There are many ways to describe the plane of the golf swing, but the simplest may be this: A swing that’s “on plane” follows the same angle as the club’s shaft when its sole rests flat on the ground.

There are just as many ways to check and practice your swing plane. Some involve multiple props, like long rods that must be stuck in the ground at proper angles. As luck would have it, most golf stand bags lean at the same angle as a 6-iron of standard lie. (To check yours, simply place the club so that its sole lies flat and position it next to your bag in the standing position. If the 6-iron doesn’t match, see if another club does.)

On the driving range

  • Place the bag behind you so the bottom is lined up with the ball (target line).

  • With the appropriate club, make your backswing – the shaft’s path should match the angle of the bag.

  • Repeat the drill with the bag on your left side to check the plane of your through-swing. 

If you hit the bag at any point, your swing is too flat (horizontal). If the club points at a more upward angle than the bag, you are too upright (vertical).