Shoulder vs Elbow Swing Plane

Today’s video lesson demonstrates the difference between shoulder, shaft and elbow plane. Any idea what plane I instruct my students to stay on. Here’s a hint…it’s the same plane used by ALL long drivers.

Watch the video below to find out.

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33 Comments

  1. Gwen says:

    Hi CJ
    Lately ( for the last 3 videos)I have been unable to load your videos
    Are you doing something differently? as I had no problems previously
    not on my computer nor on my iPad.
    I love your teaching instructions I would hate not to be able to see them.
    Regards
    Gwen

    • CJ Goecks says:

      Gwen,
      thanks Gwen for the post and I don’t think we are doing anything differently. Sometimes we use videos from different filming sessions but I don’t know why that would be a problem. Keep me posted on if this problem continues.
      Keep em Long and Straight,
      CJ

  2. Bobby Hickey says:

    Hi, CJ,

    I just had surgery on my right arm (I swing from the right side) to repair damage to the ulnar nerve. My surgeon tells me I’m looking at a 3 month recovery. Do you have any recommendations for how to keep practicing so that I’m ready to hit the course running when I’m able to play again in September?

    Thanks, Bobby

    • CJ Goecks says:

      Bobby Hickey,
      Thanks Bobby for the blog post. I would first go to your doctor and listen to him. Ask him if you can putt or chip soft shots. If you can keep up with your touch on these shots the full swing won’t take long to get back, but first listen to your doctor and follow his orders.
      Keep em Long and Straight,
      CJ

  3. Dave Wallrauch says:

    CJ,
    I have been using your PC dvd’s for months with great success, I am 57 and have played from a +1(years ago) to now around a 4(with very bad back issues). One thing I’ve struggled with forever are pitch shots, 20-80 yds. when course conditions are very wet. I tend to hit behind the ball(get too steep)an 1″ or so and the result obviously is horrible. Any suggestions to setup or thought procees when playing that type of shot? In dry conditions I’m fine mostly. Thanks.

  4. Mike says:

    Hi CJ – thanks for all the great info from this site. I have a speed problem when attempting to “drop” the club into the correct position when bumpimg forward on the downswing. I don’t seem to be able to generate enough speed from this position and feel I need to “force” the arms to swing faster resulting in bad contact and ball stiking. The speed radar confirms my problem – when I start to hit harder from the top of the backswaing I get the desired MPH – any suggestions?

    • Jerry says:

      Try straightening your front leg briskly after your hands reach wait high on the downswing. If you do this while holding the lag,” L” angle, your speed will pick up. Also don’t give up the triple stack at impact.

  5. Rob Brickell says:

    Hey CJ,
    Have your DVDs and love the entire concept. Have had back fusion with titanium rods and screws and am retooling my entire swing. Have lost 20-25 yards. I still hit the ball string straight, but cannot regain any distance. I still feel I need to lengthen the backswing (old habits die hard) and clear the hips, but realize I simply can’t. Any specific tips to try to regain some lost distance, specifically with driver and fairway woods. Great DVDs and highly instructive. Great job, CJ!

    • CJ Goecks says:

      Rob Brickell,
      Thanks rob for the question. The key to creating speed is to make sure your L to L drill is perfect. When you create the hinging and unhinging or your wrists with the proper forearm rotation that is where most of the speed comes from. Make sure you work on this drill and you won’t need the body to do much and your back problem won’t ever be a problem again. Let me know if you have any other questions.
      Keep em Long and Straight,
      CJ

      • Rob Brickell says:

        Thanks, CJ. Just received the perfect connection swing training unit. Quick question: how do I determine how wide or narrow to keep the arm cuffs? Great DVD though, very clear and concise! Thanks!

        • CJ Goecks says:

          Rob Brickell,
          Thanks Rob for the question and let me know how the training aid works for you. In regards to the width simply put the training aid in between your biceps and grip a club. the width should feel normal or comfortable to what you would be doing without the training aid. Let me know if this makes sense.
          Keep em Long and Straight,
          CJ

  6. HS Yap says:

    Dear CJ,
    In your comment above, you had mentioned about shifting the weight forward to the toes of the left foot during the transition.
    However, in my case, I actually felt that I shift my weight forward to the back heel of my left foot during the transition. By doing so, I have better ball striking with my irons as I can rotate my hip more.
    I am confused now.
    Please advice if I am doing the correct move during the transition?

