Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Look At The Unorthodox Swings - Part 11

In this part we look at the swing of Moe Norman.

Many consider Moe the greatest ballstriker of all time. I've seen Moe hit balls with a camera closely showing the results and it's spectacular. He could hit it dead straight on command, but also could hit draws, hooks, slices and fades on command.

He also had what many considered a 'weird' swing. He put his clubhead about a 2 feet behind the ball at address. He had his feet extremely wide apart and stood well away from the ball.

What we know about Moe's swing at impact was he took very shallow divots or no divot at all. He often referred to your divots being 'bacon strips not pork chops.'

He also 'swung (out to the) right' or used a CF Release.

What we know about 'D-Plane' can tell us a lot about Moe's impact. D-Plane will tell us that the greater the attack angle of the clubhead, the more the path will move out to the right.

Let's say your clubhead path with a 7-iron is 0.0* to the target. And let's say you do this with an attack angle of -4*. Now, let's say that you take the same type of swing with the same type of release, but you just increase your attack angle to say -6* with that 7-iron. That will now move your clubhead path out to the right (in this instance, we'll say the new clubhead path is +2*).

Since Moe hit it dead straight on command and had a shallow attack angle, he needed to swing out to the right (CF Release) in order to zero out his clubhead path. Now somebody like Ben Hogan who had a steeper attack angle and took noticeably bigger divots, he needed to release that club much more to the left in order to get a path that was 'zeroed out.'

This can work for golfers who want to learn how to work the ball. Let's say you hit it pretty straight and need to play a draw. An efficient way to do so, without making big changes to your swing is to find a way to increase the steepness of your attack angle. If you can get a steeper attack angle with the same swing, the path will go out to the right.

Stealing a page from the S&T guys, if I move the ball slightly back and the handle slightly forward, this allows the golfer to hit a push-draw. Why? Well the handle forward opens the clubface slightly. And moving the ball position back increases the attack angle slightly. Thus you get a clubface that will get slightly open at impact and a path that is slightly out to the right of the clubface.

The reverse with a fade. Move the ball forward slightly and the handle back more.

The other part needed to hit the ball dead straight like Moe did is to have a clubface that is very square to the target.

As you can see here, the clubface for Moe is dead square at the top of the swing. I see plenty of golfers looking at their PLANE on the backswing, but ignoring the clubface. A 'square' clubface at the top of the swing is when the clubface is on the same angle as the left forearm. As you can see, Moe's clubface and left forearm are dead in line with each other.

So, you can learn from Moe the importance of the square clubface...particularly at the top of the swing...and learn how to match your attack angle with your 'release' after impact.


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