Checkpoints at the Top

Years ago I began modeling Moe’s swing in a hotel room with VCR decks and two televisions, one stacked on each VCR.  I would visit Moe and record a few hours of video of his swing from various angles.  Then I would place a video in one of the VCR decks and a video of my swing in the other.  The VCR decks had a toggle which would move the videos fram-by-frame.  This allowed me to move my video at the same rate as Moe’s so I could match my positions to his.  Video swing analysis is still a large part of my training today but to make it effective, you must know what to look for.

There are specific checkpoints I look for at the top that indicates the proper rotation, bends and club movements.  Like putting together a jigsaw puzzle, each of these pieces of the swing positions relates to the next.  If you pay attention and know what to look for, you can monitor problems and correct the “causes” of why sometimes the pieces of the puzzle don’t fit.

Many times I simply check club movement which immediately gives me a sense of whether there is a problem somewhere in my motion.  Take the top of the backswing for example:


My first check at the top is whether there is a gap between my legs.  Notice in the photograph that you don’t see any daylight.  This tells me that I have the proper pelvis rotation.

Next I look for the lead arm to cross the shoulder plane.  This indicates that the hands are on the proper plane at the top.

I also check the clubface position which should match the back of the lead hand and forearm.  If the club face is not correctly positioned at the top, it is evidence of an improper grip or arm movement.


I believe that you must monitor these technical issues as you build your swing and occasionally check these things when you practice.

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