Golf Swing Plane Explained

Do you want to strike the ball solidly but end up chipping it instead? You can easily fix this by understanding the concepts behind the proper golf swing plane.

The ultimate goal is that your swing plane guides you toward making a square clubface on impact.

It is not hard to learn the proper golf swing.

Even a two year old can do it.

You don’t believe me?

Here, watch the video on the right and see how a two year old boy executes a golf swing correctly and confidently.

Swing Plane vs Club Path

Many golfers have a wrong notion that swing plane and club path are the same. Swing plane is the angle that extends from the target line to the route that a club takes during a golfer’s swing.

Imagine dipping your entire club in red paint, then make a full swing. The red marks that the club made during the swing form the swing plane.

On the other hand, club path is the direction that the club head takes at impact. With the target line as the reference, the club path is described either as “in-to-out” or “out-to-in”.

You can look at the images below to see the difference of the two.

Golf Swing Plane Explained
Golf Club Path

The angle of your swing plane varies depending on what type of golf club you are using. If you are using a wedge, then the angle is more vertical compared to when you are using a driver.

Your ideal swing plane depends on how tall, flexible, and strong you are, your body built, posture, and rotation, and your club’s lie angle. The angle ranges from upright to flat.

a. Flat
Imagine laying a hula hoop flat on the ground with one edge tangent or touching the target line. Then stand inside the hoop. This is how a flat swing plane looks like. If you hit a flat swing, then you are more inclined in using a one-plane swing.

b. Upright
Imagine holding a hula hoop with both hands extended forward in front of you. You will the big “O” at an angle that is perpendicular to the ground. This is how an upright swing plane looks like. If you hit a vertical swing, then you are more inclined in using a two-plane swing.

The angles of the imaginary hula hoops that I mentioned above are the extremes. You do not swing a golf club in a fully vertical or horizontal plane. The plane is always tilted at an angle towards the golfer.

One Plane vs Two Plane Golf Swing

1. One Plane Golf Swing Fundamentals

One plane swing is also known as single plane swing. Many body parts are moving during a swing. Your left arm (for right-handed golfers) and shoulder should move in unison and follow the same plane that your golf club has. The key component in a single plane swing is the rotation of your body and how strong it is.

This entails that you are flexible with strong rotator cuffs, abdominal, and latissimus muscles. Having such strong muscles will help you unwind with ease to drive more power on your downswing.

One Plane Golf Swing

2. Two Plane Golf Swing Fundamentals

Two plane golf swing is also known as dual plane swing. In a two plane swing, the shoulder has a different plane than that of the left arm. The arm is usually higher than the shoulder during the backswing.

Two Plane Golf Swing

One Plane vs Two Plane Golf Swing: Which is Better?

It is not critical whether you use one plane or two plane swing. Do not force yourself into a specific type of plane because this will result in an unnatural rigid swing.

If you are a two plane swinger, then the important thing to remember is to get back to the first plane on your downswing. You can do this by focusing on your body rotation as the main driving force behind hitting the ball instead of your hands or arms.

Hinge your wrists properly to create motion. If you do not hinge it correctly and at the right time, then your swing will be off plane

You should pay attention to how your hips sway and how your shoulder tilts and bends during your swing.

Aside from mastering how your body should turn, you should also set and maintain your spine angle throughout your golf swing. A good posture will help you be on the right track.

How to Find Your Swing Plane

Your ideal plane is the one that best complements how your body is built. By simply focusing on the length of your arms, you can know the ideal plane that you should use.

It seems that Ben Hogan advocates one ideal plane for all golfers. There is a flaw in that kind of thinking because each individual is physically unique. And when it comes to swinging a club, you should note that your swing will be influenced by how long your forearm and upper arm are.



Ideal Swing Plane

Forearm is Shorter than the Upper Arm

SWING PLANE: The angle of your plane is the same as the angle of the shaft during address
CLASSIFICATION: One plane golf swing


Ideal Swing Plane

Forearm is as Long as the Upper Arm

SWING PLANE: The angle of your plane is determined by connecting the target line to your elbow (right elbow if you are a right handed golfer) during address
CLASSIFICATION: Two plane golf swing


Ideal Swing Plane

Forearm is Longer than the Upper Arm

SWING PLANE: The angle of your plane is determined by connecting the target line to your shoulder (right shoulder if you are a right handed golfer) during address
CLASSIFICATION: Two plane golf swing

Proper Golf Swing Plane Video

When executing your swing, imagine that you are drawing a circle with the club head as the tip of your pen. The starting point of the circle is where the club head is at the top of your swing and ends with the follow through.

Let me show you how to swing your driver at the correct swing plane in order to hit the ball more consistently.

STEP 1: Position the shaft of your driver at a 45 degree angle relative to the ground during address.

STEP 2: Swing your club to the right until your left arm is across your chest and the shaft is parallel to the ground, more specifically, the target line.

The target line is the line connecting the golf ball and the hole or your desired spot.

STEP 3: Swing your club back until you reach the top of your back swing. Turn your shoulder as you bring the club over your head.

STEP 4: Swing down your club using the same route that it took on the back swing until it makes contact with the ball.

STEP 5: Finish with a follow through by swinging your club over your shoulder.

Best Golf Training Aid For Swing Plane

Instead of guessing which part of your swing that are doing wrong, it us easier and will speed up the process of your improvement if you use a training aid.

There are many training aids available in the market. But the tool that I recommend above all else to improve your swing is an SKLZ Gold Flex. You can read the pros and cons of using SKLZ Gold Flex here. Try this first. If you feel that your swing does not improve, although it usually does, then you can switch to other training aids.

How to Build a Swing Plane Trainer

Golf Swing Plane Drills


Golf Swing Plane Explained

Key Takeaway

  • One plane swing is characterized by a flat or horizontal swing.
  • Two plane swing is characterized by an upright or vertical swing.
  • Both types of swing (one plane and two plane) are acceptable.
  • Find out your ideal swing plane based on your body type, more particularly, by the length of your arms.
  • Do the drills to improve your golf swing.
  • Use training aids to speed up the process of learning how to swing correctly.