Pro tips for beginner golfers: swing plane and accuracy

PGA trainee professional, Nathan, demonstrating a golf drill for swing plane accuracy.

When it comes to swing plane, the good news is there really is no right or wrong. Watch the pros and you’ll soon see that everybody’s swing plane is different.

Everyone takes their club back a little differently and over time you’ll find what works for you. The only thing that really matters is how your path is through impact.

But if you’re struggling to keep your swing path on plane and your ball is curving in flight, our PGA trainee Professional, Nathan, is here to help.

Are you slicing the ball?

The most common issue that Nathan sees with beginner golfers is the ball curving to the right in the air – this is known as a slice. You can slice the ball accidentally whether you start on the target line or slightly off to the right. A sliced shot is often caused by bringing your club out in front of you on the way down and swinging left, cutting across the ball and putting a spin on it.

How to stop slicing

Here’s a quick and easy drill to stop your swing going wayward and stamp out that slice:

  1. Take a cane, a club or anything straight and lay it on the floor in front of your feet, pointing towards the target.
  2. On your backswing and downswing aim to bring your club so it passes parallel and perfectly in line with the cane. This should be the case when your club is parallel to the ground.

If you’re slicing the ball then you’ll probably notice that on your downswing your club is outside the cane.

Are you hooking the ball?

If your ball is curving left in the air, this is known as a hook shot. Hooking is most commonly caused by a skewed club path through impact, a misaligned club face at impact or a combination of both. For example, the club will be behind your body, with the butt of the club pointing out to the right and this will put spin on the ball curving it from right to left.

How to stop hooking

This drill couldn’t be simpler:

  1. Take a cane and stick it into the ground ahead of you, in line with both your ball and the target.
  2. On your downswing aim to hit so that your ball passes to the left of the stick. This should counteract the curve that you normally see.

Let’s look at the pros

And just to prove we weren’t telling fibs (yes really, everybody’s swing plane is unique to them because everyone’s body has its own unique physicality and limitations), here’s a closer look at Nathan’s favourite unconventional golf swings:

Jim Furyk

Look at how Furyk swings it back – his arms move up vertically, going through his head rather than through his shoulder. Then he loops and drops – it’s unusual but it clearly works. Take note though because on the downswing he’s back on the plane and completely in line at impact.

Jim Furyk Super Slow Motion Golf Swing

Jim Furyk High Speed Golf Swing down the line.

Ho-sung Choi

Choi’s golf swing is unlike any other, it’s eccentric and kind of funny but it’s clearly a winner for the viral sensation. Take a look at the video below – everything is technically correct up to impact and then there’s the dance-like follow through that left the golfing world in disbelief.

Ho-Sung Choi explains his swing

Ho-Sung Choi, professional golfer, explains the techniques on his swing and where it came from at the 2019 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am tournament on Tuesday, February 5, 2019.

Take confidence in the fact that you literally cannot get your swing path wrong, give the drills a go and see where you get. And if you need a helping hand, there’s always the option to book a lesson with one of our knowledgeable pros and make use of our top-notch analysis technology.