Squaring The Club Face Explained
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There are (3) different ways to open/close the clubface during the release. Specificially, golfers will use a combination of shaft rotation ("motorcycle"), a raising/lowing of the handle, and a linear movement of the handle forwards/backwards ("shaft lean"). Depending upon how efficiently they combine these moves and to what degree they employ them, you can get an overall view of a player's closing strategy and the inefficiencies/efficiencies in their game. Ultimately, it is important to know your own "default" pattern and how these (3) movements contribute to it, before making a plan for improvement. This will help you pick the right drills and concepts to work on and hopefully, speed up your progress.
Playlists: Train Your Release, Squaring The Club Face Explained
Tags: Poor Contact, Not Straight Enough, Release, Concept, Intermediate
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This concept video is talking through clubface closing strategies.
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So we're going to talk through a couple different clubface closing patterns so that you
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can understand how the three main ways to close the face are related to each other.
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So I think it's sometimes easiest to visualize the face when you're holding it up.
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So I'll tend to do this with students.
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I'll have it kind of held up it parallel like so or you know belly button height more
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like baseball level.
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So if I was to this is pointing perpendicular to the ground kind of like this, if I have
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more opening elements so if I bring it back and rotate it'll point more up, if I have
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more closing elements it will come more down.
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So whatever I do in the backswing I just have to make sure that I balance that out and
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get the face pointed at the target.
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The main ones will be twisting, bringing the club back, you can see forward points it more
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up, back points it more down and then if I lowered that's pointing a little bit more
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down if I go this way that's pointing a little bit more up.
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So ideally I'm going to have that unhing which points it more up.
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I'm going to have shaft lean which points it more up and then I will have the motorcycle
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which points it more down that creates kind of the best impact conditions especially with
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these longer clubs.
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So now we'll take a look at it in more of the golf plane but you can visualize it and practice
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it up here and just kind of see the individual pieces.
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If I wanted to come back square I could just keep it square to that path that whole time
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or I could rotate it open and just time it coming back.
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That's kind of a golfer's choice but ultimately I can relate where the ball is starting
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and how the ball is curving to that club face orientation.
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So the three ways to close the face or open the face.
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If I lower the handle that closes the face because now you can see the face is pointing
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way over there.
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So I had that lie angle tool this would point straight and then as it goes down that
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face is now angled that way as it goes up it's angled more that way.
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Then I could keep the grip in the same place and rotate the face open or close.
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This is one of the common ones that most people think of when they think of closing in
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the face or opening the face.
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And then the other one is I could keep the club head end in the same place and I could
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bring the handle back on the path or forward along the path when it goes more ahead.
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I'm essentially hitting it earlier in the arc and the club face has less time to close.
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So it's more open and when I bring the handle back I'm hitting it later in the arc and
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so the club face has a greater chance to close.
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Basically coming in through there.
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So what many golfers do is they figure out a combination of these three closing mechanisms.
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One common one is they're not going to use the motorcycle so the face will be really
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open and then they'll have more of the scoop and lower the handle.
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So they will tend to have more of a look like this and they'll hit a fair amount of
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they'll have low point control issues because of the more of the flip aspect and they'll
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tend to get more pull start lines especially with the longer clubs kind of like that.
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But they can hit kind of a very playable fade pattern typically with the short irons.
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And you'll see when I do that one if you were to look at your own swing you may see
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the club exit way around to the left kind of like that.
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That's a good sign that you're using more of that flip style or what some guys call
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more of a swivel style release because basically what they're doing is we're using
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lack of unhing that closes it and letting the club pass that closes it.
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So now I can hold off on the motorcycle I can basically rotate this way and still get
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the club face pointing in the direction of the target but you've seen order to do that.
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I hit it fact because my low point is off.
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So the pattern going this way has to get used to more unhing that opens the face like
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So then I have to have that motorcycle movement.
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Ideally that motorcycle movement is going to happen much earlier and then I can unhing
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and then simply rotate my body on the way through.
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So it has a feeling of the arms being a little bit more early and a feeling of quieter
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hands because it's more of a body hit but it's really just using the hands differently.
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So now a second pattern would be more I'm going to really raise the handle and bring
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the club through kind of like this which holds the face open.
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So then down at the bottom I can spin it really fast.
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So I get a lot of the closing from the rotation very late so this would be more of a late
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style motorcycle and then I hold the face off with that one.
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Now this golfer will tend to hit blocks and when they hit it straight it's more because
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they perfectly timed letting that last piece go of closing the face with a little bit
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more scoop kind of like that.
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They'll tend to be more picker styles of the golf ball have kind of a sweeping draw or
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a pull draw miss with the driver where oftentimes they get going this way too much which
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forces them to then straighten the arm too much on the way through.
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Kind of like that.
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So that golfer has to get the motorcycle to happen earlier and then a little bit more
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shaft lean to compliment.
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So the motorcycle tends to close it and then that shaft lean tends to hold it open and
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that unhinged tends to shallow things out.
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So if it's a little bit off it'll go a little bit right or left but that tends to be a
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little bit more consistent pattern.
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One other pattern is the severely outside in.
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So this golfer typically gets the face pointed at the target more by using the outside
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So the face never actually gets closed.
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It's basically coming through space like this, coming through in an open position like
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Instead of rotating closed what they do is they swing more down so now that open position
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is pointing at the target.
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The net result of that is the club face was left open.
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They're getting a little bit of squaring from the flip but the hands aren't down enough
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to get it left and they definitely haven't had enough rotation.
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So the face is open and then they're just getting the ball to start at the target because
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of the face relationship to the target but it's going to curve off to the right because
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the face the path is so open.
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So that golfer absolutely needs to add a little bit of motorcycle to start getting the
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face more closed to the path earlier so then they can bring or improve the path which
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will help them get a little bit more shaffling and with a shallower bottom of this wing
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tends to work a little bit better for the longer clubs.