Get your Downswing on Plane
Doug Hammer

Scottsdale, AZ (Sports Network) -- Golf is full of many unique golf swings. Simply go down to the nearest driving range and you will see what I mean. I will bet you the mortgage on your house you won?t be able to find two identical golf swings! But you will find similar results from those unique looking swings. You will see shots sailing high in the air toward a target, you will hear the familiar sound of a well struck golf shot from more than just one person. Why do all of these unique, and sometimes ugly, looking swings produce acceptable golf shots?

I think most teaching professionals and tour professionals will agree that it is most important to consistent ball striking, to get your downswing on plane before impact, regardless of the plane at the top of the backswing. What this means is if you have the club too much below the plane (laid off) at the top, or too much above the plane (steep), you can still hit a quality golf shot if you can manage to get the club on plane by the time the club gets to hip high on the down swing.

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods has perhaps the best form when it comes to driving the ball on the PGA Tour.
At the halfway point of the downswing (hip high), the club should be on plane with a square clubface. When the club is at the halfway point, the trailing elbow (right elbow for right-handed golfers) should be tucked in front of the body with the club head lagging behind the elbow and hands. The butt end of the golf club should point at the golf ball or target line with the toe of the club pointing skyward. The legs should be driving toward the target thus moving your weight to the forward foot.

No matter what position the club is in at the top of the backswing, you can reach the proper alignment on the downswing with the proper sequence. The downswing should start from the ground. The legs begin the downswing by driving toward the target, which will shift your weight off the back foot to the front foot. While this is happening, the hands and arms pull the butt end of the club forward and toward the golf ball. Get the trailing elbow tucked into the front right side of your abdomen as soon as possible on the downswing.

Practice this move in front of a mirror as often as possible so you can get a visual of the proper feel. It is very important while working in front of a mirror to see the club head lagging behind the hands and trailing elbow at the halfway point of the downswing. Most golfers tend to cast the club from the top and lose tremendous power. The proper downswing will create the delayed hit, giving you effortless power and making your regular foursome very jealous, and keep them reaching for their wallets!

PGA professional, Doug Hammer, is the Director of Instruction for Talking Stick Golf Club in Scottsdale, AZ. Doug has been with Troon Golf since 1998, teaching full time since 2001. Doug has studied under some of the game's greatest teachers in Tim Mahoney, Hank Haney, and Mike and Sandy LaBauve. Since 2001, Doug has taught in 10 U.S. states and a short stint in Japan. With this experience, he brings a very patient and consistent approach to the lesson tee, and feels that he can help all levels of players reach their goals.

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