Steeper shoulder plane - just cant do it when hitting ball

I am trying to steepen my shoulder plane to help keep club in front and shorten swing.



I have no trouble doing it without a ball and have lots of drills that can be done without ball but soon as add ball my shoulders flatten and my swing gets to long.



Any thoughts/drills with ball that can help me get the move I am doing in front of mirror into actual swing



Thanks
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Comments

  • dornstardornstar Go Buckeyes! Members Posts: 1,764 ✭✭
    edited Oct 1, 2014 #2
    I had similar issues with steepening my shoulder plane and while I still have work to do, I've made some large improvements.



    The think that helped me the most was Steve Bann having me think about my right shoulder being more over my toes at the top rather than getting flat and deep over my feet. Put an alignment rod down in front of your toes and FEEL as though your right shoulder doesn't get deeper than the rod as though it's a barrier. Your shoulder will get a little deeper than than that, but they will be much steeper and closer to where they need to need to be. People with really flat shoulder turns will usually have their right shoulder more over the back half of their feet around the heels at the top.



    Here's some images to show how vertical the right shoulder really works up rather than around. The front line is where the shoulder started and the second one is the shoulder at the tip of the swing. If the right shoulder stays over the front half of the feet, they'll turn on a steeper plane. It's almost a guarantee.





    Palmer

    Capture_zps6ef3a855.png



    Hogan

    Capture_zpsc31d0626.png



    Fowler

    Capture_zps66d25fa7.png



    Oosthuizen

    410121236.jpg





    And then you can see someone like a Zach Johnson who has a "flatter" shoulder turn how it goes more over the back half of the foot and how much of a gap there is between where his right shoulder starts and the top. Many amateurs will be much deeper than this.



    410121237.jpg



    Here's a amateur typical flat shoulder turn with the shoulder turning deep over the heel and flat.

    410121290.jpg
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  • SwitchSwitch Members Posts: 580
    If I get steeper, will that help me not pull the ball which is my tendency because everything is staying out in front of me more?
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  • crombienatorcrombienator Members Posts: 173 ✭✭
    dornstar wrote:
    I had similar issues with steepening my shoulder plane and while I still have work to do, I've made some large improvements.



    The think that helped me the most was Steve Bann having me think about my right shoulder being more over my toes at the top rather than getting flat and deep over my feet. Put an alignment rod down in front of your toes and FEEL as though your right shoulder doesn't get deeper than the rod as though it's a barrier. Your shoulder will get a little deeper than than that, but they will be much steeper and closer to where they need to need to be. People with really flat shoulder turns will usually have their right shoulder more over the back half of their feet around the heels at the top.



    Here's some images to show how vertical the right shoulder really works up rather than around. The front line is where the shoulder started and the second one is the shoulder at the tip of the swing. If the right shoulder stays over the front half of the feet, they'll turn on a steeper plane. It's almost a guarantee.





    Palmer

    Capture_zps6ef3a855.png



    Hogan

    Capture_zpsc31d0626.png



    Fowler

    Capture_zps66d25fa7.png



    Oosthuizen

    410121236.jpg





    And then you can see someone like a Zach Johnson who has a "flatter" shoulder turn how it goes more over the back half of the foot and how much of a gap there is between where his right shoulder starts and the top. Many amateurs will be much deeper than this.



    410121237.jpg



    Here's a amateur typical flat shoulder turn with the shoulder turning deep over the heel and flat.

    410121290.jpg


    Did you mean left shoulder?
  • dornstardornstar Go Buckeyes! Members Posts: 1,764 ✭✭
    edited Oct 1, 2014 #5

    dornstar wrote:



    Did you mean left shoulder?


    No, the RIGHT shoulder. Think of it this way....



    If there was a barrier from the balls of the feet straight up, the right shoulder of almost all professionals and great players would work ON or IN FRONT of that barrier to the top of the swing. There are exceptions of course like Hogan, Kuchar and Zach Johnson, but the overwhelming vast majority do it. If you don't let your RIGHT shoulder get deep, it is extremely difficult to turn your shoulders flat.



    For example, here's McDowell with a line from the balls of the feet up representing the "barrier" for the right shoulder ...



