Low point is simply the lowest point the club head reaches in the golf swing. It is a crucial position in order to have quality impact. If you were to trace the trajectory of the clubhead throughout the swing, you would see an elliptical circle that arcs around the body. The lowest of the swing arc is the Low Point.
The above picture illustrates the swing circle that the clubhead arcs around. The Blue Circle shows the typical arc of the PGA Professional who's Low Point is 4 inches ahead of where the ball is at impact. The lowest point of their swing arc is on the target side of the ball.
The Black Circle represents most of the typical handicapped golfers, who's Low Point is inches before the ball, away from the target. This is why most handicap golfers hit so many fat and thin shots...They consistently miss the correct low point of their swing arc! They simply cannot contact the ground in the right spot.
So, the Low Point can either be before impact, or after impact, with the ideal point 4 inches after the ball. Most amateurs low point is before impact, resulting in either a fat or thin shot. The low point of the best players is after impacting the ball. The ideal Low Point is 4 inches after ball impact on the target side of the ball. This indicates the club is traveling to impact on a slightly negative attack angle. The ability to hit good iron shots happens when the clubhead travels on a slightly downward arc and strikes through the ball, with the divot coming after impact.
In the pictures above you see the club entering the impact zone on a slightly downward (negative) angle. The club strikes the ball at impact...ball first! Immediately after ball impact, the club strikes the ground. The Low Point of the swing comes after ground contact and the ball is gone...4 inches on the target side of ball impact is the ideal Low Point and where most good players reach the lowest position of the swing arc. The divot comes out last after the club reaches it's Low Point.
The great Tiger Woods, on one of his range warmup sessions before playing, was asked what he was working on as he swung back and forth rapidly hitting the turf. "I'm trying to find the ground", he responded.
Finding the ground is the first fundamental of golf according to Stack n Tilt originators, Andy Plummer and Mike Bennett. They write
: "The first fundamental would be the ability to hit the ground in the same place every time. In my work with average golfers, the resounding wish among them is to "be more consistent". What they are referring to is the ability to strike the ball the same way every time. In order to accomplish this task, minimizing the golfer's lateral motion in the backswing is key. The more the golfer shifts away from the target in the backswing, the more distance the golfer must travel in the downswing towards the target."
Plummer and Bennett went on to say: "The second piece that would have a great affect on controlling the low point would be the angle the wrists are set at address, at the top of the backswing and then at impact. Golfers who cast the club in the downswing are making the arc of the swing longer, where the club will strike the ground before the ball."
Low Point and the One Plane Swing -
In Plummer and Bennett's second paragraph above, which advocates controlling the low point of the swing with the angles of the wrists set at address, just exploded in my brain and the light bulb went off! That's just what we do in the One Plane Swing! Stack n Tilt just needs the OPS setup where the un-cocked hands and the wrists are raised into ulnar deviation. This puts club shaft angle on a straight line through the right elbow! The OPS setup!!!!!
In the above picture you can see the arms and wrists have been raised (red arrow) from the traditional 2-plane swing setup (green line). They are now on a straight line with the club shaft, which is setup on a straight line from the clubhead through the shaft, wrists and right arm to the elbow (yellow line).
OPS instructor Kirk Junge and his setup4impact teaching includes a left hip bump slightly to the target at setup. This is rooted in one of the main components of the Stack n Tilt swing method, WEIGHT FORWARD at setup. The primary reason for Stack n Tilt to have the weight forward as one of their 10 word fundamentals (Weight Forward, Shoulder Down, Hands In, Arms Straight, Hips Tucked) is to CONTROL the LOW POINT.
Adding this Stack n Tilt component to my OPS has made me a better ball striker and fits like a glove in my pursuit of quality impact! I've used Weight Forward in my One Plane Swing for two years with great success. As part of my setup, I will bump my hips slight toward the target so that my weight is 55-60% on my left lead hip/knee/foot. This allows me to "find the ground" as Tiger used to say. Having my weight slightly forward at setup allows me to control my Low Point by:
1. Making ball first contact at impact.
2. Striking the ground after the ball.
3. The divot coming on the target side of the ball.
The One Plane Swing is the best method to control Low Point. Try it. It may be the best golf decision you've ever made!
Dr. Chris Nix
**For more information on the One Plane Swing the One Plane Golfer eBook is available for sale on the homepage of this site. It's a beautifully illustrated description of the One Plane Swing and how to apply it to your game.