Fix Your Golf Swing - Part 2

In part one we determined the need to hit down on the ball to the low point of the arc of our swing plane and that the ball is not actually positioned at the low point due to our equipment design and our physique.

In this, part two we lay Freddy (from Part 1) on the floor to see where and how our club acts as it travels along the plane line.

The Out

Imagine Freddy laying flat on the floor with our feet positioned where his left and right shoulders are, the ball back in our stance in comparison to the low point and the club following the big circle. (Fig. 2) This is of course all 3 dimensional in life so think about the circle being followed as in the back-swing being back, up and in and the down-swing as forward, down and out.

Many players are told to "keep the clubface square to the line of flight for as long as you can and the shot will go straight." In fact if you follow this advice your ball is likely to travel right and out to the next fairway, somewhere we have all been at some time or another. This is because players take the "keep the clubface square" advice literally.

Why do so many players with outside-in divots slice balls? Simply put, they have either been taught that the ball is the center of a swing's universe, or they have never considered another point to swing towards. Part One showed us that the low point of the swing is under our left shoulder. Without this knowledge the ball becomes the total centre of attention and therefore the object of where the centre of the swing is perceived to be. As a result we become a slave to the ball, manipulating and positioning the club in order to get to the ball rather than swing on plane.

In an attempt to hit the ball, we end up with all sorts of swing compensations; over the top, no weight shifts, spine movement or changing the length of the left arm to ensure we hit the ball. The majority of this is undertaken subconsciously by our brain in order to move our swing machine so as not to whiff the ball.

Now consider Freddy's arc again. It is immediately apparent having the ball so far back vs the low point of the swing that in order for us to reach the low point we need to swing at the ball from the inside aft (rear) quadrant. We do not swing at the absolute back of the ball but a few dimples from inside the back of the ball, the inner aft quadrant, if we wish to stay on the plane which will deliver a good golf shot.

Freddy shows us what kind of divot lines will be taken when on plane – slightly inside-out, not square-square and certainly not outside-in as can occur when using the ball as the centre of the universe.

Now you have Freddy being down in part 1 and out in part 2. A very helpful little fellow he is indeed.

Freddy's overhead diagram (Figure 2) also shows the way the clubface is traveling through the bottom part of the swing. This action involves no manipulation of the hands to get the clubface to make this movement. Think of it as part of a machine clamping the grip and letting it run up and down a plane line, in an arc. You can plainly see that the clubface is rotating, closing all the way through the shot.

Freddy shows the clubface making contact with the ball with an open face. So how does the ball not fly out to the next right hand fairway?

The clubface meets the ball in an open position (Fig 1) where it compresses and deforms against the clubface and this continuing rotation (closing motion) programs itself into the ball until it leaves the face at the moment of separation. The ball will leave the clubface at 90 degrees to the clubface's leading edge (give or take a degree or two) and then the spin compressed into the ball will give it its curve. Given that the clubface in this instance is rotating counter clockwise, the ball will spin that way and move from right to left ñ a draw.

Those of us who change planes during our down swing to make contact with the ball with a different swing path or if we inadvertently manipulate the clubface through the period from impact to separation will see the ball go places other than where we expect. These changes to the norm will be explained in a future article. The purpose of this article to show Freddy's norm.

Here is food for thought about ball positioning. Imagine the ball was placed significantly back in our stance. If the perfect swing were delivered to the ball it would be hit out to the right. If it were placed too far forward, outside our left shoulder, then it would go out to the left. So for those of you who have been hitting balls right off the fairway, read Part One about the ball position being determined methodically and add to that what has been learned in Part Two. You may just work out how to dial out some of the waywardness of your slices (or hooks if you hit them left). Golf is a game of an inch and so correct ball positioning is critical.

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