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How to Play Golf in a Single Plane
Or, The Original Swing in Golf - Learn It, Play It and Score With Iit!
By Billy J. Gaines Sr.
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2014 Billy J. Gaines Sr.
All rights reserved.
THE MENTAL GAME GETTING PREPARED
When it comes to biomechanics, (the golf swing) tension is a killer — especially in the game of golf. It's almost impossible to make a good golf swing with tense or flexed muscles. Tension in the body was learned — you were not born tense; it took you years to learn. But just as you learned to be tense, you can learn to relax!
We need to first acknowledge that you probably didn't get tense during the swing, but rather during the setup, where most golfers have difficulty relaxing. This is good news, because it's easier to learn to relax during the setup than during the swing. In most cases, tension in the setup starts with the grip, and carries over into the swing. (You may need to review the section on grip pressure.) That being so, here is a mental exercise or drill that can be done very easily and will teach you how to relax.
Three times a day, put yourself into a relaxed state, anywhere you like, as long as you're not operating equipment or putting you or someone else in danger. Next, close your eyes and totally relax. While in this relaxed state, imagine yourself swinging a golf club five times. Only five times, for if you go past the five you will tend to start building tension. That's the opposite of what we're trying to achieve. Aim to do this three times a day for about three weeks; by that time you should notice that you are starting to relax during your setup, and that your swing will start to be more consistent and, most importantly, smooth.
Focus - Concentration
Being able to focus or concentrate is one of the most important aspects of the game of golf. But what is focus? It is merely the state of mind in which you blank out all that does not pertain to the task you are trying to accomplish, whether it be your job, driving a car, a sports endeavor — anything.
Unfortunately, most golfers do not have this ability, or cannot focus or concentrate long enough to last through the setup and the swing. Some think it is not necessary; other just don't know how. It makes no difference which it is — not having it will simply keep you from playing your best game. Obviously, the top players in the world have learned how to achieve that state of mind. You can too. Here's a way to teach yourself to focus by doing a mind drill.
Start with the relaxation drill. Three times a day put yourself into a relaxed state, anywhere you like as long as you're not operating equipment or putting you or someone else in danger.
Find a spot or some small object that is stationary, fix your eyes on that object, and concentrate on it for just five seconds. Create a state of mind where nothing around you matters except that small object. Do this often enough so that it becomes easy to achieve and maintain that relaxed, focused state. It usually takes on average about two weeks to maintain a relaxed focus for that first five seconds. Then increase to 10, 15, 20 and 25 seconds, each time moving to the longer period only when you can easily maintain focus for the current period.
25 seconds may not sound like much, but the average setup and address in golf only takes about 20 seconds for most people after they have learned the setup and pre-shot routine. The best golfers in the world can focus for up to one minute, which seems an eternity to most of us. If the top golfers seem to be out of touch with anything that's happening around them during their setup and swing, it's because they are! Some ask how the professional golfers can concentrate on their game for up to five hours at a time. The answer — they don't; they concentrate on their setup and swing one minute at a time.
NOTE: All throughout this book I will be referring to the Six Timing Positions of the single plane Golf Swing. This info is in chapter 4, section B. You may need to look at it from time to time.
Focus on execution, not results
One of the biggest flaws a golfer can make is to focus on results instead of concentrating on execution. If a golfer focuses on results and not on execution the results may or may not be accomplished. This is like what has been said as, putting the horse behind the cart. Until the golfer has practiced enough to make execution automatic, the focus should always come after execution. When this happens, the results the golfer is looking for will become more frequent.
To play the Game of Golf
To play the Game of Golf all one must know is, how to move a ball from one place to the other using the least amount of strokes.
This can be accomplished by knowing how to move the golf club from the pre-impact to the full extension as seen below! All the time making sure the club face remains square to the swing plane and using the maximum club head speed the golfer can control. This is all that matters! If this is simple for you, do not read any further, go out and play this Great Game and LOVE IT. If not, please move through this book slowly making sure you understand what you have read before going to the next. The worst thing I think one can do when trying to learn anything is, getting too anxious to know and moving too fast, "Slow down Please".
