Understanding The Vertical Incline Plane

Tue, 10/13/2015 - 14:00 -- Don Trahan

The Surge Nation truly is global because today I'll be answering a question that was sent in all the way from Switzerland! The question referred to the PPGS Swing Manual and the vertical incline plane that is present when using the Peak Performance Golf Swing.

There was some confusion on information in the manual that states a golfer must cut through the plane if one is to achieve a vertical backswing. So, today I wanted to spend some time and make sure everyone understands the difference between a vertical incline plane and a vertical swing.

Keep it vertical!

The Surge 


Robert Fleck's picture

Submitted by Robert Fleck on

Hi Surge,

Great stuff as always. I do think that people get confused a lot when we talk about a plane from the ball to our shoulders, though. Can you tell me if my thinking about this also makes sense to you?

I like to ignore the club when thinking about the swing plane initially, and instead think about my arms swinging like a ferris wheel around the base of my neck. At address, they're hanging straight down toward my toes, at the top of the backswing they're a little above and in line with the base of my neck, and they swing back down along that same perfectly vertical line. The club, to me, is an afterthought. It does what physics requires of it because of the way we keep our palms perpendicular to the ground at all times and keep our wrists firm. Do those two things and the PPGS just works. :)

Kevin McGarrahan's picture

Submitted by Kevin McGarrahan on


I agree wholeheartedly. I've been keying on the Ferris Wheel ever since I first heard Surge mention it and I've commented on it several times. When I manage to do it, as you said, the PPGS works. The only thing that inhibits doing that is when I let tension get in the way.


Rich Ficken's picture

Submitted by Rich Ficken on

Watching this video reminded me that I have a couple observations/questions about vertical plane and centrifugal force in PPGS. Like Robert, I seem to do the best with my PPGS swing when I concentrate on the Ferris Wheel movement of my arms (especially the check point of having my left arm dead parallel to the toe line at the top of the backswing), versus trying to figure out exactly where the clubhead is. However, the movement of the club is also very important, especially when it is moving through the hitting area under maximum centrifugal force. And, I don't want to lose the benefit of any centrifugal force I am able to create in PPGS. Right now, I don't feel like I am retaining the force through and beyond the strike zone and I am disappointed that my arms and club don't fly freely to the finish/recoil position that is a hallmark of the PPGS.
Thinking about the rock on a string, the way to get the rock spinning is first to swing it one direction (the backswing), and then to apply a moving equal and opposite force to create and keep tension on the string. Think about your hand/wrist - it must move in a tight circle opposite the position of the rock at all times.
Now for a golf swing, if the clubhead is the rock, the arms and shaft are the string, and the body is like the hand/wrist, it would seem that the way to ensure good creation and retention of centrifugal force is to use the body to apply the proper "equal and opposite" forces.
Starting from a nice vertical "light club" position at the top of the PPGS backswing, I believe the first move that initiates the centrifugal action is the "bump" combined with gravity (our friend!) Gravity pulls downs and the "bump" puts us in position to apply force from the left. The question is, what needs to happen next? The arms/club must continue to work down and to the left, and also slightly away from the toe line (the ball is not on our toe line and the force of the swing is going to pull the hands a bit "higher" so that the arms and club become a straight line, like the string with the rock at the end...). To me, this means my body needs to work up, left and back slightly. The good news is that I have plenty of weight in my athletically-ready body to apply those forces. We move LEFT as our weight moves smoothly to the left side starting with the bump, we move "UP" by resisting (from the ground up) the collapse of our head/body towards the ball (the Tiger issue) and instead following Surge's advice to be like a "Pop-Tart" and remembering Surge calls it a forward UPswing, and we move BACK by ever-so-slightly moving our weight from centered over the balls of the feet to the left heel during the FUS.
It's this last piece - the moving BACK - that I' love to hear Surge comment on. Even if it is almost imperceptible, do you agree that the laws of physics demand that movement to counteract the centrifugal force of the arms/club? And, do you have any thoughts on how we Surgites can best gain the feeling of that action, so that we can retain the centrifugal force all the way past the point of impact?
Thank you!