I am an average golfer trying to break 80 on a consistent basis. I have looked at what its going to take and the research tells me that in order to break 80 I am going to need to hit the ball farther off the tee and improve my iron accuracy. The flat swing helps me with both. By a “flat” swing I am talking about a swing that is lower and the left arm is more horizontal than the “upright” swing plane of most pro golfers. This flat swing plane can be seen in old school golfers like Ben Hogan and Sam Snead and current pros such as Matt Kucher.
Flat Swing Plane
Upright Swing Plane
The flat swing has some major advantages for the average golfer. Most of the time the average golfer struggles with distance, consistency and finding a repeatable swing but that is where the flat swing plane shines. Below are 5 reasons why I have chosen to be a flat plane golfer.
Advantages of a Flat Swing Plane
According to the great pro Johnny Miller, the flat swing gives the shorter golfer (me) more power. You are able to really fire the hips and turn into the swing. The flatter swing gives the clubhead farther to go to reach the ball which equals more speed and power. In addition, the ball also has less spin which helps it roll farther. This can be a big advantage when using a driver. I know I have struggled gaining distance off the tee and having less spin should help. PGA pro Jon Rahm uses his short and flat backswing to hit the ball a long way. Below you can see a 438 yard drive from Rahm.
Also by having a flat swing path you are more likely to avoid coming over the top on the downswing. When a golfer comes over the top, they lose speed on their swing and thus lose distance. If you are looking to increase distance like I am, I think the flatter swing gives you just that.
Simple and Easy To Repeat
The flat backswing is simple to repeat. Since it requires golfers to try to keep the club on the same plane it is more consistent. You don’t have to adjust the path on the downswing as you do with an upright swing. On an upright swing you need to shallow the club and get it just right or the shot will be off target. With the flat swing, the club is already shallow and on plane, no need to shallow it anymore. Top instructor Jim Hardy teaches this one plane swing in his golf schools and has had great success. Below you can see how Matt Kuchar stays on plane with swing.
Hit A Draw
One of the major advantages of the flat swing plane is that it is easier to draw the ball from right to left. Because you are attacking the ball from a shallow inside plane it will be more difficult to “come over the top” and slice it. This is a great benefit to the average golfer who tends to have that outside-in swing path. The flat plane has helped me go from an outside-in swing path to a nice slight inside path and given me the draw I have been looking for.
Many of the great ball strikers have had flat swing planes. Many of the great ball strikers from Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones, Sam Snead from early years to Zach Johnson and Matt Kuchar today, are amazingly accurate. Since you are staying on the same line with both your backswing and downswing it is very easy to repeat. The shorter backswing combined with the repeatable parts make the flat swing the way to go for accurate shots.
Better For Health
One of the first things older golfers (like myself) complain about is back pain. Swinging a club is not a normal activity for your back. The flat swing is better as you get older. Ben Hogan changed his swing later in his career to more of flat level plane. The upright swing of many golfers puts lots of pressure on the lower back as the golfer must get the “reverse C” position. This position on the backswing can be bad for the back. The flat swing plane solves this problem allowing you more of normal turning motion.
The flat swing plane may not be the preferred swing of many top instructors but I believe it is going to help me reach that ever elusive 79. Find some of the swing plane drills that I am using HERE.
Try these SWING TRAINING AIDS to develop a flat swing plane:
Are you ready to track your progress, then download my FREE Practice Stats Sheets now!
REQUEST YOUR FREE PRACTICE STAT SHEETS
Fill out the form below and get FREE Driving, Iron and Putting Stats Sheets for your practice sessions.