Beginner Golf Swing Instruction – The “PLANE” Truth of the Backswing and Downswing!

Beginner golf swing instruction programs understand the importance of having a consistent swing axis, swing pattern and swing plane in one’s golf game.

Many student golfers, however, have a difficult time learning to successfully repeat the proper plane in both the backswing and downswing phases of their stroke.

Beginner golf swing instruction programs know the students struggle comes from the need for slightly different angles of approach in both the backswing and downswing.

In the book, “How to Master the Irons, An Illustrated Guide to Better Golf” authors Gene Littler and Don Collett expand upon this topic and offer their own professional advice.

They write;

“Only the better players fully understand and appreciate this concept of the swing, yet it is tremendously important in the over-all development of a repeating swing. Precisely speaking, the swing plane encompasses both the backswing and the downswing. However, the angle is slightly different going back and up from when it is coming down and through the ball. The backswing plane is determined by your height, your arms, and the distance you stand from the ball at address. Visualize, if you will, a line running from the ball to the top of your shoulders. The pitch, or angle of this line, is the plane along which the backswing operates.

The plane for the downswing is not as steeply inclined, and it projects slightly outward (inside out) through the ball. To insure that you swing up and down on this swing plane, the body, arms, and hand movement must work in perfect harmony throughout the swing. The movements, particularly the first part of the backswing and the start of the downswing, must function smoothly and correctly so that one part of the swing, for example, the arm movements, does not work separately from the body movements. To stay on the backswing plane, simply swing back in a one-piece action. Getting on the downswing plane is a little more difficult, however. This movement is more difficult to master, which is one of the prime reasons why many golfers suffer the despair of complete frustration when they attempt to move into the downswing correctly. Actually, the golfer changes planes without thinking about it when he initiates the downswing by turning his hips to the left and toward the target. This moves the body to the left and lowers the right shoulder— this latter movement is a potential swing-wrecker if the shoulder is permitted to rush around ahead of the hips. Always remember, the right shoulder works behind and then under your chin, not around and over it.

You can check your swing plane in another way if you have a large mirror. Take a club and swing it to the top of the backswing. If your arms and hands are at a point between your shoulders and head, you are too upright. Conversely, your swing is too flat if your hands and arms are below your shoulder. The desired position is with your hands directly to the right, or behind your right shoulder at the top of the swing, if you are a right-handed player.

The plane helps form what is known as a “grooved swing.” By swinging up and down in this slot position, your swing will take on a consistency that will not only give you confidence but will free you of the mental strain and worry about whether your swing will hold up under pressure. It almost has to, for the movements of the body, arms, and hands are performed almost instinctively during the backswing and downswing.“

Beginner golf swing instruction programs teach their students the importance of having proper swing planes in their golf stroke. “Grooving” the correct plane in both the backswing and downswing phases of the stroke can instantly improve your driving performance.

Try incorporating Littler and Collett’s advice into your swing practice!

Check back for more beginner golf swing instruction articles and posts!

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