The best thing about golf is that there are so many different alternatives to swing the club.
However, most great golfers on tour use a flat swing even though an upright swing is more common.
Many golfers strive for a flat swing to achieve their maximum potential on the golf course.
To help you decide whether this swing is the right swing for you, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of the flat golf swing.
What if a flat golf swing?
A flat golf swing refers to a swing plane that is more horizontal than a normal plane.
For right-handed golfers, this means their left arm forms an angle less than 45 degrees with the ground at the top of the backswing.
PGA tour standout Matt Kuchar is an example of a professional golfer with a flat swing.
Pros of a Flat Golf Swing
A flat swing offers a number of benefits.
If you are seeking something that is repeatable, consistent and produces more distance, then a flat swing is a great idea.
Here are some of the things you could gain if you flatten your golf swing.
- The flat swing is more natural
When you set up to hit a golf ball, you should consider what plane you are naturally on.
The more you use your natural tendencies in your swing, the easier the game will become.
A flat golf swing is a comfortable and natural plane to work on.
- You don’t need to reroute your swing
Professionals like Jim Furyk won’t have a problem rerouting their swing because they have perfected how to hit a golf ball on the right path and plane.
But rerouting a golf swing can be very challenging for beginner golfers. They may lack athletic ability in timing and hitting the shots they need to hit.
Rerouting a swing is possible, but it isn’t easy.
To avoid making things more difficult for yourself, rather stick with a flat golf swing as it does not require rerouting.
- Easy to stay on the plane
A flat golf swing is simple and does not require any rerouting, which also makes it easier to stay on the plane.
Staying on a plane helps you hit golf shots that are straight, high launching, and long-distance. This is something most golfers want but fail to do so consistently.
To stay on a plane consistently, you need to make sure you swing flatter and make the plane more accessible.
- Easy to engage your whole body
The more upright your golf swing is, the more it incorporates your hands and arms. This is because you require your hands and arms to get the club into the right position.
If you are short and not too strong, you will notice that your swing lacks speed and power. But by having a flatter swing plane, you will be able to produce more power, working your entire body throughout your rotation.
It is so much easier to use your whole body with a flatter swing. The swing speed you need to produce through impact will also be easier to achieve.
- More height on the golf ball
Most beginner golfers find it difficult to generate enough height on their shots to stop the ball when it lands quickly. Using a flat swing helps you get the ball up into the air without requiring a fast swing speed.
If you lack swing speed to get higher backspin rates, then you will benefit from a flatter swing. It will help you launch your ball higher with each club.
Cons of a Flat Golf Swing
In golf, for every upside, there is also a downside. Every decision you make, in golf and life, will have pros and cons.
You need to carefully weigh the pros and cons of any change you make to your swing before committing to it.
Below are some of the cons of a flatter golf swing.
- Reduced backspin
A backspin with iron shots, is produced when you hit down on a golf ball.
If you use a flat swing plane, you will not be hitting down on the ball as much as a golfer using a steeper swing. However, you can still hit down on the ball with a flat swing, and you could get a bit of spin.
If you play golf in an area with hard greens and require high spin rates to stop the ball, you should opt for a steeper swing.
- More issues from the rough
When your clubface impacts the ball, it will catch many blades of grass behind the ball before making contact, particularly when you are in the rough.
This interference slows down the clubhead, and can result in the clubface opening or closing before you strike the ball.
When you use a flat swing, you are most likely to catch even more grass than if you use a steeper swing. So if you use a flat swing, it may be challenging to play quality shots from the rough.
A solution is to create a steeper swing whenever needed or if you realise your ball is in the deep rough.
- More difficulty with approach shots
Most golfers play better on short shots when they use a steeper swing plane. In particular, pitch and chip shots yield better results with a steeper swing plane.
It is possible to use a steeper swing on your short shots and a flatter swing on your full swings. But going back and forth between the two requires skill and a lot of practice.
- More rotation is required
This depends on your physical shape and agility. If you are flexible in your lower back and legs, then making a good rotation through the ball won’t be a problem for you.
But, if you are not very flexible, then using a flat swing can be challenging and may not be the best option for you.
A flat swing requires you to make excellent shoulder rotation and move the club back far enough to produce some power. Golfers who cannot make this shoulder turn should stick with a steeper swing.
- May not have enough extension
Extension in a golf swing is so important because it increases your distance.
If the swing is so compact that you are unable to extend your arms throughout the impact position, you may feel a little stuck. This is a horrible feeling for golfers, and it makes the impact position more difficult.
The solution to this problem is to make sure that you have enough space to extend your arms through the shot. Keep your extension long and your golf swing flat.
This is possible through practice and using alignment aids.
A few tools that can help you work on your swing plane and get it to flatter include a mirror, a video, and golf alignment sticks.
I hope my guide has helped you understand what flat golf swings are all about. And that you now feel more equipped to hit good golf shots with a flat swing.
The benefits of a flat swing are great, but it’s important to also look at the cons. You need to decide whether this swing is best for you or not. If you need to evaluate it further check out our post on how to correct a flat golf swing!