The Correct Golf Swing Plane

The Correct Golf Swing Plane

As you’re no doubt aware, the swing plane is so important in terms of distance, direction and consistency. And if you get the swing plane correct, you will have way more chance of hitting good shots consistently, so in this article the correct golf swing plane it will hopefully shed some light on the matter for you.

Alright then, let’s make a start…

What Is The Swing Plane?

When you start looking at the swing plane you can get confused – FAST!

It’s an area where the more scientific/engineer types seem to have a field day. And if you’re not that way inclined you can read and watch some stuff on the swing plane that will just give you a headache!

In this article, I’m going to try to keep this nice and simple so we can all be on the same page for the rest of this swing plane series.

Now, the swing plane first became popular thanks to Ben Hogan and his image of a pane of glass.

The Correct Golf Swing Plane - Ben Hogan and Pane of GlassWhen Ben Hogan was talking about the swing plane in terms of the pane of glass, he wanted the left arm, hands, club etc. to stay below that pane of glass on the backswing and downswing.

But when Ben Hogan’s famous five lessons book was published in 1957, they didn’t have the technology like we do today to dissect the golf swing to the ninth degree. And so the concepts of the swing plane have evolved a lot from the simple illustration that Ben Hogan gave us.

So what is the golf swing plane?

Well, the golf swing plane is an imaginary flat service that is used to determine what path certain parts of the body and club are travelling on throughout the golf swing.

This may sound stupid, but it has to be said…. the golf club cannot move itself. A lot of times when people look at the swing plane they only look at the shaft. But the shaft is only moving as a result of the body movements. So you need to look very carefully at the plane your body is moving on when looking at swing plane.

There are three swing planes in the golf swing, and they are:

1. The backswing plane
2. The downswing plane, and
3. The follow-through plane

It’s important to note that I said above “certain parts of the body and club”, because when you swing your shoulders move on a plane. Your elbows move on a plane. Your hands move on a plane, your club moves on a plane etc, etc.

The Correct Golf Swing Plane - Golfer swing the golf clubThat’s why if you see someone analysing a golf swing, they’ll draw a lot of lines to try to analyse what plane different parts of the body and club are moving on.

When you swing you’re obviously swinging in a circular pattern. And because you’re bent over when swinging your swing plane is tilted. How much it is tilted depends on the player’s height, how they stand to the ball, the club being used etc. etc. There’s a number of different variables.

So everyone will not have the same swing plane because of this. And so there’s no one exact swing plane for everyone. When I say that, I’m talking about absolute degrees of swing plane. But there are good reference points every golfer can use, and I’m going to discuss these in this swing plane educational series.

When you hear about swing plane you often hear people saying that “so and so” has a flat swing plane or this golfer has a steep swing plane.

When people say that, what are they referring too?

Most of the time they are referring to the shaft angle. And a good checkpoint is halfway into the backswing. A famous golf pro who is said to have a flat swing plane is Zach Johnson. Here is a picture of Zach at the half-way point in his golf swing.

The Correct Golf Swing Plane - Zach JohnsonZach uses a one plane swing to hit the golf ball. So anyone that is a fan of the one plane golf swing will not say that Zach’s swing is flat. They’ll say it’s on plane. That’s where golf instructors get into arguments. But for now, notice that at the half way point in his backswing the club shaft is pointing outside the ball.

Now compare that to probably the most extreme case of a two plane swing, and that is Jim Furyk. Look where the shaft is pointing at the half way point in his backswing.

If you compare those two swing planes, is there any wonder amateur golfers are confused about the swing plane?! I imagine you’re the same as me, in that you would swap your playing record with either of those two players given the choice! 🙂

So the swing plane is a combination of the movement (arc) of the shoulders, arms, hands and club predominantly. And this is measured and analysed with straight lines… so it’s 2d. I have seen 3d swing plane software and analysis, but for this swing plane series, I’m not even going there! The Correct Golf Swing Plane - Jim Furyk

I hope that’s a simple explanation and everyone is on the same page. This article was put together on the back of an on line course that you can take yourself, to see more about the swing plane and read up about the programme that might be able to benefit your game CLICK HERE to read more.

As always if you have any comments or feedback regarding this article the correct golf swing plane please do not hesitate to leave a comment below, I will be glad to respond to any responses received.


Michael Baker
Bogeys to Birdies

4 Responses

  1. Bogeys to Birdies says:

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for your comments on the article the correct golf swing plane, I would recommend the best way to start is to buy a second hand set of golf clubs to get into the game and if you like it then invest in some better golf club that suit your golf game and swing speed.

    Thanks once again for your comments and look forward to any more questions you may have in the future.


    Michael Baker

    Bogeys to Birdies

  2. Bogeys to Birdies says:

    Hi Robert, thanks for the comments regarding the the correct golf swing plane, I am so glad you enjoyed the article and look forward to other feed back you may have in the future.


    Michael Baker

    Bogeys to Birdies

  3. Robert Junk says:

    Another great article. I have no idea how to check the plane of my swing without someone recording it and with a golf coach to tell me what i am doing wrong. I know it’s extremely important but it seems to me it is something someone can fix on their own. Great article and i will follow your advice to start the process to fix the plane. I know my current swing plane is messing up my game.

  4. Chris says:

    Hi Michael, always good to read a comprehensive, entertaining golf guide. I live in Germany and unfortunately we don’t have as many golf courses as you guys have in the UK, and golfing is also quite expensive. However, I started learning golf a few years ago but never made it quite through. Your article reminds and motivates me that I should continue my journey some time in the near future. What is your suggestion: What’s the most efficient, fun and cost efficient way to learn?

    All the best to you, your business and your handicap 🙂



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