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9 Responses to Pro Tip of the Week: Where Should the Shaft Point at Left Arm Parallel in the Backswing?

  1. John Neeson December 10, 2014 at 4:38 am #

    Since many greats had very different backswings, I think the more interesting ‘position’ to look at is where the club shaft points at left arm parallel in the downswing. In most of the superstars through the ages, when looking DTL, the butt of the shaft points out beyond or above the ball. Even Hogan, who was perfectly ‘on plane’, going back, flattened in transition into this position. This I think is the one key move that separates the player from the chopper.
    I believe that Leadbetter advocated a steep shaft going back as he believed (still does), that it is easier to feel the flattening in transition, as illustrated markedly by Price and Faldo.
    Taking the club flat going back and lifting the arms is a bit problematic, but some good players have done this. The focus in teaching I believe, should be to achieve the key position in the downswing, where the club points above the ball / target line at left arm parallel in the downswing.

  2. Mark Osborn December 10, 2014 at 12:47 pm #

    It would depend on the trend of the shaft before it reached that point though John.

    If it steepened early it would likely keep flattening through that point (left parallel) and wind-up stuck. Therefore, where the shaft points at left parallel in the downswing is largely meaningless. It’s the overall trend that counts.

  3. John Neeson December 10, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

    It may be meaningless apart from the fact that nearly all of the great swingers of the past (that we all seem to love), and many of the present greats are in the same position at this point in the swing. There must be something to it.

  4. RTT December 11, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

    The cool thing about pointing the shaft inside the ball is it really forces your wrists to hinge correctly: straight up and down not side to side.

    Even Hogan points slightly inside the ball, its just his left arm is more across his chest so its hard to see.

  5. Mark Osborn December 11, 2014 at 5:48 pm #

    John: as ophey as I’m sure you are with the ‘great swingers’ past and (after a few Laphroaig’s, what!) present, you’re missing the point. It’s what happens from that point.

    You could have it A1 at left arm parallel but then flatten it, at which point you’re stuck; steepen it, ‘golf clap’ (Aargon, God knows).

    Could someone call an Ambulance; I think my ears are bleeding.

  6. russ aragon December 12, 2014 at 8:04 am #

    WD in looking a Serigo and the extreme way that he flattens the shaft on the downswing, he has no “cup” in his wrist. Have you done any testing, I know this is going away from Hogan, but with the flat wrist at the top it seems easier to flatten the shaft on the downswing sooner.

    Thanks Russ

  7. russ aragon December 12, 2014 at 8:18 am #

    It also looks like the distance the front of the players head is away from the golf ball at address sets up the ability of the player to flatten the shaft on the downswing. The farther the front of the head is from the ball at address the higher and steeper the shaft will come into the golf ball at impact. The closer, or correct distance from the ball at address, enables the player to flatten the shaft sooner on the downswing and come into the ball at impact with minimal or no downward wrist bend at impact or forarm pointing at or inside the ball.



  8. russ aragon December 12, 2014 at 8:26 am #

    One more thing an example of a player trying to flatten the shaft sooner and trying not to come in so high and away from his body at impact is Brad Faxon. Look at how much farther the front of his head from the ball is at address than Rory or Hogan or Scott. Fwiw


  9. John Neeson December 13, 2014 at 8:18 pm #

    You are right – I am much more ‘au fait’ with French. Merci.

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