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Tags: DownswingFlatten Downswing GolfFlattening Downswing Plane
Paul Wilson is the creator of Swing Machine Golf and founder of Ignition Golf. Paul's golf swing technique is based on the Iron Byron swing machine.
Paul Wilson Golf and
Ignition Golf Tips.
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March 10, 2013
Hi Paul, thank you for the tip. My question is: how come on the backswing we don’t use the same swing plane as that of the downswing? It seems more straight-forward as there won’t be any need for ‘flattening’ and it should pre-stretch the relevant muscles. Thank you.
No golf swing can be made on a perfect one plane. This is due to the angle between the shaft and the left wrist. Because of this angle the club must go up in the backswing. It then flatten due to the rotation of the body and no manipulating the mass (club)(powerless arms).
Also, you don’t hit the ball going back anyway so who cares if it’s on plane going back?
Flatten Plane 1: https://ignitiongolf.com/downswing-flatten-plane
Flatten Plane 2: https://ignitiongolf.com/downswing-flatten-plane-2
January 16, 2014
I think you are great with your explanations but I don’t like this reply.
The backswing needs to be above the downswing because at the top of the swing where the centrifugal force is minimal the club would drop due to gravity if the club stayed on the plane during the backswing? A swing where the backswing is BELOW the downswing would be clearly unworkable. So in a way ditto for the being on the same plane.
January 17, 2014
I don’t get what your saying/asking.
Turning the body with powerless arms gets the ball on plane. If you just let your arms fall using gravity alone this would not generate enough power to hit the ball anywhere. You need to be turning your body which is the axis. If you turn an axis first mass will always move towards 90 degrees to it.
What I meant was at the top during the pause and the few micro seconds afterwards when the club flattens without the clubhead moving away from the body. I thought it was the gravity that was working to flatten the swing plane and then the rotation of the body that brings that plane close to 90 degs as the clubhead moves away from the body. It is just how I understood the physics of it.
January 18, 2014
Gravity alone would not generate enough speed to get the club to 100+ mph. Keep in mind it is 1/4 of second from the top to impact. If you were to hesitate to let gravity bring the club down you would have already hit the ball. Just imagine your body was your hand on the correct tilt. Your club is a rock and your arms are string. If you twirled your hand the rock would immediately move to 90 degrees 100% of the time plus it would be picking up immense speed in a short period of time.
I’m sure there is some gravity involved because what does up must come down but this force on its own would never generate enough power due to the short distance the club is traveling. Plus if gravity is what hit the ball why would you turn your hips at all?
I have been curing over the top swing for years by just getting the person to turn their body before the club moves. Works every time. Just try it.
February 18, 2014
Thanks. You are right. Some pro suggested this gravity thing a long time ago and I seemed to have carried with me subconsciously. I now understand your analogy of the swinging hand being the body.
Despite that I am finding I cannot reproduce the powerless arms. Too much ingrained habit I guess. I have made some progress recently by swinging slower and consciously dropping the arms at the top while turning the hips. Let you know how I go.
Glad you get it. Now you can progress.
For most people, taking the arms out of the swing is tough. Yes, years of whacking away it is hard to undo. Now you at least understand that you are not hitting anything. Try to do lots of practice swings working on the positions and developing a great swing. Then constantly do the drills below:
Playing Catch Up: https://ignitiongolf.com/playing-catch-up/
DRILL: This Is The Best Drill You Should Be Doing Right Now: https://ignitiongolf.com/drill-three-quarter-distance/
DRILL: Swing Off Ground: https://ignitiongolf.com/drill-swing-off-ground
DRILL: Listen to Club Swinging: https://ignitiongolf.com/drill-listen-to-club
DRILL: Swing Off Ground Variation: https://ignitiongolf.com/drill-variation-favorite-drill/
DRILL: My Favorite Drill
August 19, 2013
Paul – in your lesson “How to Flatten You Swing Plane”, I noticed that with your driver, your aim was at the flag, your hips and feet parallel to the target, as you team in your book. I did notice that as you swung through the ball and ended up in your follow-up position, your belt buckle looked like it was also aiming parallel, but it was even left (5-10 yards) outside where your feet looked like they were aiming. So my question is, when I finish my swing, and to make the ball fly straight, at the end are my feet pointed on direction, my hips another, and ball flight another? I think I’ve had my feet parallel to the target line, but when I swing through, my hips are at the target instead of parallel left of the target. Do you think this is why sometimes I push the ball? Ryan
A push is from sliding or driving your hips so hard you disconnect under the lead armpit. Sliding tilts your upper body too much behind the ball in the downswing. This creates a path too much from the inside. Driving too hard holds the face open thus starting the ball right.
If your hips are not parallel left this would indicate you are sliding laterally so yes I think this is causing your push. Surely, you know my touch the legs position? If no, you need to start working on this immediately.
Legs Touching: https://ignitiongolf.com/touch-knees
How To Cure Pushes and Push Fades: https://ignitiongolf.com/cure-pushes-push-fades/
December 4, 2013
Great tip this is the one area that I’m really struggling with witch causes me a bad slice
Is there such a thing as your hips getting to far ahead of your arms?
Thanks. Glad you liked it.
