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Tyler Ferrell is the only person in the world named to Golf Digest's list of Best Young Teachers in America AND its list of Best Golf Fitness Professionals in America. Meet your new instructor.
Squaring The Club Face Explained

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Clubface Closing Strategies

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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in path.

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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.

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