    410122633.jpg



    And you can see that the right shoulder works up vertically in front of it. This forces the left shoulder to turn down and the overall shoulder tilt is steeper and you can see how little the right shoulder works behind the body. It's much more of an up and down movement.



    410122654.jpg





    Those with flat shoulder swings will have the RIGHT shoulder break that barrier at the top often times by a substantial amount.



    410122640.jpg



    A few examples... Stenson...

    410122630.jpg



    Rory



    410122629.jpg



    Rory with an iron...

    410122628.jpg



    Oosthuizen

    410122627.jpg



    Rose

    410122631.jpg











    So, the drill Steve Bann and Chad Phillips had me do was to put an alignment rod right on my toe line and try to FEEL like my right shoulder did NOT get deeper or behind the alignment rod at the top which forces the shoulders to work on a steeper plane. They don't really work that steeply, but that's the FEEL to get them working correctly and it works very well. It is very easy to sense where the alignment rod is as a barrier.



    410122741.jpg



    In my own swing before working with Chad, I was FLATTER than the amateur picture above. My right shoulder would literally be behind my heel line. After two weeks of working on the drill, I had made massive improvements. Excuse the shoddy camera work. The range is flat and the camera was angled.

    410122788.jpg



    BUT.... It's not it's not something that is fixed forever. I still battle getting too flat. It's just how my body wants to work as I feel that the steeper shoulder turn is just more physically demanding than turning flat. If I go a month or so without checking it, I'll definitely revert back to a flat shoulder turn. Here's an image from my swing that I posted on the forum yesterday.



    410122793.jpg
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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  • golfwbgolfwb Members Posts: 589 ✭✭
    I forget where I saw it but it was a very enlightening article about how your body type will affect your swing. My body type is like the German guy who made the 2012 Ryder cup putt... Martin kimer. So my wingspan is longer than my height so my proper swing plan is a shoulder swing plan. I can hit controlled cuts but struggle with hitting a draw and predict where it's going. Wish I had the article but it's great. It gives you a great blueprint of what your body is able to consistently hit.
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  • Golf nerdGolf nerd Members Posts: 942
    Dornstar made a valid point. However have one concern:

    When relying on pictures, camera angle is crucial to determine what is more over the heel or more to the toes,

    When taking picture with a camera on ball line you get a different impression than with camera closer to the toe line.

    Also a more centered turn will look steeper than a turn over the right foot- although both turns are perpendicular

    the spine.



    Imo what really helps for shortening the swing is the right arm keeping almost straight at the backswing. Retain the outward

    pressure of the right hand against the left hand and you will not overswing and keep the club more in front of you.

    There is no magic trick/drill which will keep you from ingraining the move. Takes time and patience and awareness.
  • hole in 1hole in 1 Members Posts: 154
    Switch wrote:


    If I get steeper, will that help me not pull the ball which is my tendency because everything is staying out in front of me more?






    In my experience flat shoulders on the backswing tends to make the hips come forwards on the backswing, then the right shoulder drops on the downswing, the hips thrust forwards then the hands get stuck behind you and you have to flip the club so the typical shot pattern will be blocks right and pull, hooks. Nicely explained Dornstar btw
  • crombienatorcrombienator Members Posts: 173 ✭✭
    hole in 1 wrote:
    Switch wrote:


    If I get steeper, will that help me not pull the ball which is my tendency because everything is staying out in front of me more?






    In my experience flat shoulders on the backswing tends to make the hips come forwards on the backswing, then the right shoulder drops on the downswing, the hips thrust forwards then the hands get stuck behind you and you have to flip the club so the typical shot pattern will be blocks right and pull, hooks. Nicely explained Dornstar btw




    Me
  • hole in 1hole in 1 Members Posts: 154

    hole in 1 wrote:
    Switch wrote:


    If I get steeper, will that help me not pull the ball which is my tendency because everything is staying out in front of me more?






