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Improve Your Golf Swing Plane

For Solid Iron Shots

Whats this Golf Swing Plane all about?

Ever wanted to know more about the confusing yet interesting science of golf swing? Are you pondering which golf swing plane best suits your style of playing? Do the concept backswing and downswing appear complicated to you? We have all the answers to your questions that will help you perfect your shots. This article on the golf swing plane guide aims to remove all the confusion on top of your mind in simple terms. The key to a perfect shot is to make solid contact with the golf ball by building the perfect golf swing plane. What is all the hype around the golf swing plane? Let’s dig up some history to understand what this jargon is all about. 

Golf Swing Plane Explained

Cartoon of golfer swinging plane

The best way to describe the Golf Swinging Plane is to try and envisage an imaginary flat surface. This flat surface is used to show the path and angle through which the club passes. The swing plane is what decides how high and far you can hit the golf ball. For instance, a driver swing path should be shallow and finish slightly away from the target line. Master this secret, and you will get your shots like a pro. You have different types of swings such as backswing, downswing, upright, flat, and on plane. 

Initial References to Golf Swing Planes

Hogan’s tips have stood the test of time and are followed by many even today. You have to feel like the clubhead is making a large flat circle around your body while doing the swing. Hogan also asks golfers to imagine it like a pane of glass resting on their shoulders; the trick is to do it in such a way to not break or cross the glass both at backswing and downswing. 

You will have to get the backswing almost in parallel position to the imaginary glass pane as the movement reaches the peak. As you get the swing plane right, you will get to hit good shots consistently. 

The first reference to this technique was in 1957. It was found in 1957 when Golfing Veteran introduced this term in his book “Five Lessons; The Modern Fundamentals of Golf.” 

Main Styles of Golf Swing Plane

The type of Swing Plane adopted depends much on the level of expertise of the Golfer

One Plane Swing

This is a simple act of moving the club back and forth through the ball in backswing and downswing motions. Coaches use this technique to help newcomers with the fundamentals techniques as the rotations are easily repeated.

Pros

  • Allows for higher speed and covers more distance.
  • Better control over the shots for experienced golfers.

Cons

  • Difficult to understand and follow for beginners

How to tell which Swing Plane is ideal for you?

image of golfer pracising his swing plane in cartoon form

It is not only your experience with the game and golf swing geometry that decides the type of swing plane you can adopt. It also depends much on your body frame (height and weight) and the length of the shafts of the golf club. 

A detailed look at how to get One-Plane Swings If you are a Beginner

Step 1 – Let the club rest in your palms and not your fingers

For those who are right-handed, the club’s grip should be firm at the center of your palm. Once the club is in the firm grip of your palm, see to it that you wrap your fingers around the shaft. Make sure the hold is fastened and locked adequately on the golf club. If you are facing issues with grip, you can go in for a thicker variety of golf grips. 

golf tutor teaching

Step 2 – Before you Swing Start the Club

Press your hands forward and move much of your weight to the right foot and then start to take your backswing. This will help you create a repeatable pattern while practicing one-plane swing. 

Step 3 – Create an Imaginary circle that is upright around your Body

Club along the loop of the imaginary circle throughout. Your hands, arms, and the club should never deviate from the circular path be it during the downswing or backswing. If you are a fan of the bunker shots, chips, and pitch shots, this circle technique will work wonders for you. It is worth creating a golf swing path diagram before you attempt to practice it.  

Step 4 – While taking the backswing make sure you continue to hold the flat hand at the top. 

When you are at the peak of your backswing, see to it that your wrist and knuckles should be in a straight line down to your arm. This will help you get to the right path through the downswing and also help in preventing errant shots. 

Image of a golfer showing backswing

Step 5 – Have a fixed point around which your body should rotate

It is not advisable to shift your weight around a lot; instead, you will need to rotate your body around a center point. The success of this method depends heavily on your body rotation. Also, remember to keep your head in a constant position through the downswing and the impact. 

As an amateur golfer, you will find it easier to practice this method of swing plane golf. Once you get good at this, you can slowly move towards the two-plane to explore more possibilities in this game. You can practice the swing plane drills with alignment sticks to achieve your target fast. 

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Two-Plane Golf Swing Guide

Starting from the upright takeaway to the downswing to the right path untill the impact on the ball, you need to be very cautious about all the movement in this technique. 

Step 1

Firstly, you will need to stand upright. This will help you shift the weight required. 

image of a golfer standing upright

Step 2

Keep your hands a bit relaxed and hanging. Remember not to aim for the ball while swinging. 

image of female golfers relaxed arms

Step 3

Move your hips forward to get ready for the downswing. This will get the club moving automatically.

Step 4

 Take the club with your left arm if you are left-handed (right if you are right-handed) for the forward swing. See to it that you contain your excitement after the downswing and not move your arms too fast.

image of golfer finishing taking shot

Even though there are many ways to handle a golf club, most of them fall under one and two plane categories. If you are wondering which is better, the simple answer it depends on the players’ preference. If you desire to take the game in your hands and to the next level, you should be consciously sticking to a single way of playing that goes well with your swinging style. 

