|This picture of Fred Couples shows how the
shaft plane looks at address. Getting back
down and through on the correct path is one
of the hardest things to learn in golf.
If you do not get back down on the impact
plane you will hit the ball with a glancing blow
and spin the ball off line. Most golfers tend to
come down too steep. This produces a
chopping "out to in" path and a slice or pull will
result. Very few golfers tend to come down
too shallow from "inside to out" and hook or
push the ball. Coming down too shallow is the
better players error. All golfers should strive
for a correct impact plane.
|Study the frames of Fred's downswing above. In frame three, as the right forearm gets parallel to the
ground the shaft is pointing directly at the ball. Go back to Fred at address and compare the shaft angle
to the angle at impact. Fred has returned the club on a perfect Impact Plane.
Now study the Student below and look closely at the third frame. The shaft of the club is pointing almost
straight down at the ground. His club is above the correct impact plane and coming down too steep. His
club face will be traveling through the impact area from "outside to in" and he will put a glancing left to right
side spin on the ball. This is a distance killer.
|TIP: The beginning of the downswing is crucial. In Fred Couples' swing, he starts the
downswing from the ground up. His hips shift toward the target and the arms drop down.
Notice how far Fred has turned his hips toward the target at impact. In our Student, the right
shoulder has started the downswing and the club moves out toward the ball too soon. Observe
that the student has hardly moved his hips at all at the start of the downswing. This
downswing is way too steep and out of plane.
I am using a piece of wood dowel here
to illustrate the correct position to be in
at the beginning of the impact zone.
You can also make your own device by
duct taping two flashlights together
back to back. You will be able to see if
you are on plane by observing where
the light is pointing in this position of
I will give you a permission slip if
someone in your family thinks you are
nuts for doing this to two perfectly
|Fred Couples displaying remarkable TTRP below.
He has a very slow transition between the top of his back swing and the beginning of his downswing. He almost
pauses for a split second at the top. All great players that have long slow back swings have a slight pause
(sometimes only a split second) as they complete the back swing and start the downswing. The reason for this is
that they want to start the downswing from the ground up so that the arms do not get out of sync. Remember,
you can't hit the ball with your back swing but you can put yourself in a position that makes it impossible to swing
Checking your Oil:
The best way to determine if you are swinging with Tempo, Timing, Rhythm and Balance is to
make some swings with your feet together...(Toes touching). Try to hit a few irons and
fairway woods off a tee, strive for about 50% of your power and keep your balance.
This exercise really works to get your arms timed with your body turn and keeps you from
making too fast a back swing. Just taking some practice swings with your feet together is a
great way to warm up.
Observe the way some Touring Pros take continuous practice swings...not stopping...and
swinging back and forth in slow motion prior to hitting their shot. They are making sure they
still have oil in the engine.
Try this yourself....take some continuous swings, back and through, and feel your hips start
It is a great exercise. I do it with a weighted club at home every morning.