This is a shorter version of my post here
The final piece in my jigsaw is the movement of the arms, hands and club on the backswing. Before looking at what my three favourite golf books have to say, I'd like to discuss why I've made it my final piece. The reason is that it is a conscious act, at least to a certain point. Just like the grip and posture, it is something that can be controlled before starting the downswing and committing to hit the ball.
Golfers can make arm, hand and club movements which can make it necessary to start the downswing with adjustments to compensate what has gone before. The best known adjustment at the start of the downswing among current top players is Jim Furyk
. Even Ernie Els makes just a little adjustment
to re-align his club at the start of the downswing.
Hogan has two main themes. First is the sequence of movement, "the backswing is, in fact, initiated by the almost simultaneous movement of the hands, arms and shoulders ... on the backswing, the order of movement goes like this: hands, arms, shoulders, hips ... just before your hands reach hip level, the shoulders as they turn, automatically start pulling the hips around. As the hips begin to turn, they pull the left leg in to the right."
Hogan's second theme is the plane which he describes as serving the golfer as a sort of three-dimensional road map. As well as the shoulders rotating on this plane, "the arms and hands (and the club) should also remain on this same angle of inclination as they swing back (use your left arm as a guide) ... If he executes his backswing properly, as his arms are approaching hip level, they should be parallel with the plane and they should remain parallel with the the plane, just below the glass, till they reach the top of the backswing. At the top of his backswing, his left arm should be extended at the exact same angle (to the ball) as the glass ... However, you are heading for disaster if you thrust your arms up above the plane so that they would shatter the pane of glass."
Would Hogan say the same thing today?