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Swing Plane

There are many planes in the golf swing such as the shaft plane, the shoulder plane and the rear elbow plane. In general when people talk about swing plane they are referring to the shaft plane. The shaft plane is a line that the golf club is sitting on at address. If you drew an imaginary line through the clubshaft and up into the sky you could see the plane that the club should trace throughout the swing. A swing can either be on plane, under plane or above plane throughout the backswing and downswing. Keeping the club on plane is the most efficient use of energy and is ideal for ultimate control and accuracy. The shaft plane is determined by a combination of the design of the golf club and the player's posture.

Swing Plane Drills

Swing Plane Tips

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  • Your Entire Swing Takes Place Inside the Target Line

    Because you are standing to the inside of the golf ball and are turning your shoulders, your swing should take place on the inside of the target line. The only reason it should cross over and get on the outside of the target line would be if you want to intentionally cut or slice the ball. It's important to keep your upper arms snug to your chest to keep your arms working in connection with your pivot.

  • A Steep Plane Leads to Pop Ups

    If your swing plane is too steep, you will have a hard time hitting a ball off of tees because you will tend to pop it up. If this is the case, try making a few practice swings where you actually miss the ball by swinging over the top of it. This will give the feeling of a flatter plane and level angle of attack. Make your driver swing feel a little more like baseball to level it out.

  • Swing Where Your Body is Aimed

    Make sure when trying to fade or slice intentionally that you swing along the line to which your body is aiming. Your body should be aimed where you want the ball to start and your clubface should be aimed where you want the ball to end up. It's easy to get caught in the habit of swinging to your target, but when you are working the ball and trying to spin it it's important to remember to swing to the line where you want the ball to start.

  • Checking Your Swing Plane is Simple

    Mastering your swing plane is simple. At all times in your swing, your club will either be pointed at or parallel to your target line. If you can check that at various points in your swing, you will be sure to stay on plane. At address, your club is pointed to the target line. Then on your first move back it will run parallel to it by time the club reaches parallel to the ground. After you then cock your wrists, your club will be pointed back to the target line and so on.

  • Backswing and Forward Swing are Mirror Images

    The back swing and forward swing (after impact) should be mirror images of each other. Halfway back in the backswing and halfway through in the follow through, the butt end of your club should be pointed back at the target line. If it is pointed outside of the target line your swing is too flat. If it is pointed inside the target line your swing is too steep.

  • Keep Your Club on Plane on Both Sides

    The club should be on plane on both sides of the swing. The swing plane doesn't stop at impact, but rather continues through the follow through and finish. Remember the backswing and follow through should be mirror images of one another. Typically, if you are on a flat plane on the backswing, your downswing and follow through will match and also be flat. This means you have a single plane between your backswing, downswing and follow through. We get into trouble, when the backswing and downswing planes vary greatly.

  • Your Left Elbow Should Point at the Target Line at Half Way

    To help check your swing plane, when you are half way back in your swing, your left elbow (for right handers) should point back at the target line. If your elbow points too much in front of you (outside the target line) your club will lay back on a flat plane. If your elbow points inside the target line the shaft will tip over the swing plane.

  • Look at the Inside Quarter of the Ball

    Try to focus on and hit the inside back quarter of the golf ball. Most good players will tell you to look there as it facilitates and inside/out swing path. An inside/out path will help you to hit either straight shots or draws. Some players look at the ball as a whole and others actually look in front of the ball so that they will hit down and through it. If you are trying to overcome an over the top swing or an outside/in path through the ball however, looking at the back inside quarter of the ball will help.

  • Your Swing Plane Varies a Bit Between Clubs

    Your swing plane will vary a slight bit when you go from shorter to longer clubs. As the club gets longer, the plane will flatten. Allow the design of the club and your slight change in posture to alter your swing plane. Don't try to swing differently, but just let the club length and set up do their job. It's hard enough to master one swing!

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