I was looking at Mark Wilson’s swing on video after his 2nd victory of 2011 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. I noticed something incredible about his impact position. Mark has zero forward shaft lean.
What is forward shaft lean? Forward shaft lean describes a condition at impact when the angle of the shaft leans toward the target. This is most noticeable from a face on perspective.
Why is forward shaft lean important? Since we are hitting down on the ball with irons, the bottom of the arc is after the ball. Forward shaft lean allows a descending arc and ball first contact – very common traits among tour players. Notice the angle of Mark Wilson’s shaft at impact. There’s zero forward shaft lean!
Note: This picture was taken by Jim McLean Golf School Master Instructor, Baird Cumberland.
What does this mean? This is a great example of why you can’t teach the same set of rules to everyone. Although we have tremendous success teaching forward shaft lean to our students at my school, sometimes it doesn’t always apply. Our philosophy is about using a system of parameters based on fundamentals, yet allowing individuals corridors to success. We don’t believe, as some other schools and instructors do, that everyone is going to fit into the same golf swing. That’s the definition of a method. Everyone is built differently, so there are a lot of different ways to make a golf swing and play golf and do it well. Mark Wilson is a perfect example.
I believe that all top coaches in other sports have a system as well. It’s the cornerstone of my golf schools and the number one reason why our students consistently get better.
For the Jim McLean Golf School site, go here.
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