As I’ve grown older, I’ve become less focused on how my swing looks holistically and more focused on how it looks around impact—what Bobby Clampett called “the moment of truth.” Specifically, I’ve homed in on the concept of face stability—that is, the ability to deliver the clubface with the intended alignment at impact. I’ve been blessed/cursed in the fact that I’ve always had elite clubhead speed. Even today, at 40 years old, I average around 117 mph with the driver. At that speed, however, even a slight misalignment of the clubhead at impact can send my ball deep into the trees or even out of bounds. I’m convinced that learning to have more control of my club at the bottom of the swing is one of the keys for me to break through from being a middling state amateur to competing in national events.
For the past nine months, I’ve made significant improvements in my clubface stability using the Tour Striker PlaneMate
. But like many swing aids, I have found success using it in a slightly different way than its makers intended. Let me explain.
The PlaneMate’s Primary Purpose
The PlaneMate is marketed as a tool to help you shallow the club on the downswing. Shallowing helps golfers keep the face stable through impact—to be honest, I’m not quite sure how, but it seems to be a generally accepted principle among swing instructors.
Here is a video from Andrew Rice explaining the concept further:
Why I’m the Perfect Pupil
I’ve always been quite steep on the downswing, so the PlaneMate seemed well-suited to help me improve my clubface stability. A former college teammate of mine recommended it to me last summer. I sat on the fence for a few weeks as it is not cheap (it sells online for just under $200). But I was hooked after I saw a video of Rory McIlroy practicing with it last winter.
.@McIlroyRory grinding with the plane mate @davidwoodspga ? pic.twitter.com/11uJl0GBDO
— The McIlroy Legion (@RoryLegion_GC) October 7, 2019
My ultimate goal when I bought the device was to learn how to “exit right”—the left-handed equivalent of leaving impact with low hands that rotate to the right around my body. Traditionally, I “throw” my clubs down the target line, which leads to a very “flippy” release.
If ever a device would help a golfer get the feel of shallowing out, the PlaneMate would be it. It consists of what is essentially a weight-lifting belt with a rail glued on to it. You attach your club to the rail using a stretchy cord (think resistance band or bungee cord).
Title: Tour Striker PlaneMate Review: The Quest for Clubface Control
Sourced From: practical-golf.com/tour-striker-planemate-review/
Published Date: Fri, 09 Oct 2020 17:30:08 +0000
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