It just did a tip on driving too hard here:
June 1, 2014
1 question about the downswing. When the club starts down, the rear elbow should stay close to the body which should help prevent the over the top swing, is that correct?
June 2, 2014
The back elbow should be tucking on its own due to the arms being powerless and you starting your body (axis) first in the downswing.
These tips explain it in great detail:
Flatten Plane 2: https://ignitiongolf.com/downswing-flatten-plane-2
Right Elbow: https://ignitiongolf.com/downswing-right-elbow
November 16, 2014
Paul ,We’ve had this discussion together long before on how to increase the speed of the arms going down.I ‘ve done my homework and search on my own.Well it’s not possible to increase the speed of the arms falling down :best great gofers have been videotaped ,starting with great BOBBY JONES :the outcome is that the arms fall at the speed of gravity -9.81 m/s -,never more .So you are right :the speed of the clubhead is entirely due to the angular velocity of the axis= the body ,AND to the subsequent release of the club just before impact .
I have followed “doggedly ” for quite some time your teaching= POWERLESS ARMS+FAST HIP TURN .
I am pleased to say it works magnificently:I have considerably increased my distance with this PAUL WILSON method ,and the beauty of it is that my shots are always straight ,straight ,straight ,with occasionally a slight draw (Never a slice ).
What has helped me is to work on a more vertical to the top backswing and a bigger rotation going back :it gives me more time to come back in the downswing and delay the release.
Thank you Paul ,for your “preaching in the desert “:one of your disciples (Me !)thanks you !
November 17, 2014
Glad you are doing well. Was wondering where you went.
I have experienced now what you describe here and find it exciting. But I have a concern: it all seems to make sense and work when all the conditions are perfect. But what about when you do need to hit down more on a ball (high grass) or you’re on a downhill lie, uphill lie, side hill lie. It seems like there are times when you will want the arms to direct the club more. No?
Glad you are starting to see my technique working. I already have tips on these shots. You can find them here:
Ball Below Feet: https://ignitiongolf.com/shot-ball-below-feet
Ball Above Feet: https://ignitiongolf.com/ball-above-your-feet
Hit From Light Rough: https://ignitiongolf.com/light-rough
Take a high lofted club. Ball back in stance and chop it out. Objective: Get it back in the fairway.
November 21, 2014
Hi Paul. Mike and I were delighted (and exhausted) with the progress we made at the school.This is a great tip because it emphasizes the thing i struggle with which is to start the turn first! I hope to send you some school prospects for next spring.Pat
November 22, 2014
That school was a lot of fun. Everyone saw great progress with their swings and I think everyone understood what to work on to continue this progress long into the future.
It would be much appreciated if you could spread the word. There are so many golfers out there who need help.
Please keep us posted on both or your progress.
July 18, 2017
That tip that you gave in 2014 on “How I Got Power” by pushing off your back foot – I kept working on that over and over and finally I felt it come together. When I pushed off the back foot, it gave me the proper tilt which also flattens the club. That feeling in the swing is unmistakable and it feels great especially at impact! At 67 years old, I’ll never hit the ball 300 yards, but I am hitting the driver better than ever and hitting a lot more fairways. thanks Paul for your great web site and the great lessons.
P.S. How about a playing lesson on how to hit the driver off the deck? That’s a risky shot!
Glad you are doing well and glad you tried my trigger. It was game changing for me. So much better feeling when you are hitting it longer (needs to be straight too). Your goal should be 250. Watch:
How To Hit It 250 or Longer: https://ignitiongolf.com/how-to-hit-it-250/
I will keep the driver off the deck tip in mind. I have no problem with this shot. Easy.
August 18, 2017
The problem for me is not hitting hard With the arms but hitting it With my upper and lower body all together. The feeling for me is to keep the upper body coiled and tight With the back facing the target for as long as possible while I push the left hip to the left. Seems to give me a lot more separation and whip 🙂
If you feel this is helping then do it for a while. Just be aware of what will happen if you do it too much.
How To Stop Flipping Through Impact: https://ignitiongolf.com/stop-flipping/
Thanks for getting back to me. Ok I will be aware of this. Right now it seems to work as a swing thought. As soon as I push my left hip to the left my upper follows so it is only in the transition that I am holding my upper back.
September 15, 2018
Paul…I am highly focused on learning how to initiate my hip rotation. I have watched closely many of your videos, focusing on watching just you hips. I have started to notice that sometimes it seems when you are fully coiled, you do a little extra move with the left hip to the right to trigger the start of your hip rotation to the right. I am aware that your stated trigger on the downswing is the right leg and instep pushing with your big toe toward the left leg, but this seems to be a “pre trigger trigger” initiated by the left hip. Almost like extra coiling. Am I seeing things?
September 16, 2018
Not sure. Never thought of it. I would have to see the swing you are talking about. A little while ago I did notice I was actually moving in 2 directions at once as I hit the ball. I’d never done this before and not sure how it started happening as I didn’t try to do it. I really never think of this as my thought is the right instep. I wouldn’t worry about it or try it. Find your trigger and apply this on all of your shots until you are good at it.
Sorry, meant to say it seems like you are doing a small move to the right with your hips as a pre trigger to get the hips more coiled and ready to spring to the left. Sorry for the confusion.
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