    In my experience flat shoulders on the backswing tends to make the hips come forwards on the backswing, then the right shoulder drops on the downswing, the hips thrust forwards then the hands get stuck behind you and you have to flip the club so the typical shot pattern will be blocks right and pull, hooks. Nicely explained Dornstar btw




    Me




    and me lol!
  • Golf nerdGolf nerd Members Posts: 942
    It is a balance move. If upper body tilts towards the ball, pelvis has to counter that move. Same occurs when getting flat, but in opposite direction. image/wink.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=';)' />
  • dornstardornstar Go Buckeyes! Members Posts: 1,764 ✭✭
    edited Oct 2, 2014 #12
    Golf nerd wrote:


    Dornstar made a valid point. However have one concern:

    When relying on pictures, camera angle is crucial to determine what is more over the heel or more to the toes,

    When taking picture with a camera on ball line you get a different impression than with camera closer to the toe line.

    Also a more centered turn will look steeper than a turn over the right foot- although both turns are perpendicular

    the spine.


    I agree that camera angles are important. That's part of the reason I used the McDowell images a lot since they're from a great angle.



    I don't want to hijack the thread and make it about my swing, but maybe it'll help explain what I was saying a little more and maybe my experience might help someone else fix their shoulder turn. I know being too flat is a pretty common issue that a lot of golfers struggle with and I was fortunate enough to get to work with some coaches that have a stable of PGA Tour pros (Choi, Ogilvy, Baddley, Allenby, Appleby, Leishman, etc) and have actually developed a handful of kids into top 50 golfers in the world. They absolutely know their stuff and I consider myself lucky. I had no clue about things like the shoulder plane, ground pressure, the in's and out's of Trackman, etc before working with them and I think a learned more in a year than I did in my previous 20+ years playing the game.



    Anyways, the Bann Lynch guys are really big on the shoulder plane as it dictates so much of what occurs in the swing, so that was an area that we tackled hard in my own swing. Initially when we started working on it and when analyzing video, we would draw the shoulder plane... line from ball through the shoulder.





    410123882.jpg



    In the backswing, you want your right shoulder to work up that shoulder plane.



    For people that work the right shoulder under that plane (too flat), the tendency is to have the shaft too flat (butt of the club pointing outside the ball) going back which causes it to steepen in the transition and a whole hose of issues like early extension.



    410123883.jpg



    And then in the follow through, left shoulder will work back up it...



    410123884.jpg



    410123974.jpg



    410123975.jpg



    In general, you won't find many pros that work under the shoulder plane. Matt Goggins (Web.com) who also works with Bann & Lynch did in the past, but has worked it out of his system. This guy has turned into one of the best ballstrikers in the game right now. His stats don't reflect it though because he can't putt worth a **** and is super aggressive tee to green as a result, but this guy can flat out strike the ball.



    Old...

    410124012.jpg

    New...

    410124018.jpg



    Unfortunately, a lot of people (including myself) have trouble taking that inclined plane concept that is used in video analysis and applying it to the golf swing which is why they used the "barrier" thought to help people sense or perceive how deep the shoulders should be in relationship to the feet. Personally, I found it a million times easier than everything else I tried and trust me, I tried everything including sticking alignment rods in the back of my shirt to see the shoulder turn.





    410122494.jpg



    Once I got my shoulders turning on a better plane, it just took a lot of reps to figure out how to get back down to the ball which was not easy. Changing the shoulder plane changes the entire feel of the swing which is why it's so hard to actually change. You just have to stick with it and keep monitoring it because it's a fault that likes to resurface its ugly head if you don't.



    Hope this helps.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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  • Golf nerdGolf nerd Members Posts: 942
    Dornstar, please don't take my last post as criticism. You make a valid point!

    This particular shoulder movement is very popular since S&T and Foley and I have no problems with that.

    My understanding was that Mikey was also looking for shortening and more in front move/idea.
  • dornstardornstar Go Buckeyes! Members Posts: 1,764 ✭✭
    edited Oct 2, 2014 #14
    Oh no.. I definitely didn't take it as criticism. I just absolutely love talking this stuff and I wasn't trying to dictate what the swing should or shouldn't be, but rather help Mikey see the process I went through to steepen my shoulder turn.... both the way I was taught it conceptionally because you can't really apply it without fully understanding the reasoning and the way I put it into practice. I've made a lot of changes to my swings in my 30 years of golf and changing my shoulder plane was THE HARDEST change I've ever made. I literally couldn't figure out how to get back down to the ball from a steeper position. It's like it was short circuiting my brain, so getting steeper is only half the battle.



