by Bobby Eldridge from PurePoint Golf
For the past couple of years the golf world has been bitten by the swing plane bug. I want you to take a few minutes of your time and go on a journey with me. I am going to explain to you what swing plane means and how you can apply it to your golf swing.
I want you picture a Ferris wheel and a merry-go-round sitting side by side at the practice facility. Now I want you to picture yourself standing next to them hitting practice balls. I am going to turn both of them on as you begin to hit balls. Every 10-15 balls or so I want you to turn take a look at the merry-go-round and then go back to hitting more balls. After 10-15 more balls I want you to turn and take a look at the Ferris wheel for a few minutes and then go back to hitting some more balls.
I will state the obvious. The merry-go-round turns level to the ground and since it does not replicate any part of the golf swing, let's remove it from the practice facility. Keep this in mind. The merry-go-round represents more of what a baseball swing looks like. The bat swings level to the ground and does not have any up and down to it.
The Ferris wheel is a different story. The one part of golf that the Ferris wheel represents when it turns is the putting stroke. The putting stoke swings straight back away from the golf ball and straight back to the golf ball and straight through after impact.
Now let's talk about swing plane and how the Ferris wheel will help you understand your golf swing better. The swing plane is the directly related to your shoulders. When you swing a golf club away from the golf ball your shoulders should turn somewhat level to the ground (that is where the merry-go-round comes into play). THAT IS THE ONLY TIME. However your arms have to swing up. Trust me; this is not a simple concept for most people. I believe I know why. You can't see yourself swinging the golf club and number two you are being asked to do one thing with your arms and another thing with your shoulders.
Now I am really going to make things seem difficult. The swing plane is the plane the shaft creates as it swings up in the backswing and down in the downswing. Furthermore there are 13 different swing planes in your golf game. Because your sand wedge is the shortest club in your bag you stand closer to the golf ball than all of the other clubs. Because you stand so close to the ball your swing plane is the most upright swing in your bag.
Finally this is where the Ferris wheel comes into play. Let's move on to the swing plane of a sand wedge. Since the sand wedge is the shortest club in your bag and you have to stand close to the golf ball, your swing is going to be more upright. Not as upright as the standing Ferris wheel, so tilt it over a little.
The one thing you have to keep in mind is the arms swing up with a sand wedge and the shoulders are supposed to turn. However the shoulders tilt more with the shorter clubs than they do with the longer clubs.
The longer the golf club the more you have to tilt the Ferris wheel. As you move through your set of clubs you have to keep in mind the shoulders turn more than tilt and the arms swing around more than up. When you finally get the driver out the sensation is that the arms and shoulders are swinging level to the ground.
The Ferris wheel represents the arms swinging on plane. The shorter the golf club the more the swing looks like a Ferris wheel in the upright position. The longer the golf club the more you have to tilt the Ferris wheel on its side.
The next time you're at the practice facility keep one thing in mind. To keep the golf club on plane the shoulders turn and the arms swing up-that is what the swing plane bug is all about. And if you would like more detailed advice on how to get your swing into a proper plane you should consider the Swing Plane DVD which has all the info you need to improve this crucial part of your game.
About the Author: Bobby Eldridge is the head pro at PurePoint Golf and has given over 70,000 golf lessons (yes, that's seventy thousand!!). With his in depth expert knowledge he has released a number hugely popular Golf Instructional DVDs. His teachings cover everything from improving your drive, your short game, your putting and a lot more. If any part of your game needs some fixing you have to check him out HERE.
NOTE: If you have trouble hitting your clubs correctly there is a good chance that your clubs don't suit you properly.
The reason for not improving your game may well be is due to badly fitted clubs. Think about it: people come in all different shapes and sizes, but most golfers simply buy their clubs off the rack in the golf shop.
Unless you are completely 'standard' and 'average' you should consider custom fitting for your next clubs. This can be done online, and it is free, quick and easy (and doesn't hurt a bit). Visit these two sites for free online club fitting, just follow the instructions given there:
'e-fit System' at GigaGolf
'Club Fitting Wizard' at Pinemeadow Golf