Golfers are constantly being told that their swing is not on plane and that it is either “too flat” or “too steep”. But, not all golfers understand what these terms actually mean or how to go about correcting the issues.
Having a bad swing plane can lead to difficulty making a clean contact with the golf ball and inconsistencies within your game. So, it is imperative for golfers hoping to improve their swing that they know how to work on correcting issues with their plane.
However, this is easier said than done, because being on the correct plane is a difficult motion to simply feel during the swing. Many golfers have also built up years of muscle memory from swinging a certain way that must be overridden in order to make progress. This is where the help of training aids can be so important.
Below are the best five training aids available to help correct your swing plane.
Table of Contents
1. Tour Striker PlaneMate
Quality: 95 | Effectiveness: 95 | Ease of Use: 85 | Value: 80
Overall best swing plane training aid
The Tour Striker PlaneMate is designed to help you feel the shallowing out of the golf club through the transition phase, whilst also improving your takeaway and downswing.
The device works by strapping a resistance band around your waste and then attaching it to your club. The idea being that once you begin your takeaway you feel for the tension created by the band, then relax once the tension builds allowing the club to shallow out, before rotating through the ball for an inside out strike and the proper club head release to the left. This process follows the PlaneMate’s catchphrase of “Resist, Relax and Rotate”.
PlaneMate comes with three interchangeable resistance bands; one for pitching, one of full-swings and one for intense resistance designed for better golfers. This product is beneficial on short pitching swings, to full driving swings and provides instant feedback. It is also reversible for left-handed golfers. Guidance on how to use the product can be found on the Tour Striker website.
2. PlaneSwing Golf Swing Trainer
Quality: 95 | Effectiveness: 85 | Ease of Use: 100 | Value: 75
Best for creating a one-plane swing
The PlaneSwing trainer is the simplest tool available to show golfers the correct one-plane swing. This training aid is a large 360 degree ‘PlaneCHECKER’ hoop with a club shaft connected moving along a metal rail. This device allows golfers to feel the correct swing plane through its entire range of motion and because the club’s shaft is built into the device you cannot veer off the correct plane. Repetition of this motion will allow golfers to build up the new correct muscle memory.
The metal hoop is adjustable for heights ranging from 4”4’ to 6”10, so should be suitable for the vast majority of golfers. The PlaneSwing trainer also comes with a rubber stance alignment mat to ensure you are consistently set up square to the hoop.
3. Swing Align Golf Swing Training Aid
Quality: 90 | Effectiveness: 80 | Ease of Use: 85 | Value: 80
Best training aid for versatility
Swing Align is designed primarily as a visual alignment aid, but is also an excellent tool for checking you are on the correct swing plane. Swing Align works by using two wearable swivelling cuffs connected by a rubber strap with an alignment stick running through them.
Wearing this visual aid on your arms, combined with the use of a mirror or video, provides useful visual reference points during your swing. For example, you can see that if the rod is not horizontal and perpendicular to your target at the top of your backswing, then you have not fully rotated and are not on plane.
Additionally, because of the cuffs being attached onto your bicep area, your arms are forced to maintain their connection throughout the swing. This is one of the keys to helping you stay on the correct plane.
Quality: 80 | Effectiveness: 80 | Ease of Use: 85 | Value: 95
Best value for money
Swingyde is a plastic training aid that attaches to the grip of your golf club. It is designed to set the correct hinge position of your wrist at the top of the backswing through the device's connection with your forearm. The positioning of the Swingyde in relation to other body movements and your club’s shaft will also provide a clear visual aid to show you whether you are closed or open throughout your swing. In order to provide effective and accurate feedback Swingyde must be carefully aligned with the grip.
The main target of Swingyde is to show you how to correctly use your wrists through your golf swing. However, it will also help you stay on the correct swing plane and maintain the correct clubface alignment. In order to maximise the use of Swingyde you will definitely benefit from having a basic understanding of swing fundamentals.
