Just the other day I had one of my regular clients catch up for a swing check.
He was striking the golf ball out of the toe end of the club face with the result being a loss of distance and ball direction to the right.  Does this sound familiar to you?
This is actually a very common problem that I see.  If you check your golf clubs you may notice some wear out marks on the toe of your club face.
Ideally we want to be striking the ball out of the centre of the club face so that you achieve greater distance – plus it just feels a lot better and makes a nice click sound !
The sad part is that if you miss the centre of the club face by just 1/4 inch you will lose around 15 % of your distance.  In my 25 + years as a coach I’ve never once had anyone complain that they are hitting the ball too far and landing their ball consistently over the back of the green with their approach shots!
Anyway this particular client did not realise that he was reverting back to an old habit that was causing his golf club to be too steep (or upright) on his away swing – it is known as a ‘swing plane’ problem.  This is where my extra pair of eyes came in handy!
Imagine if you were placed in a large and unfamiliar room which was pitch black and your task was to try and find the light switch so you could identify your way out.  This is what many golfers go through to try and work out the problems associated with their game.  They just need someone to help them to find the switch and make it easier to find the way out!
OK Jon, how can I quickly and simply fix this ‘swing plane’ problem?’, I hear you say.

Well, I’m glad you asked – following are some images of me to help demonstrate the problem and the simple solution.

The first two images show me at the top of my away swing and then when the club face meets the ball.  I have included some lines to help you to spot the difference, and rather than the ball, I have used a piece of wood so that it is easier to see.



Images 1a and 1b above demonstrate swinging the golf club ‘on plane’.  Take note of how the end of the shaft is pointing directly at the position we want the clubface to return to – smack centre with the ball.  So, the result of the club swinging ‘on plane’ is for the ball to be struck out of centre of the clubface.  The ‘feeling of greatness’ I often refer to.

Now images 2a and 2b show how not to do it.  Here I am swinging the club ‘above the plane’.  This is a very common problem due to the golfer believing that they should swing the golf club on a straight line.  Take note of how the red line is pointing between my right toe and ball (well, the end of the piece of wood!).  As a consequence the club returns closer to my body than it started, striking the ball out of the toe end of clubface which often sends the ball out to the right of target and feels clunky.

I have one last image to share with you below, which is a great tip for helping you to see for yourself if you are swinging ‘on plane’.



Look closely at image 3 and you will see that what I have done is to insert an extra piece of shaft into the end of my club, so that on my back swing I can check to see if my club is swinging ‘on plane’ by checking if the extra length of shaft is pointing directly at the ball.  You can achieve the same result by holding two clubs end to end – just make sure they are in line when you do it.  Alternatively you could use something like a long broom handle.

Let’s return to the situation with my client.  After I had identified his issue, I got him to use the very technique with the two end to end clubs so he could see for himself that he was actually ‘above the plane’.

Once my client understood the concept and more importantly could see and feel the difference between being ‘on plane’ versus being ‘above the plane’ his ball striking improved dramatically and immediately.  The next half a dozen golf balls he struck finished a good 20 metres ahead of his earlier shots and were all clustered together, leaving my client a very happy golfer !

If you feel like you are stuck and would like to have the light to better golf switched on for you, give me a call or send me an email.

I would be de-‘lighted’ to help you really enjoy your golf!

Stay on the Fairway!


Jon White
Easy Swing
M: 0405 354 276