Introduction to the Shape and Source of Power
By Michael Hebron, PGA Master Professional, CI
When people take up golf, most assume they will soon be playing a
reasonable game. This is not the case for many golfers who step into the
game without a plan. A good golfer can predict his/her swing more
accurately than a poor golfer. Good golfers know where the ball should go
and what must be done to produce that result. The steps taken by business
people who succeed in their industry are similar to the steps taken by better
golfers. Education and training are the initial step of preparing for a skill,
learning to base our approach on correct ideas and information. Skills
begin their formation through appropriate skill building drills. Practice is
applying and repeating the action.
While there really is no "one way" to swing or play this game we all love,
there are a few basic fundamental elements in any sound swing that are
NON-NEGOTIABLE. When a player has an appropriate understanding of
what caused the results of his/her shot (good or bad), that player is on their
way to becoming a better golfer. Both good and bad shots have the exact
same moment of truth-IMPACT. It's during impact that a golf ball is told what
to do by the clubface angle and clubhead path. The ball blindly follows
exactly the information it receives at impact and then travels in a particular
direction for a particular distance.
It helps to know there are only TWO ELEMENTS TO LEARN about a golf
swing-- that is right, only two! From putts to drives the ball’s flight has two
• The elements of DIRECTION
• The elements of DISTANCE
Every time a good golfer swings he/she tries to influence the direction and
distance of the ball with a repeatable golf swing that is on plane and has an
efficient source of power. When you build your golf swing you only need the
principal of shape and the source of power. The pincipal of shape is
defined by the angle of the golf club (its lie angle) and the principal of
power is applied when the golf club goes through impact with the handle
forward of the clubhead (leaning shaft), the exact way the golf club has
been designed in the factory. The principal of shape comes from the
factory, the principal of power comes from the factory.
The lie angle is the angle of the shaft to the ground. When the shaft stays
parallel to the original lie angle it's said to be ON PLANE. When the club is
on its plane, the results of impact conditions are more repeatable than
when it is not on its plane.
The loft angle is the angle of the shaft to the club head's leading edge --
grip forward of the club head. To get maximum energy transfer into the ball,
the golf swing must transport the original loft angle through impact by
keeping the clubhead behind the hands.
When we lay the golf club down it lays down on an angle it was
manufactured on. Hopefully the golf club returns to the angle it starts on.
This angle looks like the roof of a house and you want to develop a golf
swing that keeps the golf club parallel to that angle throughout. One of the
reasons for that is your golf swing will have fewer moving parts. With the
help of the manufacturer's design of the golf club, the club at address is
pointing at the target line at the bottom of the plane. As we start the golf
swing, we swing it along that plane until it is parallel to the line of flight.
As we keep swinging, it goes up the plane and it continues until it is parallel
to that plane. We are not manipulating or compensating by being on plane
and the motion becomes more consistent.
The most common reason people go off plane are from raising up their
spine or straighten the right leg during the back swing, or from if they
suddenly stand up during the downswing.
Just as you need to know a phone number in order to dial it, you must know
what sound impact alignments look like and feel like in order to play good
golf. By improving the shape of your swing you can better influence the
direction of the flight of your ball. By improving the your source of power
you will improve the distance your ball travels.
Our golf school's goal is to assist our students in developing a swing that
moves the club on plane through impact, with the clubhead behind the
hands. We work with a small swing before a big swing because 80% of the
full swing can be learned from the small swing.
Michael is a renown international golf instructor and recipient of many the
golf industries highest awards. Michael Hebron's School for Learning Golf is
located at Smithtown Landing Country Club, Smithtown, NY and winters in
FL. Please contact us at 800-444-0565.