What Is The 4:30 Path?
If you have followed my videos or posts online you will have heard me talk about -what I call- the 4:30 path. There is a distinct logic why the great golfers tended to pass through this point on their downswing to setup the final approach to impact. Let's explain this in more detail.
The view the golfer has when looking down on the ball is really a disjointed view that is hard to perceive. Intellectually it's simple but to put into practical usage the view from above and inside the ball- looking down and outward towards the ball at an angle- is a much tougher proposition for most golfers.
The most obvious barrier is that golfers have been told to hit down on the ball. From this perspective- of where we are in relation to the ball- hitting down on the ball would seem just that... try and bang the clubhead downwards directly at the ball. Those who have failed in their attempts for consistency of getting straight flying shots or good strikes on the ball by doing this become puzzled as to why this concept of hitting down- or the way they are doing it- doesn't yield the desired result. These golfers are failing - or their instructors are failing- in comprehending that a golf club and a golf swing actually work in a 3D environment. Yes there is an up and a down in the club movement, but there is also an around. That is the 3D perspective they cannot imagine- either by misinterpretation or by the sheer incongruous view of hitting down on an object when you aren't directly above it with your eyes and body.
In an effort to begin working the clubhead downwards at the ball, the golfer then starts to bring the shaft out and away from them, in what we would consider to be a steep swing path. In simple terms they begin to move the clubhead out towards the target line- or if you look at the diagram- they move the clubhead out towards the 3:00 line too soon in the swing. You can't really fault them for doing so- for this is what they have been told- hit down on the ball. However they are missing the aspect of the around portion of a swing that would occur in any 3 dimensional model.
As we discuss more about the golf swing on this site you will hear me talk a lot of pressures and forces. Many of these are opposite forces. Like a negative and a positive. When combined the minus and positive cancel one another and become a zero. That is really the essence of making a golf swing look and perform well. The understanding and the awareness to often have components of the body go in one direction and the shaft and club go in another direction. We will really delve into this in swing plane discussion and how opposite forces pin the club to where we want. A much better ideal than trying or forcing the club to be where we want void of pressure or opposition.
The 4:30 entry path- shown above by Gary Player, Ben Hogan, Gay Brewer & Lee Trevino is really the first step I take in committing a golfer into understanding how impact truly works. This is the essence of my Drill One that all golfers start with in their quest for better.
Once we understand, work and utilize the 4:30 path our impact credibility sky rockets. We learn to move the clubhead around and down onto the ball. We learn to use the proper loft of the club at impact. We learn to let the left arm and shaft align later and more squarely onto the ball at strike point. We begin to control the low point of the swing better so we hit the ground in the right spot and help eliminate mishits. We learn from that where our ball position should really be & we can learn to aim better based on how the swing is functioning at that time. The 4:30 also gives the body the green light to keep moving through and beyond impact so we can keep moving with the release and don't hit directly at the ball and stop.
These are all great things that begin to occur and things our body and brain can immediately associate with. The greatest first hurdle the golfer begins to overcome however is this......We learn to hit down on the ball!!!