Flat vs Upright

shaft loading and tension

Postby lagpressure » Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:09 pm

I don’t think the shaft cares all that much what plane (flat or upright) you are on, but the clubface sure does. Of course you can load it anyway on any of the planes.

The greater question is really what are the pros and cons of float loading (loading on the way down)?

I really like float and snap loading for swingers, because the change in direction from the top starting down can really enhance the inward centripetal force on the downswing, and when the inertia of the club takes over and the force moves out and away from the body, that being the centrifugal force….. it can really put a wallop on the ball.

Of course this is not without it’s potential troubles..
The sharp load, tight compress, and slinging release feels like a three step process, and it does take some advanced timing to get it right.
It’s not the choice of the guy who wants to hit every fairway.

In general, I think the big float loaders I have seen have been a lot more streaky in their ball striking. I’ve seen some fantastic golf played and then a string of missed cuts.

You see a lot of soft left arms at the top, especially with shorter straighter players. This is because these guys DON’T want a lot of
floating or downloading going on. The don’t want much of anything going on at the transition. It’s almost like an insurance policy to help them start down slowly.

There is an excellent argument for a soft left arm and gentle transition at the top.. but that is not my argument.
If you want to be a true world class ball striker,
I think a solid left arm with a ton of extensor action (right arm keeping the left straight) is the choice of the greats..

Not everyone wants to be great though… believe it or not!
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Re: Flat vs Upright

Postby sixpackkid » Mon Jul 06, 2009 4:48 am

Lag,
Asa swinger my whole life are you saying trying to flatten the swing causes problems or just a laid off downswing spells disaster. I've never liked my downswing as a swinger steep in video and have tried to shallow it out. I'm a good player never made it to your level but feel my ballstriking is the issue mainly that steeper tranistion. Your thoughts please i love to swing it makes sense to me but feel my plane issues are causing problems day in day out.
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Re: Flat vs Upright

Postby lagpressure » Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:46 am

The first thing to look at might be your clubs..
If you are truly going to flatten your swing, you need to flatten your clubs..
Mine are 6 degrees flat off standard.. and I am 6 feet tall.. you don't have to be
short in stature to have a flat golf swing..

A flatter swing embraces the pivot to get involved in a big way, as it should. Arm driven golf swings
tend to be more upright, and are difficult to time and properly maintain.

The flatter you can move through the impact arena, the straighter you will hit a golf ball. Off plane
moves like OTT for instance start effecting trajectory more than direction. Think about it...

Try to pull a ball 30 degrees left... hitting a driver off your knees.. you can't even do it...
but if I stand tall and swing upright, I could hit the ball 90 degrees right through my legs..
you could never do that off your knees.
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Flashlights...

Postby lagpressure » Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:39 pm

Using the flashlight drills at a most basic level puts a sense of awareness on the hands, how they work, and monitor the action of both the clubface and clubhead.

Other than that I think they are mostly worthless.. except for finding a can of soup out in the garage when the power goes out..

Although there is nothing wrong with having a pure backswing that keeps the shaft “on plane” during the backswing, it is still possible to
have an off plane backswing that delivers the club to the same spot
each time with repeatability and precision.

If a golfer has an OTT tendency it can be helpful to take the club back
outside that nicely sets up an inside start down… and the feeling of a constant motion and flow as compared to a stagnant feeling at the top,
(which I don’t think is helpful to the rhythm of a golf swing)

The inside takeaway can have an positive purpose as well in that it can
aid the player in a visual way to establish aiming of the hands at the inside quadrant of the ball (4:30) on the downswing. The downside of the inside takeaway is that it can put the golfer in a very flat position at the top if other things are not being paid attention too. Flat in itself can be “the way to go” but you have to be as flat on the finish side, and that typically requires a very healthy body rotation to get the club working the right way. Anyone interested in the lazy armsy swing best not go the flat route. If you want to learn to hit the ball like Ben Hogan you will need to go the flat route which in my over all opinion is a better way to go for advanced ball strikers.

It’s just so important to understand your own abilities, and reasonable potential before you set sail on a swing path.

