The swing plane is one of the most studied and analyzed element of the golf swing. It is the most important part of the swing because it attributes to better ball striking and consistency.
When an ideal swing plane is attained on the forward swing, it relatively determines the appropriate swing path. On the other hand, the swing plane and the swing path do not mean the same thing.The swing plane is always possible to shift but not the swing path, for the average golfer.
To make it simpler, a swing plane is the angle where the golf club passes during the backswing and the forward swing. The swing plane is significantly established by the forward tilt, the proper address positions, together with the appropriate movement of the hands, arms and shoulders. When the club passes the specified criteria, it produces straighter and more solid shots. Some shots will not be as accurate due to other factors like club face angle and tempo.
In fact, there is no such thing as a correct or standard swing plane. It is affected by factors such as height, strength, flexibility, age, forward tilt angle, and the swing methodology used.
So, establishing the appropriate swing plane becomes one of golf’s greatest swing mechanics challenges. It will greatly depend on the individuality of the player. Various elements of the swing mechanics that need ultimate consideration are hands movement, proper angle of the arms, shoulders and hips rotation, and again the forward tilt. By efficiently executing these elements and maintaining the forward tilt, the swing plane is easier to achieve.
For example, if a player is positioned down-the-line, a line is drawn from under the heel of the club head to the top of the hip bone. Another line is drawn from the ball to the top of the shoulders. If and when the club passes within these two drawn lines during the back swing and the forward swing, then it is generally within the bounds of a good swing plane. It may seem simple but difficult to achieve.
There are many top amateurs and even professionals who go outside of the swing plane criteria, but yet, hit their shots really well. It must be understood that there are other adjustments that can be made like gripping and aiming the club, body alignment and body movement. The main thing is to keep the club within the plane.
How to check your swing plane:
Take a down-the-line video of your swing with a golf swing analyzer application. The toe-to-toe line of your feet at address position must be at 12:00 o’clock alignment, toward the target or slightly left of it.
Draw a line from under the club head to the top of your hip bone.
Draw another line from the ball to the top of your shoulders.
Check if your back and forward swings pass within the 2 drawn lines, and until the early part of the follow through. If so, your swing is within the recommended swing plane.
Practice your swings within the plane 5 minutes a day for 30 days.
If you are having difficulty achieving this, you may seek a coaching assistance.