Swing Plane – Upright or Flat?

By | on November 20, 2012 | 20 Comments |


Sorry, this content is for members only.

Click here to get access.


Already a member? Login below

Remember me (for 2 weeks)

Forgot Password


Author Description

Avatar photo

Paul Wilson is the creator of Swing Machine Golf and founder of Ignition Golf. Paul's golf swing technique is based on the Iron Byron swing machine. YouTube Channels: Paul Wilson Golf and Ignition Golf Tips. Please Join me on Google+

20 Responses to “Swing Plane – Upright or Flat?”

  1. November 21, 2012



    My typical shot with your method is a fairly straight shot with a cut. My divots with irons appear to be a little too much outside/in and the ball is struck with the toe if the club. I have been trying to stand up taller and closer to the ball and that has helped me hit the ball more in the center of the club, but that causes me to swing more upright which creates a cut.
    My question is; would you recommend that I try to tilt my body on the downswing as you indicated in this video or is it more likely a problems with my arms/wrists not being soft enough?

    • November 21, 2012

      Paul Wilson

      Jim, if you are toeing it you are raising up through impact. This would be an indication of trying to hit it too hard. So keep the arms powerless and work on this position:

      Spine Angle Follow Through: https://ignitiongolf.com/follow-through-eyes-tilted

      Another reason would be hitting the ball off of your heels so make sure you check your weight distribution through impact.

      The over the top is due to hitting with arms which is not keeping you behind it. So tilting back would be advisable while keeping the wrists loose. Your body should be staying behind it when you use your legs but you may have to help it a little by staying back manually.

  2. November 21, 2012



  3. November 21, 2012


    Hi Paul,
    Would you say Iron Byron has an upright or flat plane? Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
    Thanks, Mike

    • November 21, 2012

      Paul Wilson


      Iron Byron only does a downswing. As is does this downswing the club is at 90 degrees to the axis (driveshaft) so it is a on a single plane. In all good downswings the club is flattening towards 90 degrees to the axis in the downswing. This is how/why both single and 2 plane golfers can copy the machine. To get this you need to start the axis (body) first and let the arms (mass) go along for the ride. If this occurs mass will move at 90 degrees to the axis 100% of the time.

  4. November 21, 2012


    Paul, you have shrunk! Somehow the new youtube format is only allowing me to see videos at about 50% of the size that I could get before you started using You Tube. Can you let me know how to enlarge the screen??

    • November 22, 2012

      Paul Wilson

      John, Just click on the gray button in the bottom right of the video player. Then hit the ESC key on your keyboard to exit.

  5. November 22, 2012


    hey paul in re; to your advice,,i checked my backswing and actually,i am slightly below the shoulder line,although if i force myself 2 coil more,i can actually reach,but not overreach the shoulder line,so i guess,what you see is what i am going to get.thanks anyway!!!

    • November 22, 2012

      Paul Wilson


      I think below the shoulder line is a little too flat. You need to lift the arms up a little. Just watch today’s tip. It explains how to do it.

  6. June 13, 2013


    Hi Paul-

    Thank you for the wonderful instruction and tips. Been watching your teachings for a while now. I’m working on a steeper back swing- trying to get more upright. I’m mastering the powerless arms as well, but am suffering from a flying right elbow. Any tips on how to fix this? I know hogan said he got most of his power from keeping the elbow’s close together at set up. I’m trying to find a good drill for this and it feels natural to me, which might take time to fix. Thanks!!

  7. Hi Paul, Does the tallness affect the plane? I’m a 5foot6 and feels more comfortable on a flatter swing! When i try the more upright plane i feel like I’m off plane shoulder wise and less coil in the back-swing motion. I do hit nice shot with the upright swing like with the flatter but I’m zero constant and feel wrong most of the time!

