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Seeing Face Rotation on 2D Video

Learn how to identify if you square the face with shaft rotation or with in-plane club movement. In plane movement is great for wedges, but if you want to hit longer clubs you'll want to work on your club rotation skills.

Tags: Poor Contact, Not Straight Enough, Analysis, Concept, Advanced, Intermediate

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This call smart insight is seeing clubface rotation with 2D video.

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So I had a member ask, you know, how can you tell if you're rotating the club closed

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or if you're doing it more with the in-plane movement or arm straightening?

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Because it is a little bit tricky to see.

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So what I'm going to show you here is how you can use down the line video to identify

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whether you're doing it more with shaft rotation or whether you're doing it more with

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the in-plane club movement or arm straightening.

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From the down the line camera, the really telling phase is going to be just below waist

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height or just below shaft parallel.

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So what you'll tend to see is from here we have to look in 3D space.

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So we're going to have to use face on as well as down the line to see what's going on.

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You'll see that there the clubface rotated towards the ball, but if I did that facing

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the camera, that is happening more from the in-plane movement or more from my arm

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straightening, whether my wrist or my triceps or elbows or whatever.

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So if you're looking from face on and you see the club going like this where the hands

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stay more towards that right side of the body as the club passes and you're looking

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from down the line and it looks like the clubface is rotating.

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You know that that's happening more from the in-plane movement.

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If you see that roughly same amount of club rotation through there, but then from face

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on you see the grip working more across the body as that's happening than you know that

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it's happening more from that shaft rotation.

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So we'll look at a few examples so that we can kind of start training our mind to see

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what we're trying to look at and hopefully you'll be able to see the amount of shaft

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rotation a little bit easier, but we're going to look at it during that phase I just

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showed you as well as what's happening just after the golf ball.

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When I'm looking at the video, this is the graph that I'm trying to imagine in my head.

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It's called axial velocity and it's looking at the rotational speed of the clubhead

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compared to the shaft.

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So when it goes negative the clubface is rotating open and when it goes positive it is

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rotating closed.

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So here's a golfer that has more of a gradual closing in the clubface.

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You can see that it starts to get positive actually before he changes direction and just

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kind of continues on a gradual slope.

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We can contrast that with this example would be a golfer who has more of a rapid closing

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later or uses more of the in-plane movement.

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So here you can see the club is opening and then as he changes direction you can see

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that it remains opening.

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It's still negative until about shaft 45 or so or closer to shaft parallel and then you'll

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see it closes very quickly.

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We can also correlate this graph with the straightening of the arm.

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But not everyone has access to this graph.

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So let's take a look at video and see how we can imagine it in 3D space.

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Alright, we'll look at a couple of different examples of each style.

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Takes a little bit of practice getting to be able to see it and you can't see it as

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accurately as you would on the graph.

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But we just want to see the general pattern.

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So what you're looking for is the clubface angle relative to the shaft.

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So if I were to move through these frames and let's just indicate where the clubhead

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It gives us just a rough line of travel that the club is going on.

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Now you can see up at the top there the club is pointing straight up and down and then

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at this point you can see that it is pointing closer to perpendicular to the swing

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plane and then down here you can see that it's pointing more or less at the ball.

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But when you're looking at these two you can see the amount of rotation kind of through

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this window or through this phase.

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Now that you know what you're looking for you can kind of start to see it actually happen

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in through there you can actually start to see the club rotating around its axis through

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Now what you'll you want to confirm it by looking at the face on video and comparing it

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to the timing of the straightening of that right arm.

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So we know that we were looking at the one on the left and we saw that it was rotating

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through this phase and then we'll see that his arm doesn't really straighten while it's

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going through that phase and there's not a lot of club passing the hands.

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When we look at a few examples of the club passing the hands we'll see one other indicator

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that you can see from the face on view that will give you a key or a clue to see if it's

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more of the shaft rotation or in plane shaft movement.

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So we want to train ourselves to be able to see it without having to draw the line and

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here we've got I wanted to use examples with kind of different grip styles so Dustin obviously

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has a stronger grip and Jordan's probably more neutral even to the weak side.

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You can see up here that the club is over the club head and club face is roughly in line

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with the direction it's traveling and you can see that by the time he gets to here it's

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now starting to rotate in point towards the golf ball so you can see actually right in

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through there is where the club face is starting to rotate and then you see the effect

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of it and it really rotates through that phase there.

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Now let's double check from the face on view and confirm that it is happening not with

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the straightening of the arm so we can see that through there and the other check that

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you'll be able to see is kind of the width on the way through.

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If you tend to use more of the in plane shaft movement you won't have shaft length so

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this particular clip misses impact but you can tell by the shaft being pretty vertical

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out in front of his lead leg that he had some shaft length in impact which would be virtually

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impossible with just the in plane movement and what you'll tend to see is on the way through

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you'll tend to see the club leaving the ground very quickly so you won't have a really

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long kind of wide flat bottom of this wing you'll tend to see the club bottom out even

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before the golf ball or be more of a picker style with the irons and you'll see the club

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come up pretty quickly. So let's take a look at a couple examples of golfers who don't

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have as much of this face rotation. Before we look at a couple amateur examples I wanted to

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show a elite level golfer who uses more or less of the face rotation model. So here you

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can see film Nicholson and you have the the clear vision of the club up against his body

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and you can see that through this space now that you know what to look for you can see

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there's not a lot of rotation it's pretty much close to the same angle compared to the path

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of the club through that space it closes a little bit but we want to confirm that that's

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happening more from the rotation or the arm extension we can look at it from the face on view

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we we saw that it was starting to rotate kind of around this zone here and you'll see that

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that left arm his trail arm is straightening through that phase which tends to give a little

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bit more of this vertical look at impact with that right arm really straight. It'll be even

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clearer when we look at a few amateurs that it's really that straightening in the arm that causes

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the majority of the rotation down here at the bottom and less of a active twisting of the shaft.

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Okay two quick examples from down the line what we'll see over here on the right

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can be a little tricky to tell the amount of rotation so one good little check point is you if you

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get the club to let's say halfway between shaft parallel and impact typically the golfers you

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do this will have more of an open club face and it'll be pointing more out perpendicular to the

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target line instead of at the golf ball golfers who've had that shaft rotation or getting the

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arms more in front at this point and by this position the club will typically be pointing at the

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now unfortunately that's not absolute here's a golfer that appears to have very little rotation

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but you can see that because of the severity of the closed club phase you can see that it's

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pointing at the golf ball at this time so you can confirm it by looking at the position through

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the relationship of the club face through that space. Remember we saw with Dustin Johnson that even if

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you have a stronger grip having a gradual and gentle closing in the club face through shaft rotation

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matches preferred body and arm movements for developing a really consistent impact position

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and a good flat spot. So here's a golfer who breaks the rule but is doing more so with the

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in-plane movement let's take a quick look at the face on so that you can see what's going on or

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why that's happening. So we wanted to confirm with the face on remember the golfer on the right

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there was having a little bit of face rotation through this phase but you can see that it's corresponding

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with more the grip releasing here on the right side of the body. Same thing over here we didn't see

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very we saw a very little face rotation but we did see it happening a little bit down at the bottom

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so you'll see that it's pointing more at the target through this straightening the arm along

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the right side of the body and that'll typically cause the club to come up very quickly.

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Same thing over here more along the right side of the body and so the club tends to come up quickly.

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You'll often see it accompanied with a chicken wing or bending in the arms. So hopefully that helps

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you understand what it's like to try and visualize this axial rotation or how much the

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you're squaring the club based on club rotation or in-plane shaft movement.

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