Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Golf Lesson on Plane Angles Shifts (Part I)

This is the first part of a two-part article discussing the
role of plane angle shifts. This week we discuss the four
different plane angles in your swing. Next week we'll
discuss plane angel shift models.

Every golfer no matter what his golf handicap must
transition from the backswing to the downswing at the top
of his swing. If you've read my golf tips newsletter or
attended any of my golf instruction sessions, you know how
important this is. Mess up here and you're done for. Put
another way, making a smooth transition at the top of the
swing is one key to a great swing. It's often the
difference between belting a bomb right down the middle of
the fairway and shanking a pop up off to the side of the
tee box.

Different players use different methods to make the
transition. PGA pro Craig Parry uses one type of shift and
Jim Furyk, also a PGA pro, uses a different one. Both
methods work. But each requires compensations that can be
difficult to make consistently. Each also requires good
timing. Parry and Furyk have mastered the plane angle shift
that fits their swings. If you're going to develop a swing
that's helps you chop strokes off your golf handicap, you
must do the same. But first we need to discuss the role of
plane angles in your swing.

Four Plane Angles In Your Swing Basically, four plane
angles exist; the clubshaft plane, the right elbow
plane, the squared shoulder plane, and the turning shoulder
plane. These four plane angles show where the clubshaft can
go in your swing and determines the actions the shaft must
take on the way down to the ball. The four plane angles are
described below:

The clubshaft plane is the most common plane angle. It's
seen as a line drawn up the clubshaft through the beltline
at address. This line shows how the club moves from nine
o'clock to three o'clock, or from setup to waist high in
the backswing and downswing.

The right elbow plane is a second plane angle. It's seen as
a line drawn from the club's right hosel through the left
elbow. This line shows how the clubshaft should work from
belt high to chest high in the backswing and forward swing.
This angle is slightly more upright than the clubshaft

The square shoulder plane is the most critical plane angle.
It's seen as a line drawn from the club's hosel to the
midpoint of the right deltoid for a right-handed golfer.
This line shows how the clubshaft works for most players
from chest high to the top of the swing during the

The turning shoulder plane is the upper most plane angle.
It's seen as a line drawn from the club's hosel through the
top of the right deltoid as the club reaches the top. From
here, the club should drop to the elbow then to the
original shaft plane and on to impact.

Most players need to shift planes to execute a smooth
transition from backswing to downswing. Some players use
one shift to make the transition. Others use two or three
shifts. In our golf lessons and written golf tips, we like
to refer to the different ways to make the transitions as
models. So there's the single shift model, the double shift
model, and so on. All shift models require some sort of
"compensation" to ensure a smooth transition to delivery.
Making compensations is where golfers get in trouble.

No Shift Model. In addition to the different shift models
discussed above, there's the no shift approach. Players
adopting this model make no plane shift when make the
transition to delivery. They maintain the original plane
angle established at address throughout their swing. This
approach is both efficient and repeatable. But it doesn't
generate as much clubhead speed and distance as the shift
models do.

Knowing your swing and working within its limitations is
the key to controlling your clubshaft and its transition to
delivery. Once you understand what type of transition or
shift best suits your swing and abilities, you're on your
way to developing a powerful, repeatable swing that will
help you cut strokes from your golf handicap. But before
you can master the mechanics of a shift model, you need to
understand how it works.

Next week we'll discuss the different plane angle shift

Jack Moorehouse is the author of the best-selling book "How
To Break 80 And Shoot Like The Pros." He is NOT a golf pro,
rather a working man that has helped thousands of golfers
from all seven continents lower their handicap immediately.
He has a free weekly newsletter with the latest golf tips,
golf lessons and golf instruction.

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