    And while I agree that concepts like the shoulder plane have grown in popularity with S&T and Foley, people like Tom Watson have been focusing on it for decades. Watson essentially thinks it's the secret to golf.



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  • Mikeybusa1Mikeybusa1 Members Posts: 29
    [img]webkit-fake-url://DD0A784E-DE3B-4CB0-9AE0-F4CB0E46FACB/application.pdf[/img]



    Many thanks for the great pictures and help. Really useful visuals and like the thought of where right shoulder goes. As you can see if i can get the right shoulder up and left shoulder down i will get myself in better position



    Nice to know someone has been successful with the change
  • Mikeybusa1Mikeybusa1 Members Posts: 29
    [img]webkit-fake-url://3DE51DCD-85B1-4537-88E4-42CEEDB7BE74/application.pdf[/img]



    Sorry dont think the picture is loading of my swing
  • Golf nerdGolf nerd Members Posts: 942
    dornstar wrote:


    Oh no.. I definitely didn't take it as criticism. I just absolutely love talking this stuff and I wasn't trying to dictate what the swing should or shouldn't be, but rather help Mikey see the process I went through to steepen my shoulder turn.... both the way I was taught it conceptionally because you can't really apply it without fully understanding the reasoning and the way I put it into practice. I've made a lot of changes to my swings in my 30 years of golf and changing my shoulder plane was THE HARDEST change I've ever made. I literally couldn't figure out how to get back down to the ball from a steeper position. It's like it was short circuiting my brain, so getting steeper is only half the battle.








    I really appreciate that you share your experience here.

    How have you solved the problem of coming down from steep shoulder angle?
  • Golf nerdGolf nerd Members Posts: 942
    Mikeybusa1 wrote:


    [img]webkit-fake-url://3DE51DCD-85B1-4537-88E4-42CEEDB7BE74/application.pdf[/img]



    Sorry dont think the picture is loading of my swing


    Yeah, can't see it...
  • Mikeybusa1Mikeybusa1 Members Posts: 29
    Not sure if this works
  • Golf nerdGolf nerd Members Posts: 942
    edited Oct 2, 2014 #20
    To long of an arm swing. Also a little too inside backswing. Would try to keep rightward tilt and keeping right arm more straight in backswing.

    Keep right elbow leading the downswing. Check Monte videos on these topics.



    Edit:

    Here is one as starter...

    [media=]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=V5o4A0IrGqg[/media]



    What the arms do in the backswing:

    [media=]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=ASH06DwHaRw[/media]
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • dornstardornstar Go Buckeyes! Members Posts: 1,764 ✭✭
    Golf nerd wrote:
    dornstar wrote:
    Oh no.. I definitely didn't take it as criticism. I just absolutely love talking this stuff and I wasn't trying to dictate what the swing should or shouldn't be, but rather help Mikey see the process I went through to steepen my shoulder turn.... both the way I was taught it conceptionally because you can't really apply it without fully understanding the reasoning and the way I put it into practice. I've made a lot of changes to my swings in my 30 years of golf and changing my shoulder plane was THE HARDEST change I've ever made. I literally couldn't figure out how to get back down to the ball from a steeper position. It's like it was short circuiting my brain, so getting steeper is only half the battle.
    I really appreciate that you share your experience here. How have you solved the problem of coming down from steep shoulder angle?


    Ya. It just took a lot of reps.



    Maintaining the steeper turn is the challenge now. A flatter turn feels easier for me and my body tends to drift back towards it if left unchecked.
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  • Golf nerdGolf nerd Members Posts: 942
    Ah, okay. Thanks!
  • MiggaletoeMiggaletoe Members Posts: 185 ✭✭
    Bumping because i just finished reading everything and had a question.



    With the right shoulder move were you suggested for any takeaway positions? I tried it and felt like I had to be more passive than normal in the takeaway or things went bad.
  • dornstardornstar Go Buckeyes! Members Posts: 1,764 ✭✭
    edited Oct 4, 2014 #24
    Miggaletoe wrote:


    Bumping because i just finished reading everything and had a question.



