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Hoganwoods

What's more important IYO

9 posts in this topic

Do you believe it's more important to have a decent swing plane or to keep the face square to the arc.  If you could choose between having a great plane or having a square clubface via a less than good plane, which would you choose and why? I'm wondering which to work on first.  I've been trying to keep the face square to the arc and I wonder if my swing plane is too bad that it won't even matter.

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Originally Posted by Hoganwoods

Do you believe it's more important to have a decent swing plane or to keep the face square to the arc.  If you could choose between having a great plane or having a square clubface via a less than good plane, which would you choose and why? I'm wondering which to work on first.  I've been trying to keep the face square to the arc and I wonder if my swing plane is too bad that it won't even matter.

I believe the plane is more important because it affects your ability to generate power and hit your contact point. It also will establish your shape in part, both in terms of height and draw/fade (assuming you can control the clubface one way or another), and also determine your fitting info in terms of length and lie.

If you don't have the ability to control the face, you still make decent contact and just have a crappy dispersion. I think distance control and the ability to keep it in a "cone" are more important in navigating a course. You can aim away from trouble if you have a wide dispersion, but can't play a particular yardage, make a forced carry, or get near the green in regulation. I also think you can't get any sort of power advantage without an efficient swing and therefore a good plane.

Whether it's a bit flat or upright isn't an issue, if it's a bit across the ball or in to out isn't a huge deal. As I interpret your choice though, we're choosing between inconsistent face angles (longer and more solid but not straight) or inconsistent plane (straight but inconsistent distance and contact). Realistically, I think having a reasonably correct face angle is really not that hard as long as your grip and ball position don't change. Having a perfect plane is more difficult and requires some discipline to change, and is very hard to feel.

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Originally Posted by LuciusWooding

I believe the plane is more important because it affects your ability to generate power and hit your contact point. It also will establish your shape in part, both in terms of height and draw/fade (assuming you can control the clubface one way or another), and also determine your fitting info in terms of length and lie.

If you don't have the ability to control the face, you still make decent contact and just have a crappy dispersion. I think distance control and the ability to keep it in a "cone" are more important in navigating a course. You can aim away from trouble if you have a wide dispersion, but can't play a particular yardage, make a forced carry, or get near the green in regulation. I also think you can't get any sort of power advantage without an efficient swing and therefore a good plane.

Whether it's a bit flat or upright isn't an issue, if it's a bit across the ball or in to out isn't a huge deal. As I interpret your choice though, we're choosing between inconsistent face angles (longer and more solid but not straight) or inconsistent plane (straight but inconsistent distance and contact). Realistically, I think having a reasonably correct face angle is really not that hard as long as your grip and ball position don't change. Having a perfect plane is more difficult and requires some discipline to change, and is very hard to feel.

That's pretty much what's been happening to me for most of the late part of the season.  Working on keeping the face as square as possible and my starting lines are much better but my miss is now fat.  I never used to hit it fat at all, but my dispersion was also not great and I never really felt in control of the clubface at all.  I also feel like trying to square the face to the arc makes my backswing more steep.  I guess I'm wondering if keeping the face more square by preventing my forearms from rotating as much as possible will by itself change my plane as well.  Been a while since I had instruction, maybe I'll sign up again.

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I don't think you can have one without the other honestly.  If you have a proper swing plane and the face is open you're gonna slice. If you have an outside-in swing plane and the face is square to that plane you're going to pull it.  Inside out you're gonna push, etc.  The best practice I've done is without hitting a ball.  Go through the motions of a good swing enough times and it will start to get engrained in your head.  After trying a million swing fixes my swing ended up being a total disaster.  Get some help or video yourself and get some feedback.  I got two simple tips that got me back on track and hitting my irons really good again.  I'm spending the off season with an instructor on my driver, which has been terrible since coming back to the game after a 10 year break.

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For one thing, its impossible to keep the face square to the path, the foreamrs and wrist rotate 90 degrees through out the backswing. Even that swing path isn't the key to a good swing, if so players like Jim Furyk wouldn't be able to play professional golf.

Go to the 5 key's thread, they are the in my opinion the top 5 important keys to a good golf swing. If you got that, then you can perform a figure 8 for all i care in the golf swing

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Originally Posted by saevel25

For one thing, its impossible to keep the face square to the path

I agree.  It's going to open slightly on your backswing unless you want to look like some sort of robot whacking balls around.

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Originally Posted by Tom Shanks

I agree.  It's going to open slightly on your backswing unless you want to look like some sort of robot whacking balls around.


Yes well, I can do it up to a certain point but it feels ridiculous and becomes impossible to continue to hold it.  I agree with what you are saying though, but at which point do you begin rotating forearms to open the clubface?  My issue is my main flaw was fanning the forearms open on the backswing, but now I think I'm overdoing the opposite feel in order to try to eliminate it.  I wonder if I can just do the traffic cone drill from this other thread (http://thesandtrap.com/t/63433/my-swing-jhwarren#post_788830) and then just turn my shoulders and not worry about my forearms anymore after that.

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You'll stay mostly square to the midway point of the backswing when your club is parallel to the ground.  After that it's not so much a conscious turning as it's a natural rotation to get to the top of a good, on plane backswing.  If you start your takeaway good, you should end up in good shape if your wrist stays in proper form and doesn't roll over, etc.

If at the midway point in the backswing(club parallel to the ground) your club face is pointing directly upwards, you're slightly too open.  If it's pointing beyond vertical(away from the ball) you're way to open.

If you haven't researched already.....search for "one piece takeaway".  Take it with a grain of salt though, as you don't want to over do it and get your arms disconnected from your body.

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Instead of square, i to the path, i rather get the proper feeling at the top of the swing, and get that feeling, then i just try to work my way to that point. I could care less what the backswing looks like.

If you have a problem rotating the arms, the feeling i like is more vertical wrist hinge. Hold the club infront of you and just bring the club towards your head only with wrist hinge. IF you combine that with deep hands, proper shoulder rotation, the clubhead will stay outside the hands, not inside.

Another feeling is pushing the butt of the club away from your body in the backswing.

Just try different movements, use a mirror or a video camera and see what makes the club stay on path and in a good position at the top. Really what matter's the most is the initial position just after starting the downswing. Like Furyk, he has that loop, but he's in a good position at the start of his downswing.

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