The secret of good golf lies in building a swing that is easy to repeat – a swing that can be relied on when needing a straight shot.
Most golfers who struggle to hit the ball well have a swing that changes the line from the backswing to the downswing, which needs great timing to control. The secret to a perfect swing with good technique is one that travels up and down nearly on the same line or plane.
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The Secret to Perfect Swing Plane
The swing plane is the angle the club is swung around the golfer’s body during the swing. The overall plan is dictated by the stature of the golfer – whether they are tall or short will influence either a flat or upright plane.
But once a golfer is standing to the ball, the success of being able to swing the club onto the most effective plane lies in the amount of rotation in the left forearm during the backswing.
Left Arm Rotation Tips for a Perfect Backswing
At the start of the backswing, the shoulders start to turn and sweep the arms onto an inward swing path. However, if the arms continue to sweep inside, the swing will end up impossibly flat.
At some time during the backswing, the arms have to be swung onto a new plane, and the muscle group responsible for finding the new plane is in the left arm.
If the left forearm rotates the correct amount, halfway back the shoulders will continue to turn, but the arms will start to swing onto the right plane for the stature of the golfer.
The secret to a good backswing lies in the rotation of the left arm.
Left Arm Rotation and Swing Plane
Top golfers tend not to think about left arm rotation as, technically, it should it happen naturally when centrifugal force kicks in.
With most golfers, however, excess tension in the stance, or a backswing at the wrong speed, means the left arm either over rotates or becomes stuck and does not move enough.
Although slightly different for tall and short golfers, the left forearm should rotate approximately 45 degrees before the club reaches halfway back.
Drill to Practice the Correct Backswing
- Stand to the ball with a normal stance.
- Without letting the shoulders move rotate the left forearm through 45 degrees.
- If carried out correctly, the body of the golfer will not have moved, but if a bullet was shot out of the shaft of the club, it would hit the golfer at the top of the left thigh.
- If a golfer now turns the body to start the backswing, halfway back, the toe of the clubface should be pointing at the sky, and the arms will be ready to swing to the top on their new plane.
The Perfect Golf Downswing Plane
- Once the club has been swung onto the correct plane, the arms drive up on that line to the top of the backswing while the shoulders complete their turn.
- At the start of the downswing, the golfers simply drive the arms back to the position they were in halfway back.
- If the technique and mechanics of the downswing enable the plane to be maintained, the golf club will automatically release into the perfect impact position.
- Left arm rotation is the secret to building a perfect swing that is easy to repeat and one that can be relied on under pressure.