The swing plane is the tilt and direction of travel of the club during the swing. Finding the correct plane and swinging along it will greatly improve the accuracy of shots.
One way to help the senior golfer improve their swing plane is to improve the spine angle at address and maintain the angle throughout the swing. Spine angle is created when the golfer tilts over from the hips whilst addressing the ball. The more a golfer tilts towards the ball, the greater the spine angle is created in relation to the ground.
The amount of spine angle created is important because it will affect the swing plane. Taller players will usually tilt over the ball more, increasing the spine angle. This means their swing plane will be steeper. Likewise, shorter players tend to tilt over less, decreasing their spine angle. This means their swing plane will be shallower.
However steep or shallow a senior golfer’s swing plane is, maintaining the spine angle throughout the swing is vital in keeping the swing plane constant. The most common cause of losing spine angle during the swing is standing up at impact. This alters the swing plane through impact leading to inconsistent shots.
How to maintain spine angle during the swing:
1. At address when tilting over the ball, try to make sure the shoulders are beyond the toes. This will move body weight on to the balls of the feet and away from the heels.
2. When swinging back, try to maintain your posture (this may be hard if you have weakness in the lower back or core muscles).
3. When swinging though and turning the hips, feel as though you are turning into the left heel and keeping the backside pushed back. This will help stop the hips moving forward and lifting the spine angle up and away from the ball.
The chair drill: To help get the correct feeling a senior golfer can use the chair drill.
1. When practicing, place an ordinary chair behind you at address, with the seat facing away from you.
2. After completing your posture, your backside should rest on the top edge of the chair back.
3. Practice hitting shots with your backside resting on the top of the chair. This will ensure your backside stays out and your spine angle is maintained throughout the swing.
Think about the angle of your spine to improve your swing plane.