Perfecting the Plane

Perfecting the Plane

The golf swing is one of the most analysed techniques you will come across in any sport. Within so much analysis of the golf swing, from YouTube to the golf Channel, you will always notice that certain aspects of the swing will crop up again and again. possibly the most talked about aspect is without question is the swing plane, and how the club should approach the golf ball. We constantly hear commentators and golf professionals alike discussing being on plane or off plane, having an upright swing or a flat swing, and there has always been both debate and confusion about what swing plane is “correct”. As you look at various different players on both the European tour and PGA Tour, one thing will become apparent very quickly, and that is that almost everybody has a slightly different swing plane, which to me instantly says there is no 100% correct swing plane, but there is one that works best for each player depending on what they want to do with the golf ball. The simplest way to describe the term “swing plane” is to think of it as the angle at which the club travels to and from the ball from a down the line view. The swing plane can describe both the backswing and the downswing, however when we are discussing its affects, it is most certainly more important to look at the downswing rather than the backswing,  simply because this is the part of the swing that is going to directly affect the ball. The easiest way to look at the positioning of the club is...
Seeing is Achieving

Seeing is Achieving

In the last few months Jason Day has soared to the top of the world rankings, and for anyone who has watched Jason, either up close or on TV you may have noticed one very distinct element of his pre shot routine that stands out from many other players. Just before Jason hits a shot, he will stand behind the ball, look at the hole, and close his eyes for a couple of seconds. To most golfers this may seem insignificant, however this is one of the most important aspects of Jason’s routine. As he closes his eyes he is picturing the shot he is about to play, almost as if he is looking into the future and visualizing a positive outcome. This is something that stands out from the other players, not because they are not visualizing the shot, but simply because he makes it so obvious that he is visualizing it. As Jason closes his eyes he begins to remove himself from the situation and the people around him, he develops a clear focus about what he is about to do, and almost like putting your destination into a satellite navigation system in your car, he is deciding where he wants the ball to go, and how he wants it to get there. By visualizing the shot he is about to play, Jason is giving his brain a very clear image of the action he wants to perform and the desired outcome of that action. This is most certainly not a new phenomenon by any means, and I could almost guarantee that almost every player on the...
Building a Successful Pre Shot Routine

Building a Successful Pre Shot Routine

As you look on the average driving range across you will always notice people working on technique, positions and striking ability above all else. However this is a long way from how we actually play the game on a day to day basis. There is no danger on a driving range, there is not cost should you not hit your intended target, and there is nothing to fear as there is always another ball to hit. When most golfers take to the golf course however this can be a very different story, and many find it hard to transfer their skills from range to course. Often you will hear players say they are hitting the ball great in practice, but on the golf course it falls apart and they have little or no understanding as to why? To me the answer is actually quite an obvious on, particularly when you compare the average golfer on the course to a tour player. Sure there is generally a significant difference in their ability to strike the ball, however one of the most important things that you will see pro’s do that amateurs do not is actually something they can control. That something is a routine, or more commonly labelled as “pre shot routine”. A pre shot routine is simply a series of steps that a player will generally go through before they hit the golf ball, in order to settle themselves into a shot and feel the same regardless of the situation or shot difficulty. Because golfers are not reacting to the ball like a tennis player or baseball player would,...
Maintaining Spine Angle in the Golf Swing

Maintaining Spine Angle in the Golf Swing

One of the most common differences you will see between amateurs & professionals is their ability to maintain their spine angle during the golf swing. The more common label for losing posture at any stage of the golf swing is “early extension”. This phrase simply describes the body extending “or standing up” earlier than it should. It is also a problem that plagues many golfers of varying different abilities. When a player struggles to maintain their spine angle during the swing, there are generally three main problems that will occur as a result: 1) Flat shoulder plane – Inconsistent low point As the club moves away from the golf ball, there is often a common misconception or misunderstanding about how to get the golf club to the top of the backswing. Often we see people thinking that the club should move around the body, or conversely lift straight up in the air, when in reality it is actually a combination of the torso rotating, and the arms and hands raising the golf club. When players have either too much lift, or attempt to solely rotate the golf club around their body, we will quite often see the spine angle become more upright, and as a result a very flat shoulder plane. This will become a major problem for any player who demonstrates either of these characteristics, as they will most likely find it exceptionally difficult to produce consistent contact. You must remember that if the spine becomes more upright in the backswing, it must attempt to get back into its original position to strike the golf ball, and as...