Friday, July 1, 2005
An Easier Way?
Fueled by the legend?and memory?of Moe Norman, the single-axis swing continues to intrigue with its simplicity
No need to drop the arms into the slot with the single-axis technique—theyre already there.
The traditional address position forces a steeper, more vertical arm movement to the top of the backswing. You can clearly see the amount of shoulder rotation necessary to move the golf club to the top (right). You also can see how the spine has moved toward the target, almost in a reversed C position, which puts unnecessary stress on the spine. In addition, the right elbow also has been lifted and will need to drop in order to get the club back on plane in the downswing.
A key benefit of the single-axis address position is that it serves to simplify arm and shoulder movement to the top of the backswing while allowing the spine position established at address to be maintained throughout. Notice how the lead arm sits directly on the shoulder line, and that even this deep into the swing, spine tilt has not been altered (above, left). What has dramatically changed is the hinge of the wrists, which now are fully cocked and ready to deliver as much energy as possible into the back of the golf ball (the hands are the fastest part of your body, by the way). Unlike in the conventional swing, theres no need to drop the right elbow because the straight line established at address has allowed the arms and shoulders to move on an ideal plane for square impact. Again, the single-axis technique works to simplify the swing.
You can see the lower body rotating with the lead leg straightening and the back foot lifting, which is necessary to create room for the lifting of the clubshaft into impact. The trail elbow is slightly behind the trail hip, which often can lead to a trapping of the arm behind the body. This body rotation and trapping of the arms can be a major cause of inconsistency.
Notice how the head remains behind the ball, the trail foot is on the ground, and spine tilt is maintained. The lead leg has remained flexed and stable, and since the single-axis swing started on the same plane as impact, theres no need to move the body to compensate and make room for a steeper shaft.
While the impact positions of both the conventional and single-axis golfer will look very similar, the difference lies in how they arrived there—through multiple planes or on a single path.
You can see at impact that the shaft angle is steeper than it was at address. Because of this steeper impact plane, the conventional player has lifted his trail foot, lifted his spine angle and rotated his torso to be able to reach impact. However, check out the straight line formed between the lead arm and clubshaft, with the trail arm bent. Its the same arrangement as seen with a single-axis golfer, but it required two planes to get there.
Because the shaft plane is the same at setup as it is at the point of contact, its often difficult to tell the difference between these two positions with a single-axis golfer. Theres no need for an upward or backward motion of the spine or an over-rotation of the hips. The single-axis golfer is able to maintain his spine angle and keep his trail foot on the ground. Throughout the swing, movement is minimal compared to traditional methods, which is the key to the swings consistency.
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