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The Rotary Swing Book

by Chuck Quinton

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There are several things in a one plane swing that can cause the ball to slice, but some are more common than others. If you are hitting shots that are fading to the right or even slicing and your hips are rotating and not sliding, then you must watch the way your shoulders rotate on the way back and most importantly, the way down, and how it affects the path of the arms. What happens for many golfers is that they get to the top in an ok position and then rotate their shoulders hard from the top of the swing. When this is done, the arms often don't have enough time to drop or "fall" down on plane, causing the golfer to come in too steeply and somewhat out over the plane. When this happens, the golfer will "wipe" across the ball and tend to do so with a slightly open clubface because the forearm didn't rotate on the way down to square the clubface. This is often a sensory issue, the body senses the swing path and no rotation occurs because of the out to in swing path. If it did, the ball would be significantly pulled left of the target. So, the clubface stays open to counteract the out to in path and the ball can actually start out on line, but then fade or slice to the right. The simplest way to check this is if your divots are pointing very far to the left of the target and are deep and you feel the need to place the ball towards the front of your stance.


Part of the cause for this miss can actually occur during the backswing. What happens often is a golfer will over rotate on the way back and then attempt to unwind very quickly from the top, not giving everything a chance to fall into place in the proper sequence. If you are the type of golfer who likes to be very aggressive from the top of the swing, it is very important that you either work extra hard on keeping your arms very passive throughout the swing or you tighten up your shoulder turn going back. By keeping your arms very passive, they will naturally fall down on plane as the body begins to turn back to the left. This can be very difficult for the aggressive golfer, so it should also be considered to tighten up the turn on the way back in order to keep your shoulders from getting into an over rotated position. This will also allow the arms to fall enough to get back on plane.


Now, many of you may be wondering about this bit on the "falling" arms and be thinking to yourself, "I thought that was only for a two plane swing." It's simply not true. While the amount of "fall" in a one plane swing is far less significant, it still must occur to keep the golfer from coming too far over the top. Hogan, the preeminent one planer, also talked about this move in his book "Five Lessons" where he mentioned his arms get a free ride until they reach hip high during the downswing. That is part of the key to passive arms in the one plane swing, the passivity allows this to happen without conscious effort, but they must be truly soft and passive in order for this to occur. For many, this is very difficult, especially if they make a large turn during the backswing and build up a lot of tension. For them, I recommed tightening up the turn on the backswing to allow this move to happen more naturally.


Below is an example of a swing that has overturned on the backswing and a swing with the proper amount rotation. The golfer on the left is a professional and has a made a very big shoulder turn and has his left arm connected to his chest, but has stopped rotating before over doing it. The golfer on the right, also a professional, has put himself in a position that can be difficult to recover from and for many amateurs, this would put them in a position for the arms to come over the top and cut the ball. Note the position of the left arm at the top, it is almost pointing at 1 o'clock, whereas the golfer on the left is pointing more towards 11 o'clock. Being a professional, the golfer on the right has learned that his arms must still come from the inside and allows that motion to happen on the way down, but his overall swing is more complicated than necessary because of this massive shoulder turn. The old adage of "turn your shoulders as far as you can" is something that must be done with some understanding. For one planers, you are not only in jeopardy of flinging your arms out over the top on the way down, but a turn this big will often cause you to lose your spine angle as well.



over turned backswing



So, if you look like the picture on the right, the first thing you should do is try and tighten up your shoulder turn. The swing on the right is produced by a swing path that is too around and too underneath the plane. Because of this, the arms never have a chance to swing up on plane or do so too late in the backswing. Allowing the arms to swing up on plane will help prevent this overturn. From here, your arms will more naturally follow a better path and not be thrown out over the top by the aggressive shoulder rotation during the downswing.




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