    • August 20, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      Standing taller may or may not affect your plane. I have seen plenty of tall golfers with too flat of a plane and the opposite as well. I do not like the club to be too flat. I like the lead arm to be slightly above the shoulder line at the top (2 plane swing). Why? There are many reasons for this:

      1. I have tried the flat backswing and lost distance as well as hit blocks and duck hooks.

      2. I have yet to see a world long driver with a flat backswing.

      3. The majority of the best golfers of all time had a more upright backswing.

      4. You don’t hit the ball going back. You hit it coming down. The plane will flatten coming down by turning your body first and keeping the arms powerless.

      5. The best swing of all time (Tiger Woods 2001-2003) was upright.

      If you are shorter you should be trying to get a more upright plane so you get more power. Now, don’t go crazy with it being too upright. It is slightly above the shoulder line. If you are reaching way up you may be too upright.

      I get the sense you are reaching up too high and you are doing so by picking your arms up. This is separating the arms from your body coil. The idea is to coil going back. This means you are still connected under the lead armpit to 3/4 back. From here you lift the arms up a little allowing the lead arm o ride up the pec muscle and right arm to untuck (drop a grapefruit from your right armpit). This is a strong, coiled up position. From here you are not pulling the club down in any way. You are turning your body and the arms follow. As they do, they flatten allowing the club to swing slightly from the inside.

      So check to see if you are lifting up too high. If so, focus on coiling and allow the right elbow to untuck a little. Don’t get crazy with a backswing that is too upright.

  8. February 18, 2014


    Hi Paul,
    I found out with this tip that may top of backswing was way to low. Indeed it was lower than your lower one in this tip. I was doing this to keep the connection on the left arm. More interestingly, now that my swing plane is more upright, my consistency is increased and it seems my fat shots (my biggest flaw) are desappearing. I should say that I have been working for several weeks now on your fat shot tips. Seems the swing plane was the culprit. Is it possible?

    • February 18, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      Definitely. I remember doing that flat plane many years ago. I hit the ball nowhere and everywhere. Once I got the plane back up I hit the ball well again. Just try to get the lead arm slightly above the shoulder line. If you do you will be fine.

  9. Hi Paul
    You talk in this clip about rolling ones wrist’s do you roll yours or just let it happen on its own?
    Personally i am now letting it happen on its own having discovered that very loose wrist feeling.
    I also being 6/5 and very long arms have a flatter plane i find its much better for someone of my height as it stops me swaying off the ball during my back swing.
    Is there any other tips you have for a taller golfer id love to hear them?
    Love the clips.

    • Ps my hands are just above my left shoulder line (leftie) is this to flat?

      • David,

        I would like them this high or higher. Again, taller golfers like to do flat swing yet I see no long drivers doing a flat swing.

        If you want to get the club up a little higher just do practice swings with a mirror off your nose. As you swing back look for the whole club with all clubs above your head. This is not literally above your head from this view. This is visual. The whole drive shaft will be just above your head. Because the other clubs are shorter they will appear higher up. I think I show it in this tip:

        Swing Plane

    • David,

      Glad you like the tips. Thank you for the support.

      My wrists are rolling because they are loose. I typically have people manually roll them until they get rid of all slice spin. This means I get them hooking it. Once they can do this we turn the arms back off and focus on powering the swing with the lower body. If you can just let go to get them release then do so. If you want to manually roll them then follow the drills below:

      I don’t have any specific tips for taller golfers because I teach everyone the same. I used to teach Mike Dobbyn 2007 Remax long drive champion. He was 6’8″290lbs. Here is his swing:

      How to Release the Golf Club: https://ignitiongolf.com/impact-wrist-release

      Manually Square the Clubface: https://ignitiongolf.com/impact-squaring-clubface

      DRILL: Release and Rehinge: https://ignitiongolf.com/drill-feel-release-rehinge

      Drill – Smooth Wrist Release: https://ignitiongolf.com/smooth-wrist-release/

      Manually Square the Clubface (Follow Up): https://ignitiongolf.com/impact-squaring-face-follow-up

      Release Progression: https://ignitiongolf.com/release-progression/


      Faldo was 6’4″ and looked great too. Just remember to use your height to your advantage. So many taller golfers want to bend over to get to the ball. Stay tall. If you do you will get my swing.

You must be logged in to post a comment.