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tm22721

Irons and ball contact

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Over the past three years I have struggled trying to get good ball contact.

About 18 months ago I briefly discovered the miracle of club lag and bowed left wrist (forward shaft lean) at impact. Best ball contact ever, but it was sporadic and I couldn't quite figure out why.

Then two weeks ago I discovered something new. I made my swing plane a tad shallower on the backswing. Presumably on the downswing as well although it's hard to tell.

Voila ! irons are much more consistent. Very few mis-hits, good divots and ball flight, shots go straighter.

Is there some magic swing plane steepness above which ball contact radically suffers ? I am surpirsed that a small change can have such a dramatic impact, so to speak.

I found this earlier thread on the subject Steep down swing or Shallow? which might be the reason :

" A shallower swing also gives you a margin of error. If you miss 1/2" behind the ball with a shallow swing, you'll still catch it pretty clean because you're really going through a very, very thin layer of dirt. If you miss 1/2" behind the ball with a steep swing, it's fat city ."

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Over the past three years I have struggled trying to get good ball contact.

Here's a pic of Sam Snead at impact:

The closer your hands and club are to the plane throughout the swing, the more solid contact and straighter you will hit the ball. It's also important to keep your spine angle. Preferably you want a spine angle of around 30 degrees at address and maintain that same degree of spine angle throughout the swing (very hard to do though). Also, getting those hips rotated so they are at least 45 degrees open at impact helps sustain the lag (although you can sustain it if they are open by 20 degrees or more). There are plenty of quality players that strike the ball well despite getting their hands and club off plane (i.e Vijay Singh), but they usually wind up practicing a ton and also have phenomenal hand eye coordination. My guess from what you're telling me is that you were probably a bit too upright in your swing plane and when you "flattened" out the swing you probably were actually getting more on plane. Either that or it's just something temporary and your hand eye coordination is good right now, but eventually you'll start struggling with making good contact again. 3JACK

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You probably just switched to a plane that agrees with your right forearm plane. Look at that picture of Snead at impact and you'll see his right forearm and shaft in-line. You want that right forearm tracing the line as soon as you can and all the way through impact to the follow through (not finish). Most amateurs and a lot of the pros bring that right forearm into the downswing pointing beyond the target line but it points at the line momentarily at impact.

That picture of Snead also shows how his right shoulder rotates down on plane. Those guys were great back than because unknowingly they complied with law and principle. Comply and you get positive results. Defy and you get negative results.

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Over the past three years I have struggled trying to get good ball contact.

Forward press is something that once you learn is hard to stop, I have been working for a year to rid myself of the forward press. Also I think you may not understand lag, the left wrist should be square at impact, but all these positions are very difficult to understand without a pro watching you and showing you. Note tiger below at address.

and at impact Consistent contact starts from good fundamentals ( grip, ball position, aim) which if are wrong will make you imagine all sorts of fixes and bandaids, and personal discoveries. I went from a 26 index to an 11.0 last year. This took lessons, forgetting what I thought I knew about the swing, and working on one or two fundamentals at a time in 2-4 week lesson intervals. I'd like to think I understand the golf swing, but it is almost impossible to analyze yourself.

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So you have gone up in the last 14 consecutive competitions?

Huh? I don't understand the question? What does the # of competitions have to do with my handicap? I post every round on the course I play, as is the rule. I was dropping around 2 strokes per month last year. And I did quite well in the tournaments winning my flight of the club championship. My index got up to about 12.8 this winter, and I think my instant index is ~11.9. Our fairways are still dormant and the turf has been hard, soggy, or thin. Not sure what any of this has to do with the OP though...

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I worked on this at the range yesterday and one thing I noticed is that ball position makes even more of a difference in flight with good lag. But, the height of the shot with the same club made less of a difference on the distance before landing. The roll after the carry was impacted the most by ball position.

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Huh? I don't understand the question? What does the # of competitions have to do with my handicap? I post every round on the course I play, as is the rule. I was dropping around 2 strokes per month last year. And I did quite well in the tournaments winning my flight of the club championship. My index got up to about 12.8 this winter, and I think my instant index is ~11.9. Our fairways are still dormant and the turf has been hard, soggy, or thin. Not sure what any of this has to do with the OP though...

You said you got your handicap down to 11.0, but your handicap in your profile was 12.4. In the UK handicap system you go up .1 every time you shoot over your handicap in competition, I was just wondering if that was what had happened, no offence meant

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Over the past three years I have struggled trying to get good ball contact.

I think this picture best demonstrates the results of a correct swing plane.

In this famous picture, Hogan's shoulder are level. I don't think he got there by swinging the club vertically.

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Note: This thread is 4654 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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