It’s a question for the ages: What goes into making the perfect golf swing? If you’re looking for ways to improve your swing, the golf fitness experts at Totally Driven are here to help. We work with Edina-area golfers to help improve their game from swing to posture for more consistent overall performance on the golf course.
One important area that you may not realize affects your swing is golf swing plane. If you’re having trouble making contact when you swing, golf swing plane could be undermining your game. In this post, we’re breaking down this important concept and sharing solutions to help with your golf course performance.
What is a Golf Swing Plane?
The term “swing plane” refers simply to the vertical angle during a swing arc that your golf club head travels. Swing plane is a concept used by professional golf fitness experts to help golfers improve their swing. In other words, this refers to the three-dimensional position of the club head as it travels on the downswing between the ground and the lower half of the swing arc at about knee height. Swing plane is important because it affects the club head’s center of gravity, which, in turn, affects the club head’s impact on the ball.
Here are a few fast facts to know about golf swing plane:
● Swing plane is a measurement of the club’s movement.
● Swing plane is different from lie angle.
● Height and posture can impact a player’s swing plane.
● Higher or shorter lofted clubs typically cause a higher swing plane because the plane is more vertical.
● Drivers have a swing plane between 45 to 50 degrees.
Swing Plane Problems
How do you know if golf swing plane is affecting your game? Chances are that if you’re having trouble with your swings, golf swing plane is a factor. Among amateur golfers who struggle to hit consistent swings, golf swing plane is a common problem. Fortunately, whether your downswing is over-the-top or you have trouble getting distance, these problems can be corrected with practice and training. A professional golf fitness trainer can properly diagnose these issues and help you work on correcting them.
There are three main factors that impact swing plane:
● Elevation: Vertical movement and height are impacted by body position during the swing.
● Flexion: Flexion gives you additional height necessary to correctly execute the backswing.
● Rotation: Rotation gives your swing plane depth by moving the golf club around the body.
One of the more common swing plane problems frequently seen in high handicap golfers is over-the-top downswing. The root of the over-the-top swing fault is upper body overuse on the downswing. This causes the club to be thrown out of the swing plane, resulting in a pull or a slice.
To diagnose this swing fault, golf fitness trainers view the swing from the target line view. If the club passes outside or above the swing plane, the problem is an over-the-top downswing.
Fortunately, over-the-top swing is extremely common and instructors have plenty of drills to help improve this fault. To overcome over-the-top downswing problems, a golf fitness expert will help you focus on developing a stronger lower body contribution to your swing. They’ll typically focus on spine and hip mobility as well as weight shift sequencing.
Here are a few drills that can help improve an over-the-top downswing:
● Correct Rotation Flaws
You may be overcompensating for your over-the-top swing in a way that further sabotages your swing with rotation flaws. Practice holding a golf ball in your non-lead arm hand—in other words, in the arm that’s further from your target. Acting as if you’re swinging a club, bring this hand up and then back down.
As you come through the impact zone, throw the ball underhanded so it leaves you at a right angle. Keep practicing until you no longer throw the ball to the left or straight. This will help you develop the correct arm movement and rotation to correct your rotation problems.
● Club Head Position
Use practice drills to focus on keeping your club head inside the swing plane where it’s meant to be. Place a golf club head cover an inch outside of your ball and practice swinging so you never touch the cover when you come out of your downswing. Move the cover closer as your swing improves.
● Lead Arm Correction
When you swing, check to see if your lead arm is stretching away from your body on the downswing. Instead, your lead arm should remain tight through the downswing. Try taking a few controlled swings while keeping your lead arm tight against your body through both the backswing and downswing. Keep practicing until you start to get a feel for retaining a tight lead arm throughout the swing.
Edina Golf Exercises for Flexibility
Understanding how to get the right golf swing plane is essential to executing a good downswing. If you’re struggling with consistency and execution on the downswing and you’re ready to improve your posture and swing, Totally Driven’s golf fitness experts can help. We can assess the nature of your golf swing faults and help you develop a golf fitness program that corrects your faulty downswing or rotation.
If you’re ready for techniques that give you lower scores and better ball contact, connect with a golf fitness trainer at (952) 681-2728. We can’t wait to help you improve your downswing!