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MaxEntropy

Should I Consider Trying to Flatten Out My Swing?

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I've known for a while I tend to have a pretty upright swing. When @MattF and I did the D7 Challenge, he captured the following picture....

MVIMG_20190407_100601.jpg.1b70005744d6c9c9f335b2062be0cdf0.jpg'

Contrast that with Fowler...

Rickie-Fowlers-90-minute-warm-up-plan-fo

or Tiger...

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Rickie always struck me as having a pretty flat swing and I think Tiger seems pretty neutral. Obviously we are not in quite the same position in our swings, but these were about the closest images I could find to match.

Question for the masses: Should I work to flatten out my swing some? If so, what drills might you suggest to help? If not, I assume I should see about getting my clubs bent a bit more upright? My divots always start at the toe end of the club, too. At the D7 Challenge, the Wilson guy put me on a lie board and suggested I need to go about 3* upright. I've also seen where guys are very anti-lie board, but can't recall why. I believe @jlukes was one of them?

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Yes, why not?

 

I suffer the same ailment of an upright swing and on days where I’m out of arm / torso sync, I’m a hot mess.

 

My two goals for this year are to get my left arm consistently on plane with my shoulders and to keep my right forearm below my left (closer to the ground) on my downswing.

 

I think it’s worth the effort.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

 

Chad Campbell is who jumps to mind for me.

 

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IMG_5049.JPG

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I'd say that it depends on what you do from there.  For me, that's too upright, but it works quite well for Jim Furyk.  🙂 

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From that pic I would say yes. But without seeing what happens as you complete the swing it is impossible to say for sure.

It all depends on what your goals are. Changing swing plane is a major undertaking and will require some work and some bad scores will probably follow. 

As always try to get a lesson, but if not feasible from the one still pic you posted, it looks like changing your right elbow position may accomplish what you are looking for. 

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1 minute ago, CarlH said:

I'd say that it depends on what you do from there.  For me, that's too upright, but it works quite well for Jim Furyk.  🙂 

Irons have been one of my strengths for quite a while - when I put a decent swing on it, I know where it is going and it pretty much stays straight. Driver/woods are typically a different story - one day can be great, the next terrible. Matt also got a picture of me hitting driver with a similar position.

 

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I'd say we'd need to see a video. Many folks, even tour pros, can be vertical, but shallow out on the downswing.

What are your swing faults! Do you strike the ball well?

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk

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This video will tell you everything you need to know about why lie boards are not the answer. 

 

I deliver my irons slightly toe down. A lie board would say I should go about 2 degrees upright. The problem is, I already hit a draw, so that would turn my draw into a hook. Through a proper fitting I learned I actually need my irons 1.5 degrees flat and I play my wedges at 2 degrees flat 

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33 minutes ago, dhartmann34 said:

What are your swing faults! Do you strike the ball well?

Over the last couple years, my primary fault is not maintaining spine angle on my downswing. It's still a tendency, but I don't think it is as bad as it was. I think I hit irons fairly well for a 17 (much of my handicap comes from the tee) - straight to very slight fade when I'm hitting well.

I'll have Matt take a video when we are out Friday afternoon - I have a few from last summer but they are from a bad angle, not as down-the-line as I intended.

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How’s the width at the top? I’m not going to tell you either way.

I’ve played a way more vertical swing that you’ve shown us here. Bubba vertical. And a Ben Hogan like flat swing.

Working on a swing like that guy in the red up there. Good mix, and it seems to be my natural plane without over thinking it.

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I know there are probably a lot of things causing this position, but if you could get to where your left arm was in line with your right shoulder more at the top it would have to make it easier to get back to impact from there

Sent from my Pixel 3 using MyGolfSpy mobile app

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Posted (edited)

If you look at why golfers have different swing planes could it be they need to do the following in different amounts,  specific to their body's capabilities (this is just a high-level requirement):

1. Using  the rotation of your lower and upper torso to also rotate your arms, will tend to make your arms turn in a plane that is perpendicular to your upper body axis of rotation. This will cause the 'outward' direction of the golf shaft  to point 'above/at/below' the ball target line.

2. You might need to adduct both your arms (in differing amounts) for the 'downward' direction. To ensure that the club shaft points  'at'  the ball-target line so that the club will strike the ball.

3. You need to rotate your forearms to ensure the clubface is square at impact (while clubshaft is also tracing the ball-target line). This will depend on how strong your grip is and your backswing plane.

4. Add to the above how you prefer to release your 'hands/arms  'prior/at/post' impact may also depend on your bodies unique capabilities.

There are over 400 quadrillion ways to swing a golf club and you have to find one that fits your body the best without strain and any danger to yourself (otherwise your 'Central Nervous System'  will just start rejecting it). 

