Golf Swing Plane Tips

By Teresa Justine Kelly

Here is the simple fact about staying on plane in your golf swing: Doing so means your shot will travel far and straight. Off plane, and your shot will slice to the right or hook to the left. What does "on plane" mean? Staying on plane means your club has stayed on the correct swing path both in your backswing and your downswing. A steep swing path above plane will result in a swing that comes over the top, causing the ball to slice to the right. If your swing path is below the ideal plane (too flat), this will cause a duck hook to the left or a blocked shot to the right. A few simple tips about keeping your swing on plane will help you deliver a solid, straight shot every time.

The Takeaway

Maintain the triangle you made at address--as you begin your backswing, keep your hands, arms and shoulders moving together in a one-piece takeway. This will help your club stay on the correct swing path, promoting a wide arc and resulting in more distance. Sweep the clubhead of your driver back, keeping it close to the ground for about 10 inches behind your teed-up ball. At the halfway point in your backswing, your club should be parallel to the target line.

The Backswing

At the top of your backswing, your right arm should be in an L-shaped position, with your right elbow pointing toward the ground. The left elbow should remain straight. Your club face should be square at the top so the club is parallel to your left forearm. Make a big shoulder turn. Your left shoulder should sit under your chin, and your back should be facing the target for maximum power as you uncoil and begin your downswing.

The Downswing

If your takeaway and backswing are correct and are on the right path, the downswing should be a continuation and culmination. This is where your power is unleashed. Your clubhead should be square at impact with your hands slightly ahead. Your left shoulder should be higher than your right--a good indication that your posture and plane are correct. Shift your weight from your right side to your left, then finish in balance with 90 percent of your weight on your front foot.

About The Author

Teresa Kelly graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. She was an editor for seven years for several magazines and publishing houses. Kelly is an avid golfer, a well-known children's book and golf author, and is currently the president of Highview Press/Golfing Lady that produces all occasion golf greeting cards.

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