Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Essential D-Plane Video

Thanks for standing bye as I took a 3-day vacation from the blog with my birthday this past Friday. To get back into the swing of things, we need to take a look at the latest Brian Manzella video, the Essential D-Plane video. I believe this video is a mandatory to watch if you're serious about improving your golf swing.

This video has been discussed over at my forum (http://richie3jack.proboards.com) quite a bit and one of the posters still didn't understand why Trackman was such a great tool and why not just examine the biomechanical aspects of the swing.

I would make the analogy that Trackman is much like a forensics lab. Let's say I'm a detective and I come across some skeletal remains and from my experience I make an educated guess that they are the remains of a male teenager. I could then start searching for missing male teenagers in the area. But instead a detective will take it to the forensics lab, and they may accurately determine that the remains are from a female. Along with determining the approximate age, ethnicity, size, how they were killed, etc. I could then use that *accurate* knowlledge and know where to look and then get back into doing the good, old fashioned detective work to solve the crime.

SliceFixer (aka Geoff Jones) mentioned this in an interview with Ralph Perez at the Gotham Golf Blog. He said he had an issue with hitting a low, diving hook and thought he had a problem with his club path. But when he measured his swing on Trackman, he found that his path was fine, but his clubface was too closed at impact. Had he not used Trackman, he may have been doing 'good ole fashion detective work' on curing his path woes which were not there instead of finding a way to cure his closed clubface.



Anonymous said...

From previous post comment:

Hooks have less spin than say a
straight ball or even a draw. Less spin, lower trajectory.

Is this explained anywhere? It's surprising and very interesting. It seems very relevant to the outstanding video posted on this post.

Erik J. Barzeski said...

I think the whole "point of tangency" idea is almost a simpler way of understanding the D-Plane and the club's true path into the ball. It's a more visual idea and a bit simpler too.

At Golf Evolution we have a few pieces of black tubing that's curled a bit into an arc, about six feet long, and it's pretty easy to set that arc on a plane and to visualize this sort of thing. You can move the point of tangency (marked in the center of the arc) forward or back, point the whole plane left or right, etc.

Erik J. Barzeski said...

Sorry for the second post. Should have finished watching before posting. :-)

S&T doesn't tell you to hit a fade by hitting the ball on the front side of the circle. If you want to fade the ball with S&T, the preferred method is a push-fade. You still hit the ball on the back side of the circle, but the plane line points well to the left. The clubface is open to the plane line (closed to the target), and the ball pushes (right of your stance line and the plane line) and then fades.

I'm not the biggest fan of the S&T ball flight demonstration. It's impressive, but it's a bit of a carnival show, because divots are still taken on the fades and every ball - except perhaps when demonstrating the ugly swings many average golfers make - is hit on the back side of the circle.

While I agree that a fade is easier with things like the handle back and the weight back a little, in the end the plane line is still pointing well left and the demonstration is perhaps causing some misunderstanding within the community. I don't teach people to hit the front side of the circle, and I don't know of another S&T guy who does.

Also, the average PGA Tour player hits their driver on a downward angle - 1.3 degrees IIRC...

Anonymous said...

Some camps (like SnT) might call a certain fade a Push Fade because the ball starts right of the stance line.

Others don't consider the stance line when defining Push and Pull.

In this case, the same fade described about would be a Pull Fade (or just perhaps a Fade) because the ball starts left of the Target Line.

All Trackman definitions based in the horizintal direction are based of the Target Line. Trackman doesn't really care where you're aimed.

These folks would say a Push Fade starts right of the target line and curves further right. Therefore, not really a useful shot because it doesn't go to the target.

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