Plane of swing / Visualize and boost your golf mental game

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Hi, I’m Rick Sessinghaus, PGA coach and coach for Collin Morikawa.

Part of direction is also affected by what we call the path of the club. 

Is it traveling out to in … in to out … that along with the club face is going to make the ball curve, so path is affected by what we’re going to call the plane or shape of swing. Now this will seem a little dramatic, but I have seen golfers who take it and go really aggressively over the top. 

So I’ve placed two alignment sticks here at the same angle as my seven iron right here. I want this to have a visualization of a shape of plane that I want to swing on. So if I can get the club to go pretty much up and down the sticks, my path will improve.

So the first drill is to do it without a ball and see if we can just kind of go up and down without either clipping it on the back swing, hitting it over too much. This way, it gives us a good reference point.

Now we can introduce the ball. Once you feel comfortable with that and your goal again is to visualize the shape and having my club swing along the shape. I’m only going to do a three quarter swing here. 

Imagine I’m going up and down that tilted circle, so that’s step one here in the plane-path relationship. Visualization is a key component of your golf mental game performance.

Now I believe that sometimes we get off plane because our arms start working independently. My favorite drill for this is to take a head cover and I call it a connection drill. I place it underneath my right armpit here and make some golf swings and keep the head cover there. If I get to a point and it drops, most likely my arms are now no longer matching my body turn.

Now this is a little bit of an exaggeration. So don’t think that in a regular swing it wouldn’t drop. But for right now, I want you to imagine that it stays there. It stays connected. Now on the follow through, I use it on the opposite side because I notice a lot of people, again, their arms go away from them and then they have what we call chicken wing and it drops here. So start working on your plane. Stay a little more connected to hit straighter shots.

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