    Thanks.

    BR,
    HS Yap

    • CJ Goecks says:

      HS Yap,
      Thanks HS for the question. the weight transfer from your right heel (at the top) to the left toes happens pretty quick and then, yes the weight does go to your left heel. If your weight goes immediately to your left heel from the top then this will create an over the top move. If it is working for you then I am sure your not feeling exactly what goes on and i wouldn’t worry about it, but I can’t tell others to do what your describing. Does that make sense? let me know I am here to help.
      Keep em Long and Straight,
      CJ

  7. Greg Mesko says:

    Hello CJ. I’ve been a virtual student of yours for almost a year now. I’m enjoying great success. I’ve just about completely conquered coming over the top and have eliminated flipping from my swing. It just sounds right when I hit the ball now!

    My question: Does using the shoulder plane require clubs with a steeper lie angle? I’ve been flat to 1 degree up for the past 20 years (flatter swing). The lie board is telling me I need something like 2-3 degrees upright now. Does this sound right?

    • CJ Goecks says:

      Greg Mesko,
      Thanks Greg for the blog post and I am glad you are improving. As far as the club’s lie angle I would let the board tell you what you need. IF it is saying that you need a bit more upright then I would go with that . Great Job and keep me informed.
      Keep em Long and Straight,
      CJ

  8. Steve says:

    Thanks for a great explanation of the proper swing plane!

    • CJ Goecks says:

      Steve,
      Your welcome sir. I hope that helps and if you have any questions please let me know.
      Keep em Long and Straight,
      CJ

  9. Larry Murray says:

    I like the simplicity of the swing plane, but does the swing plane remain constant for all clubs, driver, woods, hybrids, irons?

    • CJ Goecks says:

      larry Murray,
      Thanks Larry for the question. The swing plane changes, but that is because of the length of club. You only need to work on your swing with your 6 iron or so and due to the length of your club it will change naturally and you won’t have to think about it. does this make sense?
      Keep em Long and Straight,
      CJ

  10. WENDY OLIVER says:

    It’s good to hear from you again CJ. I enjoy viewing your video tips and find them very helpful. I have been bombarded by emails from Golf Tailor Team but the advice is often confusing and does not seem to be consistent. In fact tips from different golfers seem to contradict each other. Now that you’re back, I will unsubscribe from Golf tailor team.
    Cheers
    Wendy

  11. ROBERT HILLIER says:

    Have a problem that most evey club except the driver when I hit my shot I lift up and top the ball, My golfer friends say I look like I’m trying to jump out of my shoes.

    Any help?

    • CJ Goecks says:

      robert Hillier,
      Thanks Robert for the question. What your friends are telling you may be correct, but it is the effect. There is a reason (a cause) for this. the club may be coming too much from the inside or outside and your jumping to avoid sticking the club in the ground and hurting yourself. We need to start with the basics of setup then takeaway, then top, then transition. I agree we can get this changed pretty quick, but I need more info…What is the direction of your good shots and bad shots? Slices, pushes, hooks ? Let me know and we will get you fixed.
      Keep em Long and Straight,
      CJ

  12. Sean says:

    Hi CJ thanks for a great series, I have been playing Golf for more than 12 years, I am 38yrs old , and play with a 18 handicapp. That has been stable and constant.CJ, I would like to ask how i can improve my ball strinking , I tend to Draw the ball , on the tee box Driving is Variable directions , mostly left , I do have some great drives , but they are unplanned.What drill can you reccomend off the Tee box to improve consistancy.

    • CJ Goecks says:

      Sean,
      Thanks Sean for the question. You say you have Variable directions? does that mean you push and draw the ball? those misses typically go together. Let me know if this is the case, but if it is then your swing is too much from inside-out. Consistency comes from a club that is “on plane”. Lets keep talking as I really want to help you out.
      Keep em Long and Straight,
      CJ

  13. George Cooper says:

    CJ —in a few short minutes on your instructional video today, you have explained Swing Plane so very well. Most instructors complicate this subject and it becomes far too complicated. Thank you and well done!!!

