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Ribbon Path Training

Many golfers, especially beginners, can have a hard time feeling the path or direction of their swing. To help with this, I will often attach a piece of ribbon to the club and have students make a few practice swings. By simply tracking the ribbon with their eyes, players can quickly see any club path tendencies, especially when the swings are then recorded and viewed from down the line. However, do not forget to use the face on view as well, as it can provide you with feedback on the overall shape of your club path as opposed to just the direction. For a wedge, we would like to see more of a circular shape, but for a driver, we would like to see more of an ellipse. Or in other words, we would like to see a longer "flat spot" with the driver, which is beneficial for a number of reasons. Overall, this is a great drill for any player who is struggling with excess curvature as it is a cheap and effective diagnostic, but just remember that if your path is fairly solid and the ball is still curving a lot, you most likely have a face control, and not a path, problem. 

Tags: Poor Contact, Not Straight Enough, Drill, Beginner

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This content video is rhythm path training.

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So many golfers, especially beginning golfers, need to have a better understanding of what

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the path of the club is going to look like.

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And so when I'm training them, I'll usually take one of our little safety ribbons and attach

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it to the club head just like so.

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And then I'll take some swings and let them see basically where the ribbon is moving throughout

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the swing.

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And then I might have them take some swings and we'll put it on video and you can get

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some pretty clear ideas as far as the overall shape of the swing a little bit easier

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when you have the comet tail or basically the ribbon path.

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Now it's pretty easy to see from the down the line whether it's coming, whether it's

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coming too much from the inside or too much outside or pretty straight down there at

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the bottom kind of like that.

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But the view that is often misbiemateurs is looking at it more from the face on.

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So from the face on, I like to see a circle with the wedges and a ellipse with the

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driver and I'll show them what that looks like.

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If I stayed tall and just kind of swing my arms like this, you can see that I've got

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a pretty good path but you can see that the overall shape of the ribbon is very much circular

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and the bottom of it is right underneath me and then it starts coming up pretty quickly.

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What the better golfers tend to do is by having a little bit of some body sequencing,

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a little bit of lag and arm shallowing, they'll tend to get more of a look where it's

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flat down at the bottom instead of a pure circle.

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And that flatness down at the bottom helps give you a little bit of margin of air for

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increase repeatability.

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So if you're not quite sure what your swing looks like and you're having a hard time

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seeing your path, especially if you don't have, let's say really high speed video, then

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tying a ribbon to your club can often be very helpful for understanding and visualizing

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overall path of the club.

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Now there are three main priorities that's swinging golf club.

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One is the path which we cover here but this single training aid doesn't discuss or doesn't

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focus on either the face control or how you're creating speed.

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And the face control could show up as if you could do this really good path and the ball

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is curving or flying all over the place, then it means that you probably have more of

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a face control problem than a path problem.

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So this can serve as a diagnostic as well or as well as clarifying the overall image of

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what you want the swing to look like.

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It does become hard to hit golf balls with this but it is possible.

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So I'll try and demonstrate one for you.

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The ribbon and the tape will disrupt a little bit and oftentimes this is a one and

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Sometimes hitting the golf ball will cause it to go flying and sometimes the ribbon

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getting caught around you can be pretty disruptive.

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So be a little bit patient with yourself.

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In order to swing it you have to make sure that it kind of has a nice that it's not tangled

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at the beginning as well.

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So here we'll try demonstrating one.

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So again, not always easy to make the most centered contact but if you look at that on video,

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it can often help you to see your overall path tendencies.

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Here are a couple quick examples of how I use the ribbon path and video in the force

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square drill to help train a junior golfers path.

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So I usually put the force square down on the ground and do a few things just to kind

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of give them some visuals and then let them see on video either with the slow motion here

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or with the overhead camera to see where the path of the club is actually coming.

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And I find that most golfers are able to make the path corrections relatively quickly.

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So here's what you may experience when you're working through this.

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We can see that this golfer has some club face issues and so this golfer tends to swing

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more from box two to box four in order to get the club face pointing at the target.

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So we looked at on video and decided to work on the path first and then the second half of the

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lesson working on the face.

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So this was him kind of going through in slow motion just kind of guiding the club through

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roughly where it needs to swing.

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Now he's putting a little bit more of a fluid motion through there.

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You can see it's still kind of thinking he's thinking his way through the motion.

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Then with a few more swings now we're getting a little bit more dynamic movement with a path

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going through the gate or through box one to box three.

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After that we did a little grip change and worked on some club face and he was proud that

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he was able to hit some very straight shots.

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So the ribbon path training can be very helpful for golfers of all ages to learn path,

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but I find it especially helpful for juniors.

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