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One Plane Your Irons, Two Plane Your Driver
Scottsdale, AZ (Sports Network) --
Do you struggle with good contact with your irons, especially your longer ones? Would you like to hit the driver a little farther? Implementing two popular swing methods can help you achieve both of these objectives.
Irons and drivers are not built the same...that is obvious. For one, the driver is a significantly longer club and also has a flatter lie angle than most of your irons. Further, the driver is designed without a built-in offset or forward press. As you set up with the driver, it is natural to have the grip, your hands, even with the clubface or even slightly behind.
Because of these design differences, the driver should be swung differently than the irons. The irons are built shorter and more upright, with a built-in forward press to encourage a downward strike on the golf ball. Your driver will be hit off a tee and, therefore, does not require a downward strike to get the ball airborne.
To realize better contact with your irons and "bomb" your drives, try producing a different swing for each. The irons require a steeper angle of approach. This can be achieved by rotating better through impact as opposed to sliding. Working on a "one-plane" type swinging motion can increase the rotary motion of the golf swing and eliminate the poor contact.
With your irons, strive for a bit wider stance at address and bend more from the hips. You will notice that you will need to be a little bit further from the ball. I would advise you to see the hands directly under the chin. As you take the club back, try to swing the arms more around your body while keeping the clubface square to the target (or looking at the ball). At the top of the backswing, the shoulders, left arm and club shaft should all be on the same angle creating the "one plane swing." From this point you can rotate your body swiftly through the ball and rely on your body to square up the clubface. You should notice, immediately, better contact and, hopefully, a divot on the target side of the golf ball.
With your driver, a "two-plane" swing can create more leverage on the ball and result in increased distance. A two-plane swing begins with less bend from the hips, at which point you will notice that the arms hang closer to the body. I would look for the hands to be directly under the shoulders. As the club swings back, the arms extend away from the body creating width as the arms rotate and the clubface remains open. At the top of the back swing, the left arm swings above the shoulder plane with the club shaft pointing down the target line or slightly to the right of the target line. From here, the hands and arms drop to initiate the downswing as the hips move laterally toward the target. This will get the club swinging from the inside and up on the golf ball.
Practice both methods to gain consistency in your game and good luck with your golf games in the future! This is just one of the first steps towards improvement.
PGA professional, Doug Hammer, is the Director of Instruction for Talking Stick Golf Club in Scottsdale, AZ. Doug has been with Troon Golf since 1998, teaching full time since 2001. Doug has studied under some of the game's greatest teachers in Tim Mahoney, Hank Haney, and Mike and Sandy LaBauve. Since 2001, Doug has taught in 10 U.S. states and a short stint in Japan. With this experience, he brings a very patient and consistent approach to the lesson tee, and feels that he can help all levels of players reach their goals.