I have no doubt that flatter is better, but only if you have world class hands, great #3 rotation, and a very fast and effective pivot rotation and fast left hip.
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Re: Flat vs Upright

Postby Addington Arnie » Fri Sep 11, 2009 11:44 pm

Hi Lag,

Know that you have flattened out your own swing I remember you saying that you "feel" almost as if you are swinging around your waist. To achieve this feel have you had to make any alterations in the folding movement of the right arm which normally elevates the club?

Cheers, Arnie
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Re: Flat vs Upright

Postby lagpressure » Sat Sep 12, 2009 9:54 am

It's always shocking how flat a backswing can feel, yet how much more upright it actually is when you hit a golf ball.
I feel like my hands are just above my belt around my back on the backswing, yet they are much higher. The right elbow does fold up quicker with a flatter backswing. I think the reason many players don't go flat is that they feel they will lose distance. This is not always true, in fact I have picked up about 10 yards going flatter because I am both turning more and both rotating the clubface open more.

Opening or rotating the clubface (pronation) can feel scary at first. But this is actually much more in harmony with the turning of the body. The face of the club will be much more in unison with the shoulders rotation. The great thing about module #1 work is we are building a lot of confidence that we can and will be able to return the clubface back to impact and square it up actively with our hands. Trying to simply trust CF or gravity to do it for us as many know, isn't all that reliable.

Most people who try flatter, don't rotate their torso more. This is the key. When done properly a flatter backswing should embrace the pivot to turn more. The right arm folds a bit more, and it folds much quicker. By having the right arm fold quicker, it needs to unfold quicker on the downswing. This translates into a swing that feels much less hand travel, and a quicker tempo. I like this because it really embraces the hit impulse more directly. But it moves the impulse into the core trunk muscles, because the right elbow will feel much more connected to the torso. It's easier for them to work together with a feeling of unity and connection.
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Re: Flat vs Upright

Postby jgradds » Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:37 am

Lag,
I just came across a possible way of changing the lie of persimmon woods. It utilizes a "bending block" that bends the shaft where the top of the hosel meets the ferrule. The whipping is left in place. Supposedly, this "bending of the shaft" does not diminish the performance of the shaft. Have you ever heard of it? :?
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Re: Flat vs Upright

Postby Addington Arnie » Fri Sep 18, 2009 7:41 am

jgradds wrote:Lag,
I just came across a possible way of changing the lie of persimmon woods. It utilizes a "bending block" that bends the shaft where the top of the hosel meets the ferrule. The whipping is left in place. Supposedly, this "bending of the shaft" does not diminish the performance of the shaft. Have you ever heard of it? :?


I must admit I am having limited luck with finding anyone to redo a set of persimmons for me 4 degrees flat - i will keep trying though. I have contacted a couple of golf collecting societies in the UK to see if they can suggest any clubmakers/fitter who still work with persimmon. Even the company called "Persimmon Golf" couldn't help, looks like they just stick components togethr like eveyone else now! :roll:
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Re: Flat vs Upright

Postby Prot » Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:09 pm

This is a very interesting conversation and I have re-read it twice from beginning to end.

I have stopped trying to go flatter. I recently had a playing lesson with a good pro... we came to a point where I had told him I was having a great deal of problems with my short irons, and I couldn't figure out why. A year ago I had no problem zipping the balls back on the green, or at least stopping them. Also my trajectory has become too low on wedges.

I hadn't even thought of this because I had been trying to swing flatter and flatter... I think I went too flat! He told me I was swinging my wedges like they were drivers! I had to think about this... my driving has been amazing lately... for me it's been great, straight and very good distance for me. But my 9 iron down to flop wedge has been terrible.

So I started trying to take the club straight back with irons, and it was an instantaneous improvement. It feels wrong right now, but the ball goes higher, and spin is back to where it should be.

I have to believe at this point it's at least in my case, a good idea to get a little steeper on the short irons. I actually believe I've over done it. I believe my inside takeaway is starting to hurt me resulting in super flat swings.

I set up in a mirror and took the club back 'outside' for a while, then froze at the top and looked at my plane... it was still a little flat! So I think unless someone could prove otherwise, I would be aware of going too flat with a few clubs. Just my two cents.
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Re: Flat vs Upright

Postby CheeseDonkey » Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:20 pm

Prot - what did you end up doing with your lie angles? I'll obviously defer to Lag, but seems to me coming in flat with appreciably more upright lie angles might complicate things? I don't know...
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