I’m sorry. It’s just one of my little pet peeves. I like things explained so everyone regardless of skill level would be able to understand them. Sometimes, I think the clubface shape is one of those things that can confuse people depending on how it’s explained.
Here’s a video talking about how I think the clubface shape should be explained.
I know some of you will not agree and that’s ok. Leave a comment and see if you can change my mind.
I define flipping as an instance when players really stall the pivot and accelerate the unbending of the right wrist. For some people, that will get the clubhead passing the hands and for others it complicates contact. As many of you know, I coach college golf at Monroe Community College in Rochester, NY. I also give golf lessons at Webster Golf Club as its Director of Instruction. The most common plateau causing element of the swing I see is flipping. This year I have 11 players on my golf team and 7 of them flip it. They have decent swing but have such a hard time creating consistent impact alignments because of the flipping. This condition also caused me to plateau at a certain level and once I got rid of it, my level of ball striking immediately became more consistent.
Here are some video and pictures to show you what I mean:
Hands Even or Behind ball
Hands in Front of ball
This player is a very good player that can shoot par or better at times than all of a sudden shoots 80. This part of impact is an imperative, to quote The Golf Machine. Being able to keep your left wrist flat and right wrist bend as you pivot through impact will greatly help your ability to control your angle of attack into the ball, your spin rate and your low point control. It’s these things that drive the good player crazy because they do it one shot but not the next or one day but not the next. Without reasonable repeatability is these areas, it is impossible to control spin, trajectory and distance.
I’ll go into drills to help with removing the flip in a future post but for now practice chipping while keeping your left wrist flat and right wrist bent while using your pivot to hit the ball.
We know from practice and watching golf on TV that controlling where the ball goes is difficult. Here’s a video to help explain what is going on with the clubface direction that you may not have thought of.
I have been looking all over the internet to try and find a comprehensive picture of the New Ball Flight Laws. I found some that were correct but not complete and many that were not correct at all. I decided to take matters into my own hands and try my hand at creating a picture.
Here’s what I came up with:(Click on image to enlarge)
Leave a comment and tell me what you think.
In order to make this as accurate as possible, the chart above is correct for irons from roughly 3 iron to 6 iron.
Here’s a link below to a post that gives the proper relationships with all the clubs for path and face to curve a ball that lands at the target.
Gravity Torque is a phrase coined by Damon Lucas. Damon Lucas is a member of the Brian Manzella Academy and teaches at Lake Presidential in Marlboro, Maryland.
Basically, gravity torque is a torque on the clubhead which tends to encourage an open clubface. It helps explain why so many people have such a hard time returning the club face to a square position. So here’s how it works. If you look at the club at the top of the backswing, the clubface will probably be somewhere between facing the sky and toe straight down. We know that a ‘square’ clubface position is one where the face lays on the plane or is 90 degrees open to the plane. A clubface that is toe down will be more than this. If you relax your grip at the top of the swing, you’ll notice that gravity pulls the clubface down to a toe down position. Opening the club face the whole way.
For a majority of the downswing, gravity is acting upon the clubhead and the left arm in an opening manner. For example, if you are watching a swing from down the line, any time the clubhead is further away from the target line than the grip, gravity is pulling on the head in an attempt to rotate open the left forearm. Also, because the clubface is on the left side of vertical(while looking from down the line) gravity is also trying to rotate the face open. Only if the face gets on the right side of vertical(while looking from down the line) will gravity aid in the closing process of the clubface. This doesn’t usually occur until somewhere around when the club is parallel to the ground for the last time before impact. If the clubface has not made it to right side of vertical by this point, consistently squaring the clubface will be a challenge.
It is for this reason that maintaining a feel of trying to get the clubface right of vertical(when looking from down the line) after the last time the club is parallel to the ground is critical for proper face closing and control. I’ve mentioned many times how important it is to get a good feeling of where the clubhead is and how it feels. Only through proper focus can one begin to learn how the weight of the clubhead and clubface are reacting with gravity.
Take some time and analyze this information with a club in your hands. You’ll quickly see what is being referenced here and how the pull of gravity works against you and works for you. Here is a video companion for this topic.
My goal is to improve my students’ scores. As simple as it sounds, I believe this is the reason most people take instruction.
On a case by case basis, I will determine a track for improvement as appropriate for each person's skill level including, but not limited to: swing changes, short game work, course management, and mental game improvements.
I believe it is not only my responsibility to teach the golf swing, but the entire game, from rules and etiquette to physical fitness and tournament preparation.
John Graham Golf welcomes golfers of all different levels of skill and ambition.