5. Caddie Elite
Quality: 85 | Effectiveness: 85 | Ease of Use: 95 | Value: 80
Best for quick and easy feedback
A small and simple training aid, the Caddie Elite is a laser that fixes into the end of your golf grip. Best used in conjunction with an alignment aid, the Caddie Elite laser produces a visual representation of your swing plane. The laser will clearly show when you are out of line with the target, which highlights where your swing needs to be corrected. The simple visual representation is easy to understand, allowing for simple quick fixes as well as long term swing plane corrections.
You can use the laser to find the ideal swing plane, which will help gauge the feeling of a correct swing plane. With repetition this will help build up your muscle memory. As the device is so portable you can use it anywhere from the driving range to your lounge. The device is a little on the pricey side, but the product is high quality and even comes with a 30-day money back guarantee.
What is the swing plane?
Explained in the simplest terms, the swing plane is an imaginary line following a golfer’s club head around the body as they complete their swing. Also, when most golfers are discussing a swing being “flat” or “steep” they are referring to the angle of the shaft compared against the expected swing plane. The swing plane sounds like an easy concept, but can be incredibly complex when spoken about at the elite level.
There is no singular correct degree of swing plane for all golf swings. The ideal swing plane for a golfer depends on a number of factors such as their height, the club they are hitting, how they stand in their address position and what type of swing they have. However, there are a number of indicators that can be used to identify whether a golf swing is on the ‘correct’ plane. Amongst others, these include the grip of your shaft pointing towards the golf ball on your takeaway and the club head pointing towards your target at the top of your backswing. Indicators such as these should be used alongside training aids and video analysis to improve your swing plane.
Why is the swing plane so important?
A golf swing that stays on the correct plane throughout the full range of motion is going to provide far more consistent golf shots.
Swinging ‘over the top’ of the swing plane will result in a steep impact into the golf ball. The repercussions of this swing type are usually big slices and lots of heavy contacts. This swing fault is by far the most common in amateur golf, but especially so amongst beginners and high handicappers.
A ‘flat’ golf swing, with the angle of the shaft below the correct swing plane, will result in your angle of attack to the golf ball being too shallow. This type of swing will usually result in a big hook as well as lots of tops and thin contacts.
One-Plane vs Two-Plane Swing
Before you go ahead and try to improve your swing plane, it is important to understand which type of swing plane you have.
A one-plane swing is one where you remain on the same angle to the ground for both the backswing and follow through. You will create a noticeable straight line between your shoulders and left arm (for right-handers) at the top of the backswing. Ben Hogan, who began the discussion around swing planes with his book in the 50s, famously has a one-plane swing. The tip in his book of imagining the swing plane as a pane of glass is still referred to during teaching lessons to this day, so many years on. The simplicity of remaining on the same plane throughout the swing makes it more repeatable, therefore making it more consistent and accurate.
A two-plane swing is where you pick the golf club up above the angle of attack on the backswing, then shallow out in the transition phase before arriving back on the correct path towards the end of the downswing. Jack Nicklaus had a two-plane swing, but perhaps the most extreme example to demonstrate the concept would be to look at Jim Furyk’s swing. With more moving parts the two-plane swing is definitely harder to master, but the reward is greater swing speed and therefore more distance.
Both swings have their merits and there is no correct choice. It is simply important to understand the concepts, so that you know what swing technique you are aiming for when practicing.
Overall, the Tour Striker PlaneMate gets my pick as the best swing plane training aid. It provides instant physical feedback allowing you to feel each individual component of a correct two-plane swing. However, if you are after a one-plane swing training aid then I recommend checking out the PlaneSWING trainer. That being said, every one of these top five training aids will have a positive impact on your swing plane when they are used correctly.
Remember, correcting swing plane flaws is never simple. The best training aids in the world cannot magically give you the perfect swing (sad I know) and it will take plenty of practice to get right. Crucially, you now know how important it is to have a good swing plane. So, the next step is to find the right training aid that fits with your goals and budget and get practicing.