    • Fritz Sanchez says:

      Mr. Cooper is spot on. This subject is made far too complicated. Nice work, CJ.

      Especially helpful was viewing club position at the end of your 3/4 turn. Connected and ready. One area of trouble I struggle with (using shoulder plane) is going over the top.
      That loss of connection in the downswing needs help still. I’m still far too hurried: instead of letting the club drop and return, I muscle and help it back to the ball. Any thoughts?

      • CJ Goecks says:

        Fritz Sanchez,
        Thanks Fritz for the kind words about explanation. I’m in a golf instruction area in Facebook and I hear these instructors throwing terms out. WE, as instructors, take these educational courses, TPI courses (physical fitness as it relates to golf), biomechanical courses so we can learn more about the body and interpret them for our students to make it easier. I think some instructors use these classes and the new “coined” words to throw them at their student and sound smart. That may work with a lot of people, but especially with my job over the internet instruction that will cause confusion and I will lose more students than keep them. Heck even with me and my time playing I was fortunate to work with a great instructor that would dumb it down and make it easy to play with. If I was thinking about all these technical areas while playing then I had no chance. In regards to your over the top move I am assuming you are correct at the top and the clubface is in good position. If that is correct than it is your body motion we need to work on in the transition. Keep in mind this alone will take a while to fix and there is not a simple magic wand to wave. I would love to see your swing by the way to give you a better analysis, but let me explain how your weight needs to shift in the transition to help you drop the club on the correct plane. ..At the top of your swing make sure your not in a reverse pivot and that your weight is on your back heel. Now as you shift your weight forward to the toes of your left foot your hips stay closed to the target and your arms naturally drop. Re-read that sentence again and make sure you understand that. That is the move that is necessary to stop the over the top move. Let me know if this makes sense. If we keep talking then I know I can help you and very soon we will have the swing analysis program setup so you can send your swing to me. (i’m on a call tomorrow to get this finalized I hope).
        Keep em Long and Straight,
        CJ

        • Fritz Sanchez says:

          Thanks CJ.

          I do feel that rear (right) leg loaded at the take away and even more at the top, but feel the weight in the inside arch vs the heel. Not sure if that is an issue. I like your “pillar” picture, and that is how I view that rear leg.

          From the top, I initiate with front (left) hip and am usually TOO hurried. My hands and club then play catch-up, and it is often ugly.
          (My baseball past, at times, does not translate well.) Excess lateral hip movement, or opening too soon…both are a problem.

          I actually played a better round of 9 the other day, with a slightly sore low back. I really quited things down, and my sequencing improved. Better ball striking with less effort. How about that?

          • CJ Goecks says:

            Fritz Sanchez,
            Thanks Fritz for getting back to me and thank you for the more info. The more info you provide me the better i can do to give you info to help. You stated your a baseball player so that brings up another thing we need to work on. First, lets get your weight loaded into the right heel at the top of your swing. Second, I need to get your right elbow lower and am really concentrating on getting your right forearm for up and down (perpendicular to the ground) as opposed to more matching your spine. I know that may sound confusing, but just imagine or create the feeling that your left elbow is higher then your right elbow at the top and that will do the same thing. Keep me informed on these two changes and let’s keep talking and get you fixed.
            Keep em Long and Straight,
            CJ

        • Geoff says:

          On this point a pro said to me once
          ‘let gravity bring yr arms down” In other words dont force them down. To me thats when we are all trying to hard to unwind to hit the ball further but we end up getting out of sync, timing goes and ball doesn’t go as far as we think it should for our effort. Its hard to do but try -let yr arms fall with gravity. This also assumes you are in a good spot at the top

          Geoff

    • CJ Goecks says:

      George Cooper,
      thanks George for the blog post and the words of encouragement. I really appreciate these posts and do welcome criticism or questions from people as well. My job is to help so if you have a questions or do not understand something then please do not hesitate to ask. Thanks again for taking the time to write in the blog post.
      Keep em Long and Straight,
      CJ

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