    With the right shoulder move were you suggested for any takeaway positions? I tried it and felt like I had to be more passive than normal in the takeaway or things went bad.


    Not really for the takeaway, but steepening your shoulder turn changes the way the club works up to the top, so we worked a lot on how I set the club halfway back and then the transition from the new position.



    For example....



    LEFT PIC (Tuesday): The other day I took video of my swing and posted it here on the forum. It was clear that I had started to get too flat with my turn again. This swing was with a 9 iron and you can see how the right shoulder is well under the shoulder plane (line drawn from ball through the shoulder) on the backswing. As a result, the club works back too flat with the butt of the club pointing outside the ball.



    RIGHT PIC (Thursday): Yesterday, I began working on steepening my shoulders using the drill I talked about in this thread and after 20 or so balls, I was much closer to being on the shoulder plane in the picture. The overall tilt might not appear to be that much greater, but that's because one was a 9 iron vs a 7 iron. You can definitely see that the right shoulder is closer to being on plane which changed the way my club works to the top. The butt of the club is now pointing inside the ball.





    Capture_zps7acaa1eb.png



    Here's the other view with the line up from the balls of the feet or the "barrier" that you don't want your right shoulder to pass...



    410133168.jpg



    Changing the way the club worked to the top also changes the way it has to come down. When I was taking it back with a flat shoulder turn/flat shaft, the club naturally wants to steepen slightly during the transition as it seeks balance in the swing, so I was initially slightly over the top coming down..



    410133101.jpg410133102.jpg





    So after seeing that on video, I focusing a little more on the transition and had both in a pretty good position after a few more balls. Not perfect, but definitely improved. I kept doing that the whole session checking the shoulder plane and how the club was working down. Eventually, I got it. I like to hit a push draw, so I like to see the clubhead just under the shaft plane. Above the plane like I was with the flat shoulder turn and I struggle to hit that shot. By the end of the session, I had both matched up pretty well and was flat out striping the ball. Today, I did the same thing, but it was just a little bit easier.



    410133064.jpg



    After spending MONTHS working on changing my shoulder plane, it's easy for me to make the change in a relatively short period of time now using that drill. When I first started working on it a year ago, I was HOT GARBAGE. It is not a change that I would make in the middle of the golf season if you're concerned about your scores. It's a major project. The angle your shoulders turn literally dictates a huge part of what happens in the swing, so I would tread carefully. Ideally, you would only make that sort of a change with the help of a trained pro. I know how to fix it now, but a year ago before working with the Bann Lynch guys, there's absolutely no way I could have done it on my own.





    Hopefully that helps and I just want to say that I'm not trying to say what should or shouldn't happen in the swing. I'm just detailing what I have learned along the way in the process of fixing this problem.
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  • Golf nerdGolf nerd Members Posts: 942
    Very impressive difference, dornstar. Thanks for sharing!
  • dornstardornstar Go Buckeyes! Members Posts: 1,764 ✭✭
    edited Oct 4, 2014 #26
    Golf nerd wrote:


    Very impressive difference, dornstar. Thanks for sharing!


    Thanks a lot. A few inches here or there really does make a tremendous difference.



    Here's day 2 of fixing the shoulder turn. Pretty much dead on the shoulder plane, but it still feels REALLY foreign at this point. It'll probably take a week or so to feel comfortable.



    74664761-5cc0-44d6-b395-b22d58a47b70_zps2a5d2445.png
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  • fjkfjk Putt Putt Members Posts: 1,030 ✭✭
    Can you elaborate a bit more about working down to the ball from there? It feels foreign and no clue how to work down the correct plane.
  • JNZJNZ Members Posts: 92
    edited Oct 4, 2014 #28
    Excellent stuff below is a link to Henrik Stenson explaining some stuff re the right shoulder on the downswing but I get the impression that follows a focus on it on the backswing, but that may just be me jumping to conclusions :-)



    https://www.youtube....h?v=7C58vmG1-ho
  • ReasonabilityReasonability Mirror work is a good idea. Members Posts: 8,529 ✭✭
    edited Oct 4, 2014 #29
    Not sue if you mirror work includes a club in-hand or not - it would help if you set up a closet mirror down-the-line and made practice swings. What you're going for are shoulders that turn at 90 degrees to the spine with a lead arm that sort of draws a straight line right through the shoulder sockets at the top (as seen DTL).



