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hrossroth

creating a wide arc

11 posts in this topic

Jack Nickalus was identified as having a wide arc in his swing. What I am wondering is if this is the part of the backswing that curves as it goes back. Also, what are the differences between a wide arc and inside take-away.
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I've always wondered about comments on 'wide arc'. What is wide? the hands or the clubhead?

The hands will travel on roughly the same path on the way up and the way down. If a player manipulates the hands on the way up with a 'stretch or reach' motion then they are becoming disconnected and have to compensate on the way down. The clubhead will travel on a path that is wider on the way up than the way down simply because of shaft loading and flex.

I'm not convinced that a wider arc leads to more distance.

An inside takeaway is normally referred to the clubhead traveling too far around the body on the backswing - it will normally be too low to the ground too. You can bring your hands in with an 'inside takeaway' but this is a correct motion rather than a bad one. We're dealing with terminology here and inside takeaway has typically been used to identify a fault. Since the only fault is the clubhead coming too far inside and low too fast, then inside is clubhead and should almost guarantee a wide arc on the way down. Usually starting from the top. (...like over the top; a bad thing)
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A wide arc is in your take away. Also called "Float Loading". It's basically how long you go before you start to hinge your wrists. Compare Nicklaus to Els. Jack has a very wide arc while Ernie tends to hinge his wrists early. Neither is right or wrong.

The theory behind a wide arc revolves around Newton's Third Law of Motions. "To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." The idea being that if you have a wide arc on your back swing, you'll create more lag on your downswing. Therefor creating more power.

If you want to practice this, keep your wrists relaxed and imagine your club head hitting speed bumps during your back swing. Almost like dragging the club against the grass on the way back. The major check point is half way back. The club should be at it's widest arc.
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Not to be nitpicky, but Newton's third law and a wide arc aren't really related. "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction" isn't talking about something like "if your wrists hinge late on the way up, they will stay hinged longer on the way down." Newton's third law is related to forces applied to objects (i.e. if I apply a force to an object, that object applies a force to me in the direction opposite of the direction I'm applying).

My understanding of the relationship and wide arc is that the "wider arc" you create, the more efficiently that momentum is transferred towards the target (and the more momentun transferred towards the target, the more distance, all other things being equal). Imagine a swing on a playground. A wide arc would be one where as the swing moves back, the chains reman taut, and the swing's seat follows a path of maximum radius (at least as large as the chains will allow). As the swing falls from its peak, the potential energy in stored in the swing/chain system used efficiently to move the swing (clubhead) through the bottom of the arc (where the ball would be).

Now imagine the same swing going back, but the chains somehow getting slack in them. The arc created by the swing is now narrow (relative to before), and after the swing reaches its peak height, the energy stored in the chain/swing system cannot be efficiently transferred into motion through the bottom of the arc. Instead, the swing will haltingly crash to the ground.

Hope that makes sense both in the world of physics and the world of golf.
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While I think picrig had the right idea I will try a slightly different visual image and experiment:

Take a string with something with a little weight tied on the end. Perhaps 18" of string with a few washers or a fishing weight tied to it. Now hold the string at the end and get it whirling arround. Pay attention to the effort you put in and the speed of the weight at the end.

Now hold the string such that there is only 12" between your fingers and the weight. Spin it with the same effort as before, you should notice it moves slower. Now try and get the weight to the same speed as before, you should notice it takes more effort.

How does this apply to the golf swing?

Your body is your fingers holding the string and the weight is your hands or clubhead (Nicholas describes that his left arm and club he kept connected as one unit in a straight line at address, so for his description of a wide arc the club head and hands are almost synomous.) If you take your hands straight back from the address position you are making a move that will make a wider arc.

If you take the club away too much inside the target line you are tracing a shorter arc.

To visualize this imagine a front - top down view of yourself when you look a the circle / arc your swing has created when you take the club away inside it would be like the 12" piece of string.

When you take the club straight back along the target line at teh start you would see the arc similar to the 18" piece of string.

If you took the club away outside the target line you would be back to the 12" arc again.

The swing arc again correlates to the advice about keeping your hands away from your head at the top to increase driving distance. It is the same advice for the top of the swing as taking the hands straight back along the target line from the address position.

Hope that helps.
-E
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To visualize this imagine a front - top down view of yourself when you look a the circle / arc your swing has created

Frame 7, was exactly the point of view and image I was trying to describe. I forgot about that article.

Frame 8 shows his down the line take away, for widening the arc as well. Also, it is worth noting that his downswing arc is much narrower than his backswing arc but his lag is creating power there and the hands come back to a good position. Thanks, -E
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Great stuff on Sergio! I now have a clear idea of what creating a wide arc entails. Thanks to all who contributed. -H
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dont let the arms crash into the body on the backswing, this will keep separation (wide arc), accomplished with a good shoulder and hip turn.
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sam snead had a bit of advice that really helped me out with making a full arc - make sure, at midway back, that your left arm is straight. and then, after impact, make sure midway into the follow through, your right arm is straight.
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