The Pyramid Of Learning (P7)
UNDERSTANDING PATH & PLANE
The most destructive golf shots which you will hit will invariably be the result of the club arriving at impact in the wrong position. To hit consistently good shots, we need to ensure that the club is on the correct plane relative to the direction in which it is travelling (i.e. the ‘path’ ofthe swing), asper the sequence of good images below (see the Lee West wood sqing sequence in the mainissue for a great example).
The correct swing-path, therefore, is one which returns the club to the ball at an angle of approximately 45°. This swing plane will allow for a margin of error of around 5-10% either way within which good shots will still result.
To further clarify this in your mind, look at these two contrasting faults (above). In picture A, the club is arriving at the ball in a horizontal position, the clubface likely to be either square or open. This will result in the shot being hit right of target. In picture B, meanwhile, the club is arriving at the ball in a vertical position with the clubface square or closed. This will result in the shot being hit left of target.
ACHIEVING THE CORREC TPATH & PLANE
Assuming the perfect set-up, you want to feel that you initiate the backswing with the club, hands and arms moving away from the ball together. As you do this you will begin to feel your body action starting to work with your right foot creating pressure into the ground. As this happens the weight of the club and centrifugal force will encourage the hingeing and cocking of the hands. Your body action, arm swing and hand action are now working in perfect harmony.
With all these elements working in harmony it will be simple for you to achieve the correct swing plane and path. Notice the 45 degree lines: the club shaft is at approximately 45 degrees halfway back; the left arm is at approximately 45 degrees at the top of the swing, and that symmetry continues into the downswing. It’s a mirror image. Approaching impact we can identify with 45 degrees and if we were to continue the exit line through the ball, the shaft would come out at 45 degrees on the way to the finish. Let me stress, the 45 number is an approximation, and there is a margin for error 5-10% either way. But if you get it even nearly right, you will hit more solid golf shots.
In the two contrasting faults above, the incorrect path is a direct result of poor balance which has forced the club into an extreme position. Remember, the club will always follow your balance points.
Slowly work your way through the exercises to try and find the right positions. By combining your solid foundations from Level 1 with solid walls, you will build a great golf swing. By building constants into your swing, you will ingrain more consistency into your game. Your game will stand up to pressure better and you will play better golf more often.
Once you have worked on Levels 1 and 2, in the next issue we look at “Power” – everyone’s favourite subject, as everyone wants to hit it further. I want everyone to hit it STRAIGHTER and further!
So practise the positions from Levels 1 and 2; and in the next issue we next time we will work on three factors to give your swing more power:
- Hand-eye Co-ordination
- Angle of Attack
- Speed & Pressure.
Oh, and please remember my simple philosophy: Practice does not make perfect. Only PERFECT PRACTICEMAKESPERFECT.