What is Swing Plane?

I’ve watched other instructors throw around the term swing plane as though it was a state of nirvana – a mystical and elusive golf swing position that only golf masters can achieve.  But nothing could be further from the truth.

The truth is that by correctly holding a golf club and moving it into the proper direction in the backswing, the result is that the club moves into an efficient and effective position to eventually move into impact.  The result of the proper movement in the backswing is what golf instructors have labeled “Swing Plane”.

Swing plane is a result of good mechanics.  It is a biomechanical position achieved through having the proper body parts in the proper places.  Swing plane is what I consider the foundation of simple because if you are on Swing Plane, you have simplified your ability to achieve impact. The ability to make impact easier, in itself, simplifies the golf swing.

Anyone who has ever attempted to understand the golf swing must, at some point, understand swing plane. On one hand it is unique to each person due to size and club length however, swing plane is produced from great technique making it the same for each person.

Swing plane, however is not necessarily something you ever technically focus on or practice.  It has more to do with proper fundamentals that produce it.  In other words, when you are swinging the club effortlessly and efficiently where you are consistently making great contact with the ball – you are definitely “on plane”.  Being On Plane is where ball strikers separate themselves from golfers.  It is because of this fact alone that I have a profound respect for Ben Hogan.  He knew the importance of the movement of the golf club relative to swing plane.  Mr. Hogan described swing plane often understood it well.

The technical side of achieving Swing Plane starts at address.  If you ask me what separates Moe’s Single Plane Swing from all others, this is where it starts.  The Single Plane Swing starts the club on the impact plane.  By doing this, you make it easier on the body to get back to impact.  When I explain this to new “single planers”, this is when I hear “that makes so much sense”.

I never heard Moe talk specifically about Swing Plane however, there was no doubt that he understood it. Moe understood the importance of the effortless movement of the golf club, but unlike Hogan’s technical descriptions, Moe felt it.

Feeling Swing Plane

All technical swing practice in effect is practicing swing plane.  The goal if great practice is to “feel” what is correct.  It is also to feel what is incorrect.  The best way to do both of these is to get feedback and by using specifically designed drills that move the club correctly.  When you use drills, you feel the proper movement of the club.  This, in effect, is feeling Swing Plane. (Please refer to our Single Plane Solution “Making Feel Real” Drills Video for more information about our Swing Plane Drills).

Swing Plane is club movement.  So anytime you are moving the golf club correctly or working on a drill that helps you achieve impact, you are working on your swing plane.   When using video, on the other hand, you can directly see the effects of your practice efforts.  By drawing lines at the correct positions, you can visually reference the swing plane and check to see whether it matches Moe’s club movement.

Lets look at Moe Norman’s Swing Plane

The Picture shows address where the club line or plane intersects through the mid-spine or middle of the back.  Then, at impact, the club line also dissects the body through mid-spine.  This is the plane of the golf swing.  This plane is directly related to how the club is held, the path of the club in the backswing and obviously the downswing.  Notice how the trail arm is bent at impact yet the club still returns to the impact plane.

What must be recognized here is that swing plane is really a function of how the club is designed.  What this means is that ideally, you must match a golf club to the body to achieve the ideal club-to-body impact position.

As you can see, Swing plane starts at the address position where the club aligns correctly with the body, then as you move the golf club into the backswing, you achieve a backswing that places the club “On Plane” at the top of the backswsing where you can easily return the club back to the plane at impact.

You must remember that Swing Plane is the ideal movement of the club from start to finish but it all starts at the address position and is a result of ideal mechanics.

Important Links : (GGA Drills Video)