Is Your Camera Lying To You?

Guidelines for camera placements and what you should see from those placements

Labels: Instruction
This Article Features Photo Zoom
When it comes to the face-on view, I want to see a couple of things out of the pivot going back. The right hip should be closer to the target at the top of the swing than it was at address. This encourages the weight to move in a positive direction toward the target as the downswing begins and enables the club to attack on the proper path. With the drive, the last thing I want to see is the head moving toward the target on the backswing. If the head goes the wrong way going back, it will either stay in front coming down creating too much of a downward strike or retreat away from the target causing a flip through impact.

Have I made my point yet? Let's look at three vantage points again, with Jeff not changing positions at all in any of the above pictures. The upper-left photo shows Jeff with the club "laid off" as we call it, meaning, it's pointed to the left. This is a mistake that leads to steep downswings and outside swing paths at impact.

Skip the upper-middle photo (we'll get back to it) and jump to the upper right. You can see Jeff at the top of his swing with the clubshaft pointing to the right of his intended target line. What happens from here? While many great players have played slightly across at the top, it can lead to blocks, hooks and "getting stuck" coming down.

Back to the upper-middle photo. Jeff is in his ideal position; his body turned freely to the top without excessive sway or a reverse-pivot right leg. Again, with the camera between Jeff and the ball at waist high, we get the most accurate shot of what's actually happening in his swing and how to fix any mistakes along the way.

The simple fact is, there are dozens of combinations of positions at the top that produce great shots. The position I'm in on the right is one that I strive for in my own swing because it's fairly neutral. The leading edge of the clubface is parallel to the outside of my left arm, the left arm is running up through my right shoulder, right forearm matches my spine angle, and the left wrist is slightly bent. That's the beauty of using video properly, you can film yourself when you're hitting the ball well and use it as your own personal coach when things go south. The important thing to remember is to always use the same camera position so you're comparing apples to apples.

There isn't much time to adjust the swing once the downswing has begun. Trying to micromanage the swing at this stage is a recipe for disaster! Instead, try and think of one thing. There's a ton of room for personal interpretation of the swing going back, but if there's one commonality we've seen from great ball strikers since the days of Hagen and Jones, it was that we start the downswing. From the face-on view, make sure the weight is moving in the direction of the target before the arms and hands come down. If you don't get the weight moving across (especially from the ground up through your stomach) you'll be inconsistent with the contact and inevitably lose a great deal of power.

Don't try to "hold the angle," "lag it" or "delay the release". Instead, relax the hands and arm, and move the weight across, preferably into the left quad and front of the left foot. This will give you all the "lag" you ever wanted for the best chance to reach your potential as a ballstriker.


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