Another important aspect of the one plane swing is keeping the arms passive or connected to the body, allowing the body to control the golf club rather than relying on the arms and hands to do so.
A very simple way to start to correct overactive arms in the swing is to stick a headcover under your arm - the left arm for a right handed golfer - and hold it there as you make some swings.
You're looking for a feeling of connectedness. You don't have to clamp down on it tightly, but if you feel like you have to work hard just to keep it from falling out, this drill is probably exactly what you need.
Start out by putting the headcover under your arm and then just rotate your body back and through. So far so good!
Of course, when you go to make a full golf swing your arm will work a little bit across your chest and a little bit back.
The goal is to keep that connected feeling and hit with your body. You should feel like you're hitting with your chest. If you stop turning you'll lose control of your arms, allowing them to fling out in front of you and drop the headcover.
Start Small and Always Be Turning
Start out by hitting little punch shots to get the correct feeling. Make some very small swings to get used to the sensation of rotating all the way through the shot.
You should feel like you're always turning. It's when you stop turning that your arms and hands will want to release aggressively through the shot and you'll drop the headcover.
As you get more comfortable you can hit more shots, and hit them harder. You can work all the way up to full swings.
Eventually you'll get to the point where you can make a full power golf swing and not drop the headcover from under your arm.
Now, it's not necessarily critical that you keep it clamped in there throughout the entire swing like Vijay Singh.
Especially at first, keeping that headcover in place throughout the shot is a great way to groove the sensation of continuing to rotate through the shot and keeping the arms passive.
As you become more comfortable with what this drill is teaching you and you begin to take longer swings, it's OK if the headcover falls out after impact, once everything is working through.
The goal is to get a feeling for the power you get from rotating and using your big muscles to hit through the ball.
Try It With the Right Arm Too
If you struggle dramatically with the arm swing, you might want to go ahead make some small swings with headcovers under both arms, to practice staying very connected through the shot.
The headcovers provide instant feedback as you practice; you'll know right away if your arms start to come away from your chest.
They do work a little bit back and a little bit through, but they should still always be connected.
If you have a tendency to get the club very high on the backswing, use a headcover under your right arm as a reminder not to lift your arms way above your head, which is a very bad thing in a one plane swing.
A headcover under the right arm as you turn back will keep you connected.
Learn to stay connected, keep your arms passive and keep turning through impact and you will hit very powerful shots with a lot less effort.
Checkpoints for Practice
- The Headcover Drill teaches you to keep your arms connected to your body throughout the swing
- Simply hold a headcover under your left arm (for right handed golfers) and take small swings
- You should always be turning - feel like you're hitting through the ball with your chest
- If you stop turning, the hands will fly out from the body, dropping the headcover
- Work up to full shots, keeping the headcover in place at least until after impact
- Use it under the right arm if you struggle with lifting the arms too high at the top