Swing plane tips video
Your ideal swing plane will depend on your physique. Taller players will naturally have a slightly more upright plane, while shorter people will have a flatter plane – this is normal. That’s why I like the idea of setting up the workstation you can see here.
There are two alignment sticks on the ground, one for body alignment and one for clubface alignment.
The third stick is to help you with your swing plane. Importantly, this should point from the golf ball to your sternum at address.
The angle of this stick will be different depending on your physical characteristics and, as I’m about to show, it will really help you understand how the club should work during the swing.
There are two checkpoints you need to pay attention to. The first is during the takeaway. The top picture below represents a neutral plane and clubface position at the end of the takeaway phase.
It’s amazing how often mistakes happen in the first few feet of the swing, causing a chain reaction of moves that result in poor shots.
The shaft of the club should be perfectly in line with the shaft on the ground, and the clubface should be pointing 90 degrees right.
Make sure that a) the shaft in your hands is not at an angle and b) that your hands are in line with the shaft on the ground. Getting the swing off to a good start is essential, so don’t underestimate the importance of this position.
Once you’re happy that you have grooved your takeaway correctly, check your halfway-back position.
Having set your wrists and initiated your shoulder turn, the shaft of your club should be in line with the alignment stick that’s fixed into the ground.
From here, you can just continue your upper body turn until you reach the top of the backswing. Many amateurs will either be above or below the ideal swing plane.
To get back to the ball you’ll either have to come over the top on the way down (hitting slices and pulls) or you’ll attack the ball from too far on the inside (hitting pushes and hooks). Use this check to groove a better position for more consistency.
Of course, if you’re doing most of your winter practice at the driving range, you probably won’t be able to stick an alignment aid in the ground.
If so, use your bag, as I’m doing here. Although this isn’t as precise, it works nicely as a visual aid to help you with your swing plane.
Place your bag in a position where it acts as a handy guide – if your club hits it, then your swing is off plane. This is a great way to hit shots while keeping swing plane at the forefront of your mind.
Finally, it’s almost impossible to swing the club on the right line if your posture is poor. This is one of those golfing fundamentals that everyone needs to get right.
Make sure that you set a good posture before you begin work on your plane, otherwise your time and effort will be wasted.