The GGA Masterclasses include six weeks of training. After each week, the students can ask questions about the week’s lessons during a private coaching session. During the Recent “Purify Your Swing Masterclass” I received about thirty great questions about the Single Plane Swing. Here is a sample of four questions and answers from the session.
Q: “At the top of the backswing is it best to feel that the lead shoulder has dropped and the trail shoulder has raised?”
At address, the upper body is tilted forward (toward the ball) and to the side (away from the target). The tilt of the upper body and the trail hand position (lower) raises the lead shoulder higher than the trail shoulder. From this address position, the torso turns and the lead shoulder moves in the same tilt as the spine. It doesn’t feel like the lead shoulder drops but rather moves horizontally. This allows the lead shoulder to move with the tilt as opposed to dropping.
Think of it this way. If you were standing straight up with no tilt of the body and you turned horizontally, your shoulders would move like a “T” that has turned. Now tilt your body and turn like a tilted “T”. The main takeaway is that the tilt of the spine remains intact. This allows the shoulder to move with the tilt of the spine as the torso rotates.
Q: “Do you conscientiously turn your hips and lower body while turning the upper body or does the upper body turn the lower body?”
The answer is neither. My most recent video “Inside the Single Plane Swing” explains how the shoulder and hips turn together (with the arms) at the beginning of the back-swing motion. The upper body and lower body are connected. How is this possible? It comes down to your anatomy and proper sequence. Here’s how.
If you sit in a chair and try to turn your shoulders, you will find that you only have approximately 40 degrees of upper torso turn. The pelvis can turn another 30 to 40 degrees. Therefore, at the beginning of the backswing, everything turns together at the beginning until the pelvis reaches it”s potential. The torso continues to move until it reaches its potential. This is the ideal sequence of movements of the backswing.
Q: “At address, when do you square the clubface to the target? Is it square even though it is several inches behind the ball or do you square it at the ball then move it back. The face seems to naturally open as you move it away from the ball. Do you require it at that position?”
The club is placed behind the ball centered, beneath the nose after you have tilted. The clubface remains square to the target.
Q: “Is there a drill that would help one reach the bottom of the arc just beyond the ball?”
The reason you reach the arc beyond the ball is due to the proper movement into the downswing where the torso is open at impact. You can see in the picture above that Moe takes a divot in front of the ball. Any drill that helps you achieve the ideal impact position will help you learn to lead with the hands and produce a low point in front of the ball. Work on motion and positions and not hitting the ball. Always remember you must swing through the ball and not down at it.