FAQ

Its now time to answer some frequently asked questions about improving your Golf Swing Plane. 

GOLF QUESTIONS?

Getting to the correct swing plane requires a lot of practice. This also depends on what type of shots you are aiming for. This  video link will give you a better idea of how to get to the correct swing plane. The correct swing plane for the driver is typically between 40 to 45 degrees. The correct swing plane for irons is that of the two-plane method. 

Place the rear of the club flat on the ground. It should not be raised on the toe or the heel. 

The shaft alignment should be such that it runs from the ground and points to your midriff almost near your belt line. Grip the club comfortably without extending your arms further. 

Start moving the club in slow motion initially and also make sure the shaft angle is the same as how you set it initially. Get comfortable with the swing action without straining your hands by slowly increasing the speed each time. 

The golf swing plane angle is what decides how straight, high, or far the ball can go. If you were to make an upright movement, the golf club would travel on a perpendicular arc to the ground. On the other hand, if the swing plane is flat, then the club would move around your body horizontal to the ground. 

As first-time golfers, it is essential to know how to control the direction of the ball. You will need a lot of practice and patience in getting the three points right. Effective golf swing plane drills carried out under the guidance of a professional golfer will get you to the right golf swing. 

  •  Your position
  • How you place your front foot.
  • Feet alignment and knee position.

You should also know how to get to the perfect grip of the golf club so you can give your best. 

Novice golfers can choose to go with the one plane swing we discussed earlier in the tutorial to get yourself much acquainted with the nuances of the game. 

When you are attempting to steepen golf swing, you should shift the weight to the rear foot while going for the backswing while keeping your upper body and head right on top of the ball. As you start to move the club downwards, you can shift the weight to your front foot. Rotate your body in the fixed position without swaying or lunging towards the target.

You can start it with a downswing movement of your left shoulder. This will make sure that your swing has a more vertical rotation. 

Stand in front of a big mirror with your swing back on the mirror. Pretend like swinging theclub. Keep your arms together when you reach the top swing position 

 In all those righthanders, your left arm should match the shoulder and if you can trace a straight line from hands to the shoulder, then the golfer in you is following the one plane swing. On the other hand, in the two-plane method your left arm will be higher than your shoulder line.  

The key to training your golf swing is to train your core. This will help your ability to resist rotation, which is crucial to get to target the ball. Follow some of the core stability building exercises to help you achieve better golf swings. Practice swing plane drills at home to train and perfect it. 

This will change according to the design of your club. If you have a longer club, then it aligns on a flatter plane. 

 If you happen to have an over the top swing fault, you can change it by feeling the swing is under the plane rather than just merely swinging the club over to change it. It takes a lot of time and effort to make swing changes at times. If you are going well at a particular swing plane, take your time to change or adapt it to another. 

The key to it is to imagine the movement of a golfer in your mind, visualize a pro golfer (it can be a left or right-handed) in action. Study his video clips and pictures in detail to feel and identify the swing planes. Take a club and swing it like a pro with your eyes shut. Do this without a ball. When you get your movements right, hit the imaginary balls. 

You can build your trainer using a PVC. Watch this  video on the DIY golf training aid. This will help you build it using simple things that are available at home. 

Conclusion

Golf may seem to be a very simple game on the top, however, as you delve deep into the various technicalities, you will know that this is not an easy sport. Here I will quickly summarize the key takeaways from this article. The Golf Swing plane is an imaginary path or angle that is used to achieve perfect shots, be it the driver or iron shots. Most golfers adopt swing planes based on one or two plane swings. It depends on the expertise level of the player when it comes to choosing the appropriate plane.

In the traditional two planes, your front arm is straighter, and the shaft of the club will be more in parallel position to the target. One plane swing, on the other hand, the front arm will be on the same plane as the shoulders, you will be required to maintain a fixed spine angle in this approach. The angle of your front arm and angle between the shoulders will be the same.

This approach is more prevalent among novice golfers owing to its simple mechanics and ease of operation. Instructions on how to perform this swing plane are also pretty simple, with a focus on keeping your position stable as you move the club towards the ball. The golden rule to achieve competency in the game is to have patience and practice the swings that suit your style religiously. The more you get to understand the technicalities, the more you master the game. Out of all the critical concepts, the swing planes are the concepts that have been misinterpreted, given the least importance, and yet it required for the all-round development of the golfer. Practicing a consistent golf swing plane that is highly reliable even while playing under pressure is what makes players in this field stand out.

I hope this article was successful in deconstructing the myths around the game. For beginners, I feel this tutorial has helped do away the ambiguities around the swing planes. While it is hard to understand the nuances, I have tried to make the instructions simple and in easy to comprehend language. Let me know your success stories in the sport. I am happy to hear of any improvisations that have worked better for you in the game. 

Warren Belmore

Warren Belmore

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