June 19, 2007

Match this position

Turn the toe up, but not too soon

Yes: This toe-up position is good because I'm on plane and the face is square. No: The toe of the club is up, but I'm off plane because I rotated it up too soon.

Yes: This toe-up position is good because I'm on plane and the face is square. No: The toe of the club is up, but I'm off plane because I rotated it up too soon.

Jack Nicklaus and Ben Hogan had dramatically different backswings—Nicklaus' swing plane was much more vertical—but if you watched them take the club back, you would notice one similarity that is the key to a proper takeaway. At this point in the backswing (large photo), both were in the same position: The toe of the club was pointing almost straight up, and the clubshaft was parallel to the target line. In other words, the club was on plane, and the face was square.

From this point, Nicklaus would swing up and Hogan would swing inside the target line, but they were both careful not to make that move too soon. If you rotate the toe of the club into a skyward position too quickly, you risk getting the club off plane and having to re-route it on the way down to get the clubface square before impact. Mimic this "yes" position, and you'll be in better shape for a solid strike.