That’s a pretty big statement coming from someone who developed a significant problem with swing plane & club impact path nearly from the moment I picked up a golf club at the age of 25.
Before I tell you why I’m predicting this, a little personal progression story first.
By the time I even heard about “swing plane,” I was already well-acquainted with the term “over the top,” because I was a left-handed person swinging a club right-handed.
I’m probably more a hybrid however, as I eat, draw, thread a needle, & shoot a gun left-handed while throwing, punching & swinging right-handed – fine motor skills lefty, gross motor & power right-handed.
I had also played baseball for years in my youth, which has a completely different impact position than the golf swing where you are impacting the ball with your torso & shoulders open to the field of play as opposed to square to the target line:
Big difference, big problem if no one tells you this before you’ve struck your first few thousand balls.
I further aggravated the issue with the tendency to dominate my swing with the left side (pulling down & around with the leading arm rather than swinging down with the right) by having a spinal deformity (scoliosis) that leaves my shoulders skewed to the left (open) when I stand straight upright, and from there, I have struggled with producing an inside-to-out club path through impact.
Until I began to implement the MCS Classic Golf Swing model, that is.
In the years since studying & implementing Ben Hogan’s “Perfect Pivot” action beginning in the summer of 2014, I spent more time studying how to improve the model (’14-’17) and working with other people on their swings than on my own.
So, while I was able to iron out their kinks, mine remained until I went to the TXG Golf facility to get swing data.
There, I saw that, even while I was striking the ball pretty solidly (300 yard carry, 325+ total drive distances), I was still getting steep on the down swing & my impact path sharply out-to-in.
Well, that just didn’t sit well with me, so I got down to fixing that issue, and while it may seem miraculous, I went in the space of a few weeks from this impact club path:
… To this:
If you think the first set of data is bad, I at least had built the model so that I had a good positive attack angle – look at the negative attack angle and major out-to-in I had back in 2014, before I began to work on the MCS model with Hogan’s pivot:
April 2014 – DJ On Trackman
The top circled number is my attack angle, a horrific (for a driver) -2.6 degrees. And a club speed of 113.8 mph (beside the circle) and a club path of -5.6 degrees (top 2nd from the left).
If you don’t have the visual of what produces those kind of numbers, just close your eyes and imagine having your hands hoisted high at the top:
… and pulling down with the leading arm as you turn into impact.
Interesting Note: Club speed 113.8 mph at 44, compared to 117-119 mph at 48.
There’s no denying that in 2018, four years older, many pounds heavier & not swinging much at all, I was able with the model to increase my club speed, turn a -2.6 degree attack angle to between 4-6 degrees upward in ’18 by working on my execution of said model.
It was not the model that made me swing so sharply out-to-in that first session in 2018, because it was the exact same swing model I was using weeks later when I was swinging barely in-to-out (nearly neutral swing path).
All I had to do was work on what I was doing that didn’t comport with the model theory.
What was I doing wrong?
I had a habit of yanking the hands up high going back, then pulling down & around with the leading arm coming down, which obviously leads to a steep plane (high hands at the top) and an early rotation of the torso and shoulders (out-to-in club impact path).
The ironic thing is, on the trip to TXG the second time, I felt that I was half-swinging due to my hands not being so high at the top and my club shaft not being past or very far past parallel. It felt like a constricted swing action, yet my club impact speeds in the second session were higher than in the first.
THAT is the golden nugget in all of this, friends – the more mechanically-sound your swing, the closer to the theoretical optimal action, the greater the performance.
I was swinging at a slightly higher impact speed with a shorter back swing because I was closer to the theoretical model at the top, leading to increased leverage and power even feeling I wasn’t get a full swing on the ball.
That was three years ago – again, absolutely nothing wrong with the model I’d built, just a big miss on the fundamentals on my own swing due to being focused more on others than myself.
Here’s a swing from 2019, where my top position is much flatter than from 2014 above, but more leverage and a proper plane & in-to-out path coming into impact.
I wasn’t even where I am now swing-wise, but the work I did produced great results in both areas.
2 Years Ago
And what do you want to bet that I’ll exceed 120 mph club speed this season with both models of the MCS Golf Swing, simply by improving my application of the model principles?
How many 50+ year old guys do you know who don’t play pro golf & who can produce 120 mph driver impact speed when not even playing or practicing regularly, considering the Tour average isn’t even 120 mph?
They’re either doing something terribly wrong or I’m doing something much better than them with mechanics, wouldn’t you say?
Back To Swing Plane
What I’ve noticed with my work on the models is that the top position is such that, performed correctly, one will never have to worry about club path and swing plane coming down & through.
With the proper setup & back swing pivot, I have fixed my steepness issue by adhering to the principles until I found my proper top position from which it’s impossible to get steep or swing across the line.
At the proper position, it’s a simple weight shift to the leading foot with a drop of the hands, bringing the club naturally down on a proper plane into impact.
No re-routing, no slotting, no manipulation. It. Just. Happens.
I just had to keep working on my back swing until the proper top position felt natural and now, I can’t say with 100% surety but am very confident that, like the 2nd data set from 2018, the theoretical models of both Classic & Post-Modern swing will produce a very neutral swing path (1 degree or less in-to-out) when performed with the model’s principles.
Why? Well, for the simple reason that you’ve set up properly and have the ball position in the stance where the natural arc of the swing is coming from inside to square at impact.
That makes it very easy to shape your shots because with a neutral club path at impact, you only have to adjust the club face to open or closed to produce the desired shape of fade or draw.
The work continues!