You cannot manipulate the golf swing
Since we were born we have tried to manipulate everything that we do, now you must realized you cannot manipulate the golf swing, you have to just let it happen. To get a proper golf swing you must think of two words. 1st word is "D R I L L", 2nd word is "S W I N G". They are not spelled the same, they are not pronounced the same and they don't have the same meaning. The DRILLS are not the SWING but only a small part of it, No one has ever learned the DRILLS by making a SWING but you can only learn the SWING by doing the DRILLS. To learn the SWING you must practice each drill slowly, until it becomes second nature then go to the next drill. This is the time to think about it; to make the SWING you must not think of the DRILLS, only the swing. If the swing is not there then go back to the DRILLS. To play the game of golf you cannot think about the golf swing, you must think "TARGET". If you have practiced the drills enough the right way you will have the confidence that the golf swing will be there so that you can focus on the TARGET.
Learn the DRILLS slowly to get to the SWING.
Practice the SWING to get the ball to the TARGET.
Think TARGET to play GOLF!
Drills or Swing
First, let's explore some things one must know before trying to learn a golf swing - little things that if known will make your learning easier and faster. As stated before there are two words to remember; these words are "D R I L L S" and "S W I N G". Do not confuse these two words. You have to do the drills very slowly in the conscious mind to build the memory in your subconscious mind. By performing drills accurately in your conscious mind, you can transfer the learning to the subconscious mind. In other words, do the drills slowly so that you can make the swing fast.
The mind can and will play tricks on you if you don't pay attention. It will give you what you ask for; you have to be able to ask for the right things. What feels good to you may not be the correct things to achieve the moves we are working on. More than likely, if you are trying to change and the change feels well to you, it's usually wrong.
I keep hearing some instructors and players use the term "muscle memory". There is actually no such thing as muscle memory. The only memory you have is found between your ears. The learning process in the brain is very unique. The way the brain learns biomechanics is through the conscious mind, "slowly". The conscious mind will only analyze data in one-second increments, while the subconscious part of the brain can operate in increments of milliseconds.
Let us use this example to explain I'm trying to say. Think about how long it would take you to get on a bicycle and ride away if before you did it you had to think of everything you needed to do to ride that bicycle-every movement, every balance, and every leverage point. You would have to think about everything your body was doing: where your hands and feet and arms were; where and how to move them; how to adjust the bike and stay in balance; then where and how to put your feet on the pedals and how to grab the handlebars. Along with hundreds of other things to think about before you actually did them. All this just to be able to ride that bike. I don't know about you, but it would probably take me over an hour, and then I'd still probably fall.
Let's take this bicycle analogy even further. How did you learn to ride a bicycle? Once you learned to get on a bicycle, someone had to hold you on the bicycle until you learned how to balance yourself. When you learned how to balance yourself, whoever was holding you would give you a slight shove and you were on your way. The next thing they would explain is how to guide or steer the bicycle using the handlebars. Once you got good at that, they would introduce the pedals. They would show you how to move your feet and make the bike go forward. Then they would show you how to move the pedals backward to slow or stop the bike (we're talking about the old-style bike now, the one with coaster brakes). After you learned how to pedal, make the bike go forward, and how to apply the brakes, you must have been thinking, "Boy I'm getting good." And you did well until you got to the end of the street and realized you did not know how to turn around. "Back to the drawing board" now someone has to teach you how to lean into the turn while moving the handlebars. Now you are well on your way. In just a little while after learning how to ride the bike, you were running through mud puddles, jumping ramps, and having a good time.
Just like the bicycle, you have to learn the golf swing one step at a time. You do this through DRILLS. You must learn the drills one by one and completely before moving to the next. The trick is knowing which drill to learn first and in what order to do the rest. In golf, you should learn a good sound setup, and only then learn to swing. After you have learned the swing, then and only then should you learn how to play golf.
To get a proper golf swing you have to practice drills slowly, and think about what you're doing until it becomes second nature. To play the game, you cannot think about the golf swing, you must have practiced the drills enough (and have the confidence) that the golf swing will be there.
As I said before, most people want to play golf before they learn how to swing. They want to learn how to swing before they learn a good setup. This is absolutely the opposite way of learning golf. Playing golf is different than learning how to make a golf swing. And making a golf swing is different than learning a good setup. Do the steps in reverse and your evolution in golf will be much faster and more enjoyable. Everyone would like to hit the ball consistently, but unfortunately only a few will take the time to learn the setup and swing correctly and wonder why they cannot. Please don't let that be you!