    You are also going for doing this IN POSTURE - meaning you included a deep enough hip turn going back to preserve your secondary spine tilt (you do have one of those right? and you do not stall the trail hip or prevent it from inching back from the toe line gong back, correct?)



    So in the end the feel is that from a sound address posture which does in fact include a secondary tilt and the rear end is a counterbalance -- the trail hip inches back and the shoulders are seen turning around the spine as described. If you find that you can't do it when it counts -- then the odds are huge that your set up is not so good to begin with and/or your hips stall or sway going back.



    One last thing to consider -- as the hips do rotate versus swaying over the trail foot or locking up -- is for some golfers its as simple as just raising the trail shoulder to finish the backswing and/or lowering the lead shoulder -- but I can say from personal experience that alone doesn't cut it if the setup spine tilts, general posture at address, and hip turn are flawed. For me, until/unless those elements are sound -- all the manipulating of my shoulders in the world doesn't make it form the mirror to the course.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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  • dornstardornstar Go Buckeyes! Members Posts: 1,764 ✭✭
    edited Oct 4, 2014 #30
    fjk wrote:


    Can you elaborate a bit more about working down to the ball from there? It feels foreign and no clue how to work down the correct plane.


    I don't think there's a right or wrong answer for this as it really depends on the shot shape you want to play.



    I personally play better with a draw, but don't do well aiming right and drawing it back to the target. My perception gets thrown off and my aim tends to get too far to the right and things just get out of whack, so I like to play a push draw where I can aim at the target and throw it a few yards out to the right with it working back to the target.... similar to Rory.



    Rory is closed to the camera in this pic, but disregard that. I only used it because of the downswing pic. What we did was put an impact bag about here slightly under the plane...

    410137544.jpg



    On the takeaway, the club would work well above the impact bag, so it wasn't even in play for that. Basically, I would make several practice swings making sure my right shoulder was on the correct shoulder plane at the top. From there, I would just work the club back to the inside so that the head of the club would hit the bag similar to this. I would rehearse it several times and then hit a ball.



    410137545.jpg



    Obviously, the practice swing was a fairly exaggerated inside out swing and there was more to it, but in the real swing, the clubhead was either on the plane or BARELY under it similar to the pic on the right. To this day, I still think about that impact bag being there... even on the course. That works for ME, but I"m not sure that's the right image for everyone.



    410133064.jpg



    On Trackman, my path was typically 1-5* inside out from that position and as long as my clubface was slightly open, the ball would either draw back on target or slightly hang out to the right which I'm fine with because it allowed me to eliminate the left side of the course. At address, I imagine a wall from my ball to the target and I never want my ball to cross over to the left side of the wall.





    The problem though is when I struggle, it's because my shoulders start turning flat, the club steepens in the transition and I come down slightly above the plane (above pic on the left) and I start hitting blocks and push-fades. My 1-5* inside out path is now 0-2* to the left. With an slightly open face, the ball is going to start just right of the target and fade off from there.... a shot I despise. When I get tired of missing right, I'll close down the face and hit pull-hooks. Almost always when I start seeing 2 way misses, it's related to my shoulder turn and I just have to be smart enough to work on that rather than trying random fixes which as we all know can be a challenge in itself.



    Outside of that, I'm not sure that I can really help anymore with the downswing. It was just a matter of developing the correct feel for what we were trying to achieve with my swing.



    PS... sorry for all the editing. These are just pretty detailed posts and I want to make sure it explains it correctly.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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  • JNZJNZ Members Posts: 92
    dornstar wrote:


    PS... sorry for all the editing. These are just pretty detailed posts and I want to make sure it explains it correctly.


    No need to apologise, all great stuff. That advice about imagining a wall may be about the best tip I have ever had, as I have struggled forever with too flat a should plane and getting the club behind me on the backswing. I tried it today and even though it looks pretty much the same as last week the feeling was significantly different and the shot quality much better. I have a lot of work to do!

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