PS. I played golf for the 1st time since last September (only went to the range once during that time and hit 100 balls).  Hit every drive almost perfect ( 240 yds for my old body) but still hit a grim 93 . What let me down was pitching, chipping, putting and bunker play.  Worst of all was inability to predict  how the ball would react to contact making my assessment  of distance just rubbish guesswork.  Just shows where my shortfalls are and its not the full swing (driving for show , putting for dough is so right)

Edited by Wildthing
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The backswing/top of the swing doesn’t matter or matter as much as the transition and impact. Lots of different backswings and top of swing positions amongst the pros. Too flat can be as much a problem as too upright.

flattening the swing in transition and rotating would be more important than a “flat” backswing.

as others mentioned a still photo at the top of the swing doesn’t allow for anyone to give any advice.  Seeing a full swing from dtl and face on. As well as what your contact looks like on the face and typical ball flight as well as miss.

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I agree with the poster who suggested a video, I don't think a still photo can be the basis for anything meaningful.  Or better, see a good instructor, let him analyze your swing and help you determine what change you need to make first.

In my own swing, I have a habit of stopping my backswing rotation a bit too soon.  I then "lift" my hands and arms, which gives me the appearance of a pretty steep swing.  One feel I work on, in conjunction with turning back better, is to get "deeper" with my hands, letting them work around my body so that they're further from the target line.  The effect is to "flatten" my swing, but the cure is really body rotation in the backswing, nothing specifically to do with my intended swing plane.

I say all that in order to come back to my second recommendation, see an instructor.  Its quite possible, maybe probable, that your "steep swing" is a symptom of something more basic needing to change.  Get some good analysis, try to determine the root cause, and fix the underlying problem.  Otherwise you may just be band-aiding the symptom.

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21 hours ago, jlukes said:

This video will tell you everything you need to know about why lie boards are not the answer. 

 

I deliver my irons slightly toe down. A lie board would say I should go about 2 degrees upright. The problem is, I already hit a draw, so that would turn my draw into a hook. Through a proper fitting I learned I actually need my irons 1.5 degrees flat and I play my wedges at 2 degrees flat 

The new shaft optimizer from Mizuno also overrides what a lie board would tell you.... I was quite surprised when I was told I needed to be a degree flatter.

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....check out your right elbow at the top of your swing and where it points and compare it to Rickie/Tiger.

That's not necessarily a "bad" thing but this guy does a good job of going into it in pretty good detail:

 

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1 hour ago, GolfSpy Stroker said:

....check out your right elbow at the top of your swing and where it points and compare it to Rickie/Tiger.

That's not necessarily a "bad" thing but this guy does a good job of going into it in pretty good detail:

 

The still for the video explains a lot to me - on the left he looks more like a batter. I played baseball/softball for so many years where trail elbow is high to help prevent uppercuts.

I'll definitely have to watch that when I get home tonight.

1 hour ago, DaveP043 said:

Get some good analysis, try to determine the root cause, and fix the underlying problem.

Understood. I'm strongly considering breaking down my swing over the winter and starting over. As I have aged, I'm having some back issues which I'm wondering if I may be torquing my back funny with an upright swing rather than simply rotating around my spine. A good video might go a long way towards helping determine that.

I'm playing golf with @MattF Friday. I'll have him get a couple videos to post.

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What's your ball flight like and what's your miss?

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5 minutes ago, CarlH said:

What's your ball flight like and what's your miss?

With irons, my ball flight is on the high side and generally pretty straight with a miss being push/fade. I don't really slice irons much unless I put a particularly bad swing on the ball. Every now and then I will have a straight pull, but not often enough that I ever really think about it.

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23 minutes ago, MaxEntropy said:

With irons, my ball flight is on the high side and generally pretty straight with a miss being push/fade. I don't really slice irons much unless I put a particularly bad swing on the ball. Every now and then I will have a straight pull, but not often enough that I ever really think about it.

So, what's your end goal for a swing change?

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1 hour ago, MaxEntropy said:

The still for the video explains a lot to me - on the left he looks more like a batter. I played baseball/softball for so many years where trail elbow is high to help prevent uppercuts.

I'll definitely have to watch that when I get home tonight.

Understood. I'm strongly considering breaking down my swing over the winter and starting over. As I have aged, I'm having some back issues which I'm wondering if I may be torquing my back funny with an upright swing rather than simply rotating around my spine. A good video might go a long way towards helping determine that.

I'm playing golf with @MattF Friday. I'll have him get a couple videos to post.

If you do decide to make a change this SMART BALL seems like it would help.

You can get a knock off on Amazon for about 12 bucks.

 

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