Top 5 Tips on Flat Swing Plane

    The most frustrating habit to correct in golf, but actually one of the easier to make adjustments to. I can speak directly on this subject, because I have battled the “over the top” motion my entire career, and it is due to a fault in my swing plane. With that said, I finally gave in to this motion and it is now part of my game, and will not be going anywhere any time soon. This is the case with many things in golf, just come to peace with the motion and embrace it into your game. During this section, I will cover a few of the common mistakes regarding swing plane, and how you can correct them, and ultimately flatten your swing plane in the process. I know there are a million sites and articles out there that claim to be the cure all, but I will give you tips based on what I have been taught in my golfing career… that have actually worked for me as well. If you can devote the time and the focus to the following tips and drills, you will see an improvement in your golf game.

    The swing plane can be frustrating to correct, but there are some actually very quick and simple fixes that can help you overcome a faulty swing plane. The most common mistake with swing plane comes with the inside-out motion that results in a push or even a slice. With that said, the inside-out motion is actually caused by a negative swing plane (the takeaway is outside, while the downswing is inside). This can be corrected quickly by simply placing a towel under your strong arm (lefties under your left arm, and righties under the right arm). During this drill I want you to keep all of your focus on the towel, ensuring that it does not fall out from under your arm. The purpose of this is to keep your arm on your body for as long as possible, which ensures that you are not raising your arm away from the body, resulting in the dreaded slice. When the arm stays connected with the body, you keep your club on an inside plane, and ultimately allowing the ball to start down the intended target line.

    The flip side of this mistake, is the over the top hook that everyone has battled at some point in their career. I fought the same issue for years, but I have found a simple mistake that can be applied instantly. Simply set up for your normal shot, but before hitting focus on your hand placement. Raise your hands until you feel almost uncomfortable, and leave them there. Now take your swing, and enjoy. The easiest way to prevent the over the top motion, is to check your hand placement. When your hands stay too low throughout your swing, the result is moving them too quickly, and closing them down at impact… ultimately leaving you with a strong hook. Although this quick fix is not for everyone, I urge every golfer to try it. After just a few swings, you will see the ball starting down the line of target, and the hooking will slowly disappear. Please note, this quick fix will not correct the swing plane, but it will simply help you battle against the issue. In my opinion, don’t look too far into your swing plane. If you have good tempo and your timing right on time then you will be just fine.

    As I do with the majority of my tips and tricks, I will leave you with a challenge: Devote an entire week to focusing on this aspect of your game. Each day that you go to the range during a typical week, I want an entire bucket of balls designated specifically to this. After one week, I want you to hit the course and take note of your ball striking, particularly where the ball is starting after contact. If the drill has improved your swing, then you will see the ball starting right down the intended target line… and generally staying within a 15 foot radius of the target. Use the drill for every single club in your bag, until you are 100% comfortable with every club. It is vital that you are gaining confidence with this new motion, because at first, it does feel very different… which is the case with any adjustment in the game is. As time goes on, you will see your miss hits landing in a smaller and smaller area, and the ball continuously starting down the target line. If you are still seeing some issues with your swing plane, and you just can’t seem to get it to the ideal “flat plane” most golfers search for, then stop by your local sporting goods store and pick up one of the new swing aids that you can attach to your golf club – that shows swing plane. This will provide you with some solid feedback, and help you make the final tweaks necessary to reaching the ideal plane point, whether it be flat, or whatever else you decide to go with.