I'm not talking about forward shaft lean at impact.
I'm talking about returning the shaft close to or at the same angle it had at address at impact from a down-the-line perspective. Here are some examples of good players doing this (It's important to note that not everyone good does this):
You'll notice its really close -- 46 degrees according to Analyzr (that's Sergio by the way).
Here's Rory with some kind of a mid-iron I think. He gets pretty close.
I've noticed that a lot of really, really good ball strikers do this, or at least, come close. They tend to stand closer to the ball than most amateurs, and as a result, they have a downswing hand path that is much closer to their bodies. Am I on the right track that this effectively lowers the golfer's handle, and would thus allow the golfer to hit the ball "straighter" more consistently?
Sorry if I tend to use myself as an example, but I struggle with this and realized this last night during my video film study session (Yea, I do that now ).
This shot actually went straight, but I normally hook or push the ball on a miss. I'm extending early a bit, but hopefully that's not the issue here. You can clearly see how much my handle has raised and how far away the handle and my hands are from my body relative to Sergio and Rory. And it might be the camera angle, but you can see both of my forearms, but you can't see Rory's or Sergio's.
Here's a Ben Hogan example: Just to preface this, I'm not a crazy Hogan fan. I've read Five Lessons and his wikipedia page a few times, but that's about it.
I apologize in advance if this Hogan swing was when he was old/post-car accident, or whatever, so please correct me there if this is a horrible example of Hogan. But, he does the same thing as Sergio with his downswing hand path being quite close to the body and the shaft angle lining up and matching its address angle:
Sorry for using my swing as an example here again -- and Erik, if you'd prefer to merge this into my swing thread because of this, I understand -- but I'm planning on standing closer to the ball and having a "tighter" hand path (meaning closer to my body) on the downswing so my handle doesn't raise so much.
What's the significance of all this stuff? Is this a really important aspect to solid ball striking? Through my studies here over the years, I've learned extensively about hip slide, forward shaft lean, a steady head, and a whole warehouse's worth of other awesome things that pertain to this crazy game.
When you take lessons with an authorized Stack and Tilt instructor (I've had quite a few) -- if you are a slicer like I was in the beginning -- what they do is give you a ton of draw pieces -- maybe some wrist bowing, hips preset forward at address, maybe some axis tilt preset at address... and maybe a raised handle. If you're like me, over time, you've tended to overdo some of these pieces, and as a result, began to hit some unwanted hooks and blocks out of the course. I desperately need my handle to not raise so much. I suspect that standing a bit too far from the ball at set-up contributes to the issue; and the subsequent downswing hand path I use exacerbates the issue futher -- hence my theorized fix. I'm using these analyzr photos to support my hypothesis.
What do you guys think of this topic here?
Here a few more pros I found who do this really well. Like I said, not everyone does this, but a lot of really, really good players do it. I'll test it out tomorrow at the range to see what happens.
Sean O'Hair gets pretty close.