- An upright plane is more vertical, making the most of the driver’s loft.
- Upright swingers tend to swing only slightly inside-to-out, or straight down the target line, producing left-to-right (fade) spin.
- A fade has more backspin than a draw does, keeping the ball in the air longer and stopping soon after landing.
- It’s more horizontal, which creates a shallow attack angle and lower ball flight.
- Flat swingers typically hit the ball with a pronounced inside-to-out swing path, imparting right-to-left (draw) spin.
- A draw flies and lands with a small degree of overspin, which gets it onto the ground and rolling more quickly than a fade.
The short answer to the headline question is pretty obvious: Any swing plane that delivers a square clubface to the ball at impact. That covers a wide range of planes, from extremely upright to pancake flat.
To accurately answer the question, it’s better to start with this one: What kind of trajectory, shape and carry/roll distance do you want to achieve?
Now we’re getting somewhere.
Let’s say you want to hit your drives high, with a slight fade and maximum carry distance; roll is a secondary factor. (This would be effective on a hilly course with soft fairways.) You’ll need an upright swing plane to generate the launch characteristics you’re looking for. Why?
Conversely, maybe your home course is best attacked with low, running draws off the tee. A flatter swing plane will serve you well, because:
OK, but what if you prefer a low fade or high draw? Or you don’t favor any particular shot type, but want the ability to change trajectory and shape based on any hole’s demands. That’s high-level stuff – few amateurs are skilled enough to play a variety of shots on command, especially with the driver.
Your best bet is to swing on a plane that’s comfortable and delivers the standard shot (e.g. high fade) you desire, then use this shot as often as possible. When you absolutely must play a different shot (e.g. low draw), simply alter your ball position and stance accordingly. Watch and read these tips to learn how: