When you watch your golf swing on video, you are seeing a two dimensional image, but when you use a Trackman launch monitor, the image is in three D.
So in conventional video, there is something of a missing link - a part that you are simply not seeing. Sometimes a swing can look over the top on the downswing, but is actually not, in relation to the 3D hand path.
It is often said nowadays that video shows you style, and Trackman shows you skill. My guest this week John McSloy, the European Tour long drive guy is approaching the delivery position of his downswing. As he started down his left wrist has slightly arched to allow his club shaft to lay down, to allow it to be just behind his hands as he approaches the impact position. If you have ever been told to pull down as you start your downswing, and you do not arch your wrist into what we call flexion - then the club shaft will be standing up at this point, well on the way to coming over the top - resulting in Pulls, Tops, and Slices! Yet so many golf teachers still insist that their pupils simply pull down, to cure all their downswing woes. At this point John is in a great position to produce a lovely soft draw, the ideal shape for sending a ball well over 400 yards.
Now have a look at the second picture. This time John has completed his swing and a glance at the back of his left hand shows that it is now fully in what we call extension. This position occurs just after impact, as the left hand travels in-around-and up, to the spot where it now rests. Note also how his right shoulder is much nearer to the target, than his left one. This is a classic powerful finish to what is an extremely powerful swing.
John is so flexible that his belt buckle is actually pointing slightly to the left of his target to allow his right ankle to sit in the position that you now see, with his left shoe pointing directly at the target.
What we are looking at here is a very good delivery position, followed by a very good finish position, focus on these and you will hit longer, more consistent shots. I discussed with John the best way to get me to hit the ball over 400 yards and after much deliberation, we reckoned that I would need to hit it twice. Next week: See a shape.