Arcs and planes on the course
In addition to swinging the golf club through several check points, there are two factors that play a key role in direction and distance of the shot.
The first is the arc of the swing, which is simply the circumference of the swing, or how far the club head swings around the body.
A wristy swing will create a V-shaped arc that is not too effective.
Ideally, a U-shaped or oval-shaped arc is what we are looking for in the swing.
The second lies with swing plane.
Imagine a large 10-foot long by nine-foot high piece of plywood set at the same angle of your club shaft at the address position.
As you swing the club back, down and through, the shaft of the club more or less stays on the plywood the entire time.
Coming back to the ball might set the shaft under the plane just a hair, but never on top plane.
If you can find an old golf shaft or tomato stake, you can push it in the ground along your toe line about six feet behind you and set it at the same angle as your club shaft when in the address position.
As you swing through the shake-hands position from the last lesson, your upper body will continue to coil around your lower body and, at about the point where your hands are sternum height, the shaft of the club should be at the same angle as the shaft you set in the ground behind you.
In other words, the shaft in the ground and your club will form a line.
If your shaft is too perpendicular with the ground, your swing is considered steep and, if your shaft is too horizontal with the ground, your swing is considered too flat.
If the shaft in the ground and your shaft line up you are then swinging on plane.