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RC

Finally -- a real answer to crossing the line

24 posts in this topic

Brandon Chamblee said something tonight on the golf channel that resonated with my own thoughts perfectly. He said (essentially) that at the top the club should be down the line if the shoulders are turned 90 degrees. But if the shoulders turn more than 90 degrees, the club would naturally cross the line. That is paraphrased but it was during a discussion of Tiger's swing and Haney, et. al. The idea of having more than a 90 degree shoulder turn and still being laid-off has never made sense to me. When a big shoulder turn is made, the club in a perfect position when it is in the same relative position as a 90 degree turn, but because the shoulders have turned more, the club will cross the line. I don't like a big lower body turn and think the hips should be restricted, but if you are flexible enough to turn the shoulder behind the ball, I don't see a reason (if the lower body has not given away its bracing) the club should not cross the line -- not a lot but to whereever a 90 degree turn would have been when the club was down the line.

What do you guys think?

P.S. This is not meant to be an excuse for poor swings that cross the line at the top because the lower body is over turned. What I am saying is if the hips are turned 45 degrees or less , then it is the shoulders that should define the top angle of the club. Look at Sadlowski, Nicklaus, Michelson, etc.
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Well it depends, what is the ration to parallel made with the club to the target line in comparison to the shoulder turn. If 90 degress equals 0 degrees off the target line, what does 95 degrees make, i doubt its 5 degrees, i don't think its one to one, because those angles change dramatically with the downswing and backswing. I believe Rory's swing goes past 90 degrees and he stays pretty much parallel to his target line. I don't think its that big of deal unless its overly exaggerated, i wouldn't want the club to point 30 yards to the right or left of the target line, maybe a +/- 1-3 degrees at most, but i think thats negligible in most cases if your shoulders are less or more than 90 degrees.
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[I do know that centrifugal force doesn't exist, but it's handy high school physics.]

I think what matters is to have the toe-heel and shaft both directly in line with the plane at the start of the downswing. If the toe-heel alignment is wrong, the weight of the toe will twist the club as centrifugal force pulls it back to the plane under acceleration. If the shaft is not aligned with the plane at the start, the entire clubhead will try to move in the direction of the plane and would be at the start of an oscillation pattern toward the plane, across and back again.

How you get it there almost doesn't matter, viz. Harry Vardon or Mr. X, Miller Barber. It makes it easier with a repeatable backswing, most likely, since that seems to succeed most often. In any case, it is the probability of arriving at the transition to the downswing with either of these factors out of whack that suggests we should make that transition slowly. Any off plane acceleration of the toe or the clubhead will be small with a slow, smooth start. If the hands and wrists and arms are soft, the toe and shaft will come gently back to the plane and damp out on plane before the big casino acceleration happens. Force vectors will not be at angles to the rotation, clubfaces will be square to the line, clubheads will be maximally accelerated, Jupiter will align with Mars... "It is the dawning of the Aaaage of Aquarius!"

Indeed, if the start of the downswing is smooth enough, if the hands and wrists and arms are soft enough, things can get back on plane before anything important happens. Eamonn Darcy anyone?
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How the player takes the club back, outside the line, inside, down the line.........(not just their shoulder movement/turn) plays a part in where the club ends up at the top of the backswing, so that's a variable to consider. Shoulder turn plays a part in that obviously, but so does wrist cock, forearm rotation, etc.
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[I do know that centrifugal force doesn't exist, but it's handy high school physics.]

I do believe the word you're looking for is 'centripetal' lol

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I do believe the word you're looking for is 'centripetal' lol

Uh...I know the difference, so I can't say I was looking for it exactly...let me think...yeah, maybe it would be centripetal force doing all that bad stuff!

Let's just call it "bad mojo", okay?
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what does being laid off mean?

When the club points to the left of the target line at the top of the backswing for a right handed golfer, from a down the line view.

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No matter how far the shoulders are, the farther the club travels from the starting position, the longer the swing is, and the less accurate you will be.
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No matter how far the shoulders are, the farther the club travels from the starting position, the longer the swing is, and the less accurate you will be.

Yet the most legendary ball striker ever had a swing that went past parallel.

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Yet the most legendary ball striker ever had a swing that went past parallel.

You are talking about Hogan? Maybe because he practiced that move until his hands bled, and he hardly went past parallel.

And I didn't say it was impossible to play good golf, it just makes it harder. I would not encourage anyone to swing past parallel.
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True, not alot.

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I am amazed at how many players think that their swing plane should line up with their target line. You would want that only if you were trying to use an inside-to-inside clubhead path. That's a tough clubhead path for rec players to be consistent with.
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Not just Hogan -- Nicklaus, and many others. I am not advocating any positions or methodologies, but it does make sense to me that the bigger the shoulder turn, the more the odds of going past parallel but more importantly, perhaps crossing the line -- because that is where the natural plane really is if the club is in its natural position in front of you. Longer swings may or may not be more or less prone to mistakes -- that depends on the player, his tempo, his natural flexibility, and a host of things. If short swings were uniformly better then waist high arms or less would be the method of choice for pro golfer -- and we all know maybe only Allen Doyle and very few others can do such short swings and control enough power. It certainly is true most short pitches are better high with shorter back swings, but some guys get close to their normal backswing even on 75 percent shots. It is a choice the golfer makes.
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I personally don't see anything wrong with Hogan's club position at the top of the backswing.

If an amateur has it just past parallel like that, and they're hitting the ball well, I say don't change it.
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Heavy hitters like Daly, swing past the point the club becomes parallel to the ground.

This is because not only is the momentum of the club head at impact proportional to the amount

of force placed on the club through the grip, but also how long force is applied, so

theoretically a longer backswing is highly desirable.

The difficulty I have with your theory of turning the shoulders no more than ninety degrees and keeping the hips quiet,

is at least some of us are too inflexible to make that much of a shoulder turn without turning the hips to some degree,

although you seem to say some movement in the hips is not detrimental.

The condition of my body prohibits me from even making it to parallel, however I believe my problem

is "jerking" the club down at the top of the swing, this always happens when I over extend myself or

I keep my hips stationary. I can sometimes manage to be "laid off" at the top

and an incredible feeling of golf ataraxia ensues at the finish.

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Although, according to this short video of Daly's swing,  at the top

he is clearly across the line, namely his club points very right of the target.

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If the swing is shot from above the golfer, as Shawn Clement did here, it's easy to see

he points the club to the left of the target at the top of the swing - sometimes.

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