Fastest way to reduce your handicap
The fastest way to reduce your handicap is simply played to your handicap. Let me explain, this example is going to be based on a golfer with a 12 handicap. How do you get an official USGA handicap card? The USGA, the official ruling body of golf in the United States issues the golfer their handicap based on how they score on their last 20 rounds of play. For this example the golfer has a USGA handicap of 12. In stroke play is their actual score -12. This gives the golfer their net score. In match play on the 12 lowest handicap holes on a golf course, the golfer gets one stroke. The fastest way to reduce your handicap? Once again, you are playing a mental game with yourself so always play match play in your head. If the number one handicap hole is a par five, then for you with a stroke it is your par six, play to it. If you get a six on that hole with your handicap you have a par. On the other hand, if you get a five on that hole do you have a par? "No you have a birdie"! Ask yourself, "What happens when I shoot birdies?" Your handicap goes down as long as the remaining holes are played to your par. What happens if I shoot a six? Nothing; that is your par. What happens if I shoot a seven? You have a bogey, not a double bogey. So as you can see, if you play to your handicap you can reduce it very rapidly. It's all in your mind, use it!CHAPTER 2
BALL FLIGHT LAWS
To understand ball flight laws, we must first be thinking about the same things. Let me take the time to explain what we will be talking about. I know most golfers already know about these - but some may not – so with that in mind, lets get started. The first thing we need to do is look at the 9 flight paths in the picture below. To fully understand the ball fight laws you must know what the flights are called and then what makes the ball get there.
Study the picture above and it will make it simple to understand the name of each flight path and where it goes. This example is for a right-handed golfer lefties must reverse.
In the picture above, you can see that the target line is the direction where you want the ball to go and the arrow is the direction you are swinging the club (the path). The clubface is the angle the club is at when it impacts the ball. You can see that only one of these positions are correct and only it can produce a straight ball flight. If you will match the clubface above to the ball flight in the picture before, you can see what the clubface and the swing path looks like to produce that ball flight. Now that we know what we are trying to learn, let me go into greater detail.
To hit a ball straight, at impact - the sole or bottom of the club must be flat to the ground (that is, touching the ground from heel to toe and from front to rear), and the face must be square to the target line with the club head moving down that target line and with the right amount of club head speed to send the ball, with backwards spin, to the target. This is very important, because if any one of these angles or positions of the clubface are out of alignment "at moment of impact," the ball will simply go off-line or out of trajectory. Let's diagnose these statements and see just what we're talking about.
Before you panic - let me tell you that the single plane swing and set-up makes these angles and positions for you if you have your clubs fitted to you and your swing is correct.
By placing a pointer or a square on the face of the club, you can see what direction and trajectory the ball will take off the face of the club.
Let's examine 'flat to the ground' more thoroughly.
Flat to the ground
Heel to Toe
If you elevate the toe of the club off the surface, the direction of ball flight indicated by the square or pointer is to the left (a pull shot to the left or draw for a right-handed golfer).
By taking the heel off the ground instead, leaving the toe on the ground, the direction of ball flight indicated by the square or pointer is to the right (a push shot to the right or fade for a right-handed golfer).
Front to Rear
If the shaft of the club is behind the club head (see the left picture), you will notice that the pointer or square will produce a higher ball trajectory, because you have increased the loft. For example, an 8-iron held in this position may produce the same loft as a 9-iron.
In the middle picture, you will notice that the shaft of the club is pointed very slightly forward (toward the target), not straight up. In this position, the hands should be ahead of (or leading) the club head through impact. If you do this, you will ensure the right trajectory and, most importantly, acceleration of the club head through impact. An 8-iron will then produce a proper 8-iron loft.
If you take the shaft of the club and move it more forward of the club head (as in the right picture), you will notice that the pointer or square indicates a lower loft or trajectory. An 8-iron may then produce the loft of a 7-iron.
Now I hope it is clear why it's important to keep the sole flat on the ground (or surface) from heel to toe and front to rear at the moment of impact.
Excerpted from How to Play Golf in a Single Plane by Billy J. Gaines Sr.. Copyright © 2014 Billy J. Gaines Sr.. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1 The Mental Game - Getting Prepared, 1,
Chapter 2 Ball Flight laws, 8,
Chapter 3 The "Impact Zone", 20,
Chapter 4 What is SPIN?, 27,
Chapter 5 Single Plane, 29,
Chapter 6 Single Plane Setup, 35,
Chapter 7 The Single Plane Golf Swing, 71,
Chapter 8 Alignment to the Target, 106,
Chapter 9 You're Optics, 112,
Chapter 10 How to Take your swing from the Driving Range to the Golf Course, 117,
Chapter 11 Junior Golfers, 120,
Chapter 12 Equipment, 123,
Chapter 13 Putting, 133,
Chapter 14 Chipping, 141,
Chapter 15 Pitching, 151,
Chapter 16 Sand Play, 157,
Chapter 17 Golf Tips, 167,
Chapter 18 Drills, 174,