My Golf Instructor
Sign up for the Ask Maria Featured Question of the Day
By clicking Sign Up, you agree to our Terms of Use and our Privacy Policy.

Question on Diagnosing Problems:

I've been working a lot on swing plane. My tendency is to be too steep, especially on the downswing. Given the different theories out there, will I be correct if from a down the line perspective I draw a plane line from the hosel through my right elbow as the plane to be on through half way back, parallel to for the remainder on the backswing and then return to at impact?

Also, looking at some of the longer hitters from Snead to say McIlroy, it appears their right leg is almost straight at impact. It's as if they are creating a significant leverage with that move along with a seriously high left shoulder at impact as well. When I practice that in slow motion I really feel the glutes wanting to fire more than ever before. What say you?
--Tom A. from Kingwood, TX

Hi Tom,

From down the line you want to draw a line from the hosel through the grip end of the club and upwards indefinitely to check "shaft plane". That is "the" swing plane that most analyze and talk about. A line from the ball to the right elbow would be tracking the right elbow plane.

Rory is known for that funny little hitch he has in his right leg. It seems to almost stop and then move forward. I'm somewhat of a fan of holding the right leg back to make sure that the upper body moves through and the energy is properly transferred to the upper body and then the club. When you get too active with your legs through impact and the legs outrace the upper body too much, there isn't a proper transfer of momentum. What I see with a lot of players is that the hips drive and open early in the downswing, then the upper body races through as the hips seem to pause and then the hips follow into the finish.

I would definitely be leery of losing your spine angle and pulling your pelvis underneath you too much. This pelvic push or early extension is a common cause of a lot of issues from topping to blocking.


Other Related Tips on Diagnosing Problems
Who is Maria Palozola?
- Top 50 LPGA Instructors in the World
- A Golf Digest Top 10 Teacher in Illinois
- A Golf Magazine Top Teacher in the Midwest
Who is Maria Palozola?
- Top 50 LPGA Instructors in the World
- A Golf Digest Top 10 Teacher in Illinois
- A Golf Magazine Top Teacher in the Midwest
- More about Maria
- Golf Questions
Golf instruction made simple
Golf Overview
Overall Game
- Getting Started
- Equipment
- Golf Fitness
- Junior Golf
- Mental Game
- Practice
- Rules of Golf
Short Game
- Bunkers
- Chipping
- Pitching
- Putting
Full Swing
- Pre-Swing Fundamentals
- Shot Making
- Diagnosing Problems
- Driving
- Hybrids and Woods
- Irons
Playing Golf
Ball Striking
- Fitness (78)
- Course Management (82)
- Getting Started in Golf (75)
- Practice (66)
Course Management
- Club Selection (66)
- Equipment (107)
- Driving (68)
- Putting (127)
- Golf Rules (69)
Short Game
- Bump and Run (72)
- Chipping (82)
Ball Striking
- Chunking (79)
- Distance Control (86)
- Fat Shots (92)
- Flipping (48)
- Poor Accuracy (118)
- Slicing (48)
- Thin Shots (85)
- Topped Shots (52)
- Lack of Distance (108)
- Putting Accuracy (72)
Swing Plane
- Blocking (50)
- Inside Out (56)
- Outside In (59)
- Over the Top (49)
- Pulling (54)
- Pushing (66)
- Releasing Early (47)
The Swing
- Grip (65)
- Alignment (55)
- Balance (50)
- Ball Position (80)
- Posture (77)
- Setup (117)
Swing Plane
- Backswing (84)
- Controlling Trajectory (47)
- Divot (48)
- Downswing (67)
- Impact (103)
- On Plane (85)
- Path (84)
- Power (71)
- Shaft Plane (63)
- Swing Plane (112)
- Weight Shift (79)