Most of you know that the sacred burial ground is classified as anything behind your toe line. I like to say that, "It's okay to stand in it, but if you swing in it, you're dead!" But, I think I need to elaborate on this "Surgism" just a little bit because some of you may be confused. Don B. sent in a great question based off of his own observations of my swing. It was such a good question that it's forced me to provide you all with a much more detailed explanation of the SBG.
When watching your video on the position of the catcher's mitt, I notice that your clubhead is actually at your heel line not your toe line at the top of the backswing. It seems then that the sacred burial ground is actually the area behind your heel line, not the toe line. I am sure you've seen yourself on video many times. Am I wrong?
Don, you are not wrong in what you're seeing, but I'm going to have to redefine for you what the sacred burial ground is. Also, I'll show you what parts of my body I'm checking that are on the toe line.
Let's first look at what you're saying. When I get to the top of the backswing, the clubhead (in the vertical swing) is somewhere near the heel line. This part of your statement is correct. But, it's not the club that I'm defining the toe line with. You turn your arm to the toe line, but the club is an extension of the arm. We must remember that we're swinging on a vertical, incline plane.
A plane is defined in the PPGS as swinging on a maximum, vertical, incline plane for one's posture. Posture is determined by the various lengths of the body parts (arms, legs, etc.) When we start the swing into the catcher's mitt (slightly inside the aiming line) and we turn to the toe line, the part of the body that we are checking to see if we turned 70 degrees to the toe line is only the upper arm from the elbow to the shoulder. This is because once I'm turning on an incline plane and I get my forward arm to the toe line, there's no more turn. From that point, it's all lift, but I'm lifting on an incline plane. So, the club and my hands are still going a little bit around my body because I'm going up.
If I kept my left arm over the toe line, I wouldn't be able to hit a ball very good from there because my arms would be too far out in front of my body. It's because of the incline plane that the hand, the shaft, and clubhead are all the way to my heel line. So, let's simplify this...
We turn only to the toe line in the backswing. But, the only part of the arm that truly determines this is the elbow to the shoulder. If those start getting inside your toe line, that's the sacred burial ground. This was super observation on Don's part so it's good to define what I mean and explain it in more detail. This also helps me make sure my defintions are correct because I know you guys are checking my swing closely! The part of the arm we're checking is only the elbow to the shoulder of the lead arm.
Keep it vertical!
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