight.

I think the thing we can learn here is that the backswing is not as important as most people make it. Don’t get me wrong, backswing compensations can force flaws at impact, but it’s more important to focus on the downswing and impact first and then decide if the backswing is causing problems second.


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